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Thread: Passing memory through DNA....fact or fiction!?

  1. #11
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    Donít know about humans but mice have genetic memory
    https://www.nature.com/news/fearful-...ndants-1.14272

    Heritable traits
    Studying the biological basis for those effects in humans would be difficult. So Ressler and his colleague Brian Dias opted to study epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of acetophenone, a chemical the scent of which has been compared to those of cherries and almonds. He and Dias wafted the scent around a small chamber, while giving small electric shocks to male mice. The animals eventually learned to associate the scent with pain, shuddering in the presence of acetophenone even without a shock.

    This reaction was passed on to their pups, Dias and Ressler report today in Nature Neuroscience1. Despite never having encountered acetophenone in their lives, the offspring exhibited increased sensitivity when introduced to its smell, shuddering more markedly in its presence compared with the descendants of mice that had been conditioned to be startled by a different smell or that had gone through no such conditioning. A third generation of mice ó the 'grandchildren' ó also inherited this reaction, as did mice conceived through in vitro fertilization with sperm from males sensitized to acetophenone. Similar experiments showed that the response can also be transmitted down from the mother.
    Last edited by MitchellSince1893; 05-01-2018 at 11:45 PM.
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  3. #12
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    I am somewhat new here and I notice this topic is somewhat old (05/2018) but I want to add some witness to this suspected phenomenon. One of the things I notice in my own life (which I only found out recently) is that propensities, interests, and insights somehow appear to be carried on. In my own life, though many in my family are builders and musicians (a talent passed down...we all can play and sing), I had a curious insatiable interest in philosophy, psychology, theology, mysticism (symbols and archetypes particularly), and so on. Then when exploring family roots and heritage I found these same interests in past relatives. One on my father's side (only a few generations back) preceded bby another about 5 generations ago, and one (on my mothers side) who had published many works (in the Scottish Dalrymple clan) about history of the church, the early church fathers, and more which were areas I had previously been drawn to intensely.

    I also shared a distinct memory once about an event in Haymarket Sq Boston only to find it was not mine but my moms (which she had totally forgotten and never thought significant enough to speak about) which she witnessed when I was just a babe in the belly....go figure....

    Then when I was watching Professor Henry Gates (a history detective on PBS) do the past of Paul Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard I saw the same pattern. Ryans great great grand was a lawyer and two had entered public service (one of whom was a politician). After a few generations of poor workers he found attraction to this (unaware) and well we know he is now a senator.

    Tulsi Gabbard's story was a little different showing a lineage of interest in military service and care for the downtrodden...what is really strange was that her parents allegedly had chosen her name randomly (tulsi) but in the historical search it turned out her great great great was a well known person in Samoa who lived in a town named Tulsi (who could have known?).

    So though we may never find "scientific proof" of such a thing there is evidence for it.

    So though never encouraged in this direction I could see a clear lineage of interest

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  5. #13
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    I've suspected this is the case since learning some foreign languages. I found languages with recent family history much, much easier to learn and I retain them better.

    Rupert Sheldrake has done some studies that show signs of inherited memory in animals as well.

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  7. #14
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    Genetic memory is an interesting subject to me, as I've long been drawn to cultures that it later turns out I have heritage from.

    It's been suggested that the reason for the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors being disproportionately treated for mental health issues is genetic trauma. Some have also said the same about the descendants of slaves. On a global scale, the rise in mental health issues post WWII could be due to inherited trauma.

    It's so fascinating.
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  9. #15
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    I keep hoping I have a genetic memory of the name of my father’s mystery paternal great grand father. So far nothing. ;-)
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  11. #16
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    I go back and forth on this. I like to make things, and garden. I particularly like roses; my great grandfather came from a farming family in England but here in the US he ended up as a gardener at an estate in Detroit called Rose Hill. My grandfather always grew roses, as did my father. I always make sure to have a few bushes too. Memory or learned trait, or as a way to preserve a childhood memory of a parent growing them?

    Go not far back and you'll find most people made things on their own, either from necessity or desire. I've learned to sew, to spin, to weave, generally quite a few crafts. At the same time, even with encouragement and apparent ability, neither of my children is inclined that way. And they both have black thumbs.

    Even phobias--I literally break out in hives if I can't remove a spider from the vicinity while my mother and siblings have no problem smacking one. With the Holocaust survivors the preference for mental health occupations could just as likely be from a desire to recover from, understand the trauma, and deal with it as from inherited trauma.

    As expressed above, I don't think there's a way to empirically prove the idea.

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    There's some truth to this sort of thing... it's referred to as "epigenetics"... experiences can affect DNA expression for several generations.

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  15. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephK View Post
    There's some truth to this sort of thing... it's referred to as "epigenetics"... experiences can affect DNA expression for several generations.
    I agree...Epigenetics plays a role. Today the work of Denis Noble is showing it possibly has more of an import than most Evolutionary Biologists would have previously admitted (though his work more emphasizes physical propensities).

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