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Author Topic: Does DNA change throughout life?  (Read 4706 times)

kevin Daley

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Does DNA change throughout life?
« on: 05/05/2009 15:30:02 »
kevin Daley  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Chris,

I was most interested to listen to you on Five Live Thursday 23/04/09 on your theories regarding evolution, but the explanation given has caused me a sleepless night pondering the thoughts that you gave, that mistakes in DNA had caused evolution.

Now I don't know if you were speaking in laymans terms but would like clarification if this was the case, or to set you and your team a challenging theory to either mock, expand or research AND.... to get me a peaceful nights sleep!!!!.

I myself am not a scientist but believe that DNA is not just a genetic code, but also has a learning brain or epicentre inside the code that monitors the body and constantly adjusts the DNA code of every living organism and passes on that code at the time of reproduction, passing on a new blueprint DNA code to the next generation.

In laymans terms .... as I am a layman, part of the brain in any organism is a super-computer that monitors each and every single cell of the body and has an ongoing report that is passed to the reproduction centres in real time of the state of the body to the next generation.

This would explain why all siblings of any species take on characteristis of their parents.

In the example of the fish that came to walk, you would be looking at many points i.e: bones in the fins that were under stress, muscles that operated the bones were under stress, stronger through vigourous exercise through whatever reason passed on a new blueprint DNA code to the next generation to be platform to be made stronger and so forth.

It is to say, that in experimental terms that, if scientists such as yourselves were to take a life form with a short lifespan, setting specific criteria for basic survival of that species would be able to define, monitor and change the next generations DNA code, therefore monitoring evolution.


I look forward to your reply

Kev

What do you think?


 

Offline _Stefan_

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Does DNA change throughout life?
« Reply #1 on: 09/07/2009 19:28:49 »
DNA is simply a code that is transcribed into RNA that can be translated into protein and ultimately build bodies.

It can't monitor itself in the way you describe; it can't control or plan ahead; and it can't affect evolution any more than being a code that can be copied and read.

Traits acquired by adults can not be inherited by offspring.

How evolution actually works is that the genes an organism has, affect its reproductive success in the environment it lives in. Organisms that are more successful are more likely to transmit their genes to subsequent generations. Genes that produce organisms that are less successful at surviving and reproducing are inherited at lower rates. This is Natural Selection.

New variation is produced by mutations. Mutations are changes in the DNA sequence that occur because the DNA copying and repair mechanisms are not 100% effective, and because there are factors like some types of radiation and certain chemicals, that damage DNA. Mutations that occur in body cells are not inherited by offspring. Mutations that occur in the line of cells that produces sperm and egg cells, can be inherited if they don't kill the cells. Mutations can be advantageous, neutral or disadvantageous to reproductive success. This variation can be selected on according to the reproductive success of the organism in its environment. This is what was meant by mistakes causing evolution.

The fact that DNA encodes traits explains inheritance.

It would help your understanding if you read further into this area of biology. No doubt it would interest you.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Does DNA change throughout life?
« Reply #2 on: 23/07/2009 08:41:47 »
Stefan that sounds fascinating any good references for books articles etc, which would speak to a lay person such as Kevin or I?
 

Offline Chelsie

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Does DNA change throughout life?
« Reply #3 on: 23/07/2009 12:05:41 »
Karen, any university level biology, biochemistry, of genetics text book would go into this subject in great detail. You should be able to buy one used relatively cheap or you can try the library. If you are interested in molecular genetics, I recommend "Principles of Genetics" by Dr. Peter Snustard. I used this book a lot when I did my undergrad. However, if you are just starting out with this subject a basic biology book would probably suite you better. Basic biology books will introduce the concept of molecular genetics to you without getting too confusing. Also, I always tell my undergrad students to get on youtube and search for "genetic mutations" etc. because many text book companies also make educational videos that you can watch online. 
« Last Edit: 23/07/2009 12:19:14 by Chelsie »
 

Offline Karen W.

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Does DNA change throughout life?
« Reply #4 on: 23/07/2009 15:26:01 »
Chelsie Thanks for that information. I think for my part the basics would be better.. start from the bottom up!
I will look into the utube videos and also the "Principles of Genetics"book by Dr. Peter Snustard. Thanks for the recomends!
 

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Does DNA change throughout life?
« Reply #4 on: 23/07/2009 15:26:01 »

 

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