Recent papers in Nature (see news story below) suggest that acidic stress of mature cells could can make pluripotent stem cells. I hypothesize that this response is evidence of an ancient evolutionary adaptation to harsh environments — Archae Extremophiles may be a good group to provide comparative evidence. Specifically Archaea is good at thriving at high temperatures, high PH, low PH, low oxygen and other extremes of the environmental spectrum. On the early Earth, conditions were harsh so organisms that could thrive and replicate in these conditions ultimately became our ancestors. All animals living today should have this legacy in their genomes, epigenomes and indeed their cellular machinery. Comparisons of shared stress adaptations across distant cousins (e.g., Archaea and humans share a common ancestor approximately 3556.3 Million Years Ago) could provide some evidence for the origins of positive responses to stress. Perhaps protein export, post-translational modification, assembly mechanisms, and metabolism are good places to start.
- New Paper: Genomic Imprinting, Human Skeletal Muscle and Exercise Epigenetics
- Does maternal exercise during pregnancy alter the fetal epigenome?
- 17th Annual Genes, Brain and Behavior Meeting
- From DNA to Social Minds, 30 June – 1 July 2014
- Stress, a way to make stem cells? Could be an evolutionary adaptation to harsh environments — Archaea Extremophiles
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