neural activity

Polymaths and paradigm shifts: from Asimov to Bear (4)

Saying Goodbye to the RNA World Theory RNA has a limited ability for catalysis compared to peptides, and would have struggled to maintain its catalytic activity under the changing temperature conditions of early Earth. Carter and Wills also argued that if an RNA world existed, it would have been unlikely for it to incorporate peptides later on. See for comparison: Dependence of RNA synthesis in isolated thymus nuclei on glycolysis, oxidative carbohydrate catabolism and a type of “oxidative phosphorylation” (1964)…

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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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