Reprogramming future generations to understand the perpetuation of animal life
In every generation, formation of a single cell – the fertilized egg – perpetuates animal life. The DNA within this single cell encodes what can be made but does not determine what is made. What is made depends on how the cell interprets the DNA sequence, and requires instructions and machinery in addition to the DNA to be interpreted. Which molecules hold all this additional information required to perpetuate life? How much of such non-genetic information is recreated in every fertilized egg and how much is acquired as an animal develops and interacts with its environment? How can experiences of an animal alter this information to change how its descendants are made?
To begin answering these fundamental questions, we want to change how descendants of an animal interpret a particular DNA sequence and analyze the consequences of such transgenerational reprogramming.
For an introduction to our research, see early ideas presented in the talk below delivered on 11 March 2016 at a Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium and read a refined statement in Cell Code. For more, click on the research tab.