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Everybody Makes Silly Mistakes – Even Craig Venter

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I was reading an interview with Craig Venter (CV) and imagine my surprise when I caught him making a glaring human physiology error:

Ventor: “It’s very simple, because every cell in our body has DNA.”

Oops. 😳

I thought everyone knew that mammalian red blood cells have no DNA… 😎

Joseph I wonder why they're called red blood cells if they aren't cells? Strange. DaveScot
OK starting on page 624 0f Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology Martini 5th edition it makes it clear that RBCs are Formed Elements, along with the 5 types of WBCs and platelets. The RBC production cycle discussion starts on page 633. The production doesn't start until red bone marrow is formed. RBC production is reproduced as part of a multicelled organism. All I am saying is the alleged "oops" isn't so bad... Joseph

Even the link in the OP says that RBCs lose the nucleus when mature- which means they had a nucleus and the DNA at one time.

And even though at maturity we call them "Red Blood Cells" they really aren't as they no longer fit the definition of a cell, ie they cannot reproduce themselves.

Cell- Smallest unit with the capacity to live and reproduce, independently or as part of multicelled organism. pg 6 of Biology: Concepts and Applications Starr/ 5th edition

RBCs reproduce as part of a multicelled organism. The whole organism reproduces and by definition that includes all the cells that make it up. -ds Joseph
Ocellated, READ: "No detectable mtDNA was found in erythrocyte lysates." They found mtDNA in platelets, the anucleate human blood cells in the title, but they found none in erythrocytes, aka red blood cells. In other words they confirmed what was already known, which is that human RBCs have NO DNA. beervolcano2
It seems that you should issue a correction on the front page. He is technically correct. JeffK

Actually, that's techinally not really true. Anucleate human RBCs do have DNA in their mitochondria.

For example, see here.

Whether that's what he was talking about not is a different issue...

RBCs don't have any organelles, including mitochondria. You're confusing platelets with RBCs. -ds Ocellated
What an obvious and glaring mistake oh my gosh!!! Aquinas

"Everybody Makes Silly Mistakes..."

Like misspelling "Venter" as "Ventor"? :-)

Not a silly mistake. A Freudian slip. -ds valerie

It is important to realize that we are all prone to making simple mistakes when arguing points (which I believe is the point Dave Scott is making by the title of this thread), and when arguing points, it is easy to pounce on our opponents simple (and often trivial errors), while avoiding the real center of the argument.

Not being a biologist, I keep learning new and interesting things on this blog. Thanks for the link, Dave.

No problemo. I was alerted to VentEr by a friend with a mutual interest in alternative power sources. Craig says the next rabbit he's going to try pulling out of his hat is a genetically engineered organism that eats agricultural wastes such as cornstalks and wheat straw and gives off hydrogen as a byproduct. I hope he's successful at it. I don't know about hydrogen but certainly getting ethanol in one step sounds doable since this can be accomplished today with careful selection of naturally occuring enzymes starting with those in saprophytic mushrooms which break down lignin-cellulose. Another lab claims to have a genetically engineered yeast that can break down glucose and xycose(sp?) into ethanol and CO2 which increases the efficiency 30% in fermenting the sugars agricultural wastes. -ds SCheesman

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