The Naked Scientists Forum
Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution
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16/09/2010 23:04:49 »
I recently heard of the "multiple gene set theorem." After being unable to locate any literature on this I became suspicious. As well as I can understand the theorem, it concludes that if you slowly reduce the number of genes a species has, at some point it is impossible for it to survive (apparently this was conducted on some cyanobacteria as to achieve the simplest life form for the test). It was used as an argument against abiogenisis, but it seems slightly flawed to me because modern life forms were used to test the idea of life forms several billion years ago (even though cyanobacteria are some of the oldest life forms). Is there any validity to this theorem?
-My apologies if this would have fit better in the "Cells" section.
Neilep Level Member
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Reply #1 on:
17/09/2010 09:27:22 »
The minimal genome idea is quite well practised, often microbiologists start from there, slowly knocking out genes until they establish minimum set of genes needed for the organism to survive in normal conditions. Then it makes it easier to isolate and investigate what these genes do, when they are4 transcribed and why. After that, you can build up and see which are transcribed under certain conditions, heat shock, nutrient deprivation etc.
I am not quite sure how strong it would be in an argument against abiogenesis, and I can see your point about using modern organisms. Although some have not shanged for millions of years, millions is not quite the same as billions! [
] We cannot really say for certain what life was like back when it was first created, we only have an idea.
All we know is the minimal genome needed for say, a cyanobacteria now, and possibly thousands of years ago if there is evidence that is has not changed, but we do not
what that bacterium was like millions of years ago, what genome it needed then and what were it's optimal living conditions.
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