High type I error and misrepresentations in search for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: Response to Guerrero-Bosagna

Academic Article


  • In a recent paper, we described our efforts in search for evidence supporting epigenetic transgenerational inheritance caused by endocrine disrupter chemicals. One aspect of our study was to compare genome-wide DNA methylation changes in the vinclozolin-exposed fetal male germ cells (n = 3) to control samples (n = 3), their counterparts in the next, unexposed, generation (n = 3 + 3) and also in adult spermatozoa (n = 2 + 2) in both generations. We reported finding zero common hits in the intersection of these four comparisons. In our interpretation, this result did not support the notion that DNA methylation provides a mechanism for a vinclozolin-induced transgenerational male infertility phenotype. In response to criticism by Guerrero-Bosagna regarding our statistical power in the above study, here we provide power calculations to clarify the statistical power of our study and to show the validity of our conclusions. We also explain here how our data is misinterpreted in the commentary by Guerrero-Bosagna by leaving out important data points from consideration.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Genome Biology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 8894040
  • Author List

  • Iqbal K; Tran DA; Li AX; Warden C; Bai AY; Singh P; Madaj ZB; Winn ME; Wu X; Pfeifer GP
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 1