» Home > In the News

fickle genes

28 November 2015

Some interesting stuff on genetics at www.q-mag.org/we-contain-multitudes-1.html and www.q-mag.org/we-contain-multitudes-2.html which seem to suggest genetics is a bit more complicated than Joe Public has been led to believe. The first link concerns a paper published in PNAS. This is that horizontal gene transfer as opposed to vertical (from mother and father and immediate ancestors) is part of the genetic make-up. Apparently all sorts of things can affect our DNA – bacteria, plants, fungi etc. Species swap DNA without them inheriting them – although vertical descent remains the most important factor (by a long way we may imagine).

The second link, research written by a rheumatologist, says we think of ourselves as the product of two biological parents and a one only roll of the genetic dice. Not true. We obtain DNA from other people – even in the womb. The source of our DNA is much more diverse that we currently allow. As such, the exchange of DNA may play an important evolutionary role.

Skip to content