I love junk DNA.
Well, thats an understatement– I mean I love is SO MUCH I created a blog dedicated to a particular form of junk DNA, endogenous retroviruses.
I love how we can learn fantastic things about organisms (and their diseases) from, basically, dumpster-diving though millions and millions of years of mistakes and accidents and chance and evolution.
So its hard not to take it a touch personally that Creationists HATE junk DNA. They spend a lot of effort trying to make it not exist anymore (seems like a silly waste of time considering the fact epigenetic control of ERVs and accumulation of deleterious mutations makes this form of junk DNA functionally ‘not exist anymore’ anyway, but I digress), to the point where one of them
Paul Myers Stephen Nelson god I cant tell the difference between any of them Jonathan Wells, wrote a book on The Myth of Junk DNA.
Heh. The stuff I study every day is a myth, you guys. Im getting my PhD in theology. Hehehe.
Almost 50% of our genome consists of defective transposons and viruses (junk) but Wells never tells his readers why that huge amount of DNA has a function.
The ERV field has been steadily moving towards the idea that understanding wayward activation of ERV junk will help us better diagnose and treat diseases.
OBVIOUSLY, the function of ERV junk was planned by Our Christian Lord 6000 years ago when He Specially Created humans, and that function is so humans can diagnose and treat the diseases (… given to them by Our Lord Who Art In Heaven or whatever). An indication/cause of any number of cancers or ALS or MS or any number of other diseases– ERVs are The Christian Gods fire alarms!
In the case of utilizing ERVs as a potential target in anti-HIV therapies, think of ERVs as like Noahs rainbow. See, Jesus sent HIV-1 to kill all the homoz (since even Jesus couldnt figure out a homo-specific flooding strategy), but hes like TOTALLY taken it back, now, and is like really sorry, so he gave us ERVs to help clean up the HIV-1 mess he made (OBVIOUSLY).
And like, He also put ERVs in pigs so we would feel the joy of accomplishment by taking them out of pigs so we can use pigs for organ transplants (again, OBVIOUSLY). Imagine how terrible it would be if we could have just used pigs as-is off the shelf. Thats not fun at all.
I mean, it all really makes sense if you stop to think about it, Larry. ERVs have lots of functions that are OBVIOUSLY not post-hoc rationalizations for a religious myth that is way past its expiration date… lol.