1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

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1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon May 22, 2017 4:10 pm UTC

Image

title text: That's very exciting! The bad news is that it's a risk factor for lots of things.

I like this doctor. I would probably visit her.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby J%r » Mon May 22, 2017 4:33 pm UTC

"Yay, that means I'm not an alien."

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon May 22, 2017 4:39 pm UTC

Hey, there's always panspermia.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Old Bruce » Mon May 22, 2017 4:43 pm UTC

I come from a long line of ancestors with slower siblings.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Flumble » Mon May 22, 2017 4:58 pm UTC

What happens if you're part of a broken lineage?

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon May 22, 2017 5:23 pm UTC

Life, uh, finds a way.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon May 22, 2017 5:26 pm UTC

Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs?
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby jc » Mon May 22, 2017 5:34 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs?

Um, there were no dinosaurs around even one billion years ago. They were late developments on the Tree of Life. We're an even later twig.

I think the doctor was talking about our single-cell ancestors, who have a much longer history than the small branch that decided to live as clusters of cells that divide up the work of living and reproducing.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 22, 2017 5:34 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs?

Tree-rats. Unless he's a bird.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon May 22, 2017 5:41 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:That's very exciting! The bad news is that it's a risk factor for lots of things.

"Dying, for one thing. So far as we know, beings in that gene pool have a 100% mortality rate."
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby somitomi » Mon May 22, 2017 5:44 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:That's very exciting! The bad news is that it's a risk factor for lots of things.

"Dying, for one thing. So far as we know, beings in that gene pool have a 100% mortality rate."

Surely that is only 99.999something% right? Some of them haven't died yet...
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby StClair » Mon May 22, 2017 6:06 pm UTC

"But that can't be, my people didn't land here until... oh. Yes. Of course. Thank you, Doctor, for confirming that I am a perfectly normal native Earth human."

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby DanD » Mon May 22, 2017 7:31 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:That's very exciting! The bad news is that it's a risk factor for lots of things.

"Dying, for one thing. So far as we know, beings in that gene pool have a 100% mortality rate."

Surely that is only 99.999something% right? Some of them haven't died yet...


Considerably less. Under most ways of looking at it, asexual reproducing organisms don't really die. While that view is questionable for, say, bulb spawning plants, it is the most reasonable view for single cell organisms. Every single cell organism alive today represents a single life that goes back to the time it split off from another single cell organism alive today.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon May 22, 2017 8:26 pm UTC

But given that instances of cells can die, multitudinous cells have died that (because their ancestry is still represented as living via alternate descendance into the present day) are counted both on the "born" side and "died" side... Do they/by how much do they outnumber the born-but-not-dead-yet ones, with ancestry off-shoots that still live (or, in one special case, probably,
originality) to deny them a claim of being anything more than a clone.

(And I'm also reminded of "when is a strawberry dead?"... Tangentially.)

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon May 22, 2017 8:54 pm UTC

You can easily make it unambiguous with two rules:

1) Every cell division is the death of the original cell; 2) multicellular life forms are just a special kind of colony.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Liri » Mon May 22, 2017 9:29 pm UTC

I like it.

The phrase "direct descendant of X" always bugged me as a kid, and even more so when I realized it was a total patriarchal thing (also as a kid).
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby qvxb » Mon May 22, 2017 10:13 pm UTC

Your DNA test shows your lineage goes back about six thousand years and is the source of your ophidiophobia.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby type551 » Mon May 22, 2017 10:27 pm UTC

I only recently realized this a couple of months ago, after reading a comment on a forum about how every single person in my lineage successfully reproduced. It made me feel weird for a while about having undergone a medical procedure that involved becoming sterile as a side-effect. I'll be the very first organism in my entire lineage, going back billions of years, who will have failed to continue the lineage. All that work for it to end with me. However, I choose to believe that post-singularity immortality will be obtainable before I die, so it won't matter anyways!

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue May 23, 2017 12:00 am UTC

Liri wrote:I like it.

The phrase "direct descendant of X" always bugged me as a kid, and even more so when I realized it was a total patriarchal thing (also as a kid).

I'm not sure it's necessarily patriarchal to talk of a direct descendent. Only the social circumstances behind that might make it so.

It may be easier to track the male-exclusive line (or the presumed one) with male-surname inheritance, but a female-only line is actually more certain (usually, except for a skeleton-in-the-family-closet case, and often even then) as a viable "direct" line, as is a more mixed traversal.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Liri » Tue May 23, 2017 12:04 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Liri wrote:I like it.

The phrase "direct descendant of X" always bugged me as a kid, and even more so when I realized it was a total patriarchal thing (also as a kid).

I'm not sure it's necessarily patriarchal to talk of a direct descendent. Only the social circumstances behind that might make it so.

It may be easier to track the male-exclusive line (or the presumed one) with male-surname inheritance, but a female-only line is actually more certain (usually, except for a skeleton-in-the-family-closet case, and often even then) as a viable "direct" line, as is a more mixed traversal.

But... what is a "non-direct" descendant? You aren't descended from aunts and uncles.

And yeah, mitochondrial DNA, and if you've got a Y chromosome, you can track that, but the phrase itself is very misleading.
There's a certain amount of freedom involved in cycling: you're self-propelled and decide exactly where to go. If you see something that catches your eye to the left, you can veer off there, which isn't so easy in a car, and you can't cover as much ground walking.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Mikeski » Tue May 23, 2017 12:12 am UTC

"Additionally, I've found a person with the initials M.R.C.A., and through them, you are directly related to every other living human on the planet!"

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue May 23, 2017 12:45 am UTC

Liri wrote:But... what is a "non-direct" descendant? You aren't descended from aunts and uncles.

I note that this has been discussed elsewhere...

(I say that it's either a tautology, or if "descendent" is left unqualified one can play fast and loose with the concept of descent. With a possible middle-ground of actually meaning "fully legitimate/legally-defined descendent".)

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Whizbang » Tue May 23, 2017 1:02 am UTC

type551 wrote:I only recently realized this a couple of months ago, after reading a comment on a forum about how every single person in my lineage successfully reproduced. It made me feel weird for a while about having undergone a medical procedure that involved becoming sterile as a side-effect. I'll be the very first organism in my entire lineage, going back billions of years, who will have failed to continue the lineage. All that work for it to end with me. However, I choose to believe that post-singularity immortality will be obtainable before I die, so it won't matter anyways!


Your individual genes can be found elsewhere in humanity, however. The specific arrangement of genes that makes you you is only marginally similar to the arrangement of even your parents, let alone many generations back. As long as the genes are to be found, then the objective is achieved.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Tue May 23, 2017 4:52 am UTC

"I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable." - Pooh-Bah, The Mikado, Act I

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Stargazer71 » Tue May 23, 2017 3:08 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs?


Omnis cellula e cellula. By definition, we did not come from anything that went extinct.

Kindof a cool thing to think about though. Your lineage has managed to survive every single mass extinction in the history of Earth. Congratulations on your success!

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Reka » Tue May 23, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

type551 wrote:I'll be the very first organism in my entire lineage, going back billions of years, who will have failed to continue the lineage.

Ah, the advantages of being an identical twin: I have no kids, and at this point I'm unlikely to acquire any, but since I have a niece, the continuation of my lineage is already taken care of. :)

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby jc » Tue May 23, 2017 6:56 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
heuristically_alone wrote:Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs?

Omnis cellula e cellula. By definition, we did not come from anything that went extinct.

How so? All of my ancestral species except modern humans appear to be extinct. This includes at least a few thousand species, all of them utterly gone by the time I was born.

(Actually, I suppose it's possible that some of my single-celled ancestral species are still around. Possible, but not too likely.)

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Stargazer71 » Tue May 23, 2017 7:20 pm UTC

jc wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:
heuristically_alone wrote:Billions of years? His ancestors are dinosaurs?

Omnis cellula e cellula. By definition, we did not come from anything that went extinct.

How so? All of my ancestral species except modern humans appear to be extinct. This includes at least a few thousand species, all of them utterly gone by the time I was born.

(Actually, I suppose it's possible that some of my single-celled ancestral species are still around. Possible, but not too likely.)


Depends on what you want to consider "extinction." If you somehow include the slow evolution of an organism in your definition of "extinction," then sure, all of your ancestral species are extinct.

In general however, I see a distinct difference between bird species evolving over time and Dodo birds abruptly disappearing from the planet.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue May 23, 2017 8:29 pm UTC

Yeah, cladistically, anything that descends from a thing is still that thing.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue May 23, 2017 8:38 pm UTC

By which standard the original reference to extinct things in response to a mention of dinosaurs is non-sequitur, as dinosaurs are not extinct, they're just toothless nowadays and generally smaller and more feathery.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue May 23, 2017 8:44 pm UTC

I'd guess that heuristically_alone was probably referring to non-avian dinosaurs, presumably paraphyletically, but I can't really make much of that comment in the first place (as already commented with the billions rather than millions of years, etc.) I thought briefly I'd maybe started that with my response to Flumble, which did involve extinct dinosaur lineages, but then repeating the "billions of years" would have made even less sense.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby jonhaug » Wed May 24, 2017 6:19 am UTC

Reka wrote:
type551 wrote:I'll be the very first organism in my entire lineage, going back billions of years, who will have failed to continue the lineage.

Ah, the advantages of being an identical twin: I have no kids, and at this point I'm unlikely to acquire any, but since I have a niece, the continuation of my lineage is already taken care of. :)


Well, this isn't entirely true, is it? Isn't it so that epigenetics has somewhat put Jean-Baptiste Lamarck back in the scientific ranks? That is, some of your own individual, acquired characteristics/phenotypes will be passed on to the next generation. (Given that there is a next generation.) (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics)

/Jon

PS Dying is something that happened in the past, not today. I guess you cannot name even one person alive today who is dead!

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed May 24, 2017 1:45 pm UTC

How does selection pressure work on epigenetic factors, though? If they can be reversed in a later generation, they hardly have time to fight it out for persistence in between. Ultimately, your need to pass on your genes really results from your genes' own accidental and non-intentive tendency to survive and compete with one another. From that perspective, epigenetics still live in the secular phenotypic world with you, and not in the long-term fight for persistence represented by genes.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 24, 2017 2:11 pm UTC

I've always seen it as "parameters" to the genetic "recursive function". The program remains unchanged (from a hypothetical parallel version of your combinatory program, vis-a-vis the parental genetic material) but has been called with different flags to convey additional hints as to where that program should go. And these hints get passed to the next iteration, give or take further programmatical changes from the current iteration's interactions with the real-time world.

But that's a simplistic reduction, I know.

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby markfiend » Wed May 24, 2017 3:55 pm UTC

jonhaug wrote:Isn't it so that epigenetics has somewhat put Jean-Baptiste Lamarck back in the scientific ranks?

No, not really.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Liri » Wed May 24, 2017 4:14 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:
jonhaug wrote:Isn't it so that epigenetics has somewhat put Jean-Baptiste Lamarck back in the scientific ranks?

No, not really.

Neo-Lamarkism is indeed a thing and is a term used by epigeneticists.

As to your question, Copper, there are various models of how epimutations can precede genetic fixation of an adaptive allele, or how epigenetic memories of stress events are retained or lost (retention is the exception to the rule, generally, at least in plants) and whether they get passed down or not.

By a strict definition, epigenetics only refers to those chemical modifiers that do get transgenerationally inherited, not all DNA methylation, histone modification, or ncRNA and other post-transcriptional controls.
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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 24, 2017 4:18 pm UTC

An interesting read.

(I was looking for a good quotable version of the mouse-tails/Jewish-culture thing. But it tends to be embedded deep within loads of other stuff, and you probably all know it anyway.)

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Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Postby markfiend » Thu May 25, 2017 3:08 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:An interesting read.


From that article:
Is there a role for Lamarckian mechanisms in modern evolutionary theory?

At the level of specific mechanisms, yes. At a deeper level of causes, though, the answer is a resounding “no”
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