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Humans contain ‘alien’ genes not passed on from our ancestors, researchers have discovered. Scientists have found parts of our DNA which are not traced back to any known human ancestor-
A research has shown that mankind has, what appear to be ‘alien genes’, that were not passed to our species by any known human ancestor in the distant past, proposing that mankind acquired these genes in the distant past when different organisms (microorganisms) cohabited the same environment. This finding challenges the paradigm of animal evolution based on genes passed only through direct ancestral lines.
The study has been published in the scientific open access journal Genome Biology and focuses on the horizontal gene transfer —between people of the same temporarily environment.
The authors of the study firmly challenge conventional views of evolution based solely on genes transmitted through ancestral lines (vertically), suggesting that, at least in some lineages, the process is still ongoing.
The transfer of genes between organisms living in the same environment is called horizontal gene transfer (HGT). This process is well known in unicellular organisms and is thought to be an important process that explains how quickly bacteria, for example, develop resistance to antibiotics.
‘This is the first study to show how widely horizontal gene transfer (HGT) occurs in animals, including humans, giving rise to tens or hundreds of active ‘foreign’ genes,’ said lead author Alastair Crisp from the University of Cambridge.
‘Surprisingly, far from being a rare occurrence, it appears that HGT has contributed to the evolution of many, perhaps all, animals and that the process is ongoing, meaning that we may need to re-evaluate how we think about evolution.’
HGT is believed to play an important role in the evolution of some animals, including nematode worms that have acquired genes from other microorganisms and plants, and even beetles which researchers believed acquired bacterial genes to produce enzymes for the digestion of coffee berries.
However it has been widely questioned and debated that HGT occurs in more complex animals, like humans.
In the new study, scientists were able to confirm as many as seventeen previously reported genes which are believed to have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer while identifying an additional 128 ‘Alien Genes’ that have not been seen previously.
interestingly in another study, Dr. Eugene M. McCarthy believes Homo sapiens is the result of a hybridization. Dr. McCarthy claims that while humans have numerous similarities with primates, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics which are not found in any other primates.
This revolutionary theory changes many things in the scientific community as it urges scholars to look at the origins of life in a completely different way.
In interesting statements, Nobel Prize-winning DNA researcher Francis Crick believed that such an intricate and elaborate system (DNA) could not be the result of the process of evolution and that something ‘else’ was behind it all. Crick believed life on Earth was seeded by ‘directed panspermia’. Crick’s revolutionary and controversial theory states that an alien race facing doom wanted to preserve the essence of life and their species and decided to send it to Earth via some sort of spaceship. It is believed that ‘life’ came to Earth via a spaceship and not via a meteor since a ‘space rock’ would be too exposed to radiation for a long period of time, so it is very unlikely that life on Earth began thanks to a space rock crashing into the planet.
All of the above statements suggest that while we are bringing to understand just how complex life as we know it is, we truly have little knowledge about how it became possible and we are still learning piece by piece, what mankind is truly made of.