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★ DNA

DNA: see Humanity & Genetics & Biology & Clone & Life & Evolution & Body & Animals & Health & Ancestors & Heredity & Stem Cells

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3,496.  The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars.  We are made of star-stuff.  (Star & Body & DNA)  Carl Sagan, Cosmos
 

 

70,437.  DNA: a master molecule of life on Earth.  It’s made of four molecular parts called nucleotides, which constitute the four letters of the genetic code, the language of heredity.  (DNA & Genetics)  Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue 1979

 

70,438.  Human DNA is a coiled ladder, a billion nucleotides long.  (DNA & Genetics)  ibid.

 

 

5,585.  For the first time in Earth’s history man has created synthetic life.  (Life & DNA)  Creating Synthetic Life

 

5,586.  Venter’s team developed a new technique called shot-gun sequencing.  It breaks the DNA molecules into little pieces.  (Life & DNA)  ibid. 

 

5,587.  If all the letters are put into the correct order and in the right place so the molecule can sustain itself and reproduce you have created a living organism.  (Life & DNA)  ibid. 

 

5,588.  For the first time in science Carole Lartigue has turned one species into another.  (Life & DNA)  ibid.

 

 

5,589.  This is the first self-replicating species that we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.  (Life & DNA & Computer)  Dr Craig Venter

 

 

5,590.  You take a chromosome from one cell and you put it in another; technologically that turned out to be extremely difficult to do.   (Life & DNA)  Dr Craig Venter

 

 

5,629.  DNA: on average only one mistake in a billion letters.  (Life & DNA)  Professor Brian Cox, Wonders of Life I: What is Life? BBC 2013

 

 

5,867.  The genes are made of nucleic acid – that’s where the action is.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA & Humanity)  Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man: Generation Upon Generation 12/13

 

5,868.  On 2nd April 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick sent to Nature the paper which describes this structure in DNA.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA & Humanity)  ibid.

 

5,869.  The child is not a prisoner of its inheritance ... The child is an individual, the bee is not.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA & Bee & Humanity)  ibid.   

 

 

53,050.  During the rest of his voyage Darwin would encounter a vast variety of plants and animal species he’d never seen before.  He’d discover fossils of giant extinct species that seemed to resemble the living animals around him.  And in the Galapagos he’d encounter different species of birds and tortoises uniquely adapted to the conditions on each of the islands.  Everywhere he looked he seemed to find evidence that Life on Earth was constantly changing.  (Charles Darwin & Evolution & Galapagos Islands & Extinction & Species)  Andrew Marr, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

 

53,051.  Malthus’s warnings helped push a draconian new poor law through parliament.  The poor were now forced into an even sharper struggle for survival.  Compete for work or off you go to the degradation of the workhouse.  Malthus would help Darwin find the key to explaining the diverse and ever-changing nature of life on Earth.  Malthus’s notion of perpetual struggle is really the break-through for Darwin.  As he squares up to the notion that in Nature, only one thing really counts: survival.  Darwin proposed that keener eyes, a bigger beak, better camouflage can be decisive for an individual’s chances of surviving long enough to reproduce ... By 1842 Darwin had a name for this mechanism – Natural Selection.  But he spent nearly twenty years testing and refining his revolutionary theory before finally publishing On the Origin of Species in 1859.  Darwin’s theory quickly took on a life of its own, beyond the world of science.  (Charles Darwin & Evolution)  ibid.

 

53,052.  Survival of the fittest – Darwin’s adoption of those four words [see Spencer] would have consequences for a hundred years.  He meant them as a description of the evolution of life on the planet over countless millennia.  But they were seized and turned into a prescription, scientific justification for political ideas, some of which were vile.  Charles Darwin was a naturalist.  But the would-be engineers of humanity were delighted by what he said, and they were waiting.  (Charles Darwin & Evolution & Survival)  ibid.     

 

53,053.  In 1953 a British and American scientist working together in Cambridge announced they had discovered the structure of DNA.  It confirmed Darwin’s theory that all life is linked by common decent.  Including humans.  (Charles Darwin & Evolution & DNA)  ibid.

 

 

53,058.  More than a hundred and fifty years on, Darwin’s instincts are triumphantly borne out with the mapping of the Human Genome.  Among the human races there are no significant molecular differences at all.  It’s not arrogance Darwin teaches but modesty and respect.  (Charles Darwin & DNA)  Andrew Marr, Great Britons: Darwin

 

 

6,010.  The switches then turn on or off the genes that do make the beak.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA)  Armand Marie Leroi, What Darwin Never Knew

 

6,011.  Just a 1% difference in the DNA between humans and chimps ... Some thirty million of DNA’s chemical letters: as Ts Cs and Gs.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA)  ibid.

 

6,012.  Many of the differences were not in genes but in switches.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA)  ibid.

 

6,013.  We now know that DNA works in many different ways: through genes that make the stuff of our bodies, through switches that turn those genes on and off, and through sequences of DNA’s chemicals that throw those switches.  (Evolution & Genes & DNA)  ibid.

 

 

6,014.  We are living records of our past and so we can look at DNA of individuals today and get a sense of how they came to be that way.  (Evolution & DNA)  Professor Pardis Sabeti, Harvard University

 

 

6,086.  The chimpanzees are our closest relatives; that they differ from us only by that 1% of DNA.  (Evolution & Chimpanzee & DNA & Human Being)  The Human Spark II: So Human, So Chimp, PBS

 

 

8,594.  Is there any evidence of DNA splicing in the ancient past?  (Aliens & Ancient Astronaut Theory & DNA)  Ancient Aliens: Aliens and Monsters s3e2

 

 

9,403.  We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.  Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.  The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.  Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton.  We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people.  In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.  We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?  (Death & Life’s Like That & Life & DNA)  Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

 

 

70,440.  DNA is the computer recipe for life itself, unravelling like magnetic tape on some giant computer.   (DNA & Life)  Professor Richard Dawkins

 

 

70,448.  It’s my belief that DNA had to be a digital code or life or evolution would never have worked.  Professor Richard Dawkins

 

 

70,450.  The messages that DNA molecules contain are all but eternal when seen against the time scale of individual lifetimes.  The lifetimes of DNA messages (give or take a few mutations) are measured in units ranging from millions of years to hundreds of millions of years; or, in other words, ranging from 10,000 individual lifetimes to a trillion individual lifetimes.  Each individual organism should be seen as a temporary vehicle, in which DNA messages spend a tiny fraction of their geological lifetimes.  Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker

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