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Central Dogma: Reasons for Further Thought


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 doing.

I’ve been waiting for the right article to come along to present this newer view of genomic life. Well, it appears that the ‘right article’ has come along. This is from Phys.Org and this is the pdf online version of the article.

From the Press Release via Phys.Org:
Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.


Richard Pomerantz, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA.

Admittedly, these are much bolder statements than any made in the article itself.

Nevertheless, this does fit in with what I began thinking about after reading that it has been found that along with the father’s DNA, an RNA is also included which is responsible for initiating the life of the embryo. It’s hard to think this sort of stuff through in the absence of experiments, but a quick view of this certainly suggests, at least to me, that we must begin to view cellular life not just in terms of DNA–the “Central Dogma,” but in terms of a cooperation between RNA and DNA where it is entirely possible that RNA is the driver of cellular life. I think the great rise of discovered function in “junk-DNA” might be a harbinger of this needed change in understanding the functioning of cells and of life.

I think an expert assessment of this article is in order. I await your comments and observations. I wonder if anyone out there has had some of these same thoughts.

Actually @ fasteddious I also thought that. However I am wary the Covid vaccine and how it uses mRNA. The reason is because I have dealt with my mother who has deletions in gene 11 And I believe gene 14 (due to bug spray long story) The deletions in those genes causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Which for the most part makes your b-leukocytes go absolutely bonkers. I’m worried that the vaccine that they made using the synthetic Liposome Could have the potential to do something similar and we wouldn’t be able to detect it until years later Now I am not an anti-VAXXER but I also don’t trust a lot of what’s going on right now AaronS1978
Fasteddious: There is very little reason to think that this might feed into an anti-vaccination mindset. The are in a that the vaccines use is meant to get a reaction from the Inmune system, although, indeed it does required the cell to produce the viral proteins. But viruses do exactly the same thing since they rely on the host cells to replicate the virus. I do agree, however, that much is not known about cellular regulation in the way in which the various parts of the genome interact. To again refocus the discussion, I think that the central dogma of DNA supremacy needs to be seriously reconsidered. When you consider the panoply of RNA type assemblies that play pivotal roles in cellular regulation, I think that it is a much more complex task then what DNA itself does. But, of course, experimental research is the only thing that will resolve these kinds of questions. PaV
Hmmm, this could play into the hands of the anti-vaccers who claim the mRNA vaccines can change your genome. On the other hand, it speaks volumes into the apparent ignorance about how genomes, RNA, proteins, and everything else in the cell actually work in life. I suspect we know much less than we pretend to when it comes to biology. Fasteddious
AaronS1978: Yes, I think in terms of a 'concert' as well. It certainly appears that both the RNA world and the DNA world had to have been functioning cooperatively from the beginning. So, this doubles the problems for neo-Darwinism. My sense is that RNA will come to be seen as the driver of cellular complexity and differentiation and will then, through it's ability to 'rewrite' the genome, present great problems for OOL and for the LCA. We'll see. PaV
Just from reading this and I haven’t read the article yet but the first thing that popped in my mind was of course the RNA world hypothesis for ool And specifically the issues of it being a solely RNA world I’ll poke at this later but I always believe that RNA and DNA are a concert between the two that’s just me personally AaronS1978

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