HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researcher gives hard thoughts on soft inheritance

Organisms, including humans, all inherit DNA from generation to generation, what biologists call hard inheritance because the nucleotide sequence of DNA is constant and only changes by rare random mutation as it is passed down the generations.

But there also is evidence, especially in plants, that non-genetic factors modifying the DNA can also be inherited. The modifications of the genetic material take the form of small chemical additions to one of the DNA bases and the alternative packaging of the DNA. These so-called epigenetic modifications are known to be important for turning genes on and off during the course of an organism's life, but their importance in controlling inheritance has been debated. Many biologists are skeptical of any form of soft inheritance, where the genetic material is not constant, believing that it is only genetic information DNA -- that can be passed onto generations.

Now Eric Richards, Ph.D., professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, writing in the May issue of Nature Reviews Genetics, analyzes recent and past research in epigenetics and the history of evolution and proposes that epigenetics should be considered a form of soft inheritance, citing examples in both the plant and mammalian kingdoms.

In doing so, he evokes the pre-Darwinian evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), a name that evolutionary biologists thought long ago left the stage, and .Soviet agronomist T.D. Lysenko. Lamarck, and more recent neo-Lamarckian researchers, believed that the environment plays a key role in a species acquiring inherited characteristics that drive variation and evolution. Lamarck, for instance, believed that shore birds acquired their long legs by constantly stretching their legs to lift themselves out of the water and that generations later that kind of environment gave rise to birds with long legs. Neo-Lamarckian views of evolutionary change stress the importance o
'"/>

Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick
tony_fitzpatrick@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
7-Aug-2006


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
2. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
3. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
4. Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
5. Researchers discover human embryonic stem cells are the ultimate perpetual fuel cell
6. Researchers use new approach to predict protein function
7. Researchers probe risks, benefits of folic acid fortification
8. Researchers identify genetic mutation that may alter tumor cell proliferation
9. Researchers discover method for identifying how cancer evades the immune system
10. Researchers use adult stem cells to create soft tissue
11. Researchers find gene that spurs development of the epididymis

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research ... and document anonymization solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed ... to comply with policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ... ... Solutions ...
(Date:8/15/2017)...   ivWatch LLC , a medical device company focused on ... receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard for medical ... Standardization (ISO®). ... Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection of IV infiltrations. ... "This is an important milestone for ivWatch, as ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... June 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking ... supplier of face and eye tracking software, became ... provider program. "Artificial intelligence and ... to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on ... able to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ... digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology ... drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription ... is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... research firm Parks Associates announced today that Tom Kerber ... Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona . ... how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase Driver ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, and the ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer ... first quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With ... with the challenge of how to continue to feed a growing nation. At the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: