Genetic Code Mashups to Create New Species
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March 26, 2009

Genetic Code Mashups to Create New Species

Juggling_3 Scientists have found that DNA can be randomly rearranged because of odd repeating structures that have been noticed in the genetic code of higher animals.  Unfortunately this is one of those things that's good for the species as a whole (because of diversification) but extremely bad for the individuals (because of cancer, cancer and more cancer).

Researchers smashed up the DNA of yeast cells using high energy X-Rays.  How a team dedicated to creating mutant super-bread obtains funding is not made clear, but observation of the irradiated cells yielded interesting results: as the nuked microorganisms quite literally tried to pull themselves together, they didn't put things back the way they were.

Researchers smashed up the DNA of yeast cells using high energy X-Rays.  How a team dedicated to creating mutant super-bread obtains funding is not made clear, but observation of the irradiated cells yielded interesting results: as the nuked microorganisms quite literally tried to pull themselves together, they didn't put things back the way they were.

The repeated sections of DNA can cause broken pieces to be mixed and matched between entirely new chromosomes.  This method of mutation is quite extreme, but such aberrations can happen without nuclear blasting (it just takes longer) and form part of the all-important biological diversification process.  You know, the reason we aren't all just a layer of single-celled sludge.

Unfortunately the odds are seriously against beneficial changes which can lead to new species - more often they lead to tumorous dead things.  Imagine playing the lotto but every losing ticket is a live grenade.  The species as a whole still moves ahead simply because millions of years is an incredibly long time, and as long as creatures keep multiplying (which is kind of their job) the losses due to automatic genetic experimentation are worth it.

We should know - human DNA features many of these repeated genetic sequences.

Posted by Luke McKinney.

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Genetic 'Fingerprints' of Evolution
"Voyage of the Beagle 2" -The Search for Microbial DNA
“Playing God” -Scientists in Final Stage of Creating Man-made Life
Darwin's Lab: Scientists on Brink of Creating Life
The "Blue Brain" & Human Consciousness -Scientists Create Artificial Brain

X-Ray DNA

Comments

"Every losing ticket is a live grenade." I love the imagery. Dead right, but!

Any research being done into genetic mashups to create cells that can create energy, as in AC - DC

I'm still waiting for stem - cell research to be given the green light in the U.S.

The repeated sections of DNA can cause broken pieces to be mixed and matched between entirely new chromosomes. This method of mutation is quite extreme, but such aberrations can happen without nuclear blasting (it just takes longer) and form part of the all-important biological diversification process. You know, the reason we aren't all just a layer of single-celled sludge.

Unfortunately the odds are seriously against beneficial changes which can lead to new species - more often they lead to tumorous dead things. Imagine playing the lotto but every losing ticket is a live grenade. The species as a whole still moves ahead simply because millions of years is an incredibly long time, and as long as creatures keep multiplying (which is kind of their job) the losses due to automatic genetic experimentation are worth it.


Luke that paragraph or two is the best summary of evolution possible. Wonderful stuff.


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