viernes, 15 de febrero de 2013

A breif history of "Junk DNA" - Humanities greatest hold back

A new step in the road of human genetic understanding, scientists have just announced the results of much of the ENCODE project. The ENCODE project, as it is known, is an encyclopedia of genomes in DNA, a project now thirteen years in the making. This international project, that has been exchanging it's information on the INTERNET, was able able to shift the reputation that DNA is largely "junk," and repeating sequences with no function, finding instead that at least 80 percent of the genome is important.

How was this mistake made so seriously? 80% of this matter is extremely active and vital for such important control roles and this was written off as a working title in the science world to be "junk DNA," a substance to be removed form any testing that had no value?
The complexity of human existence now looks very perplexing with this DNA research in focus. Here are some of the major road markers scientists have passed along the way.
1). Understanding of heredity in 1866
The idea that traits and some diseases can be passed from parent to offspring stretches back at least to the ancient Greeks, well before any genome was decoded in science. The Greek doctor Hippocrates figured that "seeds" from different parts of the body were transmitted to newly conceived embryos, a thought known as pangenesis. Darwin would later come up similar ideas.
The first person to put heredity to testing was Gregor Mendel, who systematically tracked dominant and recessive traits in pea plants. Mendel published his work on the statistics of genetic dominance in 1866 to little notice.
2. Chromosomes come to light, 1902
In 1869, Swiss physician Johannes Friedrich Miescher became the first to isolate nucleic acids, the active ingredient of DNA. Over the next several decades, scientists' examination in to the cell discover mitosis and meiosis, the two types of cell divisions, and chromosomes; the long strands of DNA and protein in cell nuclei.
In 1903, early geneticist Walter Sutton put things together more, discovering through his work on grasshopper chromosomes that these mysterious filaments occur in pairs and separate during meiosis, providing a vehicle for parents to pass on their genetic material. "I may finally call attention to the probability that the associations of paternal and maternal chromosomes in pairs and their subsequent separation, may constitute the physical basis of the Mendelian law of heredity," Sutton wrote in the journal The Biological Bulletin in 1902. He followed up with a more comprehensive paper, "The Chromosomes in Heredity" in 1903. (German biologist Theodor Boveri came to similar conclusions about chromosomes at the same time Sutton was working on his chromosome discovery.)
3. What genes do, 1941
With the link between chromosomes and heredity confirmed, geneticists dove deeper into the great  mysteries of the genome. In 1941, geneticists Edward Tatum and George Beadle published their work revealing that genes code for proteins, explaining for the first time how genes direct metabolism in cells. Tatum and Beadle would share half of the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery, which they made by mutating bread mold with X-rays.
4). DNA structure decoded, 1953
Now scientists knew that DNA was the molecule responsible for carrying genetic information. But the did not know how and they did not have any ideas about what the molecule looked like.
The pieces of the puzzle were beginning to come together throughout the 1940s. In 1950, biochemist Erwin Chargaff figured out that the nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA occur in specific patterns. These nucleotides are represented by four letters (A, T, G and C), and Chargaff was the first to discover that no matter the species, A and T always appeared in equal measures, as did G and C.
This discovery would be crucial to James Watson and Francis Crick, the scientists who would describe the structure of DNA for the first time in 1953. Combining Chargaff's work with studies by Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin and other scientists, the pair worked out the iconic double helix shape of DNA, a discovery reportedly called "the secret of life."
5). Human Genome catalogued, 2001
With DNA becoming an increasingly open book, scientists began to tackle genomics, the study of the complete genetic library of organisms. In 1977, researchers sequenced a complete genome for the first time, starting with a bacteriophage known as Phi X 174. By 1990, science was ready to start something much bigger: a complete cataloging of the human genome.
The result was the Human Genome Project, a 13-year international effort that resulted in the complete sequencing of the human genome in 2001. The project revealed that humans have about 23,000 protein-coding genes, a mere 1.5 percent of the genome. This particular research like many before it would somehow recognize the rest of the material as "junk DNA," and dismiss it.
6). Junk DNA de-junked (2012)
The ENCODE project will be the first in all these years of DNA research to "de-junk," the "junk DNA." When mainstream science knew it as a junk to be removed from research for 50 years, the whole time it was richest material in DNA. Material that codes what we do, that calculates what we know and that functions "like a brain in every cell." The most immediate idea that comes into play is with combating various disease. Accessing this Junk DNA will likely very soon provide simple solutions to many diseases. It will knock out most of drugs of today and likely revolutionize the cancer treatment industry that makes billions of dollars each year with it's harsh CHEMO and other treatments. Could the terms "Junk DNA" been invented by those who wish to charge the very high hospital care bills? It really doesn't matter anymore does it, lets just get going on this new science!
Headlines have not picked this up as you may think they would. This new science is finding that behavior, and that the once known "psychological" problems may have another course of change and growth that is natural and is positive. There is a definitive possibility that this blueprint of ourselves is also our right of passage, that the properly coded or graduated DNA of good-behaving people will evolve to have more ability. What effects of this science will have on faith is to be determined, although it seems highly capable enough to recognize action based on faith and action based on knowledge witch is in itself connecting spiritual principles with science. Ultimately to have DNA science tell us that our behavior is encoded into organic data storage is enough to me to get my habits in check! Will this dis-information by mainstream science prove to be humanity's greatest hold back? Will it prove a front line for war or catastrophe in the future?

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