A recent discovery has thrown more weight to the Epigenetic theory that our environment influences and our thoughts have more of an effect on our genes than was previously suspected. Several new studies this year have shown that all of a person’s cells don’t have the same genetic coding, especially in neurons.
“The DNA in each nerve cell has hundreds of mutations of the A-T, C-G nucleotides that constitute the genetic code for the neuron. Thus, no two neurons are alike. The study was conducted by 18 research teams at 15 U.S. institutions, formed as a consortium by the National Institute of Mental Health to examine neural genetic coding, using repositories of post mortem brain tissue taken from both healthy people and those with various mental diseases.” Reference
The teams involved have no idea why there are so many mutations but if these appear in sex cells then there is the potential that our life style mistakes are being passed on to our off spring. Another genetic study showed that even 5-14 generations later an epigenetic change is still present.
It’s a frightening thought to think that the punishment for your poor judgment and life style choices could be borne by your great grand children.
McConnell, M. J. et al. (2017).Intersection of diverse neuronal genomes and neuropsychiatric diseases: The brain somatic mosaicism network. Science. 356(6336), 395. doi: 10.1126/scienceaa1641.
Klosin, Adam et al. (2017). Transgenerational transmission of environmental information in C. elegans. Science. 356 (6335), 320-323.
Epigentics – ‘stable heritable traits that cannot be explained by changes in DNA Sequences’ – wikipedia)