I have been browsing the web via Google and come across a number of catchy words and phrases such as chromonome (not chromosome), genome assemblies, contigs, scaffolds, micro-synteny, non-random chromosome organization, and chromosome level assemblies. All of this terminology refers to how the DNA appears to be organized within chromosomes. It relates to the field of genomics where short pieces of DNA that have been precisely sequenced (contigs) have been cyber pasted together into longer linear structures (scaffolds). Unfortunately, such a process can generate errors as well as gaps between the contigs.
So the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed is this: If DNA within a chromosome is completely linear, why can’t it be completely sequenced free of any gaps and errors? Why indeed. Are stubborn molecules like proteins getting in the way? If so, why can’t they be removed the same as other molecules during the DNA purification process? The most obvious possibility is that such offending molecules, assuming they exist, must be covalently attached to the DNA in some manner. Such attachments would have to be quite stable and long lasting to generate such persistent errors and gaps within the genome. Perhaps the only way of getting rid of them is by breaking the offending links, which inevitably damages the DNA at that site.
If such is the case, it has to be said that the concept of uninterrupted linear DNA within chromosomes is nothing more than a mere myth, stubbornly sustained throughout the literature with mindless rabid fervor equal in ferocity to that of blind religious zealotry.
Take a moment to think about the statement I just made above.
If you’re a biologist, think about it very hard.
I just called out every major publisher who persists in spreading misconceptions about linear DNA in eukaryotic chromosomes. That’s pretty bold, don’t you think?
Then check out the models on this blog that offer an explanation for why chromosomal DNA is not a simple linear molecule at all.
P.S. I can think of only three reasons why publishers persist in promoting this linear DNA tripe: 1) they succumb to irrational peer pressure for fear of financial losses and/or loss of “prestige”, 2) they are too intellectually comfortable in their safe and secure bubble to change anything, 3) they actually believe what they are printing. None of these reasons should be acceptable to any person whose agenda is seeking the truth.