Making new evolutionary innovations; more observations (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, November 25, 2019, 01:05 (19 days ago) @ David Turell

An other source covers the study:

https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/dung-beetle-s-horns-not-so-novel-after-all?utm_sourc...

"In that respect, the horns of the enigmatic Scarabaeidae dung beetle are popularly showcased as an example of evolutionary novelty, because their ancestors are hornless and the features don’t appear to be related to any other structure in the insect.

"A new study, published in the journal Science, has found otherwise.

"Yonggang Hu and co-authors from Indiana University, US, discovered that the prothoracic horn developed from the same core network of genes as insect wings on neighbouring thoracic segments.

"This ancient network of genes existed before wings, horns and even insects, in every segment along the body.

***

"They also showed that manipulating other genes forced the horns to grow into “ectopic” wings – extra wings on the wrong part of the body – demonstrating that the horns and wings both derived from the same gene network.

“This work forces us to rethink what we mean by ‘novelty’,” says senior author Armin Moczek. “Each insect segment possesses this gene network, and as such, it is an ancient feature of their makeup.

“'This new evidence is profound since it suggests that all of this vast diversity, all these novelties could in fact be enabled by a single gene network that was used millions of years ago to form the flight wings on other body segments.” (my bold)

"In a related commentary, H. Frederik Nijhout from Duke University, US, writes that scientists have long suspected novel features don’t arise from new genetic mutations as hypothesised, but until now, a better explanation was lacking.

"The new discovery builds on insights by modern developmental genetics, which according to Nijhout “reveal[s] that a surprisingly small toolbox of regulatory genes controls the development of exceptionally diverse and seemingly unrelated structures'”.

Comment: note my bolds. It is genes not cell committees that cause major changes, genes that are free from designated restrictions as in multicellular organisms. Further the gene toolbox is setup very early by God to allow Him to manipulate advances easily. Behe thinks is is deletion which causes advances, and he presents lots of evidence from genomic studies of change.


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