This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

PatW's Profile

PatW's Avatar Joined over 2 years ago
Gender: Female

Latest Discussions Started by PatW

More Discussions by PatW

Latest Comments by PatW

Go to: Animals with a built-in self-destruct mechanism

PatW's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by PatW

Does anyone know where "selfish genes" are located on genomes?

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 22:21:25 UTC | #892123

Go to: Animals with a built-in self-destruct mechanism

PatW's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by PatW

The OP citation from Wiki is a prime example why I have a deep aversion to depending on anything from Wiki. I much prefer credible academic sources such as National Geographic:

It just could be that nature knows best on genomes and longevity. Perhaps, the short life span of octopodes is nature's way of avoiding overpopulation of the carnivorous octopus.

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 22:03:37 UTC | #892120

Go to: "New" Genes May Have Played a Role in Human Brain Evolution

PatW's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by PatW

What are "beneficial mutations"? Mutations on alleles, at respective particular loci on respective particular genes haven't ever proved to be beneficial for survival, when they express by matching two of the same mutation to respective particular alleles at a respective particular loci on a matched pair of genes. Neither have chromosomal mutations proved to enhance survival. It’s highly confusing to use the word mutation, and declare the same word has both positive and negative effects. A mutation can't express opposite effects and be meaningful for explanation.

As more and more has been learned about genome expression, more and more microbiologists adjusted the terminology to distinguish what enhances survival vs. what doesn't. Mutations don’t enhance survival. The use of the word mutation for positive and negative effects pre-dates Mendel, when people didn’t know what the dickens they were observing as reasons for genome changes and transitions, and everything not normally looking as expected was considered mutated. It was all mutation as far as they were concerned because they didn‘t know any better at the time. Advancement in genetic knowledge has since proved that mutations don’t enhance survival or evolve new species or evoke genetic changes in sub-species of the same species

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 19:26:47 UTC | #892080

Go to: "New" Genes May Have Played a Role in Human Brain Evolution

PatW's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by PatW

According to the following, the term "new" genes perhaps shouldn't be taken literally as written in the OP. I wonder if the OP author is actually referring to recombination, resequencing, or a combination of both:

"Now it is clear that genes are what carry our traits through generations and that genes are made of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). But genes themselves don't do the actual work. Rather, they serve as instruction books for making functional molecules such as ribonucleic acid (RNA) and proteins, which perform the chemical reactions in our bodies.

Proteins do many other things, too. They provide the body's main building materials, forming the cell's architecture and structural components. But one thing proteins can't do is make copies of themselves. When a cell needs more proteins, it uses the manufacturing instructions coded in DNA.

The DNA code of a gene—the sequence of its individual DNA building blocks, labeled A (adenine), T (thymine), C (cytosine) and G (guanine) and collectively called nucleotides— spells out the exact order of a protein's building blocks, amino acids.

Occasionally, there is a kind of typographical error in a gene's DNA sequence. This mistake— which can be a change, gap or duplication—is called a mutation.

A mutation can cause a gene to encode a protein that works incorrectly or that doesn't work at all. Sometimes, the error means that no protein is made.

But not all DNA changes are harmful. Some mutations have no effect, and others produce new versions of proteins that may give a survival advantage to the organisms that have them. Over time, mutations supply the raw material from which new life forms evolve (see Chapter 3, "Life's Genetic Tree")."


"Synonym(s) crossing over DNA recombination recombination, genetic Definition(s) The natural process of breaking and rejoining DNA strands to produce new combinations of genes and, thus, generate genetic variation. Gene crossover during meiosis. Definition from: Office of Rare Diseases at the National Institutes of Health

The exchange of a segment of DNA between two homologous chromosomes during meiosis leading to a novel combination of genetic material in the offspring. Definition from: GeneTests from the University of Washington and the National Center for Biotechnology Information"

Segment resequencing:

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 19:02:26 UTC | #892075

Go to: BBC tests morality

PatW's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by PatW

Comment 64 by keyfeatures :

comment 58 by PatW What counts as a 'sexual activity' that shouldn't be conducted in front of the children? It's quite a broad church. Some things are obvious - and most would feel uncomfortable having genital contact / nudity in public - but what about things that just suggest a close physical relationship exists between two people and may be carried further later (affectionate kissing, arms around each other, stroking a cheek)?

That question would be better asked of those going haywire over Al Gore kissing his own wife in public, on a campaign stage, because they used tongues. I wasn't one of them going haywire over that show of a affection broadcast over international TV. I did confine what I posted to public displays of sex acts.

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 18:30:33 UTC | #892060

More Comments by PatW