'Octopuses are aliens' say scientists


Scientists studing the DNA of octopuses have concluded that they are so different from any other animal, they are basically aliens.

Researchers studying the California two-spot octopus, Octopus bimaculoides discovered striking differences from other invertebrates, including widespread genomic rearrangements and a dramatic expansion of a family of genes involved in neuronal development that was once thought to be unique to vertebrates. Hundreds of octopus-specific genes were identified, with many highly expressed in structures such as the brain, skin and suckers.

Dr Clifton Ragsdale, from the University of Chicago, and co-senior author of the paper published in Nature, said: "The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving abilities.

"The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien."

Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.

Don't forget that PFK is available in digital format for the iPad/iPhone and there's also an Android version on the Google Play news stand.

 

The researchers discovered striking differences from other invertebrates, including widespread genomic rearrangements and a dramatic expansion of a family of genes involved in neuronal development that was once thought to be unique to vertebrates. Hundreds of octopus-specific genes were identified, with many highly expressed in structures such as the brain, skin and suckers. - See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/08/13/landmark-sequencing-octopus-genome-shows-basis-intelligence-camouflage?utm_source=newsmodule#sthash.V60cW9nK.dpuf