Parents Impact Child’s Mind Before Conception

Father’s experience is deposited in the DNA of male offsprings – such a sensational conclusion was made by a group of scientists from the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA. The experiments carried out by the scientists and their conclusions were published in the Nature Neuroscience journal by Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler.

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A group of American scientists conducted a series of experiments on mice, in which it was found that some events in the life of fathers leave a mark on their children’s behavior, which is inherited with the DNA. In the course of experiments, mice were taught to fear a certain smell, which was always accompanied by electric shock – for example, acetophenone, resembling the blossoming bird cherry. The mice that smelled acetophenone and accordingly experienced pain from an electric discharge acquired an appropriate reflex and soon learned to avoid contact with the source of the smell. However, it soon became clear that the fear of acetophenone was inherited by their offsprings via a DNA gene. The scientists also studied the mice’s semen and noticed the activity of the area where receptor Olfr151 gene is located. This gene appeared sensitive to the smell of bird cherry, not only in the experimental males, but also in their offsprings over several generations.

To verify the findings, the researchers isolated two generations of mice from each other. Nevertheless, the gene in question continued to be active in the younger generation. In other words, the mice that had never communicated with their ancestors, still avoided a close encounter with acetophenone, as if they knew about the painful consequences. However, it is reported that the phenomenon under investigation was manifested only in males.

Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler conclude that a parent’s experience, even before conception, significantly affects the structure and functioning of the future generations’ nervous system.

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