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Thread: genes and DNA time periods?

  1. #1 genes and DNA time periods? 
    Forum Sophomore
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    Jan 2011
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    My knowledge in this sphere is sketchy but I hope to bring it together.

    I am still having issues with understanding the modern concept of a gene (rather than the sixties concept).

    Often, in the literature, there are claims made that this gene is 6 million years old, another 3 million. .....

    How on earth is this known? You can't carbon date a gene as it is a copy of something. what is going on please?

    Can anyone explain how these claims are justified?

    Zero


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    You look for the same gene in related species.

    If, for example, humans and chimps evolved into separate species 8 million years ago, we can look at what genes we have in common, or which are different.

    If Gene A is the same in both species, we know it came into being more than 8 million years ago.

    If Gene B is different between the two species, we know it is younger than 8 million years.

    It is not quite this simple, of course, and lots of comparisons between many different species are done to nail this sort of thing down.


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  4. #3  
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    thankyou - all clear now
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