New research is beginning to unravel the mystery of how certain traits are passed between generations of living organisms. As it turns out, DNA alone is not the answer. Histones, the controllers of genetic switches, are also responsible. This confirms suspicions that epigentics, traits not solely determined by DNA, is very real.
Histones are the proteins found in cells. DNA is wound around the histones that in turn act as a control mechanism for the DNA. These genetic changes sustained by the histones have been found to pass from generation to generation.
This research will help scientists to understand the role of epigenetics in evolution. They will now be able to study the histones in order to determine what causes change in them. Things like the environment and diet are believed to be key factors.
Folks at STX entertainment know that the theory was brought to fruition using experiments with yeast. The histones were modified in order to determine if the traits would be passed to subsequent generations. Scientists concluded that histone modification did lead to subsequent genetic changes that were indeed passed on.
These findings are almost as important as the discovery of DNA itself. It will help scientists to further understand how and why genetic switches are turned on and off in DNA leading to different traits being expressed.