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Re evolutionary genomics

February 18, 2006


Mar 6, 2001

Lucas writes :" Dov, I'm not sure what the intent of the quote is.  Basically, the analysis of the authors shows evolutionary linkage to ancestors, gene duplication as a means of introducing new genetic information, insertion of repetitive sequences also to get new information WITHOUT disrupting current gene function, and homology to ancestors.  What is not known is the degree of different alleles for each genes.

and :

Dov, here is the entire final paragraph that you quoted. I am a little puzzled why, if you cut and pasted, that you left out the references to the various Tables:

"Our analysis has provided some insights into the evolutionary genomics of the human genome. There are many repetitive elements in our genome (Table 1), and they may have been very important in the evolution of mammalian proteins (Table 2). Domain sharing is common among proteins, and many domain arrangements have been conserved (Table 3). But many challenges remain. For example, as the number of human genes is still unknown, it remains unclear how many human genes exist as single copies. Reliable annotation of the human genome and clean databases of human genes and proteins are required for a rigorous analysis. In addition, better tools are needed for analysis.  Single linkage does not seem appropriate for clustering proteins.     Finally, better methods are needed for deciding whether two proteins are homologous, especially for short proteins."

end of Lucas posting 

Dov : I was prompte  to quote the above conclusion of the paper that deals with evolutionary Genomics by the African vs Multiregional Origin discussion, and my intention was (1) to inject a "sense of caution" in discussions of genomics and (2) to, hopefully, draw/prod some of us to comments and remarks re the recently published genomes. Andf I left out references to the Tables because they do not contribute to the point of "caution".

As a small first prod, I hope, in evoking remarks re the genoms publication, I refer here to J.Whittfield's "How the sequence got the way it is" , at

Quotes from this article : "Our chromosomes are stuffed with hitchhikers, 'mobile elements' that jump around the genome…." and .."These DNA parasites destroy and create." I find this acceptable. But when some other authors refer to "junk segments" I am irked.

In line with my personal concept that the genes, and not cells, are the historical base units of life and that cells are evolutionary products of genes I keep in mind that the one and only reason and goal of ALL cell-based life forms is the survival, and thus the replication, of its resident genes.  It stems from this, and thus it may also be impressed by the concluding paras of the above article, that the chromosomal symbiotic genes associations would reject what has a net endangering effect on them and would accept whatever would have a net benefit effect for the association.


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