RNA–Mediated Epigenetic Heredity

Epigenetic (re)programming of behavior (3)

Bipolar drug turns foraging ants into scouts Excerpt: “DNA methylation has become nearly synonymous with epigenetics,” says Brendan Hunt, an insect geneticist at the University of Georgia in Griffin. “This research brings needed attention to the importance of other epigenetics marks, like histone modifications.” “We finally have a mechanism to understand ‘nurture’ in molecular terms,” says Gene Robinson, a geneticist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who studies caste determination in honey bees. The ant study, he adds, highlights “how…

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Perry Marshall: too much information for atheist PZ Myers

Atheist PZ Myers Debates Perry Marshall Darwinism vs. Evolution 2.0 on “Unbelievable?” Excerpt: Contrary to what PZ said, McClintock’s work is explicitly about cells engineering solutions! That is her point. My comment: Perry Marshall shows how difficult it is to discuss biological facts with those who are biologically uninformed. PZ Myers ignores everything known about how the innate immune system is designed to ensure cell type stability and the nutrient-dependent stability of organized genomes. That nutrient-dependent stability is maintained across…

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Epigenetic (re)programming of behavior (2)

The reports on this research bear repeating. Ants Can Change Their Roles, Study Finds Excerpt: The researchers found that certain compounds could modify proteins called histones, which affect how tightly DNA is coiled and whether certain other proteins are able to gain access to it. My comment: The molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions in histones that stabilize supercoiled DNA in the organized genomes of all invertebrates and invertebrates are conserved across all living genera. If they…

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Assumptions prove ignorance (2)

Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome Conclusion: Hemochromatosis, known as the “Celtic” disease (44), is a variably penetrant recessive disorder, potentially fatal, due to excessive retention of dietary iron. It has been suggested that the high frequencies of both C282Y and H63D are due to heterozygote advantage related to nutritional advantage in Neolithic iron-poor diets (52), mitigation of celiac disease (53), and increased resistance to parasitic infection (54). To our knowledge, our…

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Epigenetic (re)programming of behavior

Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus Excerpt: Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification. My comment: Experimental manipulation of a single gene changed behavior. The evidence suggests all invertebrate and all vertebrate morphological and behavioral phenotypes can be linked via nutrient-dependent changes in microRNAs, adhesion proteins, and supercoiled DNA. See: The phylogenetic utility and functional constraint of microRNA flanking sequences My comment: Nutrient-dependent RNA methylation, RNA-directed…

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Assumptions prove ignorance

Testing Einstein’s Equivalence Principle With Fast Radio Bursts Excerpt: Assuming as a lower limit that the time delays are caused mainly by the gravitational potential of the Milky Way, we prove that fast radio bursts (FRBs) of cosmological origin can be used to constrain the EEP with high accuracy. My comment: Theoretical physicists are allowed to start with assumptions and link them to theories via what they consider to be proof of their assumptions. Unfortunately, the proof of their assumptions…

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Neo-Darwinian sink testing

sink testing Lab medicine The illegal practice of providing false test results on clinical specimens–eg, vials of blood, urine specimens, that were deliberately discarded–ie, down the sink, without actually testing them Pylori Story #1: Acid Attack Pylori Story #2: Journey to the Center of the Stomach My comment: The “Modern Synthesis” is analogous to sink testing in the medical laboratory. It was invented in the early 1900’s based on de Vries definition of jump-like energy changes, which he called “mutations.”…

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NORAD: air defense and defense against genomic entropy

NORAD may refer to: North American Aerospace Defense Command… that provides aerospace… defense for North America Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation Noradrenaline, a hormone and a neurotransmitter with multiple biological roles My comment: The modern use of radar includes air-defense systems and ocean surveillance systems.  High tech radar systems are designed to use the systems complexity of signaling and sensing to extract useful information from levels of very high noise.  In the context of protection from virus-driven genomic entropy use…

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Life history transitions and RNA-mediated survial

The Endospore-Forming Pathogen Bacillus cereus Exploits a Small Colony Variant-Based Diversification Strategy in Response to Aminoglycoside Exposure Conclusion:  Thus, consideration of SCVs as a new, yet unexplored lifestyle of B. cereus within the common ecological niches, in which antibiotic-active substances produced by competitive microorganisms, plants, and invertebrate/vertebrate vectors might potentially also induce this persistent life-form of B. cereus, opens a panoply of research questions to be followed up. Reported as: Lifestyle switching – Bacillus cereus is able to resist certain antibiotic therapies…

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Did Brain Atrophy Evolve?

Common Variants in ABCA7 and MSA46A are Associated with Cortical and Hippocampal Atrophy (Subscription required) Reported as: Two Alzheimer’s Risk Genes Linked to Brain Atrophy Excerpt: Using magnetic resonance imaging tools to measure brain size and genetic analysis, the researchers looked for associations between the genetic variants and atrophy in the cortical and hippocampal regions of the brain, which are established physical biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. My comment: Can anyone tell me how the genes that produce the proteins in…

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  • What Darwin proved: there’s no such thing as a species
    GENETICS As Animals Mingle, a Baffling Genetic Barrier A short stretch of DNA is challenging what it means to be a species. By: Emily Singer August 5, 2014 Excerpt: “Scientists have dubbed such regions of the genome “islands of speciation.” The persistence of such islands is a phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of […]
  • Randomness and Divine Providence
    A Q&A on randomness and God’s providence …the main goal is to really put together a collection of scholarly studies of these issues: physicists, biologists, […]
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