fixation

The sum of our RNA-mediated parts

The Sum of Our Parts Excerpt: …it is the microbiome that determines our actual exposure to the environment. Substances such as foods, drugs, and environmental chemicals—collectively termed xenobiotics—must first pass through the layers of microbiota on the skin, in the gut, and in the airways where, depending upon the microbes present, the chemicals will be sequestered, excluded, or metabolized before they ever enter our cells. Excerpt: Microbiome-driven immunomodulation occurs via cell surface receptor signaling—involving Toll-like and NOD-like (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain)…

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Gene expression, immortality, and cancer

Collaborative research team solves cancer-cell mutation mystery Excerpt: TERT stabilizes chromosomes by elongating the protective element at the end of each chromosome in a cell. …cells harboring these mutations aberrantly increase TERT expression, effectively making them immortal. My comment: To an evolutionary theorist, this might suggest that protein folding instability is beneficial. For example, see: “Mutation-Driven Evolution” Excerpt:  …genomic conservation and constraint-breaking mutation is the ultimate source of all biological innovations and the enormous amount of biodiversity in this world.…

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The microbiome, pharmacogenetics, and privacy

Microbiomes raise privacy concerns DNA from microbes living on the human body can be used to identify individuals. Ewen Callaway 11 May 2015 Excerpt: The odds of identifying someone on the basis of their microbiome is low… My comment: The microbiome links top-down causation from nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation to RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all genera via the biophysically constrained chemistry of protein folding during life history transitions. The link to…

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Tissue type variation and expression of genes

Exploring the Impacts of Genetic Variation on Tissue-Specific Expression Preliminary results from the Genotype-Tissue Expression project reveal that gene expression varies more across tissues than across individuals. By Jenny Rood | May 7, 2015 Excerpt: “You’ve got the genetic variation, you’ve got the gene expression levels, you’ve got the different tissues…” My comment: What you don’t have is a model of RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that links the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA…

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MicroRNAs and the exposome (2)

Odd histone helps suppress jumping genes in stem cells, study says Excerpt 1) Chemical modifications to these histones can change the expression of genes, making them more available for expression or silencing them by compacting the DNA-protein complex. Oddball H3.3 varies from its regular counterpart H3 by only few amino acids. Excerpt 2) The research has implications beyond epigenetics. “This study also hints at a fascinating question in biology: How do cells balance the potential evolutionary benefit of mobile elements,…

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A genetic variant refutes neo-Darwinism

Summary: They link a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) to a genetic variant that decreases viability of an embryo, without linking a nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated amino acid substitution to pheromone-controlled cell type differentiation that begins in the embryo and continues throughout the life history transitions of invertebrates and vertebrates. A Benefit of Failed Pregnancy? This genome-wide association study revealed “…a striking link between mitotic aneuploidy and a single nucleotide variant (SNP rs2305957) on chromosome 4 of maternal genomes.” Excerpt: “There’s this genetic…

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Too many targets for theories

Random mutations are the substrates upon which directional natural selection acts.” —  Jay R. Feierman. Others have claimed that random mutations and natural selection somehow lead to the evolution of morphological phenotypes and behavioral phenotypes. They have not placed their claims into the context of what is known about ecological variation and ecological adaptations manifested as RNA-mediated sex differences in cell types of the human brain and all other cell type differences in all genera? Ecological variation is the raw…

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Questions about life’s diversity

Questions about life can be answered in the context of what sustains it. 1) Answers must explain the diversity of life. 2) The diversity of life may help to explain the purpose of life. 3) Explaining the purpose of life may assist anyone who does not think they will live forever. 4) Answers to questions about life that explain life’s diversity must include what is known about the conserved molecular mechanisms that link differences in morphological and behavioral phenotypes in…

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Luis P. Villarreal tells it like it is

Luis P. Villarreal has led the way towards discovery of the “origins of life.” He has helped to elucidate what is currently known about how the epigenetic landscape becomes the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to humans. Kudos to Suzan Mazur for admitting that she missed learning about his works. Perhaps a few neo-Darwinian evolutionary theorists will also admit they have missed something very important about the role of viruses in cell type…

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