Creationists: Experts in being arrogant idiots.
These sources promoting the classic “junk DNA” icon of neo-Darwinism need updating, as a Yale University news release from earlier this month recalls the fact that “[i]n the last several years, scientists have discovered that non-coding regions of the genome, far from being junk, contain thousands of regulatory elements that act as genetic ‘switches’ to turn genes on or off.” In this case, the junk triggered genes that control human thumb and foot development.
Are you all shitting me??
EVILUTION IS DOOOOOOOMED!! Death via press release!! GHA!! Sure promoters and enhancers are Genetics 101 (the textbook I just pulled off the shelf has an entire chapter dedicated to these ‘recently discovered non-coding not-junk’ with references back to the mid-1980s– Chapter 21)… but still! New discovery = junk DNA is functional = JESUS!
Heres a quick non-IDiotic summary of the paper Casey says demolishes Darwinism and common descent:
Human-Specific Gain of Function in a Developmental Enhancer
Human and chimpanzee DNA has a lot in common. We compared all the protein coding regions, and something like 30% of our proteins are 100% identical to the chimpanzee homologue. Ones that are ‘different’ are different by as little as one amino acid.
Um… so why are humans and chimpanzees so different? Well, Ive touched on that a lot on old/new ERV, and even in my BloggingHeads talk with PZ– Our differences arent in the proteins (that would be too easy). Our differences are in the expression levels of proteins.
That is not my idea. That is not a new idea. That idea has/is being tested through the use of microarrays, defining the epigenome, and………. analyzing changes within promoter/enhancer regions.
Promoters and enhancers are just stretches of NON-CODING OMG JUNK DNA that recruit the appropriate proteins to transcribe a gene. Make changes in a promoter/enhancer, change transcription levels.
So Prabhakar et al took a close look at an enhancer in humans that seems to be evolving (changing) really fast, compared to other bits of DNA: HACNS1.
Although this 546-base pair (bp) element is highly constrained in all sequenced terrestrial vertebrate genomes, it has accumulated 16 human-specific sequence changes in the ~6 million years since the human-chimpanzee split
Our results evoke the hypothesis that human-specific adaptive evolution in HACNS1 has contributed to uniquely human aspects of digit and limb patterning. The dexterity of the human hand is due to morphological differences compared with other primates that include rotation of the thumb toward the palm and an increase in the length of the thumb relative to the other digits (1). Human-specific changes in hindlimb morphology, such as the characteristic inflexibility and shortened digits of the human foot, facilitated habitual bipedalism. The gain of function in HACNS1 may have influenced the evolution of these or other human limb features by altering the expression of nearby genes during limb development.
Um… so 16 mutations in an enhancer helped make humans human. The 16 mutations didnt kill a function, they caused a gain in function.
But according to Casey Luskin, world renowned geneticist, these findings mean Jesus will be coming back any day now, and he didnt evolve from no monkey.