Scared of spiders? It could be in your genes

Could your reaction to spiders be related to your ancestors’ fear of them?

This is pretty fascinating research.

Our experiences are built up over a lifetime and a collection of our memories.

So if you once faced a spider in scary circumstances you remember that and it holds over throughout your life. Or if your father or grandmother talked about being trapped in a room full of spiders, that becomes part of your memories and your response to them is based on what you’ve experienced.

Now there’s new evidence that suggest memories can be collected genetically.

Emory University researchers conducted an experiment on mice by testing whether their olfactory reactions could be linked to parental traumatic exposure. They associated the smell of cherry blossoms to something that should be feared. In this case, electric shock to the mice. They then allowed the mice to breed. Their offspring showed fearful responses to cherry blossom smells despite never having smelled them before.

What this means is it’s possible for information to be inherited through chemical changes in DNA that gets passed along.

Photo credit: Press Association

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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