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Chapter VI - "Jump Into The Gene Pool"
Transcript of Chapter VI - "Jump Into The Gene Pool"
Chapter VI - "Jump Into The Gene Pool"
Explain how we are, in a manner of speaking, like a soup made of mammal, bacteria and virus ingredients.
Explain the link between sunspots and flu epidemics.
Explain how Lamarck got an undeserved bad name.
Briefly discuss the following terms/scientists
What is the Weismann barrier?
Make connections between the following sets of terms:
b. Sunspots/flu epidemics
Humans have about 25,000 genes and more than a million different antibodies. How is this possible?
Thank you for watching my Prezi!
A vaccine works by taking a relatively harmless version of the virus that is too weakened to cause disease and injecting it into our bodies. That way, the immune systems in our bodies can produce antibodies to fight of the virus if a harmful version of the virus ever appears in our body. Without antibodies, viruses can make us sick before our immune system has a chance to fight them off.
1. Book: Survival of the Sickest By Sharon Moalem
21. YouTube Video:www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjoI8P-lBLU
22. YouTube Video:www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGkxawdeJo4
In our bodies, which is the part that is human is the mammal portion. However, we also have a bacteria part of us as well. There are beneficial digestive bacteria like E. coli live in our digestive tract and carry out vital functions in digesting the food we eat. Also, it is said that our mitochondria used to be independent, parasitic bacteria that developed a mutually beneficial relation with our premammal evolutionary predecessors. Not only do these former bacteria live in almost all of your cells, they even have their own inheritable DNA called mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA. Researchers also found out that nearly 1/3 of our DNA is from viruses, showing how viruses actually integrated with our genome to shape our evolution as a species.
Sunspots have a correlation with flu epidemics because sunspot activity is increased every 11 years as solar radiation explodes from the sun. In the twentieth century, 6 out of the 9 sunspot peaks occurred in tandem with flu epidemics at the time. For example, the massive influenza outbreak of 1918 and 1919 occurred right after a sunspot peak in 1917. These outbreaks and their correlation with sunspot activity may cause antigenic drift, which is where viruses shift their genetic code and DNA sequence just enough so that our bodies won't recognize them. This is caused by a mutation that may be sped up by the increased solar activity.
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was a French thinker of nature and heredity and promoted evolution with his 1809 book "Zoological Philosophy". He came up with the idea of inherited acquired traits, where traits acquired by a parent in their lifetime can be passed on to their offspring. Of course, Darwin proved this wrong as it was not how evolution worked. Lamarck was even praised by Darwin for popularizing the idea of evolution. However, somewhere along the line a science writer included Lamarck in a schoolbook version of history that Lamarck had acquired the notion of inherited acquired traits, and other scientists later on inherited the idea and passed it on. The ironic thing is that while Lamarck's theory on inherited acquired traits is not right, but it is not completely wrong either.
What is "junk DNA" and why is it no longer considered to be an appropriate name?
"Junk DNA" is the 97% of your genome that does not code for the building of cells. The DNA coding for building your body only makes up 3% of your genome. Scientists originally thought "Junk DNA" was just parasitic, but new research shows that this "Junk DNA" plays a critical role in our evolution. Their name changed from "Junk DNA" to "non-coding DNA" after scientists realized their importance. About 50% of non-coding DNA consists of "jumping genes", or sections of DNA that mutate purposefully in order to help an organism adapt quickly to their environment within their own lifetime. (transposons)
Jenner- A country doctor in Gloucestershire, England. He developed the first vaccine when he infected several teenage boys with cowpox pus from an infected milkmaid. The exposure to smallpox rendered the boys immune to the more lethal smallpox.
Vaccine- A weakened or killed version of a virus that is injected into a person's body to expose them to the target virus. This allows the person's immune system to develop antibodies to fight off the dangerous version of the virus if it infects their body.
Antibodies- A protein produced by the immune system in response to counteracting a specific antigen. Antibodies combine with substances that the body recognizes as alien, such as bacteria and viruses and allow the body to target and kill foreign invaders.
B-Cells- a lymphocyte (type of white blood cell) made in the bone marrow that is responsible for producing antibodies in response to foreign invaders.
"Junk DNA"- The 97% of your DNA that does not code for building your body. About 50% of "Junk DNA" consists of "jumping genes" transposons which play a role in evolution.
Lamarck- A French thinker of nature and heredity that wrote the 1809 book Zoological Philosophy. He came up with the idea of inherited acquired traits and popularized evolution. He is wrongly credited for spreading the idea of inherited acquired traits.
McClintock- A scientist specializing in genetics, Barbara McClintock did research in the 1950s proving that jumping genes followed a pattern when jumping, and do it in a way that is most benefitial to the body. She received a Nobel Prize in 1983 for her discoveries in genetics.
Retroviruses- Any viruses in the group of RNA viruses that insert a DNA copy of their genome into the host cell in order to replicate using reverse transcriptase, such as HIV.
The Weismann Barrier is the theory that all
inheritable characteristics are from the germ (gamete formation) layer of an organism and that acquired characteristics cannot be inherited. This means mutations in somatic cells are not passed on to offspring but mutations in the germ layer of cells will be passed down to the offspring.
Video on Mutations In Lab Mice
1. The author hopes that you will come away from this book with an appreciation of three things:
-Life is in a constant state of creation
-Nothing in our world exists in isolation
-our relationship with disease is often much more complex than we have previously realized
-The author Sharon Moalem hopes that the reader may learn about how life changes in ways that we would have never previously known due to evolution.
2. "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." How does blood, Survival of the Sickest, support this quote by Theodosius Dobzhansky, a noted evolutionary biologist?
-Blood and Survival of the Sickest relate on how the presence of evolution is what causes change in a species, which this is why it supports Theodosius Dobzhansky's quote. Without the discovery of evolution, mutations, adaptations, and transposons wouldn't make any sense. The field of evolution shows how from the simplest drop of blood to an entire population, every organism contains the information needed to explain the mysteries of evolution. We are only able to explain why species change over time because evolution brings to the light why our world is constantly changing.
Transposons, also known as "jumping genes", are the portions of the DNA sequence that can change, and the reason it is related to viruses and evolution is that viruses have actually integrated themselves into our DNA sequence, where about 1/3 of our DNA is viral DNA. Since viral DNA sometimes codes for these transposons, or "jumping genes", these genes will undergo mutation and evolution will occur as our genomes adapt to the environment. Sunspots and flu epidemics are related because the higher solar activity during flares actually causes more mutations to occur in virus, which may cause antigenic drift, where viruses change just enough so our bodies' immune systems can't recognize the virus.
Jump Into The Gene Pool
The reason our body can make so many different antibodies is because of B-cells, which are lymphocytes that make antibodies. Usually instructions for making one type of antibody are clumped with instructions on how to make other different antibodies. The B-cells snip away the lines of instruction to make the antibody and sew the rest back together, giving the possibility of forming a unique antibody every time. This process is called V(D)J combination, and it is very similar to the cut-and-paste method deployed by the "jumping genes" except the V(D)J combination forms a small loop instead of a neat connection like the "jumping genes" do.
What is a persisting virus?
A persisting virus are viruses that have migrated into our genome over millions of years and have become our partners on evolution. These viruses code for about 1/3 of our genetic code, or DNA.
Video on "Junk DNA"
3. What is your opinion of or reaction to this book?
-My opinion on the book is that the author Sharon Moalem is trying to show to us how our lives as a species isn't so straightforward after all. Our DNA and genome is constantly changing in response to many factors, and it's these changes that shape us as a species. My reaction to this book is that wow, the world would not be the same without mutations and the process of evolution. It is the mutations that we as organisms undergo that allow us to survive as a species. In fact, the survival of all species in the world would not be possible without the mutations and changes in our DNA that happen in all organisms, whether they be plant, animal, or bacteria. We are all alive today because of the process of evolution. I would like to end by saying thank you evolution for allowing the world to prosper. We couldn't live without you.