The Wall Street Journal - The Genetic Ripple Effect of Hardship

 – February 28, 2012  –– 

Our experiences in life don't just affect how we learn and behave, they can also mark our genes and influence our children, a growing body of research suggests. Stressful events and drug use appear to alter how and when genes are turned off and on. Some environmental influences create such long-lasting and significant biological changes that they can be passed on to affect the health of the next generation, studies have shown. Dr. Eric Nestler, a molecular biologist and neuroscience professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, took male mice and stressed them out, then bred them with normal females. After the pups grew up, they showed sharp increases in anxiety and depression. "I couldn't believe it," he says.
- Dr. Eric Nestler, Professor & Chair, Neuroscience, Director of the Friedman Brain Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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