Humans have 500 million-year old genetic ‘mistake’ to thank for their existence
Over 500 million years ago a spineless ocean-dwelling creature experienced a dramatic change to its DNA, which may have led to the evolution of vertebrates.
Over 500 million years ago a spineless creature on the ocean floor experienced two successive doublings in the amount of its DNA, a “mistake” that eventually triggered the evolution of humans and many other animals, says a new study.
The good news is that these ancient DNA doublings boosted cellular communication systems, so that our body cells are now better at integrating information than even the smartest smartphones. The bad part is that communication breakdowns, traced back to the very same genome duplications of the Cambrian Period, can cause diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders.
Nothing new here; mistakes often lead to the creation of humans.