A startling new study has answered a huge question: do our life experiences enter our genetic code? The incredible answer is, ‘yes.’ Your likes, dislikes and prejudices–you may think they originated with your own life experiences, but most of them came from your ancestors, via your GENES. Life experiences not only affect your genes, your mother’s genes, and your grandmother’s genes, etc. While you may fee like a unique individual, the fact is that your peronality is largely gift your long line of maternal ancestors (stretching all he way back to the FIRST female homo sapien, who may have been "Lucy?")
For over 30 years, neurologists have known that the tightly wound spools of DNA inside each cell’s nucleus require something extra to tell them exactly which genes to turn into, for instance, a heart cell, a liver cell or a brain cell. One of these "extra elements" is the methyl group, which acts like a bookmark inside the DNA spiral, in effect "telling" each gene what to turn into. Originally these basic structuralchanges were believed to occur only during fetal development, but now it’s known that more developmental information be added to DNA in adulthood, due to things like changes in diet or drug use.
Geneticists have been surprised to find that epigenetic changes can be passed down from parent to child, from one generation after the next. For instance, when female mice are fed a diet rich in certain food groups, the fur pigment of their offspring is PERMANENTLY altered–in other words, these baby mice, when they mature, PASS DOWN these changes to their own babies. This knowledge is the reason for so many new warning about things like smoking and drinking when pregnant.
On the Discover website, Hurley writes: "Like silt deposited on the cogs of a finely tuned machine after the seawater of a tsunami recedes, our experiences, and those of our forebears, are never gone, even if they have been forgotten. They become a part of us, a molecular residue holding fast to our genetic scaffolding. The DNA remains the same, but psychological and behavioral tendencies are inherited. You might have inherited not just your grandmother’s knobby knees, but also her predisposition toward depression caused by the neglect she suffered as a newborn."
In our modern society, we find it repugnant to speak of a family having "bad blood," but maybe there’s something to it.
If we inherit our wisdom, we sure would like to meet the Master of the Key, who told Whitley SO MUCH in the short time they were together after he burst into Whitley’s Toronto hotel room in 1998–or maybe we should meet his MOTHER!
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