Mystery of Human Diversity Deepens: Size Of Human Genome Reduced To 19,000 Genes

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posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 07:31 PM
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THE MYSTERIES: How can only 19,000 protein coding genes -shared by all humans- produce the absolute abundance of unique individual diversity called the human species? And - how can we share most of those genes with other animals and still be so different?

The latest research published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics finds that the number of human genes -those that can generate proteins- is 19,000. Not 20,700. Definitely not 100,000. Just 19,000. It also concludes, "almost all of these genes have ancestors prior to the appearance of primates 50 million years ago."

How can that be?

Genes code for proteins and every protein has a specific function, which is determined by the protein's shape. A central dogma of molecular biology is that a protein molecule has one shape that predestines a single biological function.

BUT. Proteins misfold, and those with exactly the same amino acids -but different shapes- do very different things. Like prions. Also like prions, differently shaped proteins often cause diseases.

HOWEVER. At least one protein -the Ebola virus VP40 "transformer" protein- takes three different shapes during its assembly process to fulfill three completely different functions. The same protein, different shapes, different effects. That's how it works.

STILL. If we have only 19,000 protein-coding genes that produce only 19,000 proteins with only 19,000 specific shapes, we cannot exist in all our diversity. No way. You do the math. The numbers don't add up.

UNLESS….

Maybe, like the Ebola virus VP40 "transformer" protein, human proteins shapeshift too. Maybe that's how epigenetic mechanisms are supposed to work - by changing a protein's shape after it's produced according to the genetic code - changing the protein's function - and creating layer upon layer of diversity, protein by protein. Maybe proteins are supposed to respond to the environment by shapeshifting and doing the job that's required in the moment, for the moment.

This could explain how humans have such a multitude of unique characteristics despite having only a relatively limited number of genes.

Of course, this means we all need to be very, very careful what we do to our personal, local and global environments - because our environmental exposures determine what happens to -and with- the proteins our genes produce, and how they function.

….So much to learn. So little time.




Size Of Human Genome Reduced To 19,000 Genes

A study led by Alfonso Valencia, Vice-Director of Basic Research at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and head of the Structural Computational Biology Group, and Michael Tress, researcher at the Group, updates the number of human genes –those that can generate proteins– to 19,000; 1,700 fewer than the genes in the most recent annotation, and well below the initial estimations of 100,000 genes. The work, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, concludes that almost all of these genes have ancestors prior to the appearance of primates 50 million years ago.


Scripps Research Institute Scientists Reveal How Deadly Ebola Virus Assembles

...the study showed that the same molecule that assembles and releases new viruses also rearranges itself into different shapes, with each shape controlling a different step of the virus’s life cycle.

“Like a ‘Transformer’, this protein of the Ebola virus adopts different shapes for different functions,” said Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science at TSRI. “It revises a central dogma of molecular biology—that a protein molecule has one shape that predestines one biological function."

This “shape-shifting” or “transformer” behavior explains how the Ebola virus can control a multi-step viral lifecycle using only a very limited number of genes.






edit on 7/7/14 by soficrow because: tinker




posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Hmmm.

Sounds like they're trying to minimize something.

What I don't know.




posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Humans (the specific variety here on earth) are genetically engineered.

Anyone on ATS familiar with Joseph Farrell? I subscribe to the same cosmology as he...
edit on 7-7-2014 by Psykotik because: .



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 08:43 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Check out Bruce Lipton. He gives a great explanation of this.



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 09:22 PM
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Well, how different are we really?

When you speak of diversity, what is it that makes us different? We all have most of the same organs, in most of the same places. We all have blood and breathe air. The things that really make us different is how we think.

Most of the differences between us are shallow, like the color of our eyes, skin and hair. Beyond that, how different are we than any other species of creature that has variation in their genetics?

How many times has someone said "you look like so-and-so..." or "you remind me of someone I know..." or "I think we met somewhere before..." and if you think about why, it is because even in all of our diversity, we really aren't that different.

So no, I don't find it hard to believe that 19,000 genes could create the diversity we have today, and still leave room for plenty more diversity. But that's just me.


~Namaste
edit on 7-7-2014 by SonOfTheLawOfOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: soficrow


THE MYSTERIES: How can only 19,000 protein coding genes -shared by all humans- produce the absolute abundance of unique individual diversity called the human species? And - how can we share most of those genes with other animals and still be so different?


S&F!


Very easily ... and here is how ... there is less than 10,000 types of Lego blocks for example ...

How many different LEGO bricks are there?


There are (excluding colour variations) currently 6448 different molds used in the production of Lego bricks


And we aren't lacking for variety of things we can create with less than 6500 types of Lego brick/block!

Just imagine what we could make with 3 times as many types of different Lego brick/block!


Plus we also have another comparison for complexity ... the chemical elements ... they number less than 120 types and yet they make up the majority variety of matter [including folding proteins etc.] in the entire universe [excepting neutrons stars]!

Carl Sagan stated in the Cosmos series that ... "The beauty of the living things is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together"!

We are all connected! [Symphony of Science]






posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 05:55 AM
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Are either Bruce Lipton or Joseph Farrell opportunists who make a buck by exploiting peoples's penchant for a conspiracy coupled with an understanding of science that's basic, at best, and a tendency to speak in platitudes? a reply to: zardust



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: zardust

Lipton's philosophy offers a framework, but does not plug in any scientific details.



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 07:06 AM
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originally posted by: SonOfTheLawOfOne
Well, how different are we really?

....how different are we than any other species of creature...?


If we only consider genes, we really are not very different from each other - or anything else.


Over 99% of human protein coding genes have an origin that predates primates by over 50 million years.



We are all connected, and we are all family.

What a thought.

Namaste



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 07:14 AM
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originally posted by: DietJoke
a reply to: soficrow





Lego, combinations, permutations...

and protein folding, which multiplies the available building blocks perhaps infinitely.









edit on 8/7/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 12:35 PM
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The universe works in mysterious ways...

Just take our binary computer systems, only 2 digits yet an infinite amount of possibilities.



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: soficrow



THE MYSTERIES: How can only 19,000 protein coding genes -shared by all humans- produce the absolute abundance of unique individual diversity called the human species? And - how can we share most of those genes with other animals and still be so different? The latest research published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics finds that the number of human genes -those that can generate proteins- is 19,000. Not 20,700. Definitely not 100,000. Just 19,000. It also concludes, "almost all of these genes have ancestors prior to the appearance of primates 50 million years ago." How can that be?


Why are you surprised by the conclusion of the study? Genes evolve over time, they develop mutations and are subject to other forces that determine their frequency within a population - why wouldnt they bear close resemblance to our ancestors only a short walk up the tree? Rather, the way these genes are regulated and interact plays a huge factor in generating all sorts of variation. Look at Hox genes, they form the basic body plan in every animal and are so evolutionary conserved that they can be swapped in different species who shared a last common ancestor hundreds of millions of years ago -- the regulation and control of their expression at different hierarchical levels is what determines variation in the body plan. These 19,000 genes interact in a complex network, and very few are even "turned on" at any one time. Differing expression levels, slight mutations within the genes themselves, alternate RNA splicing after transcription, etc all play a huge factor in generating the amount of observable diversity we see in humans and the cover gets blown off the central dogma once you get past Bio101. I can imagine alternate protein folding would be much harder to detect with our current technology (not really my field) so I am not sure how abundant it is, fascinating article on Ebola.



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 02:19 PM
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originally posted by: soficrow
Of course, this means we all need to be very, very careful what we do to our personal, local and global environments - because our environmental exposures determine what happens to -and with- the proteins our genes produce, and how they function.


1 likes how you think
don't want some losing long term contact for whatever reason with others like them and due to habitat changes changing genetics they don't recognize each other anymore and establish a self hatred for themselves...



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

If I'm not mistaken he is one of the founders of epi genetics and is a pretty serious scientist. I think he is the one that first said there wouldn't be as many genes as we thought ( 100k). www.brucelipton.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink">Lipton CV



posted on Jul, 9 2014 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: consolidatedimage


Why are you surprised by the conclusion of the study?


What on earth leads you to conclude I am surprised? ...I have an ongoing ...dialogue with the local eugenicists who think everything is genetic, even gene expression, and who dismiss epigenetics out of hand.





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