The Haunting of Fearful Memories Across Generations

Negative memories have been shown to haunt across generations in mice, but what does this mean for us humans? In the spirit of conjecture, I’m here to offer up my perspective on the topic since I come from two unique angles. First, I am researcher in the field of molecular genetics and secondly I am the grand-child of holocaust survivors. While world history and religion aren’t topics I often talk about, I’ve been left wondering about one thing.

A recent piece by the nature has discussed some of the findings about fearful memories being transmitted across to future generations. The offspring of these mice experienced altered behaviour for two generations most likely due to epigenetic changes. This leaves me wondering just what type of transmission occurred in the minds of millions of progeny from survivors. Has it been lost in the noise of other environmental factors across time, or is a molecular memory haunting a people known for their intelligence. 

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