Memes, Demes and Genes

September 6, 2015 Meme: An idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.

Deme:  A local population of closely related interbreeding organisms

Gene: A sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA. The gene is the functional unit of inheritance controlling the transmission and expression of one or more traits or metabolic processes by specifying the structure and composition of a polypeptide, especially a protein. The gene may also control the function of other genetic material.

Meme example: Neo-Darwinism i.e. organism evolve via genetic mutation - natural selection

Deme example: The population of scientists who believe adamantly  in neo-darwinism

Gene example: The genes for catness vs dogness or bearness. It’s in the ears, snout, movement, color, size

All learned components of human culture are memes: language, cultural norms, widely shared notions of justice, sanity, ethics. Each deme has its version of the memes. For a catalog of demes from around the world see: “The Savage MInd” by Claude Levi-Strauss. Memes change, evolve, devolve. There is a hierarchy of meme causality from the larger changes in law of land to trivial changes in hairstyle, music, art. Memes form a rhizomatic shared consciousness among people.

The human gastrointestinal tract is home to ten trillion bacteria. They are a vital part of digestion. There are 60 virus phages for every single bacterium. Each of these organisms contains its genome.  Our bodies contain 1,000 demes of microorganisms, each with its meme- rhizome interconnectedness with neighbors. The human genome with its 20,000 genes is a tiny fraction of the operative genome in every human body. We live with a Ka-trillion genes - too many to count - all working together for our health or not working together,  causing disease. 

Were our organs early symbionts? Entire creatures that specialized in blood filtering, fat breakdown, Oxygen-blood transfer, pumping, various hormonal capabilities that have merged into a single animal that evolved as these systems became adjusted to one another and to different environments over eons - over one billion years? Archaic kidney as an acquired entire genome working with others of the sort with 99% of evolutionary time being used for internal inter-system coordination distant from the light of day; like a busy engine room in a cruise ship i.e. traits are expressed and subject to natural selection without confronting another species. This internal selection occurs over thousands of generations of cell growth-death-birth in the life of a single organism The creature they called the swimming liver is long extinct. A billion years ago there were a million different single cell organisms each with a specialty: thinking-connecting,filtering, pumping, fat metabolizing - mix n’ match across eons. Much of the heavy lifting of organ system coordination occurring when the systems were simple, primitive, pliable, flexible. First organelles  merge then a billion years later the organs merge - two distinct levels of organization: intra and inter-cellular with the gene-switching capabilities of viruses and bacteria lubricating the emergence of complexity.

Symbiogenesis: Long-term stable symbiosis that leads to evolutionary change.

All characteristics are acquired - JB

What was the first animal to have all of the following: heart, liver, kidney, lungs, neural cluster.

Stomach cells have a nine day lifespan, 40 generations of cells per year over 80 years. 3,200 generations of stomach cells in a single lifetime. It would take 80,000 years for an equal number of human life generations at 25 years per generation. Most evolution happens at cell level as  systems coordinate and evolve together in a million different species. Stomach cells receiving epigenetic signals for immediate expression from hundreds of organ components and metabolic processes as organs adjust to the lifestyle of a specific person and to their own development as systems throughout the entire body prior to germ cell involvement for effects on heredity i.e. DNA adjustment.  3,200 generations of cell division using epigenetic tags for gene expression-modification independent of DNA mutation. These intra-lifespan changes are from sensory-chemical signals with sources throughout body not from solar radiation or environmental mutagens.

Effects of environmental mutagens on intra-lifespan phenotypic proteinic expression-regulation i.e. a cell deme at an organ gets derailed genetically say via histone poisoning that is then epigenetically heritable within lifespan ( 3,200 generations) of individual  independent of sexual reproduction of entire organism. Genes get modified, mutated, disrupted as well as coordinated, refined.

Coorganation: the evolution-coordination of organ systems and metabolic processes among organs via epigenetic ( post-translational) modification - heritable within a single lifespan. Coorganation can be slowed, interrupted by environmental mutagens, toxins. Affect one organ and you affect them all.

To study: Ratios of inter organ effects. Example: I poison liver-kidneys with alcohol; what coorganate signaling is negatively affected at the following organ systems: brain, heart, lungs, endocrine, immune. does cell trauma at kidneys signal neurons at pons to phosphorylate?

Given Neo-Darwinian mechanisms of mutation-selection and observed species evolution, there has not been enough time by a factor of 1,000 for animals to have evolved into present forms from Earth formation from orbiting dust. Thus the argument for coorganation - intra-life mutation-selection cycles.

The modification of a gene is a big deal and the body has sophisticated systems in place to prevent it - DNA repair, cleansing. A mutation is a big deal if it signals an improvement in the system. This novelty gets played out 1,000 times prior to formal encoding in DNA for transfer via germ cells at germ cell genome.

To do: analyze the human  “genome” at 20 cell types throughout life of an animal - are the genomes identical in all 20 cases? probably not as each organ system is accruing its changes through hundreds of cell divisions. How are these distant changes assembled in the germ cells? Do viruses or bacteria relay genetic info to germ cells as they accrue. Do we have messenger viruses that act as relays between heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and germ cells?  Some mechanism for keeping sperm up to date with latest  organ improvements in the event of a DNA transfer via sex?

Explore: the ratio of intra-life coorganation beneficial mutation events to actual heritable base pair changes-mutations. Is it 10,000 to 1, 100 to 1 would be a lot.

JBQ - How would the advantage of longer fangs get worked out at intra-life level if only one set of teeth per life? Answer: It wouldn’t - some things must undergo whole-life generational testing and perhaps 1,000 of these much longer organism generations. Advantage of longer fangs is a gross example - look for the advantage of one of 500 folding options in a protein that acts as a molecular gate at membrane lipids.

Who-what-how is intra-life coorganation performed? Is it all done via chemical signaling? Is there an area within the limbic apparatus that acts as a command center for these options at distant organs? A zone of judgement at the brain or does each organ system have its own judge-jury- executioner. “This is an improvement” “This is not an improvement” you die ! One of 100,000 options tossed onto the evolutionary trash heap in a single mammal lifespan.

what is the role of viral-bacterial DNA-RNA etc. in coorganation? A non-pathogenic virus can visit every organ in the body in half an hour and relay info back and forth between systems, deposit chemicals, new proteins, enzymes, fats.

JBE - Look for intercell messengers between organs and germ cells. How are hard-won evolutionary advantages at organs relayed to germ cells as novel  heritable traits? How does the organism avoid wasting the benefits of hundreds of generations of evolution at billions of cells?

According to neo-darwinist dogma,  only mutations at germ cells can be transmitted to a new generation producing a mutant swerve for testing via natural selection.

The great speciations occurred in deep pre-cambrian epoch a billion years ago as symbiotic aggregations took root then forever after until the present,  it’s all coorganation. Most evolution is internal as organs evolve and coorganate with one another with their highly conserved foundational genes locked in where they are protected from casual mutation.

A three week old human fetus replays-expresses renal features it has remained in touch with for 500 million years for the first 3 weeks after fertilization then - “oops” not this one! as the pronephric proto-kidney dissolves allowing the mesonephric version to develop for 5 weeks - no go ! not this one either. Finally, on the third try the metanephric kidney develops and it’s off to the races for life.

JBQ - Is the prostate a command center for the relay of epigenetic information from all organ systems to sperm cells? Is there an analog in females? Does nuclear DNA at sperm dematerialize into chromatin? Is there a daily cycle of receptiveness when new genetic info is added to latest batch of sperm. To do: Look for chromatin cycles at germ cells.

JBQ - where are the free-living mitochondria ? Have they gone extinct?

JBT - Seems like mutations at vomeronasal chemistry would most likely cause interruption in mating continuity leading to sexual isolation - speciation. New mutation doesn’t  pass the smell test. Is vomeronasal change inherent in all speciation?  Who could know? There has been no new species evolution observed - ever.

JBQ - Why would a bird care if its mate had a red-tufted head or webbed feet if the pheromones were still attractive and why would it mate with a look alike if vomeronasal chemistry had changed?

Note:   All myth is truth - all truth is myth.

“Speciation is a property of nucleated organisms. Speciation began with the earliest protoctists 2 billion years after first bacteria and viruses.” -  Lynn Margulis

JBQ - How do newborn animals depending on a diverse microbiota in their gastrointestinal tract and many other locations, restore, reanimate the wide variety of bacteria and viruses during gestation-birth-life?  It can’t be all via mother’s milk.

JBQ - How much non-human DNA ( viral, bacterial) enters an ovum at fertilization? Does this new generation of microorganisms  hitch a ride on the surface of sperm head or sperm mid section? We now know that mitochondria travelling in sperm midsection enter the egg, contrary to widespread previous belief. How much viral DNA is carried inside the head of the sperm to grow along with blastula-fetus into new life?


9/6/15   3:57pm