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Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are famous for engaging in complex behavior, from unlocking an aquarium tank and escaping to instantaneous skin camouflage to hide from predators. A new study suggests their evolutionary path to neural sophistication includes a novel mechanism: Prolific RNA editing at the expense of evolution in their genomic DNA.

In contrast, RNA editing in the more primitive cephalopod Nautilus and in the mollusk Aplysia occurs at orders of magnitude lower levels than in the coleoids, they found.

The scientists discovered a striking trade-off between high levels of RNA recoding and genomic evolution in these cephalopods. The most common form of RNA editing is carried out by ADAR enzymes, which require large structures (dsRNA) flanking the editing sites. These structures, which can span hundreds of nucleotides, are conserved in the coleoid genome along with the editing sites themselves. The genetic mutation rate in these flanking regions is severely depressed, the team reported. “The conclusion here is that in order to maintain this flexibility to edit RNA, the coleoids have had to give up the ability to evolve in the surrounding regions – a lot,” Rosenthal says. “Mutation is usually thought of as the currency of natural selection, and these animals are suppressing that to maintain recoding flexibility at the RNA level.” (1)

Invasive species, "invasive" species, categories...

Evolution is one more example of the antiphasis embedded in the cosmos we experience with our senses. It calls for constant change and yet, the mechanism of the change itself must be stable in order to achieve that. More than ever, we have evidence of contradictions which point to only one possible solution: that the contradictions are falsely projected by a false image we have of the cosmos as a whole.

The beginning of life. The beginning?

Seek stability, if you want change.

Seek change, if you seek stability…

The world is One, and thus changing continuously.

The world changes continuously and that is the best evidence that it is not…