A Genetic ‘Mistake’ 500 Million Years Ago Led To Advanced Life

Live Science on the fluke that eventually led to our current situation:

Over 500 million years ago a spineless creature on the ocean floor experienced two successive doublings in the amount of its DNA, a “mistake” that eventually triggered the evolution of humans and many other animals, says a new study.

The good news is that these ancient DNA doublings boosted cellular communication systems, so that our body cells are now better at integrating information than even the smartest smartphones. The bad part is that communication breakdowns, traced back to the very same genome duplications of the Cambrian Period, can cause diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders.

“Organisms that reproduce sexually usually have two copies of their entire genome, one inherited from each of the two parents,” co-author Carol MacKintosh explained. “What happened over 500 million years ago is that this process ‘went wrong’ in an invertebrate animal, which somehow inherited twice the usual number of genes. In a later generation, the fault recurred, doubling the number of copies of each gene once again.”

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    So what type of life-form would emerge from a doubling of say … the human genome?

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient


      • The only thing to get is money

        AHAHAAA! fuckin hilarious and probably true. Humans are already deranged and to double that code of derangement would be to create Cthulu.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      The condition is called Polyploidy.

      I’ll leave it to you to look up what generally happens.

      • Monkey See Monkey Do

        So a more complicated genome exists in sea life and plants? hm

        • Monkey See Monkey Do

          Correction: just more chromosome sets, not more complicated.

  • b.heinemann

    Over 500 million Years Ago a mistake created Mankind?

    480 Years Ago the Sun Emitted a Cloud of Oxygen by Commandment of Our Lord the Creator. That Cloud Changed the Earthatmosfere and Added Water.
    From That Higher Forms of Life  Could Arise.

    The “mistake”  was an Adamas a Firstborn From a Transformed Species of GOD. To Can Exist. Life Develops Together With Their Planets. And the Other Way Around Together.

    Also your extinctiontheory is false. New Research Found that Supposed extinction to have taken place 300.000 Years befor the chixulubcrater was created. The Supposed extinction Also Was a Transformation Toward smaller Lifeforms.No extinction.

    The chixulubcrater is one of 3 created at the same time as consequense of an intergalactic war and the other two are at the Northeast Amerikan Canadian Continent and created greenland and  at the Southpole at the Afrikan Side. All Penetrated Earth beyond 80 miles Deep for tactical Reasons. Besides asteroids also Specific Types of Nuclear Explosions Create Matter. So the extinctionlayer Will Show More Elemental Anomalis than only show up with asteroids as Iridium does. 

    They Exterminated a Space travelling race that messed with the Wrong Enemies.

    Also Your History does Not belong to Earthhistory. Your Now 3 million Years Old Species came one million years ago from a Planet in the outerregions of this System as their World ended and anihilated by their development and spirit.

    • Purpplecollective

      What the fuck you talkin about Willis?

    • Harryheck


    • Monkey See Monkey Do


      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        With a side of Mormonism.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537648678 Josh Weide

      What language did this start in before Google translated it into broken English? Ferrengi?

    • The only thing to get is money

      What Harryheck said.

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

       wasn’t that a Battle Star Galactica episode?

    • Simiantongue

      Seems legit.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    humanity is a consequence
    of a glitch in the gene xerox machine

    that explains a lot

  • Tchoutoye

    Having more genes does not (necessarily) lead to more complex life forms, or perhaps it’s that our notion of what constitutes a complex life form suffers from mammalian and anthropocentric bias.

    Grape plants have ca. 40% more genes than humans, translucent water fleas have ca. 30% more genes  than humans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=624811215 Robert Douglas Peat MacKie

    all evolution is the result of ‘mistakes’