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Thread: Epigenetics - Can we inherit "memories"?

  1. #31
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    Resurrected (or undead/epigenetic) thread! I'll just leave this here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/...ma-epigenetics
    Although it gets slightly off-track near the end, while I can certainly see the argument from motivation in believing such things the author makes. It's worth noting that this is one area in particular where higher mammals like humans are a class apart from C. Elegans etc. (covered to some length in above article). The mouse experiment was certainly interesting, but it's believable unlike the Assassin's Creed like "genetic memory" theories running rampant on social media. There was an interesting tweet covering the leaps of faith and their impossibility that would be needed for actual memories to be passed (epi)genetically. While I'm always game for "but perhaps we just don't know all the possible mechanisms yet", what's missing is the smoking gun, ie. there appears to be no controlled evidence for any transgenerational transfer of memories, beyond what can be explained by culture etc. The observations do not seem to match this hypothesis.

    Always been curious about some very complex behavioral patterns of some animals which have never witnessed that behavior first hand, though. (This reminds me of, unfortunately, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langua...on_experiments )

  2. #32
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    I've seen studies suggesting that the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are more likely to have psychiatric issues than others. The same has also been suggested in the descendants of slavery. It can't have originated through hearing tales of these events- the Holocaust survivors probably wouldn't want to discuss what happened with their kids and there are no former slaves alive anymore to tell their stories- so why are these people in particular more likely to develop psychiatric disorders?

    My experiences with genetic memory are far more benign. As a kid, I was obsessed with India and Indian culture. I used to actually pretend to be Indian and wear a sari and a lipstick bindi. Later on, I developed an intense fascination for Judaism. I felt like I was meant to be Jewish, even though my upbringing had been secular Christian. As it turns out, I have Indian ancestry through the Romani as well as some Ashkenazi. It seems blood knows home.
    "sample": "Custom:mildlycurly_scaled",
    "fit": 1.4136,
    "Irish": 58.33,
    "English": 39.17,
    "Ashkenazi_Jew": 1.67,
    "Roma": 0.83,


    Interests: Population genetics (especially pertaining to Romani and Jewish populations and the intersections between them), making music, making art, writing, Sheffield United FC.

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