I’m fascinated by DNA. It answers so many questions about our origins and development. To me, DNA proves that nature trumps nurture, almost every time. Do events shape us or do we shape our world by who we are and how we engage? You probably can guess which way I’m leaning.
Doing research for my most recent novel, Jack and Joe, I encountered DNA’s answer to this question: what makes some siblings, yet different?? I was thinking, of course, about Jack Reacher and his brother Joe Reacher.
You’ll find some answers to that question in my book, but we’re always learning and stories are always evolving. Often in ways we’d never imagine. For example, this one reached my desk after Jack and Joe was published:
Scientists have found that memories may be passed from generation to generation in DNA.
I know. I didn’t believe it at first either. Memories passed down through DNA? Is that even possible???
Scientists at the Emery University School of Medicine think so! They found that, at least in mice, information about traumatic or stressful experiences can be passed down to descendants through DNA.
Okay, I can see how that would be possible. Interesting! It would explain how disorders like phobias and anxiety can be genetic.
Now, the scientists take this information one step further. They say that the reason that these sorts of feelings and fears are contained in the DNA is because a memory of an experience is contained in the DNA.
It’s interesting to imagine what implications this has for Jack and Joe Reacher. Or, potentially… for their children. Which is how a mystery writer gets into trouble, right?