# Evolution or Training?

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in reverse order, I used needles daily and so no, not afraid at all (and NO Im not a junkie! LOL)

I think youve been watching too much "Boys from Brazil" and stories about the "Nazi Angel"

but yeah, In a nutshell, if it COULD be done, I think it would be great! esp for Firemen or FEMA staff

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Carrots have Vitamin A, which is also called retinol. It is converted to retinal, which is neccesary for vision, within the body. You can't produce retinol, so you need a supply of it in order to see. If you are deficient, carrots would help you see better. I believe it's also the precursor of carotenid pigments, which help colour your skin.

Anyhoo... retinal fits into another protein called opsin to form a thing called rhodopsin. Or more precisely, a particular isomer of retinal does (the cis isomer). When light strikes it the retinal it changes shape to a trans isomer and comes out of place, which causes a little electrostatic charge, which ends up causing a neuron to fire. But it's not the retinal that causes colour differentiation, rather it's the opsin. Your body quite happily synthesises opsins, and they encoded by your genes. This more or less rules out the effect of diet on the range of colours in your vision, as you don't need dietry protein precursors for opsins.

I have no idea if it would be possible for variant opsins to function if you injected them into your eye but even if they did manage to bind to your cells (I think they bind to the cells outer membrane) you would have to wait untill your brain rearranged itself to make sense of it all. This might take some time. It would seem to be far easier to do it genetically, I'd say the brain has a flexible enough development to take into account an added opsin (it would also require it's own differentiated cells though). The brain has presumably done so in the past.

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It seems in the animal world the infra-red sensors are handled most efficiently outside of the eye and on the skin, closest to the source. It seems it would take a lot of amplification if the source was on the other side of an optical lens and vitreous solution of a common eye. Maybe if there were two lenses in an eye and the infra red could be focused?

Just aman

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That's a very good point aman.

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Well one lens focusses as about as good as you can get, to a point (your fovea). To exploit IR you'd want huge eyes and no other colour receptors but IR ones. That'd get the best image I think.

hello

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Please make constructive posts, or not at all.

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Even if you could just inject a protein which underwent the right conformational change when it picked up IR, if the induced signal was transmitted along an existing neural pathway it would just be interpretted as an existing colour.

Merely having more receptors won't increase sensitivity to IR if the radiation is of too low energy to trigger a conformation change in receptor proteins.

YT, what you're talking about is inheritance of acquired characterisitcs, which is not how evolution takes place.

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• 3 weeks later...
YT2095 said in post #1 :

Ive heard of folks that go blind and after several years than can hear things that we cant. could the same apply?

What happens here is not any increase in the sensitivity of hearing, merely that the brain devotes more of its sensory processing power to the sense of hearing.

The ears constantly detect sounds that we are not consciously aware of. The same is true with the other senses. All this sensory input would drive us to distraction if it weren't for the fact that most of it is filtered out by a subconscious mechanism.

When a person loses their sight, the brain slowly redistributes the sensory processing for sight to the other senses. The filters start letting more information from those senses through .

The senses don't become more acute, just more attention is paid to them.

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fair enough, and I agree with 100%, in fact the same has happened with a few deaf friends of mine, they tend to notice things with eyes that we see, but pay no attention to, I cant lip read but I can do sign language, but even if I couldnt, they would still understand a good 90% of what I was saying

Im still left wondering though, if over a several genrations, if it would effect the morphology or "wiring" of our brains to such an extent, that we could almost see in the dark?

or would if be that the people that COULD see in the dark, had a better survival rate than those born not as good, and so through sellection, began a race of night seeing humans?

CAN evollution be proactively controlled, or does it rely soley on accidents in nature becoming more succesfull?

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Yeah, it's accidents of nature being more successful one. It's essentially impossible to go through gene expression backwards (proteins-->DNA) and even harder to encode a specific development into DNA. And even if organisms could, how would they tell what was advantageous and what wasn't? The most likely changes you would inherit would be cancers, lost limbs, aging etc. Not so good....

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There isn't much evolutionary pressure anymore so enhanced night vision will probably have to come from the labs. We still might be changed by some rogue virus in the future. If a virus started clotting everybodies blood, it might be only hemopheliac genes that survive. I don't think a virus would get us all and those people that live might be quite different than what we consider normal today.

Just aman

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aman said in post #37 :

If a virus started clotting everybodies blood, it might be only hemopheliac genes that survive. I don't think a virus would get us all and those people that live might be quite different than what we consider normal today.

Just aman

Yes, and they'd all be male, so extinction wouldn't be far behind (haemophilia is an X-linked trait, there are virtually no female haemophiliacs).

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how about people in hospitals on anti coagulants such as warfarin or heparin, would they survive or does if have to be genetic?

or would it be that theyde survive as long as they kept on the medication, whereas someone with the gene would just be immune fullstop?

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Glider said in post #38 :

Yes, and they'd all be male, so extinction wouldn't be far behind (haemophilia is an X-linked trait, there are virtually no female haemophiliacs).

And those that exist all die when they hit puberty.

Ewwww

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That's pretty much it, yep.

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well still on exactly the same theme, just not on eyesight in the dark, if I may shift it more towards medicines.

someone that is on anti-coagulants for life (a young stroke victim for example) after say 10 years of taking 5mg warfarin per day and having the amounts adjusted regularly from blood test results, can a situation occur whereas the person is almost immune to the initial levels, a bit like arsenic poisoning, a regular dose that upped gradualy over time, and they can take in one dose the amount that would kill an elephant and still be perfectly ok.

does THAT effect us geneticly at all?

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"does THAT effect us geneticly at all?"

No.

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fair enough, and things like alcohol or drug abuse?

or taste in music or art, or a liking for a certain language?

things that are known as "Hereditary traits"

(I dont mean things like metal illness or eye color here)

are these genetic?

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Oh, well put simply everything is the product of genes interacting with the environment. You wouldn't say, "alcoholism is only caused by genetic factors", or "alcoholism is only caused by social factors." You can say that such and such a gene (or social condition) has a statistically significant effect though.

The other bit is that genes are actually very simple in a way. For the most part, the important part here, they just code for different proteins. They don't say "oh build this guy a really big nose", it's all proteins. It's really only by these proteins ability to catalyse specific reactions that there is any interaction with the environment. They can go around catalysing all kinds of things, and it's all these reactions which lead to life. They even convey the messages and catalyse the production of more proteins. The problem is that to do all this cool stuff they need to be really complicated, and this is part of the reason you can't pass on your traits to your children. There's just no way for another protein to 'read' all the proteins and convert it into genes made of DNA.

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I understand the basics of genes or alelles as their called and how theyre composed of A-G-C and T pyrimadines and purines and what bonds with what and why and how they attatch to the sugar/phosphorus links in the chain (simply put)

Ide like to know why certain behavioural traits such as alcoholism can be "handed down" or even skip a generation, when alcohol is a rellatively new chemical discovered for abuse in terms of evolution. it just seems a bit odd to me?

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Perhaps because some of the genes 'for' alcoholism are probably also 'for' related behaviours.

Alcohol has been around for a while. I was talking to a tutor about human evolution and brought up that Australian aboriginals have larger molars than other peoples. She said they also have larger intestines. These are probably because most other peoples teeth and intestines have become smaller as we have increased the processing of food, cutting it up, grinding it, etc. They don't much, so they still need the teeth and guts. When you think about it alot of these changes are only thousands of years old. Alcohol has been consumed for quite some time, perhaps enough for pretty substantial adaptations to it.

Anways I'm off to bed

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ok, thnx, and sleep well

It seems that evolution over a few thousand years is possible then! (I suspected such), it would be interesting to calculate how many generations that would actualy imply, given the different lifespans of the populous per era. to effect a genetic change (allbeit minor and not to anyones advantage).

neat stuff

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In these billions of people we got male females and female males and XXY's and all sorts of mutations so somebody will survive. We're almost as bad as cucarachas when it comes to stompin out all of us.

Just aman

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