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First Complete Lizard Genome Sequenced

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the reptiles-are-from-space dept.

Science 105

iamrmani writes with an article in the International Business Times about the recent gene sequencing of a lizard. From the article: "Researchers have managed to sequence the genes of the green anole lizard, which is the first non-bird species of reptile to have its genome sequenced and assembled. The findings, which researchers have obtained after assembling and analyzing more than 20 mammalian genomes, may go a long way in understanding the evolution of animals and humans."

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105 comments

Oh boy! (0)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274138)

Jurassic Park, here we come! Bring on the Velociraptors!!

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274390)

Jurassic Park, here we come! Bring on the Velociraptors!!

you mean Deinonychus right?

Velociraptor was the size of a goose or near there

Deinonychus just didn't sound cool enough for the movie... so they went with the wrong name

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velociraptor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus

Re:Oh boy! (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274794)

Jurassic Park, here we come! Bring on the Velociraptors!!

you mean Deinonychus right?

Velociraptor was the size of a goose or near there

Deinonychus just didn't sound cool enough for the movie... so they went with the wrong name

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velociraptor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus

And Godzilla doesn't exist, but it's still fun. Don't ruin the fun.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275156)

Jurassic Park, here we come! Bring on the Velociraptors!!

you mean Deinonychus right?

Velociraptor was the size of a goose or near there

Deinonychus just didn't sound cool enough for the movie... so they went with the wrong name

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velociraptor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus

You do realize that the wikipedia article on velociraptor even says that, at the time Jurassic Park was written, Deinonychus was classified as Velociraptor antirrhopus by Gregory Paul. So, calling them velociraptors would have been technically correct. It would seem that, in the book at least, "velociraptor" was being used as a generic term for basically all raptors.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275030)

I'm still waiting for the sequence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276394)

I'm still waiting for the sequence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
That's easy:
spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti,.....,spagetti, meatball, meatball, spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti...

Re:Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37278514)

The sequence has been available for quite some time and bears an astonishing resemblance to the sequence of Triticum durum.

Lounges (3, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274146)

Lounges across the world have become that must less mysterious.

Re:Lounges (1)

splatter (39844) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275484)

doo ta da doo ta doo ta da doo, doo ta da doo ta doo ta da doo.... great now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day. Were is my suit it's time to hit the bar.

Interesting (5, Informative)

Mensa Babe (675349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274154)

The first non-bird species of reptile? I've heard that it is also the first non-mammal species of reptile to have its genome sequenced. Seriously though, the Slashdot summary may sound stupid (shocking, I know) but the story is actually quite interesting. Of course this is not something to read about in the International Business Times! There is a much better article in Scientific American: Lizard Genome Unveiled: First non-avian reptile sequence helps explain vertebrate evolution [scientificamerican.com] by Lee Sweetlove. Highly recommended reading. I also recommend this article on PhysOrg: First lizard genome sequenced [physorg.com] by Haley Bridger. Ths story is particularly remarkable that when we have successfully sequenced the genomes of the entire line of the fish - reptile - bird - mammal evolution then we will finally be able to prove the theory even beyond any reasonable doubt of intelligent designers. Hopefully this breakthrough will start an interesting discussion in the world of science about the exact details of the natural selection in general and the speciation in particular.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274212)

The first non-bird species of reptile? I've heard that it is also the first non-mammal species of reptile to have its genome sequenced

As far as I know, the most up-to-date evidence suggests that the proper classification of birds is "dinosaurs," and therefore "reptiles."

Re:Interesting (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274242)

If dinosaurs are birds that means dinosaurs are not reptiles. Sorry dude reptiles and birds share as much in common as mammals and birds. The statement above is total nonsense.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274318)

I know it's bad form to RTFA, but you should at least take a look at figure 1 [nature.com]. Maybe that will explain your confusion (or your heritage?)

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274358)

Maybe you should read the title:

Amniote phylogeny based on protein synonymous sites showing major features of amniote evolution

when we actually classify something as one thing or another, we use more than just sharing of protein synonymous sites. Your comment is like saying that Linux is Windows because they are both composed of 0s and 1s.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274668)

What does that title have to do with the up-thread assertion that "reptiles and birds share as much in common as mammals and birds"? And what does your comment have to do with that assertion?

re the assertion: birds have feathers and a wishbone, two characteristics that are only found in some historic species of reptiles (namely late-jurassic Theropoda).

Re:Interesting (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275014)

Actually genetic and functional homologies are some of the most important pieces of evidence in modern taxonomy, so yes, we do classify something based on sharing of protein synonymous sites.

Re:Interesting (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37282072)

I know it's bad form to RTFA, but you should at least take a look at figure 1.

My main thought when I first saw that diagram was "Oh, my!" Then I mentally shrugged at such a radically over-simplified, (and quite possibly incorrect) taxonomy tree, and continued reading.

The main comment many biologists would make about arguing about the relationship between the Reptilia, the Dinosauria, and the Mammalia is "Further research is needed". It's fairly common to just draw a 3-way split. Yes, this is unlikely, but it is the best way to say "We really don't yet have the evidence to resolve this into two 2-way splits".

Of course, some people don't accept this, say that 3-way splits are highly unlikely, and insist on whatever order of splitting they personally guess happened. This doesn't change the fact that we really can't reliably resolve this split yet. Or if we can, maybe someone should give a citation for the evidence. Most of us haven't read about such evidence, and consider a claim that (for example) dinosaurs and birds are a branch of the reptiles to be merely a guess with no supporting evidence. Maybe mammals are closer to reptiles than are the dinosaurs, but that's also a guess with no supporting evidence. All three of the possible branching trees are possible, based on what is generally known.

So if you claim that birds (i.e., dinosaurs) are reptiles, can you give us some citations for the published evidence? They citations should probably be for something we can find online, because if it's behind a paywall (such as an annual subscription), we probably aren't going to pay the money to read it.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274598)

You're getting the meaning backwards. All birds are dinosaurs. All dinosaurs are not birds. There are many dinosaurs that have nothing to do with birds and are on separate branches (e.g., the long-necked sauropods). Putting it another way, birds are highly-modified dinosaurs in the same sense that whales are highly-modified mammals. That interpretation does not mean that all mammals are whales, or that whales cease being mammals. A subset of mammals are whales, and a subset of dinosaurs are birds (and dinosaurs are themselves a subset of reptiles).

Reptiles == amniotes - (birds + mammals). It's like "birds" and "mammals" are branches on a tree (the Amniota [wikipedia.org]) that without them is considered "reptiles". Lop off those two branches and you leave behind dinosaurs and many other creatures in the "reptile" stub of the amniote tree.

Re:Interesting (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274760)

The the story comment should of said this "That this is the first non-bird, non-mammal amniota ever sequenced". It didn't say that, it explicitly moved all warm-blooded birds in to the cold-blooded reptile category.

The grandparent comment then compounded that mistake by trying to say everyone else was wrong because they may have shared the same parentage sometime in the past. If that was true then we're all protozoa, all the other categories won't exist since we all same the same parent species from sometime in the past.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275570)

Let's confuse the situation even more with a quote from the wikipedia page on reptilia [wikipedia.org]:
"the traditional class Reptilia is not a clade. It is just a section of the clade Amniota: the section that is left after the Mammalia and Aves have been hived off. [..] Modesto and Anderson in 2004 [..] defined Reptilia as [a] stem-based definition equivalent to that of Sauropsida, [but Reptilia] is more well known and more frequently used, despite their definition including birds"

So, contrary to what the GP and the WP page on Amniotes claim, this passage suggests that the phylogenetic definition of reptiles does not include mammals (Synapsida) but does include birds (as a subspecies of saurischia). See the taxonomy and phylogeny immediately below the link target.

it explicitly moved all warm-blooded birds in to the cold-blooded reptile category.

We do not know whether all reptiles in history were cold-blooded.

The grandparent comment then compounded that mistake by trying to say everyone else was wrong because they may have shared the same parentage sometime in the past.

You're saying that your nephew might not be related to you, even though he shares some of your grandparents?

If that was true then we're all protozoa, all the other categories won't exist since we all same the same parent species from sometime in the past.

Do you consider yourself to be a single-celled organism? It's not about heritage but about genetic similarity.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275026)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladistics

Cladistics motherf***er. Do you know it?

Hum... (1)

advid.net (595837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275056)

If dinosaurs are birds that means dinosaurs are not reptiles. Sorry dude reptiles and birds share as much in common as mammals and birds. The statement above is total nonsense.

I think it's more like :

Birds come from dinosaurs, and dinosaurs are reptiles.

Thus the "first non-bird species of reptile".

That is the first real reptile as we usually classify them.

My 2ct...

Re:Interesting (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275876)

Regardless of whether or not dinosaurs are birds, dinosaurs are not reptiles.

-1 clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37277210)

The taxon Dinosauria was formally named in 1842 by Sir Richard Owen, who used it to refer to the "distinct tribe or sub-order of Saurian Reptiles"

Learn to use Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] before you post.

Reptile "lump" (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276204)

Sorry dude reptiles and birds share as much in common as mammals and birds.

And (some) reptiles and birds share much more in common than corcodiles, turtles and lizards.

Re:Interesting (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274836)

And you just flunked biology.

Dinosaurs and not birds. Birds are not reptiles, Dinosaurs are not reptiles WHAT????

Here I will do my best to spell it out for you.

                                            Reptiles
              Dinosaurs Mammals
                      Birds

That is how it goes in a second grade level explanation or evolution. BUT BIRDS ARE NOT REPTILES reptiles do not have feathers, are cold blooded and have a three chambered heart. Bad science post! Bad! No go read a biology book before you post on here again!

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275104)

Modern biology is moving away from the designation "reptiles" because it is paraphyletic, that is, it does not include all of th descendants of one common ancestor. Reptiles excludes birds and mammals. This makes it useless to modern science, which focuses more on the way things are related than the superficial similarities between them as classical linnean taxonomy does. This is known as cladistics. Learn about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladistics

Avian reptiles: Simplification/Definition problem (2)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275922)

That is how it goes in a second grade level explanation or evolution.

That's the problem with second grade. It's a simplification to make the data accessible to second graders. It doesn't take into account more complex knowledge that we have acquired since then.
Oh, and by the way, atoms aren't small collection of beads orbiting each other. That's also a school-science simplification that fails to take into account wave functions and all such wonders.
All these is what some name "lies-to-children [wikipedia.org]"

Don't get me wrong: There's nothing inherently bad in using simplification. You just have to keep in mind that they are model. And as with any model in since, it has its domain of application. (You can use newtonian physics for everyday motions, you only need to whip out Einstein's models for bigger speeds).
Your second grade teacher didn't make a mistake by teaching this, but made a mistake by failing to specify that this is a coarse model and pupils with special interests are encourage to study more details if they wish.

BUT BIRDS ARE NOT REPTILES reptiles do not have feathers, are cold blooded and have a three chambered heart.

If you use that over-simplified definition yes.

Except that, since then, people have also looked on evolution markers. Apparitions of small characteristics, small anatomical differences, physiology, mutation in DNA, and much more.
What arises there is that Mammals split apart from reptiles pretty early one.
Reptiles split further later on, with avians emerging quite late.
In fact, there are much less difference between avians and some reptiles, as there is difference between reptiles.
If you want to lump turtles, crocodiles and lizards in the same "reptile" class, you end up with a definition so broad of "reptiles", and a position so early in the evolution tree, that you need to lump dinosaurs and birds in the same class too (and only miss lumping mammals too by a hairbreadth. We split appart a tiny little bit earlier).

That's why the lizard is defined as a non-avian reptile.
- It's also a "reptile" according to these new evolutionary biology discoveries. But due to how broad this definition has become, it could also mean "birds" or "avian reptiles". And we already have several genomes of those (turkey was sequenced for research because of its agricultural significance, for exemple)
- They have to specify "non-avian reptile" to what people commonly refer as "reptile" (using simplified 2nd grade biology) : lizards, turtles, and the like.

So the phrase makes perfectly sense to anyone using more complex models of phylogeny, and only sounds silly to someone using simplified 2nd grader models.

The 2nd grader explanation rely only on a few big characteristics, and might lump together things that remotely look alike but in fact aren't that related.
Case in point : the number of heart chambers.
On might be quick to separate bird and mammals on one side, and non-avian reptiles on the other as the former have 4 chambers and the later only 3 (mostly). Well, turns out there are several different way to "invent" a 4 chambered hearts. The fact that both birds and mammals have them isn't due to common ancestry, but due to convergent evolution: Once you have a 3-chambered hearth, the next best step in improving the oxygen pumping efficiency is to evolve 4 chambers to separate oxygenate and non-oxygenated blood.
But "birds" got their "4-chamber heart" in a slightly different way. In fact their hearts are assembled "the other way arround" when you look into some details: our left aorta pumps fresh blood to the body. In birds it's the right. When we created walls to separate the two circulations (lungs and body), we didn't do it the same way around. Proof that our hearts were invented by evolution at separate points of time.
So number of hearth chambers might work as a quick rule of the thumb. But starts to fall apart when you need more details. And when you start looking into the exact DNA text, oh boy you what a detailed model you need.
By the way: Crocodiles have 4 chambered hearth too.

..and a nice picture. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276148)

If you want to lump turtles, crocodiles and lizards in the same "reptile" class, you end up with a definition so broad of "reptiles", and a position so early in the evolution tree, that you need to lump dinosaurs and birds in the same class too (and only miss lumping mammals too by a hairbreadth. We split appart a tiny little bit earlier).

Nice wikipedia picture [wikipedia.org]

We (mammals) are down the "Synapsid" branch. And as the the green blob suggest, we might almost be lumped with classic "reptiles" too (because this definition covers some of our oldest direct ancestors)
Birds are a small, small sub branch on the right hand of the diagram

Re:..and a nice picture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37277658)

The situation might be easier to understand if explained mathematically:

amniotes = reptiles + mammals + birds

Rearranging:

reptiles = amniotes - (mammals + birds)

This assumes you understand what amniotes [wikipedia.org] are, and that you understand basic principles such as "once an X, always an X", even if X is heavily modified. For example, whales don't stop being mammals simply because they permanently take to the sea and turn their feet into flippers. Likewise birds don't stop being amniotes by developing feathers and flying, and birds don't stop being a special type of dinosaur when they do the same. You can *say* they've become something "completely different", but they're still derived from something that was there before, and don't lose all features of that historical relationship (e.g., birds still have scales and claws on their feet like reptiles, and ancient feathered, flying birds had teeth, claws on their forelimbs, and long bony tails among other dinosaur-like/reptile-like features).

If you think of these relationships as nested file directories, a file sitting in a directory doesn't stop being in that directory path if you make a subdirectory inside and throw the file in there, to make one more level down the tree. It's still in the original "path", all the way back to the root.

I admit it is a little confusing to realize this also means all tetrapods are a special type of fish [hmnh.org], as artfully depicted by Ray Troll [hmnh.org]. I've learned to embrace it [specialtytoolandbolt.com], though.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37276190)

This is correct. Crocodiles, dinosaurs and birds are in the same phylogenetic group, while lizards, snakes and tuataras are in a different (but related) group. So if crocodiles are reptiles, birds are too.

http://tolweb.org/Archosauria/14900

Re:Interesting (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276334)

As far as I know, the most up-to-date evidence suggests that the proper classification of birds is "dinosaurs," and therefore "reptiles."

That tells us more about you and what you think you know than about classifications.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274224)

>even beyond any reasonable doubt of intelligent designers.

Luckily for them, their doubts are not reasonable in the first place, so this will have little effect.

Re:Interesting (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274370)

>even beyond any reasonable doubt of intelligent designers.

Luckily for them, their doubts are not reasonable in the first place, so this will have little effect.

I beg to differ. In the absence of certainty, doubt is perfectly reasonable. The problem with the intelligent design crowd is that they can't live with that, and prefer to replace doubt with superstition and myth.

Re:Interesting (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275782)

>even beyond any reasonable doubt of intelligent designers.

Luckily for them, their doubts are not reasonable in the first place, so this will have little effect.

I beg to differ. In the absence of certainty, doubt is perfectly reasonable. The problem with the intelligent design crowd is that they can't live with that, and prefer to replace doubt with superstition and myth.

If you look at it objectively, the religious accounts are seen by their adherents as history. And the person who says with certainty, "when we have sequenced all these genomes we WILL discover" is technically also engaging in unscientific faith.

Re:Interesting (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276086)

If you look at it objectively, the religious accounts are seen by their adherents as history.

Precisely my point. Accepting those "religious accounts" as "history" is irrational. Not that there's anything wrong with that, even. I'm given to an irrational choice from time to time myself, but I try not to let those indulgences affect others. You know, like deliberately making school children ignorant.

Re:Interesting (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276500)

There is no scientific doubt the evolution is true. It's a fact. Just because we don't know all the details, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Just like Germs and gravity.

Re:Interesting (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274228)

Thanks for the link. (Yes, it is much better.) I suspect that we're going to see an exponential increase in the number of genomes that get sequenced. Sorta like exosolar planets... just a few at first, then more and more.

But I'd say you're a bit optimistic in thinking this will convince the hardcore evolution skeptics. Yes, it will chip away at the fence-sitters, but that "debate" will unfortunately be with us for a good while yet.

You're misunderstanding Intelligent Design folks (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276192)

Intelligent Design says that yeah, ok, something like evolution obviously did happen, but it wasn't an accident, it was a sequence of pre-planned steps by an intelligent designer Whose identity we'll pretend to be open-minded about. Genetic evidence of evolution just shows that He was reusing code and parts from animals He built first instead of magically creating them by fiat. (That doesn't mean that their motivations or methods are actually scientific, of course, but they're mainly trying to explain science in ways that leave loopholes for religion to still be true.)

That's different from hardcore evolution skeptics, who typically are literalists about the stories in Genesis or at least don't want to believe humans aren't really special. (Most of them are either Protestant Christians or else Muslims, but there are also non-Judaism-based religions whose followers don't like evolution.)

That's also different from the US right-wing political opposition to evolution. It's primarily there to keep the Protestant religious conservatives locked in to political conservatism, by pushing buttons that are easy to push, just as the Democrats use the abortion issue to keep feminists locked in to the Democratic Party and the Republicans use it to keep conservative Protestants locked in to the Republican Party and to try to steal the Catholics from the Democrats. But secondarily it's there to promote opposition to science, because the Republicans' corporate sponsors really don't want the public believing that Global Warming is a problem that needs to be solved by legislation, in ways that are bad for oil companies and agribusiness, and that means pushing the Don't Trust Science agenda every way they can. You'd expect rural conservatives to also be conservationists, especially after the Dust Bowl, and they really don't want that kind of attitude around. Drill, Baby, Drill!

Re:You're misunderstanding Intelligent Design folk (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276958)

Hm... I don't see how I've misunderstood the ID folks. In my mind, they are among the "fence-sitters" I mentioned. You have described it in much more detail than my short post, but I don't think we disagree on the basics.

Ultimately I think it's a generational thing. The younger folks tend to be more open to evolution, just as they are more open to equal rights for gays. The main difference between these two issues is that young people tend to personally know more gays than their parents and grandparents, whereas "awareness" of evolution is more dependent on education which, sadly, has been declining in recent years.

Re:You're misunderstanding Intelligent Design folk (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37278652)

I don't think I agree on the generational thing - I'm from the boomer generation, and got a decent amount of evolution and genetics education in high school, though over the last few decades evolution has become more and more important in biology and genetics (even if it doesn't always show up at the high school biology level.) But I'm also from the Northeast, not the South.

Also, the hippie generation were into ecology - I'm not sure if city kids get that as much, and more people are in cities these days. On the other hand, we couldn't do DNA sequencing in our kitchens or high school biology classes back then.

Re:Interesting (0)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274278)

Ths story is particularly remarkable that when we have successfully sequenced the genomes of the entire line of the fish - reptile - bird - mammal evolution then we will finally be able to prove the theory even beyond any reasonable doubt of intelligent designers.

Oh, you think evidence will change their mind?

Re:Interesting (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274632)

Oh, you think evidence will change their mind?

You know, I think if God actually did show up and say "No, really guys, I didn't do it, it actually was evolution" they still wouldn't believe in evolution and think god was just testing them.

Re:Interesting (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274574)

The first non-bird species of reptile?

In fairness, TFA talks about "non-avian reptiles", but I agree that the construction is awkward.

Re:Interesting (1)

khchung (462899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274650)

Ths story is particularly remarkable that when we have successfully sequenced the genomes of the entire line of the fish - reptile - bird - mammal evolution then we will finally be able to prove the theory even beyond any reasonable doubt of intelligent designers.

If someone can believe that some intelligent being created all species, then that someone will also believe that any evidence found for any alternate theory are simply false trails laid down to "test your faith".

Seriously, anyone with sufficient intelligence to discard intelligence design given enough evidence, would have done so already if he only took the time to review the evidence already found.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37276778)

Mammals are not reptiles and our ancestors were not reptiles. Reptilians are sauropsids. Mammals are synapsids. Our ancestors diverged before either group evolved. That's why the term "mammal-like reptile" has fallen into disfavour.

Birds ARE reptiles however; they are firmly nested within the Reptilia.

birds aren't lizards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274156)

they're dinosaurs. the *warm bloodedness* and *feathers*
should have been tiny little hints.

doesn't anybody watch dinosaur train?

More research required (1)

ghmh (73679) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274164)

We now to see how closely the sequence aligns with the Queen of England's genome.

Re:More conservative lizard sequence required (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275584)

How did you get to the Queen? Was it because of the line in the Scientific American article saying that anoles may be atypical and that "It will be illuminating to compare it with more conservative lizards"?

I'd been thinking of Newt Gingrich, myself.

Re:More conservative lizard sequence required (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276160)

It's a reference to David Icke. Not content with his lot as a BBC sports commentator, he declared himself the son of god, and proclaimed that the Queen of England is infact a lizard. Makes sense I guess. Given a choice between people thinking I was insane, or thinking I liked football, I'd go for insane too...

Re:More conservative lizard sequence required (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37277684)

Oh, right, that's familiar. (Sorry for the America-centric viewpoint that thinks we have a monopoly on crazy people....)

Bird species of reptile? (1)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274172)

When did we get these?

Re:Bird species of reptile? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276388)

When did we get these?

There is no way to know when it was that their ignorance morphed into false knowledge.

As a logical positivist my take is, since we will never know the depths of their stupidity lets just ignore them and not ask.

As opposed to all those reptiles that are birds (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274190)

that have had their genome sequenced.

Seriously, you couldn't find an article written by someone who reached the second grade* as the link for something that is actually interesting.

* No really, one of the pages in the crappy 2nd grade activity book the kid did last week (aimed at those entering 2nd grade) was categorizing some animals as either reptile, bird, mammal, or fish.

Re:As opposed to all those reptiles that are birds (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275660)

> "that have had their genome sequenced."
That's chickens and finches. If you look at the underlying scientific papers that get referenced, they're all talking about these being "non-avian species of reptile", because taxonomists currently do treat the birds as a subset of reptiles, and the point they're making is that the reptile genomes that have been sequenced so far have all been birds, and they thought it would be useful to sequence the kinds of reptiles we traditionally think of as reptiles.

Re:As opposed to all those reptiles that are birds (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276552)

Seriously, you couldn't find an article written by someone who reached the second grade* as the link for something that is actually interesting.

Yeah, or even better, they could have found someone who went beyond a crappy activity book for 2nd graders... oh wait they did!

But feel free to notify the editors of Nature and the authors of the paper that their usage of "non-avian reptiles" in their abstract [nature.com] is wrong.

Make sure to cite the activity book so they know this is legit.

Non-Bird Reptile? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274202)

Researchers have managed to sequence the genes of the green anole lizard, which is the first non-bird species of reptile to have its genome sequenced

I know my taxonomy knowledge is weak, but... Birds are considered reptiles? I mean, I accept that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that they are currently considered reptiles? That's new.

Re:Non-Bird Reptile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274306)

Only new to us. Its old news evolutionarily speaking.

Re:Non-Bird Reptile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274458)

Reptiles are the clade from which both lizards and dinosaurs (and by extension, birds) originate. So yes, a non-bird species of reptile is a correct qualification. It's akin to saying a non-ape species of mammal.

Re:Non-Bird Reptile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274744)

Mammals are also a clade that originates from reptiles. So the line should read, "first non-bird, non-mammal species of reptile to have its genome sequenced."

Re:Non-Bird Reptile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37276152)

Actually, in classical taxonomy Mammals are a class that originates from the clade Amniotes, as are birds and reptiles. That method of classification was recently abandoned because it was too complex. Especially for this topic: the term "reptile" never had a sound definition (it used to be "all amniotes that are not birds or mammals"). Phylogeny [tolweb.org] attempts to be the less ambiguous replacement.

See also the lower right corner here [amnh.org]. As for Wikipedia, I prefer to use this one [wikipedia.org].

Re:Non-Bird Reptile? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276502)

The confusion comes from the original article talking about non-avian reptiles, and people (including the submitter) assuming that avian = bird. Birds are descended from a branch of dinosaurs, who we loosely related to reptiles (and they do likely have a shared ancestry)... however, modern birds are NOT reptiles, even though we do have sequence info for historical avian reptiles.

I for one.. (1)

fatboy (6851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274216)

..welcome our new genetically sequenced lizard overloads!

Re:I for one.. (1)

fatboy (6851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274222)

er overlords. Doh!

Re:I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274252)

Next time put down the donut when typing.

Re:I for one.. (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275718)

He posted pretty early in the morning, so the real problem is that the coffee hadn't started working. And while I was interested in the scientific content of the articles, it really did call for some kind of reptile overlord joke.

Rights Chief: Countless Crimes in Counterterrorism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274286)

"BRUSSELS (AP) — Europe's human rights chief has launched launching a blistering attack on European governments' counterterrorism actions, accusing them of helping the United States commit "countless" crimes in the past 10 years.

Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's rights commissioner, says "many of those crimes have been carefully and deliberately covered up."

European governments were "deeply complicit" in U.S. counterterrorism strategies, including torture. And they all blocked proper investigations into rendition cases in line with Washington's wishes, he said Thursday.

The 47-nation Council of Europe believes at least 14 European nations colluded in the CIA's rendition program. On Monday, it will publish a list of CIA "black sites" in Poland, Lithuania and Romania where detainees are believed to have been held covertly."

I volunteer to be Dr. Curt Connors (1)

lecheiron (2441744) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274292)

I need to get in touch with the British scientists who create Hybrid Human-Animal DNA, so I can be the first Dr. Curt Connors.

So what lizard should be next (2)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274368)

TFA discusses how having this genome may help us better understand evolution by getting a better picture of how different reptile species diverged and how exactly they diverged from mammals. One of the neatest aspect of this research are the discovery of a large number of transposons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transposon [wikipedia.org]. These are segments of DNA which can jump around the genome inserting themselves where they please. They can be disruptive or helpful or just do weird things (in fact they were initially discovered in corn when Barbara McClinctock was trying to figure out what controlled the very strange behavior of corn coloration) . As TFA discusses, some of the same transposons in the lizard genome also exist in humans but many have been tamed and put to productive use.

Too bad they aren't taking requests for which lizards to sequence. I'd be very interesting in the sequencing of the New Mexico whiptail http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico_whiptail [wikipedia.org] in the hope that its weird reproductive behavior might be better understood. The whiptail has evolved to be an all female species. The females reproduce in a way that does shuffle their own genes so that children aren't complete clones. But one really neat detail is that they need to engage in mock sexual behavior in order to reproduce. If they don't hump each other they won't produce eggs. This is has earned them the nickname "lesbian lizards". They are not the only species that has adopted this sort of process but it is very rare, and the whiptail is one of the better understood examples. I would hope that having the full genome might give us more insight into how/why this sort of thing can evolve.

More pessimistically, there's been very little direct benefit from finding species complete genomes. While the human genome project has provided some benefits most of those benefits have been fairly subtle. It seems that the human genome project has been helpful but not nearly as much as some people predicted. Some of the modern genetic work uses techniques developed during the genome project but much doesn't seem to actually use the human genome project data itself.

Re:So what lizard should be next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274484)

Real research has a 1-2 decade pay off time usually, but it was not like biologists thought that the human genome alone would give us anything. Instead the human genome has been used in almost all human research (esp medical research) since, doing anything from enabling otherwise impossible research to just saving a few weeks time, on thousands of projects. Rather than giving us everything on a plate it has accelerated the rate of improvement in many apparent unrelated subjects.

Re:compare it with more conservative lizards (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275774)

One of the comments above points to an article in Scientific American which explains the issues better than the business newspaper. That article quotes biologist Susan Evans saying that anoles may be atypical and "It will be illuminating to compare it with more conservative lizards - not to mention representatives of a wider range of reptiles such as snakes, tuatara, crocodiles and turtles." Whiptails might be quite interesting, but they sound like they're definitely atypical.

next: find how their queue grows after being cut (1)

Nikademus (631739) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274532)

2: implement it for people having lost a member
3: profit

Re:next: find how their queue grows after being cu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275076)

Queue? Is that a mistranslation from some other language?

Re:next: find how their queue grows after being cu (1)

Haelyn (321711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275538)

Spanish, probably. "Tail" and "queue" both translate to "cola"

"First Complete Lizard Genome Sequenced" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274542)

So until now we've only sequenced incomplete lizard genomes? I wonder which one of the nuts at /. who tried his hands on English grammar this time.

Gieco (1)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274586)

Following up on their results, the researchers also claim to pinpoint the Gecko lizard's origins to New Zealand.

Nobody tell David Icke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274620)

So according to some nutters we now have the Gnome for the Royal family and the Freemasons :)

Yes, but (1, Funny)

azav (469988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274932)

How will this tell us what makes up the Republican congressman genome?

And how we can cure it?

Re:Yes, but (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275516)

We've already sequenced the human genome.

Oh.

OOoooooooooh. I see what you did there.

To make it easier to kill people in war, you degrade or dehumanize your opponent first.

A picture may help (1)

rlseaman (1420667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274958)

See (for instance):
http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/hall_tour/spectrum/non_flash_index.html [amnh.org]

This isn't about an imposed classification, it is about a family tree. Crocodiles are more closely related to birds than either are to snakes. Snakes are more closely related to birds than either are to turtles.

That is, these guys:
http://www.wolaver.org/animals/crocodile-plover.jpg [wolaver.org]

share a *much* more recent common ancestor than these two:
http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/02/images/salamander-pgoebeil.jpg [berkeley.edu]
and:
http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090630160120/uncyclopedia/images/2/2f/Geico-gecko.jpg [nocookie.net]

You are more closely related to a goldfish than the goldfish is to a shark:
http://rlv.zcache.com/goldfish_bowl_tshirt-p23514656184174989535jn_400.jpg [zcache.com]

http://bit.ly/nknQ00 [bit.ly]

Umm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275096)

I've seen Spider-man Comic books that started this way.... right before Dr. Conners turns into a 7 foot Lizard. PANIC!

Not complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275364)

As far as I know, no complete genome sequence exists for any eukaryote. That is because NGS techniques use very short reads, and thus it's impossible to tell e.g. how long some repeat regions truly are.

Custom designed lizards!!! (1)

Tangential (266113) | more than 2 years ago | (#37276724)

This is great! Maybe we can custom design some lizards that eat only cockroaches and bedbugs and are litter box trained.

Should be a great revenue opportunity,
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