Effects of Stress Can Cross Generations


Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found, for the first time, that genes affected by stress during life can be passed to the next generation through eggs and sperm. The finding, from DNA evidence in mice, adds to evidence of epigenetic inheritance of the effects of environmental stressors such as smoking, diet, and adverse childhood events. Results appeared online in Science on January 25, 2013.

Abstract →

Hackett, J., Roopsha, S., et al. Germline DNA Demethylation Dynamics and Imprint Erasure Through 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine. Science, online January 25, 2013

Of further interest:
Stress can affect future generations’ genes (NewScientist)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].