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[_ Old Earth _] 'EVOLUTION has not tampered with them one little bit'

Justice

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Research team finds 'triggers of life': 'EVOLUTION has not tampered with them one little bit' ... Professor John Mattick in Brisbane yesterday. May 08, 2004

http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/c ... 36,9498659^8362,00.html

AN idea which could turn out to be the biggest breakthrough in genetics in 50 years was announced yesterday by Brisbane and American scientists.

Team members believe they have stumbled across segments of DNA which lay out the instructions for turning trillions of different proteins and other molecules into people.

Identical segments were found in the DNA of rats and mice, adding weight to the theory that the segments were an instruction manual for building any mammal.

Very similar pieces of DNA were found in chickens and fish, suggesting the instruction manual has remained virtually unchanged in every animal with a backbone despite 400 million years of evolution.

The discovery could shed light on why attempts to correct rare genetic disorders failed and why some people were more at risk from complex diseases like heart attacks and obesity.

It could help scientists fine-tune stem cell treatments.

And, in the long-term, copying the rules for making life might lead to ways of creating artificial lifeforms which could assemble themselves from building blocks.

"Essentially what we found was several hundred DNA sequences more than 200 bases long which were exactly the same in humans, mice and rats," Institute for Molecular Bioscience director John Mattick said yesterday.

"The odds of them being the same in all three animals is about one in 10 with 22 zeroes after it, so they must be there for a reason."

Bases are the building blocks of DNA, rather like the letters of the alphabet.

Different combinations of bases make different genes and the combinations, or sequences, are unique to every person, animal and plant.

Professor Mattick's team at the University of Queensland published the discovery in yesterday's edition of the journal Science in collaboration with a team at the University of California.

Professor Mattick said because the new sequences were the same in mice, rats and people, they appeared to be vital for life.

"The fact evolution has not tampered with them one little bit suggests very strongly that they are absolutely essential," he said. "We know they don't make proteins, they make another type of molecule called RNA.

"The mystery is what are they for, how do they work and why are they so fiercely conserved (unchanged)?"

Professor Mattick said he believed the RNA made by the sequences were master regulators, switching on or switching off genes which made the proteins comprising most bodies.

A separate Australian team recently discovered animal cells made short strands of RNA which latched on to genes and stopped them from making proteins, lending weight to the theory.

Professor Mattick said he suspected other people had not twigged to the idea before partly because the pioneering work on DNA, RNA and protein formation was performed on bacteria, which did not appear to have the same sort of RNA control system.

His team was working on another paper for Science which would shed more light on the mystery.

While he downplayed the significance of the breakthrough, if the theory was correct some scientists would rank it as the most important insight into genetics since the structure of DNA was discovered in 1953.
 
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SyntaxVorlon

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Then they are the best lines of code for the specific functions they are doing. If things change with them drastically I'm betting that the animals with those changes don't have very long lifetimes.
Evolution hasn't occured because Natural Selection is preventing tampering.

What's your point Justice?
 

Barbarian

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Yep. If an organism is well-fitted to the environment in some trait, natural selection will prevent that trait from changing, as Darwin predicted.

Some amino acid sequences in cytochrome c have been around since microorganism appeared.
 
S

SyntaxVorlon

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Enough visual representation of the diversity of life.
Justice are you going to make a point, reply to our points or are you going to concede whatever points you were trying to make with this thread?
 
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