Archive for the ‘evolution’ category: Page 71

Jun 9, 2021

DNA Jumps Between Animal Species. No One Knows How Often

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Laurie Graham, a molecular biologist at Queen’s University in Ontario and lead author on the paper, knows she’s making a bold claim in arguing for the direct transfer of a gene from one fish to another. That kind of horizontal DNA movement once wasn’t imagined to happen in any animals, let alone vertebrates. Still, the more she and her colleagues study the smelt, the clearer the evidence becomes.

Nor are the smelt unique. Recent studies of a range of animals — other fish, reptiles, birds and mammals — point to a similar conclusion: The lateral inheritance of DNA, once thought to be exclusive to microbes, occurs on branches throughout the tree of life.

Sarah Schaack, an evolutionary genomicist at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, believes these cases of horizontal transfer still have “a pretty big wow factor” even among scientists, “because the conventional wisdom for so long was that it was less likely or impossible in eukaryotes.” But the smelt discovery and other recent examples all point to horizontal transfers playing an influential role in evolution.

Jun 3, 2021

Researchers rewire the genetics of E. coli, make it virus-proof

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

Many of the fundamental features of life don’t necessarily have to be the way they are. Chance plays a major role in evolution, and there are always alternate paths that were never explored, simply because whatever evolved previously happened to be good enough. One instance of this idea is the genetic code, which converts the information carried by our DNA into the specific sequence of amino acids that form proteins. There are scores of potential amino acids, many of which can form spontaneously, but most life uses a genetic code that relies on just 20 of them.

Over the past couple of decades, scientists have shown that it doesn’t have to be that way. If you supply bacteria with the right enzyme and an alternative amino acid, they can use it. But bacteria won’t use the enzyme and amino acid very efficiently, as all the existing genetic code slots are already in use.

In a new work, researchers have managed to edit bacteria’s genetic code to free up a few new slots. They then filled those slots with unnatural amino acids, allowing the bacteria to produce proteins that would never be found in nature. One side effect of the reprogramming? No viruses could replicate in the modified bacteria.

Jun 3, 2021

Researchers: Culture drives human evolution more than genetics

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics

Culture drives human evolution more than genetics

I wonder about the thought that only humans do this, and perhaps that somehow culture is separate in some way from biological evolution enmeshed with the rest of the planet?
by University of Maine

Culture is an under-appreciated factor in human evolution, Waring says. Like genes, culture helps people adjust to their environment and meet the challenges of survival and reproduction. Culture, however, does so more effectively than genes because the transfer of knowledge is faster and more flexible than the inheritance of genes, according to Waring and Wood.

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Jun 3, 2021

Experimental vaccine forces bacteria down an evolutionary dead end

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

The team says that the technique could be used to develop new vaccines against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and potentially even wipe out some dangerous strains in a similar way to how smallpox was eradicated.

Pathogens like bacteria and viruses are extremely good at evolving in response to drugs, which can render vaccines ineffective. But now, researchers at ETH Zurich have found a way to weaponize that ability against them, forcing the bugs down harmless evolutionary dead ends.

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Jun 2, 2021

Parasitic worms: The helping hand of an unwanted friend

Posted by in category: evolution

Full article available at: https://www.regenerativemedicinedaily.com/parasitic-worms… See More.

Humanity has a long and turbulent history with parasites, even today many parts of the world still struggle with rampant parasitic infections, with pathogens such as the malaria parasite claiming hundreds of thousands of lives every year. By their very nature parasites are harmful to our bodies, or at least that has been the prevailing opinion within the scientific community for as long as we have known of their existence. However, the malicious evolution of parasites might very well have produced a positive side effect which we are only just starting to notice.

Jun 1, 2021

Ancient dog breed DNA helps unravel clues about evolution of man’s best friend

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

An international study led by UNSW researchers has mapped one of the most intact and complete dog genomes ever generated.

The genome sequence of the Basenji dog could have a big impact on the understanding of dog evolution, domestication and canine genetic diseases.

The Basenji—also known as the barkless dog—is an ancient African dog breed which still lives and hunts with tribesmen in the African Congo.

May 30, 2021

The Passage of Time and the Meaning of Life | Sean Carroll

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, particle physics, quantum physics

What is time? What is humankind’s role in the universe? What is the meaning of life? For much of human history, these questions have been the province of religion and philosophy. What answers can science provide?

In this talk, Sean Carroll will share what physicists know, and don’t yet know, about the nature of time. He’ll argue that while the universe might not have purpose, we can create meaning and purpose through how we approach reality, and how we live our lives.

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May 28, 2021

Episode 52 — The Unexpected Origins of Life’s Genetic Code

Posted by in categories: evolution, genetics, physics

Great new episode with guest Ben K.D. Pearce on how and why our own genetic code was able to form in Earth’s warm little ponds as early as 4.5 billion years ago. Please have a listen.

Guest Ben K.D. Pearce, a Ph.D student in astrophysics and astrobiology at McMaster University in Toronto, and an expert on the origins of life’s building blocks here on Earth. We discuss the idea that all the genetic components from which life emerged were incredibly readily available biogenically very early in Earth’s evolution. As early as 4.5 billion years ago. Pearce is part of a group making great strides in learning how this all may have happened in Earth’s very ancient warm little ponds.

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May 26, 2021

Bioengineers Develop Algorithm to Compare Cells Across Species – With Striking Results

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, evolution, information science

Researchers created an algorithm to identify similar cell types from species – including fish, mice, flatworms and sponges – that have diverged for hundreds of millions of years, which could help fill in gaps in our understanding of evolution.

Cells are the building blocks of life, present in every living organism. But how similar do you think your cells are to a mouse? A fish? A worm?

Comparing cell types in different species across the tree of life can help biologists understand how cell types arose and how they have adapted to the functional needs of different life forms. This has been of increasing interest to evolutionary biologists in recent years because new technology now allows sequencing and identifying all cells throughout whole organisms. “There’s essentially a wave in the scientific community to classify all types of cells in a wide variety of different organisms,” explained Bo Wang, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University.

May 23, 2021

The Mental Universe Hypothesis: Reconnecting to Your Cosmic Self

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

From a purely scientific frame of reference, many quantum phenomena like non-local correlations between distant entities and wave-particle duality, the wave function collapse and consistent histories, quantum entanglement and teleportation, the uncertainty principle and overall observer-dependence of reality pin down our conscious mind being intrinsic to reality. And this is the one thing the current physicalist paradigm fails to account for. Critical-mass anomalies will ultimately lead to the full paradigm shift in physics. It’s just a matter of time.

With consciousness as primary, everything remains the same and everything changes. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology are unchanged. What changes is our interpretation as to what they are describing. They are not describing the unfolding of an objective physical world, but transdimensional evolution of one’s conscious mind. There’s nothing “physical” about our physical reality except that we perceive it that way. By playing the “Game of Life” we evolved to survive not to see quantum mechanical reality. At our classical level of experiential reality we perceive ourselves as physical, at the quantum level we are a probabilistic wave function, which is pure information.

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