Genetic Modification By Aliens?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by darksidZz, May 1, 2007.

  1. darksidZz Ahimsa to you! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,850
    Don't move this to the paranomal section! I have a serious comment regarding genetics!

    I asked this once to someone on allexperts.com

    "I've been interested in the UFO field for some time. Apart from it being littered with nonsense and illogical data there is one author I've come to follow, David Jacobs. Basically he's retrieved (through hypnosis) memories that seem to indicate an insect-like race is responsible for these UFO sightings and abductions. Appearantly the Greys which are known from TV series like "Taken" are actually initial hybridization attempts of us and these insectoid creatures. My question is this.... let us assume that no alien race would really resemble us in any way, that simply put it is impossible due to the nature of evolution in general. What we find is that indeed the aliens supposedly abducting people aren't similar, they've just been joining our genes with there's so they end up seeming so.

    From a genetics standpoint can this ever really be accomplished. From what I've learned the chromosomes would need to be so identifical as to make hybridizing two different species nearly impossible if not unthinkable, so it's odd they seem to be doing it if they are real. What would you say as a genetics novice?

    The premise is they've made small changes within family lines ever since the late 1890's. So the abductions purposes are to continue altering our genes slightly so as to make them more compatible during this hybridization process. However it only follows in family lines..."

    Answer

    I have actually received this same question from another interested person, although I did not know that there was a single person (i.e. David Jacobs) behind the idea.

    I should warn you first that as a scientist, I am completely skeptical of these ideas, mostly because there is no scientific (that is, observed and replicated experimentation) to support these ideas. However, I would like to answer your questions on the basis of genetics.

    First, let me say that the images of the "grey" aliens that are prominent in science fiction movies are the same as the image of a human fetus at approximately three months' gestation, when all of the organs are formed, but eyelids and hair and other external features have not yet developed, thus the large-headed, large-eyed creatures with very skinny arms and legs and grey skin. Perhaps there is a very strong connection there, in that people who insist they have seen these creatures have actually been dreaming of unborn human fetuses. In fact, this idea has been studied recently, and there is a book that came out midway through last year (I don't remember the name of it, but it was reviewed in Science magazine), that shows that people who have had these "kidnappings" all store the memory of them in the same area of the brain, and when this area is stimulated in people who did not have a kidnapping, they saw the same image.

    From a genetics standpoint, chromosomal change would have to be extremely gradual to change the chromosomal makeup of human cells. For example, when chromosomes in human cells are altered, the general result is cancer. This would serve to kill the cell or the organism. Small changes could occur through the action of retroviruses, which are RNA viruses that can replicate after infection and insert pieces of its DNA into our chromosomes. In fact, we have lots of suspicious pieces of ancient viral DNA in our chromosomes that have added to the variation that is essential for evolution. However, most of the time the virus inserts into a gene, thus killing the cell that it has infected, and producing no long-lasting genetic change. Other mobile elements in our DNA have similar results, in that if they move they may insert into a gene and cause deleterious results. Most of the time, these changes are not even passed on because they are not in reproductive cells.

    The definition of a species is that it is reproductively isolated. That is, it cannot reproduce with members of another species and produce viable offspring. This is usually because the chromosome number and organization are different between the two species so that combining half of each chromosome complement in sexual reproduction would eliminate some genes and duplicate others. This would cause a disease state at worst and an infertile offspring at least. Therefore, the new interspecies combination of chromosomes would not be carried on because the organism would not reproduce.

    Now, small changes could alter chromosomes so that they would then be able to recombine with other species, however, it would take longer than 116 years for enough change to occur (that is, only about 5-6 generations have gone by) to make the chromosomes noticeably different. In addition, if the changes are only in specific family lines, how could those families find others to breed with them? If they interbred within the families, there would be serious human genetic disorders that would "kill" out the line. Think of the royal line of Europe that spread hemophilia through the line so that there was no male heir.

    So, in summary, you are correct-- it would be "nearly impossible" to do this from a genetics standpoint. In addition, if there was another species from another planet, who is to say that they would be organized in the same way that we are? Our chromosomes are the result of billions of years of evolution. If another species arose on another planet, chances are that their evolution would find a different solution to susutaining life. Our unique planet gave rise to us-- another planet would give rise to a species ideally suited for that planet. That is, they may not even be made of compatible elements, mostly because Earth is a rare planet in that we have water, of which we are mostly made. Our specific composition is due to water and the interactions with our other elements. So I think that compatibility with an alien species would go much further than just chromosomal incompatibility.

    So based on his response what do you guys think, I mean genetically is it possible or just BS?
     
  2. orcot Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,336
    A other interesting quistion is why someone/thing would want to make a hybrid in the first place, yust to release him back in the wild?

    The guy's proberly right it would be somewhat difficult and any end result would proberly be pushing the term hybrid.
     

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