Lepidoteuthis - with scales.

..... a fascinating and relevant digression Phil!

Wouldn't it be so nice to be able to grow these squid from the eggs, then subject them to all manner of environmental or genetic perturbations ....

I know I run the risk of further hate mail by making suggestions like these, but if you can manipulate chick embryonic development to the extent these ancestral characters/states appear, then just imagine what you could do with ..... Spirula for instance. Would an ammonite develop? Or what would become of Vampyroteuthis? Cirrates also .... what ancestral characters/states would appear????

These are exciting, but at the same time ethically challenging times.

Why does one octopod only retain a swim bladder .... or is it a derived state? Perhaps we should experiment with the likes of Ocythoe. Perhaps I'd best get back to work and figure out how to keep these animals alive, happily, in containment.
Steve and Phil,

Whoa, we are REALY getting off topic here :smile: . But, since we are... As far as the traits being recessive or dominant I have no idea. But, expression of a trait is based upon whether a gene is dominant and its overall frequency within a given population. And, there cannot be a suppressing factor involved.

As far as how you shut down and turn on gene sequences, its all dependent on activation of regions of DNA called "start" and "stop" codons. These are regions that tell enzymes where to begin and end reading and coding information. Kinda like regions of information on a hard drive, except you don't have to defrag it! :lol:

Mind you, genes also can be linked, meaning that one gene affects the expression of another or more. Also, there is incomplete dominance and co-dominace. And mutation... Wow.

Yeah... Its a mess.

A few years ago PBS ran an episode of "NOVA" called "The Real Jurassic Park", where they discussed the concept of essentially "reverse-engineering" dinosaurs from birds on a genetic level over several generations. Interesting theory, albiet a weird one. Evolution is supposed to be a one-way process for a reason, given mutation, gene frequency, and directional selection.

Steve, I know what you mean. The real issue here is not whether or not we can reverse enigineer a ceph but rather how we do it. It would involve EXTENSIVE gene mapping, and a high degree of work over several ceph generations. And in the end, would it realy be an ammonite, or some mutant mixture of man-made animal?

Troubling times indeed.

So, on a more light note, about the swim bladders: Its still not a ceph asking me for raspberry sake, so I'm safe! Dude, what's next, a pulmonate ceph? (Really stretching for that squibbon) :mrgreen:

Sushi and Sake,

..... will respond soon - just a complicated question. In brief, yes, but I need to speak to a colleague in order to get the references (there is some very interesting work being done, but it goes well over my head) - I believe it is rather recent work.
Yo, Dudes!

There's an interesting article in the recent Scientific American about the supression of genes due to the cellular use of RNA interferase (which, as the name suggests, is an enzyme that interferes with gene expression). RNAi is the cell's adaptive response to certain viruses, "junk" DNA sequences, and can possibly be used to fight the expression of cancers.

I totally forgot about this enzyme in our earlier posts. See, in humans it might be a clue about why so much of our DNA is pretty much non-coding junk. Oh, it probably codes for something, but is suppressed by RNAi and the like. We don't want to let our cells be viral factories, nor do we want a sudden spontaneous expression of all of our ancestral traits, right?

So here's my thought for the "wall of weird" that TONMO occasionally has: These traits that we have been discussing may be a weird form of ancestral, stretching back into the mollusc line. Then again, they may just be convergent coolness.

DRAT!! If we only had a good teuthoid genetic map, we might be able to find out about these scales!!


Oh well, sushi and sake... And say hi to Kat for me.


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