Trauma’s epigenetic fingerprint observed in children of Holocaust survivors

The children of traumatized people have long been known to be at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mood and anxiety disorders. However, according to Rachel Yehuda from the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who led a new study in Biological Psychiatry, there are very few opportunities to examine biologic alterations in the context of a watershed trauma in exposed people and their adult children born after the event.                                

One of the most intensively studied groups in this regard are the children of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. From the work of Yehuda and others, there has been growing evidence that concentration camp survivors and their children might show changes in the epigenetic regulation of genes.

Epigenetic processes alter the expression of a gene without producing changes in the DNA sequence. DNA methylation is one of these epigenetic modifications, which regulates genome function through processes that add or remove a methyl group to a specific site in DNA, potentially affecting gene transcription.

Animal studies have demonstrated that epigenetic changes from stress exposure can be passed on to the offspring. In the new study, Yehuda and colleagues examine these relationships for the first time in humans, with methylation of FKBP5, a stress-related gene that has been associated with PTSD and depression. The researchers examined blood samples of 32 Holocaust survivors and 22 of their adult children, and Jewish parent-offspring control pairs for methylation of intron 7, a specific region within the FKBP5 gene.

The analysis revealed that both Holocaust survivors and their offspring show epigenetic changes at the same site of FKBP5 intron 7, but in the opposite direction; Holocaust survivors had 10% higher methylation than control parents, whereas Holocaust offspring had 7.7% lower methylation than control offspring.

“These observations suggest that parental trauma is a relevant contributor to offspring biology,” said Yehuda.

Rachel Yehuda et al, Holocaust Exposure Induced Intergenerational Effects on FKBP5 Methylation, Biological Psychiatry (2016).  DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.08.005

Masterpost of Writing Resources

Unfortunately, as humans are not omniscient or particularly genius about anything and everything that can be learned, we need help sometimes. That’s what I’m here for. Ladies and gentleman and others, I present to you the absolute Masterpost of all things writing.

General Resources:




Memories Can Be Inherited, and Scientists May Have Just Figured out How
Our life experiences may be passed on to our children and our children's children - and now scientists report that they have discovered that this inheritance can be turned on or off.

Our life experiences may be passed on to our children and our children’s children - and now scientists report that they have discovered that this inheritance can be turned on or off. 


Epigenetics is the study of inherited changes in gene expression…changes that are inherited, but they are not inherent to our DNA. For instance, life experiences, which aren’t directly coded in human DNA, can actually be passed on to children. Studies have shown that survivors of traumatic events may have effects in subsequent generations.

The question, of course, is how are these genetic “memories” passed on?This is the question that a Tel Aviv University (TAU) was seeking to answer when they reportedly discovered the exact mechanism that makes it possible to turn the transference of environmental influences on or off.

(excerpt - click the link for the complete article)

Percy’s One-Liners

Anonymous asked: Would it be possible to make a compilation of Percy’s one-liners?

Thanks to @Clafairifed, Eric R., i-encourage-violence, icecream-s-coops, Kagey Kritter, kevvinn, Mel25200, pbandfluff, Rosie-lostbetweenthepages, Rowena Highlander, @SilentEnGee, @silv3rsing3r, vysoren-of-vord, wallflowerwaitlist and other fantastic critters for their help compiling this list!

Updated through Episode 61

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Today is International Polar Bear Day. To raise awareness of some of the challenges facing polar bears today, here are a few articles from across our journals (and some cute GIFs to brighten your Friday even more).

GIFs 1, 2, 3 via giphy.

Britney Spears invented dogs in 2002 through a process now referred to as “selective breeding”. She began in 1996 when she bred her two short-haired guinea pigs, Coco and Buddy. Year after year, Spears would breed the largest and most distinctive guinea pigs from each litter and eventually broke the world record for the largest guinea pig (Jimbo, 6.2 kg, 1999). Over the course of 6 years and 8 generations, a significant genetic mutation occurred and the first dog (Bit Bit) was born. Spears continues to breed dogs to this day and produces beloved pets for families all around the world.


From the Critical Role Live Q & A! My friend @psycartist / @atleastthreesketchbooks asked the best question of the night :)

“Ever since Taliesin did the crow noise awhile ago, I wanted to know if there are any sound effects that you guys are personally really proud of?”

Cuando lloro frente a mis padres me hacen sentir inmadura y exagerada. Ellos no son de los que dejan su orgullo de lado y corren a abrazarme. Ellos no se preguntan que irá mal conmigo o si alguien me lastimó. Ellos son así y lo peor de todo es que herede su misma actitud de mierda.
—  M.

[ 26/06/16 — 14/100 days of productivity ]
It’s back to school for me tomorrow! The holidays flew by so fast cry.
I divided the last weekend of my June holidays between spending time with family and finishing up my notes. I didn’t really do much, just wrote 2 chapters of Biology notes (the one depicted above is my notes for heredity btw).
I also did my education and career guidance worksheet, which I almost forgot. It was a worksheet where we had to fill in information on JCs and polytechnics (which we go to after O-levels). Though it took very long to complete, I think it really helped me to consider where I wanted to go after secondary school and I’d say that I now have a clearer idea of what I’m aiming for.


Rapid development of molecular genetics in recent decades has revolutionized our understanding of life and the natural world. Scientists in the 1970s suggested that the grey wolf might be the sole ancestor of domestic dogs, but it was only in 1997 that Carles Vilà, Peter Savolainen, Robert Wayne, and their co-authors provided the conclusive evidence on this based on the analysis of molecular genetic markers.

David Tarkhnishvili on gene flow between wolves and dogs.

Photos courtesy of David Tarkhnishvili


Portrait art by Xiao Hong - 肖红

Born in 1966 in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China.

The art of Xiao Hong is a journey to genetics and heredity’s relation to our appearance. Everybody’s face is an unread book, hiding a huge number of secrets. The artist tries to make us open our eyes to what should be the necessary basics in human relations, in order to push Humanity to the next level of evolution. Every face is a hidden treasure of forgotten roots, made of traditions of the past combined with reality fragments.

Check our Twitter and Facebook for more original Art
Selected by Very Private Art

Don’t Cry For Me, Vox Machina

@BananaMcGee1 Here’s a stat for you to find: How many times have any of the players cried on the show?
Anonymous asked: It would be cool to have a list of all the times the cast and characters cried in the show.

Hey, this stuff gets emotional, man.

Thanks to agent-of-chaotic-order, Eric R., @GraphixDave, holpike, i-encourage-violence, icecream-s-coops, @jeritchie3, kevvinn, pbandfluff, Rosie-LostBetweenThePages, Rowena Highlander, @SilentEnGee, vysoren-of-vord, wallflowerwaitlist, and other fantastic critters for their help compiling this list!

Updated through Episode 62

Keep reading