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Translating foriegn DNA

  1. Jan 6, 2010 #1
    Is it within the realm of possibility for one organism to copy, store, and translate the genetic code of another organism thereby producing a replica or imitation of the organism the genetic code represents and if so would it also be within the realm of possibility for this same organism to incorporate the genes of several organisms into one? I'm looking for opinions here because certainly no one knows for sure, I contend that the answer to this question is yes to both parts and I have spent three years formulated an hypothesis that suggests that this organism does exist and has for hundreds of millions of years.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2010 #2
    When I first read this I thought you were questioning whether foreign DNA could be introduced into an organism and that organism utilizes that genetic code itself. If this is what your question is the answer is: yes.

    After reading your question more thoroughly I'm under the impression that wasn't your intended question and instead you want to know if an organism has the capability of removing genetic code and making itself into a 'clone' of the other organism. I believe it could be possible for very, very[/] simple organisms. I've never heard of such an instance where this has happened but I'll go and look into it.

    I'm guessing that this organism does not exist and even if it did how would we be able to distinguish it? As well if it makes itself into a replica of other organisms then it should only be able to do this once because surely the other organism doesn't ALSO contain the ability to clone itself. (If the organism makes itself into a perfect clone of the other then it will lose it's own characteristics including being able to 'steal' another organisms entire genome)

    Of course my last paragraph are just my thoughts and it should be known that even in this hypothetical case the organism would have to be extremely simple and it would have to be replicating other extremely simple organisms. I'll look into it however.

    EDIT: As well I'd just like to point out to you that in order for you to have been formulating a hypothesis in the last three years you have to have an observable phenomenon. So if you have this observed data I'd like to see it if you don't mind otherwise I'm pretty sure personal 'theories' and other crackpottery are not allowed on PF.
  4. Jan 6, 2010 #3
    Horizontal gene transfer is very common amongst microbials. Or perhaps if we're misunderstanding your question, you could restate it?
  5. Jan 6, 2010 #4
    First let me say this is by no means crackpottery, it is as serious as Science can get and well supported by Scientific facts and findings, albeit they will surely be debated. Second I will be upfront and honest about the fact that I am not a Scientist nor a "formal" student of Science but I am very intelligent and I have been studying the applicable topic religiously via the Internet for over three years.

    I fully understand that what I am proposing will, on the surface, appear very radical and will be met with extreme opposition but I can assure you that if given the opportunity I will make a very solid argument.

    As far as whether this idea is a theory or an hypothesis, well I'll let you tell me because like I said I'm just a layman with the Internet and a good mind.

    Please be aware that I am at an extreme disadvantage here with the task of trying to sum this up in a few sentences but what have i got to lose.

    The organism I'm referring to as possessing the ability to copy, store and translate the genetic material of other organisms is the sponge. The evidence supporting this idea is widespread and in many forms but I will begin by referencing the unexplainable quantity and diversity of the "sponge associated organisms". Over 1600 species of bacteria, nearly 700 species of fungi, protozoans, diatoms, bryozoans, dipterans, Oomycetes, mites, nematodes, rotifers, mycoplasmas, shrimp, amphipod crustaceans, polychaete worms, brittlestars, and viruses have all been isolated from sponges, and this is only a partial list. Over 100 microbes have been found in sponges and no where else in the world including sponge specific bacteria and fungi. Different species of sponge in different oceans host remarkably similar groups of symbiont organisms, and Science has no explanation for any of this.

    Next there is the sponge genome, some are very large and very complex with genes from all domains of life and genes for characteristics that the sponge does not possess, like the nearly complete set of genes for the human nervous system, genes for eyes, genes applicable to mammalian immune systems, both the innate and adaptive, and I could go on and on and on about the sponge's genome. Science has always seen this as proof that we evolved from sponges but yet the most comprehansive study to date says that we did not, so why does the sponge have all these genes that it doesn't use? I contend that it acquired them through horizontal gene transfer possibly in the same manner in which bacteria exchange genetic material, conjugation.

    Now what I have presented here so far is but the very tip of the iceburg but I really don't want to waste my time any more than I want to waste any of yours so before I go any further I am going to wait to see just how this is received.

    Here is something to consider, if the sponge has the ability that I contend it does it could be the "catalyst" of evolution, it could be responsible for producing much of the invertebrate life on the planet, thus the similarities in genomes.

    Why is the sponge the only place in the world where a substance has been found that makes antibiotic resistant bacteria no longer resistant to antibiotics? I say that this is so because antibiotic resistant bacteria are products of the sponge.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  6. Jan 6, 2010 #5
    I am guessing that if this organism does exist, it's a world conquerer, and it's best to obliterate it on site!

    Seriously, the only function I can think of this organism is that of a super-virus. Having said that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrion" [Broken]do something similar (they have their own genome), but in a much more subtle way. Yes, they're gentically not of us, but with us from birth. Weird, but we can't exist without them, having evolved with them, as have most eukaryotic cell-based life forms.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jan 6, 2010 #6
    Yeah I think I just read way too into what the OP was going on about.

    @OP Of course horizontal gene transfer occurs in organisms... so? How does the rest of your hypothesis fall together?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Jan 7, 2010 #7
    First, my apologizes for knowing next to nothing about sponges. I should at least watch some SpongeBob....

    You could really say this about any organism. Every organism has their own microflora, including the human. Maybe you think I'm stretching what you said a lil' too far (and in my opinion, I'm not), but you have to at least admit that corals are as good, if not better examples of this, than sponges.

    I'm not even sure where to start with the genome stuff. I'll just say one thing - isn't "nearly complete set of genes for the human nervous system" a bit of a stretch? More likely they found evidence (that is, some similarity) of say a gene that enables signaling like the synapse, that is essential for the nervous system. The placement of sponges (or any organism for that matter) in the tree of life will continue to change, as different methods are constantly being used to determine what's related to what.

    There are many "catalysts" of evolution. There are many organisms that have ohsomany amazingly cool characteristics. I have no doubt sponges are as important as you say they are - but so are a lot of other organisms. There's an algae dude here in the forums, and I'm sure he can go on and on about how they're the most important thing, and back it all up with very cool facts. Every scientist feels that what they study is the coolest. Which is a good thing!

    Anyway, sorry, I digress. I still don't know what your question is, other than that I think you're trying to convince us that sponges are great. Which they are, and I don't doubt anything you've said.
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