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Deemed “officially weirder”: Octopuses edit their RNA in response to environment

California two-spot octopus, by Tom Kleindinst via Marine Biological Laboratory.

First noted in 2015 but now we read, updated,

This is weird because that’s really not how adaptations usually happen in multicellular animals. When an organism changes in some fundamental way, it typically starts with a genetic mutation – a change to the DNA…

But it looks like cephalopods didn’t get the memo. In 2015, researchers discovered that the common squid has edited more than 60 percent of RNA in its nervous system. Those edits essentially changed its brain physiology, presumably to adapt to various temperature conditions in the ocean.

The team returned in 2017 with an even more startling finding – at least two species of octopus and one cuttlefish do the same thing on a regular basis. To draw evolutionary comparisons, they also looked at a nautilus and a gastropod slug, and found their RNA-editing prowess to be lacking. Signe Dean, “Octopus And Squid Evolution Is Officially Weirder Than We Could Have Ever Imagined” at Science Alert

Some wonder if it has to do with well-developed octopus and squid brains.

Well, first, we don’t really know for sure that no other life form does this. Maybe others do and we haven’t caught up to them yet. It would be easier to place in a context if we had a group to study rather than an outlier.

Epigenetics and horizontal gene transfer are well-known non-Darwinian methods of evolution so it’s hard to see why this should be a big surprise except for those with a total commitment to Darwinism. Increasingly, of course, the Darwinians sound like a cult. Too bad they are still the orthodoxy as well.

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See also: Is the octopus a “second genesis” of intelligence? Also, the apparently non-Darwinian nature of animal intelligence.

>When an organism changes in some fundamental way, it typically starts with a genetic mutation – a change to the DNA… At least this is what this guy/gal was taught in school. He/she should probably get out more. EDTA

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