This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Tree Of Life: Genetic Sequencing And Evolutionary Biology

1963 words - 8 pages

The diversity and the unity of life are equally meaningful and striking aspects of our Earth (Dobzhansky, 1973). Although an astounding 1.2 million species have already been identified, it is estimated that another 8.7 million are yet, to be discovered and classified (Mora et al., 2011). By understanding what unifies us –our genes, our understanding of the organisms we share our planet with will continue to grow.
Genomic sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. It includes any method or technology that is used to determine the order of the four DNA bases – thiamine, adenine, guanine, and cytosine– in the strand of DNA (NHGRI, 2011). In each organism, these bases are arranged in a unique and specific sequence, and it is this sequence that is the genetic code of the organism. Genomic sequencing has had an impact on nearly every field of biological research including human genetics and genomics, plants and agriculture, microbes, medicine, viruses and infectious diseases, environmental genetics and evolutionary biology. By first examining the development of gene sequencing technology we will be able to view its role in evolutionary biology, its contribution to phylogenetics, and how it has changed our understanding of the biological tree of life.

Development of gene sequencing technology
The majority of scientific work in genetics and genomic sequencing has been done in the last 155 years. In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species where he proposed evolution by natural selection. Evolution is the change of inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.Yet, the principals of genetics required to explain how characters are inherited were not known at the time. In 1865, Mendel’s work supplied the principals of heredity and introduced the concepts of dominant and recessive genes. It was this work, which eventually provided the missing link for understanding Darwin’s concept of evolution (Lorentz et al., 2002).

Upon reading Mendel’s work in 1900, William Bateson became a vocal supporter of Darwin’s theory of natural selection and believed that they provided a “genetic” explanation of the theory of evolution. He became the first person to use the term ‘genetics’ to describe the study of heredity. In 1953, Watson and Crick established that the structure of the DNA molecule was a double helix. Subsequently, Crick introduced a central premise of genetics – that DNA makes RNA makes proteins. The work of this time brought a new age of discovery in biology and laid the foundation for genome sequencing (Lorentz et al., 2002).

The first methods for sequencing DNA were developed in the 1970’s and the first full DNA genome – that of a bacteriophage was sequenced. In 1977, Fred Sanger and Alan Coulson developed a technique for rapid sequencing of long sections of DNA, and this would go on to transform biology as a whole by providing a...

Find Another Essay On The Tree of life: Genetic Sequencing and Evolutionary Biology

The Cognitive, Neurophysiological and Evolutionary Theories of Learning

1248 words - 5 pages In the study of learning, learning theories are categorized into paradigms or schools of thought based on viewpoints shared by scientists that provide a framework for research. Three of the major paradigms of learning theories include the cognitive paradigm, the neurophysiological paradigm and the evolutionary paradigm. The first paradigm is referred to as cognitive because theorists place their emphasis on the cognitive nature of learning

Cloning and Sequencing a Portion of Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Gene from the Leaves of Soleirolia Soleirolii

2459 words - 10 pages  Cloning and Sequencing a Portion of Glyceraldehyde-3-phospate Dehydrogenase Gene from the Leaves of Soleirolia Soleirolii December 13, 2013 Introduction Without energy, plants cease to exist. Energy is a vital part in the process known as photosynthesis. In this pathway of photosynthesis, glycolysis helps yields ATP and NADH. The ATP released through glycolysis is energy that is reused to go through another production of

Genetic Testing and The Diagnosis of Genetic Diseases

1389 words - 6 pages Genetic testing is used to determine the risk of a patient or patient’s offspring developing genetic diseases. This is done with DNA sequencing in adults and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PDG) on embryos. These methods of genetic testing are effective means of determining the likelihood of developing diseases such as Huntington’s disease, a disease resulting from trinucleotide repeat on chromosome 4p16.3 that causes uncontrollable muscle

This essay follows the evolutionary process of life in every aspect from comparing the big bang and biblical beliefs to human procreation

3383 words - 14 pages "Obladi, Oblada, Life Goes On"Obladi, oblada, life goes on. Every day the sun rises, and sets and we rise and set with it. This is a pattern that has occurred for centuries and it started with the dawn of time. 'How did we get here?' and 'what are we doing?' There isn't a single person out there that hasn't searched their soul for the answer. Biology is the study of life. In this study scientists attempt to answer the unanswerable questions

Role of Biology in Life

890 words - 4 pages Role of biology in lifeOur blue planet is the one where life exists. So when we mention "bio" we talk about life on earth. Hence we can say that biology is the study of living organisms. The fact that it is the study of animals and plants makes sense that it would affect a person's daily life. In fact, everything about biology affects our daily life. Biology is a "natural science of organisms, including their structure, function, growth

The Curse of the Orange Tree and the Artist

1126 words - 5 pages The Curse of the Orange Tree and the Artist "In a Green Night" by Derek Walcott is a poem about the conflicting feelings of life. "In a Green Night" focuses on the ever-present threat of death, and how our lives revolve around the inevitability of death. Through metaphors, paradoxes, and repetition, Walcott exemplifies the hopelessness and glory that occur when an artist realizes that, in his quest for creating the perfect piece of art, he

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Testing

861 words - 4 pages children. For example, if someone has the high risk of diabetes running in their family their most likely to have it passed down to their children and even getting it themselves. I think the majority of people want to know what their genes carry, because it can have a huge impact on their life. Technological advances in genetic testing lend parents new insight about their children's risk factors for developing diseases later in life. The issue has been

The Morals and Ethics of Genetic Engineering

3610 words - 14 pages Introduction Widely considered a revolutionary scientific breakthrough, genetic engineering has been on a path toward changing the world since its introduction in 1973 by Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer (What). However, as genetic engineering slowly permeates the lives of humanity, the morals and ethics behind what are now common practices are entering public attention, and as a culture we are left to question whether the change brought on by

The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

1043 words - 4 pages . It is used for producing proteins which can be used by humans, such as insulin for diabetics and is also used to make organisms better at surviving, for example genetically modifying a plant so that it can survive in acidic soil.      There is debate about whether genetic engineering should be used or not, and to what degree. There are many problems that can occur from the process and many of these cannot be avoided

The Progression of Genetic Engineering and Cloning

746 words - 3 pages the cycle of life resulting in unnatural changes in human, plants, and animals. As we have seen this is very dangerous and can cause many problems. It affects animals in unnatural and tremendous ways. Plants are becoming chemically developed. Humans are being cloned and getting life long illnesses due to this science. I don’t know why were spending enormous amounts of money on this and we will never use it. Scientists don’t even know what could happen in the future if this science keeps being funded. In my opinion Genetic Engineering and Cloning is wrong and should be put to a stop.

The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

820 words - 3 pages Genetic engineering is the growing science of the world and is increasingly under the spotlight over ethical issues. Is biotechnology going to save lives, rather than destroy them? and will the benefits outweigh the risks? The main problem with such questions is that we don't know the answer until we try them out. Like all sciences it is hard to predict outcomes, so far there have been more failures being told than success stories. Genetic

Similar Essays

Tree Of Life Essay

691 words - 3 pages **The purpose of this paper was to describe a place that is important in your life. The last paragraph is supposed to reflect on how that place changed/impacted your life.**A sixty-five year old apple tree grows in my uncle's front yard as we speak. The base of its trunk leaves the ground at a slight angle, giving the impression that it is leaning forward. The surrounding ground is uneven and bumpy with roots weaving in and out of the ground

Genetic Modification Of Forest Tree Species

2142 words - 9 pages Biotechnology can be defined as a “collection of tools for modifying tree physiology and genetics to aid breeding, propagation and research” (Burdon and Libby 2006). These tools include the use of tissue culture, genetic engineering (genetic modification) and the use of genetic markers for marker assisted breeding (Harry and Strauss 2010). Tissue culture is the process of growing plants in a cultured medium under controlled conditions from

Darwin’s Finches: A Prime Example Of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

1330 words - 6 pages . However, the one finch that arrived to the Galapagos did not spread out and grow a new beak to adapt to every different food source. But if the single finch did not grow a new beak, how did its beak change to adapt to its environment? The answer lies in the molecular basis of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo biology); specifically, the expression of calmodulin and BMP-4 during the embryonic development of Darwin’s finches is the

Evolutionary Ideas And The Biblical Concept Of Creation

2898 words - 12 pages Evolutionary Ideas and the Biblical Concept of Creation Creation and evolution come from two very different viewpoints. The main differences here are that in the story of creation in the beginning there was God, and in the theory of evolution in the beginning there was random chance. The conflict between the two is often referred to as "The Great Debate" because everyone asks the question "why are we here and how are