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Science Article about Inter-generational Memories


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#1 Sylvan

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 12:51 PM

I thought this article would be of interest for many folks because it is a slice of science which suggests our genetic relationships with our ancestors are not just limited to physical traits. Some people who believe past lives are actually genetic memories might particularly find this interesting. It has lots of ramifications, really. Enjoy. 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...health-25156510

 

'Memories' pass between generations

By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News

_71435662_m3750096-family-spl.jpg

Behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory, animal studies suggest.

Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations.

A Nature Neuroscience study shows mice trained to avoid a smell passed their aversion on to their "grandchildren".

Experts said the results were important for phobia and anxiety research.

The animals were trained to fear a smell similar to cherry blossom.

The team at the Emory University School of Medicine, in the US, then looked at what was happening inside the sperm.

They showed a section of DNA responsible for sensitivity to the cherry blossom scent was made more active in the mice's sperm.

Both the mice's offspring, and their offspring, were "extremely sensitive" to cherry blossom and would avoid the scent, despite never having experiencing it in their lives.

Changes in brain structure were also found.

"The experiences of a parent, even before conceiving, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations," the report concluded.

Family affair

The findings provide evidence of "transgenerational epigenetic inheritance" - that the environment can affect an individual's genetics, which can in turn be passed on.

One of the researchers Dr Brian Dias told the BBC: "This might be one mechanism that descendants show imprints of their ancestor.

"There is absolutely no doubt that what happens to the sperm and egg will affect subsequent generations."

Prof Marcus Pembrey, from University College London, said the findings were "highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders" and provided "compelling evidence" that a form of memory could be passed between generations.

He commented: "It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously.

"I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach."

In the smell-aversion study, is it thought that either some of the odour ends up in the bloodstream which affected sperm production or that a signal from the brain was sent to the sperm to alter DNA.


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#2 Autumn Moon

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for the link Sylvan. That is my belief about past lives, ie. one is tapping into the genetic memory of a past ancestor.

 

Also, I think that one can also tap into the genetic memories of those that are still living, such as parents and grandparents.


Edited by Autumn Moon, 03 December 2013 - 06:16 PM.

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#3 Belwenda

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

Very interesting-

Edited by Belwenda, 03 December 2013 - 09:35 PM.

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#4 Whiterose

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:25 PM

Awesome find!  Right up my ally!


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#5 Jevne

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:23 AM

This is in line with my personal understanding, as well.
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#6 The Exile

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 07:36 AM

Interesting


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#7 Aloe

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:53 AM

Saw this on facebook the other day, very cool!  


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#8 aurora

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:58 AM

Great link! Very interesting indeed.It all makes sense tho dosent it.
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#9 Nikki

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:21 AM

It's fascinating how trauma impacts DNA, and how DNA impacts memory. 

 

My father would say that each human is linked to every other human by a collective memory passed down from the very first ancestors. Taken even further, one might say there's collective memory going back to the Big Bang, and therefore 'creation' is a memory we all have. He waxed poetic about such things. Hey, we are stardust born from a supernova, so why not?

 

I also find accounts about Organ Recipients who suddenly take on trails of and/the or memories of the Organ Donor very interesting. Such things imply that memory is recorded on a cellular level, in every cell.... and if so, then no one is truly a 'blank slate' at birth. Far from it. 

 

Compelling stuff. Very cool post. 


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#10 Ravenshaw

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:01 AM

I think the concept of genetic memory is often misconstrued. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance is the environmentally induced change of DNA, so a memory as a recall of something such as an event (like, "I remember the picnic of 1964 with your aunt Suzy and the purple table cloth") would not be carried on. For something like this, think damage. If the effect only occurs on somatic cells, it likely will not carry on to the next generation. However, if the effects occur to germ cells, it will. Pesticides, for example: they can effect somatic and germ cells alike, but the damage will likely be seen dramatically in the next generation. Damage and behavior are often genetically linked. In this case, the behavior was carried on and those who showed traits in the next generation also showed hypomethylation on the CpG region of a particular olfactory receptor. Usually, if there's no physical, anatomical, genetic link, the behavior is not carried on because evolutionarily, there's no reason for it to be. This isn't an all-inclusive scope on the subject of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, but hopefully might clear up how the concept of "memory" is being used in the original article.


Edited by Ravenshaw, 20 March 2014 - 06:03 AM.

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#11 Ravenshaw

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:10 AM

There was a similar experiment done on embryos in vivo, where poisoned (with cyanide, I believe) juice was introduced in small amounts to amniotic fluid, and as a result when the offspring were born, they showed an aversion to the juice which was poisoned. The behavior which is passed down with something like this is often an evolutionary management response, genetically fostered for the sake of "survival of the fittest" as ye olde Spencer would say.


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#12 Jevne

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:06 PM

Have a very slight interest in behavioral neuroscience, but that and biology are not really within my area of expertise.  Those of you so inclined might find the following article of interest . . . 

 

Jablonka, E., & Raz, G. (2009). Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: Prevalence, mechanisms, and implications for the study of heredity and evolution. Quarterly Review of Biology, 84(2), 131-176.

 

You can probably find all 47 fascinating pages on any academic database.  Seriously, some interesting things in the article . . . comes at the subject from all angles; plants, animals, etc.


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#13 Raineylane

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:32 PM

I noticed this years ago, before I had ever heard of it.  When my son was just old enough to talk, he started expressing the same quirky likes and dislikes of his grandfather (husband's father) who died one month before I got pregnant with my son.  It was fascinating and comforting to my husband.


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#14 Whiterose

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 02:34 PM

 I have a smell aversion to popcorn. I thought I was just weird as everyone around me thought too.  It turns out there are others of my family on my father's side with this aversion as well.  The way I found out it wasn't just me, my aunt and I walked in to a candy shop last summer where they were selling the popcorn and immediately both of us started to gag while my husband just laughed.  My aunt looked at me and said.  "You too?" So that particular weirdness is genetic.  It made both of us feel less like freaks because that is not something you really talk about.  I sometimes wonder why though.  We must of had an ancestor traumatized by the smell of popcorn. :lol:


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#15 Ravenshaw

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 04:26 PM

Have a very slight interest in behavioral neuroscience, but that and biology are not really within my area of expertise.  Those of you so inclined might find the following article of interest . . . 

 

Jablonka, E., & Raz, G. (2009). Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: Prevalence, mechanisms, and implications for the study of heredity and evolution. Quarterly Review of Biology, 84(2), 131-176.

 

You can probably find all 47 fascinating pages on any academic database.  Seriously, some interesting things in the article . . . comes at the subject from all angles; plants, animals, etc.

 

 

Jevne - this definitely covers a lot of ground and explains this aspect of inheritance very well. Thank you!


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#16 Raineylane

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 07:48 PM

 I have a smell aversion to popcorn. I thought I was just weird as everyone around me thought too.  It turns out there are others of my family on my father's side with this aversion as well.  The way I found out it wasn't just me, my aunt and I walked in to a candy shop last summer where they were selling the popcorn and immediately both of us started to gag while my husband just laughed.  My aunt looked at me and said.  "You too?" So that particular weirdness is genetic.  It made both of us feel less like freaks because that is not something you really talk about.  I sometimes wonder why though.  We must of had an ancestor traumatized by the smell of popcorn. :laugh:

 

 

Okay, I've got a mental picture of someone being attacked by a popcorn vendor at the circus.  What?  It could happen! :teehee:


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