Dreevoo.com | Online Learning and Knowledge Sharing
Home | News | Science and nature | Humans are a 500 million year old genetic mistake
Click to view your profile

Humans are a 500 million year old genetic mistake

New studies reveal, that evolution of humans and other vertebrates followed after a genetic process that went wrong 500 million years ago.

  Author: mat | Source: news.discovery.com | 30th July 2012  

A spineless being on the ocean floor successfully doubled the amount of its DNA twice, this "mistake", made over 500 million years ago, triggered the evolution of humans and other animals from the vertebrates family. A good side of these DNA doublings is that they enhanced the communication between the cells so they are now much better at integrating information, even better than at the moment best available smartphone out there.

Bad side to the story are so called communication breakdowns that can be a cause of cancer, diabetes and neurological disorders.

On the picture above, you can see an amphioxus or lancelet, believe it or not our very distant cousin and it is very similar to the original spineless creature that was swimming long before a DNA doubling event happened. Professor MacKintosh of the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee said that these duplications were not always stable and most part of the duplicated genes got lost quite quickly, long before we humans evolved but some of them did survive.

Her group studies several hundreds of proteins, so called 14-3-3 proteins, in human cells to coordinate how they respond to grow factors and insulin. They found out such proteins already existed during Cambrian, when DNA duplications started occurring. They have not found the first animal the carries the proteins, but the genes show that our friend Lancelet from the picture above is very similar to the pre-duplication creature we spoke of at the beginning, that's why it can be considered as our very distant cousin.


  Please login to post a comment
online learning made for people