Of Strange Flesh - re 666 & chemistry (fwd)

Anonymous a at b.com
Fri Jan 10 11:24:43 EST 1997

Depree, Jonathan A wrote:
> In article <Pine.SOL.3.95.961231002111.15808A-100000 at jersey.uoregon.edu> Kerry Delf <kld at jersey.uoregon.edu> writes:
> >From: Kerry Delf <kld at jersey.uoregon.edu>
> >Subject: Of Strange Flesh - re 666 & chemistry (fwd)
> >Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 00:37:54 -0800
> >PLEASE CC REPLIES TO <kld at jersey.uoregon.edu>
> >---------------------------------------------
> >I know that the post below is simply the esoteric jibberish of a
> >kook-ranter;  unfortunately, there are those who take it seriously.
> >I am no microbiologist, and therefore do not have the information at my
> >fingertips with which to debunk this bizarre theory -- I'm hoping someone
> >with more knowledge of the subject can provide me <kld at jersey.uoregon.edu>
> >with a brief, educated explanation as to why human biology just doesn't
> >work this way.  :)
> >The basic claim made here by Adam Willson (based on the theories of a
> >well-known [in certain circles] kook, Tani Jantsang) is that there are two
> >separate species we label "human":  one is based on Carbon-12 (6 protons,
> >6 neutrons), while the other is based on some other Carbon isotope.
> >Anyone care to take a stab at this one?
> <snip>
> Some things just aren't worth bothering with, this is one.
> Jonathan Depree,
> Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Canterbury, New Zealand.
> Socrates was a famous Greek Teacher who went around giving
> people advice. They killed him.   (school history howler)

C13NMR as well as Mass Spec are basic fundamental tools that are used in
chemistry to figure out the molecular composition of unknown organis and
biochemical substances.  Any time there would be a great abundance of
C13 in a biological sample, you would get extremely great 'spikes' in
your sample.  Also, because many of the C13s might become adjacent, the
spectrum might begin to be more different.  C13 is also a factor in the
analysis of biochem mass spec.

With regard to a 'species' carbon-12 and carbon-13 are chemically
equivalent.  A very minor variation in chemical activity might take
place due to the difference in mass and inertia in the two atoms, but
they are only noticable when people or animals consume great amounts of
heavy water throughout time (Deuturium has twice the mass of Hydrogen,
whereas C13 has about 13/12ths difference, an effectively much greater
ratio.  Everyone has about 1% of so C13 in their bodies.  If a person
had more from consuming C13 food throughout time probably their DNA,
protiens, fats, and the like would still work the same.  Unless an
organism would become sterile from 50 to 100% or so of it's body being
C13, (which might or might not be so for I don't know the biological
effects) such organisms would still be able to 'breed true', the
hallmark of a species (at least I think so, for I imagine the increased
mass would not make it different).  Also, I should remind you that
people eat 'food' all the time.  Unless for some reason that food has
been specifically made from the products of isotopic sorting, there is
not much reason why there would not be the standard 1 or so percent of
C13 in it, and people and animals construct their bodies from the carbon
compounds in the food they eat.  There is, of course, also a small
percentage of C14, which is not stable, but decays into Nitrogen.  That
can have significant mutagenic effects when the C14 is in the bases of a
DNA chain.  There are many 'editing' protiens that will travel up and
down DNA chains that will specifically try to stop mutations that could
occur from such radioactive decays.  A C13 organism would probably be
very similar to a C12 organism, and could be easily detected from basic
analytical techniques.  You could become a C13 organism yourself by
eating C13 food throughout time, but I hear that would be expensive. 
Anyway I am not sure that modifying the isotopic composition of an
organism by modifying its food intake would be the same as creating a
new species.

More information about the Microbio mailing list