Bianca Jones Marlin studies the inheritance of trauma

During World War II, Nazi troops caused a man-made famine in the Netherlands known as the Dutch Hunger Winter, resulting in 20,000 deaths and long-lasting impacts on survivors’ descendants. Neuroscientist Bianca Jones Marlin investigates how trauma can be inherited across generations, particularly through changes in sensory experiences like smell. Her research with mice shows that stressors can alter the number of neurons in the nose that respond to specific odors, passing this trait on to offspring. This intergenerational transmission of trauma sheds light on the adaptive nature of biology and raises questions about how society can support thriving in the face of inherited challenges.

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