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Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Adopted subspecies of bees become genetically like their adopting colony

RATE THIS! +60
Posted in Science on 10th Sep, 2013 01:10 AM by AlexMuller
A scientist has tested the genetic effect of swapping baby sweet tempered European honeybees with aggressive African killer bees. 
 
They took 250 of the youngest bees from each hive, and painted marks on the bees’ tiny backs.
 
Then they switched each set of newborns into the hive of the other subspecies.
 
He didn’t expect the bees’ actual DNA to change: Random mutations aside, genes generally don’t change during an organism’s lifetime. Rather, he suspected the bees’ genes would behave differently in their new homes—wildly differently.
 
This notion was both reasonable and radical. Scientists have known for decades that genes can vary their level of activity, as if controlled by dimmer switches. Most cells in your body contain every one of your 22,000 or so genes. But in any given cell at any given time, only a tiny percentage of those genes is active, sending out chemical messages that affect the activity of the cell. This variable gene activity, called gene expression, is how your body does most of its work.
 
Where he went out on a limb was in questioning the conventional wisdom that environment usually causes fairly limited changes in gene expression. It might sharply alter the activity of some genes, as happens in cancer or digestion. But in all but a few special cases, the thinking went, environment generally brightens or dims the activity of only a few genes at a time.
 


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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-10
+6
I don't understand where some of these scientists think up these things to test. This one had to take them a bit to come up with. So they took some relatively nice bees and put them in with the killer bees, so what happened did the nice sweet bees turn into killer bees? Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-10
+6
So this is pretty much what happen after the testing. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-10
+6
They are relating this to humans with such things as the stress that people have to go through apparently changing them? I think this is a tad bit farfetched. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-13
+0
MWXYTM I really liked your article post.Much thanks again. Want more. Reply


 

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