One hundred fifty years ago, Dmitri Mendeleev created the periodic table, a system for classifying atoms based on the properties of their nuclei. This week, a team of biologists studying the tree of life has unveiled a new classification system for cell nuclei, and discovered a method for transmuting one type of cell nucleus into another.
The study, which appears this week in the journal Science, emerged from several once-separate efforts. One centered on the DNA Zoo, an international consortium spanning dozens of institutions including Baylor College of Medicine, the National Science Foundation-supported Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) at Rice University, the University of Western Australia and SeaWorld.
Scientists on the DNA Zoo team had been working together to classify how chromosomes — which can be several meters long — fold up to fit inside the nuclei of different species from across the tree of life.
“Whether we were looking at worms or urchins, sea squirts or coral, we kept seeing the same folding patterns coming up,” said Olga Dudchenko, co-first author of the new study and a member of The Center for Genome Architecture at Baylor and CTBP.
Eventually, the team realized it was just seeing variants on two overall nuclear designs. “In some species, chromosomes are organized like the pages of a printed newspaper, with the outer margins on one side and the folded middle at the other,” explained Dudchenko, who is also co-director of DNA Zoo. “And then in other species, each chromosome is crumpled into a little ball.”
“So we had a puzzle,” said Erez Lieberman Aiden, an associate professor and Emeritus McNair Scholar at Baylor, co-director of the DNA Zoo and senior author on the new study. “The data implied that over the course of evolution, species can switch back and forth from one type to the other. We wondered: What is the controlling mechanism? Might it be possible to change one type of nucleus into another in the lab?” Aiden is also director of The Center for Genome Architecture and a senior investigator at CTBP.
Meanwhile, an independent team in the Netherlands had discovered something unexpected. “I was doing experiments on a protein called condensin II, which we knew plays a role in how cells divide,” said Claire Hoencamp, co-first author of the study and a member of the laboratory of Benjamin Rowland at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. “But we observed the strangest thing: When we mutated the protein in human cells, the chromosomes would totally rearrange. It was baffling!”
The two teams met at a conference in the Austrian mountains, where Rowland presented his lab’s latest work. They soon realized that Hoencamp had hit on a way to convert human cells from one nuclear type to another.
“When we looked at the genomes being studied at the DNA Zoo, we discovered that evolution had already done our experiment many, many times! When mutations in a species break condensin II, they usually flip the whole architecture of the nucleus,” said Rowland, senior author on the study. “It’s always a little disappointing to get scooped on an experiment, but evolution had a very long head start.”
The team decided to work together to confirm condensin II’s role. But then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and much of the world shut down.
“Without access to our laboratories, we were left with only one way to establish what condensin II was doing,” Hoencamp said. “We needed to create a computer program that could simulate the effects of condensin II on the chain of hundreds of millions of genetic letters that comprise each human chromosome.”
The team turned to José Onuchic, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics at Rice. “Our simulations showed that by destroying condensin II, you could make a human nucleus reorganize to resemble a fly nucleus,” said Onuchic, co-director of CTBP, which includes collaborators at Rice, Baylor, Northeastern University and other institutions in Houston and Boston.
The simulations were performed by a team within Onuchic’s lab at CTBP led by postdoctoral fellow and co-first author Sumitabha Brahmachari, working with Vinicius Contessoto, a former postdoc at CTBP, and Michele Di Pierro, a CTBP senior investigator and currently an assistant professor at Northeastern University.
“We began with an incredibly broad survey of two billion years of nuclear evolution,” Brahmachari said. “And we found that so much boils down to one simple mechanism, that we can simulate as well as recapitulate, on our own, in a test tube. It’s an exciting step on the road to a new kind of genome engineering — in 3D!”
Reference: “3D genomics across the tree of life reveals condensin II as a determinant of architecture type” by Claire Hoencamp, Olga Dudchenko, Ahmed M. O. Elbatsh, Sumitabha Brahmachari, Jonne A. Raaijmakers, Tom van Schaik, Ángela Sedeño Cacciatore, Vinícius G. Contessoto, Roy G. H. P. van Heesbeen, Bram van den Broek, Aditya N. Mhaskar,#, Hans Teunissen, Brian Glenn St Hilaire, David Weisz, Arina D. Omer, Melanie Pham, Zane Colaric, Zhenzhen Yang, Suhas S. P. Rao, Namita Mitra, Christopher Lui, Weijie Yao, Ruqayya Khan, Leonid L. Moroz, Andrea Kohn, Judy St. Leger, Alexandria Mena, Karen Holcroft, Maria Cristina Gambetta, Fabian Lim, Emma Farley, Nils Stein, Alexander Haddad, Daniel Chauss, Ayse Sena Mutlu, Meng C. Wang, Neil D. Young, Evin Hildebrandt, Hans H. Cheng, Christopher J. Knight, Theresa L. U. Burnham, Kevin A. Hovel, Andrew J. Beel, Pierre-Jean Mattei, Roger D. Kornberg, Wesley C. Warren, Gregory Cary, José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta, Veronica Hinman, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Federica Di Palma, Kazuhiro Maeshima, Asha S. Multani, Sen Pathak, Liesl Nel-Themaat, Richard R. Behringer, Parwinder Kaur, René H. Medema, Bas van Steensel, Elzo de Wit, José N. Onuchic, Michele Di Pierro, Erez Lieberman Aiden and Benjamin D. Rowland, 28 May 2021, Science.
Work at Rice, Baylor and Northeastern was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Welch Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the NSF-supported Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute, IBM, the Pawsey Supercomputing Center and Illumina Inc.
So the Creator found a good method and used it over and over instead of making everything different.
So, it turns out to be much simpler than depicted in The Fly (1986) starring Jeff Goldblum. All that fancy equipment and it was more easily done by “destroying condensin II”.
Amazing advancement that shall help bio-students
Experiments have already shown our thought patterns can affect our bodies down to our very DNA … Maybe there actually is something to that shapechanging mythology stuff . . .
Such a fascinating article – that was poorly written. I thank you anyway.
OH GREAT!I’m so glad I didn’t pursue a degree in Bio Tech! First, they monsterified our plant crops, then our domestic animals… and NOW we should applaud their bizarre research to what end?? Monstrous humans???
Who funds these organizations who fund this weird and questionable science?? I hope it doesn’t come out of my taxes!! Better to STRENGTHEN the genes that GOD GAVE US…rather than continue to twist and jumble what makes us unique…warts and all!!
Good, wholesome, unadulterated organic food and emphasis on using ecologically sustainable methods to improve genetics NATURALLY, a much better alternative.THIS WAY, OUR BODIES CAN ADAPT TO A CHANGING CLIMATE AND MAKE CELLULAR CHANGES VIA MUTATION, WHICH HAS WORKED FINE FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS.
I FEEL THIS RESEARCH IS HEADING US IN THE WRONG DIRECTION AND I’M SUSPICIOUS OF IT’S PURPOSE
There appears to be a lack of appreciation on the part of several of the commenters here on the difference between research for the purpose of advancing science itself (ie. unlocking the mysteries of the universe) vs. research intended to solve a specific problem or advance a specific field (which ventures more into the realm of engineering on the whole). Though the manipulation of DNA required in the research being conducted here lends itself to potential advancements in the field of genetic engineering, the purpose of this particular research is to better understand the workings of the biological mechanisms involved. While some of our greatest scientific minds historically would agree that science and faith are not mutually exclusive, and in the end can serve to strengthen one another, the Einstein’s of old allowed the advancement of science to dictate its own direction rather than allow their own preconceptions influenced by their faith to serve as navigator. It seems some here have chosen to abandon that approach, in which case perhaps a role as scientist in our society isn’t the best fit for them.
Y’all know we’ve been “genetically engineering” foodstuffs since we learned how to grow our own crops, right? Selective breeding is a form of genetic engineering. Besides, it’s a long way from practicality yet, and plenty of ethics hurdles to get through before all this information makes its way into the public sector. Chill.
Thanks to all for prepare of the todays’ modern version of knowledge.One thing again to be noted i is to use these for welfare with open
You will search for thousands of years and you’ll never find the answer you’re so driven to announce to the world . Are you so afraid to admit that evolution is laughable? Theories are someone’s wild imagination,spoken so many times ,that they believe it, and try to convince others! Take time and look at the facts…we were created by a loving God !
Yes! And evolution is one of the tools of (ongoing) creation.
There is no god…. You make NO SENSE! Get educated, please!
Oh get over yourself. Wake up. This God or the universe, the earth the source, whatever you choose to call nature.. I call it mother nature and she is the mother of all, shes more than a god. Shes built from mud and clay. And by the way, you are god and you dont even know it. I am god too.
i am you and you are me..
You will find out that there is a God when its too late for you! There is a God! How could all of this beauty and intricacies have happened on just chance or luck? I don’t think so! God created all! He was the master scientist/physicist/creator! Get over yourself, you are not as smart as you think!
It takes more faith not to believe in God.
Thanks to all for prepare of the todays’ modern version of knowledge.One thing again to be noted i is to use these for welfare with open
safe custòdy.These are time long experience exercised by the humen.Yet,now progressed and presented in own way,present time bio-science.
Great Scientific information and people immediately run headlong toward the superstition of some nebulous absentee landlord “god”.
Well, you’re God and you dont even know it..
Your lead graphic, while pretty and full of diverting detail, is hardly self-explanatory.
Nor does your text help much to explain its numberless graphical flourishes.
It seems to be only attractive eye-candy; a bauble on a serious bit of science journalism.
Oh, but the Creator did make everything different. Very patiently over millions of years through the wonders of evolution.
Condensin 11 is just another way DNA creates a fortification. Just like porcupine creates a fortication against predators, just like an elephant’s DNA creates size against predators, just like an impala’ DNA creates speed against a Cheetah, just like a butterfly creates several fortifcations against several threats, fortifications like dormancy, like excessive proliferation, just like hunkering down in a cocoon, just like the fortification of flight.
I already thought so. Leading to my theory about life on other planets and our understanding of ourselves here on earth. One may call me a conspiracy theorist, but I dont look at it as a conspiracy but rather the hard truth which is secret because most are not ready to handle, accept it, and/or be able to adapt to the idea of my theory. That other life forms like us, saying with the ability to reason and be adaptive be the so to speak dominant life form on other planets, and some would say I’ve seen to many movies but I’d say the exact opposite to them, because ideas are kind of passed down or given in minuscule amounts through forms of media like movies… i.e. mib…humanoid?, you wish! Bring a sponge! Lololol; or they live which may explain people being here saying we came from evolutionary chain of primates but on the contrary there’s always seem to be a standoff kind of relationship between other primates here on earth, where we seem to be strayed away from be other species that’s here and so to speak hasn’t evolved like human beings. Perhaps we do come from another place, or is it just evolution going one way or another sometimes both, if not hindered to in order to survive. My idea is that some evolved through manipulation of this scientific discovery and have been used out of necessity, and some may just recently arrived, sparingly, more n more as time passes due to their environment no longer habitable. Which explains a lot, shouldn’t cause fear, panic and resentment; but rather an understanding and welcomeness to helping others feel at home and not so much fearful of others reacting harshly to the truth, if that may be so.
Try pronouncing all the names of the contributors accurately.
Exactly, and their donors names
Psalm139:16″Your eyes saw even the embryo of me,and in your book all it’s parts were down in writing,as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.”
Our Creator’s book(DNA)..
Regarding the religious comments – mythology has zero proofs and adds nothing to scientific knowledge. Bringing up god junk in discussions about reality is silly, tiresome, and exceedingly unlikely to convert the rational.
There is really zero science behind species evolution; it’s all based on anti-God bias which leads to a better reliability of creation theory. There’s never been observed any link between natural selection and species evolution.
And humans keep messing with the “Tree of Life” though commanded to leave it alone. Folly. 🙄
Yet human exceptionalists will take offense that their species is not featured.
Everyone has their voice and opinion on matters of evolution. It seems like sometimes, it should get placed in the things not to bring up unless someone else does, open door. For me, it simply is, what it is. People want to know ” Is there alien life out there beyond our galaxy? ” I say that they’re has to be something more out there because WE ARE THE ALIENS! While i believe in many things including the Collective soul theory, something came here OR was already implanted billions of years ago when we smashed away from something else in our cosmos. Simply put, even if there is building blocks of rudimentary form and figure of microbiol life, something had to happen that was just enough to bring us from energy into matter. Personally, i will be much happier when i can go back to being cosmic space dust collected in to Jupiter’s atmosphere or orbit the moon till the gravity slingshots me. I dont know if we are here because a pool of pink sludge that stayed in a basin of nutrients leftover by sulfuric loving bacteria had adapted or if we are the seeds of Isis and Osiris. What i do know is that until something happens (doomsday), humans cannot evolve until we are forced to adapt to some kind of dire circumstance and even then, i dont think humans are ready to evolve beyond their means because we have become so numb to the idea that we may have ro become something else in order to survive.
This is what these stupid people are researching useless things spending billions of dollars for these stupid stuff while people are dying from hunger. There’s no such thing as evolution, stop it and start doing something user. What a waist of time.
Actually their discovery just prooves the theory of evolution, so we know now it exists sir
Not so easily said! But, if a person can fully proclaim that we were created by the most high God, it’s easy to see how it’s relative. The first man was made from the materials of earth,and water.The same as the make-up of the new period table for man!But,i’m sure that there are many other issues that will arise from this new information, using technology, and by the connection between the simplicity of the Word of God,and the high level of spiritual discipline added to the high level of high-speed computer computing technology.
Our creator has so much to show us. Imagine being able to explore His infinite creation for eternity. And it’s yours for a simple step of faith. We serve an awesome God, indeed. To Him be the glory!
So….now they’re going to make our children into flies and lizards. Or will this be used for anti-aging and cancer cure???
Kind of puts cold water on the millions of years of evolution doesnt it. As for the ethics of letting scientific priests mess with our genes. I doubt there will be much debate. Hands off!!!!
Condensin II just changes the 3D shape of DNA, not the sequence, is the way I read this. It is the DNA sequence that encodes genetic information, and that doesn’t change.
Doesn’t really surprise me. It’s a significant finding, but not revolutionary. It does of course support the theory of evolution, but all of molecular biology does that.
You can see repeating patterns of intelligent design that are in all different life forms (not in the same “evolutionary” lineage), and still talk about evolution? This is not science, it is objective thinking nor is it logical. Human beings who are in rebellion against their creator are grasping at straws to find ways to disbelieve in his existence.
Babu G. Ranganathan*
THE NATURAL LIMITS TO EVOLUTION
ONLY LIMITED EVOLUTION (micro-evolution or evolution within biological “kinds”) is genetically possible (such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), but not macro-evolution, or evolution across biological “kinds,” (such as from sea sponge to human). All real evolution in nature is simply the expression, over time, of already existing genes or variations of already existing genes. For example, we have breeds of dogs today that we didn’t have a few hundred years ago. The genes for these breeds had always existed in the dog population but never had opportunity before to be expressed. Only limited evolution, variations of already existing genes and traits, is possible.
The genes (chemical instructions or code) for a trait must first exist or otherwise the trait cannot come into existence. Genes instruct the body to build our tissues and organs. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.
Evolutionists believe that, if given millions of years, accidents in the genetic code of species caused by the environment will generate entirely new code making evolution possible from one type of life to another. It’s much like believing that by randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, can turn the novel into a book on astronomy! Not to worry. We’ll address the issue of “Junk DNA” in a moment.
WHAT ABOUT NATURAL SELECTION? Natural selection doesn’t produce biological traits or variations. It can only “select” from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value.
HOW COULD SPECIES HAVE SURVIVED if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems, etc. were still evolving? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully integrated and functioning from the start would be a liability to a species, not a survival asset. Plants and animals in the process of macro-evolution would be unfit for survival. For example, “if a leg of a reptile were to evolve (over supposedly millions of years) into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing” (Dr. Walt Brown, scientist and creationist). Survival of the fittest actually would have prevented evolution across biological kinds!
NEW SPECIES BUT NOT NEW DNA: Although it’s been observed that new species have come into existence, they don’t carry any new genes. They’ve become new species only because they can’t be crossed back with the original parent stock for various biological reasons. A biological “kind” allows for new species but not new genes. Nature has no ability to invent new genes for new traits. Only limited variations and adaptations are possible in nature, and all strictly within a biological “kind” (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.).
Dr. Randy J. Guliuzza’s extensive research points to a better explanation than natural selection for variation and adaptation in nature. Dr. Guliuzza explains that species have pre-engineered mechanisms that enable organisms to continuously track and respond to environmental changes with system elements that correspond to human-designed tracking systems. This model is called CET (continuous environmental tracking). His research strongly indicates that living things have been pre-engineered to produce the right adaptations and changes required to live in changing environments. It’s much like a car that’s been pre-engineered so that the head lights turn on automatically when day changes to night.
What about genetic and biological similarities between species? Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot happen by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related! Only genetic similarities within a natural species proves relationship because it’s only within a natural species that members can interbreed and reproduce.
Many people have wrong ideas of how evolution is supposed to work. Physical traits and characteristics are determined and passed on by genes – not by what happens to our body parts. For example, if a woman were to lose her finger this wouldn’t affect how many fingers her baby will have. Changing the color and texture of your hair will not affect the color and texture of your children’s hair. So, even if an ape or ape-like creature’s muscles and bones changed so that it could walk upright it still would not be able to pass on this trait to its offspring. Only changes or mutations that occur in the genetic code of reproductive cells (i.e. sperm and egg) can be passed on to offspring.
What about the new science of epigenetics? Epigenetics involves inheritable factors which can turn already-existing genes on, but epigenetics doesn’t create new genes.
Most biological variations are from new combinations of already existing genes, not mutations. Mutations are accidents in the genetic code caused by nature (i.e. environmental radiation), are mostly harmful, and have no capability of producing greater complexity in the code. Even if a good accident occurred, for every good one there would be hundreds of harmful ones with the net result, over time, being harmful, even lethal, to the species. Even if a single mutation is not immediately harmful, the accumulation of mutations over time will be harmful to the species resulting in extinction. At very best, mutations only produce further variations within a natural species.
All species of plants and animals in the fossil record are found complete, fully formed, and fully functional. This is powerful evidence that all species came into existence as complete and fully formed from the beginning. This is only possible by creation.
God began with a perfect and harmonious creation. Even all the animals were vegetarian (Genesis 1:30) in the beginning and did not struggle for survival nor kill and devour each other. Macro-evolutionary theory does not begin with a perfect and harmonious creation as the Bible states. The Bible and macro-evolutionary theory cannot both be true.
All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not non-human and human (i.e. Neanderthal Man was discovered later to be fully human).
There has never been unanimous agreement among evolutionary scientists on ANY fossil evidence that has been used to support human evolution over the many years, Including LUCY.
The actual similarity between ape and human DNA is between 70-87% not 99.8% as commonly believed. The original research stating 99.8% similarity was based on ignoring contradicting evidence. Only a certain segment of DNA between apes and humans was compared, not the entire DNA genome.
Also, so-called “Junk DNA” isn’t junk. Although these “non-coding” segments of DNA don’t code for proteins, they have recently been found to be vital in regulating gene expression (i.e. when, where, and how genes are expressed, so they’re not “junk”). Also, there is evidence that, in certain situations, they can code for protein.
ARE FOSSILS REALLY MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD? (Internet article by author)
Visit my latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION (This site answers many arguments, both old and new, that have been used by evolutionists to support their theory)
Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS
*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East” for my writings on religion and science.
Firstly, religions got the entire planetary model wrong… It’s helio-centrism and not geocentrism. And “God” works via evolution.
Time to turn the Bidens back into cockroaches.
Wow! We ARE de-evolving!!!
Are we not men? We Are Devo d-e-v-o
Just what are you mad scientists trying to do that nature has already done. Just please stop. Stop. Get a grip before it haywire. Stop creating god machines,bots, chimcheras, hybrids, half monk and human. Stop creating uncessary bs spoofing you. Everytime you turn around, you got some kind of hack project trial going on. Its inhumane and you know it. Focus on the real prize, learn how to replenish the earth.
So many bizarre comments… wondering if they even understood the article. But none the less, Nature is still magnificent.
Life is built from the bottom upwards.
Life is built from the bottom upwards./?
Oh man some of these comments make for some great comedy material. Bizarre doesn’t do them justice. These religious comments border on insanity really. I’ll be right back, gonna make another bag of popcorn
Science and faith can coexist. Yes God created us but over time people change and adapt to environment. Your genes are different than Adam or Eves. It’s not crazy or blasphemous to want to explore the earth God made for us. We are called to be stewards of the earth. How can we properly care for our world if we don’t understand it? God created everything so therefore He created science. Stop arguing and love everyone and everything God made.
Idea ? What if we are all of a collective oneness and together we are all The God and separate we are our own God. And all that is and will be will be created by our thoughts collectively. So this finding just gives us a more understanding of who we are and our Capabilities as humans.
The history of the gene should be looked into, it could have been contaminated.
Very interesting yes they are only playing around with something already exciting no doubt they want to make superman to be knighted one thing there had to be a thought to start with