Discipline which aims to regulate the expression of genes, epigenetics to change some physical characteristics of individuals. It also allows to influence their behaviour.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania come to demonstrate that can radically change the behavior of an insect, a simple Ant which has been re-programmed.
Epigenetics to affect the character of an Ant
These are the genes that define that a Carpenter ants will become a soldier Ant or a working Ant. Their assignment, but also their physical development is therefore not depending on their diet or external circumstances. Reprogramming an Ant implies to intervene at the level of its genes or rather in the way that these genes are involved in the life of the Ant to literally reprogram its assignment in the colony. Researchers have discovered what they called a window of epigenetic vulnerability, i.e. a means of influencing the way in which this gene that dictates the function, the character of the Ant will speak. An inhibitor injected into the ant actually helped researchers to change his assignment.
Questioned by journalists at Gizmodo, Shelley Berger, the head of the research team believes that such manipulations are not possible with human beings, inter alia because of different blood systems as well as a blood-brain barrier that would not allow passage of the inhibitor to the DNA of the cells of the human brain. Nevertheless the existence of ‘epigenetic vulnerability window’ for some human behaviour as depression, epilepsy is not excluded by the researcher. Doctors reprogrammeront someday humans through Epigenetics.
Translation : Bing Translator
“Someday Scientists Could Reprogram Carpenter Ants To Do Our Bidding“, Gizmodo, January 1st, 2016
“Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus“, Science, january 1st, 2016