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150 years of Darwin’s theory of intercellular flow of hereditary information

Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biologyvolume 19pages749750 (2018) | Download Citation


In 1868, Charles Darwin published his Pangenesis theory, which proposed a mechanism for the flow of hereditary information between cells and generations. Pangenesis has since been disputed, but emerging evidence of cell-to-cell communication urges the reconsideration of this 150-year-old theory.

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The authors thank R. M. Roberts for constructive comments and members of the Chen laboratory for discussions. Research in the Chen laboratory is supported by the NIH (R01HD092431).

Author information


  1. Henan Collaborative Innovation Center of Modern Biological Breeding, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, China

    • Yongsheng Liu
  2. Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    • Yongsheng Liu
  3. Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV, USA

    • Qi Chen


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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Qi Chen.

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