THE BOOK OF 25 – CHAPTER 19
OF MICE AND MEN
Of Mice and Men, written in the form of a play in 1937, encompasses themes of racism, loneliness, prejudice, and the struggle for personal independence. Steinbeck wrote in his journal, “In every bit of honest writing in the world there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other.
Knowing a man, well, never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing, promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other. — John Steinbeck1938.
To understand man, or be it mice, lets’ delve into a world of Junk DNA. If you want to understand man, lets’ look at a piece of man, that encompasses themes of racism, seclusion or inclusion and prejudice.
A scientific discovery in 1977 astounded the entire genetics’ community. In that year, scientists researching oncogene stumbled upon introns in the genes of mice, rabbits and chickens.
An intron is an expanse of worthless DNA – DNA, which does not code or send any signal for producing proteins and, has no perceptible role. Scientists’ refers to introns as junk DNA. Further research, led the scientists to discover the presence of introns in several other animals and in humans.
Scientists also learned – the better evolved an organism, the more number of meaningless DNA or introns it has. Incredibly or if we think prejudicially, over 95 per cent of the DNA in humans comprises useless expanses of introns or junk DNA. The prejudice being that there was any assumption regarding introns.
Introns are the residual fragments of ancient viral contagions, a remnant inheritance of our evolutions. When scientists discovered junk DNA, various researches undertaken by molecular biologists have shown that particular expanses of the human DNA, bear close resemblance to the genomes of specific viruses.
On the other hand, a number of viral DNA found in humans are similar to fragments found in chimpanzees, the primates, who are most intimately related to the humans. It is hypothesised by researchers that around 10 million to a hundred million years ago this virus entered the DNA of an ape that would, later evolve into chimpanzees and humans. Also it seems that this genetic material was also sexually transmitted. Is this the proverbial missing link, where scientists look for 1 species to link ape and man, when the DNA links us both and may lead to suppositions of SIDS being species specific? When, it’s universal to both man and primate and misidentified as AIDS.
Virologists have determined that (early) man and primates have been pleasuring each
other and transferring their DNA for centuries, leaving this viral evidence through introns. Knowing a man, well, never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love, foreshadowed Steinbeck. Primitive love, albeit with primate and man has led to loneliness and prejudice. Can this allude to a societal change for evolutionary thought? Or is this evolutionary punishment?
Now, the virus is something akin to an excess baggage present in the inheritor cells of living organisms those continued to live after surviving its horror. Introns are now considered to be silent reminders of various prehistoric contagions.
Mice and men could have been a story of race, isolation as a species and prejudice. We are more alike and related and if we understand, there is no difference between MAN OR MICE as there is always that base theme.
An intron is any nucleotide sequence within a gene that is removed by RNA splicing to generate the final mature RNA product of a gene. The term intron refers to both the DNA sequence within a gene, and the corresponding sequence in RNA transcripts. Introns are found in the genes of most organisms and many viruses, and can be located in a wide range of genes. The word intron is derived from the term intragenic region, i.e. a region inside a gene.