Octopuses also referred to as soft bodied cephalopods are invertebrates with a very complex nervous system. In a recent study referred to in the article; MicroRNAs are deeply linked to the emergence of the complex octopus brain , elevated RNA editing in the nervous tissue was related to RNA regulation and the large role it plays in cognitive function and success among this species. More specifically the miRNA were expressed more frequently in the adult's neuronal tissues and during development suggesting that the miRNAs are in direct correlation with the evolution of complexity in animal's brains.
In agreeance that microRNAs are a key contributor to complexity in brains is Michael Le Page in the article; Octopus brains may have become complex the same way human brains did. High intelligence in many species is being directly correlated with high numbers of microRNAs and their ability to generate different types of neurons. Although, these invertebrates evolved completely separately from invertebrates the microRNAs both became present in animals with complex brains. I find it important to recognize others species intelligence and brain complexity in order to understand how humans and other species evolved into todays present species. It is also important moving forward how it will increase complexity and in what species.
The abstract in the linked article mentions how scientists "profiled messenger RNA and small RNA's in three cephalopod species." This sounds like what we are beginning to discuss in class with genomics and sequencing of DNA and RNA. RNA sequencing is used to study patterns of gene expression and determine certain functions. It involves extracting RNA from cells, isolating the RNA of interest (mRNA, tRNA, miRNA, etc.) and converting it to cDNA (Complementary DNA) and sequencing it to provide the information needed (chapter 20.2 - RNA sequencing).ReplyDelete