Sunday, November 02, 2014

Learned something new about genetics

Learned something about genetics I did not expect from this excellent article on mental illness:

"In numerous laboratory studies, genes that control cortisol are found to be directly altered by the recurrent stress of unexpected maternal separations, resulting in “epigenetic” modifications to specific genes that are involved with the cortisol system. These modifications result in lifelong overactivity of the stress-response system. This presents a great risk of helplessness and despair in the offspring and measurable distortions in the growth of brain structures. And it doesn’t stop with that generation. The modification of the gene is passed on through several generations — even when those later generations didn’t experience the traumatic events themselves."

Did you know this could happen?

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