Inheriting Stress Essay

1288 Words 6 Pages
It has been well established that personal stress can affect our bodies and behavior, but what about the stress experienced by our parents or even our grandparents? It is not too much of a stretch to connect a mother’s stress during pregnancy to changes in the fetus. It makes sense that what the mother’s body goes through during pregnancy could also affect the child, however, in the New York Times article by Inna Gaisler-Salomon, “Inheriting Stress” (March 7, 2014), the author discussed her research study which claims stress prior to pregnancy can cause stress-related issues in offspring. The article first approaches the idea that inherited stress raises two central questions of whether changes in offspring associated with parental stress …show more content…
The author moves onto state, based on the scientific research, genetic inheritance can pass down parents’ pre-conceptive stress to their offspring. This development is exciting considering it could expose a predisposition to stress disorders and opens an entirely new door for treatment possibilities. This popular press article was unconventional because the author of the New York Times article is also the lead researcher for the scientific paper. She is not direct about her conflict of interest in the article and therefore, brings about questions about objectivity when approaching the research.
Gasiler-Salomon and her fellow researchers, Hiba Zaiden and Micah Leshem, based out of the University of Haifa were funded by the Israel Science Foundation Individual Investigator Grant to answer the question of whether inheriting pre-conceptual stress was a
…show more content…
For example, the researchers stressed the rats then waited two weeks prior to conception because they felt this time meant the uterine environment would be less likely to be affected enough to change the CRF1 expression. However, they never tested the uterine environment but it would have been beneficial to confirm it was unaltered by comparing hormone levels in the control versus experimental uterus. It was also unclear how they selected the specific behavioral tests and what they revealed about the mouse tendencies based on their maternal stress. Further, the research discussion addresses the effects of maternal stress beyond F1 without ever testing successive generations.
The study was eye opening but leaves many questions unanswered. Further testing is needed to see how the offspring rats were affected by longer- or shorter-term stress to the mother as well as how altering the time between stress and mating affects the offspring’s behavior. Along with changing the timeline, the research could be extended by having maternally stressed offspring being raised by non-stressed mothers and vice versa in order to account for the affect of maternal parenting on the

Related Documents