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Surprising Sea Slug Is Half-plant, Half-animal

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posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 04:54 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

I'll make this simple for you, man.

Prove to me why the scientists consulted for this article are wrong:

The slugs accomplishment is quite a feat, and scientists aren't yet sure how the animals actually appropriate the genes they need.

"It certainly is possible that DNA from one species can get into another species, as these slugs have clearly shown," Pierce said. "But the mechanisms are still unknown."

Why didn't they say, "This slug obviously gained these plant genes through some kind of random mutation, because that's the only way this can happen"?

All you have to do is admit that this is new, and you, like these guys, don't really know how it happened. THAT'S ALL! And this "argument" is over.

Or else tell me specifically why these scientists are mistaken.

[edit on 18-1-2010 by bsbray11]

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 05:06 PM
This creatures also brings back memories of "Flukeman" on the X-files.

posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 04:15 AM

Originally posted by bsbray11

Originally posted by Astyanax
We are talking about mutation

You were... the first one to bring up "mutation." I am talking about DNA changes that are still not understood according to the OP's article. Do you understand THAT? (No, didn't think so.)

The misunderstanding is yours, I'm afraid. Biologists call such DNA changes mutations.

Mutations are changes in the DNA sequence of a cell's genome. Wikipedia

You are suggesting that a slug RANDOMLY incorporated plant genes into its genome...

No, I am not. Again, the misunderstanding is yours, and reveals a telling lack of subject knowledge one would normally regard as essential for anyone disposed to argue this topic.

Which is to say, no ordered biological process involved, no plants involved, just a MUTATION of the DNA sequence that resulted in the slug having plant multiple genes.

Not at all; this is simply what you have assumed. It is plain that you do not comprehend what a wide spectrum of operations is covered by the word mutation. Again, you reveal an amusing lack of subject knowledge; you don't know enough to understand how wrong you are!

First of all, the scientists in the OP don't agree with you. They say the mechanism in question here is still unknown to them.

Yes, the mechanism of chloroplast uptake and utilization is unknown. The existence of the mutation itself has been known since 1965

Interest in these early studies was renewed following the detailed report by Kawaguti and Yamasu in 1965 demonstrating the presence of algal chloroplasts, not unicellular algae, in animal cells. Electron microscopy revealed that the green structures housed in the digestive cells of Elysia atroviridis were structurally identical to the chloroplasts in the green alga Codium fragile, upon which the sea slug was observed to feed. Metabolic function of the plastids was inferred, but not measured. Since Kawaguti and Yamasu's report (1965), the natural curiosity surrounding these animals has intrigued many scientists, leading to several pioneering studies by Trench (1975), Taylor (1970), Greene (1974), and Muscatine et al. (1975) in the late 1960s and 1970s. Due mostly to lack of federal support (Margulis, 1990), studies on these symbiotic organisms stalled in the 1980s and early 1990s. From the above link

What is unknown is the circumstances under which the mutation (more likely, chain of mutations) must have occurred--for obvious reasons, this is likely to remain speculative--and more pertinently, the precise biochemical pathways by means of which the algal DNA is incorporated into the slug's cell nuclei. Is it, for example, analogous to one of the many methods by which bacteria exchange genes?

Originally posted by bsbray11
The chances of a DNA sequence mutating exactly genes known to us as "plant genes" completely at random is severely astronomically improbable.

Indeed it is. But since that is not the kind of mutation we're talking about here, who cares?

Would you like to demonstrate how an animal can RANDOMLY MUTATE (on its own) genes into its genome from other species? (Again, no, not expecting a straight answer to this at all....)

No. It's not relevant, anyway.

Prove to me why the scientists consulted for this article are wrong.

They're not wrong. You are, because you don't know enough about either molecular biology or evolutionary theory to understand what they are saying. Your quarrel with me has been based on a bunch of ignorantly ill-founded assumptions that have nothing to do with the real science underlying a phenomenon such as the Horizontal Transfer of Functional Nuclear Genes Between Multicellular Organisms.

And while I'm in a helpful mood, here's the latest on the solar-powered sea slugs. The molecular process is still unknown, but some of the molecules themselves have been identified.

[edit on 19/1/10 by Astyanax]

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