Wednesday, April 23, 2008



Inheritance, DNA, epigenetics, Lamarck again
New scientific evidence

I consider this news really important and so I have decided to write another post to this topic. Basically, this idea is pretty old; one of the first who is known to suggest this idea was Lamarck, who in turn was ridiculed until recently. The problem with people is that they are dogmatic, they sort of “glue” to some idea even if this idea is completely wrong. Why this is so might be explained using memetics and evolutionary psychology and evolutionary sociology. This also may explain why people are believers, mostly. It seems to me that the reason is exactly the one that takes care of the whole of evolution – energy cost saving. What ever has ever happened in evolution it has always had impact upon energy consumption. Thinking is extremely costly. Brain uses 20% of energy of the whole human body but it constitutes only 1 to 2% of human body weight. So brain is costly, it is also costly to let the brain work on new ideas. New ideas are costly to produce. Brain must “produce” new synaptic links, must use a lot of energy to maintain the “plasticity”, the ability of producing new links, and getting rid of the old ones that are not used anymore.

There is a memory in every living body. The memory is saving the energy for the next generation. The next generation is equipped with the knowledge of the old generation and so saving time and energy, as the new generation does not have to do the same research as the old generation. This of course, may take much more then only one generation, but it is quite possible that some traits or only their intensity is inherited directly from parents.

It would make no sense to store into memory all the information and also pass all this new information to the next generation. Certain information must wait so that its importance is proved beyond any doubt. While waiting, organism experiences some repetitions of certain situations, i.e. information, and according to the amount of repetitions the information will or will not be stored. If stored then, the number of repetitions is decisive for the importance of the information and consequently for the level at which it will be stored. I wrote some articles to this topic already a long time ago.

I call this system MLM, multi-level memory, the MLM is taken from economics, multi-level marketing. MLM, multi-level memory means that all information that organism decides to store must be stored in some kind of order of importance. All single pieces of information are not of the same importance. To differentiate among different levels of importance it is also important to have different code for sorting so that the importance can be later recognized.

I have absolutely no idea how many levels might be there in human MLM. In human brain scientists suppose several dozens of levels of synaptic links. This system of synaptic levels might be due to the MLM levels. I do not know. It is possible that there are only few memory levels or there are extremely many.

These levels of memory enable the organism to remember not only how its body is constructed but also what other developmental stresses have had impact on the organism. Typically, I can mention the fact that children of the people who survived German concentration camps in the WWII have in 90% of cases the same disease of digesting system. This surely cannot be only a coincidence. Most probably there is some kind of information gained, stored and passed over to the next generation.

As all information is stored in form of chemicals, even personal experiences as stress, etc. are also stored in form of chemicals in DNA and therefore they can be passed over to the next generation.

In research of human groups, Pinker said that groups develop differently. He was heavily criticized but he is right. This is the way we are. Different nations undergo different social pressures, different information, and these differences are experiences of single individuals, and their DNA “remembers” and passes the information to the next generation. Just recall the case of children of people who survived concentrations camps. Also recall the fact that identical twins do not have the same DNA. The differences start to happen already in the mother’s womb. One of the twins can be bit more aggressive the other one slightly submissive and hierarchy they will play, the aggressive and dominant twin will try not to pay attention to the needs of the other one, end the submissive twin will not want to have a “quarrel” with his brother and so he will pull himself back and will let more space to his aggressive brother. Already this is information for the both organisms and they will come to world having slightly different DNA. Because some important but different information has been gained, experienced and stored.

The second article today, confirming this idea, deals also with inheritance and the way how the information is stored. Here scientists suggest that even the form in which DNA is rolled may play role, it may be one way of expressing the level of importance of some information. Even though I consider my idea of MLM absolutely correct and basic and easy to understand I have never found anyone mentioning this explicitly.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Lamarck confirmed III

Lamarck is alive

It has been a good manner among scientists to deny the ideas of Lamarck. His basic idea was that any organism gathers during its life some information and stores that information and passes it down to the next generation. This idea was ridiculed by many: if some rabbit has learned to run fast, then, his offspring would have to have bigger legs and muscles for running, this was not observed and therefore it was maintained that this idea is wrong.

Well, this idea is not wrong at all, only the observable sign are sometimes much smaller, or they do not appear in the first or second generation of offspring but much later on.

The following quote is from Academy Events on Development, Epigenetics and the "Diabesity" Epidemic .

An obesity epidemic is underway in the US and many other developed countries, and is associated with an increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. It has long been presumed that genetic variation alone explains individual differences in obesity susceptibility. A complementary explanation is that individual susceptibility to obesity is determined not only by genes but also by environmental influences during development. Early environment can affect the developmental establishment of epigenetic gene regulation, providing a potential biologic mechanism for such 'metabolic imprinting' of obesity susceptibility.

As you can see there starts to be a number of scientists who do see the possibility and necessity of environmental influence upon epigenome and so modifying the gene expression.
In a simpler way with no knowledge of epigenetics Lamarck suggested the same. So Lamarck is alive again. Environment does contribute to the overall development and evolution of individual organisms as well as the evolutionary development of species.

If you want to know more about that just watch and search in the internet, you will find plenty of evidence for this Lamarckian idea, though there are still some individual who deny and ridicule this idea.

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