Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sponge Bob's Your Uncle!

The news is out: sea sponges share almost 70 percent of human genes.
A complete genetic catalog of the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica suggests that the first animals already had a complex kit of genetic tools at their disposal. Sponges harbor between 18,000 and 30,000 genes — roughly the same number as humans, fruit flies, roundworms and other animals, an international team of researchers reports in the Aug. 5 Nature.  
Comparison of the sponge’s genetic blueprints with those of other animals reveals that sponge genes are lined up in the same way as those of other animals. Analyses in the new study also support the idea that sponges form the base of the animal branch of the evolutionary tree, says April Hill, an evolutionary developmental biologist at the University of Richmond in Virginia who was not involved in the work.   Sponge Genes Surprise 
The world turns its lonely eyes to the Ball bounces, and asks: what does this mean?

It means we are a lot like sponges, a lot of your friends are probably sponges, and when you take a sponge bath, it is a meeting of minds. When you take a bath, you're probably putting the squeeze on grandma, so go easy.

A wet sponge -- 97.86% water; humans 97.86% water -- coincidence??!!

Ever seen a picture of a human brain -- sponge-like, eh? Humans are basically just sponges who grew arms, legs, eyes, etc. One cell at a time.™

We are not special. If we have rights, sponges have rights. One of the consumer rights of sponges is not to get soaked. If they over imbibe, they have the right as any of us to check in for treatment and dry out.

Never mistake a sponge for a chunk of swiss cheese. This is a big social faux-pas. It makes them mad. If you bite them, they sue. Plus, for some reason I've never understood, the Swiss get all cheesed about it, too.

Never call a certain relative "a perforated blob", as in, "you perforated blob!". It just hits too close to home. It makes 70% of their DNA tingle.

As for the rest of the story. Sponges got us to the 70% mark; throw in some time, environmental pressures, Mercedes appearing in your driveway (eyes, lungs, heart, ears, brain, liver, nose, etc. etc.), and...

Sponge Bob's Your Uncle!

see article at Uncommon Descent re: the ready-made tool kit.

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1 comment:

Joe said...

But but but, Darwin said my great grand daddy was a chunk of granite lying in a slough! Now I am confused!

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"