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Biotech Earth Science

Scientists Decipher 3-Billion-Year-Old Genomic Fossils 217

Posted by Soulskill
from the long-time-gone dept.
hnkstrprnkstr writes "MIT scientists have created a sort of genomic fossil (abstract) that shows the collective genome of all life underwent an enormous expansion about 3 billion years ago, which they're calling the Archean Expansion. Many of the new genes appearing in the Archean Expansion are oxygen related, and could be the first biological evidence of the Great Oxidation Event, the period in Earth's history when oxygen became so plentiful that many anaerobic life forms may have become extinct."
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Scientists Decipher 3-Billion-Year-Old Genomic Fossils

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  • At last! (Score:4, Funny)

    by lpaul55 (137990) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:11PM (#34624402) Homepage Journal

    I can breathe!

    • Just flip a switch and the earth gets flooded with oxygen. Where's Noah when you need him?!

      • with their cyanobacteria cronies!

      • Let's get rid of all that oxygen! Take all the stuff that came out of the atmosphere over billions of years and solidified underground, and burn it to combine it with the oxygen, convert all that breathable O to CO2. Let's give every human on earth machines to convert large amounts of O into unbreathable CO and CO2.
        • by morgauxo (974071)
          You mean machines like the computer you typed that on right? The CO2 generated by cars is almost nothing compared to that generated by coal burning electric plants you know...
          • by h00manist (800926) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @10:16AM (#34627642) Journal
            Shut down the coal mines. Yes, coal, gas and oil have to go - basically carbon from underground that people burn. Limited resources, causing dispute, war, monopolies, smoke, soot, noise. Nuclear and hydroelectric works just fine, most of NYC trasportation runs on electric power. Millions of people get to work and back every day, fast with no traffic - on electric power. Get PRT [wikipedia.org] and it'll be faster than any car-based system can ever be.
    • Archea LvlUp!
      Archea learned BREATH!

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:12PM (#34624406) Homepage Journal

    Go here. [google.com] Follow, read, and understand the links on the first, say, three or four pages of search results. Then, maybe, you'll know enough to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.

    • by pinkushun (1467193) * on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @02:27AM (#34625430) Journal

      Wow, the first result [google.com] is very interesting, and mostly understandable, because the ideas read much like similar programming concepts. And it even contains a car analogy!

      The character ’existence of engine’ is compatible with the tree of Figure 2.1 (a) as the
      motor is invented once in the edge connecting the root and the common ancestor of car and
      motorcycle. The same character is not compatible with the tree in Figure 2.1 (b) where the
      engine is invented twice. The character ’number of wheels’ is compatible with both trees.

  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Funny)

    by WD (96061) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:28PM (#34624474)

    I'm confused. So they were on the Ark or what?

    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:48PM (#34624600)

      I'm confused. So they were on the Ark or what?

      Why do you think they call them 'Archean'?

    • Robot Chicken got the facts about the Ark right. [youtube.com]

  • Creationism (Score:2, Troll)

    by Trip6 (1184883)

    40% of US residents believe in creationism. What are you going to say to them, huh?

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:34PM (#34624512) Homepage Journal

      40% of US residents believe in creationism. What are you going to say to them, huh?

      As little as possible.

    • Re:Creationism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gman003 (1693318) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:48PM (#34624596)
      Simple. "God works in subtle, mysterious ways. Who is to say that He did not create the universe in such a way that the precise results He wished to occur would occur, like an intricate, universe-wide set of dominoes? Could not evolution be the means by which He created man?"

      If they continue to argue, hit them with a crowbar.
      • Or just skip step one. :P

      • by 517714 (762276)
        Because the Bible says six days! Infidel!
      • Hmm, for an all powerful god to create everything, know everything and control everything, that god must necessarily be much larger and more complex than the universe. So, who created this god?
        • Ultragod created God, obviously.

          Who created Ultragod you ask? What a silly question. Ultragod is eternal and thus needs no origin.

        • by ukemike (956477)

          Hmm, for an all powerful god to create everything, know everything and control everything, that god must necessarily be much larger and more complex than the universe. So, who created this god?

          He evolved.

          • by c0lo (1497653)

            Hmm, for an all powerful god to create everything, know everything and control everything, that god must necessarily be much larger and more complex than the universe. So, who created this god?

            He evolved.

            Blasphemy ... everybody knows that She evolved, praise be unto Her Noodliness

            Prayer and Gospel reading in the Reformate Pastafarian Church this Friday at noon-time.

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          Nobody, you're committing a logical fallacy. People educated in the modern era don't really believe the universe had to have a creator simply because it is big and complex. I'll bet you don't, if you know a little history of modern cosmology. So why are you reasoning from a principle you don't yourself accept? People generally believe that the universe could have been explained by a model that doesn't require any moment of creation (like the 1920's Steady State Model), but it turned out that a model that th

      • This sort of ad-hoc rationalisation can be used to account for absolutely anything imaginable. For instance, arguing that God created the whole Universe 5 minutes ago with everything in it and all our memories in a way to make it undistinguishable from a 13.7 billion year old Universe would be another example of ad-hoc rationalisation that can account for anything which is intellectually equivalent to your suggestion.

        I know you don't necessarily believe in "domino theology", it is just something to use on

      • by dmuir (964412)
        No, because Theistic-Evolution is self-refuting. If God said he created in 6 days, but actually took billions of years, then that would make him a liar. If he's lying about how he created, then there's a good chance he's not telling the truth about being God either (basically the inverse of John 3:12). It also ignores the premise for Evolution; a way to explain origins without God. Something is very wrong with Evolution if you have to invoke God to get it to work.
        • Note that the Catholic Church, from it's very inception (which is when Jesus made Peter his successor), never believed that the Bible was to be taken literally at all times (especially in Genesis). My source [catholic.com] (Also, check out some of the other writings on that site: awesome resource!).

        • The argument I hear at times from Old Earth creationists is that in the original Hebrew text, the word normally translated as "day" also has a secondary more general meaning of "well-definex time span". Thus translated, the Genesis really speaks of six aeons of creation, each of unspecified length.

          Of course there is still nothing in there on evolution. Unless you start to selectively consider it a book of moralizing fairy tales...

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          If God said he created in 6 days, but actually took billions of years

          What is a day? You do know that time isn't absolute; someone falling into a black hole will experience a day while everyone else experiences thousands, millions, or billions of years depending on how close he is to the singulariy, and how fast he's moving.

          It also ignores the premise for Evolution; a way to explain origins without God.

          Evolution doesn't explain life's origins at all. It explains how and why life has changed since it arose. W

      • by h00manist (800926)

        Simple. "God works in subtle, mysterious ways. Who is to say that He did not create the universe in such a way that the precise results He wished to occur would occur, like an intricate, universe-wide set of dominoes? Could not evolution be the means by which He created man?" If they continue to argue, hit them with a crowbar.

        Crowbars are old-fashioned. Now you just publish their accounting records, evidence of millions in people's "donated" properties, under threats of punishment from above and below if they refuse.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      40% of US residents believe in creationism. What are you going to say to them, huh?

      "Awhh... forget about LHC... what do you think of Snooki? [theonion.com]".
      Is this good enough?

    • To grab a fucking clue. Only the severely delusional believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis.

    • 40% of US residents believe in creationism. What are you going to say to them, huh?

      "Creating man and women incapable of evil is the act of a worthy God"? :-D

    • by h00manist (800926)

      40% of US residents believe in creationism. What are you going to say to them, huh?

      1) Go ahead and believe what you want.
      2) Stay away from me.
      3) Stay away from my school.
      4) Stay away from my newspaper, website, street, neighborhood, job, and city.
      5) You are free to go set up your own of those. Don't invite me.

    • by Peeteriz (821290)

      By the way, does any noticeable percentage outside of US believe in creationism, or it is just a local issue there?

      My impression seems that there is no mass debate about creationism in other countries even the most religiously conservative ones such as Poland, and even Vatican and the popes have repeatedly claimed that there is no contradiction between their faith and evolution theory or big bang theory...

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:35PM (#34624516)

    Two fires that found a way to indirectly fuel eachother over the millennia by way of oxygen. Somewhat romantic, actually. Actually makes more sense to give a flower in that context.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:37PM (#34624530)

    This is what happens when you don't free() your genes after you're done with them.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      This is what happens when you don't free() your genes after you're done with them.

      Why free them? Want to end like Manning? Send them to Cryptome or OpenLeaks... (one simply cannot trust Wikileaks for responsible leaks releasing).

  • Is not that every living thing died, but that very few survived, and those very few could had common recent mutations (i.e. resistence to cold around ice ages) that could be misinterpreted as ancient genes as found in different species.
    • Is not that every living thing died, but that very few survived, and those very few could had common recent mutations (i.e. resistence to cold around ice ages) that could be misinterpreted as ancient genes as found in different species.

      Those things would be the Archaea with all our existing complex life infrastructure existing in frigid cold and hydrothermal vents deep under sea, and in earth heated sulphur lakes and high saline lakes. They were able to survive and pass on to us life.

  • ... God created rust.
  • You have only to look at the fairly well accepted theory that plantlife on Earth provided all the oxygen that now exists on it, to realize that living things can indeed change the planet and make in uninhabitable.

    Good thing for us, not so great for lots of anaerobic bacteria that may have been around before.
  • The oxidizing event was the appearance of the mushroom which drifted in from spores floating through space.

    Science Daily Article [sciencedaily.com]

    The dates don't really match, but do they ever?

  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @10:17AM (#34627660)

    The Creationist's Galileo Moment : Genetics Proves Evolution

    When chicken embryos start to develop they have teeth buds and the beginnings of multi segmented tails. As they develop their DNA tells the developing embryo to absorb them. Much like human embryo's absorb embryonic gill slits. Now if you turn off the genes that control this absorption instruction you get chicken embryos that develop long multi segmented dinosaur tails and meat eating dinosaur teeth complete with the serrated inside edge. Other studies have also been successful in regressing feathers into scales.

    This is not hypothesis. This is not supposition. This is not interpretation. This cold hard, hold in your hands see with your own eyes type reproducible proof. It has already been done, in Canadian universities no less, and is documented and reproducible. One more thing. No DNA was ever added to the bird DNA. This was done using 100% pure chicken DNA.

    They have proved that bird DNA contains genes that create dinosaur characteristics. The only way this can happen is through the evolutionary process.

    So like when Galileo first pointed his telescope at the heavens and learned that Aristotle was wrong modern scientists have pointed their microscopes at developing bird embryos and learned that they are correct. Evolution is real.

    • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1026340/Jurassic-Park-comes-true-How-scientists-bringing-dinosaurs-life-help-humble-chicken.html
    • http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/03/05/dinosaur-chicken.html
    • http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/12/60minutes/main5629962.shtml
    • http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-08/scientist-vows-backwards-engineer-dinosaur-chicken

    Now just to make things easier for Creationists, yes I realize that you prefer to get your education from YouTube U. as I know reading non religious articles is such a chore for you, here are the names and institutions that you can use as starting points for your research. However you must remember to get the best results from your Internet searches do not to include the terms 'Bible, Creationist, Intelligent DesignID,religion,God' in your queries.

    • Raul Cano, professor of microbiology at California Polytechnic State University
    • Jack Horner, professor of palaeontology at Montana State University
    • Hans Larsson, a paleontologist at McGill University in Canada
    • Matt Harris and John Fallon, developmental biologists at the University of Wisconsin
    • Dewey Kramer, at Texas A&M University
  • by autophile (640621) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:30AM (#34628466)

    The introns have also been deciphered:

    AGTTACCATGGGA /* Support new standard RFC -3374, Oxygen as Fuel */ GGCTTCAAA....

  • Prokaryotes tend to have simple, fully coding genomes. They tend to lose any special genes not necessary for the current environment.
    Eukaryotes have large DNAs, some approaching a trillion bases, with up to 99% non-coding junk and lots of duplicated genes. They produce a lot more proteins than simpler microbes. Nikc lane in a letter to Nature a couple months ago suggested the difference was the presence of mitochondiria that gives the luxury of 20x more energy than basic microbes.

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