Skip to comments.Human Evolution: Endogenous Retroviruses prove that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.
Posted on 01/31/2010 9:08:09 AM PST by EnderWiggins
Endogenous retroviruses are the remnant DNA of a past viral infection. Retroviruses (like the AIDS virus or HTLV1, which causes a form of leukemia) make a copy of their own viral DNA and insert it into their host's DNA. This is how they take over the cellular machinery of a cell and use it to manufacture new copies of the virus.
Sometimes, the cell that gets infected by such a virus is an immature egg cell in the ovary of a female animal. Such cells can be stored in a state of suspended animation or dormancy for as much as 50 years before they complete meiosis and become mature egg cells ready to be fertilized. Because they are dormant gene expression is suppressed and the infection cannot take over the cell and kill it. If that egg later matures and is fertilized, the newborn organism will have that endogenous retrovirus in every one of its cells, and so will all of its descendants.
Every viral infection is unique. The complete genome of an animal is so huge, and the insertion point of a viruss DNA is so random that it is statistically impossible for any two individuals to have the same exact endogenous retrovirus in the same exact spot on the genome unless they both inherited it from a common ancestor who had the original infection. And the infection of a germ cell is so rare that ERVs make up only somewhere between 1% and 8% of the entire human genome.
If two humans have the same identical ERV, it is proof that they are descended from a common ancestor. And if two different species have the identical ERV, it is proof that they too are descended from a common ancestor. In humans, there are about 30,000 different ERVS embedded in each person's DNA. Except for those later duplicated by a duplication mutation, all of them record unique infections of a single ancestral individual. Now here is where it gets really interesting.
There are at least seven different known instances of shared ERVs between chimps and humans... i.e. ERVs which are the identical viral DNA inserted into the identical spot of the genome. 100% of all chimps and 100% of all humans have these same ERVs. This is only possible if 100% of all chimps and all humans are descended from the single individual that had these original infections.
They are proof that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.
In a 2000 paper published in the journal Gene researchers identified ERVS shared by different primates and used them to assemble a family tree of monkeys apes and humans. Yes... we share ERVs with these lower primates as well. Here is what it looked like:
Figure 4.4.1. Human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) insertions
in identical chromosomal locations in various primates
(Reprinted from Lebedev et al. 2000)
The arrows show the relative insertion times of the viral DNA into the host genome (determined using the genetic clock of accumulated later point mutations). All branches to the right carry that ERV - a reflection of the fact that once a retrovirus has inserted into the germ-line DNA of a given organism, it will be inherited by all descendants of that organism.
Reference: Lebedev, Y. B., Belonovitch, O. S., Zybrova, N. V, Khil, P. P., Kurdyukov, S. G., Vinogradova, T. V., Hunsmann, G., and Sverdlov, E. D. (2000) "Differences in HERV-K LTR insertions in orthologous loci of humans and great apes." Gene 247: 265-277.
LOL! They just won’t give up will they?
Well, they're not content to call something they don't understand "magic".
Why are you posting a 10 year-old article?
This endogenous retrovirus data is old news.
And why are you LOL? Seems like straightforward science to me.
G-d created that DNA in different species to test your faith....
This does not prove anything to me. The one that invented the DNA created the monkey and the Human. Humans are distinct form all his creations on earth.
“G-d created that DNA in different species to test your faith....”
I agree; I also believe that God created a rich evolutionary tapestry to test out intellects (one of His gifts to us) and to challenge our Free Will
LOL! They just wont give up will they?
With all due respect, comments like yours and other conservatives who laugh at evolution make me want to puke.
Why is it so hard to accept that we are RELATED to other primates? It is not saying that monkeys gave birth to us. It is stating that we are RELATED in our evolution.
Man, have you not ever gone to the zoo and just look at the chimps for a sustained amount of time and think to yourself, some of those actions are human-like?
I know evolution flies in the face of the bible, but lots of things in the old testament are not taken literally.
For example, “The Lord said to Moses, Tell the Israelites: When a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, if she gives birth to a girl, she will be unclean for fourteen days.”
Leviticus 12:1, 12:5
Everyone knows the above is silly. Just as the story of Adam and Eve.
I believe in a higher power, just not the kind that dictates silly stories like the above.
Judi, non-religious, consevative
If life begats life, how does non-life begat life?
Thus ... the common denominator is God.
God's DNA migrated to man while God was playing in the mud ... and His Word (which became flesh) also has DNA ... THEREFORE ... the common thread for all that is living is God.
Have at it FreepeRs ... I have no creation/evolution conflict .... but someone might be able to do something with that.
sounds like God used a good design for similar created types......
nothing ‘evolutionary’ at all.
but, they have to keep pushing their handwaving, just-so stories.....
Where is another creature that can reason or put a man on the moon. Humans are distinct and separate.
Democrats of an earlier time were scientific ignoramuses when they compared Abraham Lincoln to a baboon.
Endogenous retroviruses are not "good design", they are similar to spelling mistakes. If two pieces of writing have the same pattern of spelling mistakes, they are related. And you can take that to court.
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