In recent weeks, we have seen repeated attempts to suggest that Mathematics is essentially a mind game we make up as an aspect of culture. There has been a very strong resistance to the idea that there are intelligible manifestations of structure and quantity embedded in the fabric of the world (and indeed in that […]
For the same type of reason, perhaps, as each key only produces one letter (prevents information from being degraded even as it is produced).
The mechanome, “the body of knowledge about mechanical forces at work in the molecular, cellular, anatomical, and physiological processes that contribute to the architecture of living structures and their physical properties,” became more prominent this year in discussions of biology (though one story on the physics of biology late last year garnered 354 comments). For […]
Here’s a new paper form Nature Communications describing a discovery of a new geometric shape that is apparently found only in curved epithelial cells. I find it intriguing that this shape is entirely new, not found elsewhere in nature, but now coined “scutoids” by the authors, and is proposed as making “possible the minimization of […]
From Cassandra Willyard at Nature: Since 2000, estimates have ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. The latest attempt to plug that gap uses data from hundreds of human tissue samples and was posted on the BioRxiv preprint server on 29 May1. It includes almost 5,000 genes that haven’t previously been spotted — […]
From Suzan Mazur at Oscillations, With the ramping up of investigations in various parts of the world into the mechanics of biology, I’ve decided to post my conversation with Institut Curie biophysicist Emmanuel Farge on the role of mechanics in reprogramming the embryo , relating to his work first published in the scientific literature in 2003, […]
Here’s the abstract of a new PNAS article: There’s a new article in PNAS that illustrates the fact that thermodynamics determines the effects of future changes made to a protein molecule. Any one mutation changes the thermodynamic/statistical mechanics of the protein molecule. And these changes in the thermodynamic properties swims around in a giant ocean […]
From Suzan Mazur at HuffPost, an interview with German biophysicist Dieter Braun, Redford-style good looks have not been enough to divert Dieter Braun from his research interest in nonequilibrium conditions on the microscale, and what is now a central role in the investigation into the origins of life. Braun—-a professor of systems biophysics at Ludwig […]
Can protein folding complexity be formed by stochastic processes? With 14 intermediate steps? JILA Team Discovers Many New Twists in Protein Folding Biophysicists at JILA have measured protein folding in more detail than ever before, revealing behavior that is surprisingly more complex than previously known. . . . They fold into three-dimensional shapes that determine […]
In this next installment from the Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism (AM-Nat) conference, Salvador Cordova gives us his perspective on epistemology, which he calls “Gambler’s Epistemology,” which intends to be a metaphysically neutral way of analyzing claims based on their costs and payoff possibilities. Cordova shows that naturalism does not have a history of high payoffs, […]
Rockefeller University researchers found that part of a DNA repair protein known as 53BP1 fits over the phosphorylated part of H2AX “like a glove,” says Kleiner. This interaction helps bring 53BP1 to the site of DNA damage, where it mediates the repair of double-stranded breaks in DNA by encouraging the repair machinery to glue the […]
Granville Sewell and Daniel Styer have a thing in common: both wrote an article with the same title “Entropy and evolution”. But they reach opposite conclusions on a fundamental question: Styer says that the evolutionist “compensation argument” (henceforth “ECA”) is ok, Sewell says it isn’t. Here I briefly explain why I fully agree with Granville. […]
The 2nd law of statistical thermodynamics states that in a closed system any natural transformation goes towards the more probable states. The states of organization are those more improbable, then transformations spontaneously go towards non-organization, so to speak. Since evolution would be spontaneous organization, evolution disagrees with the 2nd law. The tendency expressed in the […]
Researchers: … this theoretical [biophysics] approach explains the diversity existing within and between species.
Mutations are used to explain evolution but also cause cancer. Biologists have discovered conditions for multiple mutations. Can we therefore infer that evolution via mutations is more likely? or that enhanced mutations will cause faster species degradation and extinction? Biologists describe mechanism promoting multiple DNA mutations DNA mutations—long known to fuel cancer as well as […]