General, Research, Technology

Squids can edit their own genes

Squid, which many of us like to eatfood, may prove even more unusual than previously thought. As it turned out, these creatures from the order of ten-armed cephalopods have an incredible ability to genetic editing. Customizing your own RNAorganisms have learned to act on theirnervous system while surviving in nature. Can this discovery help in the development of new methods of treating serious neurological disorders in humans and how squids are associated with CRISPR technology?

Usually squid length is 0.25-0.5 meters, but squid Architeuthis species reach 16.5 meters

RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) - These are molecules that are part of the cells that participate in the work of genes. Squids can tune these molecules so that their nervous system is more adapted to environmental conditions.

CRISPR Is a gene editing tool. Thanks to it, scientists can give organisms new properties in just a few days.

How to treat neurological diseases?

Perhaps the treatment of humandiseases with the help of squid might seem like a rather extravagant undertaking, if not for one “but”: in the near future, it can really be in service with doctors and pharmacists. The fact is that squids, as it turned out, are able to act on ribonucleic acid, which is responsible for coding and reading genes. So, although human genes remain unchanged throughout his life, the information encoded in them can be transmitted to the next generation, sciencealert.com claims.

Similar processes apply to RNA, which,like DNA, it does not change in the body. So, at the moment of RNA exit from the nucleus, the genetic information that it carries cannot be greatly distorted. However, it is this seemingly impossible phenomenon that occurs in squid organisms. By independently adjusting their nervous system, the largest mollusks in the world may turn out to be some of the most incredible creatures on the planet, at the same time able to teach a couple of useful tricks to human science.

In order to test the hypothesis put forward,the research team took nerve samples from an adult male long-tailed coastal squid (Doryteuthis pealeii), then analyzing the properties of the body's protein and its genome. As a result of the experiment, it turned out that in the nerves of squid, ribonucleic acid is edited outside the nucleus, in a special part of the cell called the axon. At this point, the squid organism finely tunes the proteins, thereby replacing the well-known CRISPR technology. This technology is now rightfully considered one of the latest human tools for editing information encoded in the cells of a living organism, and thus can even save a person from hereditary diseases.

Crispr technology - the latest human tool in changing the properties of an organism

So why do squid need to change theirRNA? Despite the fact that the researchers have not yet been able to come to an understanding on this issue, scientists already have some ideas regarding the natural purpose of “natural gene editing”. So, it is entirely possible that octopuses, cuttlefish and squid use RNA editing in order to diversify the proteins produced in the nervous system. Such a property can somehow affect the intelligence level of these animals, which, as you may know, is much higher than that of other invertebrates.

In general, the idea that genetic informationcan be edited inside a living organism can significantly expand our ideas about the possibilities of medicine of the future. Using the knowledge about the possibility of tuning proteins inside the cell, we could successfully treat even those neurological diseases and disorders that are currently recognized as incurable. In addition, editing RNA can be much safer in execution than even when editing deoxyribonucleic acid.

Hi-News.ru previously told that squids are able to "teach" mankind not only in the development of genetic-modifying technologies, but also in the creation of useful space technologies. You can read more about this in this article.