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Inherited outlook – can our feelings effect our children?

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May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009 Now here's a frightening thought! Brain chemicals such as endorphins, and drugs, such as marijuana and heroin are known to have significant effects on sperm and eggs, altering the patterns of genes that are active in them. In an article published in the latest issue of the journal Bioscience Hypotheses, Dr Alberto Halabe Bucay of Research Center Halabe and Darwich, Mexico, suggested that the hormones and chemicals resulting from happiness, depression and other mental states can affect our eggs and sperm, resulting in lasting changes in our children at the time of their conception. Bucay suggests that a wide range of chemicals that our brain generates when we are in different moods could affect ‘germ cells’ (eggs and sperm), the cells that ultimately produce the next generation. Such natural chemicals could affect the way that specific genes are expressed in the germ cells, and hence how a child develops.

“It is well known, of course, that parental behavior affects children, and that the genes that a child gets from its parents help shape that child’s character.” said Dr. Halabe Bucay. “My paper suggests a way that the parent’s psychology before conception can actually affect the child’s genes.”

“This is an intriguing idea” commented Dr. William Bains, editor of Bioscience Hypotheses. “We wanted to publish it to see what other scientists thought, and whether others had data that could support or disprove it. That is what our journal is for, to stimulate debate about new ideas, the more groundbreaking, the better.”

The article, entitled, Endorphins, personality, and inheritance: Establishing the biochemical bases of inheritance is available online.

Ref: Alberto Halabe Bucay. doi:10.1016/j.bihy.2009.03.003

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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