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Showing posts from July, 2019

What Can Worms Teach Us?

If you are the world’s safest driver, can you expect your children to be safe drivers as well? Will they avoid dangerous driving situations when they first learn to drive? Short answer: most likely not. Long answer? At least in some organisms, the offspring can inherit some life-saving tips from their parents. For example, in Caenorhabditis elegans , a free-living transparent worm, parents can learn to avoid toxic food source and their offspring learn to avoid that food source without ever encountering that food. In their recent paper , Rebecca Moore and her colleagues described how the offspring inherit this information. C. elegans moving! Courtesy: Wikipedia Both in animals and plants, the environment greatly influences physical and behavioral characteristics. These characteristics sometimes can be passed onto the next generation even though the genetic code, the DNA sequence, remain unaltered (read this essay   for more information on the genetic code). The biological mecha