If you make us immortal, Science, I will take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about you… Well almost all… The thing is, it might be closer than we think. There are a lot of different ways to keep a human body and mind going long after its expiration date, and experiments are ongoing. A new study has revealed an undiscovered reprogramming mechanism that allows plants to maintain fitness down the generations and thus remain ‘IMMORTAL’.
The new study reveals for the first time the existence of DNA methylation changes in the germline of flowering plants and the process behind.
Germ cells are often referred to as “immortal” because they can pass their genetic material through the generations. This new study aimed to solve a long-term debate on whether the germ cells in plants undergo an event of DNA methylation reprogramming at each reproductive cycle.
DNA methylation is a modification of DNA, which changes the activity of DNA without changing the genetic sequence. It is known to exist in animals and occurs most dramatically in germ cells, regulating the reproductive success from generation to generation.
Understanding how this naturally occurs during plant development is the first step in understanding how specific genes can be targeted by this epigenetic modification and hence regulated.
But the question is, do we want to become immortal?