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More “junk DNA” that actually does something

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The technical term is functional pseudogene and what it does in this case (creating sensitivity to pain) could be a mixed blessing, depending on your circumstances:

Jo, from Whitebridge, near Inverness, told the BBC Scotland news website that doctors didn’t believe her when she said she wouldn’t need pain relief after surgery.

She said: “We had banter before theatre when I guaranteed I wouldn’t need painkillers.

“When he found I hadn’t had any, he checked my medical history and found I had never asked for painkillers.”

That’s when she was referred to specialists in England.Claire Diamond, “The woman who doesn’t feel pain” at BBC Scotland News

Is she just a stoic?

Abstract: The study of rare families with inherited pain insensitivity can identify new human-validated analgesic drug targets. Here, a 66-yr-old female presented with nil requirement for postoperative analgesia after a normally painful orthopaedic hand surgery (trapeziectomy). Further investigations revealed a lifelong history of painless injuries, such as frequent cuts and burns, which were observed to heal quickly. We report the causative mutations for this new pain insensitivity disorder: the co-inheritance of (i) a microdeletion in dorsal root ganglia and brain-expressed pseudogene, FAAH-OUT, which we cloned from the fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) chromosomal region; and (ii) a common functional single-nucleotide polymorphism in FAAH conferring reduced expression and activity. Circulating concentrations of anandamide and related fatty-acid amides (palmitoylethanolamide and oleoylethanolamine) that are all normally degraded by FAAH were significantly elevated in peripheral blood compared with normal control carriers of the hypomorphic single-nucleotide polymorphism. The genetic findings and elevated circulating fatty-acid amides are consistent with a phenotype resulting from enhanced endocannabinoid signalling and a loss of function of FAAH. Our results highlight previously unknown complexity at the FAAH genomic locus involving the expression of FAAH-OUT, a novel pseudogene and long non-coding RNA. These data suggest new routes to develop FAAH-based analgesia by targeting of FAAH-OUT, which could significantly improve the treatment of postoperative pain and potentially chronic pain and anxiety disorders. – Abdella M. Habib1,2, Andrei L. Okorokov1, Matthew N. Hill3, Jose T. Bras4,5, Man-Cheung Lee1,6,7, Shengnan Li1, Samuel J. Gossage1, Marie van Drimmelen8, Maria Morena3, Henry Houlden5, Juan D. Ramirez9, David L.H. Bennett9, Devjit Srivastava10, ,’Correspondence information about the author Devjit SrivastavaEmail the author Devjit Srivastava, James J. Cox1, ,’Correspondence information about the author James J. CoxEmail the author James J. Cox Handling editor: H.C. Hemmings Jr, Microdeletion in a FAAH pseudogene identified in a patient with high anandamide concentrations and pain insensitivity, British Journal of Anaesthesia, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2019.02.019 More.

Needless to say, this finding could have implications for the control of chronic pain. The paper is open access.

Note: It’s been a couple of years since some of us have heard Darwinians defending junk DNA as evidence for their theory. Don’t let them get away with claiming they never did. One reason their theory is never wrong is that failed support drops down the memory hole.

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See also: Researchers: Male Y Chromosome Not A Genetic Wasteland After All

Before you go: Humans may have only 19,000 coding genes

“Junk DNA” regulates regeneration of tissues and organs

Note: One junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness anymore. Hmmm. In a less Darwinian science workplace, that could become more a problem for him than for his colleagues.

Junk DNA can actually change genitalia. Junk DNA played the same role in defending Darwinian evolution as claims that Neanderthal man was a subhuman. did:

Been a while since we’ve heard much about humans as the 98% or 99% chimpanzee. If the human genome is this fuzzy how would we know? And doubtless, things have gotten more complex.

At Quanta: Cells need almost all of their genes, even the “junk DNA”

“Junk” RNA helps regulate metabolism

Junk DNA defender just isn’t doing politeness any more.

Anyone remember ENCODE? Not much junk DNA? Still not much. (Paper is open access.)

Yes, Darwin’s followers did use junk DNA as an argument for their position.

Another response to Darwin’s followers’ attack on the “not-much-junk-DNA” ENCODE findings


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