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Fundamental assumptions about limb evolution wrong?

Because paddlefish doubled their genome?File:Paddlefish Polyodon spathula.jpg

From “Paddlefish’s Doubled Genome May Question Theories On Limb Evolution” (Science Daily, August 6, 2012), we learn,

The American paddlefish — known for its bizarre, protruding snout and eggs harvested for caviar — duplicated its entire genome about 42 million years ago, according to a new study published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution. This finding may add a new twist to the way scientists study how fins evolved into limbs since the paddlefish is often used as a proxy for a more representative ancestor shared by humans and fishes.

“We found that paddlefish have had their own genome duplication,” said Karen Crow, assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University. “This creates extra genetic material that adds complexity to comparative studies. It may change the way we interpret studies on limb development.”

“Our findings suggest that the results of previous studies using paddlefish as a comparative species may need to be re-interpreted,” Crow said.

How be this: Be polite to the lecture room bore because being a lecture room bore is a big enough punishment that he should not have to put up with rude students. And huffing certainties may be good for his lungs or something. But whatever happened back there, no one really knows.

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2 Responses to Fundamental assumptions about limb evolution wrong?

  1. How can anything that happened 42 million years ago have ANYTHING to do with the origin of legs and walking on land?

    Tetrapods date to 395 million years ago. And mammals date to 200 million years ago. This paddlefish dates from 20 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct. 4-legged mammals were all over the place by that point.

    But more to the point: what is the SIGNIFICANCE of duplicating your genome? This gives you a spare in the trunk if the first one goes flat?

    The lecture room bore is a bore because the delivered factoids are never strung together to support a conclusion?

  2. If you want linked-up thinking you should probably read the paper, rather than News’ garbled version of the press release.

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