Re: Company Has Sequences of 90 Pct of Human Genome, etc

From: Stephen E. Jones (
Date: Wed Jan 12 2000 - 16:43:35 EST

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    Below are web article summaries with links for the period 1-10 January
    2000, in descending date order.

    The new format will just be a link, headlines and/or an early paragraph and
    my comments (if any) in square brackets. This should be less time-
    consuming for me to produce and easier for you to read .


    Yahoo! Monday January 10 ... Company Has Sequences of 90 Pct of
    Human Genome By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Corporate researchers said on Monday they
    had sequenced 90 percent of the human genome -- the collection of human
    genetic material -- and said they thought this covered 97 percent of all the
    human genes... Also at:
    ABCNEWS ... Human Genome 90% Done. Company Has Sequence
    Nearly All Human Genes WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 - Corporate researchers
    said today they had sequenced 90 percent of the human genome - the
    collection of human genetic material - and said they thought this covered
    97 percent of all the human genes .... & BBC
    ... Monday, 10 January, 2000 ... Human gene race nears end ... By BBC
    News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse ... The private gene-
    hunting company Celera Genomics have announced that they have 97% of
    all human genes in their grasp ... [The article discusses concerns that the
    company, Craig Venter's Celera Genomics will try to patent the genes,
    restricting research. Venter claims he only will patent a few hundred, and
    the rest will be on his web database and CD, but he will charge a fee for
    accessing it. He isn't called `the Bill Gates of genetics' for nothing!]
    CNN ... Report: After century of survival, many primates face extinction
    The golden bamboo lemur tops the list of endangered primates ... January
    10, 2000 ... WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After surviving the 20th century
    with no extinctions, dozens of primate species face the threat of
    disappearing forever, according to a report released Monday by
    Conservation International. ... [Included in this group are gorillas and
    orangutans. Now if they are among man's closest living relatives, with such
    high IQs (for non-human animals) that they can even be taught (at least in
    the case of gorillas), to use sign language, why are the apes now on the
    verge of extinction? If high intelligence has such a powerful selective
    advantage, then why have the apes not gone further with it? I will ask
    Elaine Morgan's question again: "If we are so closely related to them [the
    apes] ... then why are we not more like them?" (Morgan E., "The Scars of
    Evolution", 1990, p1)]. Science News. Week of
    Jan. 1, 2000; Vol. 157, No. 1. A Dark View of the Universe. Halos of
    invisible matter give galaxies surprising breadth. By R. Cowen ... Three
    new reports shed light on the distribution of dark matter in the universe.
    Two of the studies indicate that invisible halos of this material provide
    enormous breadth and bulk to galaxies. The halos extend 1.5 million light-
    years from each galaxy's center and contain at least as much mass as 5
    trillion suns. ... [More on how much of the universe's missing mass turns
    out not to be exotic things like WIMPS and MACHOS but just dull and boring
    CNN ... Galapagos iguanas shrink to survive El Nino ... January 7, 2000
    By Environmental News Network staff. Scientists have discovered that
    iguanas on Ecuador's Galapagos Islands shrink to survive a shortage of
    food during El Nino, according to a report in Thursday's issue of Nature ...
    Also at: Science News
    Week of Jan. 1, 2000; Vol. 157, No. 1 ... The question of shrinking might
    never have gotten serious thought if Wikelski's team hadn't built up so
    many years of data, muses Gordon M. Burghardt of the University of
    Tennessee at Knoxville. He grumbles, "Such studies are typically not
    valued highly enough to fund by governments or foundations, but they have
    the potential to unlock many secrets." [More on this report of non-
    Darwinian morphological change on the Galapagos. Judy Stamps, a
    professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California at Davis
    points out in the article that "You have to remember that bone is living
    tissue that is constantly being replaced, just like muscle". If that is the case
    then maybe a lot of what is thought to be evolutionary change (e.g.
    Darwin's Finches) is just fluctuations around a species' norm? The comment
    about data that does not fit the prevailing values being ignored is
    noteworthy from an ID perspective. If materialistic-naturalistic science
    does not value ID then presumably they will not notice any evidence for
    ABCNEWS ... China's Close Encounters. Searching Space for the Real
    and the Unreal The Journal of UFO Research on sale at a newsstand in
    Beijing. UFO sightings have been reported across China recently,
    prompting a spate of stories and a growing interest in what may be out
    there. (AP Photo). By Kevin Platt. The Christian Science Monitor.
    BEIJING- Long isolated by great walls of xenophobia, China is curiously
    entering the new century by trying to build bridges of communication with
    extraterrestrials. ... [It's interesting how once a population learns about
    what UFOs look like, they start seeing them! As for the Chinese SETI (or
    since Chinese writing goes from right to left should that be ITES?), maybe
    ET has been sending us signals in Chinese? :-)]
    CNN ... Study shows cells can be kept longer before cloning January 5,
    2000 ... STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Ear cells from a prize Japanese bull,
    frozen and then cultured in a lab over several months, have produced
    successful clones, challenging the notion that cells become too stale to
    duplicate. ... [The article says the great significance of this is that "clones
    could be made from cells that have been kept in the laboratory long enough
    to do the meticulous -- and slow process of manipulating genes"].
    CNN ... Science takes cellular approach to explore aging process January
    4, 2000 ... (CNN) -- Carl Nolting, still working and vigorous at 78, seems
    to have found the fountain of youth and in the coming millennium, experts
    say, many more of us will join him with long, active lives. Immortality,
    though, may take a little longer. ... [An interesting summary of the cellular
    processes in ageing. It can't all be telomeres because as the report says,
    some organs like "the brain, the heart, the muscle, the kidney, etc. ... never
    divide at all and they never replicate their nuclear DNA so their telomeres
    can't get shorter and, therefore, that couldn't affect their longevity...".]
    CNN ... Snakes hold thread of evolution evidence ... January 3, 2000 ... By
    Environmental News Network staff. Only six to eight inches long, the
    diminutive threadsnake boasts a unique feeding system that may have great
    evolutionary and ecological importance, according to a recent study. [The
    article goes on to say that "The evolutionary origin of snakes has been
    contentious," Kley [Nate Kley, evolutionary biologist and herpetologist at
    the University of Massachusetts at Amherst] said, ... "people do not know
    from which lizards snakes evolved."] Science News. Week of
    Jan. 1, 2000; Vol. 157, No. 1. Mom's eggs execute Dad's mitochondria. By
    J. Travis. ...Scientists have now found that during a sperm's creation, its
    mitochondria-energy-producing units that power all cells-acquire molecular
    tags that mark them for destruction once the sperm fertilizes an egg. This
    death sentence, a protein called ubiquitin, may explain why mammals
    inherit the DNA within mitochondria only from their mothers, a biological
    curiosity geneticists have used to trace human evolution (SN: 2/6/99, p.
    88). ... [This may save the Mitochondrial Eve hypothesis?]

    "When we consider the remote past, before the origin of the actual species
    Homo sapiens, we are faced with a fragmentary and disconnected fossil
    record. Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by
    some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our
    direct ancestor...The earliest forms that are recognized as being hominid
    are the famous fossils, associated with primitive stone tools, that were
    found by Mary and Louis Leakey in the Olduvai gorge and elsewhere in
    Africa. These fossil hominids lived more than 1.5 million years ago and had
    brains half the size of ours. They were certainly not members of our own
    species, and we have no idea whether they were even in our direct ancestral
    line or only in a parallel line of descent resembling our direct ancestor."
    (Lewontin R.C., "Human Diversity", Scientific American Library: New
    York NY, 1995, p163).
    Stephen E. Jones | |

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