How are skills and traits passed on genetically?

02 July 2006

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Question

Do scientists have any understanding of the mechanisms that skills, that animals such as humans, learn and pass to their offspring via their genetic code?

Answer

That's a very difficult question to answer. I'm not aware of there being any evidence for learning of particular skills then becoming hard wired in the DNA. This was a theory that was quite popular in the early twentieth century that perhaps things could get hard wired into the DNA, but I'm not sure there is a mechanism for that to occur.

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