However, it appears that somebody else got in contact with Tomkins about it as on November 22 he published another post on his blog (have I mentioned that I still have a couple of posts from last month to do? I still have a couple of posts from last month to do), called Are Bigger Proteins More Favorable to Evolution? He opened:
I recently wrote an article discussing a recent research paper that showed how proteins contain non-negotiable sectors that are intolerant of amino acid changes and that when the other protein sectors that may tolerate such changes are altered, the changes often reduce quality of protein function. The 3-dimensional structure that proteins fold into, is also affected by the sequence of amino acids.
Exams are over (until November) and it’s time to return to blogging. I wonder what I missed?
Surprisingly little, it would seem. While for the other creationist outfits that I’m more aware of the last week or two have been dominated by the continued fallout from both the Bill Nye videos and the ENCODE results, I would probably have been rather bored with the Institute if I weren’t otherwise preoccupied. They haven’t really done much on their main site, and they haven’t managed to make up for it elsewhere. Continue reading →
Does deleting “Junk DNA” in laboratory studies, such as in mice make a difference? Interestingly, a colleague of mine just recently pointed out a paper in which exactly this type of research was undertaken. In fact the study is a few years old, and was done in 2004. However, after a search of the literature, I have not been able to find anything similar.
Because this paper, however, shows up prominently on the web as some sort of proof for “Junk DNA”. I felt that a brief review of the facts that were actually discovered in the research are in order.
Ultraconserved DNA elements are short chunks of genomic sequence 200 bases or more that are highly similar (conserved) among different types of animals and are generally noncoding (1,2). Hence, they should have very little evolutionary selective pressure acting upon them and evolve rapidly (3).
The first sentence there is correct, or as near to as needs to be,* while the second is not – and with that this post falls immediately. Continue reading →