Media Production Project; Psychology in the Media

The article, “Holocaust Exposure Induced Intergenerational Effects on FKBP5 Methylation” researched and written by various authors researched the idea that the offspring of Holocaust survivors had inherited a type of “disability” from their parents’ trauma. This idea that children are inheriting a gene from their parents because of their trauma from the Holocaust was proved to be false, rather they are getting these mental illnesses as they get older from the way that they were raised by their parents. These children were raised differently than other children in their generation because of the trauma that their parents had experienced in their lives.

This research article focused on how the Holocaust had an effect on FKBP5 methylation in the survivors, which is a protein found in the human body that regulates the GR sensitivity. In Holocaust survivors methylation at site FKBP5 was higher than it was in people that were not impacted by the Holocaust. Although, in Holocaust offspring, methylation was lower than it was in people in the same generation that were not impacted by the Holocaust. These levels for parents and their offspring of the Holocaust were correlated, as when they were in the Holocaust the levels are higher than if they were not.

In conclusion, these researchers had found that it was not simply a gene being passed down from Holocaust survivors to their offspring, rather it was the way that the children were raised by the Holocaust survivors. If these children had suffered any physical, mental, or sexual abuse as a child, then their methylation at site FKBP5 was lower than children who had not experienced these things. This was more common in children of Holocaust survivors because of the way that they had been raised by their parents, not any type of gene that was being passed down.

Reflection:

As I was writing the summary for this research article, I had used the main ideas that were taken from the article to help and summarize it in the most simple way because their experiment had a very complicated procedure. Although from the summary, their idea seemed to be simple, it was very difficult to decide what aspects should be added into the summary, because the whole experiment was very complicated and full of the research that all of these authors had done. As I was writing the summary, I had left out more of the procedure and how this actual experiment was done because it was a more unimportant aspect to the whole research, and instead I added more about the results of their experiment because the whole procedure had many confusing parts to it and if you did not read the whole article, readers would have a hard time understanding exactly how the whole experiment was done. This article did answer the five critical questions to reading research.

The news article that lead to the research article was written in a much more simple way than the research article itself because it never went into specifics as to how their experiment was done to get to their results. The news article did provide some critical information needed for the research article, although it never went into specifics as to how their results were found. The research article then proved that the news article was false because genes cannot be passed down from trauma, like in the case of Holocaust survivors passing down their trauma genes to their offspring.

From these three assignments I have learned a lot about journalists’ writing. From the pop culture assignment, I learned that research can be done and supported, but then found to be false even though the researchers that did the experiment think that it was correct. This taught me that no matter how well researchers prevent their data, it is not always correct. From the research article critique I learned that it takes way more than a couple researchers to create a study and prove it to be correct, and although it seems easy to create a study, it takes a lot of time and research to make it become real and reliable. From this assignment, the media production project, I learned that being a journalist can be hard, as writing from the top of your head and creating and coming up with information from other people’s work can take a lot of effort, to find the correct information to share with your readers.

These three assignments made me have a new appreciation for journalists, because their job is not as easy as it seems to be. It takes a lot of hard work and time to get to the point of creating a piece of work that is able to be published, without getting any criticism. I enjoyed doing all of these assignments and learning more about how trauma can affect people and also more about the writing of a journalist.

Citations

Thomson, Helen. Study of Holocaust Survivors Finds Trauma Passed on to Children’s Genes. 2015, www.mail-archive.com/unponkiidoep@googlegroups.com/msg01256/gene_epigenetic_inheritance-_Holocaust_Survivor_Trauma,_GuardUK_20150821.pdf.

Yehuda, R., Daskalakis, N., Bierer, L., Bader, H., Klengel, T., Holsboer, F., & Binder, E. (2017). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Holocaust exposure induced intergenerational effects on FKBP5 methylation. F1000 – Post-publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature, 372-380. doi:10.3410/f.725812844.793527864

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