Jean-Baptiste Lamarck is the father of Epigenetics
“Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on the subject excited much attention. “This justly celebrated naturalist first published his views in 1801. . . he first did the eminent service of arousing attention to the probability of all changes in the organic, as well as in the inorganic world, being the result of law, and not of miraculous interpretation”.
By: Charles Darwin (1861)
Currently, Most of the biologist around the world are working on epigenetics and epigenetic changes with their curiosity and scientific aspects. In short, we can say this area of scientific interest is very hot and dynamic for molecular and Cancer biologist. But it’s amazed when i go much deeper into this prominent area of biological research. This concept is nothing but much artistic and scientific spangle of Lamark theory of Acquired Genetic Inheritance. Epigenetics is gaining much more attention because of ongoing technological development and need of the social health. We are searching a hope with the help of epigenetics but it is just a baseline for entire inheritable or phenotypic attribute. No doubt, there is a potential possibility for all scientific resolution which we are expecting from epigenetic research. But we should not forget to align lamark into this because once we put the lamark theory with epigenetics all major hurdle associated with epigentics will be short out. However, this theory of Acquired Genetic Inheritance is wide level explanation of epigentics itself.
Lamarck theory was ignored because of following reasons:
- Use and Disuse
- Transmission of acquired characteristics
- Increasing complexity
- No extinction
But in reality, what Lamarck actually believed was more tangled: organisms are not actively altered by their environment, as his colleague Geoffroy Saint Hilaire believed. Instead, a change in the environment causes changes in the needs of organisms living in that environment, which in turn causes changes in their behaviour. Altered behaviour causes greater or lesser use of a given structure or organ; use would cause the structure to increase in size over several generations, whereas disuse leads to shrink or even disappear. This rule that use or disuse causes structures to enlarge or shrink — Lamarck called the “First Law” in his book Philosophie zoologique. Lamarck’s “Second Law” stated that all such changes were heritable. The result of these laws was the continuous and gradual change of all organisms, as they became adapted to their environments.
Now you we should try to correlate lamark’s first and Second law with epigenetical modification at molecular level. According to the definition of Epigentics “stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence is termed as epigenetical modification” it was firstly coined at a Cold Spring Harbor meeting in 2008.
Nowadays, epigenetic researchers are failing to explain trans-generational epigenetic inheritance which includes:
- Homogenized parental traits vs. particulate inheritance
- Inheritance of innate vs. acquired characteristics
- origin of epigenetics and modification into molecular synthesis
According to Dr, Snait Gissis and Dr. Eva Jablonka; Lamarckism has potential to transform modern biology. As epigenetics is widely accepted research area for scientific community but with help of Lamarckism it can transform into cutting-edge research.
Can you imagine, Lamarck published Philosophie zoologique, the first comprehensive and systematic theory of biological evolution in 1809 the year of Charles Darwin’s birth without knowing the potential of his work after 200 years? Scientific community at that time was completely unknown even about the term “Gene” and that time he explained the notable snap of evolution without knowing Gene, allele, DNA and chromosomes but his scientific notch of evolution is adorable.
This theory has a broad level explanation about all the major aspect of epigenetic and cellular dynamism and metabolism. At the glance of epigenetical research we will be familiar with the Lamarck hypothesis again. This theory is nothing but a well comprehensive scientific explanation for ongoing epigentic experimentation.