Genetics News

DNA doesn’t explain everything?

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Blow us away. No, really, from ScienceDaily:

Scientists studied proteins found in cells, known as histones, which are not part of the genetic code, but act as spools around which DNA is wound. Histones are known to control whether or not genes are switched on.

Researchers found that naturally occurring changes to these proteins, which affect how they control genes, can be sustained from one generation to the next and so influence which traits are passed on.

The finding demonstrates for the first time that DNA is not solely responsible for how characteristics are inherited. It paves the way for research into how and when this method of inheritance occurs in nature, and if it is linked to particular traits or health conditions.

Does anyone remember that fellow who said that a CD of our genome would be “This is you”?

What is he doing these days?

2 Replies to “DNA doesn’t explain everything?

  1. 1
    Dr JDD says:

    It’s certainly not new that histone modification can influence and control gene expression – even the difference between di- and tri-methylation at the same site will have different consequences on gene regulation and there are 10s if not 100s of different histone modifications.

    It is interesting (but no surprise unless shoe-horning in neo-Darwinism) that such control is inheritable.

    About 1yr ago someone asked on UD what biological processes would be good or interesting to study more about that are complex and a challenge to neo-Darwinism and then I said histones are a good one to look at and I certainly maintain that still!

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    If “stress or diet” can influence the function of genes, how about “prayer and fasting”? Not eating meat on Holy Days?

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