Richard Sternberg. Pod here.
First four episodes here.
By the way, yes, he is the guy associated with the Smithsonian controversy — how the Smithsonian saved Darwinism from science.
Here, just for fun, is the usual brash “junk DNA” claim that is just plain wrong but would sound plausible to a grade 12 science class (and many science teachers, perhaps?):
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Hat tip: Timothy Kershner
7 Replies to “Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg on “junk DNA,” Part 5”
Rule one of info systems: If you don’t understand why something is there, don’t knock it over. KF
I enjoyed this part of the podcast as much as I did part 2.
as to the demise of the gene that Dr. Sternberg referred to
Duality in the human genome – Nov. 28, 2014
Excerpt: Scientists,, have analysed the genetic makeup of several hundred people and decoded the genetic information on the two sets of chromosomes separately. In this relatively small group alone they found millions of different gene forms. The results also show that genetic mutations do not occur randomly in the two parental chromosome sets and that they are distributed in the same ratio in everyone.,,,
it’s important to know,, how mutations are distributed between the two chromosome sets,”,,
The results show that most genes can occur in many different forms within a population: On average, about 250 different forms of each gene exist. The researchers found around four million different gene forms just in the 400 or so genomes they analysed. This figure is certain to increase as more human genomes are examined. More than 85 percent of all genes have no predominant form which occurs in more than half of all individuals. This enormous diversity means that over half of all genes in an individual, around 9,000 of 17,500, occur uniquely in that one person – and are therefore individual in the truest sense of the word.
The gene, as we imagined it, exists only in exceptional cases. “We need to fundamentally rethink the view of genes that every schoolchild has learned since Gregor Mendel’s time. Moreover, the conventional view of individual mutations is no longer adequate. Instead, we have to consider the two gene forms and their combination of variants,”,,,
According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe.,,,
This dual gene and protein arrangement has the advantage that it allows the activity of genes to be more flexibly adjusted and altered. By using the more favourable variant, the body is better able to adapt to changes in its own processes and to environmental conditions. If the duality of genes goes awry and the wrong protein form is used, this can trigger pathogenic mechanisms. This is probably why those 4,000 genes include many disease genes.
These findings will change the interpretation of genetic analyses and the prediction of diseases. Moreover, individualised medicine cannot ignore the “dual nature” of human genomes. “Our investigations at the protein level have shown that 96 percent of all genes have at least 5 to 20 different protein forms.,,,
I know that Larry Moran is reading it… he is scheming another defense against it… I’m sure it will be worthwhile reading… unfortunately it will be without any experimental proof… as usual…
Since you brought up junk DNA: Could anybody here calculate the change in CSI (or OSC, RSC, FSC, FSCI, FSCI/O) Drosophila ananassae experienced when it integrated a nearly complete Wolbachia genome into its DNA?
what makes you think that it was Darwinian processes that randomly did that? Moreover, since the section is transcribed, what makes you think it was junk?
Almost the entire Wolbachia genome (green) has been transferred into the second chromosome of D. ananassae (blue). Following this lateral gene transfer, D. ananassae transposable elements (TEs) have become inserted within Wolbachia genes. At least 28 Wolbachia genes are transcribed from within the D. ananassae genome, although the functional significance of this is unknown.
As Shapiro points out, this is a non-Darwinian rearrangement of the genome:
How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
It doesn’t matter if one judges it as “a non-Darwinian rearrangement of the genome”. I was only asking if D. ananassae’s CSI changed when the Wolbachia DNA was inserted.