Electric eel zaps do more than just stun — they can alter the DNA of their victims, study suggests

When scientists attempt to transfer genetic material into an organism, they often use an electric field, a technique called “electroporation,” that makes cell walls more permeable. This sophisticated form of genetic engineering is thought to be something restricted to laboratory equipment, not nature. Yet a recent study published in the journal PeerJ reveals that electric eels — which produce an electric organ discharge (EOD) that can reach up to 860 volts — may be able to transfer genetic material through their infamous jolts....

Originally posted on salon.com

Trauma seems to be passed down genetically — but experts still aren’t sure what that means

Trauma is an experience so harrowing that it can alter our gene expression — and in some cases, these changes can be passed down to future generations. But if the traumas experienced by our parents, grandparents and other ancestors can be directly transmitted to us through our genes — and presumably, we pass down our own psychological residue to our kids — what does that mean exactly?...

Originally posted on salon.com