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mitrochondrial backtracking

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mitrochondrial backtracking

Postby joe1401 » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:40 pm

Is it possible to explain in rather simple terms, how science can claim to know ancestry through analysis of mitrochondria?

I am interested in biology at a rather late time in life and have made some attempt to understand a bit via Biology-Online, but need something like this explained in layman terms as much as possible.

I know, generally, the function of this organelle, and have heard the theory of it's possibly being an ancient symbiote, but that's about all.

Anyone willing to try?
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Postby Abstract » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:58 am

Mitochondira have their own DNA which very very rarely mutates. In humans, all of the mitochondria in your body come from your mother (when a sperm fertilizes an egg, the tail of the sperm which contains all of the mitochondria is left outside the zygote), and as a result, maternal lineages can be determined.
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Postby sachin » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:14 pm

So mitDNA is Maternal ....hmmm
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Postby Locus » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:48 pm

mDNA is good for genealogy becouse there is not recombination and different branches connection that follow from this. So, at the any of prievios generations there is only one women that inherit to any of her descendants her DNA. If we collect samples of this DNA, by using multiple allignment to bind the phylogenetic tree.
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Postby mith » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:15 pm

However the flaw with this method is, it doesn't always give the full picture, if you use Y chromosome dating, sometimes you'll see some very different results.
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mitrochondrial backtracking

Postby joe1401 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:09 pm

Abstract,

Thanks for the reply! I have read where the mutation rate is predictable .... I think it's referred to as a molecular clock, and that is the basis for being able to go back in time. But that seems to be controversial.
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mitrochondrial backtracking

Postby joe1401 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:10 pm

Locus,

Can you explain "multiple allignment to bind the phylogenetic tree"?
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