DNA Backup Surprises Scientists

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DNA Backup Surprises Scientists

Scientists have apparently found a "backup" to our DNA. According to the journal Nature, one plant was able to revert to genetic code that doesn't contain a genetic mutation that its parents had, (using a previously unknown "backup" copy method), and it reverted to the genetic code of its grandparents. The authors of the paper theorize that the backup may reside in molecule RNA somewhere and that stress may trigger the genetic reversion. If this turns out to be true in humans as well, not only will we have to rewrite the genetic textbooks, but this could lead to cure of diseases caused by genetic malformities.

According to the article, the finding challenges textbook rules of inheritance, which state that children simply receive combinations of the genes carried by their parents. The principle was famously established by Austrian monk Gregor Mendel in his nineteenth-century studies on pea plants.

The study, published this week in Nature, shows that not all genes are so well behaved. It suggests that plants, and perhaps other organisms including humans, might possess a back-up mechanism that can bypass unhealthy sequences from their parents and revert to the healthier genetic code possessed by their grandparents or great-grandparents.

Pretty amazing that even "nature" keeps backups.

Check out the full article.

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