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Thursday, July 23, 2009

DNA not the same throughout body, study finds

For all these years it's been assumed that every cell of an organism shared the same DNA. The differentiation between cells only arising from the synthesis and properties of the associated proteins that were expressed by the DNA... but otherwise, a cell is the same as every other cell in the body.

Funny how quickly old assumptions can easily get tossed aside, ain't it?

Now comes word that DNA is NOT the same throughout all cells of an organism... or throughout a human organism anyway. That's the finding of a study in Montreal regarding the genetic causes of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

It's both a fascinating read and a rather scary one, when you begin to consider all the medicine that has been based on the notion that our genes are uniform throughout our cells. And then, you have to wonder what the implications are regarding something like DNA evidence in a court case. Technically, I don't think it will matter much... but just wait and see how long it takes before a legal challenge comes up in a paternity suit or murder trial on grounds that all genetic testing is now suspect.