Diseases & Disorders

Biophysically constrained beginnings of RNA and DNA

Any anonymous participant in the discussion of: DNA may have had humble beginnings as nutrient carrier (Sep 01, 2014 by Adam Hadhazy) asks: “when are you going to keep quiet?” In a series of responses, I have explained the problem I have with honoring his request. The following excerpts from Wikipedia and other sources are loosely strung together because there is no point to providing more extensive details of biologically-based cause and effect until others accept the fact that mutations…

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A microRNA-mediated mechanism that is epigenetically inherited

Pregnancy Stress Spans Generations The stressors a female rat experiences during pregnancy can have repercussions for her granddaughters, a study shows. By Anna Azvolinsky | August 7, 2014 Excerpt: “These changes could be the result of a microRNA (miRNA)-mediated mechanism, which may be epigenetically inherited across generations.” My comment:  There is currently no alternative explanation for these changes. However, a model of how nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled amino acid substitutions link cell type differentiation (e.g., from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in…

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Drunks and Monkeys: Pseudoscientific nonsense

Drunks and Monkeys Understanding our primate ancestors’ relationship with alcohol can inform its use by modern humans. By Robert Dudley | June 1, 2014 Excerpt: “…if the right kinds of bacteria are also present, fermentation will stabilize certain foodstuffs (think cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, for example).” My comment:  Epigenetic changes induced by ethanol in astrocytes link histone acetylation, DNA methylation, and non-coding microRNAs in the developing and adult brain from frugivory to the nutrient-dependent de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes in bats. The…

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MiRNAs methylation and ecological adaptation sans mutations

MiRNAs methylation and ecological adaptation sans mutations  “Our 2003 Molecular and Cellular Biology paper …opened the mechanistic ‘black box’ of the developmental origins of adult disease susceptibility, and firmly placed the word, epigenetics, in the vernacular of this research field.”  — Randy Jirtle (2009) Our 1996 Hormones and Behavior paper included a section on molecular epigenetics with evidence that attested to the involvement of epigenetics in the context of olfactory/pheromonal input and the developmental origins of hormone-organized and hormone-activated adult sexual behavior.…

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Darwinian theories vs Darwin's facts

“Darwin’s Theories“, submitted by Celia Secades of the Elesapiens website was the runner-up in the Third Annual NESCent Evolution Video Contest. (unfortunately, the video has been removed — perhaps for good reasons. For example: My comment: No experimental evidence supports the representations of mutation-initiated natural selection in the video. For comparison, tenOever on microRNA and Vaccines  addresses what is currently known about glucose-dependent RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions and self vs non-self identification in viruses to living species with varying degrees of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecologically-adapted organismal complexity.…

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Targeting a cancer gene

‘Undruggable’ mutation meets its match: Six-year effort yields first drug to target important cancer gene See also: Drug discovery: Pocket of opportunity[subscription required] Excerpt: “.,.the non-mutated protein is the beating heart of cell signalling, but mutated versions are the villainous masterminds of malignancies.” and see K-Ras(G12C) inhibitors allosterically control GTP affinity and effector interactions [subscription required] Excerpt: “…initial evaluation of our compounds in lung cancer cell lines suggests allele-specific impairment of K-Ras function.” My comment: 1) They ignored any aspect…

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Alternative splicings (very technical)

From time to time I try to update my knowledge base on specific aspects included in my model. Here is the link to an open access article that may be of interest to others who want to learn more about biologically based cause and effect. This is not the type of information that you are likely to see in news reported by science journalists. Intragenic DNA methylation modulates alternative splicing by recruiting MeCP2 to promote exon recognition Excerpt 1) DNA…

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Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and cancer

“If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.” — Denis Noble Can thermodynamics help us better understand human cancers? Excerpt: “In a new study, UCLA researchers analyzed the gene-expression profiles of more than 2,000 patients and were able to identify cancer-specific gene signatures for breast, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers. The…

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Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled stickleback evolution

Sexual imprinting on ecologically divergent traits leads to sexual isolation in sticklebacks Excerpt: “Odour differences may be owing to pleiotropic effects of adaptive differences in diet [18], habitat [12] and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles selected by parasite differences [19,20].” Excerpt: “…imprinting has turned odour and nuptial coloration into magic traits.” My comment: In my model, natural odour production in vertebrates is not a magic trait. It results from the role of food odours in nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated ecological niche construction.…

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Functional coding variants are not mutations

Rare coding variants of the adenosine A3 receptor are increased in autism: on the trail of the serotonin transporter regulome “Conclusions: Our results validate the hypothesis that the SERT regulatory network harbors rare, functional variants that impact SERT activity and regulation in ASD, and encourages further investigation of this network as a site for additional functional variation that may impact ASD risk.” My comment: This open access article mentions mutations, but the title and conclusion correctly infer that coding “variants”…

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