Nature has published a paper which declares a second genetic code has been found! Molecular biologists and computer scientists uncovered what is now known as a splicing code. It is interesting to note, evolutionary theory was not used in discovering this code rather they used information technology.
The splicing code resides within DNA, directing the primary code in a very complex but predicable way. For the last 20 years scientists have been trying to find answers to such questions like; why there are only 20,000 genes in a very complex human being as they expected to find much more. Why are genes turned on in some cells and tissues, but not in others?
This discovery has been huge in terms of trying to understand this very specialize complex system in genetics. However, it doesn’t answer all the questions but demonstrates another code exists. Different gene elements known as “exons” can be assembled together in different ways. “For example, three neurexin genes can generate over 3,000 genetic messages that help control the wiring of the brain,” Frey said.
This abstract from the paper displays the important role…
“Here we describe the assembly of a ‘splicing code’, which uses combinations of hundreds of RNA features to predict tissue-dependent changes in alternative splicing for thousands of exons. The code determines new classes of splicing patterns, identifies distinct regulatory programs in different tissues, and identifies mutation-verified regulatory sequences.”
“Widespread regulatory strategies are revealed, including the use of unexpectedly large combinations of features, the establishment of low exon inclusion levels that are overcome by features in specific tissues, the appearance of features deeper into introns than previously appreciated, and the modulation of splice variant levels by transcript structure characteristics.”
“The code detected a class of exons whose inclusion silences expression in adult tissues by activating nonsense-mediated messenger RNA decay, but whose exclusion promotes expression during embryogenesis. The code facilitates the discovery and detailed characterization of regulated alternative splicing events on a genome-wide scale.”
The splicing code is going to be one of the major breakthroughs (if not thee breakthrough) in science for 2011! This could well be the tip of the ice berg in the genetic world. Using information technology in science is something compatible with creationism not only that but it’s also demonstrates the ridiculous notion that evolutionary theory has to be used in science!
Now evolutionary scientists have tried to experiment with the code by mutating it and got cancer and other mistakes. A question comes to mind, how can fitness be directed if one has to tamper with all these intertwined codes? Observations continue to be painting a picture of highly specified and complex, engineered, optimized informatics system that point to a design by a creator rather than some sort of a random arrangement of parts that can be endlessly tinkered with!