Sunday, September 02, 2007

Haplotype Mutation Question

Date Line September 2, 2007

Nature is lazy, or God is efficient, your pick. The result is the same. The easiest, most efficient, practice is repeated throughout all elements of existence. In physics, Einstein called it a Unified Field Theory; albeit one that he never quite resolved in a quantifiable matter.

The natural mode of operation is: If it works, reuse the methodology, the formula, the process, whenever and wherever possible; especially within the same contextual environment.

Decay, the process of composting matter so that its elements can be reused, is a process we are all familiar with. We are also familiar with genetics – that the child will resemble the parent, or a combination of parental traits will be observable.

On less easily observed levels, the genetic process continues and is explained through the combination of DNA. However, not all areas of DNA can be seen as combinations of the parents. One such area is gender replication.

The father’s yDNA is passed to the son; the mother’s mtDNA to the daughter; in both instances as the dominant gender defining DNA. In both cases additional, ancestral, mtDNA is also passed. For the son, this is represented as the mother’s mtDNA; for the daughter, it is the paternal grandmother’s mtDNA.

The question is: WHY? Why not pass female to female and male to male as a simple maker, or catalyst? Why the complexity of passing mtDNA through the second generation only to vanish with the third generation?

Nature does no waste energy – that is a job for man. Since nature is, by nature, conservative, why would it pass-along unnecessary genetic information?

For a long time geneticists believed that most of the genetic material we carry was “junk DNA.” Recent discoveries seem to indicate that this “junk” is actually backup in case an evolutionary change requires a quick “undo,” or alternative “redo.”

Obviously, any discussion expounding the uses of what was previously considered junk would be a fascinating article unto itself; but point remains that nature does not waste energy on unnecessary replication.

With that in mind, the question becomes one of mutation within the gender chromosomes. Obviously, all mutation within DNA follows the same template. The randomness, which I love to refer to as the key to the divine formula behind creation, serves a purpose.

In the genome as a whole, random changes are introduced, backups of the original are made, and stored, until the random change is tested in the environment. If the change proves beneficial, the change becomes more, or less, permanent. If the alternation is not beneficial, the one carrying it either dies, or simply does not pass it along to successive generations.

We can understand mutation in terms of adaptive changes within any environmental context. We can see these changes in variations of any number of observable traits.

A classic example is often cited with an English moth who evolved altered camouflage coloration with the beginning of the smoke filled industrial age. When the foliage upon which it hid from predatory birds became covered in soot from factory chimneys, it evolved a soot-like coloration. Once again, the examples warrant their own article.

Our question is: Why changes in gender sector haplotype loci? What spans these changes, and what purpose do they serve?

I am inexplicitly drawn to the reality of natural, or divine, efficiency. In that context, everything must have a purpose, or it must reflect the reuse of a practice which has proved purposeful within related context.

Thus, what we know for other areas of the genome must, somehow, apply to similar actions over the full genome.

The mutations which define haplotypes must have a trigger, and a purpose. OR, as has recently been discovered, or postulated, in the case of homosexuality, they may be “errors” with a gestational cause; if so, they would occur with a two percent probability.

Curiously, what is deemed an “error” might not be that. If a governing mechanism sweeps the whole genome to create “random” mutations in a given environmental context; and if an organism required some form of registry to track backup copies, might not the gender sector be an ideal means of marking environmental specific changes?

Random thought. But haplotype is, for most organisms, very location specific. Even in our highly mobile human society, CIA analysts rely on the fact that the average person spends their whole life within fifty miles of their birthplace.

Could gender loci be viewed as some form of biological origin geo-positioning? Clearly mutation in haplotype, or haplogroup, is believed to be regional specific, and not globally randomized: How to test it?

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