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Re: Rconstructing DNA (was Re: Dino-fuzz found in amber?)

On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 3:42 AM, Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:
> Again, the point of this exercise completely eludes me.  All you're
> doing is putting together a DNA consensus sequence for this part of
> the alpha-2 collagen gene, based solely on a couple of bird sequences.


>  Even if you manage get the homologous sequences from more birds or
> crocodilians, it still won't tell you what the _T. rex_ DNA sequence
> actually was.

Oh, it will. Bird DNA sequences, crocodilian DNA sequences and
dinosaurian peptide sequences. I've showed how bird DNA sequence help
to complete croc DNA sequence with the info obtained with croc peptide

>  You'll just get a consensus sequence drawn from a
> higher tally of constituent DNA sequences (birds and crocodilians).
> Yes, the DNA sequence for _T. rex_ will probably conform to the
> consensus sequence - but so what?

So it shows that unkown ancient (and lost) DNA sequences could, in
principle, be recovered (in a probabilistic manner).

Practical use? Maybe the same practical use of to know the ancient
dinosaur colour pattern or its mating behaviour.

A very distant (far-fetched) potential use would be in
pharmacogenetics. Suppose that we find a ancient fungal lineage and
recover from it a peptide with antibiotic activity. The secondary and
tertiary mRNA structure have some importance in the control of the
protein synthesis, and it depends on the RNA sequence. If we want to
synthetize a gene that code such a peptide and make a transgenic
organism that produce such peptide in industrial scale, it could helps
if a genetic sequence similar to the original one is used.

But I would say that because it is cool is the answer to "why do that?"


Roberto Takata