Advertisement
RayBiotech
RayBiotech

Finding Phenotypes

Genes shared across species that produce different phenotypes – deafness in humans and directional growth in plants – may reveal new models of disease.

By | April 1, 2012

image: Finding Phenotypes CANCER OR MORE BOYS: A mutated form of the human gene for breast cancer is also responsible for producing more male progeny in C. elegans worms, pictured here.Photo Researchers, Inc., Sinclair Stammers

CANCER OR MORE BOYS: A mutated form of the human gene for breast cancer is also responsible for producing more male progeny in C. elegans worms, pictured here.PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC., SINCLAIR STAMMERS

EDITOR'S CHOICE IN GENETICS

The paper

K.L. McGary et al., “Systematic discovery of nonobvious human disease models through orthologous phenotypes,” PNAS, 107:6544-49, 2010.

The finding

Edward Marcotte, of the University of Texas at Austin, was always interested in how the same groups of conserved genes could be linked to such different traits in different organisms. For example, mutated forms of the BRCA1 gene, which are associated with breast cancer in humans, are also responsible for a higher frequency of male progeny in C. elegans. Searching for common gene networks or systems across very different species, Marcotte and his colleagues uncovered surprising relationships—coined phenologs—that could help locate new disease-related genes or be used to screen therapeutic compounds.

The common genes

Using a database of gene-phenotype relationships, as well as raw literature searches, the group found 3,755 phenologs between human and mouse gene mutations, 154 between human and yeast, and 9 between human and worm, many of which were previously discovered disease models, helping validate the approach.

The deaf plant

The search uncovered several new and unusual models. In humans, a gene mutation that causes deafness was also involved in detecting gravity and directional growth in plants. Though they give rise to different phenotypes, the genes are likely part of an “ancient machine,” said Marcotte. Studying the interacting genes and proteins in the plant could reveal novel genes associated with the human disease.

The implications

Published 2 years ago, Marcotte’s study is proving to be truly “reflective of a trend in genomic analysis in recent years” says Elissa Chesler of the Jackson Laboratory in an e-mail.

 

 

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

April 4, 2012

I cannot help but speculate that far more gene transfers have occurred between species of flora and fauna than anyone has been able to trace.  Not only to the same genes produce different results in other species, as the article indicates, but sometimes similar traits as well.

Sometimes there is a tendency to take a beautiful theoretical model and attempt to fit everything to it.  I most emphatically do support the contention that studies of progressive changes among specimens all the way back to where no further evidence of any living thing can be traced.  Also, I am an avid believer in dating techniques and especially cross-support between differing dating techniques.  I have at least one credibility problem, however, with explaining things away.  The details of why are so abundant that I won't even try to give examples here.  There are those who -- if not among serious, self-examining, truly objective researchers in the bio-sciences and archeologists and bio-chemists and such -- then certainly among many teachers of science, and many pop-science writers, and many who perceive themselves to be science literate - who believe they need look no farther than the latest updated and upgraded Darwinian model to "explain away" why some species have certain particular traits in common, or have certain particular gene groups in common albeit expressing in different ways.  They simply come from a common ancestor.

Why would i disagree with that?  I wouldn't.  I have no empirical basis on which to contest it.  It could be precisely so.  But I do reserve a certain amount of skepticism as to whether it is science (which to me entails being at least more objective than to mistake a good fit with a good generalized theory for "knowlege." 

Elsewhere I have tried to make a more exhaustive argumentation for the fact that much in science is circumstantial evidence, and that (as was so brilliantly argued from many sides during the Science Wars of the nineties) much that we take on belief in science, and about science, is "convenient" interpretation of that circumstantial evidence and not "knowledge certain;" but it is "the best and most usable sense we can make of the data we have up to now."

It can be argued that it is certainly a very convenient and usable theory, for example, that all life on Earth began with one species or at most a handful, and that everyting today descended from that one, or those few.  Fine.  I have no problem accepting that as a WORKING HYPOTHESIS.  But I have a problem with its being
taught as scientifically ascertained  Such a teaching is nothing short of dogma.
And one of my pet personal beliefs is that dogma is not science and science is not dogma... and that it is abundantly fair and reasonable and practical to go on the assumption, or even on the presumption, that it is okay to believe things we cannot prove for a certainty.  We only get unscientific, in my humble opinion, when we lose sight of how we, in this human experience, go about our lives and our learning and our study of anything we wish, and accept certain things AS IF certain until such time as we can rule them in as certain or rule them certainly out.

But, back to the common characteristics or common gene-groupings thing:  Such weird historical cross-species characteristics as marsupialism and saber-toothism have been found to co-exist in multiple species in one isolated area, or during one historical span, and to have disappeared among most or all of many very similar members of the same species in other areas, or at other times.

If I try to envision this, on the basis of the "common ancestor" assumption, or presumption, or dogma, or working hypothesis, it makes ordinary logic do flip flops.
I mean... How could members of several species have totally dispensed with marsupial pouches and related nurturing behaviors and instincts that a mother MUST have -- specific to raising an offspring to maturity in accordance with the one or the other of two highly incompatible modes of getting it done -- while those same multiple species in another, isolated, part of the world did not... and YET not have changed so drastically in many other characteristics. 

That's a long sentence, but necessarily so. 

Yes, I've read Stephen J. Gould.  I've read Dawkins.  But they don't provide answers certain.  Their writings weave elaborate -- and intellectually stimulating and brilliant, let me add -- permutations of circumstantial evidence, by which the OBJECTIVE  reader or thinker is provided a good story of how things might have gone down (up?... whatever) since the Cambrian explosion or whatever... but a good story is not certainty.  The first time I read one of Dawkins' books, I was struck by how often he went through a series of saying a particular explanation may have happened a certain way, followed by it could have happened that way, followed by it probably happened that way and then, a few sentences later... it DID happen that way... and then on to , since that is the way it HAD TO HAVE happened, anybody who would say otherwise is unscientific.

Mighta', coulda', probly-a, did-a is not a set of logic steps that are objective.  And, oh yes, I have indeed read and thought on the fundamentals of logic theory and rigorous thinking and informal logic, and logical fallacies, and ego defense mechanisms, and how to structure a compelling debate, and propaganda techniques... and much much more, until my eyeballs are read and my head aches, and I find NOTHING to refute the point I wish to SUGGEST  you, too, take into mind, as you ponder things no human (which includes no scientist) actually knows for a certainty.

Now if he had ended up saying, "This is the best story anybody can come up with to fit the data we have so far, and this story is convenient in arriving at certain ways of categorizing species and trying to make sense of things we don't have ALL the information we need to come up with something better... I would admire his thinking enthusiastically and abundantly.  But he took what is, in my estimation, a wonderful argumentation too far, and posed it as "what science tells us," and therefore what makes any oth alternative explanation absurd.

Notice that I am NOT arguing creationism here.  I'm arguing in favor of scientific objectivity, which stops short of going off into dogmatism, and turning right around and asserting that one knows the dogma is CERTAIN, and is scientifically exhaustive in its exclusion (its ruling out) of any other alternative.

Have I strayed from the subject here?  Not really.  One cannot speak about objectivity in science, relative to ANY branch of science, and avoid issues of what scientists actually know, and how they know it, and how much science is unable to escape the need for working hypotheses to be recognized as working hypotheses and no more. 

And that is where I must leave this matter of such gene structurings, and such traits in common across multiple species, and the weirdest of all reality that in isolated areas in evolutionary history some traits have arisen or declined across species.

In looking at THE EVIDENCE, in seeking more EVIDENCE, we are wise to be guided to a large extent by our wonderful human ability to perceive patterns... and to link those patterns together into one or more stories...

That being said, gene jumps across species -- if then cannot be ruled in for numerous archeological patterns -- are not rulable out, yet, either.

If we assume it COULD have occurred, maybe our next step might be to look around for vectors which could have, or still could be, carrying a gene from one species and inserting it into another somehow.

Viruses perhaps?

Bacteria?

Who knows what amazing secrets remain to be uncovered,as mankind's OBJECTIVE scientists, go on to discover still more pieces of the puzzle, and our brightests and best scientific synthesists are forced by additional hard evidence to alter the "stories" we rely on today, or even to arrive at stories we have not yet even dreamed of.

Meanwhile, what's so wrong with knocking back our egos that urge us to pretent to know more than we really do, when we could say, "Well, actually, there are some things we just don't freaking know... but we're wurkin' on it.

If we are not being objective enough to say, "I don't KNOW, but I'll tell you where I am in my thinking at present on it," then we are blinding ourselves and blocking our ability to move forward in an open-ended, thence scientific, way.

(: > )

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 4, 2012

I cannot help but speculate that far more gene transfers have occurred between species of flora and fauna than anyone has been able to trace.  Not only to the same genes produce different results in other species, as the article indicates, but sometimes similar traits as well.

Sometimes there is a tendency to take a beautiful theoretical model and attempt to fit everything to it.  I most emphatically do support the contention that studies of progressive changes among specimens all the way back to where no further evidence of any living thing can be traced.  Also, I am an avid believer in dating techniques and especially cross-support between differing dating techniques.  I have at least one credibility problem, however, with explaining things away.  The details of why are so abundant that I won't even try to give examples here.  There are those who -- if not among serious, self-examining, truly objective researchers in the bio-sciences and archeologists and bio-chemists and such -- then certainly among many teachers of science, and many pop-science writers, and many who perceive themselves to be science literate - who believe they need look no farther than the latest updated and upgraded Darwinian model to "explain away" why some species have certain particular traits in common, or have certain particular gene groups in common albeit expressing in different ways.  They simply come from a common ancestor.

Why would i disagree with that?  I wouldn't.  I have no empirical basis on which to contest it.  It could be precisely so.  But I do reserve a certain amount of skepticism as to whether it is science (which to me entails being at least more objective than to mistake a good fit with a good generalized theory for "knowlege." 

Elsewhere I have tried to make a more exhaustive argumentation for the fact that much in science is circumstantial evidence, and that (as was so brilliantly argued from many sides during the Science Wars of the nineties) much that we take on belief in science, and about science, is "convenient" interpretation of that circumstantial evidence and not "knowledge certain;" but it is "the best and most usable sense we can make of the data we have up to now."

It can be argued that it is certainly a very convenient and usable theory, for example, that all life on Earth began with one species or at most a handful, and that everyting today descended from that one, or those few.  Fine.  I have no problem accepting that as a WORKING HYPOTHESIS.  But I have a problem with its being
taught as scientifically ascertained  Such a teaching is nothing short of dogma.
And one of my pet personal beliefs is that dogma is not science and science is not dogma... and that it is abundantly fair and reasonable and practical to go on the assumption, or even on the presumption, that it is okay to believe things we cannot prove for a certainty.  We only get unscientific, in my humble opinion, when we lose sight of how we, in this human experience, go about our lives and our learning and our study of anything we wish, and accept certain things AS IF certain until such time as we can rule them in as certain or rule them certainly out.

But, back to the common characteristics or common gene-groupings thing:  Such weird historical cross-species characteristics as marsupialism and saber-toothism have been found to co-exist in multiple species in one isolated area, or during one historical span, and to have disappeared among most or all of many very similar members of the same species in other areas, or at other times.

If I try to envision this, on the basis of the "common ancestor" assumption, or presumption, or dogma, or working hypothesis, it makes ordinary logic do flip flops.
I mean... How could members of several species have totally dispensed with marsupial pouches and related nurturing behaviors and instincts that a mother MUST have -- specific to raising an offspring to maturity in accordance with the one or the other of two highly incompatible modes of getting it done -- while those same multiple species in another, isolated, part of the world did not... and YET not have changed so drastically in many other characteristics. 

That's a long sentence, but necessarily so. 

Yes, I've read Stephen J. Gould.  I've read Dawkins.  But they don't provide answers certain.  Their writings weave elaborate -- and intellectually stimulating and brilliant, let me add -- permutations of circumstantial evidence, by which the OBJECTIVE  reader or thinker is provided a good story of how things might have gone down (up?... whatever) since the Cambrian explosion or whatever... but a good story is not certainty.  The first time I read one of Dawkins' books, I was struck by how often he went through a series of saying a particular explanation may have happened a certain way, followed by it could have happened that way, followed by it probably happened that way and then, a few sentences later... it DID happen that way... and then on to , since that is the way it HAD TO HAVE happened, anybody who would say otherwise is unscientific.

Mighta', coulda', probly-a, did-a is not a set of logic steps that are objective.  And, oh yes, I have indeed read and thought on the fundamentals of logic theory and rigorous thinking and informal logic, and logical fallacies, and ego defense mechanisms, and how to structure a compelling debate, and propaganda techniques... and much much more, until my eyeballs are read and my head aches, and I find NOTHING to refute the point I wish to SUGGEST  you, too, take into mind, as you ponder things no human (which includes no scientist) actually knows for a certainty.

Now if he had ended up saying, "This is the best story anybody can come up with to fit the data we have so far, and this story is convenient in arriving at certain ways of categorizing species and trying to make sense of things we don't have ALL the information we need to come up with something better... I would admire his thinking enthusiastically and abundantly.  But he took what is, in my estimation, a wonderful argumentation too far, and posed it as "what science tells us," and therefore what makes any oth alternative explanation absurd.

Notice that I am NOT arguing creationism here.  I'm arguing in favor of scientific objectivity, which stops short of going off into dogmatism, and turning right around and asserting that one knows the dogma is CERTAIN, and is scientifically exhaustive in its exclusion (its ruling out) of any other alternative.

Have I strayed from the subject here?  Not really.  One cannot speak about objectivity in science, relative to ANY branch of science, and avoid issues of what scientists actually know, and how they know it, and how much science is unable to escape the need for working hypotheses to be recognized as working hypotheses and no more. 

And that is where I must leave this matter of such gene structurings, and such traits in common across multiple species, and the weirdest of all reality that in isolated areas in evolutionary history some traits have arisen or declined across species.

In looking at THE EVIDENCE, in seeking more EVIDENCE, we are wise to be guided to a large extent by our wonderful human ability to perceive patterns... and to link those patterns together into one or more stories...

That being said, gene jumps across species -- if then cannot be ruled in for numerous archeological patterns -- are not rulable out, yet, either.

If we assume it COULD have occurred, maybe our next step might be to look around for vectors which could have, or still could be, carrying a gene from one species and inserting it into another somehow.

Viruses perhaps?

Bacteria?

Who knows what amazing secrets remain to be uncovered,as mankind's OBJECTIVE scientists, go on to discover still more pieces of the puzzle, and our brightests and best scientific synthesists are forced by additional hard evidence to alter the "stories" we rely on today, or even to arrive at stories we have not yet even dreamed of.

Meanwhile, what's so wrong with knocking back our egos that urge us to pretent to know more than we really do, when we could say, "Well, actually, there are some things we just don't freaking know... but we're wurkin' on it.

If we are not being objective enough to say, "I don't KNOW, but I'll tell you where I am in my thinking at present on it," then we are blinding ourselves and blocking our ability to move forward in an open-ended, thence scientific, way.

(: > )

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 5, 2012

Motto: "Indeed, an organism's complement of microbial
inhabitants can be considered as a forgotten organ"
(HMP)

Finding
PHENOTYPES or talking about and getting involved in Human and Earth Microbiome Research, looks like speaking about soul and spirit
research.

 

Just
be informed that somebody on the planet genetically demonstrates the Genesis
and developed a new vision of LIFE!

 

Firstly thank you for your kindness and
willingness to accept the dialogue with me, a person unknown internationally.
Allow me to make a brief presentation: I am an electronics engineer, specialist
in data transmissions by electromagnetic waves, and manager of Clepsydra. Since
1990, I have addressed issues about the quality of life and I have acquired
over time some knowledge in the field of molecular biology, necessary to
understand the phenomenon of life occurrence and life evolution.

My son, student in medicine, helps me in my
biological research.

Because
"the world is entering an era where injuries as common as a child's
scratched knee could kill, where patients entering hospital gamble with their
lives and where routine operations such as a hip replacement become too
dangerous to carry out" (the head of the World Health Organisation
Margaret Chan has warned) I have decided to sent this message to you only for
information.

"Pure
objectivity is letting things not yet proved nor disproved remain open. This
does not rule out faith. Faith is what we choose to believe until and unless it
becomes settled: ruled in or out, one way or the other. To close one's mind to
one possibility is not scientific. Each of us, in every day of our lives, must
act upon not falsified assumptions. We take our best guesses and act upon them,
because if we did not we would never have enough information certain to
function."

Only
the management of the total knowledge can stop the health incertitude and
relativity. According to unified field theory, electricity and magnetism could arise from a partially unified
string fields and only the bio-field-transducers can transfer the information existed
in living systems and produced by biological process.

Have you learned about Adam mtDNA theory?

We are scientifically
talking about the human soul and about the human being capacity to reduce the
health hazard controlling EM fields!

According
to our studies, exposed in four books, the man, attention please! - male and
female -, is the materialized according to the information which is contained
in Adam mtDNA, existed only in xifoid process, called one of the man's ribs
(Genesis 2.21), or sternum peak, called double edged sword peak, to where soul
and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together (Paul, Hebrews 4.12 -
the best description in the world).

The
only real problem for Systems Biology is to understand the soul feedback.

Based
on Adam mtDNA heritage, observed only at the puberty only in *natural born
boys* seminal liquid (not in vitro made), I have developed a new
bio-communication theory, Mitochondrial Adam DNA data transmission theory -
ISBN 978-606-92107-1-0:

Abstract:
Brain and soul storming - The necessary and sufficient processes to a
well function of the human body are meticulous arranged by specific
organizational cells, so called process biomanagers, using interconditioned
procedures, transmitted through three ways of communication: chemical or
“protein channelâ€쳌, electrical or “ion channelâ€쳌 and mitochondrial or “EMF
wireless channelâ€쳌. The third type is out of the visible and measurable spectrum
and raises a new challenge to the scientists. For this type of bio
communication we bring a new theoretical hypothesis, based on the managerial
multidisciplinary analysis of a cybernetic model proposed by us, by simulating
the human body function with the virtual computerized system based on the
management of its total knowledge and its perfect quality way of function. The
main bricks used for this virtual construction are: the brain, as main
bioprocessor, and Eve mtDNA and Adam mtDNA, as bio-antennas. This assembly of
the total knowledge, build with “brain reasoning, biological feeling, and
unlimited soul feelingâ€쳌, is called by us “main decision triangle, IQ-EQ-CQâ€쳌.
The main principle of the management of the total knowledge imposes us to not
neglect any information produced by man during the time, even if it seems
creasy at the beginning. Because in the natural fertilisation the spermatozoids
are naturally equipped with the paternal mtDNA (a veritable main bio-GPS), we
consider that the paternal mitochondria DNA have a very important role in the
evolution of the human being life quality and we have developed a new
hypothesis, “Adam mtDNA theoryâ€쳌, in addition to “Eve mtDNA theoryâ€쳌. Keywords:
brain, mitochondria, maternal, paternal

.................

According to Adam and Eve mtDNA bio-magnetic
field transducers the multitude of Eve mtDNA generate the microbiome and Adam
mtDNA, existed only in xiphoid process, generates the core of microbiome.

The
humanity effort on this project looks like starting the Doomsday!

 

Please take these descriptions as bio-physical
assumptions, until such time when they will be confirmed or not by biologists
in real life.

 

As Winston Churchill once said about courage, I
stood up and expressed my point of view and now I sit down and listen to the
opinions of others involved in this research.

I hope we can continue the dialogue on this
complex issue of life and its purpose.

Thank you for the patience that you have shown.

Sincerely yours.
 

Avatar of: alexandru

alexandru

Posts: 1457

April 5, 2012

Motto: "Indeed, an organism's complement of microbial
inhabitants can be considered as a forgotten organ"
(HMP)

Finding
PHENOTYPES or talking about and getting involved in Human and Earth Microbiome Research, looks like speaking about soul and spirit
research.

 

Just
be informed that somebody on the planet genetically demonstrates the Genesis
and developed a new vision of LIFE!

 

Firstly thank you for your kindness and
willingness to accept the dialogue with me, a person unknown internationally.
Allow me to make a brief presentation: I am an electronics engineer, specialist
in data transmissions by electromagnetic waves, and manager of Clepsydra. Since
1990, I have addressed issues about the quality of life and I have acquired
over time some knowledge in the field of molecular biology, necessary to
understand the phenomenon of life occurrence and life evolution.

My son, student in medicine, helps me in my
biological research.

Because
"the world is entering an era where injuries as common as a child's
scratched knee could kill, where patients entering hospital gamble with their
lives and where routine operations such as a hip replacement become too
dangerous to carry out" (the head of the World Health Organisation
Margaret Chan has warned) I have decided to sent this message to you only for
information.

"Pure
objectivity is letting things not yet proved nor disproved remain open. This
does not rule out faith. Faith is what we choose to believe until and unless it
becomes settled: ruled in or out, one way or the other. To close one's mind to
one possibility is not scientific. Each of us, in every day of our lives, must
act upon not falsified assumptions. We take our best guesses and act upon them,
because if we did not we would never have enough information certain to
function."

Only
the management of the total knowledge can stop the health incertitude and
relativity. According to unified field theory, electricity and magnetism could arise from a partially unified
string fields and only the bio-field-transducers can transfer the information existed
in living systems and produced by biological process.

Have you learned about Adam mtDNA theory?

We are scientifically
talking about the human soul and about the human being capacity to reduce the
health hazard controlling EM fields!

According
to our studies, exposed in four books, the man, attention please! - male and
female -, is the materialized according to the information which is contained
in Adam mtDNA, existed only in xifoid process, called one of the man's ribs
(Genesis 2.21), or sternum peak, called double edged sword peak, to where soul
and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together (Paul, Hebrews 4.12 -
the best description in the world).

The
only real problem for Systems Biology is to understand the soul feedback.

Based
on Adam mtDNA heritage, observed only at the puberty only in *natural born
boys* seminal liquid (not in vitro made), I have developed a new
bio-communication theory, Mitochondrial Adam DNA data transmission theory -
ISBN 978-606-92107-1-0:

Abstract:
Brain and soul storming - The necessary and sufficient processes to a
well function of the human body are meticulous arranged by specific
organizational cells, so called process biomanagers, using interconditioned
procedures, transmitted through three ways of communication: chemical or
“protein channelâ€쳌, electrical or “ion channelâ€쳌 and mitochondrial or “EMF
wireless channelâ€쳌. The third type is out of the visible and measurable spectrum
and raises a new challenge to the scientists. For this type of bio
communication we bring a new theoretical hypothesis, based on the managerial
multidisciplinary analysis of a cybernetic model proposed by us, by simulating
the human body function with the virtual computerized system based on the
management of its total knowledge and its perfect quality way of function. The
main bricks used for this virtual construction are: the brain, as main
bioprocessor, and Eve mtDNA and Adam mtDNA, as bio-antennas. This assembly of
the total knowledge, build with “brain reasoning, biological feeling, and
unlimited soul feelingâ€쳌, is called by us “main decision triangle, IQ-EQ-CQâ€쳌.
The main principle of the management of the total knowledge imposes us to not
neglect any information produced by man during the time, even if it seems
creasy at the beginning. Because in the natural fertilisation the spermatozoids
are naturally equipped with the paternal mtDNA (a veritable main bio-GPS), we
consider that the paternal mitochondria DNA have a very important role in the
evolution of the human being life quality and we have developed a new
hypothesis, “Adam mtDNA theoryâ€쳌, in addition to “Eve mtDNA theoryâ€쳌. Keywords:
brain, mitochondria, maternal, paternal

.................

According to Adam and Eve mtDNA bio-magnetic
field transducers the multitude of Eve mtDNA generate the microbiome and Adam
mtDNA, existed only in xiphoid process, generates the core of microbiome.

The
humanity effort on this project looks like starting the Doomsday!

 

Please take these descriptions as bio-physical
assumptions, until such time when they will be confirmed or not by biologists
in real life.

 

As Winston Churchill once said about courage, I
stood up and expressed my point of view and now I sit down and listen to the
opinions of others involved in this research.

I hope we can continue the dialogue on this
complex issue of life and its purpose.

Thank you for the patience that you have shown.

Sincerely yours.
 

Avatar of: DTheod

DTheod

Posts: 1

April 11, 2012

Keepitlegal's comment on the possibility of viral transfer of DNA spurs me to post.

The theory of virally-mediated evolution (the transfer of DNA across species boundaries by viruses as a factor in evolution) was actually published nearly 20 years ago in:

Boberg, D.K., 1993. Evolution and Reason-Beyond Darwin. Clarion Pacific Publishers

http://www.amazon.com/Evolutio...

Unfortunately, this important work has not received the recognition it deserves.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 11, 2012

Keepitlegal's comment on the possibility of viral transfer of DNA spurs me to post.

The theory of virally-mediated evolution (the transfer of DNA across species boundaries by viruses as a factor in evolution) was actually published nearly 20 years ago in:

Boberg, D.K., 1993. Evolution and Reason-Beyond Darwin. Clarion Pacific Publishers

http://www.amazon.com/Evolutio...

Unfortunately, this important work has not received the recognition it deserves.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 24, 2012

How much of the intuitive belief that "you are what you eat" (devouring a heart gives courage, etc.) is reflected in gene transfers through our literal consuming?

And what have our various diets in different lands and cultures done to shape our evolution, disease resistances or disease tendencies?

A fecund field.

Avatar of: Edward R. Mikol

Edward R. Mikol

Posts: 1457

April 24, 2012

How much of the intuitive belief that "you are what you eat" (devouring a heart gives courage, etc.) is reflected in gene transfers through our literal consuming?

And what have our various diets in different lands and cultures done to shape our evolution, disease resistances or disease tendencies?

A fecund field.

Avatar of: jvkohl

jvkohl

Posts: 53

April 24, 2012

The recent Nature paper: The genomic basis of adaptive evolution in threespine sticklebacks http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/natu... addresses in part the confounds of model organisms in the lab where there is little difference in ecotype. This has led to the conclusion by many that random mutations are responsible for adaptive evolution that actually is driven by pre-existing ecologically determined genetic variability.

Nutrient chemicals determine the ecological niche and their metabolism to pheromones determines the social niche while also standardizing and controlling the genetic variability in reproduction. At some point phenologs, diphenisms, and dimorphisms result in speciation, as I detailed in my recent published work: Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/snp.....

Ignoring the role of nutrient chemicals and their metabolism to pheromones seems imprudent since their consideration predicts the findings from the sticklebacks, speculatively predated by the 2009 paper discussed here. I am not ruling out the possible role of viruses that may be involved in epigenetically influencing intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression, but if they are driving adaptive evolution they must be doing it by altering nutrient chemical acquisition, which alters pheromone production, so far as is currently known. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 24, 2012

The recent Nature paper: The genomic basis of adaptive evolution in threespine sticklebacks http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/natu... addresses in part the confounds of model organisms in the lab where there is little difference in ecotype. This has led to the conclusion by many that random mutations are responsible for adaptive evolution that actually is driven by pre-existing ecologically determined genetic variability.

Nutrient chemicals determine the ecological niche and their metabolism to pheromones determines the social niche while also standardizing and controlling the genetic variability in reproduction. At some point phenologs, diphenisms, and dimorphisms result in speciation, as I detailed in my recent published work: Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/snp.....

Ignoring the role of nutrient chemicals and their metabolism to pheromones seems imprudent since their consideration predicts the findings from the sticklebacks, speculatively predated by the 2009 paper discussed here. I am not ruling out the possible role of viruses that may be involved in epigenetically influencing intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression, but if they are driving adaptive evolution they must be doing it by altering nutrient chemical acquisition, which alters pheromone production, so far as is currently known. 

April 25, 2012

This 'intuitive belief' probably comes from the effects certain foods have on the body. A famous example is developing a more orange skin when eating an excessive amount of carrots. Primitive man noticed connections like these (specific food --> specific attribute) and wrongly projected it on a whole array of foods and attributes. Allthough naive, it is understandable for the knowledge that was available in the times these believes originate from. But you must remember, it's no more than that. An intuitive belief.

We now understand these processes much better and don't assume we grow taller when we eat giraffe. Back to the carrot example: We turn orange because our body absorbs massive amounts of beta-carotene from the carrot, and this gets reflected in our epidermal skin layer, which holds a big portion of the body's pigments. 

A person's phenotype (outer appearance) is the result of two factors. Genotype (our own genes,) and external factors (nutrition, uv-light, etc.) For instance, my genes contain a recipe for making a fairly tanned skin. Under influence of sunlight my skin will become more tanned than you would expect from my genes alone. Eating a lot of orange/red pigment will make my skin more orange than you would expect from my genes. The only variable are the external factors. Think of it like this: You cannot change the recipe (genes), but you can add some extra ingredients along the way.

You cannot alter your own genotype by eating other genes. These, like all other parts of your food, get broken down in your digestive system into components our body can use. Pigments are already simple enough to use, as are a fair amount of hormones. DNA, even your own, however is useless when it enters the digestive system. It gets broken down into amino-acids and the like to be used by your body's cells to make their own DNA. 

If this wasn't the case, rabbits would gradually turn into carrots, cats into mice and humans into rice/pigs/corn/carrots/rabbits/etc.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 25, 2012

This 'intuitive belief' probably comes from the effects certain foods have on the body. A famous example is developing a more orange skin when eating an excessive amount of carrots. Primitive man noticed connections like these (specific food --> specific attribute) and wrongly projected it on a whole array of foods and attributes. Allthough naive, it is understandable for the knowledge that was available in the times these believes originate from. But you must remember, it's no more than that. An intuitive belief.

We now understand these processes much better and don't assume we grow taller when we eat giraffe. Back to the carrot example: We turn orange because our body absorbs massive amounts of beta-carotene from the carrot, and this gets reflected in our epidermal skin layer, which holds a big portion of the body's pigments. 

A person's phenotype (outer appearance) is the result of two factors. Genotype (our own genes,) and external factors (nutrition, uv-light, etc.) For instance, my genes contain a recipe for making a fairly tanned skin. Under influence of sunlight my skin will become more tanned than you would expect from my genes alone. Eating a lot of orange/red pigment will make my skin more orange than you would expect from my genes. The only variable are the external factors. Think of it like this: You cannot change the recipe (genes), but you can add some extra ingredients along the way.

You cannot alter your own genotype by eating other genes. These, like all other parts of your food, get broken down in your digestive system into components our body can use. Pigments are already simple enough to use, as are a fair amount of hormones. DNA, even your own, however is useless when it enters the digestive system. It gets broken down into amino-acids and the like to be used by your body's cells to make their own DNA. 

If this wasn't the case, rabbits would gradually turn into carrots, cats into mice and humans into rice/pigs/corn/carrots/rabbits/etc.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 26, 2012

Was the author of this article aware that BRCA1 mutations also potentially alter human sex ratio? It is not an example to support that "the same groups of conserved genes could be linked to such different traits in different organisms."

Avatar of: ganggan

ganggan

Posts: 1

April 26, 2012

Was the author of this article aware that BRCA1 mutations also potentially alter human sex ratio? It is not an example to support that "the same groups of conserved genes could be linked to such different traits in different organisms."

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Advertisement
The Scientist
The Scientist