world-news

'Smell of fear' can be passed down generations

London, Dec 02 : A new study has revealed that memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors.


The results of the animal study, which suggested that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations, were important for phobia and anxiety research, the BBC reported.

The team at the Emory University School of Medicine, in the US, trained the animals to fear a smell similar to cherry blossom and found a section of DNA responsible for sensitivity to the 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.

Researchers said the experiences of a parent, even before conceiving, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations.

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

The smell-aversion study suggested 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.

--ANI (Posted on 02-12-2013)

world-news headlines

UN marks Mother Earth Day, urges protection of planet

UNESCO denounces killing of journalist in Philippines

UN urges coordinated action on food security

UN urges respect for rights of persons with disabilities

Somalia: UN condemns murder of second lawmaker

South Sudan: UN concerned over surging violence, malnutrition

Myanmar: UNICEF concerned over Kachin children

UN vehicle hijacked by suspected Somali militants

Ronaldo likely to start against Bayern Munich

Pakistan's interior minister calls government-Taliban meeeting

Myanmar's nationwide census covers nearly 11 mn households

Planned air search for missing plane again suspended

Quick Links: Goa | Munnar | Pondicherry | Free Yearly Horoscope '2014

Comments

Your e-mail:


Your Full Name:


Type verification image:
verification image, type it in the box

Message:

Back to Top