Sponge Genes Surprise | Scientific Discoveries and Advancements | Forum

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Sponge Genes Surprise
August 8, 2010
5:16 am
Avatar
sandra
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 3858
Member Since:
December 4, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sponge Genes Surprise

The common ancestor of all animals may have resembled a certain absorbent, yellow, porous someone who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

The evidence lies in the genes, not the pants.

A complete genetic catalog of the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica suggests that the first animals already had a complex kit of genetic tools at their disposal. Sponges harbor between 18,000 and 30,000 genes — roughly the same number as humans, fruit flies, roundworms and other animals, an international team of researchers reports in the Aug. 5 Nature.

Comparison of the sponge’s genetic blueprints with those of other animals reveals that sponge genes are lined up in the same way as those of other animals. Analyses in the new study also support the idea that sponges form the base of the animal branch of the evolutionary tree, says April Hill, an evolutionary developmental biologist at the University of Richmond in Virginia who was not involved in the work.

“That makes them a pretty important group,” Hill says.

Recently, some scientists had suggested that comb jellies, not sponges, were the first multicellular animals (SN: 4/5/08, p. 214).

Sponges don’t make certain types of organs, such as muscles, nerves and epithelial tissues like skin or gut linings, which help form a barrier to the outside world in more complex animals. Yet proteins that nerve cells use to communicate and connect with each other are among those encoded in sponges’ genes, the researchers say. So are proteins needed for epithelial tissues. Sponges also have some genes that are important in other animals for helping the immune system tell an animal’s own cells apart from foreign cells.

“The thing that really captivates me the most is that so many gene families evolved between the unicellular organisms and the animals,” says Hill. “You see a lot of innovation.”

One thing that really struck researchers, says lead author Mansi Srivastava of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., was that genes shared between humans, sponges and other animals are some of the very genes involved in cancer. “So cancer is really a disease of multicellularity,” she says. “Cancer arises when multicellularity is interfered with.”

Srivastava and her colleagues also note that sponges have 705 genes — more than any other animal — encoding kinases, proteins that attach a phosphate molecule onto other proteins. The researchers don’t know why sponges would need so many of the proteins.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic ... s_surprise

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

August 15, 2010
2:41 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

The researchers don’t know why sponges would need so many of the proteins.

Um, because Spongebob is a growing boy? Laugh

Just kidding. 😛

August 18, 2010
5:51 am
Avatar
sandra
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 3858
Member Since:
December 4, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

LOL Vulcan....Spongebob is the man, but I especially like the squirrel. 😀

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

August 19, 2010
11:57 am
Avatar
rath
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4297
Member Since:
April 9, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

There has been much talk about these claims being nothing but rubbish.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 288

Currently Online:
59 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

greeney2: 10239

bionic: 9870

Lashmar: 5289

tigger: 4576

rath: 4297

DIss0n80r: 4161

sandra: 3858

frrostedman: 3815

Wing-Zero: 3278

Tairaa: 2842

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 24149

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 31

Topics: 8737

Posts: 123508

Newest Members:

taylor wayne, ieltlucky, elie50021, Daveburton, Trent, neil zhang, Lynn, Joe1821, Jenny C, Cassandra

Administrators: John Greenewald: 585, blackvault: 1776