Your experiences today will influence the molecular composition of your body for the next two to three months, or perhaps for the rest of your life. Plan your day accordingly.
— 

UCLA’s Steve Cole from The Social Life of Genes.

Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells. 

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Plants Know When They’re Being Touched
Researchers saw a change in thousands of plant genes occurred just minutes after they were sprayed with water.

Humans have been attributing a secret, interior life to plants for thousands of years. It began with the nature worship of our far-distant ancestors and continued on into the modern age thanks to people like Cleve Backster, a CIA polygraph expert who performed experiments in the 1960s to demonstrate that plants could read our minds.

By and large, most research seeking to attribute a mental life to plants has been discredited over the years. Yet new research coming out of the University of Western Australia shows that while plants may not be able to think, they are—in a way—able to feel.

The UWA researchers arrived at this conclusion after they noticed that a change in the expression of thousands of plant genes occurred just minutes after they were sprayed with water. These genetic changes were short-lived (most reverted to their normal state within half an hour), suggesting that plants are highly in touch with their immediate environment and capable of dynamic responses to changes in their surroundings.

“Unlike animals, plants are unable to run away from harmful conditions,” said Olivier Van Aken, the lead researcher in the study. “Instead, plants appear to have developed intricate stress defense systems to sense their environment and help them detect danger and respond appropriately.

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Quick and Simple guide for the new Poison and Toxic genes!


THERE WERE SO MANY SURPRISES WHAT IS THIS MAGIC


tumblr why are you making these blurry stop it. you looked just fine before what even

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Our DNA is 99.9% the same as the person sitting next to us.

Physicist Riccardo Sabatini recently demonstrated a printed version of your genetic code would fill 262,000 pages, or 175 big books.

Large amounts of genetic code are used for similar biological mechanisms that are the same across many species. Here’s other genetically similar species.

(Business Insider)

Scientists Discover That Eyes Are Windows To The Soul

The eye is the window to the universe, and some would say they are also windows to the soul… We have heard this phrase get passed around before: “The eyes are the windows of the soul”. People usually say this when they can see pain, anger, or some other emotion in somebody else’s eyes.  But recent research gives a whole new meaning to this phrase.  Eyes not only windows to emotions, they are windows to the soul.

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Structural differences between DNA and RNA.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is like a blueprint of biological guidelines that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, helps carry out this blueprint’s guidelines. Of the two, RNA is more versatile than DNA, capable of performing numerous, diverse tasks in an organism, but DNA is more stable and holds more complex information for longer periods of time.

How your genes may be giving you the giggles

Next time you find yourself with an uncontrollable urge to laugh, you can thank your parents.  

Researchers at UC Berkeley and Northwestern University have found that a gene involved in the regulation of serotonin makes some of us more prone to spontaneous smiles and bursts of laughter.

And this “giggle gene” is the same one that is also associated with marital bliss or blues.

Specifically, researchers looked at two versions of the gene variant, or “allele” known as 5-HTTLPR, and found that people with the short version were more likely to smile and laugh while looking at cartoons and funny clips from the movie Strangers in Paradise.

They found that people with the short allele displayed a more genuine smile and laugh than people with the long allele.

While previous research has found that people with the short variant were more vulnerable to depression and anxiety, this study also shows that they are more responsive to the emotional highs of life as well.

“Having the short allele is not bad or risky,” said Dr. Claudia Haase of Northwestern University, coauthor of the study. “Instead, the short allele amplifies emotional reactions to both good and bad environments.“

Learn more about the giggling gene

Wasp uses Virus to Genetically Modify Butterfly

Many of us are familiar with the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), but a research group is France has identified the genes for C-type lectins in this species most likely originated from parasitic wasps that are known to lay their eggs in the caterpillars of this species. These proteins are carbohydrate binding proteins with a large number of roles in cells. 

Parasitic wasps are common in the insect world, with virtually all Lepidopteran species being targets for parasitism. It is believed that ~100 million years ago a wasp ancestor domesticated the bracovirus, and now these parasitic wasps employ it as a biological weapon against the caterpillars. The virus is produced in the wasp’s ovaries and acts as a vector for horizontal gene transfer (HGT). In the eukaryotic world, it is fairly rare for such an exchange of DNA between organisms.

The virus has long since lost its ability to generate a successful capsid, and as a result is reliant on the wasp’s ovaries for replication. The virus is injected into the host along with the wasp’s eggs where the domesticated virus promotes the growth of wasp progeny within the caterpillar by inhibiting its immune system. Each wasp lineage has its own set of virulence determinants encoded by the virus.

Integration of viral DNA may occur occasionally, if a caterpillar host manages to successfully defend itself against a parasitic attack or if the wasp lays its eggs in the wrong target. In both cases the caterpillar may go onto to develop into a moth or butterfly in possession of viral and wasp derived genes as seen in the monarch butterfly.


Figure showing the hypothesised process for HGT to occur between wasps and Lepidopteran species (Source)

Source: Plos Genetics -  Recurrent Domestication by Lepidoptera of Genes from Their Parasites Mediated by Bracoviruses