This is a super comfortable outfit, which I have been wearing various iterations of (minus the wig) for basically the entire past week. I am so excited to finally be finished with exams in 4 days now, and getting back into some blogging! I really, really dislike exam time (who would like exams though, right?) because it involves a whole lot of not sleeping and stress-eating, and of course, not having any time to blog!
Here's another cool thing from my exam-cramming (and more proof that studying science can be really interesting, whining about exams aside).
Zebroids are the types of animals you get when a horse breeds with a zebra (yep, that can happen!) However, because of what is known as "epigenetics", depending on if the mum or the dad was the horse or the zebra, the resulting offspring can vary greatly.
I've talked about hybrid animals before (here), but never understood why the resulting offspring was different, depending on who the parent was.
For example, a cross between a female lion and a male tiger results in a tigon. But a cross between a male lion and a female tiger results in a liger.
Tigons and ligers, although both having one tiger parent and one lion parent, vary greatly in their characteristics. Ligers are really really big, whereas tigons are just the same size as their parents.
Below is a baby liger. Let me emphasise that. A baby liger.
Why does which one was the mother, and which one was the father, cause such massive differences in the offspring?
Epigenetic imprinting is the cause of this. Certain genes can be switched on or off by a process called "methylation". Maternal (mum) genes and paternal (dad) genes are methylated in different places from each other.
So you get one set of genes from your mother, and one from your father. When they combine, there is almost like a competition for whose genes will be silenced, and whose genes will be expressed. Because of imprinting, depending on who the parent is, the genes that are ultimately expressed vary - leading to both ligers and tigons - even though the DNA sequence does not change (ligers and tigons are extremely genetically related, even though they look very different from one another).
Now I've got to get back to studying ;) You may not hear from me for a few days - I've got an exam tomorrow worth a ridiculous 75% of the course, and then another on Thursday! Anyway, wish me luck!
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