Inheritance of an acquired charateristic?

#1
Traumatic experiences can actually work themselves into the germ line. When a male mouse becomes afraid of a specific smell, this fear is somehow transmitted into his sperm, the study found. His pups will also be afraid of the odor, and will pass that fear down to their pups.
“Parents transfer information to their offspring, and they do so even before the offspring are conceived,” said Brian Dias, a postdoctoral fellow in Ressler’s lab, at an engaging talk about this unpublished data on Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/15/mice-inherit-the-fears-of-their-fathers/

tip of the hat to The Daily Grail.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

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#3
Not sure why it would change our view of evolution completely, but quite cool.

What will really be interesting is to find out whether this is an epigenetic mechanism (as discussed in the final paragraph of the article), or whether somehow the information gets into the sperm DNA.

~~ Paul
 
#4
Not sure why it would change our view of evolution completely, but quite cool.

What will really be interesting is to find out whether this is an epigenetic mechanism (as discussed in the final paragraph of the article), or whether somehow the information gets into the sperm DNA.

~~ Paul
Paul I thought you would also be excited that it is consistent with Sheldrake's Morphic Resonance theory! ;)
 
#5
I may have slightly overstated the case, but if this is a case of inheritance of acquired characteristics then we have a new mechanism for producing variation in evolution, one which would vastly increase the speed at which evolution can take place.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

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#7
I may have slightly overstated the case, but if this is a case of inheritance of acquired characteristics then we have a new mechanism for producing variation in evolution, one which would vastly increase the speed at which evolution can take place.
Perhaps, but only if the characteristics can make their way into the genome. Otherwise they may fade through the generations.

~~ Paul
 
#9
Did anyone notice this in the comments section of the Nat Geo article :

I have been involved in research on how savants “know things they never learned” (see http://www.savantsyndrome.com) Something I call genetic memory..There is plenty of room on DNA for transfer of huge amounts of “knowledge”, not just instincts. Fascinating ‘grist for the mill’ for my work with genetic memory.

Darold A. Treffert, M.D.






 
#11
Yes, I noticed. I'm not sure what the difference between knowledge and instincts is, but the trick here is to find the mechanism by which the knowledge in the DNA is decoded and re-encoded in the brain as facts.

~~ Paul
What fascinates me is this : When you trace the family tree of many of these savants, there is usually no evidence of near ancestors who possessed that exact skill. So if these skills are strictly genetic, then they must be innate, part of the larger 'human' genome. Which means that we all are born with at least the template necessary to display this type of genius. (I think that's what Treffert is getting at.)
But that is one step beyond even Lamarckism - I mean, if the template for "genius level jazz composition" could be born into any kid because it is there in the human genome, then why wouldn't there be anything else that any human has ever learned. . . . Would there be a template for "genius level poetry", fly-fishing, flint-knapping, making genius level fart noises. . . ? That's a LOT of information. . .
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

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Member
#12
What fascinates me is this : When you trace the family tree of many of these savants, there is usually no evidence of near ancestors who possessed that exact skill. So if these skills are strictly genetic, then they must be innate, part of the larger 'human' genome. Which means that we all are born with at least the template necessary to display this type of genius. (I think that's what Treffert is getting at.)
But that is one step beyond even Lamarckism - I mean, if the template for "genius level jazz composition" could be born into any kid because it is there in the human genome, then why wouldn't there be anything else that any human has ever learned. . . . Would there be a template for "genius level poetry", fly-fishing, flint-knapping, making genius level fart noises. . . ? That's a LOT of information. . .
This is why I ask for a case where someone suddenly knows facts that s/he couldn't have known before. My guess is that these talents will always be heightened examples of basic "instinctual" abilities involving music, athletic strength, simple numerical computation, pattern recognition, art, and so forth. Even then, do we have a case of a person who never heard music suddenly playing the piano? If not, then there is some learning aspect to the ability, also.

~~ Paul
 
#13
Did anyone notice this in the comments section of the Nat Geo article :

I have been involved in research on how savants “know things they never learned” (see http://www.savantsyndrome.com) Something I call genetic memory..There is plenty of room on DNA for transfer of huge amounts of “knowledge”, not just instincts. Fascinating ‘grist for the mill’ for my work with genetic memory.

Darold A. Treffert, M.D.
Expression of 'knowledge' or cognitive-only information from the genome is one thing. The good doctor is skipping the core issue in favor of the easy half which keeps him out of hot water, by constraining his context to expression only. He avoids the tougher half of the equation, impression. I don't blame him either.

I am not sure I have read any material on a mechanism which can causatively insert a purpose driven cohesive functional allele change (such as is the case with the increased startle to acetophenone cited in the article) in one generation of experiencer who was not ever proximally associated with its progeny. Yet the article cites that the "F1 and F2 generations have more “M71 neurons” in their noses... and the brains also have larger M71 glomeruli,”, both of which are genome expression morphologies only.

Does not sound like the expression morphologies, of which there were several context driven and integral ones, had to "work their way into the genome through mutation, selection, generational culling, accretion, nor bio-chemical influences of generational bias," at all.

I can see why the author cites part of the reaction from scientists, as being characterized by "deep skepticism" to this material. This is more than simply a gap in our understanding. :)
 
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Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

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Member
#14
Expression of 'knowledge' or cognitive-only information from the genome is one thing. The good doctor is skipping the core issue in favor of the easy half which keeps him out of hot water, by constraining his context to expression only. He avoids the tougher half of the equation, impression. I don't blame him either.
I'm not sure why you're saying this, in light of the final paragraph of the article. Sounds like the researchers are quite interested in discovering the mechanism.

I await replication of this experiment.

~~ Paul
 
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#15
I'm not sure why you're saying this, in light of the final paragraph of the article. Sounds like the researchers are quite interested in discovering the mechanism.

I await replication if this experiment.
Yes, in the final paragraph these researchers are understandably excited about the finding and rightly begin to speculate on the migration of odor molecules to the gonads (that is the easy part, non-proximal single generation, genome impression does not have a predicate explanatory base in evolution), as being part of an whole array of potential explanatory pathways. The reason Dr. Treffert chose his words wisely in the quote is because of the first paragraph wherein Virginia Hughes cites other scientists who hold "deep skepticism."

These researchers are indeed interested in discovering the mechanism, but first they will have to absolutely establish an iron clad case for the necessity to find such a mechanism, over the resistance they will encounter. A resistance of which Dr. Treffert is well cognizant.

My personal prediction, and I am not going out on a limb here, is that wholesale change in thinking on this issue, because of the entrenched dogma, will surely entail Planck's Razor.
 
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#17
I'm still amazed that the 2011 paper by Nestler et. al. "Paternal Transmission of Stress-Induced Pathologies" hasn't received more consideration.

Nestler wanted to remove any possible contact by the defeated rodent fathers, with the impregnated female rodent, so used IVF. Comparing the results against defeated rodent fathers who conceived naturally. The offspring never meet their father in all the experiments.

Nestler assumed that if the transmission was really Epigenetic, (through the sperm of the rodent father) there would be no difference between the inheritance effect in IVF offspring, compared to naturally conceived offspring.

However, he found a big difference between the inheritance effect in IVF, compared to natural conception. The problem is he still found an inheritance effect in IVF, just more subdued. Indicating something much more complex is going on.

I find his results perplexing, and I can't understand why they haven't been discussed more. If it's not Epigenetic, then they should find no inheritance effect from the IVF rodent fathers, not a smaller inheritance effect than naturally conceived rodent fathers.

Nestler's only potential explanation is that the IVF process itself, inadvertently selected immature sperm, that seems reasonable.

However, I dug into the paper, trying to find out if there were any other differences in the way these experiments might have been conducted, beyond the stated 'IVF' vs 'natural conception' process?

I asked Nestler what happened to the IVF rodent fathers, he replied that at their labs, the IVF-control and IVF-defeated rodent fathers were killed as part of the process to extract sperm from the testes.

Get it...? The rodent father's were not alive during the course of the IVF experiments (i.e. pregnancy/offspring-development phases). This is not mentioned in the paper, as Nestler can't see why the fathers being dead or alive during offspring development should make any difference.

However, because of this his experiments are not identical (apart from the IVF vs Natural Conception). 'IVF' fathers were already dead, whilst 'natural conception' fathers were still alive during the females pregnancy and offspring's development. This significant difference is not mentioned in the paper, and it needs a bit of exposure in my view, because it keeps the door open on a 'field type' effect.

So wouldn't it be interesting to generally replicate Nestler's experiment, but this time keeping an additional group of IVF defeated rodent fathers alive during the whole course of the experiment. By using a different technique that would allow sperm extraction without killing the fathers. This would allow us to see if there is a difference in inheritance effect between offspring from dead IVF fathers, as opposed to living IVF fathers?
 
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#20
I'm still amazed that the 2011 paper by Nestler et. al. "Paternal Transmission of Stress-Induced Pathologies" hasn't received more consideration.

Nestler wanted to remove any possible contact by the defeated rodent fathers, with the impregnated female rodent, so used IVF. Comparing the results against defeated rodent fathers who conceived naturally. The offspring never meet their father in all the experiments.

Nestler assumed that if the transmission was really Epigenetic, (through the sperm of the rodent father) there would be no difference between the inheritance effect in IVF offspring, compared to naturally conceived offspring.

However, he found a big difference between the inheritance effect in IVF, compared to natural conception. The problem is he still found an inheritance effect in IVF, just more subdued. Indicating something much more complex is going on.

I find his results perplexing, and I can't understand why they haven't been discussed more. If it's not Epigenetic, then they should find no inheritance effect from the IVF rodent fathers, not a smaller inheritance effect than naturally conceived rodent fathers.

Nestler's only potential explanation is that the IVF process itself, inadvertently selected immature sperm, that seems reasonable.

However, I dug into the paper, trying to find out if there were any other differences in the way these experiments might have been conducted, beyond the stated 'IVF' vs 'natural conception' process?

I asked Nestler what happened to the IVF rodent fathers, he replied that at their labs, the IVF-control and IVF-defeated rodent fathers were killed as part of the process to extract sperm from the testes.

Get it...? The rodent father's were not alive during the course of the IVF experiments (i.e. pregnancy/offspring-development phases). This is not mentioned in the paper, as Nestler can't see why the fathers being dead or alive during offspring development should make any difference.

However, because of this his experiments are not identical (apart from the IVF vs Natural Conception). 'IVF' fathers were already dead, whilst 'natural conception' fathers were still alive during the females pregnancy and offspring's development. This significant difference is not mentioned in the paper, and it needs a bit of exposure in my view, because it keeps the door open on a 'field type' effect.

So wouldn't it be interesting to generally replicate Nestler's experiment, but this time keeping an additional group of IVF defeated rodent fathers alive during the whole course of the experiment. By using a different technique that would allow sperm extraction without killing the fathers. This would allow us to see if there is a difference in inheritance effect between offspring from dead IVF fathers, as opposed to living IVF fathers?
So... morphic resonance? I wonder if Sheldrake reads this forum, it'd be like therapy for him.
 
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