The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
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26-01-2014, 12:18 AM
The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
First off, I want to say that I'm not a theist, so this is not some kind of trolling question. I come in peace. It's a genuine question that has me a little stumped.

When comparing chromosome sets between humans and other apes, it appears that at some point in history, two chromosomes fused together to form chromosome #2. Now while this is not at all unusual in biology, it raises some questions in my mind, having only had basic biology in university (I did chemistry and forensics, also physics for a year and a half before I dropped it) and while I've done my own studying over the years there are holes in my knowledge, and this is one.

So if one chromosome were to fuse in the gamete, how did it produce a viable offspring? The rule of thumb I learned at university was that unmatched chromosome sets would either not produce a viable offspring, or if it did the offspring would have been infertile. By that rule, the unmatched 23/24 chromosome set should have been the end of the road for that set. But it clearly wasn't. How did this happen? Are there other examples in nature where unmatched chromosomes can produce viable and fertile offspring?
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26-01-2014, 12:21 AM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 12:36 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
Jebus done it. Duh.
Google is your friend. Tons of YouTubes on the subject.

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26-01-2014, 12:36 AM
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
(26-01-2014 12:18 AM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  First off, I want to say that I'm not a theist, so this is not some kind of trolling question. I come in peace. It's a genuine question that has me a little stumped.

When comparing chromosome sets between humans and other apes, it appears that at some point in history, two chromosomes fused together to form chromosome #2. Now while this is not at all unusual in biology, it raises some questions in my mind, having only had basic biology in university (I did chemistry and forensics, also physics for a year and a half before I dropped it) and while I've done my own studying over the years there are holes in my knowledge, and this is one.

So if one chromosome were to fuse in the gamete, how did it produce a viable offspring? The rule of thumb I learned at university was that unmatched chromosome sets would either not produce a viable offspring, or if it did the offspring would have been infertile. By that rule, the unmatched 23/24 chromosome set should have been the end of the road for that set. But it clearly wasn't. How did this happen? Are there other examples in nature where unmatched chromosomes can produce viable and fertile offspring?
Why are you assuming that the chromosome sets were unmatched? It's perfectly possible that this "mutation" (for the lack of a better term) occurred in several specimen at the same time. Consider

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26-01-2014, 12:42 AM
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
(26-01-2014 12:36 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Why are you assuming that the chromosome sets were unmatched? It's perfectly possible that this "mutation" (for the lack of a better term) occurred in several specimen at the same time. Consider

The probability of this happening is small enough as it is, let alone simultaneously happening in two individuals with the same chromosome pairs who just happened to mate. Not impossible, but surely there has to be a more satisfactory explanation?
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26-01-2014, 12:47 AM
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
(26-01-2014 12:42 AM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  The probability of this happening is small enough as it is, let alone simultaneously happening in two individuals with the same chromosome pairs who just happened to mate. Not impossible, but surely there has to be a more satisfactory explanation?
I came up with that explanation on the spot; I'd have to research a bit to find one from an actual biologist.

But then again, you might as well do that yourself. Wink

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26-01-2014, 12:48 AM
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
(26-01-2014 12:47 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(26-01-2014 12:42 AM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  The probability of this happening is small enough as it is, let alone simultaneously happening in two individuals with the same chromosome pairs who just happened to mate. Not impossible, but surely there has to be a more satisfactory explanation?
I came up with that explanation on the spot; I'd have to research a bit to find one from an actual biologist.

But then again, you might as well do that yourself. Wink

Or I can go on a forum and ask around ;-)
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26-01-2014, 07:48 AM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 07:52 AM by Chas.)
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
(26-01-2014 12:48 AM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  
(26-01-2014 12:47 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I came up with that explanation on the spot; I'd have to research a bit to find one from an actual biologist.

But then again, you might as well do that yourself. Wink

Or I can go on a forum and ask around ;-)

There is no real problem in reproduction for the first occurrence(s) of this mutation.
The two chromosomes can line up with the newly fused chromosome well enough as there would likely not have been
any other significant divergence in the rest of the two genes, particularly if the population is geographically isolated.
The outcome is likely to spread the fused gene if having the fused form conferred any survival/reproductive benefit.

Remember, too, that these two chromosomes are small, containing few genes. I'd have to research what genes they contain, but logically, the fewer the number, the less likely the effects. That's a little speculative, of course.

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26-01-2014, 04:00 PM
RE: The fusing of chromosome number 2, how did it happen (biologists help)
The technical term for the process is called "Chromosomal Crossover." It happens during Meiosis, when the DNA of mom and dad combine to make the offspring. It turns out that these recombinations took place as far back as gorillas. Carl Zimmer has a nice piece on this:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2...uWEN7Qo7IU
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