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Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 10 Tishrei 5783
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The Body that Upgrades Itself
One of the most puzzling questions in biology is how a vast array of organisms can share more or less a common set of genes. Most life processes are controlled by a handful of proteins which are common in a broad array of creatures from humans to sea urchins, worms and flies. Being that their DNA is so similar, how to species develop so many different characteristics in shape, size and function?

The “central dogma” of molecular biology has been that genetic information is faithfully transmitted from DNA to messenger RNA (mRNA) to the ribosomes, which put together proteins based on the code embedded in the mRNA. However, recent studies have shown that the genetic information can be significantly “edited” along the way in the RNA stage, to fine-tune the type of proteins that will be produced.

In studies of squid, for example, it was found that 60% of the RNA transcripts had been edited. This means that the organism is capable of responding to cues in its environment to determine not only how many of a certain protein to produce but also to modify the types of proteins made.

“This may be a question of adaptation to the environment,” posits Professor Eli Eisenberg, one of the authors of the study. “For example, we are mammals who live at a steady temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, and it demands a tremendous amount of energy to maintain this temperature. Five degrees more or less, and we break down completely, because our enzymes [proteins that carry out most essential processes in the body] cannot function outside this narrow temperature range. In contrast, the squid ‘upgrades’ its proteins, so that it can live at a temperature between 0 and 30 degrees Celsius without significant genetic modification.” Eisenberg adds that these revolutionary “updating” squid enzymes are driving research in genetic engineering that could one day be used to help people.

This means that everything we know today about our bodies can be upgraded tomorrow to become new and improved, in a manner that we cannot even imagine today (since these mental concepts must pass through our biological brain, which is also made of proteins…). But if we will only open our minds we will see that many of the wondrous prophecies of the days of Redemption have already begun to materialize. For example, complete biological immortality. This is but one of the miracles that await us in the days of Redemption.



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