'Junk DNA' Cell biology Genetics Intelligent Design

Wouldn’t you know, jumping “junk DNA” can be lethal too

Researchers Nigel Goldenfeld and Thomas Kuhlman noticed that “half of the human genome is made up of retrotransposons [jumping genes, “junk DNA”], but bacteria hardly have them at all” and wondered what would happen if they just inserted some: “We thought a really simple thing to try was to just take one (retrotransposon) out of […]

Cell biology Intelligent Design

The term “mechanome” is catching on, but slowly

At her blog, Suzan Mazur interviews neuroscientist Medha Pathak on the recent Mechanome in Action symposium she chaired at UC-Irvine. Pathak “is currently a professor of physiology and biophysics at UCI and heads the Pathak Lab’s investigation there into “how mechanical forces modulate neural stem cell fate in development and repair.” Suzan Mazur: If you […]

Cell biology Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Researchers: Ribosome translational system dates back to earliest Earth

From ScienceDaily: So audacious was Marcus Bray’s experiment that even he feared it would fail. In the system inside cells that translates genetic code into life, he replaced about 1,000 essential linchpins with primitive substitutes to see if the translational system would survive and function. It seemed impossible, yet it worked swimmingly, and Bray had […]

Books of interest Cell biology Darwinism Intelligent Design

Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne denounces Michael Behe’s forthcoming book unread

Of course, just now, one suspects that it is mainly the editors in Frisco who have pored over it. But now, Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne  tells us,l Michael Behe, author of the intelligent-design (ID) creationist books Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution, has a new book coming out next […]

Cell biology Evolution Intelligent Design

Huge study shows yeasts evolve by reducing their complexity

Not by adding to it. Everyone seems to be talking about devolution (“reductive evolution”) these days. From ScienceDaily: “This is the first large genome project like this that actually looks at hundreds of different eukaryotic species, not different individuals or isolates of the same species,” says Chris Todd Hittinger, a UW-Madison genetics professor and one […]

Biomimicry Cell biology Intelligent Design

Suzan Mazur asks: How far have we gotten in understanding the mechanome?

The mechanome is the underresearched “ the set of proteins or molecular entities that sense or respond to forces” within the cell (Allen Liu). Our earlier stab at the subject here at UD garnered 354 comments, so there’s no shortage of interest. The mechanome (and mechanobiology in general) plays a key role in research into artificial […]

Cell biology Evolution Intelligent Design

Researchers: Reproductive stem cells have system to fight off jumping genes

Whose triumph would create “catastrophic genomic instability”: Since Carnegie Institution’s Barbara McClintock received her Nobel Prize on her discovery of jumping genes in 1983, we have learned that almost half of our DNA is made up of jumping genes—called transposons. Given their ability of jumping around the genome in developing sperm and egg cells, their […]

Cell biology Intelligent Design Physics

Quantum biology: Did researchers produce quantum entanglement in living organisms?

The researchers claim it is a first: … a new paper from a group at the University of Oxford is now raising some eyebrows for its claims of the successful entanglement of bacteria with photons—particles of light. Led by the quantum physicist Chiara Marletto and published in October in the Journal of Physics Communications, the […]

Cell biology Design inference Intelligent Design

Researchers: A kill cancer code is embedded in every cell

From ScienceDaily: A kill code is embedded in every cell in the body whose function may be to cause the self-destruction of cells that become cancerous, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. As soon as the cell’s inner bodyguards sense it is mutating into cancer, they punch in the kill code to extinguish the mutating […]

Cell biology Darwinism Design inference Intelligent Design Natural selection

Stephen Meyer’s approach in Darwin’s Doubt vindicated in recent fruit fly study

Steve Meyer, author of Darwin’s Doubt, is thought to be vindicated by a paper published in 2017, “Experimental test and refutation of a classic case of molecular adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster” (Nature Ecology and Evolution). The paper “begins with a perceptive statement about what ought to be required when establishing some genetic evolutionary pathway: Identifying […]

Cell biology Human evolution Intelligent Design

“Incredibly surprising”: New structure in human cells discovered

From ScienceDaily: The cells in a tissue are surrounded by a net-like structure called the extracellular matrix. To attach itself to the matrix the cells have receptor molecules on their surfaces, which control the assembly of large protein complexes inside them. These so-called adhesion complexes connect the outside to the cell interior and also signal […]

Animal minds Cell biology Design inference Intelligent Design

Researchers: Diatoms demonstrate “behavioral biology”

From ScienceDaily: Unicellular diatoms are able to adapt their behavior to different external stimuli based on an evaluation of their own needs. This was discovered by scientists of the Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, together with partners from Belgium. The algae depend on nutrients in order […]

Cell biology Evolution Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Oldest evidence for animals found at 635 mya

Instead of looking for fossil at that age, the researchers looked for biomarkers: Rather than searching for conventional body fossils, the researchers have been tracking molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Era. In ancient rocks and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, they found a […]