Genetic "Mistake" 500 Million Years Ago Created Humans

Image: Carol MacKintosh

Meet the lancelet, our distant cousin. Over 500 million years ago, a creature just like this one made a genetic "mistake", resulting in doublings of genes which triggered the evolution of humans and other animals:

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 to Discovery News. "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."

MacKintosh, a professor in the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, said that such duplications also happened in plant evolution. As for the progeny of the newly formed animal, they remarkably survived and thrived.

Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News has the post: Link

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

Alex, it's a fact that humans were created. WE are no "mistake." Plus, the earth is only 6-7,000 years old. Just curious. Do you believe this article you posted? If not, then why post it? If so, then maybe you should do a little research into the matter.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Genetic "Mistake" 500 Million Years Ago Created Humans"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More