Re: Neanderthals, modern humans share
The insolent, arrogant Michael Balter wrote:
It is rare that one sees as many factual
and conceptual errors in one place as Robert has provided us in his
post, but let me focus on just one: In terms of DNA polynucleotide
sequence, individual humans vary by less than one base-pair per
implies this is a negligible proportion. But 10^-3, in a total
of 10^9, is not obviously neglible, is it?
Neither Venter nor anyone else
involved in the human genome project pretended that the sequence they
produced was the only sequence that existed, ie that it was anything
more than a reference sequence. But producing such a reference
sequence was a huge accomplishment, and it is now possible to sequence
part or all of the genome of any particular individual because of the
new methodologies that were developed and continue to be improved
fact remains unchallenged - J. Celera Venter & key
other operatives used the term "the human genome" in a
knowingly deceitful way, implying that some useful generality about
all humans was being produced.
And the sequence provided a huge
amount of new information as anyone who has paid any attention will
know, ranging from a reliable estimate of the number of
should we believe that figure is now stable, settled? It went
down by a factor of several during "the human genome
, a new ability to identify previously
unknown genes, the ability to compare our genome with that of chimps
and other animals, and of course the HapMap project would not have
been possible without it.
Oh, one more thing: horizontal gene transfer was probably important in
bacterial evolution, but I wouldn't count on it having much to do with
human evolution--unless Robert wants to provide us with a scenario of
how Neanderthal genes made their way into the human genome other than
much support for that first fine insolent outburst, eh? No
denial, indeed, that HGT may have occurred between Neanderthal &
human - which is all I suggested. I made no
implication of HGT having 'much to do with human evolution', nor of
any frequency, even vaguely. I merely suggested the
possibility. Without contradicting that, Balter issues insults.
Goebbels wouldn't have hired you, Michael - you're too
crude, too obviously stupid.
On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 9:20 AM, Robt
Mann <[log in to unmask]>
From the Los Angeles Times
Neanderthals, modern humans share ancestor, scientists
Researchers find a DNA link between the two species.
By Karen Kaplan
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
[log in to unmask]
August 9, 2008
Neanderthals and modern humans shared an
ancestor that lived about 660,000 years ago, according to scientists
who have pieced together the first complete sequence of maternal DNA
from humanity's closest cousins.
The DNA evidence also verified that the two species did not interbreed
during the 10,000 to 20,000 years they coexisted in Europe and western
Asia after humans migrated there from Africa. The last of the
Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago, though some scientists
speculate that at least a few of their genes live on in humans.
"Neanderthals made no lasting contribution to the modern human
[maternal] DNA gene pool," a team of German, American, Croatian
and Finnish researchers wrote in Friday's edition of the journal
The team focused on mitochondrial
DNA, a relatively short string of 16,565 As, Ts, Cs and Gs that spell
out 13 genes for controlling the energy sources of cells.
here to note that the 'Dolly' and other "cloning"
con-artists base their racket on ignoring this DNA in the cytoplasm
which very largely remains after the nucleus has been sucked out of
the target cell. The foreign nucleus then inserted (containing
e.g added DNA to code for a human protein of no proven therapeutic
use) can certainly not define the genome of the target cell, if only
because thousands of mitochondria remain in the target cell's
the number of genes in a mitochondrion have ranged as high as 300,
illustrating inter alia the surprising range (unknown to lay
folk) of defns for 'gene'. But whether only 13 in number, these
genes are agreed to be important, indeed crucial, for the cell (mainly
in aerobic metabolism).
It is that easy
to see why the "clone" sheep, goats, cows etc of e.g
AgResearch® cannot be clones, cannot be as similar as identical
twins. What is not so easy to see is why so many
venture-drongos, and governments, have allowed themselves to be conned
by this "clones" furphy. These gene-jockey racketeers
make the nookuluh pushers look honest!
Unlike nuclear DNA, which is
unique for every person
again to note that this statement is true (aside from the presumed
identical DNA in identical twins), giving the lie to the "the
human genome" furphy. I have heard J. Celera Venter tell a
large audience that the draft he had published was for "the"
sequence from some sort of blend of several individuals. There
was even a rumour at one stage that one of those DNA donors was
non-white. Numerous DNA sequences, even within a given gene (e.g
for cystic fibrosis) differ between individuals. There can be no
such thing as "the" human genome. Yet a con-man like
J. Celera Venter can be admired by Pres. Clinton and many other
important people. This deceit far outstrips the nookuluh
happen to a society in which such drastic degradation of truthfulness
has become not only tolerated but also heavily rewarded &
prestigious? Ask the Germans ...
, mitochondrial DNA is passed virtually
unchanged from mother to child.
Members of the research group are engaged in a two-year
effort to decode the roughly 3 billion letters of nuclear DNA
contained in a 38,000-year-old Neanderthal bone fragment discovered in
a Croatian cave.
In the process, they collected enough maternal DNA to sequence that
genome with a high degree of certainty, said lead author Ed Green, a
postdoctoral scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
Comparison of the Neanderthal sequence to 10 human sequences suggests
that the species diverged 520,000 to 800,000 years ago -- earlier than
the 400,000 years scientists had previously estimated using fossil
Scientists have sequenced maternal DNA from thousands of people around
the world to study the history of human migration out of Africa. All
of them are distinct from the Neanderthal version, Green said.
Most scientists accept the view that there aren't any Neanderthal
genes in the human genome, but evolutionary geneticist Jeff Wall of UC
San Francisco said that only "large amounts of high-quality
Neanderthal nuclear DNA sequences" will resolve the issue once
and for all.
Some could even
have got in by non-sexual means of horizontal gene transfer (a process
of which eminent gene-jiggerers denied the existence only a few y
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
Email: [log in to unmask]
Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com