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Thread: Merging bacteria species reverse evolution

  1. #1 Merging bacteria species reverse evolution 
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    Two bacterial species have apparently been caught in the act of merging back into one. This case of de-speciation may be a consequence of the two species being thrown together within domestic animals.

    New Scientist: http:/¬*/¬*www.newscientist.com/¬*article/¬*dn13646-merging-bacteria-species-reverse-evolution.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news3_head


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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    When I read this, all sorts of possibilities ran through my (uneducated) head. This gene swapping thing has been observed before (or maybe even frequently), viruses routinely carry genetic material of their targets around, etc. Just out of curiosity, has any fossils been found of animals appearing after some extinction event that suspiciously look like a mix between two or more others (I know this is crazy, and probably na√Įve)? Has it ever been found with the new gene comparison methods that some confusing genes show up in animals from other lineages that diverged a long time ago? Would we even be able to recognize such genes?

    PS: I would not be offended by a brutal flaming :?


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    If some bacterias of the said species somewhere in the world have not reverted then I would assume this is one more speciation in which one branch reverts back to characteristics similar to what it was before(I would be surprised if the genetic code would be the exact same as it was in the original species). But if the point is to show that if the environment changes by reverting back to what it was before, then I would find reasonable that a species develop characteristics that are functionally similar to what they were before.
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    "If Falush is right, then different niches may play a crucial role in speciation in bacteria, just as they do in higher organisms."

    I do wish they'd stop using terms like 'higher organisms'. Even in biology they have no technical meaning or use do they?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    I do wish they'd stop using terms like 'higher organisms'. Even in biology they have no technical meaning or use do they?
    Well, a giraffe is higher than an armadillo. :wink:
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    I do wish they'd stop using terms like 'higher organisms'. Even in biology they have no technical meaning or use do they?
    Well, a giraffe is higher than an armadillo. :wink:
    But if bacteria are travelling through space as per panspermia wouldn't they have the highest status?
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  8. #7  
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    Higher only has meaning within a gravitational context so no.

    Arthur Dent was at times as highly developed as birds.
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  9. #8 Re: Merging bacteria species reverse evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneBennet
    Two bacterial species have apparently been caught in the act of merging back into one. This case of de-speciation may be a consequence of the two species being thrown together within domestic animals.

    New Scientist: http:/¬*/¬*www.newscientist.com/¬*article/¬*dn13646-merging-bacteria-species-reverse-evolution.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news3_head
    Surely it makes no sense to talk about reverse evolution. It is established that evolution is not inherently directional. De-speciation is better, and taht HGT is increased so dramatically in this case is quite interesting
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  10. #9  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Surely it makes no sense to talk about reverse evolution. It is established that evolution is not inherently directional. De-speciation is better, and taht HGT is increased so dramatically in this case is quite interesting
    It was a New Scientist article, though. (pop science mag) :wink: I guess "reverse evolution" in the title sounds better than simply using "de-speciation"?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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