Genome complexity: squid epigenetics (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 15, 2015, 14:16 (1592 days ago) @ David Turell

Up to 60% of RNA transcripts edited! This is an IM fully at work, but note, the squid is still the squid, no massive changes to a new body type, just modifications to fit the changing environment. This is the sentience beloved by dhw, and autonomous within limited parameters of transient adaptive change. Full mutational change to a new form? No. Semiautonomous adaptation under full response control within the animals DNA. I say under full adaptive control, automatic responses controlled by DNA coding, because squids stay squids. No obvious evolution. My belief is that with a marked environmental permanent change, the squid will change body form somewhat. A recent study I read in the past two days stated that environment drives evolution and I accept that as a major valid point. Can't think of where I read it.

"Now a new study published in eLife by Dr. Eli Eisenberg of Tel Aviv University's Department of Physics and Sagol School of Neuroscience, in collaboration with Dr. Joshua J. Rosenthal of the University of Puerto Rico, showcases the first example of an animal editing its own genetic makeup on-the-fly to modify most of its proteins, enabling adjustments to its immediate surroundings. The research, conducted in part by TAU graduate student Shahar Alon, explored RNA editing in the Doryteuthis pealeii squid.

"We have demonstrated that RNA editing is a major player in genetic information processing rather than an exception to the rule," said Dr. Eisenberg. "By showing that the squid's RNA-editing dramatically reshaped its entire proteome -- the entire set of proteins expressed by a genome, cell, tissue, or organism at a certain time -- we proved that an organism's self-editing of mRNA is a critical evolutionary and adaptive force." This demonstration, he said, may have implications for human diseases as well.

"It was astonishing to find that 60 percent of the squid RNA transcripts were edited. The fruit fly, for the sake of comparison, is thought to edit only 3% of its makeup," said Dr. Eisenberg. "Why do squid edit to such an extent? One theory is that they have an extremely complex nervous system, exhibiting behavioral sophistication unusual for invertebrates. They may also utilize this mechanism to respond to changing temperatures and other environmental parameters."

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