Author Topic: Epigenetics  (Read 115 times)

Tank

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Epigenetics
« on: April 29, 2017, 11:48:51 PM »
Saved so I can find if needed  ;D

Epigenetics

In 1859 when Charles Darwin published his world changing book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection only one person had a clue what natural selection actually selected. That person was Gregor Mendel an Austrian monk. He is now acknowledged as the founder of modern genetics. While he was a contemporary of Darwin there is no evidence that Darwin knew of his existence, let alone his work.

Mendel’s experiments on Sweet Peas gave us our basic understanding of heritable characteristics. But he didn’t know the mechanisms of inheritance. It took a long time to find the role of DNA in the mechanism of inheritance. I say the role of DNA as DNA was first noted in 1869. In 1944 the association was made that genes were constructed of DNA. This discovery formed the basis of genomic study. For decades after this genes become the focus of the study of inheritance.

However it turned out that genes are not the sole heritable element between generations. There is something else, Epigenetics. Epigenetics means the structure over the genes that decide which genes are active or inactive. The best analogy I have come up with is that of a keyboard and music. If genes are the keyboard then epigenetics are the music.

The genome of a species, its keyboard, is relatively fixed. It does change and mutate but is basically intended to remain fixed. The epigenome, the music, is more flexible and can actually be actively influenced by the environment. This creates more variation and as variation is the fuel of natural selection this speeds the process of evolution.

The discovery of epigenetics has revolutionised the study of genetics and is another piece in the puzzle in the picture of evolution.

http://www.whatisepigenetics.com/fundamentals/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel
https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/discovery-of-dna-structure-and-function-watson-397
https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/Isolating-Hereditary-Material-Frederick-Griffith-Oswald-Avery-336
http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-an-1836-famine-altered-the-genes-of-children-born-d-1200001177
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Gloucester

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 12:20:23 AM »
Thanks, Tank, good resource.

And the keyboard/music analogy is excellent, good find. Being who I am Meccano also came to mind, the same few simple components can build a variety of structures - the more components the more complex, adaptable and useful the possible structures.
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Tank

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 02:44:41 AM »
Thanks, Tank, good resource.

And the keyboard/music analogy is excellent, good find. Being who I am Meccano also came to mind, the same few simple components can build a variety of structures - the more components the more complex, adaptable and useful the possible structures.
The keyboard/music analogy is my own. I didn't 'find' it anywhere. I'm glad you liked it.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Gloucester

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 03:12:57 AM »
Thanks, Tank, good resource.

And the keyboard/music analogy is excellent, good find. Being who I am Meccano also came to mind, the same few simple components can build a variety of structures - the more components the more complex, adaptable and useful the possible structures.
The keyboard/music analogy is my own. I didn't 'find' it anywhere. I'm glad you liked it.

Even excelenter!

Hmm, expanding it? The keys are the genes, the composer's pen and/or musician's fingers the epigenerics, making the melodies the proteins that make the structure of the whole piece, giving it a unique "identity"?

Hmm, extemporising, adding external influences or adapting it to circumstance or culture, it's "environment", gives rise to variation or "mutation" . . .

Music as an analogy for the whole theory of genetic evolution, eh?

Later: there is a whole "family" of jazzes and other musical genres that grew out of the original African tribal rhythms, some now unique enough to have become difficult to trace back to their roots as to have become "speciated".
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Tank

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 03:47:23 AM »
Thanks, Tank, good resource.

And the keyboard/music analogy is excellent, good find. Being who I am Meccano also came to mind, the same few simple components can build a variety of structures - the more components the more complex, adaptable and useful the possible structures.
The keyboard/music analogy is my own. I didn't 'find' it anywhere. I'm glad you liked it.

Even excelenter!

Hmm, expanding it? The keys are the genes, the composer's pen and/or musician's fingers the epigenerics, making the melodies the proteins that make the structure of the whole piece, giving it a unique "identity"?

Hmm, extemporising, adding external influences or adapting it to circumstance or culture, it's "environment", gives rise to variation or "mutation" . . .

Music as an analogy for the whole theory of genetic evolution, eh?

Later: there is a whole "family" of jazzes and other musical genres that grew out of the original African tribal rhythms, some now unique enough to have become difficult to trace back to their roots as to have become "speciated".
You're stretching the analogy a little too far there. It won't be long before you suggest a composer.   ;D
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Gloucester

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 05:02:14 AM »
Thanks, Tank, good resource.

And the keyboard/music analogy is excellent, good find. Being who I am Meccano also came to mind, the same few simple components can build a variety of structures - the more components the more complex, adaptable and useful the possible structures.
The keyboard/music analogy is my own. I didn't 'find' it anywhere. I'm glad you liked it.

Even excelenter!

Hmm, expanding it? The keys are the genes, the composer's pen and/or musician's fingers the epigenerics, making the melodies the proteins that make the structure of the whole piece, giving it a unique "identity"?

Hmm, extemporising, adding external influences or adapting it to circumstance or culture, it's "environment", gives rise to variation or "mutation" . . .

Music as an analogy for the whole theory of genetic evolution, eh?

Later: there is a whole "family" of jazzes and other musical genres that grew out of the original African tribal rhythms, some now unique enough to have become difficult to trace back to their roots as to have become "speciated".
You're stretching the analogy a little too far there. It won't be long before you suggest a composer.   ;D

Oops, already mentioned a composer!

 :redface:
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 07:19:39 PM »
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Tank

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Re: Epigenetics
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 10:51:59 PM »
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett