F Rosa Rubicondior: Creationism in Crisis - No Doubt About it. Sponges Evolved!

Saturday 24 June 2023

Creationism in Crisis - No Doubt About it. Sponges Evolved!

Glass sponge genome furnishes insights into evolution of biomineralization - LMU Munich

Figure 1.Aphrocallistes vastus: habitus, genomic overview and phylogenetic grouping in the Hexactinellida.
(a) Photograph of Aphrocallistes vastus at 170 m depth on the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound glass sponge reefs. Lasers top to bottom right are 10 cm apart (photo by James Pegg, the ROV pilot). The single red laser dot marks the oscular region (‘tip’) and the two laser dots the main ‘body’, the two regions from which differentially expressed genes were assessed.
(b) Photograph taken by ROV of the sponge reefs at Fraser Ridge in the Salish Sea, BC, Canada. Oscula (round openings) are about 5 cm in diameter.
Contrary to creationist fraud claims, research biologists are not turning their backs on the Theory of Evolution and instead adopting the childish creationist superstition complete with its belief in magic and the assumption of an unproven supernatural magician, can make chemistry and physics do things they can't do on their own.

Prime examples are the research biologists working at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany, who believe they have discovered genetic evidence for the evolution of the so-called 'glass sponges' - sponges with silicate skeletons.

Glass sponges, also known as hexactinellids, are a unique group of marine animals belonging to the phylum Porifera. They are named for their intricate skeletal structure, which is composed of silicate spicules that give them a glass-like appearance. These sponges are predominantly found in the deep waters of the world's oceans, particularly in the Antarctic and North Pacific regions.

Glass sponges are remarkable for their sponge body structure, which consists of a complex system of canals and chambers that facilitate water flow. They possess specialized cells called choanocytes that line the inner surfaces of these chambers and generate water currents. Choanocytes have flagella that beat rhythmically, drawing water into the sponge and filtering out small organic particles as a food source.

The spicules in glass sponges are made of silica, which provides rigidity and structural support. The spicules are often fused together, forming a latticework-like framework that reinforces the sponge's body. This intricate skeletal structure allows glass sponges to thrive in deep-sea environments, where they can withstand high water pressures.

Glass sponges have a fascinating reproductive strategy. They are typically monoecious, meaning they possess both male and female reproductive organs in the same individual. They release eggs and sperm into the water, where fertilization occurs externally. The fertilized eggs develop into larvae that are free-swimming for a period before settling on the seafloor and attaching to a substrate. Once settled, the larvae metamorphose into juvenile sponges and start growing, eventually forming colonies.

These sponges play a significant ecological role in deep-sea ecosystems. The complex structure of their bodies provides habitat and refuge for a diverse range of organisms, including small invertebrates and fish. Additionally, the filtration activity of glass sponges contributes to the cycling of nutrients in the deep-sea environment.

ChatGPT3 "What are glass sponges?" [Response to user question]
Retrieved from https://chat.openai.com/
The research team was led by Professor Gert Wörheide of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Paleontology and Geobiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany, a leading expert on sponges.

Their research is explained in a brief news release from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität:
Researchers led by geobiologist Professor Gert Wörheide have decoded the genome of Aphrocallistes vastus, a reef-building glass sponge found off the coast of British Columbia. The sponge possesses a unique skeletal structure of amorphous silicon dioxide, from which the class of glass sponges gets its technical name – Hexactinellida. Well-annotated and contiguous genomes are an indispensable resource for understanding the evolution, development, and metabolic capacities of organisms. However, the ecologically important sponges are underrepresented with respect to available genome resources.

Our investigations shed a new light on the biology of glass sponges, provide valuable insights into their evolutionary history, and highlight their ecological significance, deepening our understanding of these mysterious organisms and their important role in marine ecosystems.

Professor Gert Wörheide, senior author
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Paleontology and Geobiology
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany
As the researchers report in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the sponge species possesses a compact genome with numerous nested genes. The study identified several genes connected with the growth of the animals, and in particular with the formation of their mineral skeleton. Its results suggest that the biomineralization of silicon dioxide developed independently in different sponge classes.
Copyright: © 2023 The authors.
Published by the Royal Society. Open access. (CC BY 4.0)
And of course the abstract to the team's open access paper in Royal Society Open Science leaves no doubt that they see what they are describing as the product of an evolutionary process:

Well-annotated and contiguous genomes are an indispensable resource for understanding the evolution, development, and metabolic capacities of organisms. Sponges, an ecologically important non-bilaterian group of primarily filter-feeding sessile aquatic organisms, are underrepresented with respect to available genomic resources. Here we provide a high-quality and well-annotated genome of Aphrocallistes vastus, a glass sponge (Porifera: Hexactinellida) that forms large reef structures off the coast of British Columbia (Canada). We show that its genome is approximately 80 Mb, small compared to most other metazoans, and contains nearly 2500 nested genes, more than other genomes. Hexactinellida is characterized by a unique skeletal architecture made of amorphous silicon dioxide (SiO2), and we identified 419 differentially expressed genes between the osculum, i.e. the vertical growth zone of the sponge, and the main body. Among the upregulated ones, mineralization-related genes such as glassin, as well as collagens and actins, dominate the expression profile during growth. Silicateins, suggested being involved in silica mineralization, especially in demosponges, were not found at all in the A. vastus genome and suggests that the underlying mechanisms of SiO2 deposition in the Silicea sensu stricto (Hexactinellida + Demospongiae) may not be homologous.

How on earth did creationist frauds manage to fool their dupes into believing mainstream biologists are increasingly rejecting the TOE when there is absolutely no evidence of them doing so and what evidence there is shows a complete dependence on the TOE to explain the observable evidence? An almost child-like gullibility is a basic requirement for membership of the creation cult, which is why these are the primary targets of recruiters for the cults that infest the social media looking for fools to con.

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