Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Genetic Oddity May Give Octopuses and Squids Their Smarts

Researchers have found that Coleoid cephalopods are capable of RNA editing.  Post transcriptional RNA editing allows for the greater diversification of proteins.  This genetic process allows for proteins, that weren't encoded for by the DNA, to be created.  Researchers studied the RNA editing in octopus', squids, and cuttlefish.  The coleoids all had tens of thousands of sites where the RNA sequence was different from what the DNA had encoded.  The researchers then compared all of the coleoid RNA recoding sites and found that they shared a great majority of these sites. 

This is a very interesting topic because it makes you think about how humans could manipulate this process.  One drawback from this ability is slower evolution though.  DNA mutations were depleted around recoding sites.  It sounds like they still need to do a lot of research in order for it to be an effective form of gene therapy.  It reminds me of CRISPR somewhat.

1 comment:

  1. I liked your point about how post transcriptional RNA editing can slow evolution. While reading this passage I did not consider the effect it would have on evolution, but that is definitely something I would like to do more research about.