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Researchers urge: See DNA as an energy code

Three conformations of the DNA double helix: A (left), B (center) and left-handed Z (right)/
David S. Goodsell and RCSB PDB

In the media release, “Genetic code evolution and Darwin’s evolution theory” are advised to see DNA that way, with the note that “Survival of the fittest’ phenomenon is only part of the evolution equation”

“These revelations matter because they provide entirely new ways of analyzing the human genome and the genome of any living species, the blueprints of life,” said senior author Kenneth J. Breslauer, Linus C. Pauling Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He is also affiliated with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “The origins of the evolution of the DNA genetic code and the evolution of all living species are embedded in the different energy profiles of their molecular DNA blueprints. Under the influence of the laws of thermodynamics, this energy code evolved, out of an astronomical number of alternative possibilities, into a nearly singular code across all living species.”

Scientists investigated this so-called “universal enigma,” probing the origins of the astounding observation that the genetic code evolved into a nearly uniform blueprint that arose from trillions of possibilities.

Rutgers University, “Genetic code evolution and Darwin’s evolution theory should consider DNA an ‘energy code’” at Eurekalert

But wait. Is it true that there were really trillions of possibilities? First, if it’s a code, as they say, we can test that. Let’s take another code – language. How about the English language; it’s handy.

Are there trillions of different ways we can arrange the letters and words recognized as elements of the English language, all of which are more or less meaningful? Not only is that not true but the more precise we need to be, the more constraints there are on what we can say.

A key characteristic of a code is that it has meaning. It corresponds to something. In the case of DNA, it corresponds to the development of an organism. If the blueprint is nearly uniform, that’s probably because it needs to be very precise. Which in turn implies that if the genetic code found the right formula within the life of the universe, some intention or intelligence must underlie it. Not that the researchers want to go there, of course.

The paper is open access.

Note: We are told, by the by, that “Survival of the fittest’ phenomenon is only part of the evolution equation” — It seems that classical, orthodox Darwinism continues its downward trajectory in popularity.

DNA encodes for amino acid sequences. DNA doesn't even determine the spatial shape the polypeptide will have. DNA doesn't determine where the proteins go nor how they will be assembled. That means DNA is the blueprint for amino acid sequences only. It does not determine what species will develop. There isn't any blueprint for biological form in an of the cells macromolecules. And that means changes to DNA have absolutely no bearing on universal common descent as changes to the DNA cannot bring about the transformations required. ET
"'The more precise we need to be, the more constraints there are on what we can say." Beautifully phrased, and a crucial point. Legal documents and computer programs have a precise set of keywords which must be used in precise and rather boring sentence structures. They aren't precise because lawyers and programmers enjoy being boring (though that might be true anyway.) They're precise because they're ACTIVE. Words that don't form structures or shape behavior can be as loose as Gertrude Stein wants. Words that create buildings and move money must be boring. This also applies to numbers. Irrational numbers like 0.333333... can be used in equations and software for some purposes, but if we want to send an invoice or pay an invoice or set land boundaries, the numbers MUST be integers or countable numbers of sub-units like pennies or shillings or inches. If a bill or a deed is expressed in irrational terms, you can't decide when it's paid or valid. This is part of the reason why COBOL is still by far the most popular and important computer language. COBOL rigidly enforces integral boundaries in every stage, thus a COBOL program gives billable and payable results. Boring to mathematicians but crucial for ACTION. Genes are bills and deeds, not poems. polistra
The “genetic” code has to do with the so-called “codons” that can be obtained from combinations of GCAT in triplets in order to be transcribed into pre-mRNA in the cellular nucleus, that could be alternatively spliced into mRNA, that is translated (outside the nucleus) by the ribosome machinery (using the tRNAs that have been properly loaded with amino acids by the corresponding aaRS) into chains of amino acids that are later taken by chaperone proteins to another location where they are folded into functional proteins. But that portion of the DNA that is expressed to proteins is a small fraction of the entire DNA. There are other (allegedly “non-coding”?) codes that deal with expressing various types of ncRNA, and with the TFBS motifs for very complex regulatory functions in the cells. We’re not mentioning the epigenetic codes (DNA methylation markers, histone code, etc) because they are outside the actual DNA súper molecule. BTW, the DNA doesn’t tell us how to make the DNA polymerase, or the RNA polymerase, or the spliceosome, or the ribosome, or the ATP synthase, or the bacteria flagellum, just to name a few of Darwin’s mousetraps. Maybe it’s time for many authors to wake up and smell the flowers. And time to rewrite the textbooks that are misleading our students with so much pseudoscientific fake news. jawa
“ Note: We are told, by the by,...” “by the by”? Hmm... jawa

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