732Biology on methanogens--why cutting edge
- Mar 15, 2002I am a very good researcher and had extension courses at UCLA trying
to be a better disability attorney--and got the latest in
microbiology from the courses I took. And the application on the
methanogens is straight out of my micro text.
My father was a military meteorologist so I sort of have the family
love of the study and from my mother, a nurse and lover of all things
biological, I have the biology interest. This hobby turned to an
obsession--explaining why anyone would spend as much time reading
every post on a list like this. I went on every climate bb and looked
up every site that seemed to matter. And the picture that emerged is
somewhat surprising in that climate is viewed by most as either
impacted strongly by CO2 as a green house gas as opposed to
moderately or mildly with no justification of wrecking our economy.
Most people look at me and put my view under 'other' and that is what
this group is about.
The critical distinction is that I consider that CO2 is NOT a
significant green house gas--water is, but that CO2 levels from
fossil fuels burning creates a defect in climate feedback loops that
are BIOLOGICAL. The distinction is absolutely essential when
analysing issues like the cow farts or what not. That is because the
biosphere involved with cows or sheep or horses or humans is already
there and part of living earth feedbacks. This is not a joke.
Fossil fuels are not part of the feedback system--they are literally
part of the biology's sequestration of the carbon to create the
conditions where chemistry and temperature of the earth are
modulated. It is like, as I have written several times, urinating in
our IV bags.
A biological approach is an incredibly important defining idea. It
changes the quesion of whether there will be slight variances of rain
to complain about or whether we are talking about our very existance
as a species! That is why I view most cynics view as not taking the
issue seriously as incredibly stupid.
The biology behind it is absolutely cutting edge and speaking now as
a lawyer, I find this evidence extremely compelling. The human genome
project has started many new spin off ideas--and this is one of them.
One spin off is the idea of paleo biology--the science that tries to
figure out from genetic evidence what occurred in the evolutionary
past. This science is starting to ask fundimental questions about how
early life evolved and mathematical questions about differences in
evolutionary processes that add robustness and advantage to them. One
of the key ideas are how introns make for more complex life's ability
to evolve. An intron is genetic coding with no purpose in the present
life forms functioning. It's noise in the DNA inbetween patterns of
DNA that do stuff. So a creature that doesn't have these sequences
can't evolve new patterns so well. It evolves very slowly without
evolutionary efficiency. Now, bacteria don't have the the introns, as
the are low on the evolutionary tree and yet managed to survive, but
as early and less complex life they have a advantage over more
complex life because they grow and divide very quickly without the
introns. What Blind Dave fails to mention when he says that
methanogens don't have introns but neither do other bacteria is that
methanogens are NOT bactieria!
But even bacteria have in their cells DNA called PLASMIDS. Plasmids
are bits of DNA that bacteria use for evolutionary complexity and
change and communication. But along come these methanogens in the
hydrate fields and guess what? They don't have either introns OR
plasmids. At a minmum plasmids are RARE in archea, but what my
research has shown is that rare means rare and I don't find any
literature what-so-ever of methanogens containing plasmids that would
aid their ability to evolve more complex features. None. The only
literature out there found one plasmid in the archea group to which
methanogens belong, but then it would make sense that one of its
relatives would evolve toward surviving complexity because it is not
part of the living climate feedback system's alpha and omega.
The methanogens genetic change, thus, is relatively very slow and
indeed they haven't changed over huge time scales. They have evolved
not to evolve. When you put it together, from the idea that climate
is regulated, modulated, feedback loops to the methanogens, via
electrical fields and cirrus clouds, the idea of no change makes
sense. Change leads to chaos locally, like what is occurring on the
east coast near shore oceans, and that means death to everything