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Fathers Can Genetically Pass Stress To Their Kids, Says Recent Study

There are certain traits parents have that they hope they do not pass on to their children. However, there may be one behavioral trait fathers are passing on to their kids without even know it, stress.

According to Scientific American, new research has proven the reason for this due to sperm. It is an interesting theory, but the study indicates that sperm "learn" paternal experience. The learned experience is caused by small blebs break off one cell and fuse with another. What question the researchers wanted to answer was how the paternal environment affects a baby in the womb.

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To help determine how impactful a man's stress or environment is on his seed, University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist Neill Epperson tracked protein and RNA changes in human samples. Twenty students from the University participated in the study. Each one donated their sperm once a month to have it monitored. One the day of donation the men had to fill out a survey indicating their stress level on that particular day.

The data is preliminary, but the findings are quite intriguing. Research suggests that several months after a man reports a stress level there is a change in the small noncoding RNAs, which are the RNA molecules that should be translated to protein but instead control the genes that are turned on and off.

There is still a significant amount of information that needs to be analyzed by the researchers involved in the study. The basic understanding of how molecular changes linked with mild stresses still needs to be studied. Tracy Bale, a neurobiologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is also involved in the study and hopes to conduct another research now that a baseline has been determined. Bale feels that by purposely adding other stress factors, the researchers can help determine how it impacts the seed.

It is a known fact that specific parental behavior can impact kids. Majority of the time it is behavior that children learn by watching their parents. However, there is new research that suggests a father can pass stress onto his child at the time of conception. There is still a lot to learn about the theory, but it is something for men to think about when they are trying to have a kid.

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