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Humans vs corn - guess which appears to be genetically more complex ?

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posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 05:54 PM
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I was just reading a ScienceDaily article which states that scientists have just worked out the complete genome (genetic map) of the common corn/maize plant.
Here's the article link:
www.sciencedaily.com... 3A+Latest+Science+News%29&utm_content=Google+International

As interesting as that was, what really made me pay attention was the reference made that


The sequence spans 2.3 billion DNA base-pairs and contains some 32,500 genes, or about one-third more than the human genome.

indicating that corn from the total number of genes point of view, appeared to be a more complex organism than we humans ... and truthfully, this surprised me enormously.

So a quick bit of research to confirm this and yes, corn really does have approximately 10,000 more genes than humans !

Corn = 32,500 genes (approx)
Humans = 23,000 genes (approx)

This being a fact, wouldn't that tend to indicate that genetically, based on the gene count only, corn appears to be a more complex organism ?

And even more surprising, I came across another reference that again genetically, based on the gene count only, that humans aren't that that far removed from the lower organisms !



Surprisingly, the number of human genes seems to be less than a factor of two greater than that of many much simpler organisms, such as the roundworm and the fruit fly.



Kind of puts us humans into perspective, doesn't it ?


Anyway, just thought it had curiousity value and that other ATS members may be just as surprised as I was.




posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Plants have to do everything in-situ .
Their lack of mobility has turned them into little chemical factories .We would be at a loss without their `inventiveness`.

Natures Alchemists .



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:28 PM
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The number of genes has nothing to do with the complexity of the organism. Many genes are redundant.

Complexity does not come from the number of genes but from the way in which they are used," according to Rubin.

www.genomenewsnetwork.org...



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


I had always assumed that humans, being the peak of evolutionary development, that such "superiority" would have been reflected in our genetic makeup ... but apparently such is not necessarily the case.

In turn, that just makes you wonder what it really is that sets us apart from all the other species and gives us our unique abilities. Obviously the number of available genes doesn't seem to be the key factor.



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
The number of genes has nothing to do with the complexity of the organism. Many genes are redundant.

Complexity does not come from the number of genes but from the way in which they are used," according to Rubin.

www.genomenewsnetwork.org...


Apparently so ... but one must also suppose that every gene, redundant or not, must have at some point in the organisms history, served some purpose that was beneficial to that organism.

Based on Rubin's observation, one would have to assume that humans having 10,000 less genes than corn, that we must be utilizing what we have extremely efficiently to give us our "edge" over every other specie.



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 

What edge is that?
Corn trained us to cultivate it. Who's smarter?



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:52 PM
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yellow blue or black , which one are we talking about ?

as ive come to understand theres a difference between em all ,

yellow being the one most humans dont digest and u.s has in over supply because of some sort of law that pays farmers for over production of a product that dont sell yet in its glucose sugar state its a wild seller yet destroyer of health.



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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Isn't corn one of those 'mystery crops'? As in, corn just kind of appeared on the scene in the development of early mankind and 'corn scientists' are not quite sure how (this development) managed to take place???

I have no idea what I am talking about, but as a youngster I did enjoy many a bag of BBQ corn chips.



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Phage`s comment sums up the video i sent you via U2U.



What edge is that? Corn trained us to cultivate it. Who's smarter?


I`ll post a link if anyone is interested . The Botany of Desire.

Its a good point.
We understandably have a very human centric view of the world . We frame everything in terms of our action on them i.e plant life ,as we don`t have a good vocabulary to describe plant agency .

Of course i`m not suggesting that it is a product of plant intent .To take a rose, for example,it just happened to be the roses good fortune that we are intoxicated by its scent . And many people go to extraordinary lengths to propagate its genes for it . The video linked above, covers these points, its certainly an interesting perspective on our relationship with plants.


Edit: spelling

[edit on 19-11-2009 by UmbraSumus]



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by univac500
 


blue and dark/black corn are the original ones and the more nutrius , i belive yellow is the domisticated one and favourd by farmers for its "easy" growth.



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 07:38 PM
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I would think complex plant life came well before complex animal life. Making their genetic sequence longer?

More time to evolve = more genes?



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 08:41 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


To expand a little on what you have said, plants are indeed complex organisms with a vastly broader biochemical repertoire than animals. This complexity requires a large number of genes.

Analysis of plants demonstrates the huge number of chemicals they produce, all mainly from soil, water, CO2 and sunlight.

Many plants have a good sense of their enviroment (including light, sound, touch, 'smell', nutrient availability, competition) and continuously communicate information between themselves. Some can differentiate predators and produce the appropriate chemical countermeasures whilst releasing chemicals to warn other plants of a likely attack.

Plants have a distributed, chemical based 'nervous system' whereas animals have a central electrical/chemical based system.

Whether you regard them as more complex than humans depends on how you meaure. They are not the simple lifeforms most assume them to be.


[edit on 20/11/2009 by LightFantastic]



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by LightFantastic
 



Plant communication is very interesting indeed.

I recently came across this fascinating article .
Science News

Jewelweeds crowd out the competition but make room for their kin


“This is the first paper that shows that plants are responding above ground to sibling roots,” Murphy says. That’s a contrast to the other plant species the Dudley lab has tested for kin recognition, Great Lakes sea rocket (Cakile edentula).It too showed special behavior among its kin, but only in its roots.

Seedlings apparently tolerated the presence of kin but nearby strangers inspired a shift of resources to roots, as if battling to snatch water and nutrients from the enemy, the Dudley lab reported in 2007.


They certainly aren`t simple lifeforms , they are quite remarkable.


[edit on 19-11-2009 by UmbraSumus]

[edit on 19-11-2009 by UmbraSumus]



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


This actually doesn't surprise me. Seems there are a lot of things about corn that are mysterious. I believe some people believe we have corn thanks to Extraterrestrials.



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
The number of genes has nothing to do with the complexity of the organism. Many genes are redundant.

Complexity does not come from the number of genes but from the way in which they are used," according to Rubin.

www.genomenewsnetwork.org...


Corn isn't the only thing that is less complex than Homo Sapiens and has more genes, so the number of genes is definitely not a measure of the organism's complexity. Rubin is right about that much, I'm not sure if he's right about everything.



posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 01:23 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


I know the feeling...

A few days ago I read an article somewhere talking about the link between brain size and intelligence, where it stated that just a few hundred thousand neurons might be enough for "consciousness" to arise with some extras like ability to do simple math, etc. In theory, a human being's brain is not more complex than the brain of other mammals (in the sense that a small carpet and a big carpet with the same pattern woven are of the same complexity, even though one is bigger than the other).

If we think about it: What makes us more intelligent than dogs ? Why can we conceive mandelbrot fractals or euler's theorem while a dog cannot ? Because our brains are bigger, hence we're more intelligent ?

Then the same article made a comparison between our brains and the brains of whales. It turns out (and I didn't know that) that a sperm whale's brain has 2.5x more neurons than the human brain. It is the largest brain in the planet, weighting 7.8kg in comparison to our 1.3kg brains.

So, how does one measure intelligence ?
Are we really more intelligent than whales ?
By what criteria ?



posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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i like to think of genetic complexity less about the size of the code and more about the sophistication of the coding. kind of like a well written and efficient computer program.



posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:27 AM
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Originally posted by bonekeeper
It turns out (and I didn't know that) that a sperm whale's brain has 2.5x more neurons than the human brain. It is the largest brain in the planet


If the sperm whale brain also has many more interconnections that a human brain I suppose this would be the most complex thing known to man.

I have read in the past that intelligence is related to brain surface area rather than just the number of neurons.

However, as nature rarely expends energy on producing complexity that offers no benefit, what are all these extra neurons used for?



posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:40 AM
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Originally posted by tauristercus
In turn, that just makes you wonder what it really is that sets us apart from all the other species and gives us our unique abilities. Obviously the number of available genes doesn't seem to be the key factor.


What would you describe as 'unique' abilities? I thought of "the ability to modify our own genome" but this is just technology and other species have this even if only very basic.


[edit on 20/11/2009 by LightFantastic]



posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 06:20 AM
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Originally posted by zerbot565
yellow blue or black , which one are we talking about ?

as ive come to understand theres a difference between em all ,

yellow being the one most humans dont digest and u.s has in over supply because of some sort of law that pays farmers for over production of a product that dont sell yet in its glucose sugar state its a wild seller yet destroyer of health.


You've brought up a good point, if it is indeed yellow corn they're talking about this makes sense chemically....the first thing I learned in chem class was that glucose is one of the more complex chemicals, might this have something to do with the genetic makeup of corn? To produce glucose, I'd imagine it would have to be more complex in it's genetic makeup, we only break glucose down, we don't naturally produce it, that may be a huge factor.



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