From Ann Gauger at at Evolution News & Views:
Yesterday started out as an ordinary Tuesday. Then I set out to read a recent paper published in the journal Cell, “Nuclear Localization of Mitochondrial TCA Cycle Enzymes as a Critical Step in Mammalian Zygotic Genome Activation,” by R Nagaraj et al. It reported something rather odd that caught my eye. Very early embryos (at the two- or four-cell stage in mouse or human respectively) undergo a critical transition: they have to go from relying on RNAs and proteins loaded into the egg before fertilization by the mother, to making their own RNA and protein.
The phenomenon is called embryonic genome activation. In order to activate their genomes, embryos have to remove maternal and paternal epigenetic modifications and create new ones appropriate to the embryonic genome.
Stop and think. That’s remarkable — there is a fair amount of information being imparted to the genome by these epigenetic changes, and we know little about how that happens. We do know according, to the authors, that More.
We know that we are in the midst of an information revolution; we just don’t know how deep and wide it is.
It’s a good thing that ideas are immaterial because we will not need a special Recycle box for popular evolution pieties.
See also: Epigenetics: Embryos receive parent-specific layers of information, study shows
Follow UD News at Twitter!