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Genetics, stranger than you thought

Some are scared of genetics, the study of DNA and how it can be manipulated. GMOs are one of the best things people could ever conceive. Call it forced evolution or directed evolution and we’re at a point where we can create salmon which is more nutritious or plants which can handle bad weather or droughts.

Genetics also helps us in using algae to fight cancer. The algae called Thalassiosira pseudonana is used in order to deliver cancer killing drugs to the cancer cells. The scientists were able to do this by being able to “display an IgG-binding domain of protein G on the biosilica surface, enabling attachment of cell-targeting antibodies.”

That means that the algae is able to hold on to only cancer cells like a homing missile. Good! Now destroy.

How does DNA testing work?

Also, did you know that the way you will develop physically is not entirely dictated by the DNA? There is a new field called epigenetics which studies the way traits/characteristics are passed on to descendants without even passing the corresponding DNA code.

It is about the fact that memories, scars, big muscles and so on can be transmitted to the descendants via chemicals attached to the DNA aka the epigenetic tags. Once the lab rats got into being scared of something the epigenetic tags in rat’s sperm cells got into overdrive. Then, when a new pup was conceived, those epigenetic tags were passed on to it too.

Does that mean that memories can be passed along generations like in the Assassinc Creed video games? Maybe, maybe not. There is still more research to do, but epigenetics has already proven that some physical traits are passed on to the pups even thought the DNA code does not info to trigger those traits.

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