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24 March 2005 @ 12:42 pm
Attn: Lyght, Chesh,Mal, and Genetics/Plant-People  

Startling Scientists, Plant Fixes Its Flawed Gene



In a startling discovery, geneticists at Purdue University say they have found plants that possess a corrected version of a defective gene inherited from both their parents, as if some handy backup copy with the right version had been made in the grandparents' generation or earlier.

The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity. If confirmed, it would represent an unprecedented exception to the laws of inheritance discovered by Gregor Mendel in the 19th century. Equally surprising, the cryptic genome appears not to be made of DNA, the standard hereditary material . . .
 
 
 
Angel needs no wings - just a duster & a hackysackcanth on March 24th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
holy genetic backup, batman!!!!
The fuck???

Where did you find said information?

in other news, since i forgot to call you last night, I tried removing the cd from the loner and having the comp boot up from that point. It did the exact same thing it would do before (ie- go to a black screen and have a white, flashing dash in the upper left hand corner). Nothing would happen after that.

Based on our conversation earlier, I am unable to assume more than that the hard drive MAY be fucked.

Your thoughts, templar?
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on March 24th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: holy genetic backup, batman!!!!
There was a /. article about it, linking to the NY Times. It's heady stuff.

I will also assume that your hard drive may be fucked. I'm heading to CompUSA/Best Buy after work, as I have to purchase a hard drive for a different, more nefarious purpose. I'll let you know what the pricing details are, at least in that corner of 'teh Saint Paul'.
Angel needs no wings - just a duster & a hackysackcanth on March 25th, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)
Re: holy genetic backup, batman!!!!
thanks. I'll need those oricing details i'm sure.

keep me posted.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on March 25th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC)
Re: holy genetic backup, batman!!!!
Cheapest at CompUSA is $80 for a super-slow 60GB, $100 for 80 GB. Not looking good for the home team.
Angel needs no wings - just a duster & a hackysackcanth on March 26th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
Re: holy genetic backup, batman!!!!
fuck. I guess 100 is what I paid for the last drive.

I may be able to swing it. if i ever want a working computer while i'm still In MN, I may not have a choice, huh?

I'm able to get to the cdc for now, but of course, my time over there is limited for numerous reasons. If you've nothing else to recommend in terms of troubleshooting, i'll have to get me a drive.

I'll talk to M about it and get back to you soon.
Oυτιςerragal on March 24th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC)
The fact that there might be some RNA backups kicking around makes sense, I guess.

Heh... makes me think of just happening to have a backup of your hard drive kicking about on your RAM.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on March 24th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
Your address is now different, yes? You accept large packages of books, yes?
Oυτιςerragal on March 25th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
Books? What kind of books?
This may necessitate a new bookshelf.

But, yes! Address is new!
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on March 25th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC)
Every now and then I mention to you or devilstears a book that you should read. I figure I'd just mail you those books.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on March 25th, 2005 05:42 am (UTC)
And at some point in the future I would want some of them back, but that's a long time in the future.
lyght on March 25th, 2005 03:18 am (UTC)
I agree that RNA would be the likely candidate, particularly given the existence of retro/RNA viruses. I wouldn't be too surprised at this point if we found that RNA was an older informational template than DNA. If I remember correctly, there are even double stranded RNA viruses and single-stranded DNA viruses.

A lot of people obsess over genes as if two packets of genetic material meet in the fallopian tube without any sort of other baggage coming along. Just cytoplasm, cell membranes, a flagella, and DNA. Oh yeah, there are those pesky mitochondria mom gives us too, aren't there?

That's the problem with dogma. Oversimplification. Forgetting that the idea started from something real that had other factors involved. Twenty years ago people would have laughed at "jumping genes," but here we are.

RNA: Yet another reason to respect your mama.
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on March 25th, 2005 04:00 am (UTC)
I dunno, the one thing that's just weird about this for me is this: where is the RNA normally kept? And how is it replicated? 'cuz I've never done a TEM or anything myself, but it seems like we would've noticed a second copy of the genome lying around in cells sometime if it's even remotely prevalent. And since it sort of has to be replicated, I'd have to wonder how it would be efficient to have a backup with a more energy-intensive, accurate replication process (which seems like it would have to be the case--otherwise the cell risks replacing normal genes with mutated ones, or mutations with different mutations), rather than just trick out DNA replication even more?

Just some thoughts I've had on this over the last couple days, and a couple points brought up by some of the folks I've talked to about it.
lyght on March 26th, 2005 07:55 am (UTC)
Depending on the form, RNA can be all the fuck over the place. rRNA would be in ribosomes from mom (obviously). mRNA can be in cytoplasm or nucleus or organelles depending on where it's used I think, but is usually short-lived, so that may not be it. tRNA I don't know very much about at all.

It's quite possible that only partial backups are done. Think of the long repeats -- technically those should only need minitemplates that can be used repeatedly, if any templates would be used at all. It could just be the case that the most highly conserved regions usually get backed up, and that's why they're so highly conserved. I think the likelihood of this being an incomplete system is probably pretty high given that nobody's seen this before.