Human cells write RNA sequences into DNA

Spread the love

Challenging, they say, a central principle in biology:

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…

In a series of elegant experiments, the researchers tested polymerase theta against the reverse transcriptase from HIV, which is one of the best studied of its kind. They showed that polymerase theta was capable of converting RNA messages into DNA, which it did as well as HIV reverse transcriptase, and that it actually did a better job than when duplicating DNA to DNA. Polymerase theta was more efficient and introduced fewer errors when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages, than when duplicating DNA into DNA, suggesting that this function could be its primary purpose in the cell.

Thomas Jefferson University, “New Discovery Shows Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA – Challenges Central Principle in Biology” at SciTech Daily (June 12, 2021)

The paper is open access.

Dogmas are bouncing off the wall all over these days… there were probably too many of them to begin with.

13 Replies to “Human cells write RNA sequences into DNA

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Sounds like it might be a way of getting new information into a genome when ID/creationism argued it could only be lost.

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    We’ll see, but to me it sounds like a mechanism of DNA repair.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:


    you missed the point (again)…

    this is HUGE:

    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…

    let me repeat this one:
    “…and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology…”

    this perfectly illustrates what happens when you believe in 19th century theory, then you end up with one of these:

    “…potentially challenges the central dogma in biology…”
    “…current concepts are reviewed…”
    “…uprooting current thinking….”
    “…latest findings contradict the current dogma….”
    “… it challenges a long-held theory…”
    “… it upends a common view…”
    “… it needs a rethink … ”
    “… the findings are surprising and unexpected …. ”
    “… it shakes up the dogma … ”
    “… earlier than thought…”
    “… younger than thought….”
    “… smarter than thought ….”
    “… more complex that thought ….”

    This theory is a house of cards, don’t matter what creationists say …

  4. 4
    PaV says:

    This did come up over here:

    There is a link to the pdf of the article there.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Do we see implications for RNA vaccines?

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    KF @5

    yes, this findings is cited by anti-vaxxers websites already …

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Martin-R I have utterly zero interest in loaded language debates starting with Anti-X’ers. I am highlighting that if there is a built in reverse transcription device in the human cell, RNA can be transcribed into DNA, including as example CV19. My bigger concern is what is happening with viruses etc and what does this point to by way of onward monkeying with human R/DNA? KF

  8. 8
    martin_r says:

    KF @7

    i am concerned too… and i agree with you, that there might be some implications for RNA vaccines.
    (actually, i came across this mRNA-article while reading a comment made by a anti-vaxxer … first i thought it is some kind of a hoax… actually, i was the one who sent this article to UD editor)

    Anyway, this is the reason, why i am not vaccinated yet. A mRNA vaccine is a new technology, never used on humans, so i am careful. I watched some lectures on how mRNA vaccines work, it seems, that the injected mRNA molecule is ‘floating’ in cell’s cytoplasm, allegedly never enters cell’s nucleus where is our DNA stored. So, from what i could understand, that is the reason, why it can’t change/write into our DNA, because it stays outside cell’s nucleus. Also, the piece of mRNA codes only for the virus’s spike protein, so it seems to be very safe.

    So again, I am not saying that there is something wrong with mRNA vaccines, i really hope that scientists know what they do … but, the biology is so complex, the cell’s processes are so complex … and this is pretty new … also, as we can see here at UD, biologists are often wrong – this mRNA article is just another example of how wrong they can be, let me repeat this one: “…. first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology”. So give me an advice, should i take a mRNA vaccine?

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Martin_r, okay, that puts a different colour. My own comment on the vax vs antivax scene is first, we have seen powerful forces suppressing inductively adequate evidence of efficacy of antiviral action of low cost drugs and cocktails, now ivermectin, last year HCQ. Multiply by the revelation of a defecting vice Minister of security — too many converging signs to dismiss as mere rumour — on origin of CV-19, which puts it in the midst of dubious bioweapons reasearch. What idiot in France thought that a level 4 facility in Comunist party and PLA controlled China could be separated from military applications? What idiot in NIH etc could imagine that research on viri banned in US due to dangers could be offshored to China in the first instance and would not be harnessed to military use in the second? Where, once a leak happened, they reacted by making sure it would spread globally, lockdown Wuhan from flights to China but not internationally. Then we see international effort to discredit the obvious solution, if you have a Tamiflu for CV19, use it. In that context we are not locked to jabs then an endless train of booster shots starting this Autumn [per UK Officials], which repeated exposure multiplies risk, and also given cardio-toxicity observations those under 50 and esp under 30 should doubly beware, particularly men — real cardiotoxicity not the ginned up panic against HCQ. So, we should indeed be concerned about turning the population into guinea pigs needlessly for mRNA novel quasi-vaccines. In the US, there are less radical options if you are going to get vaccinated. KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    The revenge of Lamarck?

  11. 11
  12. 12

    The spike protein is actually toxic on it’s own. Which is why there is such an enormous rise in vaers numbers. How that balances in the cost benefit analysis, is still unknown, but it’s a kind of grim balance regardless.

    So with the MRNA vaccine, you are “cheating” the cell system to produce a toxic spike protein. That seems kind of “perverse”, for the cell to produce a toxin.

    A cell is a living organism, meaning it can make reasoned responses, and not just react.

    What in the world a cell is going to make of it, that some foreign mrna just suddenly appears, and starts making toxins, it can do all sorts of things. Maybe throw all that mrna and spike proteins out of the cell, into the bloodstream, where it does damage.

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    The spike protein is actually toxic on it’s own.

    The spike protein attaches to the ACE2 receptor and then prevents its normal function. The result is that anti-coagulates are released which cause cardio vascular problems. This is especially a problem in the endothelial cells of the circulatory system lining.

    This was pointed out last year when discussing how the virus works.

Leave a Reply