College

Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2021-05-10 12:43:24

Major

Psychology

Honors Course

3750 498-003

Number of Credits

6

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021

Abstract

Could a combat veteran's horrific experiences in early-2000s Afghanistan have a direct, biological impact his now-adult daughter's risk of a heart attack later in her life? This concept would have been unapologetically mocked a mere twenty years ago, and it has only been in the past decade that the new field of epigenetics has revealed a distinct possibility for this event to actually take place—for parents' experiences to profoundly influence the biology of their children. The major objective of this research project is to argue for the legitimacy of this theoretical phenomenon by discussing the latest data regarding PTSD's interaction with the epigenome, the various epigenetic markers associated with PTSD, the numerous health detriments that have been observed in conjunction with these specific biomarkers, and the reported heritability of these epigenomic alterations. In conclusion, this manuscript will establish the foundation for this hypothetical event to be cogently argued for while simultaneously calling for more real, concrete studies to be conducted on the subject matter to evaluate its biological validity and potential effect on human health.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Kevin Kaut

First Reader

Dr. Richard Einsporn

Second Reader

Dr. Brianna Byllesby

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Charles Waehler

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