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#1 Edited by flameboy298 (64 posts) -

or do we know not to a full extent yet,but even if we did know It probably would be some sort of Military Classified info right?

An animus similiar to the Assassins Creed games

#2 Posted by personandstuff (69 posts) -

No, memories are not actually stored in DNA.

#3 Posted by SgtSphynx (943 posts) -

I have to get this out of the way or it will eat at me, it's "an Animus" not "a Animus." Sorry about that.

Anyway, I don't believe genetic memory is actually a thing coherent enough to let you relive your ancestors memories.

#4 Posted by fr0sterson (57 posts) -

Yeah the closest thing to a record of the past that we have stored in our dna is the fact that it's evolved over countless generations to suit the environment around it. It doesn't actually record the discrete events that have happened

#5 Posted by BigSocrates (204 posts) -

I got one off Amazon. Cost $317 but Prime eligible. Works pretty well but not perfectly.

If the Animus were a real thing, and it most assuredly is not, it would unlikely be military classified because it doesn't really serve much military purpose. Once you've got the atom bomb, the B-52 stealth bomber, and such, remembering ancestral memories doesn't do all that much to help you.

#6 Posted by CornBREDX (4457 posts) -

An Animus is 100% scientifically impossible.

It's fun science fiction, though.

#7 Posted by egg (1339 posts) -

I heard DNA contains a lot of what is deemed "genetic junk".

This sounds like mystery data to me.. I can only imagine what it can contain. It could explain past life regression, or other crazy phenomena.

#8 Edited by Kaiserreich (645 posts) -

What? No, of course not.

#9 Posted by BigSocrates (204 posts) -

@egg said:

I heard DNA contains a lot of what is deemed "genetic junk".

This sounds like mystery data to me.. I can only imagine what it can contain. It could explain past life regression, or other crazy phenomena.

They've discovered that the "junk" in fact does contain active code for various purposes including controlling the other code. No pyrokinesis yet. People's DNA doesn't change much except for mutation and decay from when they're a kid to when they're old, so when would the memories get encoded? Also the memories would have to stop at the point where the gamete cell is formed. That means nothing from mom because eggs are formed extremely early, and male ancestors memories would stop around the time the next ancestor was conceived.

#10 Posted by phampire (263 posts) -

Nope, DNA has genes not memes.

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (34615 posts) -
#12 Edited by pyrodactyl (1647 posts) -

Every person has, stored in their DNA, the equivalent of a few Gb (about 1.5) of data. That's way too little for all the information to make a human being work AND the recording of every sound, image, feeling they ever expenrience in their life.

#13 Posted by HatKing (5568 posts) -

It probably wouldn't be how it is shown in the game. But it might be possible way down the line. I mean, technology is crazy. And some things we have today would have been considered impossible fifty years ago. I wouldn't want to say something is never going to happen.

#14 Posted by Undead_Fiend (56 posts) -

Yeah an animus is totally implausible, even if there were some mechanism for inscribing every memory into your DNA then you wouldn't be able to recount anything that happened after conception of the succeeding child.

@bigsocrates: as for the junk DNA, there is a lot if misunderstanding about it, whilst some non coding DNA previously called junk has been found to do stuff like regulating other bits, people have studied it and determined (through looking at conservation of code) that an overwhelming majority ~90% of DNA is actually just vestigial junk like an appendix or tail bone, which is what you'd expect from how we evolved

#15 Posted by Humanity (7961 posts) -

Don't listen to anyone telling you it's not possible, and invest in my Animus kickstarter.

#16 Posted by ILikePopCans (713 posts) -

I have my Knimus for only $199.99 if your interested? May only go back a few generations but still works like the real thing!

#17 Edited by diz (818 posts) -

I was recently listening and reading about epigenetics research on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wdjgl).

I also remember reading about new published research that concerned subjecting mice to smells and resulted in their offspring inheriting similar conditioning to the parents, even though they had never previously been exposed to those smells themselves.

from : https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fear-can-be-inherited

..."Mouse parents learned to associate the scent of orange blossoms with a shock. Their children and their grandchildren startled in response to the scent — a sign of fear — even though they had never smelled it before. Offspring also had more neurons that detect the orange blossom scent than mice whose parents weren’t exposed to the scent.

Sperm cells alone can deliver this fear message, study authors Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler of Emory University found. DNA in the sperm cells was imprinted with this fearful association: A gene that codes for the molecule that detects the orange blossom odor carried a chemical stamp that may have changed its behavior."...

I think the original research is here, but it is behind a paywall:

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3594.html

Of course this does not mean that we can start to build Animuses (or Animii?) just yet, but it does show that we don't yet know all there is to know about genetics and evolution and the research is still a frontier.

#18 Posted by afabs515 (835 posts) -

DNA doesn't contain memories, so the very foundations of the Animus are false. Still a fun idea though.

#19 Posted by VoshiNova (1594 posts) -

Absolutely, haven't you played Assassins Creed? :P

#20 Posted by KentonClay (176 posts) -

No, but the idea of a memory extraction machine might be a possibility. I know that's not even all that close to what the Animus does, but it's the closest thing I can think of that's plausible.

#21 Edited by Itwastuesday (850 posts) -

I don't know, but here's a recent article about a study on genetic memory: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25156510

#22 Posted by DeadpanCakes (499 posts) -

Scientifically speaking, of course not.

But Magically-speaking on the other hand...

#23 Posted by Sinusoidal (1155 posts) -

It's about as possible as building Douglas Adams' Total Perspective Vortex, and I'd rather have that.

#24 Posted by Jimbo (9710 posts) -

Funny you should ask, because there was a study done recently which apparently suggested that learned behaviour could be passed on genetically. Not specific memory recall like the Animus of course (not yet at least), but like if the parent learned to be scared of x then their spermy/eggy DNA could alter so that the child had a heightened sensitivity to x.

It was pretty basic stuff, but if it's true that DNA can be tweaked like that then who knows how nuanced it can be. Presumably though, if it were possible for the body to record and write audio/visual memories to DNA to be passed on then the ability to access them would also have evolved alongside it.

If they're right though, that whole idea of DNA being subtly tweaked somehow by an unknown mechanism of the body is pretty fascinating, and throws up a whole bunch of questions about evolution. What if it doesn't rely entirely on random trial and error mutations but is instead gradually nudged in the right direction by the experiences and maybe even subconscious of the previous generation? Wouldn't a mechanism like that actually make a lot of sense? If top science men told me that was actually a thing that happened, I'd believe them. The idea that evolution never evolved a better plan than to randomly mutate and see if it survives long enough to reproduce or not has never sat well with me.

#25 Posted by Gruebacca (406 posts) -

Research into this kind of science is very limited, and from what we've discovered, the kinds of memories that get stored onto DNA are super specific. If you're thinking that we can read the entire lives of many generations of our ancestors off of genetic goo, then I'm here to tell you that it isn't possible.

Now, if the Animus were somehow exploiting time to read the Universe in the past and download data relevant to the desired output (the guy you play as in the game) in real time, then yes, such an Animus could theoretically be possible; however, the computational power required for that would take us centuries, or even millennia, to develop. Hell, in that case, that Animus would be a much better alternative to time travel! Why send a guy to the past if you can just read the past from a computer?

#26 Posted by ShaggE (5987 posts) -

Sure. You can build most anything.

Now, whether it actually works or not is another story. :P

#27 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (4445 posts) -

I wish, but probably not.

#28 Posted by ShadowConqueror (2994 posts) -

I already made one out of my table and a dude who sneezes PCP into your face.

#29 Posted by 49th (2546 posts) -

No, which makes it doubly stupid.

#30 Posted by believer258 (11047 posts) -

@diz said:

I was recently listening and reading about epigenetics research on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wdjgl).

I also remember reading about new published research that concerned subjecting mice to smells and resulted in their offspring inheriting similar conditioning to the parents, even though they had never previously been exposed to those smells themselves.

from : https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fear-can-be-inherited

..."Mouse parents learned to associate the scent of orange blossoms with a shock. Their children and their grandchildren startled in response to the scent — a sign of fear — even though they had never smelled it before. Offspring also had more neurons that detect the orange blossom scent than mice whose parents weren’t exposed to the scent.

Sperm cells alone can deliver this fear message, study authors Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler of Emory University found. DNA in the sperm cells was imprinted with this fearful association: A gene that codes for the molecule that detects the orange blossom odor carried a chemical stamp that may have changed its behavior."...

I think the original research is here, but it is behind a paywall:

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3594.html

Of course this does not mean that we can start to build Animuses (or Animii?) just yet, but it does show that we don't yet know all there is to know about genetics and evolution and the research is still a frontier.

Even with that little bit of information, I seriously doubt it.

#31 Posted by cthomer5000 (662 posts) -

@diz said:

I was recently listening and reading about epigenetics research on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wdjgl).

I was going to mention epigentics. The entire concept of 'instinct' means it has to be possible to pass on memories IMHO. You have animals born who are naturally afraid of certain things - they can't be taught them, they just *know* it. It's a crazy concept.

#32 Edited by joshwent (1778 posts) -

@flameboy298: You asked the right question...

(although the answer's still, "no") ;)

And if this kind of thing is eventually possible in some fashion, I at least hope my ancestors didn't hide so many fucking collectibles everywhere that I'll compulsively have to find. Ancient assholes.

#33 Edited by bigjeffrey (4162 posts) -

Like chronovision

#34 Posted by Hunter5024 (5174 posts) -

Fuck you guys, I believe.

#35 Edited by fisk0 (3292 posts) -

Even your own personal memories are not stored as static data that can be retrieved and replayed at will, they're reconstructed every time you try to remember them, constantly changing and degrading. While there seems to be some very minor "memories" that can be inherited (there was some talk about it on the skeptic's guide to the universe a month or two ago, can't find the specific link right now though), they're not memories of events, but rather much more basic stuff that affect your instincts. I guess epigenetics can be considered inherited memories as well, on a cellular level.

#36 Posted by benspyda (1898 posts) -

Yes.

#37 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Just stick an USB into any orifice and plug it into your computer. Bam! You got your Animus!

#38 Edited by ripelivejam (2792 posts) -

i love when people are deemed "close-minded" if they don't support every crazy unsubstantiated pseudo-scientific "idea" that people pull out of their asses. basically if there were any evidence other than a few elaborate and coincidental hallucinations i would give credence to a theory of memories from past lives. but there isn't, so i won't.

Research into this kind of science is very limited,

there's your first mistake

#39 Posted by FEnergyLegs (63 posts) -

animus are real

my favorite one is k~on! but lucky star is pretty cool Too!!!!~~ ( ^_^)/U ( ^_^)/U☆U\(^_^ ) U\(^_^ )カンパイ

#40 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1271 posts) -

#41 Posted by Strife777 (1432 posts) -

I don't like to call things impossible because that's just dismissing what has happened in the past (we will never go to space, etc.) Technology and science are amazing and full of surprises and calling things impossible just stops you from being creative and discovering new limits.

Now, would an Animus be highly improbable? I think so yes. If we could somehow make someting similar, I doubt it would be anything close to what Assassin's Creed portrays.

#42 Posted by e30bmw (355 posts) -

I don't like to call things impossible because that's just dismissing what has happened in the past (we will never go to space, etc.) Technology and science are amazing and full of surprises and calling things impossible just stops you from being creative and discovering new limits.

Now, would an Animus be highly improbable? I think so yes. If we could somehow make someting similar, I doubt it would be anything close to what Assassin's Creed portrays.

That last sentence contradicts itself. Also, who said we would never go to space?

#43 Edited by captain_clayman (3301 posts) -

@phampire said:

Nope, DNA has genes not memes.

Not sure if that was a typo on your part, but DNA has "memes", in fact the term "meme" was coined by Richard Dawkins regarding evolution/DNA. If it was memories you meant to type, then yeah, you're correct.

#44 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

You are already in an animus, unfortunately your ancestors are just wasters that spend too much time on Giant Bomb.

#45 Posted by phampire (263 posts) -

@captain_clayman: I'm pretty sure memes are ideas that can be described to spread in a gene like fashion, which means they can replicate, mutate and undergo various selective pressures within a culture.

#46 Posted by Vuud (1441 posts) -

I kind of like the idea. It's a new-age pop-science take on the same old BS from the 50's about hypnosis and past life regression.

#47 Edited by hermes (1270 posts) -

Memories are not stored on your genetic material...

Do you expect your DNA to rewrite itself every morning so that you can remember what you eat for breakfast?

#48 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2812 posts) -

Actually no one here has yet to provide proof that it's 100% impossible, only reasons why it's improbable.

Just because memories are not available wholesale in your genes (or so we currently believe) does not mean that we couldn't reassemble them based on A) genetic imprints and B) historic analysis of the person's life.

In the AC games, they already tell us that historical research is required to build the games and memories, so it's clear that everything isn't lifted directly from memory. The same would go for a real life animus.

@e30bmw said:

Also, who said we would never go to space?

Er..? The Human Race? For a few thousand years? History didn't start in 1955 ya know.

You think French revolutionaries were sitting around saying Oh oui! it will be zo nice when ve are in space!

No, they were shaking their heads at and hanging crazy people like that.

#49 Edited by development (1591 posts) -

@diz said:

I was recently listening and reading about epigenetics research on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wdjgl).

I also remember reading about new published research that concerned subjecting mice to smells and resulted in their offspring inheriting similar conditioning to the parents, even though they had never previously been exposed to those smells themselves.

from : https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fear-can-be-inherited

..."Mouse parents learned to associate the scent of orange blossoms with a shock. Their children and their grandchildren startled in response to the scent — a sign of fear — even though they had never smelled it before. Offspring also had more neurons that detect the orange blossom scent than mice whose parents weren’t exposed to the scent.

Sperm cells alone can deliver this fear message, study authors Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler of Emory University found. DNA in the sperm cells was imprinted with this fearful association: A gene that codes for the molecule that detects the orange blossom odor carried a chemical stamp that may have changed its behavior."...

I think the original research is here, but it is behind a paywall:

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3594.html

Of course this does not mean that we can start to build Animuses (or Animii?) just yet, but it does show that we don't yet know all there is to know about genetics and evolution and the research is still a frontier.

@jimbo said:

Funny you should ask, because there was a study done recently which apparently suggested that learned behaviour could be passed on genetically. Not specific memory recall like the Animus of course (not yet at least), but like if the parent learned to be scared of x then their spermy/eggy DNA could alter so that the child had a heightened sensitivity to x.

It was pretty basic stuff, but if it's true that DNA can be tweaked like that then who knows how nuanced it can be. Presumably though, if it were possible for the body to record and write audio/visual memories to DNA to be passed on then the ability to access them would also have evolved alongside it.

If they're right though, that whole idea of DNA being subtly tweaked somehow by an unknown mechanism of the body is pretty fascinating, and throws up a whole bunch of questions about evolution. What if it doesn't rely entirely on random trial and error mutations but is instead gradually nudged in the right direction by the experiences and maybe even subconscious of the previous generation? Wouldn't a mechanism like that actually make a lot of sense? If top science men told me that was actually a thing that happened, I'd believe them. The idea that evolution never evolved a better plan than to randomly mutate and see if it survives long enough to reproduce or not has never sat well with me.

You're both talking about epigenetics. You both don't understand epigenetics. It isn't Lamarckism. Lamarckism is the completely unproven and wildly out-of-date idea that people's actions in life can alter their DNA. Epigenetics, which is real, does not alter DNA. It alters molecular structures that give DNA "signals" to act more one way than the other.

For instance, epigenetics can cause you to have slightly more or less freckles (I just made this up as an example; don't know if it's tested or proven). The extent to this change is limited, though. It probably won't remove your freckles. Not only that (this is the important part), this change is not passed down to successive generations. You can't get slightly more and more freckly than your predecessors merely by being the great-great-great grandchild of a line of people affected by freckle-altering epigenetic signals.

DNA defines the boundaries. Epigenetics just picks a spot within those very limited boundaries.

tl;dr Epigenetics is not Lamarckism. Lamarckism is a false and dead idea. You can not currently change DNA through any action other than reproducing with different people. Epigenetics only works with your immediate child. The change is not cumulative with further generations.

To answer the OP: No

#50 Posted by Xeiphyer (5589 posts) -

Are we Yahoo Answers now? Uhoh.