Tag Archives: genetics

Out Of Africa: Human DNA

dna_rgbDid anyone watch “The Human Family Tree” recently on the National Geographic channel? One of the most fascinating facts found out, after checking the DNA of 350,000 human beings from every corner of the planet, is we all come from the same area of Africa.

200,000 – 150,000 years ago: The genetic journey of everyone alive today began with one woman — “Scientific Eve” — who lived in Africa and passed along her DNA through special cell structures called mitochondria, which only women pass down to further generations. What that means is, we are all related: Black, White, Yellow, Brown . . . we’re all the same. Our DNA varies by 1/10 of 1%, and that small percentage is what gives us our individual identities.

The color of a humans skin comes not from DNA, but where our ancestors migrated to. European ancestors lived in cold climates, so skin pigmentation lightened over generations. Those living in warmer or hotter climates retained the darker characteristics. It makes it interesting, then, how much race (which actually doesn’t exist) plays the role it does in society.  I wonder how racists would actually feel if they knew they were hating their brothers and cousins?  My guess is they would not believe the evidence when presented to them. All one has to do is look to people like Linda Jenkins, Bill O’Reilly and their ilk to understand facts have little meaning to them.

So, readers, how do we change the minds of people bent on destroying race relations, when the evidence of DNA points to the non-existence of race? Is it even possible?

jammer5
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Filed under Celebration, Diversity, Evolution, hate groups, History, Life Lessons, racism, Research, Thinking/Considering

Talking Mice? What Has Man Unleashed?

240px-Reepicheep_thumbResearchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (in Leipzeig, Germany – the German city that hosted the first psychology laboratory)  have inserted a human gene, FOXP2,  into mice.  This gene is thought to be one of the components that give humans the ability to speak.  The gene insertion has altered the way mice communicate – their utlrasonic whistles are lower in pitch now.

What are the implications?  What will this unleash?  As the novelist and screen writer Mark Leyner explains in this NY Times Op Ed piece,  “we’re talking about a rat that’ll be able to sit down, look you in the eye and talk about the Sotomayor nomination or the Lakers-Magic series.”

This tearing down of the inter-animal communication wall will have more implications than the changing of Disney movie themes.  My aggressively vegetarian daughter may win all of her arguments and I will have to start eating those things she prescribes.  Heaven forbid…

iggy donnelly

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Filed under Evolution, Psychology Ramblings...