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One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-a-mad-house-a-mad-house dept.

Sci-Fi 224

slyyy writes "The Universtiy of Rochester has discovered the complete genome of a bacterial parasite inside the genome of the host species. This opens the possibility of exchanging DNA between unrelated species and changing our understanding of the evolutionary process. From the article: 'Before this study, geneticists knew of examples where genes from a parasite had crossed into the host, but such an event was considered a rare anomaly except in very simple organisms. Bacterial DNA is very conspicuous in its structure, so if scientists sequencing a nematode genome, for example, come across bacterial DNA, they would likely discard it, reasonably assuming that it was merely contamination--perhaps a bit of bacteria in the gut of the animal, or on its skin. But those genes may not be contamination. They may very well be in the host's own genome. This is exactly what happened with the original sequencing of the genome of the anannassae fruitfly--the huge Wolbachia insert was discarded from the final assembly, despite the fact that it is part of the fly's genome.'"

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224 comments

There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418157)

There are multiple retroviral genomes in our own genome. So I am not too surprised.

http://genomebiology.com/2001/2/6/reviews/1017 [genomebiology.com]

Re:There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418603)

Yes, but it's part of a virus' nature to insert its DNA into the host. THat's how they work. This is a BACTERIAL genome. Bacteria don't just mix themselves into the hosts.

Re:There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419025)

Maybe I'm a little slow, but I thought that this story indicated that the Bacteria had done precisely that.

Re:There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (5, Funny)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419607)

the Bacteria had done precisely that.
Do you think that the retrovirus now could sue for this outstanding patent violation?

Enrico

Re:There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (1)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419061)

>Bacteria don't just mix themselves into the hosts.

Sure they do. You just see it happen *as a virus*.

Re:There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419103)

IIRC (and it's been a few years), bacterial transposons can move DNA from one bacterium to another, and even incorporate it into host chromosomal DNA, but this discovery does seem to be unique. The whole frikken' genome is there! Sounds like a goof on the assembly line. I blame a god.

Re:There are retroviral genomes in ours genome (5, Interesting)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419523)

Wolbachia are kind of funky though. They can live inside of host cells (as an intracellular symbiont) which is a bit uncommon for most bacteria. They do weird things like infect female gametes (eggs) and kill male offspring, that way only infect females will be produced. Still doesn't take away from the fact that you have a bacterial genome integrated into it's host. But they're definitely not a run of the mill bacteria.

What about the bacteria in our gut? (2)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418165)

Does that mean the bacteria that helps us digest could have lifted some human dna?

i don't care (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418181)

as long as i don't get the genes from my neighbour

Re:i don't care (1)

ds_job (896062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418327)

as long as i don't get the genes from my neighbour
Well, I might be more interested in getting into the jeans of your neighbour

Re:i don't care (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418461)

Agreed. He is a rather attractive fellow in a greasy, bald kind of way.

Re:i don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418833)

Jim.. that slug diet doesn't work.

Stargate (1)

Bibz (849958) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418183)

First thing that pops in my mind reading this are the Wraith from Stargate Atlantis. (parasites infesting humans and evolving in a human eating monster)

Re:Stargate (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418659)

they didnt really infest humans, they fed off them somewhat like leeches and their exposure to us somehow altered their DNA to evolve them into the deadly hominoid we know in sg atlantis.

parasites infesting humans and evolving in a human eating monster
that sounds more like the zerg infested terran unit, the zerg larvae infest humans and steer/accelerate their evolution into a biolical bomb. true they don't infect on a cellular level [more like the goulde come to think of it] but they do some interesting genetic tricks in the game.

Re:Stargate (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419083)

Yet more proof that the Stargate is really real and the show is there to provide plausible deniability for the Stargate project, they even went so far as to have an episode with exactly that scenario to provide another layer of deniability.

Re:Stargate (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419151)

First thing that pops in my mind reading this are the Wraith from Stargate Atlantis. (parasites infesting humans and evolving in a human eating monster)

Oh pshaw! Thats just completely wrong and reactionary.

Wraith don't *eat* humans; they suck the life out of them. Totally different.

scifi tag? (5, Insightful)

haluness (219661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418193)

What's with the scifi tag? This is real stuff, not fiction. And not entirely surprising sicne mitochondria in humans are (hypothesized?) ancient bacteria that have been incorporated into the human genome

Re:scifi tag? (5, Informative)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418241)

The mitochondria have not been incorporated into the human genome. Mitochondria contains its own circular DNA structure, which exists and replicates independently of the genomic DNA. There must have been some gene loss/exchange, however, because many proteins necessary for mitochondrial structure and function are found solely in the genomic DNA.

Re:scifi tag? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418437)

I donated some DNA to your sister last night.

I pounded that whore like the fist of an angry god. Turned that trick out.

Nice tight pussy on that bitch, though.

Re:scifi tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419115)

Wish I could say the same for your sister, but it was like trying to fuck the Grand Canyon. I suppose that says something impressive about your girth, but that's about it.

Re:scifi tag? (3, Insightful)

linguizic (806996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418447)

Not only that, but it seems that geneticists are now thinking that mtDNA directs the expression of the genes encoded in the nuclear DNA. So things are MUCH more complex than we once thought (no surprise there).

Re:scifi tag? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418455)

There doesn't have to be any interaction at the gene level. Remember survival of mitochondria and nucleic DNA are mutually dependent.

Re:scifi tag? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418577)

I believe the mitochondria DNA is considered part of the human genome, but only by definition.

Re:scifi tag? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418769)

But what about the midichlorian genome? Is that included by default too?

Re:scifi tag? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418995)

A genome is defined as "The complete genetic material of an organism." If the organism can't function without some other organism, you have to include the genome of that other organism.

Re:scifi tag? (3, Informative)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419291)

So the genome of the e. coli in our intestines is part of our genome? I don't think so. Mitochondrial dna, yes, because mitochondria are not considered separate organisms, but e. coli are. Admittedly, the lines can be a bit blurry, but still. One big difference is that mitochondrial dna normally passes from parent (specifically mother) to child and ancestry can be traced with it, but e. coli can move "horizontally" much more readily.

Re:scifi tag? (3, Informative)

izomiac (815208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418579)

You're right, but "some gene loss/exchange" would be an understatement. IIRC, there are about 1600 mitochondrial genes, and only about 20 of them are actually on mtDNA (most of those are tRNA). So the rest have been integrated into the "host" genome. This is actually an ongoing process and gene transfer happens a lot more frequently than you'd think. Mitochondrial genes that get inserted are called NUMTs and have actually been associated with human disease.

Re:scifi tag? (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418633)

I'm not sure I agree. Mitochondria are separate from the nuclear dna, but they are still part of the human genome...just not the nuclear genome.

Re:scifi tag? (2, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418755)

'There must have been some gene loss/exchange, however, because many proteins necessary for mitochondrial structure and function are found solely in the genomic DNA.'

In fact _most_ of the genes that encode mitochondrial proteins are now in the nucleus, presumably a result of ancient DNA transfer from the primordial mitochondrial genome to the nuclear genome, so the parent post is substantially correct. The modern mitochondrial genome is pretty vestigial (smaller than that of many viruses). The original article speculates that a Wolbachia bug might one day evolve into an organelle by similar processes, and suggests that the existing insert may have a selective advantage for the host.

Re:scifi tag? (2, Interesting)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419035)

Are there mitochondria in a woman's egg before fertilization? I'm wondering how they get there in the first place if it's not in the DNA of the 2 parents.

Re:scifi tag? (4, Informative)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419603)

There are mitochondria in both sperm and egg. Offspring generally inherit only the mothers mitochondria, though their have been a few reported cases paternal mitochondria inheritance. I believe the theory is that while they are present in both male and female gametes, the males mitochondria are degraded almost immediately after fertilization.

maybe you don't know everying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418199)

why don't you fucks just admit that there is a lot more to be known and stop acting like you know what the fuck is going on?
 
linux fags should be proof of this alone.

Re:maybe you don't know everying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418257)

why[credible] don't[credible] you[credible] fucks[not-credible] just[credible] admit[credible] that[credible] there[credible] is[credible] a[credible] lot[credible] more[credible] to[credible] be[credible] known[credible] and[credible] stop[credible] acting[credible] like[credible] you[credible] know[credible] what[credible] the[not-credible] fuck[not-credible] is[credible] going[credible] on?[credible]

linux[credible] fags[not-credible] should[credible] be[credible] proof[credible] of[credible] this[credible] alone.[credible]

Wow, a mostly credible post from an AC troll

Re:maybe you don't know everying (0, Offtopic)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419243)

Can someone explain how the parent is a troll? Off topic maybe, funny at a long stretch (use drugs, that sometimes works. Redundant or recursive... I don't understand!

Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (5, Interesting)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418243)

This discovery is unsetling and I hope that it's an error. There's already evidence that pesticide resistance from GM crops has turned up in weeds. Gene swapping in the wild might happen more often than we would like. Some of the unpleasant possibilities include food you can't eat, cotton you can't wear and weeds you can't get rid of.

Re:Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418273)

"There's already evidence that pesticide resistance from GM crops has turned up in weeds."
oh?

Oh yeah. (4, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419547)

Weeds have already been given pesticide resistance through regular polenation [slashdot.org] and natural selection [indybay.org]. This is bad enough because it defeats the purpose and there are plenty of studies that GM crops are harmful to wildlife [commondreams.org], including mysteriously disappearing honey bees.

Newer concerns are better written and documented here by a Monsanto whistle blower [seedsofdeception.com]. We already know that the industry was sloppy because unapproved GM crops have contaminated the US rice supply [washingtonpost.com]. It may be that the people who worried about GM crops were right and evidence of genes crossing species is just one of the many things they feared. Genetic sequencing is new and bound to bring big surprises.

It's good practice to keep an open mind but be careful until you know things are safe. A couple of historical examples show how caution works and what industry does when it's not careful. People who hear about the use of lead and arsenic in paint and wallpaper often wonder how people could be so stupid as to have that kind of thing in their homes. The answer is that printers and painters overstepped their knowledge and embraced new toys that made them money. At the opposite end of the of caution is Rontgen, the discover of Xrays. He was very careful to shield all of his sources with lead bricks because he did not know what his newly created rays would do to him. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not die of cancer. People continued to expose themselves needlessly for half a century before sane practices were finally codified.

Re:Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418381)

We've long known about a few genes getting transfered between species but this is talking about a whole genome not little pieces like genes.

Re:Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (1)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418389)

While I don't hope it's an error, (learning something new can always be a positive) Gene swapping in the wild and mutations due to antibacteria soap [slashdot.org] let alone who knows what else, may lead to some interesting problems to solve in the future. I for one, eh never mind, our new bacteria overlords haven't mutated enough to hear me, yet. But kidding aside, innovation can be driven by necessity...but even lacking some dire, yet I'm sure comically relieving dependant on how dark your humor is, circumstances; who's to say that a discovery such as this won't lead to some sort of world changing improvement?

Re:Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418555)

RoundUpReady crops were genetically modified using a gene that was found in nature, in fact, right outside the the RoundUp factory. So these genes were already in the wild before people started using them to modify food crops.

I know you didn't state this, but let me put this out there, because there is a lot of confusion about this: there is no RoundUp in RoundUpReady crops. But there is a gene that makes them resistant to roundup, so you can spray with extra strong roundup and kill all the weeds around it with harming the crop. So as a food source RUR crops are OK. The real problem is all that herbicide going in to the soil.

Re:Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418607)

Provide a cite, please. I follow this and don't recall reading that. Again, cite please.

Re:Round up ready weeds and other horrors. (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418771)

I think that the resistance to Roundup was already there... What happened is these weeds that had it, now have little competition from other weeds that didn't (since they are dead)... but that's a good thing because Roundup will soon become useless.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419057)

Why is this modded up? As other people have already asked, please kindly provide PROOF that pesticide resistance from GM crops has appeared in the wild. Then you can have all the mod points you want.

Otherwise, just post a correction to what you said.

Wow (4, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418247)

I thought I was into some kinky shit, but I never tried to stick my genome into someone.

-Peter

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418431)

I have... you should get out of the basement sometime and try it. It's really a lot of fun.

Re:Wow (1)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418433)

I thought I was into some kinky shit, but I never tried to stick my genome into someone.
I recommend you try it some time. It turns out it is pretty fun [wikipedia.org].

Re:Wow (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418587)

Yeah, I realized the literal interpretation as soon as I posted that. Usually make an effort to keep the gametes apart, though.

-Peter

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419395)

Oh I bet you have done. Well, a random selection of half of it, anyway...

Descolada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418249)

Looks like they found the descolada!
Now to infect some piggies with this bacteria a la enders game series [wikipedia.org]

Re:Descolada (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418955)

Since I'm in the middle of reading this series for the first time, Descolada was the very first thing that came to mind. I know this case isn't like that, but the timing was just too coincidental.

Is this new? (1)

dbolger (161340) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418253)

I vaguely remember reading about the human genome being found to contain the genome of viruses that we our bodies had defeated aeons ago, but which had been incorporated into our own genetic code as a result. I can't find the text now, but I'm guessing I read it on Slashdot. It is an intriguing idea - imagine in millenia to come, some gigantic alien species carrying around the human genetic code inside their own bodies :)

Re:Is this new? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418497)

I vaguely remember reading about the human genome being found to contain the genome of viruses that we our bodies had defeated aeons ago, but which had been incorporated into our own genetic code as a result.


That's fairly expected for viruses: virus entire mode of operation is injecting their DNA into cells which then reproduce them (sometimes this destroys the cell, sometimes not). Viral DNA in the genome of a host species isn't, therefore, very surprising (it does require the virus to have at some point infected, non-fatally, a germ cell rather than a somatic cell, but given enough time and population, that's bound to happen a number of times.)

Finding a large segment of the genome of another organism (a virus isn't an organism), though, is more surprising, since that's usually not how we understand organisms to work.

It'd be cool if we could spawn our own bacteria (2, Interesting)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418275)

Of course I'm being high, here, and talking out of my ass, but it does lend a whole new perspective on our role as a part of the ecosystem, as opposed to separate from it.

Dawkins (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418301)

Not so surprising if you've read Dawkins (For the non geneticists among us).

You see, according to him, we are machines whose purpose is to allow genes to replicate. The fact that other genes co-opt this mechanism isn't entirely surprising if you look at it from that perspective.

 

Re:Dawkins (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418519)

Not so surprising if you've read Dawkins (For the non geneticists among us).

You see, according to him, we are machines whose purpose is to allow genes to replicate.
So Slashdot is like a huge, broken robot?

Re:Dawkins (0, Offtopic)

Empiric (675968) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419341)

...that is, your purpose insofar as you and Dawkins know. ;)


Jesus said, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man."

--Gospel of Thomas


humility, what's that? (2, Insightful)

Once&FutureRocketman (148585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418315)

But of course we understand genetics and the dynamics of genome development well enough that it's perfectly reasonable for us to manipulate the genes of our primary food crops and release them into the wild. No problem there.

Re:humility, what's that? (2, Insightful)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418509)

Yep, no problem. After all, this shows that the species barrier (which is one of the main criticisms against GM crops) is thinner than believed. We get an interesting variety through modern methods. The problem of a not completely described monoculture is still a significant one, but the foodcrop varieties already in use are already such monocultures. Preserving local varieties in some form is essential, but those varieties are on the other hand not good enough to feed us all.

Re:humility, what's that? (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418639)

Yes, we are really playing with fire.

And we all know that human beings would be much better off without fire.

Re:humility, what's that? (1)

nateb (59324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419481)

And we all know that human beings would be much better off without fire.

You know, being smart and all that doesn't make life better. My cats are very happy to run around the fields and catch mice, my cows are happy walking around eating the grass. We would be just fine without a prefrontal cortex, I guarantee it.

Re:humility, what's that? (1)

IConrad01 (1105603) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419713)

You know, being smart and all that doesn't make life better.
Why don't you try telling that to the fact that the sun is eventually going to simply burn out, eliminating all solar-dependent life on this rock? Human-level or greater intelligence is the only way to avoid such existential risks as this, and giant rocks falling out of the sky. Because the happy little dinosaurs did so well when that happened to them, too. A happy life is not necessarily a better life. Hedonism is only one philosophical value set, of many.

Re:humility, what's that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419017)

My god I love sarcasm. And the way you used it to cover up a subject which you obviously know so little about, just genius. "Releasing into the wild"? It's not some bald eagle with a broken wing that's been subsequently nursed back to health...
The reality is that until people stop pumping out babies, we've no choice but to increase yield, in fact that's exactly what every seed company is pumping money into genetic research for. Rather than sitting behind your little laptop computer at starbucks and making smug sarcastic comments, how about putting your birkenstocks back on and sterilizing those you perceive to be less intelligent than yourself? Or just walking into traffic?

You'd think someone who must eat only rocks would save enough money to buy a clue...

Already proven by Destroy All Humans (1)

$pace6host (865145) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418337)

Oh, come on, you all knew the Furon [wikipedia.org] genome was secreted into the human genome, right? That's why Crypto 137 is wandering around collecting brain stems!

mitochondria, chloroplasts, viral DNA (4, Informative)

brit74 (831798) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418449)

I haven't heard of a whole genome being inside another species. Although, the mitochondria (which are small energy producing factories inside most life - including mammals) have their own DNA which is separate from our nuclear DNA. Its DNA sequence resembles the sequence of single-celled organisms, which hints that there was a fusion of two different organisms hundreds of millions of years ago. Additionally, plants have chloroplasts (which do photosynthesis), and these are similar - they appear to have been cyanobacteria (independent organisms) that fused with another organism and became organelles within those cells. There are also bits of viral DNA in our own genome - it apparently fused into our DNA long ago. (In fact, you can trace evolutionary relationships by comparing the sequence and positions of these viral bits of DNA across species. Unsurprisingly, humans and apes share a remarkable number of matching viral DNA chunks.)

phoenix (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418467)

roughly 8% of our own species' genome consists of bacterial and viral genetic material. some of the segments are nearly complete with at least one case of a virus being resurected called Phoenix. it seems to be a fairly common process, viruses can lose critical genes while trying to replicate in cells which can leave them unable to reproduce as usual, the genome becomes integrated into our own. there are also cases [herpes for example] which can integrate their genome with ours in certyain cells and effectively become dormant, they start the cycle again when and if certain conditions are met. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/science/07virus. html?ei=5088&en=492dd1d370217836&ex=1320555600&adx nnl=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1163032655-5n RqAOkgWGeKvh/qQcSYCg [nytimes.com]

Re:phoenix (1)

smashin234 (555465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418989)

Well if its true that there are process by which our DNA can be changed by other organisms, and some older traits brought out through some sort of manipulation (like Phoenix), it just stands to reason that dormant parts of our DNA could theoritically be brought out if you used the right bacteria. Couldn't it stand to reason that you could introduce certain bacteria which can then change our DNA into something really cool like regeneration properties often found in reptiles, and/or CO2 tolerance found within aligators/crocs who can increase their underwater time by a lot?

I mean if you think of it like that, the possibilies could be limitless.

Effect of retrovirus on Human Evolution (3, Interesting)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418581)

I think it is safe to say that retroviruses (a virus that inserts its DNA into the host genome) has influenced our own evolution.
According to this article "retroviruses (ERVs) comprise roughly 5% of the human genome."
(Note that the HTML translation is unclear - open the PDF to see that it says 5%)
http://www.hindawi.com/GetArticle.aspx?doi=10.1002 /cfg.216&e=cta [hindawi.com]

Hard to imagine that viral DNA is 5% of our genome without having any impact..

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418665)

welcome our genome rewriting bacteria overlords!

Benefits for the host? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418683)

FTA:

Werren and Clark are now looking further into the huge insert found in the fruitfly, and whether it is providing a benefit. "The chance that a chunk of DNA of this magnitude is totally neutral, I think, is pretty small, so the implication is that it has imparted of some selective advantage to the host," says Werren. "The question is, are these foreign genes providing new functions for the host? This is something we need to figure out."


I wonder if this has already happened to humans through generations. In fact, I wonder if this is a standard working component of evolution, where bacteria are a catalyst. It seems that nature always gives us nice surprises to keep us in awe and realizing we don't know anything about biology.

(As a side note, I was suddenly reminded of the Metroid Fusion game, where Samus absorbs the X cores' DNA and incorporates them into her system)

Ad-Aware for genome now! (1)

kaos.geo (587126) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418757)

What I first though about when I read this story was.. We should clean the host's genome and then defrag it! We need some ad-aware like tool to clean the genome! :-) I guess this is a new form of car analogies. Now what would be really good would be to know if this dna can become a parasite again in any way... And if so.. what triggers it?!! :P

Opens the possibility? Already open (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418763)

"This opens our eyes to the possibility of exchanging DNA between unrelated species and changing our understanding of the evolutionary process."

There, fixed that for you. Us finding out about something doesn't mean it didn't exist before we knew, as much as we like to believe.

Doesn't mean two organisms combined (3, Funny)

ross.w (87751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418795)

it just means the FSM reused his code. Doesn't everyone?

Re:Doesn't mean two organisms combined (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419217)

Flying Spaghetti Monster! The Spaghetti stands for its code structure liberally sprinkled with tons of GOTO statements. But the bacteria and viruses use an even more archaic and more difficult to debug construct, the COME FROM statements.

Re:Doesn't mean two organisms combined (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419405)

Was that code released GPL? If so, are we now entitled to the entire genome?

Mebbe it's just me but (2, Insightful)

hyc (241590) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418861)

I think it would be interesting to take a person's stem cell and try to remove all the "junk DNA" from the nucleus, then grow the cell thru a few generations (perhaps even to a full clone) and see how different it is from the original person. Very likely a lot of what we think is junk DNA isn't useless after all. Probably the reason we have 46 chromosomes in the first place is that we've been accumulating genetic material from other microbes over the span of millions of years...

Re:Mebbe it's just me but (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419047)

The reason we have 46 chromosomes is that chromosomes accidentially break (or join together, or swap bits of material) sometimes during cell divisions.

So we have a bacterium's genome in fruitfly... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419029)

...how long until we have fruitfly genome in human DNA?

Answer that, André Delambre/Seth Brundle!

Time to revisit the Barnacle Goose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419315)

Perhaps those birds were hatching from the trees after all.

Any Scottish DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20419319)

found in sheep?

Just a little reality-check, please? (0, Flamebait)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20419469)

Why do we put so much stock in people so often surprised?

We don't know it all. We don't control it all; it's an illusion.

What's THE most exercized part of your body- your mouth and toungue? It's been going before you 'knew' you were alive. You use it tens-of-thousands of times a day- everyone (not in a coma) does. But STILL there are 80yo's that bite their lip.

Science follows the Bible, not the other way around. The Bible brings up key points about how to live a happier (not thrilling, not rampaging, not miserable) life, but doesn't say why. Later, science comes along and shows why. Ask yourself; how did the Jews have germ-avoiding techniques during the plagues? Why were they not so ticked-off to be put in ghettos in those ages? [Because there, in the places no one wanted to go, they could keep things clean- no peeing in the streets, which the French still do.]

Long, long ago the Bible talks of the Earth being suspended from nothing, and the north pole pointing to the center of the universe (in so many words). It's the only ancient book that gets it right. SURE, the Roman Catholic church imprisoned geniuses for crossing what the Pope thought, but that's not a religion-thing- that's a people-thing. Just like when Christians blow up abortion clinics. They know it's wrong to kill this way...but they should also know it's not the Christian's job to make such decisions. [The parable of the tares].

So sure, being able to float a frog with magnetisim is cool; very cool, in fact, but understand our place...we're occupants of a very rich and complex environment in which we live. Go with humility and non-judgement into science; soak it all in. To ignore the Bible when searching the heavens is kinda like splitting atoms while ignoring Einstein.
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