Chromosomal rearrangements: What would earth be like if not for human pheromones?

Refining language for chromosomes

News article excerpt: “…advances in next-generation sequencing methods and results from BWH’s Developmental Genome Anatomy Project (DGAP) revealed an assortment of genes disrupted and dysregulated in human development in over 100 cases. Given the wide variety of chromosomal abnormalities, the researchers recognized that more accurate and full descriptions of structural chromosomal rearrangements were needed.”

Journal article excerpt: “The suggested nomenclature described herein is designed to provide an objective system to explain the structural rearrangements at a molecular level.”

My comment: This suggests to me that theorists will no longer be able to tell serious scientists that anything that happens to DNA is a mutation. The authors clarify the fact that unbalanced rearrangements could result from a deletion, duplication, addition, amplification, or a single derivative of a simple translocation.

“…they might also result from gains or losses accompanying translocations or inversions or even more complex rearrangements…”

Those who invoke theory and continue to simply explain away chromosomal rearrangements linked from bi-parental feeding in sparrows to different morphological and behavioral phenotypes will probably evoke laughter if they also try to discuss what they were taught to believe was a role for mutations in the evolution of species diversity associated with chromosomal rearrangements. Someone will almost undoubtedly ask: Did you ever consider the likelihood that sex chromosomes arose via conserved molecular mechanisms that appear to link sex differences in cell types from microbes, such as yeasts, to sex differences and sexual orientation in men and women?

Gilbert’s group, for example, found that humans could detect differences in odors associated with individual chromosomes from otherwise syngeneic mice, including on the basis (i) of differing X or Y chromosomes or (ii) of differences introduced as nonidentical MHC haplotype.

Later in life, Avery Gilbert was referred to as a human pheromone-denier by Leslie Vosshall, who recently co-authored Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli.

I’ve since wondered how he developed A Fear of Pheromones, since his 1996 findings were reported with senior author Lewis Thomas, who also wrote A Fear of Pheromones.

“WHAT are we going to do if it turns out that we have pheromones? What on earth would we be doing with such things? With the richness of speech, and all our new devices for communication, why would we want to release odors into the air to convey information about anything?” — Lewis Thomas (1971)

My comment: Conserved molecular mechanisms link the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man. Thus, the question Lewis Thomas posed has become: What would earth be like if not for human pheromones?

Author: James Kohl

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