Cell biology Information Intelligent Design

An information theory approach to homeostasis

From Cell: A prevailing view among physiologists is that homeostasis evolves to protect organisms from damaging variation in physiological factors. Here, we propose that homeostasis also evolves to minimize noise in physiological channels. Fluctuations in physiological factors constitute inescapable noise that corrupts the transfer of information through physiological systems. We apply information theory to homeostasis […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design Mind

New findings overturn the widely held model of human visual attention

From ScienceDaily: Our visual attention is drawn to parts of a scene that have meaning, rather than to those that are salient or “stick out,” according to new research from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis. The findings, published Sept. 25 in the journal Nature Human Behavior, overturn the […]

Peer review

P-values: Scientists slam proposal to raise threshold for statistically significant findings

From Dalmeet Singh Chawla at Nature: Researchers are at odds over when to dub a discovery ‘significant’. In July, 72 researchers took aim at the P value, calling for a lower threshold for the popular but much-maligned statistic. In a response published on 18 September1, a group of 88 researchers have responded, saying that a […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design

Everything we can know about ourselves before we were born

From the Virtual Embryo Project: This $3.2 million, 11-year initiative engaged a team led by Dr. Raymond F. Gasser—one of the leading embryologists of the last half century. His team created thousands of restored, digitized, and labeled serial sections from the world’s largest collection of preserved human embryos. They used these serial sections to create […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design

Genetics helps trace Neanderthals’ lost history

From Jordana Cepelewicz at Quanta: Now, however, researchers led by Alan Rogers, an anthropologist and population geneticist at the University of Utah, have proposed a new genetic model that may reconcile those differences. It concludes that Neanderthals were more numerous than previous genetic studies often supposed, perhaps finally aligning genomic findings with the larger populations […]

Convergent evolution Origin Of Life

Archaea vs. bacteria: Convergent evolution of molecular propeller

Abstract: The archaellum is the macromolecular machinery that Archaea use for propulsion or surface adhesion, enabling them to proliferate and invade new territories. The molecular composition of the archaellum and of the motor that drives it appears to be entirely distinct from that of the functionally equivalent bacterial flagellum and flagellar motor. Yet, the structure […]

Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

Human self-awareness without cerebral cortex

From Ferris Jabr at Scientific American: Consciousness, most scientists argue, is not a universal property of all matter in the universe. Rather, consciousness is restricted to a subset of animals with relatively complex brains. The more scientists study animal behavior and brain anatomy, however, the more universal consciousness seems to be. A brain as complex […]

Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design Naturalism

Biologist describes growing up under Darwinism in a communist state

From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views: You never know who’s going to turn up at Q&A with Jonathan Wells and John West. The Discovery Institute biologist and political scientist, respectively, answered questions from the audience following a performance of the play Disinherit the Wind in Hollywood, California – which was a pretty interesting […]

Cell biology Design inference Evolutionary biology Of General Interest

Transcription Factors Play “Football”

This just in from PhysOrg: We had no idea that we would discover that transcription factors operated in this clustered way. The textbooks all suggested that single molecules were used to switch genes on and off, not these crazy nano footballs that we observed.” The team believe the clustering process is due to an ingenious […]

Evolution Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

New paper: A Complex Lens for a Complex Eye

Abstract: A key innovation for high resolution eyes is a sophisticated lens that precisely focuses light onto photoreceptors. The eyes of holometabolous larvae range from very simple eyes that merely detect light to eyes that are capable of high spatial resolution. Particularly interesting are the bifocal lenses of Thermonectus marmoratus larvae, which differentially focus light […]