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Was the media coverage of identical twins’ DNA in space horrific?

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From John Timmer at Ars Technica:

Why are people excited about Kelly’s DNA? The simple answer would seem to be that he has an identical twin, who must have identical DNA, and so we have a chance to see what space does to DNA. After all, space is a high-radiation environment, and we know that radiation damages DNA.

But there’s quite a bit more to it than that. First and foremost, the Kelly twins’ DNA is not identical. Every time a cell divides, it typically picks up a mutation or two. Further mutations happen simply because of the stresses of life, which expose us all to some radiation and DNA-damaging chemicals, no matter how careful we are about diet and sunscreen. Over the years, the Kelly twins’ cells have undoubtedly picked up collections of distinctive mutations.

As a result, the more relevant comparison (and one NASA did) is Scott’s DNA before and after his time in space. That can tell us how many changes were picked up while in space. But as noted above, he would have probably picked up some mutations even if he sat here on Earth. And that’s where his twin Mark, who did sit here on Earth, comes in. Mark’s before and after gives us a sense of the normal background rate of mutation on Earth. Comparing that rate to Scott’s tells us the important number: the degree to which this rate is elevated in the environment of low-Earth orbit.

But mutations alone don’t tell the full story. Less than three percent of a person’s DNA is translated into the proteins that perform the functions in our cell. So chances are good that any mutations Scott picked up would have missed his genes entirely.

But the DNA sequence of a gene isn’t the only way to influence its behavior. Our environments influence gene activity all the time—our bodies change gene activity to respond to everything from hostile pathogens to the time of day.More.

By all means, read the whole thing. But note: The Central Dogma of evolution is dead (one gene, one protein…). But many tenures lie between that fact and letting the public know that our genes are a largely uncharted sea.

See also: Now THAT’S different: Identical twins, one in space, have different DNA? Obviously, the genome is much more plastic than centuries of hereditarians have led us to believe. It will eventually be very difficult to explain Darwinism to students. Somewhat like explaining phrenology maybe…

and

About that Central Dogma (Cornelius Hunter)

14 Replies to “Was the media coverage of identical twins’ DNA in space horrific?

  1. 1
    cornu says:

    I think someone that doesn’t know what t central dogma of molecular biology is called, let alone what it actually says (did you even read the linked page?) is probably not in a great position to cast judgement on the state of the field…

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    cornu, do you think the central dogma still stands?

    Does the central dogma still stand? – Koonin EV. – 23 August 2012
    Excerpt: Thus, there is non-negligible flow of information from proteins to the genome in modern cells, in a direct violation of the Central Dogma of molecular biology. The prion-mediated heredity that violates the Central Dogma appears to be a specific, most radical manifestation of the widespread assimilation of protein (epigenetic) variation into genetic variation. The epigenetic variation precedes and facilitates genetic adaptation through a general ‘look-ahead effect’ of phenotypic mutations.,,,
    Conclusions:
    The Central Dogma of molecular biology is refuted by genetic assimilation of prion-dependent phenotypic heredity. This phenomenon is likely to be the tip of the proverbial iceberg,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3472225/

    Moreover, perhaps you can help me understand how mutations to DNA can generate new body plans. I can’t seem to find any evidence supporting this Darwinian claim. If fact, I find much evidence falsifying the claim.

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w
    Paper:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t8g9fXk9H7A-s1APa8Y90AGv6iKkJshzbiDVkTqBEI0/edit

    In fact, the entire reductive materialistic framework that undergirds Darwinian evolution is now found to be false:

    The failure of reductive materialism to be able to explain the basic form of any particular organism (or anything else in the universe) occurs at a very low level.
    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Godel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    cornu, Does the inability of reductive materialists to ever be able to explain macroscopic properties trouble you? If not, why not?

  3. 3
    cornu says:

    cornu, do you think the central dogma still stands?

    I don’t’ know of any exceptions to it. I really don’t see how Koonin’s prion example would be one.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    cornu, you did not honestly answer, even briefly, the other question I asked.

    “Does the inability of reductive materialists to ever be able to explain macroscopic properties trouble you? If not, why not?”

    As to your current answer “I really don’t see how Koonin’s prion example would be one (a violation of the central dogma).”

    Really??? And exactly how would information flow into the DNA, that is facilitated and controlled by other molecules in the cell, not be a violation of the central dogma??

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns”
    James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    cornu, Perhaps the central dogma, like many other things for Darwinists, is simply unfalsifiable in your mind? i.e. it is above empirical reproach for you?,,, But then, testability has never been a strong suit for Darwinists (as was pointed out by K. Popper)

    DNA is far more passive in life than you seem to realize.

    As Nobel stated: “The genome is an ‘organ of the cell’, not its dictator”

    “The genome is an ‘organ of the cell’, not its dictator”
    – Denis Noble – President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences

    Or as Jonathan Wells states ‘It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.’

    Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism – Jonathan Wells – February 23, 2015
    Excerpt: humans have a “few thousand” different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,,
    The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It’s called genomic mosaicism.
    In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,,
    ,,,(then) “genomic equivalence” — the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA — became the accepted view.
    I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common.
    I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....93851.html

  5. 5
    cornu says:

    Really??? And exactly how would information flow into the DNA, that is facilitated and controlled by other molecules in the cell, not be a violation of the central dogma??

    Explain to me, without quoting articles you don’t understand, how prions are an exception to the central dogma.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    cornu,

    first off go soak your head!

    ,,, your condescending attitude, as much as you would like it to, does not come close to countering the evidence thus far presented presented.

    Moreover, the burden is on you, since it was put to you first, to explain exactly why you think Koonin, Shapiro, Noble, and Wells are incorrect in their criticisms of the central dogma.

    I’m sure I can find many more well respected researchers who disagree wholeheartedly with your claim that the central dogma is above reproach.

    Lastly, go soak your head cornu!

  7. 7
    cornu says:

    I don’t think the central dogma is above “reproach”. There may well be exceptions to it, I justt don’t know of any. In this case, I think Koonin is wrong because the central dogma states that sequence information flows from DNA <-> RNA -> Protein. Prions are proteins and they do no transfer sequence information into nucleic acids, so they are not an exception to this pattern.

    Unless you would like to prove otherwise?

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Fair enough on Koonin cornu, but I would still hold with Shapiro (Noble, and Wells),,,

    (and perhaps 90% of the researchers listed at “The Third Way” http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/people )

    ,,, that protein molecules and/or protein machines in the cell body controlling how, when, and where information gets encoded into DNA “nonrandomly” violates the ‘spirit’ of the central dogma if not violating the central dogma itself, (not to mention crushing the “randomness” postulate that undergirds neo-Darwinism, i.e. the modern synthesis, itself).

    Shoot besides classical neo-Darwinism, finding that the vast majority of changes to DNA occur non-randomly also brings neutral theory itself into question.

    Thus, though you may want to quibble that the central dogma has not been strictly violated, you would be wrong to suggest that these findings do not directly challenge core Darwinian assumptions about DNA’s supposed primary role in life.

    Moreover, this is just the tip of the iceberg of problems for any reductive materialistic theory of life. Specifically, advances in quantum biology have now undermined the entire reductive materialistic framework that undergirds Darwinian thought:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y
    – paper
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JI6cNzaAzQ83RMo4H887PVWXUOw2QWyy2I1ljk6EPs4/edit

    Then there is also the quantum paper listed previously that falsifies reductive materialism in a much more rigorous, i.e. scientific, manner:

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Godel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Since the “insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description”, I would hold this pretty much renders any reductive materialistic explanation for life null and void.

    But as you would be quick to point out cornu. “what do I know?”

  9. 9
    ET says:

    cornu- Prions change the shape and function of the proteins they come into contact with. That means information doesn’t just flow DNARNA->protein.

  10. 10
    cornu says:

    The central dogma is a statement about sequence information, prions do not alter the sequence of proteins.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Protein information is all about function and prions alter the function by altering the shape.

  12. 12
    cornu says:

    Well, I mean, cool story bro… it’s just nothing to do with the central dogma.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    cornu says:

    Try to keep up bud, I’ve already described where Koonin’s paper fails. There is no flow of sequence information from protein to nucleic acid.

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