Sea creature called lancelet’s genetic mistake was a big win for humans

| | July 30, 2012
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

How did we arrive where we are? A dainty, quill-like sea creature called a lancelet provides the best evidence that vertebrates evolved over the past 550 million years through a four-fold duplication of the genes of more primitive ancestors.

The spineless creature experienced two doublings in DNA, triggering the evolution of humans and other animals. Those ancient DNA doublings boosted cellular communication systems, so that our body cells are now better at integrating information than even the smartest smartphones. The bad part is that communication breakdowns, traced back to the very same genome duplications of the Cambrian Period, can cause diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders.

View the original article here: Sea creature called lancelet’s genetic mistake was a big win for humans

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