BBC News and Scientific American report on intriguing results from a recent biology experiment. Researchers found that mice with white patches could produce offspring with white patches but only non-white-patch genes. Assuming that these white patches had the same cause, this flouts the current theory of genetics. Subsequent investigation is hinting that RNA – the bridge between DNA and proteins that affect the body – can act as an arbiter of heredity1, which is fascinating. The exact method isn’t yet known, but I imagine that this ‘paramutation’ confirmation will be eagerly investigated. There’s already speculation that this may explain the strangely low number of genes found in the human genome.
- I love that phrase [↩]