Navigation Links
Genes, environment, or chance?
Date:2/18/2010

Biologists attribute variations among individual organisms to differences in genes or environment, or both. But a new study of nematode worms with identical genes, raised in identical environments, has revealed another factor: chance.

It's another source of variation for scientists to consider. "Researchers have been exploring whether organisms evolve different ways to cope with genetic and environmental variation," said author Scott Rifkin, an assistant professor of biology at UC San Diego. "This study adds random variation to that mix."

Rifkin, who joined the UCSD faculty this fall, completed the study while working at MIT. The paper, co-authored by Arjun Raj, who contributed equally to the work, Erik Andersen and Alexander van Oudenaarden of MIT, is published in the February 18 issue of Nature.

Rifkin and his colleagues looked at the development of the gut in C. elegans. In many, but not all worms with mutations in a gene called skn-1, the gut failed to develop, even when the embryos were genetically identical and incubated together.

"Often when people look at variation in a trait among organisms they try to trace it back to genetic differences or differences in environmental conditions or some combination of the two. In our study there were no such differences, and so we hypothesized that the only other source for the variation could be differences that arose at random during the process of development," Rifkin said.

The mutated gene is the first in a series of several genes that control each other in sequence to determine whether the gut precursors begin to develop into intestinal cells.

In mutant worms, the final gene was either on or off, and that determined whether an embryo developed gut cells or not. But the activity of an intermediate gene varied widely. That's where chance seems to play a role.

Some mutant cells transcribed the gene many times, ultimately creating enough of the protein to activate the final gene. Others made too few transcripts and the final gene stayed off.

DNA winds tightly around proteins, like thread around a spool, and must uncoil for the transcriptional machinery to access a gene.

Some proteins unwind the DNA; others wind it up again. In the mutant worms, the balance shifted to favor the proteins that keep DNA wound. But in some of the worms, the DNA stayed uncoiled long enough to generate sufficient numbers of transcripts to activate the final gene. And so, by chance, those worms developed a gut.


'/>"/>

Contact: Scott Rifkin
scinews@ucsd.edu
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Genes, brain chemistry may dictate nicotine cravings, says CU-Boulder study
2. Zebrafish provide useful screening tool for genes, drugs that protect against hearing loss
3. Nanomedical approach targets multiple cancer genes, shrinks tumors more effectively
4. Genes, Diet Offer New Clues to Parkinsons Disease
5. Environment, Energy and Ethics conference at UD, Sept. 21-23
6. Chinas Environment, Health Examined in New Wilson Center Report
7. DC policy panels on energy, environment, health care, aviation precede November election
8. U.S. Media Report From Uganda: Wilson Center Panel Discusses Health, Environment, and Security in Africa
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Genes, environment, or chance?
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... On Dec. ... the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego honoring the 2016 MPN Heroes—eight individuals who have ... (MPNs) by going above and beyond the standard of care, demonstrating leadership within the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... , ... Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Portland today announced plans ... (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The group, which is being launched with the help ... opportunity to share stories and advice, seek help, and continue their education on how ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Beverly Hills, California, will be included in the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top ... professionals based on the amalgamation of their education, experience, and professional associations. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... veterinarian diagnostic imaging systems and the first company to offer robotic ... a Heart at their tradeshow booth # 941 for the American Association of ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... care journeys, announced today that it has raised $6.0 million in an initial ... by Clarify Health’s conviction that patients and their caregivers can receive far better ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... In the first ever attempt to include ... from C. sativa, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the ... II , the Universita` del Piemonte Orientale and Phytoplant ... and unified inventory of phytocannabinoids of different botanical origin. ... remarkable chemical and structural diversity of phytocannabinoids. As a ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... bioLytical Laboratories, ein Weltführer bei schnellen Tests für Infektionskrankheiten, hat sein ... eingeführt. Continue Reading ... ... , ... ) bioLytical wurde durch die Clinton Health Access ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... N.J. , Dec. 2, 2016   CytoSorbents ... immunotherapy leader commercializing its European Union approved CytoSorb ... and cardiac surgery patients worldwide, announced that Dr. ... the 9th Annual LD Micro Main Event ... , 2016 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: