Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes

"Why can’t your friend “just get over” her upbringing by an angry, distant mother? Why can’t she “just snap out of it”? The reason may well be due to methyl groups that were added in childhood to genes in her brain, thereby handcuffing her mood to feelings of fear and despair... 

 Like silt deposited on the cogs of a finely tuned machine after the seawater of a tsunami recedes, our experiences, and those of our forebears, are never gone, even if they have been forgotten. They become a part of us, a molecular residue holding fast to our genetic scaffolding. The DNA remains the same, but psychological and behavioral tendencies are inherited. You might have inherited not just your grandmother’s knobby knees, but also her predisposition toward depression caused by the neglect she suffered as a newborn." 

Hurley, Dan. "Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes". Health & Medicine, Discover Magazine. May 2013 Issue. June 11, 2013. Web.

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