Horizontal gene transfer: Researchers believe any two major groups of organisms can share genetic codes

This is not the “evolution” your high school textbook set forth. That stuff was Darwinism, plain and simple.

From Kelly Robinson and Julie Dunning Hotopp at The Scientist

Scientists now recognize that microbes transfer DNA to the plants, fungi, and animals they infect or reside in, and conversely, human long interspersed elements (LINEs) have been found in bacterial genomes. Moreover, researchers have documented LGT [lateral gene transfer, synonymous with HGT – ed.] from fungi to insects and from algae to sea slugs. There is reason to believe that any two major groups of organisms—including humans—can share their genetic codes.

People have long been intrigued by the prospect of foreign DNA within our own genomes. Human genomes harbor evidence of beneficial LGTs from bacteria in the recent past, and there is evidence that transfers may occur regularly between resident bacteria and somatic cells of the body. How commonly bacteria-animal LGT occurs is unclear, as are the mechanisms of these transfers. But if LGTs induce harmful mutations, they may be an unrecognized cause of disease.

Horizontal or lateral gene transfer (LGT) is a regular event among bacteria, and research over the past decade has shown that microbes can also transfer their DNA to multicellular hosts. One of the most well studied examples of LGT between microbe and animal is the transfer of DNA from an intracellular Wolbachia endo-symbiont to its Drosophila host.

Bacteria are a genomically promiscuous bunch. They do not reproduce sexually but are among the most genetically varied species because they are constantly exchanging bits of their genetic code via LGT.

Despite skepticism from some corners of the scientific community and the difficulties of studying bacterial DNA integrations, we believe that LGTs are an important form of insertional mutagenesis.


The authors hope HGT will help us understand cancer better.

See also: Denis Noble: Why talk about replacement of Darwinian evolution theory, not extension? Because “the exclusion of any form of acquired characteristics being inherited was a central feature of the modern synthesis.” That means excluding demonstrated mechanisms of evolution in favor of a hypothetical all-encompassing one.


Horizontal gene transfer: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more


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By the way, remember when Darwin’s boys fretted that if the public didn’t believe in Darwinian (that is, vertical) gene transfer, public health would suffer? They’re right, We’re all dead now.

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