Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to modify the behaviour of carpenter ants using epigenetics — the science of how a gene gets turned into a physical body part or a character trait. They reported their findings last week in the journal Science. Are you ready to be a Beastmaster?
Tagged With epigenetics
In what sounds like a plot line from a BioShock game, a team of biologists has coaxed an animal into growing a new head and brain resembling those of a different species. The bizarre accomplishment adds to a growing body of research highlighting the importance of non-DNA factors — collectively known as the 'epigenome' — in determining the most fundamental aspects of an organism's anatomy.
There are 20,000 genes in the human genome, but only a small fraction of them are active in any given cell. This video from Nature explains with beautiful clarity the system that activity, turning genes on and off. It's called the epigenome, and it's incredibly important. Now you can understand how it works too.