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“Useless junk” transposons now drive speciation?

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PaV asks us to draw attention to this new paper on transposons, transposons:

Until recently, little was known about how transposable elements contribute to gene regulation. These are little pieces of DNA that can replicate themselves and spread out in the genome. Although they make up nearly half of the human genome, these were often ignored and commonly thought of as “useless junk,” with a minimal role, if any at all, in the activity of a cell. A new study by Adam Diehl, Ningxin Ouyang, and Alan Boyle, University of Michigan Medical School and members of the U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine, shows that transposable elements play an important role in regulating genetic expression with implications to advance the understanding of genetic evolution.

Transposable elements move around the cell, and, unlike previously thought, the authors of this paper found that when they go to different sites, transposable elements sometimes change the way DNA strands interact in 3-D space, and therefore the structure of the 3-D genome. It appears a third of the 3-D contacts in the genome actually originate from transposable elements leading to an outsized contribution by these regions to looping variation and demonstrating their very significant role in genetic expression and evolution.

University of Michigan, “ Transposable elements play an important role in genetic expression and evolution” at Phys.org

SoPaV notes, it’s this “useless junk,” the same “junk” that ID theorist said the “blueprint” is to be found, which actually drives speciation.

He draws our attention to the end of the Discussion section in the Nature Communications paper (open access):

“We postulate that TE-induced population-level looping variability in the MRCA [most recent common ancestor] of human and mouse may have conferred adaptive advantages that allowed certain individuals to flourish in the face of changing selective pressures. This, in turn, may have led to divergence between subpopulations as they adapted to distinct evolutionary niches, eventually leading to speciation. This work advances our understanding of the relationship between TEs and their host genomes, raising important questions about the interplay between the role of CTCF in TE biology, the necessity of CTCF variability in host chromatin dynamics, the evolutionary forces driving looping variability, and their effects on adaptation to a changing environment.”

Zero to hero in one easy Darwinian rewrite? Naw. Not so fast. Not any more. Few questions first.

For one, why was it so easy to assume they were useless junk? And now suddenly they’re Mr. Fixit?

Seversky @ 5 In order for a hypothesis to become a scientific theory, certain things must happen. It is not enough to say something is fact, which is never the case with science. Any theory must be scrutinized as new information is provided. Theories are based only on what is know at any given time. For a hypothesis to become a scientific theory, something must be observed as it happens. The results must also be replicated. Has macro-evolution ever been observed? Have the results been replicated? The answer to both is no. Without observation and replication, macro-evolution cannot be a valid scientific theory. BobRyan
Martin_r, I like you buddy. Your comments are so refreshing. Keep your contributions, please. Thanks. BTW, your website is very interesting. jawa
@5 Seversky
So why do the Paleyists here pick on poor Darwin? Sure, he was wrong on a number of things. He was human.
The problem is with the fools who never stopped cackling that 'Natural Selection is the only God and Darwin his prophet'. People who do not understand the role of science and convert it in their religion. From the paper:
In the 70s, because the genes between humans and chimpanzees are much too similar to explain the differences between the species, scientific focus shifted on how the genes are being used.
Common basic design (information-language coded in the DNA) with tweaks (cut/ paste and expression enhancers?) Truthfreedom
For one, why was it so easy to assume they were useless junk? And now suddenly they’re Mr. Fixit?
These ideas have been discussed on UD in the past. Jurgen Brosius is not the originator but the main advocate of transposons being the source of new biological information. There were discussions with Allen MacNeil here over 10 years ago about this. This was to support Stephen Gould's concept of punctuated equilibrium and why changes are sudden not gradual. I personally believe that there was no evidence to support Brosius's claims but he was vicious in suppressing any dissent to this being the way evolution happened naturally. There is zero evidence that new proteins arose this way but that is the claim for how new proteins arose. jerry
Seversky @5 you wrote "[Darwin] He did his best with what was available at the time. " i agree with you, in 21st century lots of new evidence is available, lots of new evidence supporting CREATION/DESIGN. PS: Seversky, when will you finally answer my question, what is your education ? I have asked that at least 5 times... you ignored it every time. martin_r
So why do the Paleyists here pick on poor Darwin? Sure, he was wrong on a number of things. He was human. He did his best with what was available at the time. That's all he could do. Just like Isaac Newton. He's just as prominent a figure in the history of science. But we don't see scorn heaped on Newton because he got things wrong. We don't see rants against Newtonism. We don't see Moonies going into science with the express purpose of destroying Newtonism. There must be something else behind it. I wonder what that could be? Seversky
Darwinists are too delusional to admit they are wrong about anything. BobRyan
These are always bittersweet for me, it’s lovely to watch the Assumption of people like Richard Dawkins slowly disintegrate in Driftaway However people like Robert Polim Will use this examination to further genetic determinism and that genes absolutely define everything we are including our every day decisions AaronS1978
Darwinists were wrong about everything … another example from an older MAINSTREAM-SCIENCE paper: (somewhat heretic) "CHALLENGING DARWIN'S THEORY OF SEXUAL SELECTION" "“May a biologist in these polarized times dare suggest that Darwin is a bit wrong about anything ? Even worse, does a biologist risk insult, ridicule, anger, and intimidation to suggest that Darwin is incorrect on a big issue ? We have a test case before us. Darwin appears completely mistaken in his theory of sex roles, a subject called the ‘theory of sexual selection’.”" https://www.jstor.org/stable/20028107?seq=1 martin_r
it seems that Darwinists were wrong about everything... Most lay atheists still think, that ATB resistance is a perfect example of evolution. OF COURSE NOT! IT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF DESIGNED ADAPTATION In fact, Darwinists got it all wrong (again). Most lay atheists never heard of so called EFFLUX PUMPS and their MAJOR ROLE in ATB resistance. EFFLUX PUMPS are molecular pumps, LITERAL PUMPS (it is not a metaphore), and these pumps, pumping antibiotics out of bacteria... even Darwinists agree that efflux pumps are ancient, in other words, these pumps were present in bacteria from the beginning (no surprise for creationists, it was designed that way). The only thing what recently changed, is, that the efflux pumps started to work harder, pumping harder - they just adapted to use of antibiotics .... NO EVOLUTION, but ADAPTATION. And of course, another significant ATB resistance factor is so called HGT ( horizontal gene transfer ) - in other words, various bacteria SHARE SOFTWARE to fight antibiotics - just another designed feat. Darwinist were wrong about everything ... martin_r

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