The following piece was written by Nathaniel Sewell, author of the futuristic, political satire novel Fishing for Light. It was sent in to us for consideration. Here at Sci-Fi Bloggers, we like showcasing a variety of different opinions. Normally they are those of our intelligent team of contributors, which continues to grow, even to this day. However, there are times when we are sent something written by a fan of the site, or someone simply interested in sharing their ideas, that we are compelled to share. Some of us may have a different viewpoint on how things work, but it’s nice to mix things up and explore the theories of others. Science fiction is all about imagining and creating the future, and it never hurts to take a look at the exciting possibilities of tomorrow. And so, we give you yet another Sunday Surprise!
–D. Alexander, The Editor
“Can childhood trauma change DNA?”
The answer to this question is no longer lost within a science fiction novel. It has become part of modern science, in particular, behavioral epigenetics. I first read from a Science Daily article about the harm from childhood sexual trauma, and a so called “suicide gene.” I added the original link to the end of this article because after I read it, well, it was as if someone had smacked me in the face with a baseball bat. Let me set the scene: I am middle-aged, sitting behind my office desk. I had discovered the article as I researched for medical malpractice underwriting information. I literally took my hand off the computer mouse like it was radiactive. I immediately understood what it “felt” like, and thus began to learn about the hard efforts from scientists who had found the biomarkers within our genetic code. Simply written, it influenced me, a hardened business person who had never told anyone about his childhood, except his loving wife, to write the novel Bobby’s Socks. And then, I wrote the novel Fishing for Light. The main character, Eddie, just like Bobby, had an early life trauma that switched on the wrong gene instructions. I guess reading that article switched on a life passion.
Thinking about DNA, with its interwoven helical shape, it sort of reminded me of the yarn strands that a weaver uses to create colorful, warm socks. So, the answer is not the DNA strand, or a single gene, but the genetic instructions, and how childhood trauma marks, or better, causes biochemical mutations along the strands. From what I have learned, our brain does not fully develop until we reach the age of 25 years. So, in a way, if you are a child and you slip on a pair of your grandfather’s socks, you might note a few imperfections, minor flaws that have developed from age, or from him standing too close to a raging fire. That burn mark carries forward into your brand new socks, and then the frozen moments from childhood when you learned what it was like to touch a hot stove. I think we all have those moments and, if we put ourselves in context, we can, in a way, transport back to the exact moment and see the trauma in our mind’s eye. That is not just a thought, but a real biochemical reaction. At your base essence, you just do not “get over it,” it is written into your genetic code.
My hope is that we, as a society, continue to support the scientists shining light on these burn marks hidden in our genetic code, and then therapies to help sooth away the pain beneath our skin.
Here is the original article.
Wow, very intriguing piece by Nathaniel there! Just so you all know, there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway going on right now for a signed copy of Fishing for Light along with a $40 Amazon Gift Voucher. Enter HERE for a chance to win!
Also, as always, the source of the above artwork.
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