While some of the most impressive scientific minds in the world are struggling with the daunting and controversial task of gene (DNA) editing, it looks as though one species (OCTOPUS) is well ahead of the race. Scientists have discovered that octopus are capable of editing their DNA instead of relying on the process of evolution. Effectively, these amazing creatures can change their cellular level at will to adapt to their environment instead of on relying on natural selection.
According to Joshua Rosenthalof the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Massachusetts and Eli Eisenberg and Noa Liscovitch-Brauer of Tel Aviv University, Israel their research on squids led them to discover that squids have an unusually high rate of editing in their RNA.
They went on to discover that this unusual process also occurred in three other cephalopod species; two varieties of octopus and a variety of cuttlefish. Other species also edit their DNA, but this is ordinarily minimal.
Both human beings and fruit flies are known to edit their DNA but only by approximately 1% which has no bearing on the cellular structure of the body. The process with cephalopods is quite different. These creatures appear to be continuously editing their DNA to adapt themselves to their environments. According to Rosenthal, this is a stark contrast to the ordinary way scientists commonly think about evolution and natural selection.
“Mutation is usually thought of as the currency of natural selection, and these animals are suppressing that to maintain recoding flexibility at the RNA level, ” he said in a statement. At this time, no one is quite sure why cephalopods exhibit this unusual behavior but it may go a long way to figuring out why these creatures are so remarkably intelligent. Despite the fact that these animals have relatively short life spans, they tend to show extraordinary levels of intellectual sophistication, being able to solve puzzles, open jars, camouflage themselves in exceptionally imaginative ways and even use other animals as weapons.