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Farewell, fat gene … goodby gay gene … so long, sloppiness gene


When someone informs you that it (whatever “it” is) is in their genes – so forget asking them to grow up and accept some responsibility – show them this article:

…. new large-scale studies of DNA are causing her and many of her colleagues to rethink the very nature of genes. They no longer conceive of a typical gene as a single chunk of DNA encoding a single protein. “It cannot work that way,” Dr. Prohaska said. There are simply too many exceptions to the conventional rules for genes.

It turns out, for example, that several different proteins may be produced from a single stretch of DNA. Most of the molecules produced from DNA may not even be proteins, but another chemical known as RNA. The familiar double helix of DNA no longer has a monopoly on heredity. Other molecules clinging to DNA can produce striking differences between two organisms with the same genes. And those molecules can be inherited along with DNA.

The gene, in other words, is in an identity crisis. – “Now the Rest of the Genome” by Carl Zimmer (New York Times, November 10, 2008)

And will somebody please text Lamarck, and tell him he’s being rehabilitated?

That's an interesting article, Mrs O'Leary. Thanks for pointing it out. I found this part particularly interesting: "In at least some cases, these new epigenetic patterns may be passed down to future generations. Scientists are debating just how often this happens. In a paper to be published next year in The Quarterly Review of Biology, Eva Jablonski and Gal Raz of Tel Aviv University in Israel assemble a list of 101 cases in which a trait linked to an epigenetic change was passed down through three generations." It made me think of the 10 Commandments: "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me." Again, the 3rd generation! And the research was done by someone at Tel Aviv University. I wonder if this is another example of someone doing ID research on the sly. I wonder what made Dr Jablonksi look at the 3rd generation. feebish
Alternative gene splicing, as well as other editing (for example etting the introns out), proof-reading and error correction are all strong indicators of an intelligently designed genome. No other explanation even comes close. Joseph
"Time and time again, scientists have claimed that particular genes or chromosomal regions are associated with behavioral traits, only to withdraw their findings when they were not replicated. "Unfortunately," says Yale's [Dr. Joel] Gelernter, "it's hard to come up with many findings linking specific genes to complex human behaviors that have been replicated." "…The 1960s to 80s saw a succession of claims about genetic variants associated with aggression, manic depression, schizophrenia, and psychosis. All were announced with great fanfare; all were greeted unskeptically in the popular press; all are now in disrepute. ... the interaction of genes and environment is much more complicated than the simple "violence genes" and intelligence genes" touted in the popular press. The same data that show the effects of genes, also point to the enormous influence of nongenetic factors.” Mann (1994) Genes and behavior. Science 264:1687 idnet.com.au
"And will somebody please text Lamarck, and tell him he’s being rehabilitated?" Perhaps they wish to rehabilitate Darwin. Because it was Darwin who did more than anyone else to popularize inheritance of aquired characters. He wrote a massive tome in defense of it (Variation). Darwin even believed in the inheritance of mutilations (something Lamarck did not believe.) Vladimir Krondan

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