Welcome to NDSU Research and Creative Activity
Shape students’ futures. Generate new discoveries. Build economic opportunities for the region. Research and creative activity at North Dakota State University serve as catalysts of opportunity.
NDSU’s commitment to serving the State and its citizens is founded in the university’s land-grant mission.
Britt Heidinger, assistant professor of biological sciences, studies why older parents produce offspring who tend to have shorter lives. The answer may lie in the offspring's length of telomeres, or protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. By studying the long-lived seabird, the European shag, researchers examined the relationship between the age of the parents and the telomere length of their offspring. Chicks produced by older parents had greater telomere loss during nestling growth than chicks produced by younger parents. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that parental age influences offspring longevity, partly due to telomere loss post-natally.