Most gossiped about genetic news of 2022
What was the most shared content of the past year about anything to do with genetics? This is a question Merogenomics aims to answer at the end of each year. Using the same process and the same keywords as always, this past year there was a little less interest into topic of genetics. Possibly because the audience has been quite saturated with such content in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines. Let’s recount the top stories.
In first place, with 168K shares, was an article that informed us that all of the possible DNA and RNA nucleotide bases that make up all life on Earth have been found on recovered meteorites. This was published in a scientific journal early last year and supports the long-standing theory of the extra-terrestrial origin of life on Earth. But some argued, nah, it just might be contamination from Earth. The researchers fought back though they also found related chemicals that were not present in the surrounding soil of the meteor recovery site. And to top it off, they are now underway researching meteor samples that have been brought to Earth. That would definitely help to settle the debate: are we leftovers of cosmic dust or are our origins rooted in this planet only?
In the second place, at 140K shares, is a story of how the remains of around 10,000 year old prehistoric man were confirmed through DNA testing to, get this, be related to one of the locals who resides in that general area where they were discovered. However, this appears to be a rehashing of an old story that is simply not accurate as the genetic information relationship could be found in many individuals as it is simply some of the mitochondrial genetic content that is passed on to offspring only by mothers. The nickname for the remains of the ancient bones is the Cheddar man, named after the local gorge in which the network of caves housed the remains.
At nearly 128K, in third place was a COVID-19 related story. Obviously, it’s not a surprise that COVID-19 made it into the top ranks, but this one has truly a bizarre plot twist. This story recounted the unusual finding of a small fragment of genetic sequence patented by Moderna in 2016 that also happened to be part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Of course, at the time, this discovery triggered many conspiracy theories, not in the least because the patented genetic sequence also happens to span the infamous furin cleavage site, an enzymatic cleavage point that helps the SARS-CoV-2 virus attain a more enhanced infectious state towards its human hosts. Obviously, a bizarre coincidence that a company that eventually would develop one of the most important vaccines against COVID-19 was also somehow embroiled in patenting genetic code that is also part of one of the most important fragments of the virus’ genome to help target humans.
Merogenomics did a video on this topic:
What the article fails to mention is that this genetic code that was patented by Moderna was also optimized based on a human gene, and therefore it is a genetic code that is not found in nature. While the article quoted some scientists that this might have been quite a coincidence, the fact that this Moderna-specific, unique sequence happens to be of such key significance in weaponizing SARS-CoV-2 against humans makes this, at very least, a bizarre twist of happenstance of epic proportions.
The news of the first-ever decoding of a genome from one of Pompeii’s victims from nearly 2000 years ago has propelled that article into the fourth spot of most shared content, with over 112K shares. It was somewhat underwhelming because the article did not reveal much else beyond victim’s suspected poor health condition and Italian ancestral origins. It is almost more interesting to read the original scientific report to get more interesting information. Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and killed more than 2000 people. The scientific team analyzed the remains of two victims (one male the age of 35-40 and one female in her 50s) who died instantaneously when killed by the high-temperature volcanic ash cloud. “More than half of individuals found in Pompeii died inside their houses, indicating a collective unawareness of the possibility of a volcanic eruption or that the risk was downplayed due to the relatively common land tremors in the region.” As for the health condition, the authors diagnosed the male with spinal tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterial infection which can lead to nerve damage, paralysis, and back deformities. And indeed, the authors also were able to identify some fragments of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA isolated from bone material. Apparently, based on ancient Roman accounts, tuberculosis was widespread at the time.
The fifth place spot got there by mentioning DNA in the title of the article and nothing more. It recounts a story of Nigerian rising star comedian Oga Sabinus encountering his look alike fan and apparently quotes Sabinus calling for a DNA test because they look so similar. With nearly 108K shares, he really must be a rising star! The rest of the article does not say anything more related to that statement. So, this is likely the most unusual DNA test story we encountered over the years because it was nothing but a joke! Obviously, we expect nothing less from a comedian!
The next one in line is an exhausting montage of clips that attempt to attribute evil doing to some globalist agents intent on altering humanity. Because of the inappropriate nature of the content, the link is not offered. The reason why it is so painful to watch is because it has an emotional composition to people who react very strongly to scientific information they do not fully understand.
For example, while a triple helix can be created, it is not how genetic information is used in biology, and hence, no, we are not attempting to make humans into some beings with triple helix DNA. Cytosine indeed has been found in meteorites, but that does not mean that it was ultimate source for what makes up the genetic code of all living things. DNA’s double helix is not held together by some sulfuric bonds but rather by a complementary interaction of nucleotide base pairs that electrostatically interact with each other, hence the attributed math that spells God’s name is also something that makes not much sense. There are not even any sulfur atoms in the make up either the DNA or RNA. The best part is “homoborgenesis” which is apparently a name given to vaccinated people who apparently are on their way to becoming a new species. Now, some of the metaphors used might, to some degree, be true. The presence of spike mRNA and the subsequent spike protein can indeed hijack the cell. But unless we can prove that the mRNA vaccines are ending up incorporated into the genomes of our reproductive cells, then we are still very far off from trans-humanism. It then descends into thinly veiled racist accusations. I would not recommend wasting your time watching this and if you like conspiracy theories, I am sure you can find much better quality, thought-provoking questions that properly follow scientific information and do not impinge on the human dignity of others. But at nearly 99K shares, this information surely resonated with many disenfranchised people.
The seventh place belongs to a rehashed story from 2019. Clearly, this is a tactic that works because it appears that simply reprinting a story managed to get 92K shares! It was with regards to a research on monkeys that were genetically engineered to have a human gene MCPH1 that is important for human brain evolution and expanding its size. Consequently, mutations in this gene are responsible for microcephaly, or a small brain at birth. In the retold story, apparently, the monkeys got a bit smarter and the article is devoted to ethical discussions of choosing such scientific research.
And yes, The Planet of the Apes was also mentioned.
Perhaps to give you the scope of how much controversy this research stirred and why we might still be exposed to it through this lazy reposting (without any updates) is to highlight the more recent inquiry of Chinese experts’ opinions on the ethical merit of creating monkeys with human genes for purported medical research (the original research was conducted in China). Of the more than 11 thousand responders (mostly medical doctors), 70% believed there were ethical issues with this type of research: “49.1% believed that the study had an unacceptable risk-benefit ratio, 33.7% believed that the study had harmed rhesus monkeys, 26.7% believed that the scientific basis of the study was inadequate, 23.6% believed that the study was offensive to human dignity”. That is quite a harsh condemnation from the study’s fellow countrymen, on top of the already widely publicized criticism from the west. If you are wondering about the risk-benefit, the consideration is that we cannot know what might happen when we play with the genetic material of different species, and it has to be accepted that monkeys could have become super intelligent as a consequence, perhaps even smarter than humans. The impacts on animals could be dire, placing undue suffering on them. Others who have made such genetic chimeras only allowed studying the animals in the fetal development stage. The vast majority of the respondents also reported they would never want to involve themselves with similar research.
Next is another piece of misinformation purely on the account that people do not properly understand the science they discuss. While it could be said that the host should be admired for having the courage to invite guests to share their differing opinions that might go against the narrative, we have learned that during the pandemic the powers that be can collude to produce censorship in order for the preferred narrative not to be challenged. This can be dangerous (and stupid?) because we might accidentally delay detecting real problems if we prevent unwelcome information that might be pertinent from being openly discussed. Nevertheless, if the topic is not understood, it should not be discussed with the language of certainty but rather with the language of cautious suspicion while clearly stating that we do not know if the stated theories are true or not and that we are just being speculative. There is a very different message being conveyed to the public then, and maybe it is unfortunate that it has received 89K shares.
For example, in the current interview, the interviewee assumes that the information presented in the Moderna mRNA therapy product is for insertion into cellular genetic information targeted by the mRNA technology (such as the current COVID-19 vaccines) whereas the very same information looks simply like a description of how the mRNA product can be generated. These are extremely different bits of information; misunderstanding this, and then espousing this to others can lead to seriously misinforming the public. However, if this is happening, it should also be understood that the behaviour of the authorities has clearly eroded trust in a significant fragment of the population and they are seeking alternative sources of education, both good and bad.
As a scientist, it is somewhat painful to watch how much of science is being misunderstood and turned into an evil agenda.
For example, Tris buffer is used to keep a stable pH of a solution but the interviewee is assuming this has to do with gene transfer and to help reduce or mask the appearance of heart attacks in children.
And then we get to the gist of the misunderstanding, the luciferase gene! What the interviewee does not seem to understand, because likely she did not actually study the entire procedure of building mRNA content used for subsequent therapies, is that scientists need to use some biological factories to produce mRNA for us, be it from bacteria cells, plant cells, yeast cells, etc. The cells that need to be used for the production of our desired genetic material have to have genetic instructions to do so, and luciferase is used as a control to confirm that the desired constructs that carry the instructions to build mRNA of interest have been properly incorporated into the cell.
We discussed this technology in one of the videos as well:
Instead, the interviewee goes waaaaaaay off in assumptions. She and the host truly believed that it is being injected into people as part of the vaccine! Same with plasmid DNA. In this interview, unfortunately, they really do not know what they are talking about and they do not understand that these ingredients are involved in the manufacturing process, and are not a part of the vaccine. PAAAAINFUL! And of course, it does not help that luciferase has the word lucifer in it. Why the gene was named that way is because scientists love to be clever sometimes with naming genes, and lucifer means the bearer of light. And it just goes on and on and on as almost all of the science discussed is grotesquely misrepresented.
Another example, just to help clarify the record, is the gross assumption that vaccines are made to grow cancer cells and this is shown in a Moderna patent. Completely wrong and a complete misunderstanding of what is actually a very simple graph. Specific cancer cells (that are commonly used in research) were injected with specific mRNA to show how the product of that mRNA template can be seen to be produced in those cells. Some benign experiment is turned into a scary story once again.
The interviewee says she is not a scientist and she would love to have some doctor talk about this. Well, she should have done that before going on a show like this and speculating so wildly! If the scientific background is not understood, it can be made to look like a super strange and scary world. Usually, the science is highly advanced technology based on the intelligent efforts of thousands of people over many decades of prior research. Scientific progression is a culmination of a tremendous amount of very clever work.
We cannot correct all of the mistakes thrown at the audience in this content, so let’s move on.
Luckily for us, right behind in ninth spot with nearly 89K shares, there was content of a very high degree of scientific accuracy, about the discovered possibility of converting mRNA vaccine to DNA. Before you panic, no, this is not expected to happen inside the human body as this was only achieved under specific laboratory circumstances, but it also certainly points to the need for further research. Merogenomics has also covered this exact topic with abundant caution with regards to any interpretation of those results.
The idea here is that we have a way in our body to be able to convert RNA back into DNA, one of which is LINE-1 elements which can convert back their own RNAs into DNA and reinsert it back into our own genomes (and which has resulted in the nickname of “jumping genes”). But sometimes they can sneak in other RNA converted to DNA material and that is what the authors of this research believe they showed. LINE-1 elements can be especially active in cancer cells, and indeed they did use cancer cells for that very purpose. Should this be investigated further just in case? Absolutely!
In the tenth spot was a page for a company offering full genome sequencing which is a welcome surprise to see it garner 84K shares. We have researched this company in the past and want to say, please keep in mind that it is not designed to be used for clinical purposes, but rather to satisfy curiosity. Some of the panels offered do not have clinical validation and they are just curiosity pieces. The greatest value of this offer is, of course, the ability to obtain one’s full genome, which if interpreted correctly for clinical purposes, is valuable not just for the lifetime of an individual, but for many generations to come in the family descendants. If you are doing full genome sequencing for medical reasons, always make sure you use a test that comes with doctor oversight and requires a medical doctor’s sign-off for the test. Everything else is still valuable information but it could have a profound beneficial impact. And always consider the negative consequences of genome sequencing as well.
Next is one of those fun stories about genetics that occupies the extra bonus spot, with nearly 78K shares. It was about two twin sisters marrying two twin brothers and the two pairs composed of identical twins both gave birth to one son each at the same time. This is such a rare occurrence it has a special name: Quaternary twins and of course it makes the boys cousins, but since both parents are identical twins, the cousins from a genetic point of view are more like brothers. Definitely an adorable looking family (click on the link below to check their Insta account)!
View this post on Instagram
To top it off, the couples also married together and now live under the same roof! Do they ever make a mistake about whose partner is whose? But one could imagine, it is easier to raise kids with four parents than two!
As our final bonus place, it is one of these stories that we encounter every year, a rare genetic anomaly resulting in an unusual animal appearance. In this case, the effect indeed is a spectacular plumage of a cardinal that is red on one side and beige on the other. Male cardinals are a beautiful red but the roots of this unusual appearance might surprise you: half of the bird is a male and the other half of the bird is a female. Obviously, the main attraction of this content is the pictures!
These are our top stories collaged here for you. If you liked this summary, check out our past summaries as well, as you can see, clearly there is no shame in recycling information from the past to capture audiences anew.
This article has been produced by Merogenomics Inc. and edited by Jason Chouinard, B.Sc. Reproduction and reuse of any portion of this content requires Merogenomics Inc. permission and source acknowledgment. It is your responsibility to obtain additional permissions from the third party owners that might be cited by Merogenomics Inc. Merogenomics Inc. disclaims any responsibility for any use you make of content owned by third parties without their permission.
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