Sunday, May 23, 2004

Ultra-conservative DNA...

I've posted in the past about the so-called Junk DNA sequences that, as research progresses, are shown to have functionality we were previously unaware of. Evolutionists will typically respond by stating that a few functional anomalies within the vastness of Junk-DNA do not point towards Design. Yet my point from the beginning has been that continued research will indicate that so-called Junk-DNA is not so junky afterall. Enter the ScienceDaily article, Surprising 'Ultra-conserved' Regions Discovered In Human Genome. The article starts off with,
Researchers comparing the human genome with the genomes of other species have discovered a surprising number of matching DNA sequences in a variety of vertebrate species, including the mouse, rat, dog, and chicken. The fact that these sequences have remained unchanged over long periods of evolutionary history indicates that they are biologically important, but for now their functions are largely a mystery. ...Although they have been conserved meticulously through hundreds of millions of years of evolution, only a small fraction of these elements code for proteins. Protein coding, whereby DNA code directs the production of a specific protein, is how most genes carry out their functions. But fewer than a quarter of the ultra-conserved elements overlap coding regions of the human genome, and in most of those cases they overlap only a short span of the coding region and extend beyond it to noncoding areas. Nevertheless, most of the 481 ultra-conserved elements appear to be associated in some way with genes, if not overlapping them then residing near genes or in the noncoding portions of genes. Furthermore, they tend to be associated with parts of the genome that are involved in regulating the expression of genes in various ways. "These parts of the genome are far more conserved than we would have imagined. We think these segments evolved in the past, then froze into place and were inherited unchanged from then on," Bejerano said. (emphasis added)
It's interesting to note that the evolutionary paradigm forces the researcher to posit that evolution took place and then, for whatever reason, froze into place the conserved elements. What other explanation could serve as an answer to this scenario? The article further states,
Because they were not able to trace the ultra-conserved segments to even more distant species, the authors speculate that these particular parts of the genome represent innovations in the genomes of chordate species that evolved rapidly at first, then became effectively frozen in birds and mammals. "These ultra-conserved elements are long, they evolved rather rapidly, and they are now evolutionarily frozen. We don’t know of a biomolecular mechanism that would explain them," Haussler said. (emphasis added)
Large refineries periodically have upgrades done to them. There may be many areas within the refinery that are undergoing both similar and unique upgrades. In setting up progress report spreadsheets for each of the areas I will typically build a similar template as a base model, depending on reporting requirements, to be used for every area. Once the template is finished I will then add the distinctiveness inherent to each particular area. Looking back over the process one can see where I froze certain elements into place and yet continued to alter other elements of the worksheets. There may indeed be a biomolecular mechanism that explains the reason evolution froze these ultra-conserved elements way back when. But the Testable Creation Model predicts that further research will reveal additional qualities of Design within such a mechanism. Hat tip: Creation Update


Anonymous said...

These elements are, in fact, known as transposons, retrotransposons, SINES, and LINES. These are viral detritus that exist as a cellular defense mechanism to prevent their activation. Once a transposon or retrotransposon (pieces of floating DNA that result from DNA reparation, viral attacks, coding errors, mutations, and millions of other things) is in a cell, since these are mini-organisms in themselves, they will continue to exist in the DNA and all descendents of that DNA. Only the transposons that exist in such a way as to survive will get passed down the line, and therefore, every organism descending from the first organism to get it will have it.

The others are sines and lines, which are simply deactivated viruses that don't affect the cells in any way, and therefore continue to get represented throughout future generations. So, this is junk DNA, because it is sort of a cellular immune system. Cells remove dangerous DNA, rather than by destroying it, as there is no protein complex to do such a thing, instead by simply deactiving the dangerous area. Sort of a quarantine. So, the function of this junk DNA is well-known, and in fact, provides further evidence for evolution, as tracing back SINES, LINES, and transposons allows us to find common origins or species, and allows us to trace how they evolved. (ie: (this is a hypothetical example, and not neccessarily true): let's see, humans and chimpanzees both have SINE A193T27, therefore, they must be related (SINES + LINES are unique). Wait...meercats do not, therefore, the SINE must've appeared further down the genetic line, or, meercats are not related to humans. Etc.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I almost forgot. Information source:

Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th ed. Alberts et al., Garland Publishing c2002.

And another thing. These functional anomalies are explained just as well. Transposons float freely through the nucleus (Transposon by definition: little floating sequence of unattached DNA). They become functional (and occasionally dangerously so!), when they slam into the normally functional protein-coding DNA, adding themselves to a sequence.

And there's your biomolecular mechanism.