We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Columbia Psychiatry's Prof. Myron Hofer, MD has had a career-long research interest in developmental psychobiology and psychogenetics. His side interest in psychoanalytic theory has been contributory to that.
His most recent fascination is with epigenetics and how gene expression is affected by environment and spans generations. Gene expression - not genes - is transmissable. The egg from which we were hatched was formed in our Mom's ovary while she was still gestating inside Grandma's uterus. Thus many influences, all in nature's interest in providing variety for adaptation and natural selection.
I am so happy you addressed epigenetics. Some wonderful scientist pulled me into this subject a dozen years ago, and the world of opportunities for medicine now have new dynamics available.
The Europeans, especially those with defined populations and excellent records (such as in Sweden) have contributed to how seriously famine, stress, pollutants, etc. can be carried down through generations and, in fact, skip generations for exactly the reasons you suggest. Science invites continuing study, but this seems to be a field seriously worth exploring, for no other reason than the success I personally have seen in treatment of cancers.
I thought it particularly interesting in this paper that there could be transmissible effects not just from maternal treatment, but also from caregivers'. We used to debate just this question when I worked w abused kids in religious group homes: the politics were against group homes even back then, and orphanages, and yet the nuns and I wondered if one could perhaps care for these battered, traumatised kids with enough love, and the proverbial corrective experiences to break the cycle of abuse and despair so that they would eventually become good parents and love their own kids better than their crack whore moms. In general it worked if one could get the kids away from the toxic home environment, but it did NOT if the kids were in foster care as there wasn't enough supervision to be sure the kids weren't being abused there as well.
All moot now. To save money now, kids are kept at home no matter how awful. People demonise all institutions, and adoption--I call it the Philomena Syndrome.
My personal red flag, when leading retreats for the kids used to be when we asked the kids to say what they what they were thankful for and invariably it would be some variant of "my mother...because she's always there for me" (mother would either have pimped the kid out to support her own drug habit,or be in jail, or have done nothing while the kid was raped by her boyfriend, or been in a heroin induced stupor all the time, or been in a crack house, or beaten the kid to a pulp--it took a lot for the kids to end up in our care). These sad prayers represented the triumph of denial and wish fulfilment over reality and I used to want to abolish all visiting hours for the mothers in question (but, of course, could not).
Another interesting note in the paper you link to (of many) was the one about the way children of abuse remain bonded to their parents, and speculating about sensory cues/stimulation, etc. that might lead to this surprising response. Virtually all the kids I worked with were examples of this.