Inheriting fear

Parents and even grandparents can share their fear of a specific thing — such as a scent, a study in mice shows

By Laura Sanders, 09:07 AM December 7, 2013

Children may pick up more from their parents than eye color, height and dimples. They may inherit fear. This new finding emerges from experiments in mice. The data show that an individual’s traumatic experiences can have long-lasting effects — ones that can be passed on to the next generation and beyond.

In a series of tests, scientists gave a shock to mice while those animals smelled the scent of orange blossoms. Quickly, the rodents came to expect another painful shock as soon as they smelle...

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