Live Science: Many parents fret about ensuring their children's happiness, but those worries could be too late if happiness is mainly is inherited, as a researcher now suggests.
Epigenetics research has shown how life experiences and a person's environment can impact gene expression and change the traits that parents pass on to their kids. That provides some indirect support for this latest hypothesis.
"It is well known, of course, that parental behavior affects children, and that the genes that a child gets from its parents help shape that child's character." said Dr. Alberto Halabe Bucay of Research Center Halabe and Darwich in Mexico. "My paper suggests a way that the parent's psychology before conception can actually affect the child's genes."
Halabe Bucay points to brain chemicals that accompany different moods, and suggests that they could affect eggs and sperm. Such chemicals may alter the way that specific genes are expressed in the cells that ultimately fuse to form the next generation - and in turn influence how a child develops.
The new paper is detailed in the May issue of the journal Bioscience Hypotheses, which showcases scientifically intriguing ideas and hypotheses rather than peer-reviewed studies. That means this new idea has not been tested nor reviewed thoroughly by other experts in the field.
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