Remember the guy who showed us a CD of his genome and said this is me? Naw, we didn’t think so at the time either, but read on:
The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to the next is stored in an organism’s DNA. But Antony Jose, associate professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, disagrees.
In two new papers, Jose argues that DNA is just the ingredient list, not the set of instructions used to build and maintain a living organism. The instructions, he says, are much more complicated, and they’re stored in the molecules that regulate a cell’s DNA and other functioning systems.
Jose outlined a new theoretical framework for heredity, which was developed through 20 years of research on genetics and epigenetics, in peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface and the journal BioEssays. Both papers were published on April 22, 2020. Jose’s argument suggests that scientists may be overlooking important avenues for studying and treating hereditary diseases, and current beliefs about evolution may be overly focused on the role of the genome, which contains all of an organism’s DNA.Kimbra Cutlip, University of Maryland, “DNA may not be life’s instruction book—just a jumbled list of ingredients” at Phys.org
Antony M. Jose, A framework for parsing heritable information, Journal of The Royal Society Interface (2020). DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2020.0154 (open access)
Antony M. Jose. Heritable Epigenetic Changes Alter Transgenerational Waveforms Maintained by Cycling Stores of Information, BioEssays (2020). DOI: 10.1002/bies.201900254 (paywall)
If this kind of stuff holds up and continues, our splintered lectern recycling sideline is going to be keeping us pretty busy. Cruel people say that’s what we’re really in this for. But you, loyal readers, know that that’s not true. Sure, we care about the environment. But the world of ideas… the world of ideas …
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham