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Epigenetics – Complexity of RNA Structure

by Kevin Ahern, PhD
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    00:01 Now there is a discipline that has evolved in recent years called epigenetics.

    00:06 And epigenetics is absolutely fascinating; because, what it says is that some traits can be transmitted across generation and these traits are not encoded in the DNA.

    00:19 And for people 20 years ago that was almost heresy. But now we know that there is, in fact, this phenomenon as epigenetics.

    00:28 And this phenomenon of epigenetics has a basis in what we have been talking about here.

    00:35 So, imagine that I chemically modify one of the histones.

    00:40 And in chemically modifying that histone that chemical modification carries across to the next generation.

    00:48 That in fact can happen. That's transmitted across generation. Well, what if that modification in the original histone was a result of the action that the person who contained that histone had. So for example, a really good example, if your grandmother was nutritionally deficient and you are a male, interestingly enough that information can be transmitted to you. It becomes much more likely that you, as a result of that, experience of your grandmother will be overweight.

    01:24 So that information was encoded in the proteins that control the desire to eat for example.

    01:32 Your grandma was nutritionally deficient it got transmitted through to you and that her DNA wasn't any different than your DNA was with respect to those genes.

    01:42 However, the chemical modification of those histones carried forward.

    01:48 That's known as epigenetics and there are many examples we know up today.

    01:53 So these transcriptional affects can be transmitted and have nothing to do with a change in the sequence of the DNA. But rather have to do with these carried forward modifications of the histones.

    02:06 These influences, as I said, are called epigenetics meaning that they are beyond the genetics that are there and the genetics are the DNA.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Epigenetics – Complexity of RNA Structure by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course RNA and the Genetic Code.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Heritable changes in the gene expressions without involving changes to the underlying DNA sequence
    2. Non-heritable changes in the gene expressions within the same cell
    3. Heritable changes in the gene expressions involving sudden changes in the DNA sequences
    4. Non-heritable changes in the gene expressions involving the sudden changes in the chromosome numbers
    5. Non-heritable changes in the gene expressions involving the sudden changes in the chromosome lengths

    Author of lecture Epigenetics – Complexity of RNA Structure

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD


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