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The DNA Mystery: Scientists Stumped By "Telepathic" Abilities

Dna

DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn't be able to. Explanation: None, at least not yet.

Scientists are reporting evidence that contrary to our current beliefs about what is possible, intact double-stranded DNA has the “amazing” ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. Somehow they are able to identify one another, and the tiny bits of genetic material tend to congregate with similar DNA. The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.

Even so, research published in ACS’ Journal of Physical Chemistry B, shows very clearly that homology recognition between sequences of several hundred nucleotides occurs without physical contact or presence of proteins. Double helixes of DNA can recognize matching molecules from a distance and then gather together, all seemingly without help from any other molecules or chemical signals.

In the study, scientists observed the behavior of fluorescently tagged DNA strands placed in water that contained no proteins or other material that could interfere with the experiment. Strands with identical nucleotide sequences were about twice as likely to gather together as DNA strands with different sequences. No one knows how individual DNA strands could possibly be communicating in this way, yet somehow they do. The “telepathic” effect is a source of wonder and amazement for scientists.

“Amazingly, the forces responsible for the sequence recognition can reach across more than one nanometer of water separating the surfaces of the nearest neighbor DNA,” said the authors Geoff S. Baldwin, Sergey Leikin, John M. Seddon, and Alexei A. Kornyshev and colleagues.

This recognition effect may help increase the accuracy and efficiency of the homologous recombination of genes, which is a process responsible for DNA repair, evolution, and genetic diversity. The new findings may also shed light on ways to avoid recombination errors, which are factors in cancer, aging, and other health issues.

Posted by Rebecca Sato.

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Source: ACS’ Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Comments

"Amazingly, the forces responsible for the sequence recognition can reach across more than one nanometer of water"

Amazing? 1 nanometer is 10 angstroms ... that's ten whole atomic diameters away. Pretty weak 'telepathy'. One wonders: how pure, how free of gas and electric current is this 'water'?

And then just how do these "strands" (which are many, many nanometers long!) journey into one another's arms? Little goat feet? True love? And what percentage of them find one another?

Pure cockamamy balderdash and tommyrot!

As mentioned by another commenter, I think it definitely has to do with quantum mechanics and especially ‘Entanglement’, the two strands of DNA being made from the same type of molecule.

If you have two identical particles and you send one particle to the other side of the universe, it will do and react in exactly the same way as the one you have kept. If you spin the one you have kept, then the other will spin in exactly the same way at exactly time- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh8uZUzuRhk

I wonder if the author of this article actually READ the paper she describes. There are absolutely no instances where "telepathy" occur anywhere in the paper. They clearly hypothesize possible underlying mechanisms for which this process can occur! Furthermore,
"[R]egardless of the underlying mechanism, the
segregation of identical DNAs in highly hydrated cholesteric
spherulites provides evidence for homology recognition between
intact double helices through physical forces as an intrinsic
property of DNA."

Notice how it is written, "through physical forces". No telepathy, not even an intimation of it. This is load of hogwash and you should be publicly humiliated for writing such stupid bullshit.

It should come as NO SURPRISE AT ALL to readers of this article that the author never gives proper citation nor any links to the paper she's writing about. She's got a stupid agenda to make stupid people even stupider.

Maybe when the scientists figure it out: I can go free-have a life, I can exist without government interference--It's only been 35 years.
The government can broadcast my thoughts around the world for 35 years and pretend that I do not exist............f@@K that


If you decide want to do something: below is place were you can complain-you can aslo try your government official, DOJ, FBI so far I they have been no help


Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: 41 22 917 9006
e-mail: urgent-action@ohchr.org

Thanks for your help

Charles Carr, Jr
I am Just Telepathic
twitter Iamtelepathic
facebook Iamtelepathic
myspace Iamtelepathic

Ouch!
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/how_badly_can_a_paper_summary.php

hmm, did the author of this review even read the paper? this is the worst example of science journalism i have ever seen.

you should be fired immediately.

Did the journalist / author of this piece even read the study? The study is available and it says quite the contrary to the claims of this summary.

People, don't just buy the word of any lay-press, read the actual studies that the articles are based upon. Go to the web-site Pharyngula or, if you are not opposed to thinking and chewing on challenging stuff, study molecular biology or physical chemistry. There are even books on the Physical Structure of DNA with findings updated over the last 4 years.

Telepathy isn't even mentioned in the original article.

Rebecca,

Did you actually read this paper? I did and I cannot fathom where you get the idea that "scientists are mystified". Nowhere does it say that, but maybe you didn't understand the paper.

Please see http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/how_badly_can_a_paper_summary.php

for Phil's takedown of your poorly written "summary" of the science. Next time, try reading the paper you're summarizing, eh?

This kind of piss-poor science writing is why I rarely read Daily Galaxy anymore. Luke is bad enough, but I thought you were better. Seems not.

Signed, a better science writer than you.

No need to invoke any sort of telepathy for this experiment.

From Pharyngula, http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/how_badly_can_a_paper_summary.php , a post titled "how badly can a paper summary be botched:"

Read the actual paper ( http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp7112297 ), first. It turns out that not only are the scientists not mystified, but they provide a reasonable explanation for the phenomenon, and go on to give some alternatives, even. None of them involve molecular telepathy. They actually are amazed at the ability of these molecules to align…at distances of one whole nanometer! (1 billionth of a meter!)

Pay especially careful to the first sentence of the following paragraph. If you are a journalist writing a summary of a paper, claiming that it says no one knows how the two molecules recognize each other, you should probably read more closely a paragraph that begins, "We hypothesize that the origin of this recognition may be as follows." It's a clue that an explanation will follow.

"We hypothesize that the origin of this recognition may be as follows. In-register alignment of phosphate strands with grooves on opposing DNA minimizes unfavorable electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged phosphates and maximizes favorable interactions of phosphates with bound counterions. DNAs with identical sequences will have the same structure and will stay in register over any juxtaposition length. Nonhomologous DNAs will have uncorrelated sequence-dependent variations in the local pitch that will disrupt the register over large juxtaposition length. The register may be restored at the expense of torsional deformation, but the deformation cost will still make juxtaposition of nonhomologous DNAs unfavorable. The sequence recognition energy, calculated from the corresponding theory is consistent with the observed segregation within the existing uncertainties in the theoretical and experimental parameters. This energy is ˜1 kT under the conditions utilized for the present study, but it is predicted to be significantly amplified, for example, at closer separations, at lower ionic strength, and in the presence of DNA condensing counterions."

So, their preferred explanation is that there are electrostatic interactions between the molecules that favor pairs that fit together well. Not telepathy. As cautious investigators, they also suggest some alternative explanations; perhaps telepathy will appear here? Or maybe elves?

"Presently, we cannot exclude other mechanisms for the observed segregation. For instance, sequence-dependent bending of double helices may also lead to homology recognition by affecting the strand-groove register of two DNA molecules in juxtaposition. The juxtaposition of bent, nonhomologous DNAs may also be less energetically favorable under osmotic stress, since it may reduce the packing density of spherulites. In addition, formation of local single-stranded bubbles and base flipping may cause transient cross-hybridization between the molecules, as proposed to explain Mg2+ induced self-assembly of DNA fragments with the same sequence and length. We consider it to be rather unlikely in this instance, since the probability of bubble formation in unstressed linear DNA of the studied length is very small in contrast to the case where topological strain is relieved by bubble formation in small circular DNA molecules. Furthermore, bubble formation would distort the cholesteric order of spherulites and we see no evidence of this in spherulites composed of a single type of DNA molecule."

I'm so disappointed. Telepathy isn't mentioned once in the whole danged paper, and there aren't even tiny diaphanous fairies tugging at the molecules.

Did you idiots even read the actual paper? Sheesh!

Did anyone at this "news outlet" actually bother to read this paper? Did any of those people have a rudimentary understanding of chemistry? There was NOTHING "theoretically impossible" about the behavior of DNA in solution, nor where the investigators the least bit at a loss for plausible mechanisms- it's a big polar molecule, electrostatic forces are a guess every undergrad chem student should come to pretty quickly. And-gasp!- that just so happens to be whats occurring, says the paper. Really, it has a conclusion. Go read it.

And "telepathy?" Are you mad? Do you realize what using that kind of loaded language does to a population that is alarmingly eager to latch on to nonsense explanations for the world around them?

This is some awful journalism. I don't think the author even read the study. You'd think science journalists would be required to have some knowledge of what they're writing about.

In the paper, they actually list several plausible mechanisms that explain precisely how this works. Considering the "distance" they're referring to is one nanometer, you're not exactly talking about psychic phenomena. Also... to people claiming that this has something to do with quantum mechanics, you need to start reading about quantum theory from respected scientists, not new age cranks or tv specials.

This is simple physical chemistry, there is no "telepathy" involved. This is an indescribably bad review.

Rebecca Sato is both very stupid in the way she misinterprets these findings, and grossly dishonest in the way that she misreports the views of scientists. For accurate information, see http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/how_badly_can_a_paper_summary.php

"The universe is said to emit a certain type of music."

Not by anyone intelligent.

Did the Rebecca even read the actual paper? As PZ Meyers, who did read it, said, "So, their preferred explanation is that there are electrostatic interactions between the molecules that favor pairs that fit together well. Not telepathy. As cautious investigators, they also suggest some alternative explanations; perhaps telepathy will appear here? Or maybe elves?"
Get a grip 'Becca.

Um... I'm guessing that Ms Sato didn't actually read the article. They aren't baffled, in fact possible explanations were offered, and telepathy was never mentioned.

Pretty shoddy journalism :(

Jesus H. F***g Christ on a bicycle. Did Rebecca not even read the original paper? This is one of the most idiotic posts I've read in a long time, showing a complete lack of understanding of science in general, and physical chemistry specifically.

Unfortunately, the summary misinterprets the paper.

PZ Myers's Pharyngula has made a point of mentioning this and linking to this-here page; see .">http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/how_badly_can_a_paper_summary.php>.

wow. did the person who wrote the article even bother to read the original piece?
seriously, if anyone is reading daily for anything else than comedy value - STOP.

Umm, have you actualy, you know, read the paper? No mention of telepathy there, and no bafflement either.

Gah. How do you go about confusing normal electrostatic interaction with telepathy?

Here is the concerned paper: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jp7112297?cookieSet=1

I direct your attention to the following paragraph.

"We hypothesize that the origin of this recognition may be as follows.15 In-register alignment of phosphate strands with grooves on opposing DNA minimizes unfavorable electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged phosphates and maximizes favorable interactions of phosphates with bound counterions. DNAs with identical sequences will have the same structure and will stay in register over any juxtaposition length. Nonhomologous DNAs will have uncorrelated sequence-dependent variations in the local pitch that will disrupt the register over large juxtaposition length. The register may be restored at the expense of torsional deformation, but the deformation cost will still make juxtaposition of nonhomologous DNAs unfavorable.14 The sequence recognition energy, calculated from the corresponding theory is consistent with the observed segregation within the existing uncertainties in the theoretical and experimental parameters (Supplemental Theory). This energy is 1 kT under the conditions utilized for the present study, but it is predicted to be significantly amplified, for example, at closer separations, at lower ionic strength, and in the presence of DNA condensing counterions.10,15"

I would like to consult to simon salonsy regarding his views.I am presently a M.sc biochemistry student (calcutta university).
I think there are many such incidents which occurs generally in nature and which remain unknown to us. our science basically try to find the reason behind any surprising observations like yours.
There is a greater science behind our intellect. This is what I beleive.
I would like to have the id of Mr.simon as per his permission to consult him.

I would like to consult to simon salonsy regarding his views.I am presently a M.sc biochemistry student (calcutta university).
I think there are many such incidents which occurs generally in nature and which remain unknown to us. our science basically try to find the reason behind any surprising observations like yours.
There is a greater science behind our intellect. This is what I beleive.
I would like to have the id of Mr.simon as per his permission to consult him.

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