Somatic mutation or epigenetic modification - Somatische Mutation oder epigenetische Modifikation

Horst Kress

Keywords: Lamarck, Darwin, Chromosomes, Genetics, Epigenetics

DOI: 10.17160/josha.4.6.370

Languages: German

In the first essay on the subject of the „Renaissance of Lamarckism“ (JOSHA Vol. 3, Issue 4), we explored the historical roots of this term. We saw that Lamarck's (1744-1829) concept ofabout the inheritance of characteristics acquired during an individual`s life through active adaptation was initially even accepted by Darwin. However, since neither the scientific nor the social/political experiment could validate this thesis, it is to be understood that until the 20th century Lamarck's ideas did not gain a foothold in the advancing natural sciences and were more or less pushed out of consciousness, In order to be able to come closer to the topic of inheritance of acquired characteristics, we will first deal with the development of the elucidation of the structure and function of the chromosomes in the present essay. We will learn that they are the carriers of genetic information that can be mutated on the one hand and reversibly modified on the other hand without mutation by the nuclear and cellular milieu in response to environmental conditions.

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