Dinosaur rise linked to increasing oxygen levels + Can species evolve from cancer?

Rise of dinosaurs linked to increasing oxygen levels

EXCERPT: A new technique for measuring oxygen levels in ancient rocks shows that oxygen levels in North American rocks leapt by nearly a third in just a couple of million years, possibly setting the scene for a dinosaur expansion into the tropics of North America and elsewhere. [...] Lead researcher, Professor Morgan Schaller ... said: “We tested rocks from the Colorado Plateau and the Newark Basin that formed at the same time about 1000 km apart on the supercontinent of Pangea. Our results show that over a period of around 3 million years – which is very rapid in geological terms – the oxygen levels in the atmosphere jumped from around 15% to around 19%. For comparison, there is 21% oxygen in today’s atmosphere. We really don’t know what might have caused this increase, but we also see a drop in CO2 levels at that time.”

[...] Commenting, Professor Mike Benton ... said: ‘The first dinosaurs were quite small, but higher oxygen levels in the atmosphere are often associated with a trend to larger size. This new result is interesting as the timing of oxygen rise and dinosaur appearance is good, although dinosaurs had become abundant in South America rather earlier, about 232 million years ago.’ Professor Benton was not involved in this work; this is an independent comment. (MORE - details)

Can Species Evolve From Cancers? Maybe. Here’s How.

EXCERPT: Aggressive cancers can spread so fiercely that they seem less like tissues gone wrong and more like invasive parasites looking to consume and then break free of their host. If a wild theory recently floated in Biology Direct is correct, something like that might indeed happen on rare occasions: Cancers that learn how to roam between hosts may gradually evolve into their own multicellular species. Researchers are now scrutinizing a peculiar group of marine parasites called myxosporeans to see whether they might be the first known example.

Even among microscopic parasites, myxosporeans are enigmatic. They were first discovered nearly two centuries ago, and more than 2,000 species are recognized today. Their complex life cycles make study particularly difficult: It wasn’t until the 1980s that scientists realized the ones found in fish were the same species as those found in worms, and not completely different classes of parasite. And while most parasites are content merely to snuggle into their animal host’s tissues, myxosporeans often take up residence inside a host’s own cells.

Until fairly recently, myxosporeans were considered to be protists, offshoots of the eukaryotic line that are neither plants, animals nor fungi. In 1995, however, Mark Siddall, then at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and his colleagues argued that myxosporeans are weird members of the cnidarians, the group that includes jellyfish and corals. Since then, genetic studies have bolstered that position.

[...] Alexander Panchin [...a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences...] knows the idea of cancer-derived animals sounds far-fetched — so much so that, in the paper, he and his co-authors refer to them as Scandals (an acronym for “speciated by cancer development animals”).

At first, Scandals were just a thought experiment. While Panchin was writing about transmissible cancers, he heard his colleagues express surprise at the genes for complex tissues that were turning up in certain unusual but simple parasitic animals. Further conversations led to what Panchin calls the “fantastic” idea that such simple parasites could have cancerous origins. “So we took all the data and we proposed this hypothesis,” he said.

According to Panchin’s three-step scenario, a Scandal would start off as a cancer, but not just any cancer. It would have to be transmissible, so that it wouldn’t die when its host did. Then the cancer would have to spread to other species, and then independently evolve multicellularity. Those steps might seem to present insurmountable barriers, and yet there’s reason to believe each one could have happened.

[...] Even if, in the end, the data suggest myxosporeans aren’t evolved cancers, Panchin noted that Scandals could still be out there waiting to be discovered. “We are hoping that maybe some zoologists who have been investigating some other peculiar kind of animal at some point will say, ‘Probably those guys are wrong about Myxosporea, but this [animal], he’s obviously a cancer.’” (MORE - detailed elaboration)
(Aug 25, 2019 01:41 PM)confused2 Wrote: A new species from cancer cells? The HeLa cells look like a new species to me.

It certainly caused me to muse at times in the past. But I never expected serious consideration and possibility of feral oncological species running amok in nature without any begetting and child support from the lab.

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Why Evolve a Narcotic Effect? Zinjanthropos 2 72 Feb 8, 2020 07:38 PM
Last Post: Secular Sanity
  Fragile DNA Enables New Adaptations to Evolve Quickly C C 2 490 Feb 7, 2019 03:27 AM
Last Post: C C
  Apparently This Is What a Swimming Dinosaur Looks Like C C 0 318 Dec 8, 2017 12:44 AM
Last Post: C C
  Petrified Dinosaur Found in Canada Yazata 3 1,642 May 14, 2017 11:19 PM
Last Post: Yazata
  Mouth bacteria linked to pancreatic cancer elte 0 369 Apr 19, 2016 10:45 PM
Last Post: elte
  Dinosaur feathers found in amber C C 2 860 May 29, 2015 07:14 PM
Last Post: Magical Realist
  Chickens With Dinosaur Snouts Yazata 0 564 May 14, 2015 12:28 AM
Last Post: Yazata

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)