Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Persistence of epigenetic changes “fascinating and confusing”

At The Scientist: "In a study published February 7 in Cell, a group of scientists tracked an engineered epigenetic mutation across four generations of lab-bred mice, finding evidence of the alteration in each of the subsequent generations. These alterations seemingly resurfaced even after the epigenetic wipe. " Read More ›

Epigenetics and plant psychology: They show “scents of alarm” ;)

Researchers: Prior studies have shown that when grown near mint plants, soybean and field mustard (Brassica rapa) plants display heightened defense properties against herbivore pests by activating defense genes in their leaves, as a result of "eavesdropping" on mint volatiles. Put simply, if mint leaves get damaged after a herbivore attack, the plants in their immediate vicinity respond by activating their anti-herbivore defense systems in response to the chemical signals released by the damaged mint plant. Read More ›

Epigenetics: Pollution effects persist for many generations in water fleas

Well, that’s revealing, isn’t it? The evolutionary biologist admits that epigenetics is controversial, not because it can’t be demonstrated (it can) but because it provides competition for “traditional Darwinian inheritance.” Read More ›

Memory transfer documented in animals

The epigenetic ability to transfer memories intergenerationally is — when documented — much more informative than stupid Darwinian claims about “natural selection acting on random mutation” that somehow brings about this specific result with no information content. Read More ›

Epigenetics: Biologists discover 71 new “imprinted” genes in the mouse genome

Researchers: Scientists have yet to work out how one parental version of a given gene can be switched (or faded) on or off and maintained that way while the other is in the opposite state. It is known that much of the on/off switching occurs during the formation of gametes (sperm and egg), but the precise mechanisms remain unclear. This new study points to the intriguing possibility that some imprinted genes may not be marked in gametes, but become active later in development, or even in adulthood. Read More ›

Central Dogma: Reasons for Further Thought

For about a year now, from reading various news items on newly published science articles, I’ve begun to consider not DNA, but RNA, the real driver of life. I think that DNA’s essential role is that of information storage–a hard drive, while RNA is like the BIOS system–it tells the “system” what it should be doing. I’ve been waiting for the right article to come along to present this newer view of genomic life. Well, it appears that the ‘right article’ has come along. This is from Phys.Org and this is the pdf online version of the article. From the Press Release via Phys.Org: Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed Read More ›

At The Scientist: Trofim Lysenko and “stamping out science” Yes… yesterday. Sure. But what about today?

From this distance, to whatever extent Lysenko thought epigenetics was a feature of life forms, he was right. To whatever extent Darwinians opposed the idea, they were wrong. The rest is totalitarianism, whether of Lysenkoists or Darwinists. To get some idea how that sort of thing plays out today, consider the current COVID-19 debacle: The lab leak theory has always been a reasonable idea, not a conspiracy theory. Yet it was treated as a conspiracy theory for purely political reasons… Read More ›

Closing in on how early life stress changes epigenetic markers

The good news from this mouse study is that if epigenetic stress is recognized, it can be reversed. That means, presumably, that it won’t be passed on: In a study published March 15 in Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that early-life stress in mice induces epigenetic changes in a particular type of neuron, which in turn make the animals more prone to stress later in life. Using a drug that inhibits an enzyme that adds epigenetic marks to histones, they also show that the latent effects of early-life stress can be reversed. “It is a wonderful paper because it is really advancing our ability to understand how events that happen early in life leave enduring signatures in the brain so that Read More ›

(Reformed) New Scientist 4: There is more to inheritance than just genes

At New Scientist: “Subsequent studies in plants and animals suggest that epigenetic inheritance is more common than anyone had expected. Whatʼs more, compared with genetic inheritance, it has some big advantages. Environments can change rapidly and dramatically, but genetic mutations are random, so often require generations to take hold.” Just think, within a few years, genetics might start to make some sense. You’ve got to hand it to the New Scientist gang; when they rethink, they really do. Read More ›