As a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University's School of Medicine, Dr. Brian Dias seeks to understand how our neurobiology, physiology, and our psyches are impacted by stress and trauma, and how parental legacies of stress and trauma influence future generations.
Today, we focus on the research that Brian and his team are doing around the remarkable field of epigenetics, the process by which genes in our DNA turn “on'“ or “off,” and the triggers that cause them to do so. What’s amazing to me is that before we were even a gleam in the metaphorical eye of our parents, things that happened to them can show up in our DNA. These impacts, which can be both beneficial and traumatic, are carried forward through the sperm and egg cells that eventually come to make the embryo that becomes the multicellular complexity that is you and I.
Brian is very careful not to jump to any outsize conclusions about what the research might tell us, but he's also open to exploring what might be possible for us as a species if we begin to understand these legacies of both intergenerational trauma and intergenerational gifts. He uses the metaphor of ‘The Book of Life’ to point towards the incredibly rich depth and complexity encoded in this intergenerational story.
By understanding and interpreting our own individual chapters in this infinite book, and by seeing the greater story we are all a part of, we can begin to heal from and let go of the traumas that no longer belong to us. From there, we can begin to embrace the greatest and best of who we are.
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Epigenetics: The Sins of the Father: nature.com/articles/507022a
'Memories' pass between generations: bbc.com/news/health-25156510
10 Most Important Discoveries of 2014: larecherche.fr/7-la-peur-en-h%C3%A9ritage
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