Friday, September 23, 2011

Sperm, Meth, Rock'n'Roll

If you're interested in epigenetics at all--which  you should be if you're interested in how evolution works and if you're following any of this Lamarckian Renaissance--then you'll be interested in at least trying to read this paper: Sperm Methylation Profiles Reveal Features of Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution in Primates by Molaro et al.

This is the "graphical abstract" and as you can see, all their findings are as crystal clear as their importance.

(That was sarcasm. Although, if you stare at this long enough it does start to make sense through the alien acronyms and jargon.)

The authors report, based on sperm studies, that methylation has evolved separately in chimps and humans and has diverged (as we'd expect) and they also explain how methylation changes can drive changes to the DNA sequence.

If you're interested in reading more into this topic, Eva Jablonka is just one scientist I know of who ascribes such evolutionary importance to methylation and maybe there are others (that I am unaware of because this is outside my area).  And she had a nice review in QRB about inheriting epigenetic changes.

Methylation as a force of evolution? Rock'n'roll!

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