Genetics Intelligent Design Proteome

Nobody went downhill faster than DNA

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Remember when everything you ever were or would be was
in your DNA? Now it’s proteins:

Previously, scientists had recovered proteins from 1.8-million-year-old animal teeth and a 3.8-million-year-old eggshell. Now, they hope that palaeoproteomics could be used to provide insights about other ancient hominin fossils that have lost all traces of DNA — from Homo erectus, which roamed parts of the world from about 1.9 million to 140,000 years ago, to Homo floresiensis, the diminutive ‘hobbit’ species that lived in Indonesia as recently as 60,000 years ago. By looking at variations in these proteins, scientists hope to answer long-standing questions about the evolution of ancient human groups, such as which lineages were direct ancestors of Homo sapiens. “I think that you can basically unlock the whole of the human tree,” says Matthew Collins, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Copenhagen who has been at the forefront of the field since the 1980s, when it consisted of just a handful of researchers.

Matthew Warren, “Move over, DNA: ancient proteins are starting to reveal humanity’s history” at Nature

We never told you to believe those DNA people. And we just report this.

See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?

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7 Replies to “Nobody went downhill faster than DNA

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    I’m not gonna lie the title was fairly disappointing I thought this had something to do with debunking genetic to turn them in as him or something like that instead I read an entirely different article about proteins and possibly finding the history or lineage of Hominin

  2. 2
    Mimus says:

    Remember when everything you ever were or would be was in your DNA? Now it’s proteins:

    … this is about protein sequences, which are encoded in DNA.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    I hate talk text I’ll re-explain this I am disappointed in the title because I thought it was about debunking genetic determinism or something like that but instead it’s about tracing back human lineage using proteins and exploring the hominin evolutionary tree.

  4. 4
    News says:

    The story is about DNA in the popular culture, You know, 23nME, “Sports is in [insert person or city or country]’s DNA”

    Try: ProteinsnME and “Sports is in [insert person or city or country]’s proteins”

    Yeah, THAT sure clunked, didn’t it? You heard the clunk all the way from Ottawa, Canada…

    So my point: Whatever DNA does, there is a vast popular culture lore around DNA that will be very much diminished by any evidence-based assessment.

  5. 5
    Mimus says:

    What? Did you look to the right story.?

  6. 6
    Mimus says:

    Oh, I think I see the source of confusion.
    The interest in ancient proteins isn’t due to these sequences being more informative than DNA (they’re not), but because protein sequences nmght be recovered from much older specimens.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    OK so proteins outlast DNA, in some cases. And those proteins can be helpful in an investigation of sorts. That’s cool.

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