Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by Cryscat, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Cryscat

    Cryscat Senior Member

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    Article in the Telegraph UK.

    "Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop."

    One study, is not enough to be certain, of course, but epigenetics are the switches on top of the genes and they are influenced by environment.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/sci...ries-passed-down-in-genes-from-ancestors.html
     
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  2. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

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    I've read some of these kinds of things lately. In my view they represent a desperate attempt by scientists to find anything other than reincarnation to explain certain things - like phobias!
     
  3. Cryscat

    Cryscat Senior Member

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    Disproving reincarnation was not the aim of this study. I find that genetics and epigenetics to be a fascinating area to study. The Epigenes are the switches that sit on the genes. They turn the genes on or off. The Epigenes subject to environmental influences. An earlier study showed that your grandparents diet can affect your life span. I don't think that passing on traumatic events is so far out of line. I do think its something to consider, even within reincarnation.
     
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  4. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

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    Yes. I've read a bit about epigenetics. I can certainly get that our environments, the food we eat, the air we breathe, etc can impact our genetics. But I seriously, seriously doubt if the mechanism for trasmitting memories of events that occurred to our ancestors is genetic.


    They have based this 'finding' on tormenting some unfortunate mice, and again, it's a reaction to what they're feeding them rather than their 'memories' that they are testing, so I think this is drawing a long bow to say that past life memories are passed down by our genes.
     
  5. Blueheart

    Blueheart Senior Member

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    This was an interesting article, thanks for sharing it.


    The "memories" wording was introduced by the Telegraph, I think. The scientists did not go so far as that in their study.
     
  6. Cryscat

    Cryscat Senior Member

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    I think it's not quite a "memory" as we think of them. Closer to a feeling. I do think its possible though. Some people do seem to have terrors that current life and past lives cannot explain.
     
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  7. Gypsy8

    Gypsy8 Active Member

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    Sounds like an interesting study. Phobias, superstitions, and other such things are also passed down from ancestors by word of mouth through generation after generation.


    That's something that's fading away since families have been scattered for several generations. Or like what was passed on in my family never went on. I saw no point in loading any of it onto my children.
     
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  8. Demi

    Demi Senior Registered

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    I always had a phobia of mold. Not as common kind of phobia... I think its from a past life (maybe died from mold poisoning?), but could be from ancestors... ?
     
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  9. Cryscat

    Cryscat Senior Member

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    Fat? Sick? Blame Your Grandparents’ Habits


    Toward the end of World War II, the Nazis blocked all food and fuel supplies to the Netherlands, leading to famine. Many babies born during this famine suffered long-term effects, including a higher incidence of a variety of conditions such as heart disease, obesity, glucose intolerance, and obstructed airways. Severe trauma altered the victims’ gene code for life, even if the victim had yet to be born.


    But here’s the weird part: The effects didn’t stop with a child or with a generation. Postwar and post-famine, later-born siblings were also affected. Even in periods when food was available and the war over, a genetic memory lingered.


    And it appears to linger a long time. In follow?up studies, the daughters of Dutch mothers who had suffered through WWII’s famine while pregnant in turn had daughters with twice the average rate of schizophrenia. In other words, mothers’ wartime duress was passed on to their daughters, in the form of mental illness, and then on to the granddaughters: a genetic scar, inherited collectively by many individuals across at least two generations. Somehow, genes had been altered even for those who had no direct contact with the famine itself.


    Read more here: http://www.wired.com/2015/03/fat-sick-blame-grandparents-bad-habits/
     
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  10. Lynnette

    Lynnette New Member Staff Member

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    Hi Cryscat,


    I had come across this observation before, too, and it is really interesting. I believe one of the main reaches is the effect on the grandchildren from the grandmother, much more than directly from the mother to her children. This is tied to the foetuses in pregnant women already carrying the ova that will become that foetus' children!
     
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  11. Angie Brown

    Angie Brown Senior Registered

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    An old thread, but what you note makes sense. That isn't to negate the effects of genes and epigenes from the paternal lines. E.G., as far as I am aware, none of my maternal nor paternal relatives have had any great fear of common spiders, yet my older son has always been truly terrified of the sight of one even from across the room. Once, he was near apopletic when one was near him. We are in the UK, but his paternal G'father is from a hot country that has poisonous spiders, which he did not know when he was very young.

    I have known of other things with some people which prove the info is on the right track. Such as identical twins separated at birth, brought up very differently yet when finding each other as adults, discovered they had the same sort of hairstyles, fashion sense, tastes, names for their own children, type of work, art, etc. Still like peas in a pod.

    Best wishes,

    Angie
     
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  12. Ritter

    Ritter Senior Registered

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    I have inherited a severe hatred and fear of snakes. Snakes instantly trigger my killing instinct. Real combat mode. Kill or be killed. I do not have much of a flight response to anything, only violent ones. My father and my brother are the same. We never talked about it in depth until I was almost 20, but it was startlingly alike. Being near snakes or reptiles almost makes time slow and the adrenaline starts pumping to an absolutely extreme degree. The feeling of wanting to kill the lizard is extreme. None of us have ever been bitten. My sisters and my mother do not share this absolute hatred of snakes. It is not just a little. I do not really hate anything else on this planet like that. There are lots of things I do not like for one reason or the other. But those are all motivated dislikes and angers. This is just inborn and very, very intense. Someone on my father's side must have had some very bad encounter with snakes. Crocodiles and large lizards also fall into the same category, but snakes are the worst. Although I think it would apply to comodo dragons and all sorts. If I saw one and had a gun, spear or whatever available, I would attack and kill it. I know objectively that they fulfill some niche in the ecosystem, but to be honest I would rather kill them all and deal with the consequences thereof.

    Except for this, I do not think I have other fobias. My feet tingle when I am high up and looking down, but that is about it.
     
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  13. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Registered

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    That's a fascinating subject, which reminds me of other studies I read a few years ago, that highlighted the tendency for offspring to carry within their genetic material the 'memory' of traumatic events. The current understanding points out to RNA being the vector to these passed-on traits.

    Sadly, the starvation in late-1944 Holland was to be observed in the descendants of the survivors of this episode. “We identified genes that are essential for production and for the inheritance of starvation-responsive small RNAs. RNA inheritance could prove to be an important genetic mechanism in other organisms, including humans, acting parallel to DNA. This could possibly allow parents to prepare their progeny for hardships similar to the ones that they experience,” Dr. Rechavi said (co-author of the study linked below).

    https://www.medicaldaily.com/starva...y-starvation-three-generations-and-now-297054

    For further reading on the subject:
    Stein, A.D. et al. (2009). Maternal exposure to the Dutch Famine before conception and during pregnancy: quality of life and depressive symptoms in adult offspring. Epidemiology, 20(6), doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181b5f227.

    That, however, does not constitute an answer as to why specific phobias could carry on from one life to the other, especially when there is no blood-relation between two identities.

    In my personal case, I have suffered from severe claustrophobia leading to panic attacks (witnessed by my parents since the age of a year and a half, with no reasonable cause to explain it) that I can't help but link to a strong past life memory of dying in an armoured vehicle.
     
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