RNA methylation:
My good humored father had an impish way of speaking sometimes.  When someone earnestly tried to explain existentialism – without pointing out that it was a reaction to nihilism – and left me utterly baffled, Daddy said, “It’s existentialism when you think it’s just about to make sense and suddenly it doesn’t.”

By that definition, this project is existential … again. 

I had just about got to the point where I could say:
1) There is a definite association between consanguinity and fertility.
2) This appears to be, at least in some animals, both pre-zygotic and post-zygotic.
3) The effect is manifest far too fast for it to be due to DNA mutations, so it must be epigenetic.
4) The most likely cause is methylation of DNA. 
5) Since this applies to all members of any population, it must apply to any population as a whole.

Clear and simple.  It’s just a matter of proving it.

So hear comes an issue diving out of the sun.  RNA is methylated, too, and this has an effect on function.  (Dan Dominisi et al. Topology of the Human and Mouse m6A RNA Methylomes Revealed by m6A-seq NATURE vol. 485 no. 7397 May 10, 2012 page 201)  Lo the field of RNA epigenetics is born.

All right.  So I don’t know whether it is RNA or DNA or methylation at all, although I’ll stick with a “highly probable” on that one.

The abstract remarks lugubriously that this whole field is “largely uncharted territory.”  Tell me about it.  Some day we shall know more.

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