Saturday, June 9, 2007

An Amazing Genetic Coding Discovery

Multiple Coding in Animal Genes

Imagine being hired to write three different books.
The first one a mystery novel, the second a history of
World War II and the third a French cookbook. A lot of
work to be sure but you decide that you are up to the
task. However there is one catch – all three books
must be contained within the exact same text. The only
difference being that the novel will begin with the
first letter of the first word, the history will begin
with the second letter of the first word and the
cookbook will begin with the third letter of the first

And of course all the words must be spelled exactly
correctly and all punctuation must be in the proper
place because even one error will result in an error
in all three books. So if the first word in the first
sentence of the mystery novel is "Help" the first word
of the history must begin with "elp" and the cookbook
must begin with "lp".

Try to write even one short sentence in this fashion.
"Impossible" you say. Yes, for a human mind it is far
too complex a task. It is even a task far too complex
for the most advanced super computers. The information
density of a system that encodes three different
readings in one text simultaneously is truly
mind-boggling. For these reasons and others
geneticists had never bothered to examine the DNA in
eukaryotic cells to see if they were performing this
task until now.

To their astonishment researchers at Pennsylvania
State University, U. C. San Diego and Vrije University
in the Netherlands have discovered this process in
four different species including humans. The process
labeled Duel-Coding or Alternate Reading Frames is
taking place in at least 40 of the genes in your cells
right now.

Why This Is Important

Let the article published in May of 2007 in
"Computational Biology" speak for itself: "Duel Coding
Is Virtually Impossible by Chance." (The capitals are
not mine) The researchers using new techniques of
statistical analysis further concluded: "Here we show
that although duel-coding is nearly impossible by
chance, a number of human transcripts contain
overlapping coding regions." and " Maintainance of
duel-coding is evolutionary costly and there occurance
by chance is statistically improbable." When the
authors use the word "improbable" here they really
mean as they stated earlier that the chances are so
small statistically of the phenomena occurring by
chance that in reality is not going to happen.

So if this duel-coding is "Impossible by Chance" how
does it come into being? The fact that these
scientists had the courage to publish this result is
shocking in itself. They may have put their jobs and
careers in jeapordy already. So it should be no
surprise that the authors do not deal with the obvious
design implications of their work. But there are only
two possible explanations for any natural phenomena
either it comes about as the result of a meaningless,
purposeless process (as materialism demands) or it
comes about as the result of a purposeful design. The
design inference here is very strong.

Wen-Yu Chung, Samir Wadhawan, Radek Szklarczyk, Sergei
Pond and Anton Nekrutenko, "A First Look at ARFome:
Duel-Coding Genes in Mammalian Genomes", Public
Library of Science: Computational Biology, May 18,
2007, Vol 3, No 5.

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