Octopus can ignore own DNA information: Research

Octopuses can ignore their own DNA information: researchers find

A new study has suggested that octopuses along with their squid and cuttlefish cousins are much more intelligent than marine biologists give them credit for.

Octopuses have long been known for making remarkable escapes by squeezing into really small areas or unscrewing glass jars from the inside, but the study is really astonishing as it suggest that these creatures are able to ignore their DNA information and that they can readily modify the way they use their DNA.

Molecular biology states that cells convert DNA sequences into RNA, which produces proteins that define their traits. Researchers said they were surprised to find that it was interesting about cephalopods that they occasionally use the modified RNA to produce new proteins.

Marine biologist Joshua Rosenthal of the Marine Biological Lab, said, “The Octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish often do not follow the genetic instructions in their DNA … This process–called “RNA editing”–is rarely used to recode proteins in most animals, but octopuses and their kin edit RNA base pairs in over half of their transcribed genes.”

Vertebrate cells are able editing RNA, but humans use this capability very rarely. Humans have more than 20,000 genes but only a few dozen of them conserved RNA editing sites that likely encode functional proteins.