[ExI] DNA Double Take

Kasey Anderson kaseylinanderson at gmail.com
Sat Sep 21 08:41:35 UTC 2013

Hm, very interesting article.  I think that a lot of scientists are finding
that things happen in the body which are really quite counter-intuitive.
 We simplify things down to cute little cartoons of cells communicating
through endocrine, autocrine, and paracrine systems, but if you look at a
rudimentary diagram of what they think a cell might look like, with the
approximate distances and densities of cell components, you realize that
cells just aren't that simple.

I've been helping write a review paper for my lab on the most pertinent
research about endothelial cells in catheters, AV grafts, and fistulas, and
one of the interesting things I've read about is that they think some of
the cells that are responding to the foreign materials in grafts are
actually coming from the *bone marrow.*  Apparently stem cells circulate
from the bone marrow around the body, and some of them are generated in
response to/are attracted to the wound site.  Anyway, at least that's my
understanding of it.  The Nature article that talks about it is here:
it is actually quite concise and interesting.

As to your question of how we can tell which DNA is the hereditary DNA, I
would have to play the devil's advocate and ask, why does it matter?  After
all, we've already been able to clone animals (albeit with a fairly low
rate of success and them having functionally 'older' cells because of
shortened telomeres) and been able to use in vitro fertilization to
fertilize eggs outside the body.  I'd say that if we can essentially copy
life, our understanding of which DNA is the "hereditary material" is
probably fairly well-defined.

Actually, come to think about it, if we were able to reproduce whatever
conditions a human mother has inside her body during pregnancy, there's
really no reason, in my mind, to think that we couldn't build some sort of
large-scale bioreactor that could grow an entire baby without even the help
of a surrogate mother.  Can you imagine the potential implications of
watching a baby grow up outside of a human womb?  Just for ethical reasons
alone, I think it'd be a while before it was allowed even if it were
possible, simply for ethical reasons related to the psychology of the
infant if nothing else.  Would a baby growing outside of its mother have
the potential to even become socially well-adjusted?  We know that stimulus
is incredibly important to the development of the human brain (look up the
Ganzfeld Experiment and the story of Genie, the 'feral child' who grew up
for 13 years locked in a room, usually strapped to a toilet, if you need
proof), so you'd definitely have to wonder just what psychological effects
growing up in a human womb actually has on us.  (The fact that we tend to
sleep in the fetal position would probably be one).  At the same time, it'd
be pretty damn convenient not to have to be a balloon for 9 months in order
to have a child, and maybe just have some hormonal changes that cause
breasts to enlarge and produce milk. Anyway, haha, I got *way* off-topic,
but those are sort of my (really long thoughts) on the subject. ;)

On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> >... On Behalf Of BillK
> ...
> >...Last year, for example, forensic scientists at the Washington State
> Patrol Crime Laboratory Division described how a saliva sample and a sperm
> sample from the same suspect in a sexual assault case didn't match.
> ------------
> BillK
> _______________________________________________
> Oy vey, so now I need to redo 23andMe but instead of spit, send a sperm
> sample.
> {8-[
> Ummm, OK, kewalllllll...
> {8^]
> spike
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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