Part 2: How Does New Genetic Information Evolve? Gene Duplications

Stated Clearly presents: How do new genes evolve? As we’ve learned in previous animations a gene is a long stretch of DNA
containing information that codes for something, usually a protein or a group
of proteins. Point mutations can edit small bits of information within a gene.
modifying the type of protein it builds small bits of information within a gene.
modifying the type of protein it builds these small edits are extremely important
for evolution but if we compared the genes of say, a flower to those of a dolphin,
we see that even though they do have many genes in common, dolphins also have entirely new genes that flowers do not have. Flowers also have genes that can’t be found in dolphins. This observation forces to ask the question: How do entirely new genes
evolve? Point mutations are clearly not enough. Well, it turns out that over the
years, scientists have discovered many natural mechanisms for the evolution of
new genes. one of the most common and
well-understood pathway is a duplication event followed by further
mutations. A duplication event is a special type of mutation where, as you
may have guessed, a stretch of genetic code is duplicated and reinserted into a
creature’s DNA. Duplications happen naturally all the time, they can be small,
a few letters or nucleotides long. Other times enrtire genes can be duplicated,
dramatically increasing the length of a creatures genetic code. During duplications and in the
generations that follow, further mutations can occur in the new gene
giving rise to entirely new genetic information. Information that codes for
new proteins with new functions. Scientists have directly-observed
duplication events in the lab many times over, because of this they can now
examine the genetic code of any living creature, look for known signatures of
past duplication events, and begin to piece together an understanding of how
specific genes likely evolved. Here we’ll look at three traits which arose
from gene duplications. The dachshunds odd-shaped yet powerful legs, the unique
digestive enzymes of leaf eatin monkeys, and finally, the evolution of snake venom!
At first glance you might be tempted to think that the dachshunds short legs are
simply a disability. To the contrary the unique shape of this dog’s legs make it
it a surprisingly powerful digger and most importantly, allow it to enter small burrows to coax out rabbits, groundhogs and even Badgers from their dens. Other dogs can
only dream of such adventures. By looking at the dachshunds DNA, researchers have
found that their unique legs are the result of a duplication event! A gene
called FGF4 for was copied and inserted elsewhere in their DNA. The new gene happens to produce protein
in a way that interacts with their growing bones, reshaping the dog’s legs
and opening up an entirely new hunting niche for the animal. Humans who liked
the trait, bred the original dog with many others, eventually giving rise to
several new dog breeds and proving that sometimes, even the strangest of
mutations, within the right environment, turn out to be extremely beneficial!
Now let’s look at the fascinating case of the leaf eating monkey from vietnam: the Duke lungur. Several species of Asian monkeys eat almost nothing but leaves, a
diet that would cause humans and most other primates major stomach problems.
The monkeys achieve this amazing feat of digestion with the help of several
adaptations, one of which was first made possible by a gene duplication. RNase1
is a protein found all throughout your cells and blood. Experiments have shown
that this protein helps our cells fight against viruses by attaching to and
breaking down virus genes. In your intestines, RNase1 does a similar task but for a very different purpose. There it breaks down genes from the cells of
the food you’ve been eating, converting those genes into nutrients that your
body can absorb. In humans, the pH or acid levels of your intestines are pretty much the same as the pH levels of your cells. This allows a single version of
RNase1 to work great fighting viruses in your body, and digesting food inside
your intestines. In leaf eating monkeys, however, the intestines are more acidic.
this acid appears to be helpful for breaking down the tough cell walls of raw leaves, but unfortunately, the extra acid also slows down RNase1 proteins which are extremely sensitive to acid. Scientists have found that a
relatively recent duplication in the monkeys RNase1 gene has fix this
problem. The original gene still makes normal
protein to help fight against infections, but the new gene, after being duplicated,
began accumulating mutations that slowly made it better and better at functioning
in acid. Here we have a clear case of a single gene that was once ok at two
separate jobs, was then duplicated, and the two genes of since specialized to
produce proteins for different tasks. Now for an exciting yet slightly disturbing
example: The evolution of snake venom! Genes inside the saliva glands of most
creatures, humans included, produce special proteins that are able to start
breaking down food on a chemical level, even before it gets to the stomach. Venomous snakes, however, have taken this a step further. Their saliva glands produce venom! A cocktail of proteins and other
molecules that kill their prey when injected. Let’s see how one of these
deadly proteins evolved, Many people assume that blood clots form when cuts
are allowed to dry in open-air. Amazingly Clots actually form through a series of
chemical reactions that can quickly seal the wound, even underwater. This ability is possible in part because of a protein called factorX. It’s found in the blood
of many animals including fish, frogs, snakes, birds, and even people. FactorX normally exists in a dormant or sleeping state, drifting about the bloodstream with no effect. When a blood
vessel is cut, however, chemicals in the damaged tissue activate factorX at the
scene of the injury. FactorX then initiates a series of chemical reactions,
causing a clot to form in seal the wound. The saliva of the Australian
rough scaled snake is loaded with pre activated factor 10 proteins! If the snake
bites an animal, injecting its saliva directly into the wound, rapid clotting
occurs throughout the victim’s body. The result is often death! When scientists
look at the genes that code for this protein, they see clear signs that the
snakes very own factorX gene, the one that it uses in its own blood, was copied
through a duplication event. After or during duplication, mutations in and near the new gene cause it to produce factorX protein in the venom glands instead of the blood. As time went on, small mutations built up
in the duplicated gene, making it more and more efficient and its deadly new
task! Here we see that a gene once used for healing, has now evolved to kill! So
to sum things up – how is it that new genes evolve? One of the most important
and well-understood pathways is for genes to duplicate and then accumulate
new mutations. Gene duplications, in combination with similar mutations like
insertions deletions and point mutations, are happening naturally right now, all
throughout the living world. With these mutations constantly occurring and
constantly filtered through natural selection, there are no limits to the
variety of new genetic information, new traits, and new species that
evolution can produce! I’m John Perry and that’s how new genes evolve, Stated
Clearly! This animation was funded in part by
GeneTools LLC. They produced molecules called morpholinos that allow researchers
to selectively silent any gene to investigate the effects on cell growth,
tissue, and even cancer. Learn more on their website at
This animation is also supported by our contributors on Patreon! If you found
this video helpful and would like to give back, visit us at and
click “contribute” to learn how. So long for now, stay curious!

100 thoughts on “Part 2: How Does New Genetic Information Evolve? Gene Duplications”

  1. Brilliant video.

    An amazing example of creation, design and consciousness in action.

    However a little more information on subfuctionalization and neofuctionalization would of been more helpful and honest for the people watching on the limitations of gene duplication.

    However, your channel is called stated clearly so t'would of been a misnomer.

    Thanks for posting!

  2. Subscribed!

    I have really enjoyed every video. It's awesome to see evolutionary concepts brought to life so skillfully.

    Together the animation and narration really deliver a crystal clear package, keep up the good work!!

  3. +Stated Clearly
    Seriously…. I love these vidoes! You've made it so simple to explain to a creationist how "information" can be added to our DNA. The reponse I'm not getting is that a mutation is always a corruption of the DNA code. Its a negative effect… etc. I explained that a duplication error, or a point mutation is just a change. And that a new feature isn't 'negative' or 'positive' on its own…. but rather…. it depends on the environment. Calling mutations "negative" before they've been subject to an environment is really preempting it's usefulness.

    Anyway… I'm loving these vids. Very clearly stated indeed. I need to watch them all. What is your education by the way?

  4. what evolved first the venom or the hollow teeth to inject the venom and when did the gland make a connection to the hollow teeth? Just sayin

  5. The highest intelligence humanity has witnessed is the intelligence of nature. We may tinker and manipulate DNA but we didn't design them,we may move around and juggle genes, and chromosomes, but we didn't invent them.. We may destroy ecosystems for our own ends, yet we cannot rebuild them like nature. We can invent robots to perform limited functions, and we call it artificial intelligence, but we are unable to match the intelligence of nature that can self-organize, self- replicate, and self-evolve. The intricacies, and complexities of nature is mind baffling! The highest level of mind, must be contained in nature. This mind is the spirit that runs throw all things alive. This mind is the matrix of all matter that some have come to call god..

  6. **If this thesis presented here is correct then every time we have a new creative thought, and invent something new and more complex, this would be considered a Mutation. Basically, there is no belief in intelligence here. Every thing is considered random purposeless, thoughtless chance. The fact that you came up with this video must have been another thoughtless random mutation, if I am to belief this absurdity here. The highest intelligence humanity has witnessed is the intelligence of nature. We may tinker and manipulate DNA but we didn't design them,we may move around and juggle genes, and chromosomes, but we didn't invent them.. We may destroy ecosystems for our own ends, yet we cannot rebuild them like nature. We can invent robots to perform limited functions, and we call it artificial intelligence, but we are unable to match the intelligence of nature that can self-organize, self- replicate, and self-evolve. The intricacies, and complexities of nature is mind baffling! The highest level of mind, must be contained in nature. This mind is the spirit that runs throw all things alive. This mind is the matrix of all matter that some have come to call god or cosmic mind.**

  7. Parabéns pelo trabalho, a qualidade e clareza que você tem pra passar o conteúdo é impressionante. Assemelha se a uns canais Brasileiros, como nerdologia e o canal do pirula, no qual você pode dar uma olhada. Obrigado

  8. Can you make a video about how A T G C Works and its effects? Is a dogs ATCG is different than a snakes ATCG ?
    Why people can't mutate humans to get stronger to bacteria and viruses?

  9. The amazing thing is that this all happened in five thousand years. Were there dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden? Or did they come later? I'll keep watching these videos until they cover that.

  10. 2:46 – " gene fgf4 was copied and inserted elswere in DNA" – how this gene knew where to be inserted?

  11. If you believe that macro evolution is true without any doubt, everything mentioned here perfectly makes sense. But is it wrong to ask these questions?
    1. How can we say the duplication occurred certainly?
    2. What is the proof for saying "its happening right now"?

  12. I saw a video in ted ed about genes which was not stated clearly the guy in the video say a bacteria killing gene was used for making venom they didn't even mention factor 10 what nonsense is this?

  13. Medical drugs have only been used for a few hundred years but have quickly spread to daily use in almost the entire human race. I wonder if we are witnessing the manifestation of a mutation brought on by the use of these chemicals.

  14. I want to argue with a creationist. Some creationist, please post something dumb so that I can argue with you!!!

  15. I can't thank you enough for your great videos! In terms of high quality content, you belong to the very best YouTubers I know of. Please continue making such good stuff! It makes the world a better place 🙂

  16. Great explanation but very simplistic, is there a mutation that could've caused the Factor X gene to be regulated in all other cells other than the liver and the salivary glands? It seems like a very deliberate placement of the regulation factors to the silivary gland mast cells.

  17. Isn't it possible that the dog, the monkey, and the snake were created that way? Why is it not possible that their genomes were simply created that way at the moment of creation?

  18. Look at this reserach! It is an interesting additional input to the topic! it goes a little away from the thought that it is only duplication that creates new genes!
    very exciting!

  19. An interesting video, but clearly extremely biased. For one thing, while gene duplication probably does occur, while genes duplicate they are forced to silence (not use) the duplicating gene and are left open for negative mutations such as deletion. In most cases, these mutations override any possible positive effects gene duplication may have had. Plus, when a gene duplicates, it's nearly impossible for it to duplicate perfectly and insert itself into another strand of DNA without itself and/or the strand being destroyed. This also causes major negative mutations. Finally, the video doesn't state the fact that gene duplication may not be the real reason for these traits. Gene duplication is only a hypothesis and a speculation scientists have made from looking at similar sequences of DNA in organisms. Doesn't it take much less faith to believe these organisms were created?

  20. So dachshunds evolved because the ancient dog genes duplication made them good hole hunters?
    Is this for real?

    Also, isn’t this a good example of microevolution, but also greater example on the limit of macro? Its a freaking dog after all.

  21. great way to make those creationists who doubt evolution exists shut the hell up. One excuse I've always seen them use is "well how can genes change?"

  22. 2:15 – It's misleading to say that the dachshund's short legs are not a disability. The short legs of dachshunds are a form of dwarfism, and have become a problem. The historical badger-hunting dogs were larger than most dachshunds today (31-40 lbs. vs 8-32 lbs. today). Their legs were shorter than those of other dogs, but longer than those of today's dachshunds. Their backs were on the long side, but shorter than those of dachshunds today. These larger, leggier dachshunds of old were used to hunt all sorts of game: not just badgers underground, but also rabbits and other animals above ground, as other dogs do. Today's dachshunds are prone to many disorders, including ailments of the back and joints. Their legs are so short that their chest and genitals (in males) literally scrape against the ground, causing injury. Once again, pure and extreme breeding have damaged a population (breed) of domestic wolf (dog). As for other dogs "dreaming" of underground adventures like a dachshund or terrier, they can still hunt above ground in the manner that canids have been hunting for 40 million years.

  23. There are 24 Master Biological Computer Codes or 24 Master DNA Sequences that created humans …

  24. thanks, good presentation on how adaptation happens. Mmmmm evolution (ie whole new chromosomes to produce a whole new kind) not so much.

  25. Great clear videos. One of my questions is why these organisms are even driven to survive? Like how do they know survival is even a thing worth having? And where the heck does the information come from to produce even the simplest biological process?

  26. What evidence do we have that basic mutation types gave natural rise to new spices ? You have a tools, but there is also control mechanism which prevent genetic buildup and limits genetic variations.

  27. What do you make of the genetics expert that says all life on Earth is not related ? Craig Venter, the guy who's company was the first to sequence the human genome, stated in front of an " origin of life " panel, that of the 60 million organisms they had sampled, only a handful could be said to be related.

  28. what if genes evolved to adapt to our enviorments within minutes. so if the globe is warming it wont matter because we will adapt to the heat quick enough to survive in it. is this possible?

  29. Thank you so much! Your animations are so fun and you really do make complicated concepts easier to grasp 🙂 I loved the animation when the zoom out from the 'tissue' image was of the baboons pink butt. That cracked up! Also the bigger and bigger upside down dead animals was hilarious!

  30. By a strange duplication event, scishow released a video yesterday that could be considered a sister video to this one,

  31. This is more a guess. A random change in the genetic code will lead to bugs. It is highly improbable to be a good mutation.

  32. Hi John, Thank you for this wonder content. I have question, I would be very useful If you could answer that or make a video on it. "Considering point mutation, It occurs at specific places in the genes of a single cell, how does this mutation that has occurred in this particular cell, gets passed on to or synced with neighbouring cell? Among billions of cells in the body, which one cell's entire chromosome set(or half of the pair) gets passed on through sperm cells?"

  33. As a deconverting young-earth creationist, evolution is highly interesting and is helping me abandon parts of my former religion. I still have a few questions, however. How do certain species evolve specific abilities when having them in a less developed state makes them unusable? E.g. the bombardier beetle was frequently brought up in response to the doubts of my good friend Nathan when he was still deconverting.

    Edit:- am now an atheist. Thank you, science channels, commenters, and atheist personalities.

  34. My question is how does this create a whole new species. Dogs creat dog legs. Human create human and not other creatures, we better our self but we don’t creat new species.
    Evolution is a process of genetical duplication of helping a species survive not creat new species. One cannot turn something into something new.

  35. Lol getting shorter legs is “extremely beneficial.” Lol I’m so tired of evolution biases being forced upon my learning experience. I just want to learn about DNA without any of this evolution garbage.

  36. Y’know, I left young-earth creationism a LONG time ago (yeah, I know, but I was a kid raised in a conservative religious environment, cut me SOME slack), but the whole YEC talking point about “mutations don’t add genetic information, only act upon or destroy what’s already there” was something I hadn’t really gotten a solid rebuttal for by the time I decided that the whole thing was silly, and I was kind of curious what the answer was.

    Turns out said answer is surprisingly simple. When I was a YEC, I didn’t hear ANYTHING about gene duplication followed by said duplicated genes being subject to mutation, but in hindsight it’s really freaking obvious. Given how well-known this phenomenon apparently is in the scientific community, I’m surprised I didn’t hear creationists attempt to address it (though, maybe I shouldn’t be; I mean, if they tried to analyze this stuff critically, they wouldn’t be creationists).

  37. "Dachshunds have quite a unique body type compared to most dogs. Their long bodies sit low to the ground atop very short legs, and their long tails add even more length. Due to their distinct skeletal structure, Dachshunds are prone to health problems related to their environment as well as genetic problems that are common for long-bodied dogs. Because of to how they are bred, skeletal conditions of Dachshunds are near impossible to correct which can lead to a series of other health conditions"

  38. This video doesn’t explain how the duplication happens in the first place. What would need to occur for a sequence to be duplicated and inserted into the chromosome at another location. I’m interested in the mechanism if anyone can help.

  39. isn't this just natural selection right, so why did you call it evolution, it's not like its not a snake anymore.

  40. Please don't believe this crap. When they say that information evolves they can't possibly mean that information is getting more complex. That cannot happen.
    All life is information based. The human genome is about 3 billion bits of complex, coded, and specified information.
    Any change to the precise information is either neutral, or destructive.
    Human genomes are known to be deteriorating at a rate of about 150 mutation accumulated per generation.
    That is all a loss of information.
    like much of life in the past we humans are on a downward spiral. Our genome is degenerating.

    Bill Gates noted that "“Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software we have ever created”. The Road Ahead 1995, p. 188
    This kind of information cannot be mutated to add more complexity. It can only lose complexity by random mutations.

    The bottom line? All life is devolving. We are not as robust as when we were first created.

  41. Gene duplication has nothing to do with new information being added. There is mo reason for such a thing to happen in the first place even though even it happens the new gene attached is only the same copy of the previous gene. The problem is evolution is not goal directed, so obviously its not happen everytime and also even it happens it will be just a duplicated gene. We already have such ropeats in VNTR. Then comes the purpose of editing by mutations, it's way more unbelievable than any fiction story. Evolutionists are better story tellers than creationists.

  42. You didn't KNOW that snake before it acquired that venom, you didn't KNOW that monkey before it acquired that ability to digest leaves, therefore, you don't KNOW that it was not that way from the beginning, when it was first DESIGNED. The dog was born with strong legs, which was unremarkable. Human breeding developed the characteristic to the extreme…Gene duplication by a designer who KNEW what was needed by that animal in which the DESIGNER placed that animal. YOU DID NOT WITNESS ANY OF THESE EVENTS! CASE CLOSED ;–)

  43. I have myopia and it allows me to "flourish" in niche of electronics where I take off my glasses and can see onerously tiny letters on components two times bigger than a healthy individual.

  44. Abiogenesis is an embarrassment!

    Every experiment has failed abysmally or shown the work of intelligent chemists not unguided processes!

  45. Hate to point out the obvious but duplications can only duplicate existing information. No new information is ever added to the genome. And that is what we see all over nature and in the laboratory.
    No new information has ever been observed to come about by random mutations or gene duplication.
    And no new body structures have ever been observed to be added to any organism.
    That is what we found when we mutated fruit flies for millions of generations. We expected new body structures to arise.

    But all that we ever got was diseased flies, deform flies, and dead flies.
    Which is why we don't all go hang out at the nuclear reactor. We would quickly die from mutated cells.
    We would not start to grow wings or fins.

  46. Cretinists, are you able to learn? If so then that is an INCREASE OF INFORMATION to your brain. How is that possible if information cannot be increased as you morons keep screaming at us?

  47. New information?????? Too hilarious.
    1. Cells are programmed to adapt.
    2. Duplication is not new information. It is bowwing already existing information.
    3. All the examples just produced new traits. These traits can never produce a dog that can fly. A monkey to have feathers or snakes that breath fire….. Why because these are what new set of information would do to the gene. AND THIS HAVE BEEN DONE ONLY IN THE LABS USING SPLICING. Neon color pig, etc …. THE KEY WORD WOULD BE GENETIC ENGINEERING!!!!!! not random mutation!
    4. If you are able to duplicate origin of biological information you can win 10 million dollars. Search evolution 2.0.


  48. Still the old evolutionist story line….. Evidence for microevolution then extrapolate them by imagination doing the macroevolution.

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