QI: TPF

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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Dotsie » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:48 am

Would you class nucleic acids as life though? It isn't, otherwise every time I used enzymes to replicate DNA in the lab I'd be creating life (and there would be a lot more forms to fill out).
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:08 pm

Look, I was just following the train of logic that the obvious answer (bacteria) wasn't necessarily the right one. I thought, what would have been the most likely process that could fit loosely under the definition of life. And I know that nucleic acids can replicate themselves outside of a cell, given the right conditions and chemicals.

Should I have held up the 'Nobody Knows' paddle?

Quite Interesting fact for you Dotsie: Life very nearly used Pyranosal (or is that Pyranosyl?) RNA for genetic transcription. Supposedly faster replication, and better fidelity. Used as the basis of an underwater microorganism called βehemoth (a portmanteu of 'beta' and 'behemoth') in Peter Watts' Rifters novel trilogy.
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Dotsie » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:59 pm

Quatermass wrote:Look, I was just following the train of logic that the obvious answer (bacteria) wasn't necessarily the right one. I thought, what would have been the most likely process that could fit loosely under the definition of life. And I know that nucleic acids can replicate themselves outside of a cell, given the right conditions and chemicals.

Should I have held up the 'Nobody Knows' paddle?

God, this turned out to be a boring question :lol: I thought someone would say bacteria. But the closest idea we have to the first cellular organisms are that they were Archaea (or something very like). These are generally refered to as extremophiles.

As for pyranosyl RNA Q, we might never have crawled out of the swamps with it - the mutagenic capabilites of our nucleic acids seem to be spot on for a gradual evolution that fits very well with our planet's timescale. If base-pairing were more specific we would possibly still be Archaea, and if bonds were stronger the energy requirements for replication could have prevented life forming in the first place.

Or we could be super humans. Ah, if only...
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:31 pm

Dotsie wrote:
Quatermass wrote:Look, I was just following the train of logic that the obvious answer (bacteria) wasn't necessarily the right one. I thought, what would have been the most likely process that could fit loosely under the definition of life. And I know that nucleic acids can replicate themselves outside of a cell, given the right conditions and chemicals.

Should I have held up the 'Nobody Knows' paddle?

God, this turned out to be a boring question :lol: I thought someone would say bacteria. But the closest idea we have to the first cellular organisms are that they were Archaea (or something very like). These are generally refered to as extremophiles.


I thought ANY prokaryotic organism would have been the obvious but wrong answer.

Oh well. Hey ho. Looks like someone (maybe me) have to think up a new question... :think:
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:39 pm

Who was the first to use fingerprints as a means of criminal identification?
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Sister Jennifer » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:06 am

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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:11 am

*klaxon*
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby spideyGirl » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:50 am

Sherlock Holmes?
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:14 am

*Klaxon*

However, Holmes is famous for introducing an infallible blood test, albeit a fictional one.
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Del » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:00 pm

My mum. Don't klaxon this. It's true. From who has been picking the mulberries though that was more a sight test, to who has been peeking on the Christmas pressie. Damn sticky tape left perfect prints !!!

Though this technique was used to advantage many years later when a science minded eight year old doubted the big red man's existence. Went next door to the huge neighbour and got him to dirty up his hands and leave the prints all over the sticky tape on Santas gifts. Totally proved it to her. She even saved it and showed to other children of little faith.
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby HazelRah17 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:01 pm

Something to do with soldiers in the Indian army?
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 pm

*Klaxon*

For both of you. However...

Del gets points for a Quite Interesting anecdote.

And HazelRah17 has given the obvious, but wrong answer. You were referring of course to William James Herschel, who is the grandson of the discoverer of Uranus. He was the first European to discover the value of fingerprint identification.

Going on from that, a later pioneer in the field was Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, who, besides studying fingerprints, anthropology and statistics for years, was also one of the originators of eugenics (selective breeding amongst humans which, unfortunately, led to Nazi ideology). But a Quite Interesting fact about him was that he once resolved to sample every drug listed in the Pharmacopoeia. He stopped after he reached C, and specifically, Castor Oil. I think you can guess why.
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Sister Jennifer » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:15 am

Quatermass wrote:But a Quite Interesting fact about him was that he once resolved to sample every drug listed in the Pharmacopoeia. He stopped after he reached C, and specifically, Castor Oil. I think you can guess why.


He went a bit potty?

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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Quatermass » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:37 am

Oi, mine hasn't finished yet.

But the egg came about before the chicken evolved. :P
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Re: QI: TPF

Postby Dotsie » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:35 pm

Quatermass wrote: William James Herschel, who is the grandson of the discoverer of Uranus.

*Klaxons* for you! Loads of people saw Uranus before Herschel did, but Herschel was the first person to present his findings to the Royal Society - just being a clever pants in those days wasn't enough, you had to trek over to the UK and tell the other clever pants about it (provided of course that they'd let you, and that you weren't objectionable e.g. poor, or a woman). And, he didn't even think it was a planet! He thought it was either a star or a comet. Thicky. So, the first person to realise that the thing in the sky that loads of people had seen already was in fact a planet, was Anders Johan Lexell. It was named by Johann Elert Bode. Herschel was credited because of the Royal Society presentation, and he wanted to call it George! :roll:

OK, I like to make sure that credit goes where it's due ;) No idea about the fingerprint thingy. And I absolutely agree about the egg.
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