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Cell biology

At Nature: “Dogma-defying bacteria package DNA in unusual ways”

Dogma? Defying dogma? "Bizarre"? These bacteria are just going about their usual business, unconscious of the dogmas some have chosen to promulgate about them. They were never obliged by any power in this world or any other to do only what the dogmatists insist they do. Read More ›

At Phys.org: Alpine lake bacteria deploy two light-harvesting systems

Christopher Packham writes: Though humans, along with other vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, don’t photosynthesize, we’re definitely the downstream beneficiaries of the life forms that do. Phototrophic organisms at the bottom of the food chain convert abundant sunlight into the energy that ultimately powers all other life. The two metabolic systems for harvesting light energy are fundamentally different. The most familiar is the chlorophyll-based photosynthesis by which plant life uses light to power the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into sugars and starches; the other system consists of proton-pumping rhodopsins. Microbial rhodopsins, retinal-binding proteins, provide ion transport driven by light (and incidentally, sensory functions). It’s a family that includes light-driven proton pumps, ion pumps, ion channels and light sensors. Microbial rhodopsins are Read More ›

At Live Science: Massive tentacled microbe may be direct ancestor of all complex life

Nicoletta Lanese writes: Ancient microbes whose existence predates the rise of nucleus-carrying cells on Earth may hold the secrets to how such complex cells first came to be. Now, for the first time, scientists have grown a large enough quantity of these microbes in the lab to study their internal structure in detail, Science reported. Researchers grew an organism called Lokiarchaeum ossiferum, which belongs to a group of microbes known as Asgard archaea, according to a new report, published Wednesday (Dec. 21) in the journal Nature. Named after the abode of the gods in Norse mythology, Asgard archaea are thought by some scientists to be the closest evolutionary relatives of eukaryotes, cells that package their DNA in a protective bubble called a nucleus.  On the evolutionary Read More ›

At Phys.org: Chemists create an ‘artificial photosynthesis’ system ten times more efficient than existing systems

"In nature, photosynthesis is performed by several very complex assemblies of proteins and pigments." Researchers have not been able to approach the efficiency of the natural process with artificial photosynthesis. Read More ›

At SciTech Daily: Scientists Solve an Origin of Life Mystery

So many steps in this imagined process are mediated against by the known laws of physics, that to suggest it happened naturally is to depart from scientific credibility. Read More ›

At Phys.org: The thinking undead: How dormant bacteria calculate their return to life

This fascinating research presents yet another remarkable example of biochemical complexity with a functionality dependent upon environmental sensing, signal evaluation, operational feedback, managing stored resources, and survivability--all within a supposedly inert "spore." I'll call that evidence of intelligent design. Read More ›

Evolution News reports on The Electric Cell: More Synergy with Physics Found in Cellular Coding

The significant takeaway is that new research is discovering profound layers of complexity in cellular function that confounds the assumption of unguided interatomic forces as responsible for life. Read More ›

Yockey reminds us on code use in Protein Synthesis

There is need to correct for record, given attempts to dismiss. Note, Yockey’s diagram: Where, we can observe on tRNA structure and action: The presence of a universal, CCA tool-tip means, chemically, any tRNA could bind the COOH end of any AA, where basic AA structure is: Given hyperskeptical objections, we need to emphasise that it is in fact uncontroversial consensus that the genetic code is just that, an actual code. As in: U/D Sept 6: Let us compare the ASCII code, which uses seven element strings b7 . . . b1, with two states per character bx [bases have four states per character, so Codons have 64 states], showing how a commonplace communication code is structured . . . Read More ›

At Phys.org: Discovery of new types of microfossils may answer age-old scientific question

"Scientists have long pondered how and when the evolution of prokaryotes to eukaryotes occurred. A collaborative research team from Tohoku University and the University of Tokyo may have provided some answers after discovering new types of microfossils dating 1.9 billion years." Read More ›