Mammal Gene Memetics
May 11, 2004 12:27 AM   Subscribe

It's not really a surprise. We're all living on the same planet, and many of the coping mechanisms we've grown for dealing with gravity, getting food, dealing with weather & predators, and so on, are things most beings share.

If they've been able to figure which genes have these universal coping mechanisms, then right on.

(And chickens, of all people, are our cousins? Ah, sure, okay. That might redefine incest in some parts.)
posted by chicobangs at 8:35 AM on May 11, 2004

It's not really a surprise.

Yes and No.

No, because the odds (as reported in another article) on this were 1 in 10^22.

Yes, because assuming the evolutionary tree is correct, it stands to reason that closer relatives have more in common.
posted by Gyan at 9:14 AM on May 11, 2004

What is the basis for those odds? Do you have a link to the other article?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:20 AM on May 11, 2004

This article. In the 9th paragraph block.
posted by Gyan at 9:29 AM on May 11, 2004

In the past few years, this concept is nothing new in the sciences- at least here at school where I've been taught this exact idea since I got to college
posted by jmd82 at 10:22 AM on May 11, 2004

My understanding of this is that it is quite surprising. Even in coding genes, you don't find 100% identical sequences between species usually because there are synonymous codons, which means that if there is a mutation in the right spot, it will normally have absolutely no effect on the organism. According to the article, this sequence does not code for a protein. So here you have a sequence that either a) must somehow, for some totally unknown reason, is error corrected way beyond the capabilities of any known mechanism, or b) Is so vital to the organism that any mutation would be 100% fatal, despite the fact that it doesn't code for any protein, and has a totally unknown function. That is quite strange and would seem to suggest that the central dogma is incorrect. Either that, or the universe is 6000 years old, and god put that sequence in there. Strange stuff indeed.
posted by cameldrv at 10:27 AM on May 11, 2004

This reminds me of some of Greg Bear's science fiction.
posted by Iax at 11:10 AM on May 11, 2004

would seem to suggest that the central dogma is incorrect

The "central dogma" (This is the worst name for anything in science, by the way. There is no room for dogma in the scientific method.) has been known to be incorrect, or at least incomplete, for at least three decades. It's an oversimplification that is probably best abandoned; the process of transcription/translation is better understood as merely a subset of possible nucleic acid/protein interactions responsible for cell function and control.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:46 AM on May 11, 2004

It actually appears to be a fractal of some kind. Which implies it encodes information. I believe(maybe read somewhere) that this fractal pattern is really just a massively redundant form of error correction to for both itself and the gene encoding sequence.
posted by nasim at 11:50 PM on May 12, 2004

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