Ancestors’ Memories Could Explain Our Phobias (The Telegraph)

spiderNew research suggests that memories inherited biologically through chemical changes in DNA could explain our irrational fears.

A study by researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta suggests that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic experiences to subsequent generations. “So a fear of spiders may in fact be an inherited defense mechanism laid down in a families genes by an ancestors’ frightening encounter with an arachnid,” The Telegraph reports.

A geneticist at the University College London argues that studies such as this one should compel public health researchers to take human trans-generational responses seriously — despite some skeptics’ arguments that animal findings can’t be extrapolated to humans. “I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach,” Marcus Pembrey told the Telegraph.


  1. I love this article and I believe it carries a lot of weight considering I am terribly afraid of snakes although I have never been bitten nor approached by one.

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