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Octopuses and RNA Editing
(Wednesday, 19 April 2017) Written by greeniac12314
A new study has discovered that cephalopods (such octopuses and squids) can change the proteins in their bodies without having to change the sequence of their DNA blueprint, a process called “RNA editing.” This is not the case for most animals.

As a result of this, cephalopods have evolved very slowly and the study believes that octopuses are a much older species than scientists originally thought.

Scientists are not sure why octopuses use RNA editing so often. One theory is that it’s a faster, easier way to adapt to their environment instead of waiting for a random mutation to occur. Another factor could be their short life spans – most cephalopods only live for a few years and only breed once.

Clifton Ragsdale, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago, said, “This may explain why they’re such good problem solvers. No one’s around to show them how to figure out the world! How to make their dens. How to camouflage themselves and attack prey. They’re on their own, and fortunately for them they have big brains and can sort matters out.”

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