The DNA compliment at the time of fertilization is retained throughout the lifetime of the individual. The other heritable components are the contents of the egg which includes mitochondria and structured proteins, and other molecules which orchestrate the actions of the cellular contents. It is striking that the expression of these heritable components evolve over the course of the development of the organism in amazing fashion even to the point of interpreting realitythe reality of a pre-pubescent child is remarkably different from the recent post- and to the distant post-. The same vision field results in different interpretations and responses depending on the biologic poise of the individual.
The caterpillar is even more striking in that the DNA compliment and heritable components develop through a series of molts as the organism acquires biomass. At some point in the day-night cycle an astounding process is triggered. The organism goes into a protective cocoon and the biomass is dedifferentiated into an egg-type function which is then redifferentiated into a moth or butterfly. This is not a template or molt type process in that the moth or butterfly may have none of the biomass processing components which were present in the caterpillar. The light triggered dedifferentiation occurs in the population at a given location so the concerted breeding cycle may be completed.
The dedifferentiation must proceed to some limit primal cell components that must be retained to drive the redifferentiation. This entire metamorphosis process could be visualized with magnetic image resonance spectroscopy and possibly CAT scans. In addition these processes occur in a closed system within a fixed temperature range so the thermodynamics of the metamorphosis process should be within technical reach. With the physical observations it may be possible to study the biochemistry and processes which bring about this change.
Because the Japanese researchers have acquired so much data on the silk worm it is a very likely candidate to initiate such as study.
The thermodynamics of baby chick formation should also be accessible.
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