Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Switching Tasks Changes Worker Bee DNA

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the for-the-queen dept.

Science 82

`puddingebola writes "A report in the journal Nature Neuroscience (paywalled) says scientists have observed epigenetic markers in bees that correspond to their roles in the society. From the article, 'Honeybees are born into their place in society. Those fed royal jelly as larvae emerge as queens and do little but lay eggs. The rest become worker bees and divvy up the jobs that need doing around the hive. While some worker bees remain at home, others take flight in search of nectar, pollen and other hive essentials. The entire honeybee workforce are genetically identical sisters. But analysis of the worker bees' DNA revealed that foragers had one pattern of chemical tags on their genes, while those that stayed home had another. When bees swapped one job for the other, their genetic tags changed accordingly.'"

cancel ×

82 comments

Can't post - watching Revolution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370431)

I want to do Flo, the Progressive Insurance spokeperson. I bet that would be a night I'd never forget.

Re:Can't post - watching Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371563)

Become a customer. They like to screw their customers.

Re:Can't post - watching Revolution (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#41389179)

don't mark that guy a troll, i would totally do flo too. god, she is hot in a really weird way that i can't quite describe. put a gun in her hand and it's porn.

Well, naturally... (-1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41370435)

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able "

Re:Well, naturally... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370481)

"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Mr Romney is seen saying, referring to the percentage of Americans who have no income tax liability.

"There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. "
-Mitt Romney

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41372551)

As a non-American I have a very hard time to tell Mitt Romney apart from the mock politicians on the GTA radio channels.
Why would anyone ever want to vote for someone who openly says that he is going to funnel tax-money to his cronies?

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41373457)

Honest politicians are so rare people want to vote for them no matter what they say.

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41376311)

Color me surprised that your state media depicts an American politician in a negative light!

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#41370545)

I wonder what percentage of those reading this get the reference?

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41370807)

I didn't... but a little google searching gave me a new sig.

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41373401)

So, you are borrowing a sig from a book you haven't read? You couldn't possibly get the depth of what the author was trying to write.... whatever.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41375515)

They do it with the Bible, The Torah, and Qur'an. Heck they are willing to make war over an out of context quote.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41380275)

You don't need to read the entire book to recognize a good quote. For example

I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up.

or

to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.

or

"The only true law is that which leads to freedom," Jonathan said. "There is no other."

, or

Machines can be made to see in a wider spectrum, to detect every wavelength precisely as it is, undistorted by love or hate or awe... But still men's eyes see more than lenses do.

. Most folk have not read Moby Dick, Jonathan Livingston Seagul, or Berserker, yet they recognize stirring words.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41370925)

Well, speaking as a Delta Tau Chi ...... Road Trip!

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 2 years ago | (#41374491)

Ford's in his flivver. All's well with the world.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

hutsell (1228828) | about 2 years ago | (#41372295)

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. ... "

I wonder what percentage of those reading this get the reference?

It was almost a whoosh for myself, before realizing the reference to Brave New World. I thought the post was referring to the American High School Student IQ Classification system. Based on intelligence tests and grades, students were segregated into one of three mental levels -- above average, average and below average -- the difficulty and demands of the subject matter being simplified accordingly.

The secretive system was meant to be kept from the parents and students; any discussions about the students status by the administration required their use of special labels. The labels for those levels corresponded to the following examples: X, Y or Z; A, B or C; Redbirds, Bluebirds or Canaries; and so on. It's been around since the early 1900's, the labels differing depending on the methodology of the plan used. Although there was more than one plan using other labels besides those just mentioned, one of them was referred to as the Santa Barbara Plan (IIRC).

However, the secret wasn't so secret and most of us knew our classifications -- to my occasional dismay. Cliques used it to create their cliques and would use that knowledge to power-grab, occasionally with demeaning insults. It was somewhat obvious (especially in hindsight) something wasn't right -- the vast majority of the students in the above average classrooms came from the right-side of the tracks.

Perhaps it's a coincidence, but I can't help thinking Aldous Huxley, an Educator, was unaware of the process.

Re:Well, naturally... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41374153)

Clearly you were below average, because it's was QUITE obvious what "level" a student was at due to the labeling of the classes: "accelerated or AP" at the top end and "remedial" at the bottom end. Everything else was average. Grammar school is a bit more segregated and harder to get on or off a given track since you tended to have all of your classes with the same group.

And it's not some conspiracy as to why the wealthier kids end up at the top. Well educated people tend to have more money and tend to value education more than those who do not. Educated parents tend to push their children harder than the school does and often have the means to provide outside education. They also complain more and browbeat teachers into placing children higher. It's not class warfare.

Re:Well, naturally... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41374731)

Suddenly, common sense broke out on the Internet!

Re:Well, naturally... (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41370861)

Problem with Brave New World, 1984, THX-1138 and other dystopias is that no society like that would ever emerge. People won't allow themselves to be suppressed so readily. Instead you have to TRICK the people into believing their suppression is actually freedom & democracy. For example:

- Convincing people that private profits and shared losses is a good thing. - When the rich corporate managers "win" they get to keep the money for themselves, but when they "lose" then the loss is spread across the entire taxpayer base. (TARP and Stimulus Bills and QE1/2/3 are what I'm talking about.) Many people actually believe making the workers bear the burden of the loss is a good thing!

Somehow I fail to see how my losing ~$15,000 funding Goldman Sachs and Solyndra with free cash is benefiicial for me, but millions of other people think it is. That's a True dystopia. Rob from the poor/middle incomes and give to the rich.

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370907)

Eh? The entire plot of Brave New World revolves around people being hoodwinked into believing that they're happy with life. The system works incredibly well: virtually everyone is happy, people live fixed lifespans which they don't care about and everyone is comfortable with their caste.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 2 years ago | (#41372179)

Somehow I fail to see how my losing ~$15,000 funding Goldman Sachs and Solyndra with free cash is benefiicial for me, but millions of other people think it is.

Millions of other people aren't gullible enough to believe either of these were given any free cash, or that they've lost $15,000 in loans to Goldman Sachs and Solyndra. Goldman Sachs has long since paid back the money it was loaned, costing citizens absolutely nothing, in fact earning them a bit of interest, and the total cost of Solyndra will come to less than $2 per citizen at worst (which was already spent before the loan was given -- Congress knew when it loaned money to several dozen companies speculating on new technologies that not all would be successful, and set aside money to cover the losses -- Solyndra's failure sucked up a mere 5% of that, a mere fraction of what Congress was expecting the program to cost).

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41372817)

I bought my first home in 2004, in California, putting 20% down and taking out a 30-yr fixed loan. I have since refinanced once, taking a loan from my 401k to do so (I had to pay down my loan somewhat to cover the losses incurred to that point).

I've now lost about $150k in my home value - all the money that I used for a down payment, all my money that went to paying principle, all my money that went to the refinance have effectively evaporated. I can't move because I can't afford to sell and wouldn't have a downpayment anyway; I can't refinance again either. And none of the postulated "help for homeowners" programs is worth a bucket of warm spit - if you aren't underwater, if you make a middle class income, if someone somewhere deems you can "afford your loan", you don't qualify.

So my family has had 10x the postulated $15k in wealth removed from its balance sheet, yet no one is making me whole.

Re:Well, naturally... (2)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41376283)

buying a home on credit, or using it as equity to get credit, is an investment, a gamble that its value wont change significantly other than to maybe go up. like other investments, its subject to market changes. you assume that risk willingly by buying the house. really everything is essentially an investment, it's just the degree to which other people also want said item. and some people dont use their homes for credit, and dont intend to sell, content to stay so for them its less of an investment (gamble).

but if its value goes down cause you neglected it, should we fix you then? if its value goes down cause the neighborhood goes to pot, should we fix you then? so why is this any different? you assumed the risk when you bought it. no it probably didnt seem like a big risk. but every so often the long shots come in.

(for the record I didnt support the bailouts either, though they did turn a bit of profit for the taxpayer in the end)

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41378181)

Buying a home you live-in is not an investment. It's where you raise your family. You don't buy it hoping to cash-in on the profit once it's value increases. You buy it knowing it's value will decrease as it wears since you need the space to raise your kids. Those kids are too a non-investment. They too won't make you any richer.

At best, buying a house mitigates the loss of renting one. However, it's still not an investment.

Their is no scarcity in lands so their can't be a housing market based on price increase. Only inner city can have those and only to some degree until it's no longer affordable.

The bubble crashed because the values were inflated by the banks. People had little choice but to buy them since they still needed the place to live. Even if they did know they couldn't afford it in the long run, they assumed that if the bank approved the loan they're in the clear. People trust authority and banks are the authority when it comes to money. It's stupid, but that how people are. Trusting and stupid. I know if I were to stop and ask a police officer for directions I'd expect him not to rob me. Same goes when people ask a bank for a loan. They didn't expect the bank to lie about the numbers.

Lesson learned. Next time, don't trust profit for deregulation.

Re:Well, naturally... (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 years ago | (#41377537)

You bet on a house. You lost.
The reason it was a bad bet isn't necessarily the government's fault, but they could have done more to keep the bubble from forming and alleviating the problem afterwards.
But no one owes it to you to "make you whole".

The reason that the government stepped in to help the financial market is because it would have taken down the government with it. The reason it made a bet on solar power is because it would enrich everyone.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41377125)

>>>or that they've lost $15,000 in loans to Goldman Sachs and Solyndra

Thanks for demoing how easily people are duped. Solyndra went out of business (as did almost all the other green companies that received loans). That money is GONE and the taxpayers will never get it back. As for Goldman & other banks they still exist but they also still owe the U.S. Treasury (i.e. the taxpayers' treasury) trillions of dollars.

And no TARP was not paid back. I wish people would stop repeating that myth. All the companies did was borrow money from a *different* loan program and then use that second loan to pay off the original loan. It's called accounting trickery. Similar to how Hollywood claims no movie ever makes a profit.

READ: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/242731/did-tarp-money-really-get-paid-back-kevin-d-williamson# [nationalreview.com]

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41375387)

Convincing people that private profits and shared losses is a good thing. - When the rich corporate managers "win" they get to keep the money for themselves, but when they "lose" then the loss is spread across the entire taxpayer base.

I have no problem with this, as long as it's done right. IE, if you have a bad year, you may write it off on your taxes. But if you have a good year, then you pay your Goddess damned fair share of taxes. None of this bailout crap, and none of this shirking your societal responsibility by avoiding paying your fair share of taxes.

And just to be clear, does this mean that you now support raising taxes on the rich? Y'know, since you're implying that them "winning" is a bad thing (presumably because they aren't paying their fair share in taxes).

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about 2 years ago | (#41376045)

Somehow I fail to see how my losing ~$15,000 funding Goldman Sachs and Solyndra with free cash is benefiicial for me, but millions of other people think it is. That's a True dystopia. Rob from the poor/middle incomes and give to the rich.

Well, it's obvious: the rich will be able to invent new plastic toy! Poor won't be able to buy it, but who cares, it's progress!

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 years ago | (#41372585)

I've always wanted to be the Alpha male of the pack. Too bad I'm a Beta.

Re:Well, naturally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41373059)

It's OK... there has to be bottoms/catchers.

Re:Well, naturally... (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about 2 years ago | (#41375991)

Yeah, reminded me of the Brave New World too, but you see, bees *can* change their genes. Well, except for the queen, but there is only one.

Paywalled? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370485)

Why even include sources that cannot be accessed by the majority of readers?

Re:Paywalled? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41370585)

Because some people are professional scientists, and they're seriously excited about this.

And a lot of /. readers are college students, who don't even notice the paywall thanks to their institution's subscriptions. This one's for them. (And maybe you, if you can find a pirated copy)

Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41370537)

Taks transcribed to DNA. Hmm. This doesn't sound all that far from a mechanism that could transcribe thoughts... primitive or otherwise... back into DNA to be passed to offspring. Much like the concept of inherited behaviors actually, which clearly exist. We could explain inherited behavior by random selection... higher mortality of individuals not exhibiting the behavior... but that would be awfully slow compared to a mechanism that could pass learned behaviors to offspring. And such a mechanism would give the species possessing it a huge advantage, therefore by the law of evolution it almost has to exist.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (5, Informative)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41370617)

Tasks are not! transcoded to DNA; this is NOT an exception to the central dogma of molecular biology [wikipedia.org] . The epigenome is RNA and protein and smaller signaling molecules; the DNA sequence itself is untouched, and nothing happens to the deoxy-ribose sugar backbone.

Think of it as the metadata getting changed, not the code - a differing pattern of lines of code being commented out.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370667)

Mod the parent up - the story title is wholly misleading.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | about 2 years ago | (#41370785)

But that metadata also helps describe how that code is transcribed into new programs when recombined, doesn't it?

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41383001)

It doesn't have to be recombined; gene regulation happens rather a lot within the individual lifespan. And it also (it's really complicated) tends to influence how often the code is transcribed, rather than how it is transcribed, though there's edge cases like white blood cells where they actually splice out chunks of their DNA to see if they can make an antibody that is potentially useful - instead of cels that target your pancreas (and would otherwise cause diabetes) simply self-destructing, they try to hack their antibody genes until they get something that isn't going to cause friendly fire, and only self-destruct when they run out of relevant DNA to cut. Still, there's no synthesis of novel sequences, just diking out parts that may be causing the problem.

There's still a possibility that DNA can be a genuine read-write mechanism in biology, it's tantalizing, but it's still proving quite elusive.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41370909)

Your post led me to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics#DNA_methylation_and_chromatin_remodeling [wikipedia.org]

  "Chromosomal regions can adopt stable and heritable alternative states resulting in bistable gene expression without changes to the DNA sequence. Epigenetic control is often associated with alternative covalent modifications of histones.[23] The stability and heritability of states of larger chromosomal regions are often thought to involve positive feedback where modified nucleosomes recruit enzymes that similarly modify nearby nucleosomes. A simplified stochastic model for this type of epigenetics is found here"

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41383019)

I missed this when I responded to Godzilla first, but this is exactly the right track - and unless I misread the original story, exactly what's going on here. If it's working on the principle of modified nucleosomes being autocatalytic, it's operating on a fairly coarse, chunky level, however.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41371287)

Whoa, a little aggressive there. (Did Crick actually have it right when he called it dogma?) As noted below, according to [wikipedia.org] epigenetics, "Conclusive evidence supporting epigenetics show that these mechanisms can enable the effects of parents' experiences to be passed down to subsequent generations." So I erred in speculating about DNA transcription, but otherwise the idea already seems partially validated. According to Wikipedia[tm].

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41382921)

Crick didn't really have it right when he called it dogma. I think the consensus as of six months ago was somewhere between "Central Dogma is a theory" and "Central Dogma should have been called Central Theory". The fact that they went back and had to revise it when HIV and reverse-transcriptase were discovered means that it never really was dogma in the literal sense.

And I probably did come on stronger than is polite. I'm sorry about that, I was trying to be unambiguous in a post written in 60 seconds or less.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41393925)

The point is well taken: in this context, DNA stays constant while heritable changes to expression take place. Which makes some kind of intuitive sense, like the charge in a memory cell changing while the transistor connections do not. And which seems plausible as a means of encoding heritable memories. Barging on from there: perhaps one day somebody will get a Nobel prize for discovering the "memory code" just as Crick did for the genetic code.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (3, Informative)

Biotech_is_Godzilla (2634385) | about 2 years ago | (#41373023)

Awesome metaphor! You're generally spot on - DNA base sequence is untouched / nothing happens to the phosphate backbone / epigenetics is all about controlling which genes are made into proteins - but to be nitpicky, an important epigenetic phenomenon which is probably also operating here is DNA methylation [wikipedia.org] . DNA is directly modified in a way which alters the pattern in which genes are expressed, is fairly long-term for the cell and is heritable by future generations of cells in the organism (i.e. epigenetically).

So the story title is very misleading, but technically correct.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41382975)

You got it right with DNA methylation - and there's also acetylation, which I forgot to mention as well. Thank you for catching me on that. The two can be generally described as up-regulating (acetylation) and down-regulating (methylation) the expression of that patch of DNA. Wikipedia has a nice overview of it here, [wikipedia.org] which helpfully points out that it's the histones - "spindle" molecules that are acetylated, to allow easier access to the DNA for increased transcription.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Biotech_is_Godzilla (2634385) | about 2 years ago | (#41391009)

Well, if we're talking histone modifications there are a few more types (phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, sumoylation, biotinylation). I was talking about direct methylation of the DNA molecule, though, not histones. Have a read of the link in my last post.

I was just being pedantic - I couldn't help pointing out that the epigenome isn't just RNA and protein; epigenetics sometimes does involve chemical modification of DNA itself mainly in imprinting [wikipedia.org] . It wasn't really that relevant to the point you were making, which was a very good one!

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (2)

dawnpatrol1623 (1616393) | about 2 years ago | (#41370687)

This is epigenetic. That is, the genes aren't being altered. What is being altered is the pattern of which genes are on and off--which proteins are being expressed. What's impressive here is that the change is so big and capable of reversals.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41377145)

Seems like functions or entire libraries of them are left alone for the most part, it's those simple little bits of code that call on those functions that change. Looking at it that way, it doesn't take much to cause a big change.

What's neat in bees is that the mechanism triggering which functions are active works not just within the individual but at the colony level, and again that ability to change status more than once.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#41378019)

Clarification: This is epiapigenetic.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370897)

Didn't Robert Anton Wilson talk about idea in the Cosmic Trigger 30 years ago, and he probably heard about it prior to that.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | about 2 years ago | (#41370969)

such a mechanism would give the species possessing it a huge advantage, therefore by the law of evolution it almost has to exist.

The theory of evolution implies no such thing.

Re:Genetically encoded thoughts? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41376113)

"Survival of the fittest"

Switching tasks changes MY DNA. (4, Interesting)

reubenavery (1047008) | about 2 years ago | (#41370607)

Totally feel the bees on that.

Whenever I need to completely switch gears from one project to the next (like going from Drupal into Zend Framework), I will require at least two weeks of downtime (although I would never dare admit to it to my manager). It's unavoidable. It's like my brain is jammed between channels and no matter how much I beat the horse, it will be this way while my neurons rearrange themselves. Then, one sunny day, bing it's all realigned and reprogrammed and I'm off to the productive races.

Wish there were medical-creative downtime available....

Re:Switching tasks changes MY DNA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41370715)

Man, I am this to a smaller scale on almost everything.

Re:Switching tasks changes MY DNA. (3, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#41372191)

I feel the pain of switching to a whole new Web system, but dear god "beat the horse" is an awful turn of phrase.

Re:Switching tasks changes MY DNA. (1)

Xoltri (1052470) | about 2 years ago | (#41374983)

It's called "procrasturbating".

Re:Switching tasks changes MY DNA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41373097)

lol
I was thinking, what if we could have our nerdy developers just grow boobs and blond hair if we needed more account people by simply changing their job spec :)

Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter Syndrome (1)

Dareth (47614) | about 2 years ago | (#41377057)

I have the same problem when I swap between Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. I can get fairly good at one of them, but never good at both of them at the same time.

No, not actually changing the DNA (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41370779)

Epigenetics is not about the DNA sequence itself, but rather about how the DNA is managed and accessed. Generally it refers to the protein that helps to condense the DNA and make some parts more accessible than others. Really the more noticeable change would be in their RNA, which is the sequence of expressed genes.

Basically if your genome is a tape library, RNA is your local hard drive, which is pulling files as needed from the tape library. Your system RAM is, of course, protein.

Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371459)

"Epigenetics is not about the DNA sequence itself, but rather about how the DNA is managed and accessed."

But intelligence is not just about the brain itself, it's the ability to access and use the full potential of higher thought that is already there.

Re:No, not actually changing the DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41372283)

More like your genome is a HDD, genes are programs stored in it, and the OS consists of already expressed genes that access the HDD and execute other tasks.

Re:No, not actually changing the DNA (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 years ago | (#41375921)

Uh, DNA would be the HDD, RNA would be the RAM, and proteins would be the opcodes currently being processed.
The analogy breaks down at a lot of points. Like RNA not changing during runtime like RAM, and the protein being "processed" by a massively distributed an pipe-lined network of biological cells rather than a digital chip... but you're right about the OS consisting of material previous retrieved and expressed DNA.

Re:No, not actually changing the DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41379235)

Generally yes, but in this case the "epigenetic change" is in the form of cytosine methylation, a chemical modification to the DNA bases itself.

Another reason (1)

wonderboss (952111) | about 2 years ago | (#41370825)

not to multi-task.

Re:Another reason (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41370881)

not to multi-task.

Have you been watching B movies?

Re:Another reason (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41371569)

BaSTINGA!

Possibly less likely cause than effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371351)

Bees are known to be sensitive to the pherenome balance within the hive. Observationally, bees tend to regress from field tasks to hive tasks following a succesfull swarm and the establishment of a new hive (but not too great a proportion, so it seems likely that a initial lack of hive worker pherenomes could lead to changes within individuals that would reestablish the overall hive balance. Examined individually in individuals or hive regulatory mechanisms respond like a large collection well-tuned PID (Proportional-Integral-Differential) controllers, only a small portion of which have been recognized.

A Hive is not identical sisters (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371373)

A Hive is not identical sisters. There are usually 3 to 5 males who mated with the Queen, so there are factions which are more closely related and they try to elevate their Queen larvae when the time comes to create a new Queen. Also, even the sisters with the same 2 parents are not genetically identical, they still have the usual mix of traits from both parents from when the egg was fertilized.

Re:A Hive is not identical sisters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41374857)

Since male bees are haploid, they contribute all of their genetic information to their offspring. So female bees that share a father share about 75% of the same genes instead of the usual 50% shared by siblings with the same parents.

This is nice research. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371387)

It's exactly what the elite don't want you to know - that human life can adapt and do great things given the chance. But they want us kept down in the mud to toil.

Old news (1)

BuypolarBear (2713397) | about 2 years ago | (#41371541)

I noticed this a while ago. People in New Jersey, doing whatever it is people in New Jersey do, have their DNA changed to the point that their skin becomes orange and several other peculiarities...

Not genetically identical... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371807)

Worker bees in a hive are not geneticially identical, nor are they all sisters in the usual sense of the word. Queen bees are typically multiply mated during a mating flight and store sperm for life. Male bees develop from unfertilized eggs and they only have one set of chromosomes which each of their offspring inherits in full. Pairs of worker bees therefore either have the same father so they share on average 75% of their genes, or they have different fathers so that they share 25% of their genes.

fpga (1)

codman1 (904493) | about 2 years ago | (#41372199)

wow flying fpga's

Re:fpga (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41372843)

Flying Programmable Gathering Animals?

Title is misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41372213)

The DNA sequence doesn't change, only its methylation patterns. This is to be expected. The same thing happens in all organisms.

Jean Baptiste Lemark Apologists (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#41372503)

Waiving their private parts at our aunties, again. Father was a hamster, mother smelt of eldeberries, all that.

Idea for further research (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 years ago | (#41372617)

I wouldn't be surprised if iPhone users have mutated chemical tags too. Look for the "religious" gene first, and don't forget to check the "fashion-victim", "metrosexual softie" and "RDF-sensititvity" genes, then verify that the "die-hard technologist" gene is turned off.

Wait, I'm going to write a research proposal just now...

Re:Idea for further research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41372829)

Or maybe we just like non-shitty APIs and decent touch response...

Confused? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41372705)

I'm confused. The title says that the bees' DNA is changed, but the summary says that chemical markers ON the DNA are changed?

I didn't RTFA since the hook was so ambiguous.

Re:Confused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41373939)

Epigenetic regulation involves some proteins union with DNA in very specific places, which creates a chain of events that ends up with many DNA bases in the vicinity being methilated (a CH3 group is added to them), and the DNA being packed more tightly in loops around some modified proteins. This inhibits the expression of the genes inside that strech of DNA. This mechanism works in all species and even humans have many of their genes expressed in the brain regulated in this manner.
The most important thing about epigenetics, is that almost all of it is ERASED right after egg fertilization, so for the most part it is NOT inherited.

Welcome your scientifically illiterate overlords! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41374591)

You guys understand the brain bugs in Starship Troopers, bred whenever a problem needed magical solving, and the engineers in The Mote in God's Eye, were both sarcastic commentary about highly intelligent science and engineering knuckling under to let political idiots run the show and tell them what to do.

See also A Deepness In the Sky. Or parts of Atlas Shrugged, for that matter.

Re:Welcome your scientifically illiterate overlord (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#41378001)

Or the short story "Swarm" at the end of Schismatrix Plus...

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...