Epigenetics: traces of trauma and acquired characteristics are detectable over generations

Traumatic experiences leave traces in the activity of genes, cause changes in behaviour and mental disorders and are also passed on to future generations. But a positive and stimulating environment for the offspring can eliminate these traces. This is shown by studies on mice by Professor Isabelle Mansuy of the University and ETH Zurich, Switzerland. As Professor Mansuy will report (10 July) at the FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Berlin, these epigenetic changes, which do not alter the code of the genes themselves but their activity, are detectable not only in the nerve cells of the brain, but also in blood and germ cells – which might have an effect on the function of organs. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)