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Largest Genome Ever

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the trojan-marketing-campaign dept.

Earth 189

sciencehabit writes "A rare Japanese flower named Paris japonica sports an astonishing 149 billion base pairs, making it 50 times the size of a human genome — and the largest genome ever found. The genome would be taller than Big Ben if stretched out end to end. The researchers warn however that big genomes tend to be a liability: plants with lots of DNA have more trouble tolerating pollution and extreme climatic extinctions—and they grow more slowly than plants with less DNA, because it takes so long to replicate their genome."

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Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848528)

The universe had a beginning
Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else
Therefore, the universe was caused by something else (a creator)
Every part of the universe is dependent
If every part is dependent, then the whole universe must also be dependent
Therefore, the whole universe is dependent for existence right now on some Independent Being
Every event that had a beginning had a sufficient cause
The universe had a beginning
Therefore, the universe had a sufficient Cause
Every effect has a cause
The universe is an effect
Therefore, the universe has a Cause
An infinite number of moments cannot be traversed
If an infinite number of moments had to elapse before today, then today would never have come
But today has come
Therefore, an infinite number of moments have not elapsed before today (i.e., the universe had a beginning)
But whatever has a beginning is caused by something else
Hence, there must be a Cause (Creator) of the universe
An actual infinite cannot exist
An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite
Therefore an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist
The temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition
A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite
Therefore the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite
Some things undeniably exist (e.g., I cannot deny my own existence)
My nonexistence is possible
Whatever has the possibility not to exist is currently caused to exist by another
There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes of existence
Therefore, a first uncaused cause of my current existence exists
This uncaused cause must be infinite, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-perfect
This infinitely perfect Being is appropriately called “God”
Therefore, God exists
This God who exists is identical to the God described in the Christian Scriptures
Therefore, the God described in the Bible exists
7.2 Argument from cosmological natural theology

Time, space and matter came into existence at a certain point in the finite past.
Since time, space and matter began to exist they had a cause.
Therefore, whatever caused them was time-less (or eternal), space-less (not subject to locality, or omnipresent) and matter-less (immaterial, non-physical, or spirit).
7.3 Forms of the teleological argument

All designs imply a designer
There is great design in the universe
Therefore, there must be a Great Designer of the universe
7.4 Forms of the ontological argument

God is defined as a being than which no greater can be conceived.
Such a being can be conceived.
If there were no such being in reality, then a greater being—namely, a being than which no greater can be conceived, and which exists—can be conceived.
Yet nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived.
Therefore a being than which no greater can be conceived—i.e., God—must exist.
God is the entity of which nothing greater can be thought.
It is greater to be necessary than not.
God must therefore be necessary.
Hence, God exists necessarily.
7.5 Forms of the moral law argument

Moral laws imply a Moral Law Giver
There is an objective moral law
Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver
There are objective moral laws
Moral laws come from a moral lawgiver
Therefore, a moral lawgiver exists
If atheism is true, everything is permissible.
7.6 Dostoevsky’s argument from the consequences of positive Atheism

If atheism is true then man is “the chief of the earth”
If man is “the chief of the earth” then he can abandon absolute standards (i.e., morality)
If man can abandon the absolute standards then “everything is permissible”
Therefore, if atheism is true, everything is permissible
7.7 The argument from joy

Every natural innate desire has a real object that can fulfill it
Human beings have a natural, innate desire for immortality
Therefore, there must be an immortal life after death!

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (5, Funny)

norppalaho (878422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848624)

Please to be fucking off of my internet.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (5, Insightful)

atmurray (983797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849102)

“I contend we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”- Stephen F. Roberts

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849318)

Because God say's they're false?

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849446)

Because God say's they're false?

I agree, Zeus wouldn't stand for it.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849632)

Nope he wouldn't, Zeus would just fuck his mother.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (5, Informative)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848642)

Everyone on the internet who has read or come near your post is now dumber because of it. I award you no points, and may Al Gore have mercy on your soul

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848660)

Fact: Jesus was gay.

Mohammed was too, probably. They may be in heaven right now porking the shit out of each other.

Mohammed? Gay? I think not (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849414)

They say he married a 7-9 year old girl and consummated the relationship at the socially acceptable appropriate time - presumably the onset of her puberty.

If he was gay why would he even bother?

By the way, before anyone jumps in with "OMG Mohammed was a pervert!!!" it wasn't uncommon in that culture to marry someone before puberty but hold off having "marital relations" until she was older. Heck, Mary mother of Jesus was probably barely old enough to get pregnant and she was about to marry Joseph and according to all surviving accounts was impregnated by a being older than the universe. I'm not saying that marrying a girl still in single digits is right by modern Western values, only that it wasn't wrong by the social standards of the time.

Re:Mohammed? Gay? I think not (2, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849522)

I suppose there's also a matter of scale, when you're probably not going to live to see 30, waiting till 25 seems a bit of a stretch.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (2, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848710)

Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else

You fail right there.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (2, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849148)

What about Carl Sagan's argument?
He argued (in 'Cosmos') that if it was necessary to postulate a cause for the universe, it was necessary to postulate a cause for whatever caused the universe, and if it was not necessary to claim there was a cause for "God", it was also not necessary to claim a cause for the universe. But not 15 pages before he made that claim, he discussed the old Steady State theory and how it was succeeded by the Big Bang model. Sagan allowed the steady state to be causeless, since there was no first moment for an infinitely old universe. But if that's true, Dr. Sagan was also arguing that a 'Big Bang' type universe had a special reason for needing a cause that the Steady State version did not. He was claiming that it was sufficient in one case for science to simply say that not everything has to have a cause, but in the other case that science was only specifically able to skip reasoning about the cause of a thing because it did not have an origin. Why then was it fair to allow the steady state to be causeless, but demand that God must have a cause if the current (Big Bang) model must have a cause? Wouldn''t "God" be more like the steady state than the big bang (at least as most religions define God)? Why did Carl Sagan reason from Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else to conclude that something that had no beginning didn't need a first cause, and then reject the very same idea not 15 pages later? Why did he treat a question as strictly rhetorical when he in fact had given a straight, non-rhetorical answer to it not 15 pages before?
So, going by the way the first post was modded and responded to, Carl Sagan was nothing better than a slashtroll who made us all dumber. Personally, I disagreed with him on several points, but thought he was legitimately brilliant and certainly worthy of publication. I guess I should adopt some of your attitudes and burn his books instead.

Fact: Dozens of distinguished scientists in the 1930s and 40s pointed to the Steady State model as a positive disproof of God, and fought against accepting the Big Bang model because they claimed it was bringing religious superstition back into science. Not one of them was willing to admit after the Big Bang won out by actual evidence that they had been wrong to interpret the science that way. Most of them, when pressed on it, stipulated two things: 1) That even if the Steady State and Big Bang theories were opposite in their predictions in just about every other respect, they were not opposite in their implications about religion, and 2) that the Big Bang would not be a scientific theory unless it shared the common property of disproving the existence of God.

I see several logical flaws in the initial post. In particular, the claim that an actual infinite cannot exist is highly suspect. A lot of the post is rehashed Augustine, and the debate about Augustine's reasoning has echoed through philosophy for over a millennium now. Some of it borrows from Pascal, but then, most people don't reject Pascal's contributions to probability theory and logic just because there are flaws with "Pascal's Wager". However, the refutations here are just as flawed, if not more-so, and I've seen some brilliant men make the same sort of errors many of you are mocking, in the modern era. If you're not prepared to stoop to Karma mods and dumb one-liners for them, maybe some of you just might want to set yourself a better standard here.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849260)

However, the refutations here are just as flawed, if not more-so, and I've seen some brilliant men make the same sort of errors many of you are mocking, in the modern era. If you're not prepared to stoop to Karma mods and dumb one-liners for them, maybe some of you just might want to set yourself a better standard here.

As a matter of fact, things without causes happen all the time. For example, look up "vacuum energy". I'm sure Sagan knew more about that than I do. You would have to ask him why he didn't bring it up. Presumably, it was because he was following Aquinas' line of thought (which would have been familiar to about a billion Catholics and surely many other Christian denominations at the time)

You can't refine your ontology so that the universe contains everything that exists while simultaneously postulating a cause for the universe (because then it is not a part of the universe, and so does not exist). Have you heard of Russell's Paradox? Initial elements are ur-elements. We don't (and can't) ask what they are. We build the theory around them and the ways in which they interact.

Modern physics has tended to look at the Big Bang as the "white hole" side of a black hole in some other universe. If you want to call that other universe "God", that is fine by me. But that universe cannot interact with us, because black holes destroy information.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848778)

The Universe is defined as something of which no greater can be conceived.
Such a thing can be conceived.
If there were no such thing in reality, then a greater thing—namely, a thing than which no greater can be conceived, and which exists—can be conceived.
Yet nothing can be greater than a thing than which no greater can be conceived.
Therefore a thing than which no greater can be conceived—i.e., the Universe—must exist.
The Universe is the entity of which nothing greater can be thought.
It is greater to be necessary than not.
The Universe must therefore be necessary.
Hence, the Universe exists necessarily.

QED.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848864)

You confused me with all those big words, like "conceived" - but I think you just said the universe could (or has?) go fuck itself?

Please clarify and let me know how I can subscribe to your newsletter. (Assuming you are not a lightning struck smudge.)

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848786)

Well first off TLDR.. I did read the first few lines though, and you have a logic issue.

Well you said:

Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else
Therefore, the universe was caused by something else (a creator)

Our universe could easily have been created by another universe. We could be living inside a black hole.

Now I know your response.. What created the other universe? That would be another logical fallacy. Who created the creator would be my reply.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848912)

The answer is simple:w

The earth was created by god. god was created by a giant frog. the giant frog was created by robotic jesus.

And all those lies were created by man, in particular, certain individuals who where trying to control the rest of the population.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848956)

The Greek philosopher Thrasymachus said: With religion, the clever manipulate the foolish.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849228)

Thrasymachus wasn't as much as a philosopher as a giant douche invented to help Plato drive home some points in his Republic. Other tidbits from Thrasymachus: "Justice" is little more than getting ahead, and the "just" will stab anyone in the back should it benefit them.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849742)

Hey hey Giant Douche [meierzone.com] is property of the South Park Corp. It cannot be used without expressed written consent.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849272)

Look! A Vim user!

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (2, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849440)

The answer is simple:w

Are you typing your slashdot comment with vi?

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (2, Funny)

vjoel (945280) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849584)

The earth was created by god. god was created by a giant frog. the giant frog was created by robotic jesus.

And all those lies were created by man, in particular, certain individuals who where trying to control the rest of the population.

You can't fool me, Mr. James. It's frogs all the way down.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849110)

We could be living inside a black hole.

If so, then is it still black?

A self contidicting logic tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848904)

"The universe had a beginning"
A conclusion without facts...

"Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else"
True

"Therefore, the universe was caused by something else (a creator)"
Where did the creator come from?

Let me answer for you... The creator has always existed...

So lets simplify our model of everything and just state for simplicity that the universe has always existed.
No creator required. NOTE: Usually, the simplest model is correct.

Smidge207 is an obvious troll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848972)

My name is Skyler, but everyone calls me Alphabet because i'm the ALPHA male and you can BET on it. My boys sent me the link to this messageboard. They told me it was full of fat pale basement dwelling neckbeards OCD Asians and pathetic gay virgins. Wow they weren't kidding. I haven't seen this level of homosexuality since my broseph Vince got totally zonked on X and mouthkissed Zane. Of course you fags do this shit ON PURPOSE You chumps make me sick hanging out on your nerd website all day jerking off to fat chicks making your gay little posts about Apple and dressing up like faggots and ejaculating to tranny porn.

Dude you guys would probably cut your own dicks off to be able to observe my life for one day much less live it. I am buff tuff and ruff broski! My body is tanned and chiseled because I use PROTEIN and go to the GYM. You worthless excuses for men don't know how that works. Try not to suck your protein supplements out of a dude's cock. Even if the dude's name is Steve Jobs.

Lets face it the chicks can't resist my bangin guns. When I walk up into the club the bitches can't wait for the Alphabet to wrap his pimp mitts around their titties. I have a .312 batting average not that you fags even know what that means and can drink all of your children under the table.You losers need to get a fucking life.

Re:Smidge207 is an obvious troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849114)

a .312 batting average with men's butts. da doom che

Re:Smidge207 is an obvious troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849136)

Teach me! I want to know how to be like you!

Re:Smidge207 is an obvious troll (0, Troll)

mr_bubb (1171001) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849360)

This is the greatest post ever, anywhere.

Re:Smidge207 is an obvious troll (1)

Wicked Zen (1006745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849714)

ROFL-McWaffle

Re:Smidge207 is an obvious troll (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849752)

Wtf dude not all, of us are Asian.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (3, Informative)

bertok (226922) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848984)

Converted to mathematics, the error in logic if more clear:

1) You say that for all 'x', there must be an 'x-1'. ("a cause", "antecedent", "precedent", or whatever)

2) You say that "we atheists" claim that the "first thing" is '1'.

3) Hence, if there's a '1', there must be a '0'. ("the first thing must be created")

4) Then, you basically make the unfounded claim that '0' must be 'God'.*

The problem is that this simply implies that all negative numbers must exist also, (-1, -2, -3, etc...), since there's no reason to stop at 0.

In other words, there's no reason to stop at "God". God must also have a cause. And the cause of God must also have a cause, etc...

If you say that "God" is special and has no cause, then (1) was not true, it's actually "for all 'x' except some 'x' there must be an 'x-1'", which is a different rule. Hence, the whole argument is hogwash, since the original rule cannot be true for it to work. That is, if there are exceptions to the rule, then there's no reason for the Universe itself to not be one of those exceptions. This argument, and it's counter-arguments have been known since ancient times, it's not exactly new. You're not exactly surprising any Atheists with a shocking new proof. For crying out loud, there's a 10-page Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] about it's long history.

* I assume that you refer specifically to the Abrahamic God that spoke to a barely literate goat herder on the side of a mountain in ancient Palestine, raped some woman who was apparently a virgin despite living with her husband, and then watched his illegitimate son get executed, right? Otherwise you could be speaking of any God. Lets say, Zeus. I like Zeus. He's the kind of womanising, lightning-bolt throwing God I can relate to! Some of his human consorts were even awake when he impregnated them -- what a gentleman! If we're going to start making assumptions that "the cause of the universe" must be a specific God, lets pick a good one!

Re:Can slashdotters refute one simple fact? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849370)

Fact: TOO LONG, DID NOT READ.

Fact 2: "Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING." gets in the way of posts that are intended to be only 6 words long.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849398)

I do believe that there is God but when you use this fact to believe the man made books you read I just laugh.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849406)

I know I shouldn't respond... But I think you only made two points, with the rest rehashing those.

> Every part of the universe is dependent

Mr. Heisenberg disagrees. Subatomic particles exhibit true randomness.

> If an infinite number of moments had to elapse before today, then today would never have come
> But today has come

Didn't recognize you Zeno. Are you still chasing that turtle?

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849578)

Silly Troll...it's turtles all the way down.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

Wicked Zen (1006745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849684)

This is a whole world of logic fail.

Re:Can atheists refute one simple fact? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849776)

The universe had a beginning
Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else
Therefore, the universe was caused by something else (a creator)

Or perhaps another universe that generated this one?

Every part of the universe is dependent

Not sure this is the case for particles accelerating away from us faster than light-speed, such as the other "side" of the universe.
   

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848538)

Why exactly does this matter to anybody?

So lots of things. (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848658)

Well, a large genome generally means lots of redundancy. Lots of redundancy is theorized to mean high resistance to radiation. This plant should, therefore, be highly resistant. That is potentially quite useful knowledge. Back in the days when people looked to hydroponics and Biosphere 2 as a way of getting oxygen into an artificial environment, they forgot to take into consideration that most plantlife won't cope with the radiation on, say, Mars. In order to be able to get a livable environment for humans, you must first create a livable environment for the plants needed. Obvious solution - use rad-resistant plants as part of an initial program for building up the environment.

Once you've got an artificial environment that is biologically stable and sustaining good O:CO2 ratios for plantlife, you can look to advancing that environment. I'd suggest having a two layer dome, with the gap between the inner dome and outer dome flooded at as high a pressure as the domes can take something that'll filter the radiation. By having an organic system that can cope, you can take your time getting it right. Regardless of what is actually done, these plants will provide a rich topsoil that will be valuable to the plants that are actually needed by humans.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848744)

Well, a large genome generally means lots of redundancy.

You said "generally", so I'm not jumping on you for this, but "how do we know"? Who is to say the plant doesn't have hundreds of meters of codings for proteins that are no longer useful to the species? We only just sequenced the human genome a few years ago. This thing is 50 times as long. (Yeah, Moore's law is good stuff for the biotech industry, so it might be possible to sequence this plant in under a year, say, but still)

So if there are hundreds of meters of inactive protein coding ... things, they're redundant, but not in any useful way.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848930)

We don't know, until someone tries an experiment (eg: analyzes the genome, takes it to some relatively unshielded part of the IIS, or drops seedlings from a transport plane over Chernobyl).

Indeed, it is because we don't know - and because exceptions are bound to happen - that I used the term "generally". Right now, we know it's a great candidate for testing what we think we know. At 50x the genome, it should be possible to test many ideas out about how the genome evolves.

In fact, if it turns out that there isn't much duplication, it could be interesting in other ways. With a genome that long, if there's little or no redundancy, the extra would presumably be a record of how the plant has evolved. Given the normal rate of evolution for plants, that would be one hell of a long record, which might well make a lot of biologists extremely excited.

So I'll freely admit that there are other (exciting) possibilities in addition to the one I suggested at first and possibly some other not-so-exciting possibilities (such as a dinosaur geneticist experimenting with genetically modified food).

Re:So lots of things. (1)

spqr0a1 (1504087) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849010)

not-so-exciting ... dinosaur geneticist

Does not compute.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849284)

I guess I was hoping for a more positive answer, like, "We've figured out that if chromosomes are in this shape, then ..." I already knew that skepticism is our (as scientists) collective default attitude. ;0)

Re:So lots of things. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848776)

Wouldn't filling the gap between the domes with water do the job? I mean water does a great job of stopping radiation anyways and I'm sure there's other inventive things that could be done with that.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848952)

Water would work, but water is also very very heavy. On the other hand, if the domes could be made strong enough to support sufficient water, you'd have a great way to create artificial rain via sprinklers.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

Camshaft_90 (908670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849190)

In Zero gravity, water weights nothing. Kips and the required strength should be very low unless there is movement from an external source. I missed the pun.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849250)

Regions of long-term zero gravity are hard to find on Mars.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849304)

Good job. And the mass that will have to be accelerated? Indeed, you are no longer in a "zero gravity" frame of reference if you are accelerating.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849240)

While you can't discount it completely, Mars is only about 10% of the mass of Earth so weight is not such as big a problem. On a planet heavier than Earth it could be worse though...

On a planet where water is hard to find you might want to use something else as your shielding too.

Re:So lots of things. (4, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849024)

Well, a large genome generally means lots of redundancy. Lots of redundancy is theorized to mean high resistance to radiation.

Another reason why plants have large genomes is that they tend to duplicate their genomes. One theory is that it makes speciation easier.

Mind you, it's not as if the designer said, "I'll duplicate plant genomes to make it easier for them to separate into species." They just duplicate and it works out well.

Apparently plants can double their genomes without the disasterous consequences that it has in animal cells. Animal cells don't double their entire genome unless they're really messed up, like in cancer, and then they're swiftly disposed of.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

Vreejack (68778) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849124)

Super-large plant genomes are usually the result of chromosome-doubling. This is usually quite fatal to animals, but plants tolerate it well, and often use it to create new genes as duplicates are free to evolve in new directions. Most of the extra genes are simply redundant, however, and do nothing but consume resources. If a plant species undergoes repeated doublings it can quickly become the genomic monstrosity we have here, which is likely to become extinct if it does not fix itself.

Re:So lots of things. (1)

Dersaidin (954402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849198)

Its a possibility, but you can shield radiation in other ways. Resilliance and high oxygen production would be more important. Ideally, breed plants for all of these things (and start ASAP).

Re:So lots of things. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849306)

I have a fair bit of experience with these genome thingees and it being saturday night I have been drinking some complex carbohydrates mixed with alcohol so the activation energy for posting to slashdot has been reduced (normally most people alive would have something better to do- i know I do). Now, plant genomes expand for two reasons 1) polyploidy events - where the genome is oops accidently doubled (soybean), or 2) massive transposon expansion where small bits are copied many times to give a big genome (eg maize). It sounds like P. japonica is of the #2 variety, ie a small genome of a flowering plant that as been expanded over time by transposons and lost its ability to prune them back out again. So to answer the parents question: It is unlikely to prove radiation resistant as most transposon expanded genomes still only maintain a single copy (x2 for a diploid) of each gene, so a vital function is easily disrupted by radiation induced mutations. If however, P. japonica was massively polyploid, then perhaps it would offer so additional radiation protection- but as the polyploid state, is for most sexually reproducing plants, a temporary state, it could very likely collapse back down into a non-radition protected species quite quickly over time.

Not so fast (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849434)

A large genome might mean more copies of the same protein encoded, but it might also mean more proteins to do the same job.

There could be a lot of "two step" processes, where a one step process is possible.

There could be a mutation which generates an extra lethal chemical. Dominate genes exist, and they are not always beneficial.

I'd stick with the article's premise that while there's more possibility to resist failure, there's also more moving parts to fail, and the cost to replicate the redundancies is more expensive than just having one good working gene.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848746)

It means that there is compensation for a population that has very tiny penises.

Typo? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848548)

Dang it. I read it as "Largest Gnome Ever". My brain was already thinking: "WTF? Why would someone need a large desktop manager? Larger than what?" Then, I read the summary. All became clear.

Re:Typo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848610)

Dang it. I read it as "Largest Gnome Ever". My brain was already thinking: "WTF? Why would someone need a large desktop manager? Larger than what?" Then, I read the summary. All became clear.

Reading comprehension jokes are original and hilarious.

Picture (5, Funny)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848556)

Since the article was light on visuals, I found a picture [rapha.cc] of the largest genome ever.

Obviously: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848558)

"Does ist need a Multipass...?"

Thanks for the warning. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848560)

The researchers warn however that big genomes tend to be a liability: plants with lots of DNA have more trouble tolerating pollution and extreme climatic extinctions—and they grow more slowly than plants with less DNA, because it takes so long to replicate their genome.

I'm glad they warned me. I was considering enlarging my genome, but now that I know the dangers I guess I'll pass.

er what (1, Offtopic)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848598)

The genome would be taller than Big Ben if stretched out end to end.

How big is this flower .... ?

Re:er what (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848714)

If the DNA was stretched out, and unpacked, then yes, it could be that tall. The DNA in each one of your cells, and in turn, each one of the cells of this plant, is highly packed through the use of histones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histones) and supercoiling. So what would take a great deal of space, ends up being quite small. That is also how you get those wonderful little shapes of the chromosomes as well. Not all the DNA needs to be exposed all the time. When the time comes to transcribe, then it is uncoiled. But until then, this massive genome is packed up nice and tight.

Being a molecular biologist does the body a world of good!

Re:er what (1)

Col. Bloodnok (825749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848820)

It's as tall as Big Ben - a really big bell in St. Stephen's Tower, Westminster.

Weird unit of measurement, but there we go.

Re:er what (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849262)

That's annoying is that it's hard to tell if they mean the bell or the tower it's in. American's generally don't know the difference.

Largest Genome ever (4, Funny)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848620)

My girlfriend always said it's not the size of the genome that counts, its what you do with it.

Re:Largest Genome ever (4, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848694)

Yeah, they always say that if you have a small genome.

Re:Largest Genome ever (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849076)

Yeah, they always say that if you have a small genome.

What do they say if you have the largest genome in the world?

"Not tonight dear, I have a headache."

Re:Largest Genome ever (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849086)

I thought the funny bit was where he said, "My girlfriend" -- especially since "she" obviously thinks he has a small genome.

Actually ... (4, Informative)

niclas.l (145733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848622)

Big Ben is, technically, the nick-name of the Great Bell inside the clock tower. That bell is only slightly taller than 2 meters.

Re:Actually ... (4, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848662)

It's a nickname, there is no "technically".

It is commonly used to refer to the bell, or to the clock, or to the clock tower.

Re:Actually ... (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849300)

It's a nickname, there is no "technically".

It is commonly used to refer to the bell, or to the clock, or to the clock tower.

So how tall is this genome?

Re:Actually ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849378)

Big Ben is, technically, the nick-name of the Great Bell inside the clock tower. That bell is only slightly taller than 2 meters.

So it is also slightly taller then Ben Roethlisberger?

Probably multiploid (4, Interesting)

morty_vikka (1112597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848664)

Not that I have read TFA, but this is probably another plant with multiple copies of each chomosome. In which case it's not really a newsflash; this is the case for many plants. Sugar cane and many other monocots have extremely multiploid genomes.

think i saw this before... (4, Funny)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848682)

So does this plant run around asking for a MUL-TI-PASS? [imdb.com]

In short (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848690)

they have all the sensitivities of an advanced life form.

I misread the title... (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848698)

And started thinking about what size a gnome must be in order to not be a gnome.

Re:I misread the title... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849022)

As tall as Big Ben? Using what size font, line spacing, and page indentation?

comression (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848724)

Perhaps the DNA is not compressed properly.

Thats Big (3, Funny)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848788)

It must be made by Microsoft. Far too many lines of code. :)

Re:Thats Big (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849448)

Maybe the code doesn't have any functions - everything is dumped in the main() block. That will lead to much redundancy.

I for one welcome our flowery overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848814)

Some of them genomic combinations will probably produce Jurassified species that can eat humans for dessert. And that's after spending the rest of the day converting sunlight into carbohydrates.

Ding Dong (0, Redundant)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848816)

Taller than Big Ben? I assume they mean the "Clock Tower" as Big Ben is actually just the bell inside the tower.

Useless comparison (2, Funny)

halestock (1750226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848822)

As tall as Big Ben? That hardly expresses how much data is packed into this genome. I need to know is how many Library of Congresses this genome is in order to fully comprehend the size.

Same as bloated code (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 3 years ago | (#33848872)

Bloated code is unmaintenable.
Likewise, a bloated genome means it's hard to evolve.

Re:Same as bloated code (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849788)

It was all fine until the plant used an Object-Relational Mapper.

sfdsfdsf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33848946)

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Largest Gnome Ever (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849074)

Did anyone else misread this as "Largest Gnome Ever" and momentarily get excited that someone had discovered a species of Gnomes that was larger than expected?

Ok, sure it sounds stupid when you say it out loud, but dammit for a second there...

Thanks for the warning about big genomes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849150)

The researchers warn however that big genomes tend to be a liability: plants with lots of DNA have more trouble tolerating pollution and extreme climatic extinctions--and they grow more slowly than plants with less DNA, because it takes so long to replicate their genome.

Thanks for the warning; I'll remember it when designing future plant species.

- God

congratulations, we've got a new Unit (2, Funny)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849174)

Congratulations, we now have a new unit of measurement to join the myriad:

* Libraries of Congress
* Landmasses of Texas
* States of Massachusetts
* California Economies
* Lines of Code
* Man-Hours
* Kilobits per second

Welcome to the fold, Big Bens!

Re:congratulations, we've got a new Unit (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849424)

If the unit refers to the bell, it is only slightly taller then an average person. If the unit refers to the clock tower itself, it is close to a football field. It would seem this unit is redundant.

Oblig Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849182)

Worst... Genome.... EVER!

biggest genome I've ever seen! (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849236)

that's what SHE said!

Someone phone Blizzard (0, Redundant)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849244)

Wow! Been playing too much Warcraft. Thought that said largest GNOME EVAH

So not world of warcraft? (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849374)

For a moment there I thought it was "Largest Gnome Ever"!

made-up Comic Book Guy quote (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849430)

"Largest [pause] Genome [pause] Ever"

Not the size! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33849568)

Another proof that it's not the size, but how you use it!

On another note, plants are around much longer than animals, so they probably have more complex DNA. I guess this is an example of this.

Bloatware... (3, Funny)

SpaceAmoeba (1159183) | more than 3 years ago | (#33849670)

Clearly humans are more efficiently coded.

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