Effects of starvation can be passed to future generations, through small RNAs apparently without DNA involvement
Excerpt: The findings have no immediate clinical application. “However, they do suggest that we should be aware of other things — beyond pure DNA changes — that may have a long-term impact on the health of an organism,” said Dr. Hobert. “In other words, something that happened to one generation, whether famine or some other traumatic event, may be relevant to the health of its descendants for generations.”
My comment: The findings refute all aspects of mutation-initiated natural selection in the context of evolved biodiversity. They replace the pseudoscientific nonsense of population geneticists with facts on how starvation epigentically effects cell type differentiation.
Starvation prompts seemingly futile cycles of thermodynamically regulated protein biosynthesis and degradation. Ecological variation links any nutrient with the potential to cause a base pair change that results in an amino acid substitution to ecological adapations via stablization of the organized genome in organisms that are starving to death. Starvation-induced changes in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance link ecological variation and nutrient-uptake to the pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man. Changes in the balance lead to amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of species via conserved molecular mechanisms, which is how biodiversity arises.
The claim that “The findings have no immediate clinical application” must be examined in the context another report:
Excerpt: [Researchers] “…found marmosets exhibit a significant number of differences in microRNAs and their gene targets compared with humans, with two large clusters potentially involved in reproduction.”
My comment: In my model, differences in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance cause amino acid substitutions that differentiate cell types. Dobzhansky (1973) mentioned the amino acid substitutions in this context: Nothing in Biology Makes Any Sense Except in the Light of Evolution (link opens pdf). “…the so-called alpha chains of hemoglobin have identical sequences of amino acids in man and the chimpanzee, but they differ in a single amino acid (out of 141) in the gorilla.”
Unfortunately, researchers who think that the transgenerational epigenetic effects of starvation have no clinical significance may not attempt to determine which nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled amino acid substitutions differentiate the cell types of C. elegans from P. pacificus or which amino acid substitutions differentiate the cell types of marmosets from those of other primates.