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#1 Springer

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:44 PM

I would appreciate some enlightenment on mutations. Does anyone know the frequency of mutations in higher animals, and what percentage of them are positive?

#2 ratrat

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 09:31 PM

I would appreciate some enlightenment on mutations.  Does anyone know the frequency of mutations in higher animals, and what percentage of them are positive?

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In humans, the mutation rate is in the neighbourhood of 1 mutation for every 250 million nucleotides added to the DNA/RNA strand. This is a very rare occurance and a testament to the effectiveness of the genetic proofreading of our cells. However, when you multiply this by the number of nucleotides in a human cell, this turns out to be about 175 mutations per cell replication.
The number of these that are beneficial is going to be VERY small for two reasons:
1) The majority of our DNA (~97% has no function). This means that about 97 percent of these mutations are going to occur in a region of the strand which doesn't code for mRNA production anyways.
2) Due to the redundancy of the genetic code, a large amount of substitution mutations (ie subbing one nucleotide for another) will have no effect. As for frameshift mutations (adding or deleting a nucleotide), the organism usually dies.

Therefore, any mutation that occurs and doesn't kill the organism, has about a 50 percent chance of being beneficial or harmful.

#3 Springer

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 07:36 AM

In humans, the mutation rate is in the neighbourhood of 1 mutation for every 250 million nucleotides added to the DNA/RNA strand.  This is a very rare occurance and a testament to the effectiveness of the genetic proofreading of our cells.  However, when you multiply this by the number of nucleotides in a human cell, this turns out to be about 175 mutations per cell replication. 
The number of these that are beneficial is going to be VERY small for two reasons:
1) The majority of our DNA (~97% has no function).  This means that about 97 percent of these mutations are going to occur in a region of the strand which doesn't code for mRNA production anyways.
2) Due to the redundancy of the genetic code, a large amount of substitution mutations (ie subbing one nucleotide for another) will have no effect.  As for frameshift mutations (adding or deleting a nucleotide), the organism usually dies.

Therefore, any mutation that occurs and doesn't kill the organism, has about a 50 percent chance of being beneficial or harmful.

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When you say 175 mutations per cell replication, are you referring to any cell replication? My interest is how many mutations per offspring? What percentage of these are beneficial? THanks.

#4 ratrat

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 02:29 PM

When you say 175 mutations per cell replication, are you referring to any cell replication?  My interest is how many mutations per offspring?  What percentage of these are beneficial?  THanks.

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I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I think its referring to every time each cell in your body divides, it will have in the ballpark of 175 mutations in it. As per the amount of mutations per offspring, it will have many over the course of its lifetime. When it is conceived, it would seem that it would probably have about 1400, but I'm not sure, my meiosis is a little rusty. But most of those 1400 (about 1358) would be in areas of the DNA that are not used for anything. And whether a mutation is beneficial or not depends on the environment. For instance, a whale mutation that caused it to lose its lungs and grow gills would probably be favorable to it. However the same mutation in you or I would be deadly.

#5 Springer

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:43 PM

I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I think its referring to every time each cell in your body divides, it will have in the ballpark of 175 mutations in it.  As per the amount of mutations per offspring, it will have many over the course of its lifetime.  When it is conceived, it would seem that it would probably have about 1400, but I'm not sure, my meiosis is a little rusty.  But most of those 1400 (about 1358) would be in areas of the DNA that are not used for anything.  And whether a mutation is beneficial or not depends on the environment.  For instance, a whale mutation that caused it to lose its lungs and grow gills would probably be favorable to it.  However the same mutation in you or I would be deadly.

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Are you suggesting that it would only take one mutation to go from lungs to gills? I thought ToE suggested numerous micromutations.
By the way, I think you're mistaken if you think a whale would be better off with gills. Look at the two largest fish...whale shark and basking shark. Both are sluggish. Compare that to a breaching humpback. There is no fish that can achieve the acrobatics of a dolphin. Maybe it's because they have greater energy production because they breath air. What do you think?

#6 ratrat

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:42 PM

Are you suggesting that it would only take one mutation to go from lungs to gills?  I thought ToE suggested numerous micromutations.
By the way, I think you're mistaken if you think a whale would be better off with gills.  Look at the two largest fish...whale shark and basking shark.  Both are sluggish.  Compare that to a breaching humpback.  There is no fish that can achieve the acrobatics of a dolphin.  Maybe it's because they have greater energy production because they breath air.  What do you think?

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Yes you're right. As the development of gills/lungs is controlled by many genes, it would take a great deal of mutations to cause a change between the two. I was simply trying to use a simple, albeit impossible, example and that was the first thing that popped into my head.
While it is true that both the whale and basking sharks are sluggish, this is most likely a result of two things. First their lifestyle does not require any fast movement whatsoever, after all, plankton aren’t very fast. Secondly, I believe they are cold blooded. Compare a basking shark to a great white shark which recent studies suggest is quite likely warm blooded. If you haven’t seen the footage of these animals attacking seals, I would highly suggest trying to see it. Quite frankly, its amazing. For a 20+ foot long fish that weighs over 2 tonnes (I think?) to be able to get itself moving at a speed that will allow it to propel its entire body at least 30 feet out of the water would take an INCREDIBLE amount of force. Also, the mako shark is the second fastest fish in the sea (I used this because I can’t remember the first, think it might be a swordfish or something like that, you have any idea??). I’m not sure if it is warm or cold blooded, most likely warm to be able to move that fast.

The reason I believe a whale would be better off with gills is this would free it from the necessity to surface to breath. This would allow it to live in many places that would be impossible for whales to survive in now, such as under arctic ice (assuming it could find a way to fend off cold).

#7 Fred Williams

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 02:07 PM

Therefore, any mutation that occurs and doesn't kill the organism, has about a 50 percent chance of being beneficial or harmful.

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This is not only misleading, it is simply not true. The redundancy on the third "wobble" nucleotide of codon is about 30%. The remaining 70% mutations are going to range from neutral to slightly harmful to harmful. Nowhere does "beneficial" fit in to the equation in the real world.

There are no compelling examples I know of, of a clearly random mutation that was beneficial to the species in a normal, non-stressed environment. Even in a stressed environment the examples are few and far between. Sure, you get a handful of speculative ones like the nylon-eating bacteria, but they are extremely rare (besides, the Nylon example is not provocative, it happens too easily to be swallowed as a random "mistake").

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#8 lionheart209

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 10:29 PM

In humans, the mutation rate is in the neighbourhood of 1 mutation for every 250 million nucleotides added to the DNA/RNA strand.  This is a very rare occurance and a testament to the effectiveness of the genetic proofreading of our cells.  However, when you multiply this by the number of nucleotides in a human cell, this turns out to be about 175 mutations per cell replication. 
The number of these that are beneficial is going to be VERY small for two reasons:
1) The majority of our DNA (~97% has no function).  This means that about 97 percent of these mutations are going to occur in a region of the strand which doesn't code for mRNA production anyways.
2) Due to the redundancy of the genetic code, a large amount of substitution mutations (ie subbing one nucleotide for another) will have no effect.  As for frameshift mutations (adding or deleting a nucleotide), the organism usually dies.

Therefore, any mutation that occurs and doesn't kill the organism, has about a 50 percent chance of being beneficial or harmful.

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The thing with mutations that is a fact is, you never see new information as evolution would need to be an actual occurance.
You only see a loss of information, this supports the fall of man account.(Genesis)
Evolutionary scientists observe a certain variety of beetles once have wings, then later down the line lose their wings due to a loss of information in their DNA.
They want very badly to say this is evolution, trying to claim that the loss of their wings was a survival change due to evolution.

When it actually was a simple loss of information, a loss of information is deterioration which supports the curse of creation account in Genesis and why we and all life ultimately die.
For the fairytale of evolution to be a true occurance, it calls for new information be created. Which we never see.

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#9 Adrian7

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 12:21 AM

You are definitely right about the loss in information when mutations occur, in fact many, even seemingly "good" mutations such as those which occur in bacteria and insects, where they gain immunity to antibiotics or pesticides, also involve a loss in genetic information which causes them to become more specialized(that is what natural selection does), something that is not on the right track to developing or evolving into a new type of animal.

#10 chance

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 01:34 PM

I have bumped the Restarting the INFORMATION debate, Dr Gitt articals in AiG to try and get some clarification on what is perceived as “information”.

Peruse the topic and lets see what the debates is really about, and if the notion of ‘information’ has any substance.




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