Human origins : 223 mystery genes


Richard Moore

Excerpted from:

Human Genome 

Science Mysteries 
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology 

Sensational Human Genome Discovery 

NOTE: The following text is © Z. Sitchin Reprinted with

The Case of Adam's Alien Genes

In whose image was The Adam - the prototype of modern humans,
Homo sapiens - created?

The Bible asserts that the Elohim said: "Let us fashion the
Adam in our image and after our likeness." But if one is to
accept a tentative explanation for enigmatic genes that humans
possess, offered when the deciphering of the human genome was
announced in mid-February, the feat was decided upon by a
group of bacteria!

"Humbling" was the prevalent adjective used by the scientific
teams and the media to describe the principal finding - that
the human genome contains not the anticipated 100,000 -
140,000 genes (the stretches of DNA that direct the production
of amino-acids and proteins) but only some 30,000+ -- little
more than double the 13,601 genes of a fruit fly and barely
fifty percent more than the roundworm's 19,098. What a
comedown from the pinnacle of the genomic Tree of Life!

Moreover, there was hardly any uniqueness to the human genes.
They are comparative to not the presumed 95 percent but to
almost 99 percent of the chimpanzees, and 70 percent of the
mouse. Human genes, with the same functions, were found to be
identical to genes of other vertebrates, as well as
invertebrates, plants, fungi, even yeast. The findings not
only confirmed that there was one source of DNA for all life
on Earth, but also enabled the scientists to trace the
evolutionary process - how more complex organisms evolved,
genetically, from simpler ones, adopting at each stage the
genes of a lower life form to create a more complex higher
life form - culminating with Homo sapiens.

The "Head-scratching" Discovery

It was here, in tracing the vertical evolutionary record
contained in the human and the other analyzed genomes, that
the scientists ran into an enigma. The "head-scratching
discovery by the public consortium," as Science termed it, was
that the human genome contains 223 genes that do not have the
required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree.

[ The Science article, search text for '223' - rkm ]

How did Man acquire such a bunch of enigmatic genes?

In the evolutionary progression from bacteria to invertebrates
(such as the lineages of yeast, worms, flies or mustard weed -
which have been deciphered) to vertebrates (mice, chimpanzees)
and finally modern humans, these 223 genes are completely
missing in the invertebrate phase. Therefore, the scientists
can explain their presence in the human genome by a "rather
recent" (in evolutionary time scales) "probable horizontal
transfer from bacteria."

In other words: At a relatively recent time as Evolution goes,
modern humans acquired an extra 223 genes not through gradual
evolution, not vertically on the Tree of Life, but
horizontally, as a sideways insertion of genetic material from

An Immense Difference

Now, at first glance it would seem that 223 genes is no big
deal. In fact, while every single gene makes a great
difference to every individual, 223 genes make an immense
difference to a species such as ours.

The human genome is made up of about three billion
neucleotides (the "letters" A-C-G-T which stand for the
initials of the four nucleic acids that spell out all life on
Earth); of them, just a little more than one percent are
grouped into functioning genes (each gene consists of
thousands of "letters"). The difference between one individual
person and another amounts to about one "letter" in a thousand
in the DNA "alphabet." The difference between Man and
Chimpanzee is less than one percent as genes go; and one
percent of 30,000 genes is 300.

So, 223 genes is more than two thirds of the difference
between me, you and a chimpanzee!

An analysis of the functions of these genes through the
proteins that they spell out, conducted by the Public
Consortium team and published in the journal Nature, shows
that they include not only proteins involved in important
physiological but also psychiatric functions. Moreover, they
are responsible for important neurological enzymes that stem
only from the mitochondrial portion of the DNA - the so-called
"Eve" DNA that humankind inherited only through the
mother-line, all the way back to a single "Eve." That finding
alone raises doubt regarding that the "bacterial insertion"

A Shaky Theory

How sure are the scientists that such important and complex
genes, such an immense human advantage, was obtained by us
--"rather recently"-- through the courtesy of infecting

"It is a jump that does not follow current evolutionary
theories," said Steven Scherer, director of mapping of the
Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine.

"We did not identify a strongly preferred bacterial source for
the putative horizontally transferred genes," states the
report in Nature. The Public Consortium team, conducting a
detailed search, found that some 113 genes (out of the 223)
"are widespread among bacteria" - though they are entirely
absent even in invertebrates. An analysis of the proteins
which the enigmatic genes express showed that out of 35
identified, only ten had counterparts in vertebrates (ranging
from cows to rodents to fish); 25 of the 35 were unique to

"It is not clear whether the transfer was from bacteria to
human or from human to bacteria," Science quoted Robert
Waterson, co-director of Washington University's Genome
Sequencing Center, as saying.

But if Man gave those genes to bacteria, where did Man acquire
those genes to begin with?


"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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