Standish: Changing codon meaning isn’t merely a tweak. As one of the authors notes, “It’s just mind-boggling that an organism could survive that.” But he is dead wrong when he says, “Stop codon shifts are considerably less ‘dramatic’”. Changing a stop codon seems significantly more challenging than changing any other codon meaning because the mechanism for stop codon recognition is totally different and involves more than RNA-RNA interactions.
Researchers: “A surprisingly wide array of creatures, all the way up to some vertebrates, dump significant stretches of DNA during early development, so the stretches don’t end up in most of their body cells.” [Only in the germ cells they pass on.]
At Quanta: “Genomes hold immense quantities of noncoding DNA. Some of it is essential for life, some seems useless, and some has its own agenda.”
Katherine J. Wu: “Other than primates, the cat-human comparison is one of the closest you can get,” with respect to genome organization, Leslie Lyons, an expert in cat genetics at the University of Missouri, told me. [Hmmm.]
At Axios: Why it matters: The bulk of the human genome is noncoding regions, some of which play an important role in how genes are expressed. New tools are allowing scientists to test exactly how these elements — once called “junk DNA” — work, which could lead to new drug targets.
For about a year now, from reading various news items on newly published science articles, I’ve begun to consider not DNA, but RNA, the real driver of life. I think that DNA’s essential role is that of information storage–a hard drive, while RNA is like the BIOS system–it tells the “system” what it should be Read More…
At SciTechDaily: “I was struck by how stark the differences are between them,” said Tarashansky, who was lead author of the paper and is a Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Fellow. “We thought that they should have similar cell types, but when we try analyzing them using standard techniques, the method doesn’t recognize them as being similar.”
We are told this “weirdest sex chromosome system known to science” happened in the past couple of million years but it is not clear why.
So how did all this originate randomly, different from what all the other life forms do — and still work?
So, in other words, these plankton evolved (randomly, so we are told) a highly successful genome that’s entirely different from the type that most life forms have. Well, if you are skeptical of Darwinian claims that it all happened randomly but just once, how about (at least) twice? Increasingly, Darwinism – or whatever it is that they want to call that stuff nowadays – is for true believers.
If a big survey of the giraffe genome can’t tell us the answers to the most puzzling questions about one of the most remarkable animals, where should we look for answers next?
Darwinism’s key strength is that it is much simpler and more straightforward than life forms are.
This is a problem, all right. But really, why do these, or any life/quasi-life forms, have a “genetic alphabet” (an alphabet of life, not learning) at all if everything happened by natural selection acting on random mutation, as the textbooks claim? Let alone an alphabet of life they can just substitute some other letters for? Is there anyone out there who can do the math?
Also: “The work revealed that the last surviving kākāpō population, isolated on an island off New Zealand for the last 10,000 years, has somehow purged deleterious mutations, despite the species’ low genetic diversity.” Hmm.
One senses that the reconstruction will be subject to considerable revision. It’s not entirely clear what “ancestry” means in a world of rampant horizontal gene transfer.