This story from New Scientist illustrates the power behind the complexity of living things. It was once thought that all new genes had to come from modifications of existing genes. This is of course great fodder for creationists, who then ask “where did the first genes come from?” A few years ago, de novo genes – genes that arose from scratch from previously non-coding DNA – were found in fruit flies. It now turns out that humans, too, carry de novo genes. Three genes carried by humans, but no other primates, appear to be the result of mutations in nonsense, or non-coding sequences of DNA. The fact that these genes are active in all sequenced human genomes implies that they do perform a beneficial function, though what that is, is as yet unknown.
Something from Nothing