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Czech experts examine Holocaust’s biological impact on offspring

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Brno, Dec 15 (CTK) – Experts from the Central European Technology Institute (CEITEC) of the Masaryk University in Brno have been examining the impact of the Holocaust on the survivors and the generation of their offspring, Ema Wiesnerova, from the university, told CTK on Thursday.

The researchers are trying to find biological indicators, in the brain structures, for example, to see whether the offspring of Holocaust survivors are prone to stress or whether they can resist stress better than the rest of the population.

The scientists are searching for volunteers to be examined – Holocaust survivors and members of the following two generations of their families.

For comparison, they need respondents who were not persecuted by the Nazis, and such respondents’ offspring, Wiesnerova said.

Apart from questionnaires and brain scans, the people undergo psychological examination and their blood and saliva samples are taken for a hormonal and genetic analysis, the chief researcher, Ivan Rektor, said.

The project’s goal is to ascertain whether the following generations have been affected as a result of genetic material modifications or by social transfer.

In cooperation with the Jewish Community in Brno, the scientists have addressed the survivors from Brno and its surroundings. They have examined 17 people for the time being. At present, they hold negotiations on cooperation with the Jewish Community in Prague.

Rektor said the research results might help in future.

“We are actually tackling a current problem, since our findings can be applied to victims of the war in Syria and other conflicts, and to their offspring,” he said.

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