Thursday, September 06, 2012

Fascinating DNA Story you might have missed

If you, like me, are avoiding much of the news because of the conventions, you might have missed the recent story about DNA.  I am paraphrasing and may get it wrong - so go HERE if you are interested in getting it all right.
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We all know what the DNA string looks like - it is that thing with the balls in the background of Leonard's apartment on the Big Bang Theory.  And I knew it was repeated over and over.  What I didn't know was that between strands of DNA was cells they called "junk DNA" because they didn't specify things.  Well, low and behold, they do.  It seems they are genetic switches that turn on or off various genetic DNA traits.
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Apparently this not only gives us blue eyes or brown, but is also what allows humans to be different from chimps, even though we have 95% of the same DNA.
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It is fascinating.  And, yes, someday it will enable us to make new drugs and maybe cure diseases - but right now, I just find it amazing.  And while I don't believe in a big guy in the sky with a beard that passes judgement - it is hard to look at this and say it happened in a vacuum without input.  It reminds me too much of really really eloquent computer code.  (Which isn't to say I want intelligent design taught in schools, or I don't believe in evolution - it's just raises questions for me.  Being an intelligent human means you can ask questions.)

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