Do animals inherit basic memories through sperm, epigenetics?

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Image via National Geographic.

Over the past decade, the field of epigenetics has caught fire in the minds of scientists and the public.

Research into epigenetics has revealed that changes in an organism’s external environment, including its life experiences and choices, can influence the expression of its otherwise inflexible DNA code. According to National Geographic‘s Virginia Hughes, “epigenetics, in other words, is enticing because it offers a resolution to the tedious, perennial debates of nurture versus nature.”

Now, new research could shed more light on the field of epigenetics, writes Hughes. “Brian Dias, a postdoctoral fellow in Kerry Ressler’s lab at Emory University, had reported that mice inherit specific smell memories from their fathers — even when the offspring have never experienced that smell before, and even when they’ve never met their father. What’s more, their children are born with the same specific memory.”

Read the full, original story here: Mice Inherit Specific Memories, Because Epigenetics?

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