Genetic Subcode Discovered
Computer programmers know all about subroutines. One master program can easily call other programs, which can return results back to the master program. That’s very 1960s. Today’s modular software responds dynamically from disparate sources and responds to feedback from embedded triggers. They can call routines written in other codes or languages. We’re beginning to find that the genetic code is also far more advanced than the 1960s image of DNA to RNA to protein – the Central Dogma, as it was called. Now, researchers in Europe have uncovered “novel sequence biases and their role in the control of genomic expression.”
Science Daily reported on work from the Computer Science Department of ETH Zurich and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Researchers there have been chasing “possible sub-codes in genomic information.” One of the problems with the Central Dogma was understanding how translation is regulated. Cells need to respond quickly to stimuli and risks. What determines which genes are switched on and off, and the rate at which protein products are produced?
The researchers from ETH and SIB now identified a new sub-code that determines at which rate given products must be made by the cell. This information has several interesting implications.
First, it provides novel insights into how the decoding machinery works. Secondly, and more pragmatically, it makes possible to read information about gene expression rates directly from genomic sequences, whereas up to now, this information could only be obtained through laborious and expensive experimental approaches, such as microarrays. “A cell must respond very quickly to injuries such as DNA damage and to potent poisons such as arsenic. The new sub-code enables us to know which genes are turned-on quickly after these insults and which are best expressed slowly. One benefit of this study is that we now can get this information using only analysis of the coding sequence,” said Dr. Gina Cannarozzi.
The insight into an additional level of genetic information stored in sub-codes can also provide a new look at the translation processes in the ribosome, the article said. It can help scientists understand how the ribosomes “know” at what rate to recycle their transfer-RNAs (tRNA) to achieve optimum rates of protein synthesis.
The article said nothing about evolution. Surprised? Of course not. If mutations were marginally tolerable in the days of the Central Dogma, they are going to be much tougher now that we know the genetic information system involves codes within codes and hierarchical levels of information. Darwinists will deal with this like they always do: by pumping out more Central Fogma.*
*Fogma (n): Dogma so thick you don’t even realize it’s there unless you’re outside it (05/14/2007 commentary).