Well, I’ve been behind on some of my reading. That arsenic DNA stuff from NASA really got me thinking that my astrobiology was not up to snuff. So I decided to put some deliberate effort into catching up on that.
Good thing. I found a report that I had totally missed before. I’m not sure how I could have missed it, but it was around the time we were starting OpenHelix and I must have just been busy. Anyway, here’s the publication:
Aliens Altered our Genes 1000 Years Ago, by Vincenzo Sardi.
You can access this masterpiece from Google books here.
Reportedly a team from France had discovered that during the Middle Ages there was a major alteration of human DNA. They found a segment of DNA that did not conform to the known “language” of DNA….sound familiar??? They claim it has all the earmarks of a splicing event.
Dr. Sedeaux, the lead researcher, suggests that this is the basis for all the advances humans made after the Dark Ages. There’s a very helpful inset that lists human inventions since this upgrade was performed. It’s certainly impressive. Check out the larger view of the story image, or go to Google books for the original.
The researchers are now using this sequence to see if they can markedly increase the intelligence of monkeys. I’ll have to see if the follow-up work has been published on this.
I’m unable to locate the original paper in PubMed, I can’t imagine why. So I can’t get a DOI and do a ResearchBlogging post on this. If anyone has the original work, or contacts at the Foundation–send them to me. And NASA.
The OpenHelix team will be offering a new feature–Mining the World News, with periodic offerings that we unearth from that paragon of sciency-ness, The Weekly World News. It’s how the cranks spread pseudo-science and anti-science before the intertubz….