Vitamin A causes mutations (or not)
March 21, 2014 | James Kohl
Exposure to vitamin A in the womb influences immune system development and lifelong ability to fight infections, a mouse study shows.
By Ashley P. Taylor | March 19, 2014
Excerpt: “The present study is the first to suggest that this development can be altered by maternal behavior.”
My comment: There’s a model for that! It links nutrient stress and social stress to mammalian immune system function and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man.
Excerpt: “Embryos with retinoic acid receptor mutations had a smaller percentage of inducer cells than controls.”
My comment: That suggests the mutations do not contribute to adaptive evolution. Does anyone who is not a population geneticist think that mutation-driven evolution is biologically plausible?
Like all other experimental evidence, I think the results from this study show that ecological variation enables ecological adaptations. For contrast, only evidence from population genetics suggests that mutation-initiated natural selection is possible — and that evidence is not experimental evidence. Therefore, the idea that vitamin A causes mutations may seem like pseudoscientific nonsense to some molecular biologists, but not to those who believe in mutation-driven evolution.