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Plants Bypass Bad Genes?Can We Do It Too?

Newswise - In the mid-1800s, a monk named Gregor Mendel experimentedwith bean plants and developed the first scientific laws ofinheritance. These ideas have been accepted by science forover 100 years, but now they've suddenly been eclipsed by anew study, showing that plants can inherit genes carried bytheir grandparents, rather than their parents, in order toavoid genetic abnormalities carried by both parents. Ifhumans could do this, we would be able to avoid passing ongenetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cellanemia.

In an article in the journal Nature, botanist Robert Pruittsays, "This means that inheritance can happen more flexiblythan we thought in the past. While Mendel's laws that welearned in high school still are fundamentally correct,they're not absolute. If the inheritance mechanism we foundin [plants]?exists in animals too, it's possible that itwill be an avenue for gene therapy to treat or cure diseasesin both plants and animals."

Pruitt and his collaborator Susan Lolle studied theArabidopsis plant, in which each parent plant had two copiesof a mutant gene. If this happens in humans?for instance, ifboth human parents have DNA that contains the gene forcystic fibrosis?then their child is likely to inherit it.But the baby plants did not inherit their parents'deformity, but were normal like their grandparents, instead.Under Mendel's laws, the offspring should have shown thesame mutation.

"If you take this mutant Arabidopsis, which has two copiesof the altered gene, let it seed and then plant the seeds,90% of the offspring will look like the parent, but 10% willlook like the normal grandparents," Pruitt says. "Ourgenetic training tells us that's just not possible. Thischallenges everything we believe."

BlueApples?are these real plants or the code for a losttechnology associated with the powers displayed by JesusChrist in his life and resurrection?

Photo credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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