A Genetic Oddity May Give Octopuses and Squids Their Smarts
Octopuses, cuttlefish and squid belong to the coleoid cephalopods family of invertebrates. Dr. Eisenberg, Dr. Rosenthal and Noa Liscovitch-Brauer, at Tel Aviv University, studied these intelligent species more in depth. They found out that they make their RNA useful unlike any other species. These coleoids were recoding their sites, where RNA editing results in a protein different from what was initially encoded by DNA. This discovery breaks the norm of enzymes used for recoding like ACGU, now these coleoids can add new riffs to its base genetic blueprint.
This is fascinating because it proves how brilliant these species are. Although it’s a slow process, its proves that the change is well worth it. It might be of great use to further study these coleoid and understand what features in the brain allow them to edit these sites.