Gorilla genome sequenced

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by AquaEyes, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

  2. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if they all went out for beers when they mapped that final piece of the genome puzzle. Must have taken them a looong time.

    Makes me wonder if we'll ever be able to use animal organs in human bodies. I know they've tried with pig organs to no avail. Who knows where science will take us.
     
  3. DCasper

    DCasper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Similarities can be found when comparing any two things. What this article doesn't mention is the amount of genetic information it takes to make us different from gorillas. I read your statements at the bottom of your posting and I would fall into the category of "Common People". I don't believe we exist due to random chance.

    I also find it amusing that people who claim there is no God cling to this belief like it is religion that needs to proselytize new converts.
     
  4. Matthew3590

    Matthew3590 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reminds me of a CSI episode where they had lab rats growing ears and other organs so they could use them for humans.
     
  5. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fundamental differences, DCasper. While some of us think science is cool there's always those out there that are scared to death by it.
     
  6. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    I posted the link for sharing with people who would be interested in the topic. If you're not interested in the topic, that's fine, but do not poo-poo those who are. There are numerous threads about prayer requests which go unmolested by those who don't think much of the power of prayer. I'm asking that you (and others who aren't interested in related topics) give this post the same respect.

    Thank you.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  7. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    ANYWAY....what I'm wondering is that now that gene comparisons can be made, what do you think about effects in phenotype being related to differences in expression of genes common among the species? What about how long specific genes remain active during development, before being turned off by activity of another? I think that sequencing the genomes of these related species is only the first step in understanding the differences among them, and how they arise on a developmental level. Along the way, we can find out how some of these differences can result in abnormalities related to deficiencies in human functioning or health. It's fascinating when we learn about the intricate steps involved in development, and how tiny shifts can have huge impacts in the end result, whether it be when comparing individual differences among humans, or comparing the human species with its closest relatives.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AquaEyes,
    My particular point of interest, now that all of the great apes species' genomes have been mapped, is in contrasting the fecundity and ferility of females of chimps, gorillas and organgs with those of human females, especially in light of a recent discovery that human females -- contrary to what has been believed by many biologists for over half a century -- have ovarian stem cells that can produce new eggs. Previously, many believe that women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, pre-formed (albeit in "immature" form), and can't make any more. I always have been suspicious of that belief, as most if not all other mammalian species' females produce eggs throughout their lifespan. Why would human females be different?

    I'm curious to see what the comparable genetic "switches" are that govern the reproductive cycle and process among the primates, including egg- and sperm production, and find out how they diverge and compare in humans. I have long wondered whether menopause in human females is due to a vast genetic mutation that, because it isn't lethal and doesn't prevent reproduction (and in fact might even be beneficial to females as individuals), was able to not only perpetuate itself but to become a defining trait of humans (and a divergence from the rest of mammals).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  9. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    I remember reading some information about evidence to indicate that some stem cells survive in human females which lead to some eggs being produced through life. It's a rather newly discovered piece, though, and I saw little more than a mentioning of it.

    Regarding menopause -- I've read about the "grandmother hypothesis" which stated that as humans' cultures became more complex, older individuals' stored information became a valuable asset among early social groups. Those females who ceased ovulating incurred the cost of ending their reproductive lives, but also the benefit of a decreased risk of mortality and an increase in how long they were able to continue teaching their children and grandchildren, increasing their survival rate.

    Some think that menopause is simply a side-effect of having a reproductive system that worked well enough for the average lifespan of our ancestors but simply breaks down by about age 50. It's possible that the fertile years used to last throughout the average lifespan when that's how long our ancestors lived, but did not extend as far as lifespan increased. While the great apes do not experience menopause, they also reach "human menopausal age" very, very rarely. Perhaps menopause is more the result of maintaining a derived ovarian cycle that simply did not extend along with life expectancy. In any case, we must remember that not every trait or characteristic is necessarily beneficial -- sometimes it's more of a by-product of selection for something else, or simply has a neutral effect. This reminds me of the question "why does menstruation occur only in humans?"

    [​IMG]
     
  10. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some excellent points and insights. You are right, there is only one study out that confirms the egg-producing stem-cells. However, the fact that they were discovered at all is the big surprise.

    As for the "grandmother hypothesis," which I have also read about, it seems more likely to me that the benefits of the "Crone Years," post-menopause, were discovered after the fact, and were not in themselves the cause of menopause. And since the women could no longer reproduce to pass on any traits related to this, it could only be a "happy surprise" discovered in old age. I don't think that young humans select for the old-age social/societal value of their future offspring!

    Chimps,our closest relatives, can live to be 60 in domesticity, 40-50 in the wild, and they remain fecund/fertile throughout -- still able to conceive and bear young in their late 50s and up to the end of life. Human females usually hit menopause between 45 and 53, occasionally older. A 56-year-old chimp recently gave birth at a zoo in Kansas, and I know a 56-year-old human female who has not reached menopause yet! Humans in domesticity (i.e. modern technological societies) have, potentially, twice the lifespan (120 or so) of a chimp, but like chimps we still typically only live to be 40-50 "in the wild" (undeveloped countries). Our current longevity in technologically developed cultures is very recent. So, it may be a long time (if ever) before our reproductive systems reflect this. Interestingly, even though ovulation seems to stop in humans after mid-50s, women's reproductive systems are quite capable of gestating and giving birth to a baby, as in-utero embryo implantation and surrogacy have proven. It is becominig less uncommon now for women in their 60s to "have babies."

    That said, I agree with you that the big question is, "why the heck do human females menstruate?" [​IMG] It might have something to do with the mobility of early humans, who seem to have actively and constantly migrated around and out of Africa rather than staying endemic to one or a few regions as their primate cousins had. The vagaries of constant migration and transplantation in lands unknown and unpredictable climates (resource availability -- food, water) may have favored a mutation that permitted more frequent ovulation and fertility in females. The hormonal shifts and preparation/evacuation of the uterus may have developed in tandem with and perhaps as a by-product of, that process.

    Animals and plants living in regions of predictable conditions (e.g. "expected" annual occurances of drought and plenty) seem to be "programmed" to become fertile/active during periods of plenty, and then go dormant or infertile during the seasonal times of scarcity. Human ancestors and early humans may have lost that wiring due to the inpredictability of their changing locations.

    Food for thought, anyway.


     

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