'Junk DNA' Intelligent Design News

Researchers say junk DNA plays key role in brain development

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From ScienceDaily:

New study from Lund University in Sweden indicates that inherited viruses that are millions of years old play an important role in building up the complex networks that characterise the human brain.

Researchers have long been aware that endogenous retroviruses constitute around five per cent of our DNA. For many years, they were considered junk DNA of no real use, a side-effect of our evolutionary journey.

In the current study, Johan Jakobsson and his colleagues show that retroviruses seem to play a central role in the basic functions of the brain, more specifically in the regulation of which genes are to be expressed, and when. The findings indicate that, over the course of evolution, the viruses took an increasingly firm hold on the steering wheel in our cellular machinery. The reason the viruses are activated specifically in the brain is probably due to the fact that tumours cannot form in nerve cells, unlike in other tissues.

“We have been able to observe that these viruses are activated specifically in the brain cells and have an important regulatory role. We believe that the role of retroviruses can contribute to explaining why brain cells in particular are so dynamic and multifaceted in their function. It may also be the case that the viruses’ more or less complex functions in various species can help us to understand why we are so different,” says Johan Jakobsson, head of the research team for molecular neurogenetics at Lund University. More.

So don’t fire your junk DNA.

Someone told Dan Graur this yet? Dan Who? Well…

Okay, remember Dan Graur, the guy who made a scene about the ENCODE findings (that there is much less junk in the human genome than previously thought)? He claimed that if Encode is right, “then Evolution is wrong.” As other scientists have pointed out, ENCODE is mainly a problem for the propaganda fronted by Darwin’s followers, not for the human genome.

Darwin’s followers get caught on the wrong side of so many battles these days.

For background, see Jonathan Wells on the junk DNA myth and Yes, junk DNA is a myth. Also, more technical responses.

See also:

What can we responsibly believe about human evolution?

and

Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away

Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

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4 Replies to “Researchers say junk DNA plays key role in brain development

  1. 1
    wallstreeter43 says:

    This is just another example of evolutionists getting caught with mud in their face.

    I’m sure they will find a way to weasel out of this .

    Evolution : the great fact that is non falsifiable lol

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    TRIM28 Represses Transcription of Endogenous Retroviruses in Neural Progenitor Cells

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.004

    TRIM28 is a corepressor that mediates transcriptional silencing by establishing local heterochromatin.

    Here, we show that deletion of TRIM28 in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) results in high-level expression of two groups of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs): IAP1 and MMERVK10C.

    We find that NPCs use TRIM28-mediated histone modifications to dynamically regulate transcription and silencing of ERVs, which is in contrast to other somatic cell types using DNA methylation.

    We also show that derepression of ERVs influences transcriptional dynamics in NPCs through the activation of nearby genes and the expression of long noncoding RNAs.

    These findings demonstrate a unique dynamic transcriptional regulation of ERVs in NPCs.

    Our results warrant future studies on the role of ERVs in the healthy and diseased brain.

    http://www.cell.com/cell-repor.....all%3Dtrue

  3. 3
    Box says:

    retroviruses seem to play a central role in the basic functions of the brain, more specifically in the regulation of which genes are to be expressed, and when.

    How do retroviruses know these things? Do they ‘regulate’? IOW do they have decision-power? The very notion seems to be absurd, but if so, what is the naturalistic concept here?

    The findings indicate that, over the course of evolution, the viruses took an increasingly firm hold on the steering wheel in our cellular machinery.

    Well, they seem to be firmly in charge. Do they collectively decide what has to be done? Do they communicate? I assume they operate in concert. Again what is the naturalistic concept here?

    The reason the viruses are activated specifically in the brain is probably due to (…)

    So the regulators are in turn “activated” by something else. How does this something else know which retroviruses are to be activated, and when? Let me guess … it is regulators all the way down? Is an ‘infinite regress of regulators’ the naturalistic concept?

    Dionisio: TRIM28 Represses Transcription of Endogenous Retroviruses in Neural Progenitor Cells (…)

    Great! Another “regulator”! Just what we needed. Let me know when the MASTER-REGULATOR is discovered.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Box,

    Interesting observations in your comments @3.

    We are going to see more research reports that will continue to surprise some folks out there, who have wrong expectations, based on wrong presuppositions, associated with the wrong worldview. 🙂

    It’s a fascinating time to watch the advance of serious research in biology.

    Don’t hold your breath while waiting for that announcement of the master regulator discovery. 🙂

    PS. Wanna have fun?
    keep an eye on this thread: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-542283

    Your comments in that thread are also welcome!

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