Genetics Genomics Intelligent Design

Changing the genetic code — and still enabling life — would be a challenge

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Some think they know how to do it:

in a new study published last month in eLife, a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University showed that it’s possible to tweak one of these time-honored rules and create a more expansive, entirely new genetic code built around longer codon words. In principle, their discovery points to one of several ways of expanding the genetic code into a more versatile system that synthetic biologists could use to create cells with novel biochemistries that make proteins found nowhere in nature. But the work also showed that an extended genetic code is hampered by its own complexity, becoming less efficient and even surprisingly less capable in some ways — limitations that hint at why life may not have favored longer codons in the first place.

It’s uncertain what these findings mean for how life elsewhere in the universe could be encoded, but it does imply that our own genetic code evolved to be neither too complicated nor too restrictive, but just right — and then ruled life for billions of years thereafter as what Francis Crick called a “frozen accident.” Nature opted for this Goldilocks code, the authors say, because it was simple and sufficient for its purposes, not because other codes were unachievable.

Yasemin Saplakoglu, “Life With Longer Genetic Codes Seems Possible — but Less Likely” at Mind Matters News (April 11, 2022)

The basic message is that we can’t improve on all the things that just happen to work by accident in exactly the right way. Yet in just about any area of life other than evolution theory we find a completely different picture. Why is Darwinism allowed to be such a big exception to the general rule?

The paper is open access.

You may also wish to read: In Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, Nathan Lents wrote the book, literally, on what some think could be done to improve the human body. The human eye, for example.

2 Replies to “Changing the genetic code — and still enabling life — would be a challenge

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    our own genetic code evolved to be neither too complicated nor too restrictive, but just right — and then ruled life for billions of years thereafter as what Francis Crick called a “frozen accident.” Nature opted for this Goldilocks code, the authors say, because it was simple and sufficient for its purposes, not because other codes were unachievable.

    Some obvious absurdities are contained there.
    First, it says “our genetic code” evolved into the “just right” formulation – and therefore, others more or less complex won’t work … so how did gradualism make it possible?
    Then on the other hand, Crick calls it a “frozen accident”. So, everything just came together in the Goldilocks zone and stayed there, because of course – life really wanted to keep living and if it became too much or too little, it would have to return to being just ordinary chemicals, and nobody wants to do that.

  2. 2
    Sandy says:

    DNA is just keeping the information and have no leading role . DNA is a follower not the Leader.Darwinists got it all wrong . DNA is useless without a smarter manager and we expect that manager to function with more information than DNA itself.
    Ex: DNA is an Instruction Manual. Where is the dictionary that explain every word from instruction manual?? To explain a single word( found in Instruction Manual ) we need another specific book called Dictionary(of the specific language in which is written DNA= Instruction Manual ) that use much more words than the word to be explained. Headacke?Being an Englishman how in the world would you translate a Chinese book with a Chinese dictionary . You don’t ! and is the same case for darwinists.

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