Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Evolution is not obliged to simplify our lives

Natural selection makes use of all the information processing and storage capabilities at “its” disposal. It doesn’t “know” about the boundaries we draw …

Fat mice missing a specific kind of "junk DNA" more likely to be diabetic: Scientific American Blog

… Computational analysis suggests that the retrotransposon identified in this study has embedded itself in at least eight different places in the mouse genome.  One known site is in the Zfp69 gene.  Consequently the gene can no longer be fully transcribed--converted—into RNA.

In mice that did not have the retrotransposon, the Zfp69 gene was made into RNA, and these mice had higher blood glucose and more fat in their livers (both indicators of diabetes) than obese mice carrying the retrotransposon.  The group found similar results in human tissue.

These findings are unexpected in that usually interfering with RNA production triggers or promote diseases.  The results also provide evidence that transposons, once regarded as useless, might have important beneficial functions in the cell…

If we were Creators, we’d make things that were much easier to understand.

See also: freight train pneumatic braking systems.

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