Evolution Evolutionary biology Genetics

The Death of Neutral Theory

In today’s Nature, we find this article: “Synonymous mutations in representative yeast genes are mostly strongly non-neutral.” They investigated what effect “synonymous, nonsynonymous and nonsense” mutations involving “21 endogenous genes” would have on yeast. The fitness levels of synonymous and nonsynonymous fell in equal (though not ‘identical’) measure–around 75%. I don’t have access to the Read More…

Genetics Intelligent Design Plants

Fun: A giant undersea meadow turned out to be a single organism – the world’s largest

At Futurism: “According to The Guardian, this single Posidonia australis plant, more commonly known as ribbon weed, spans an astonishing 77 square miles of undersea land off the coast of western Australia’s Shark Bay. For perspective, that’s three times the size of Manhattan. Move over, trees! There’s a new — well, ~4,500 year old — giant in town.”

'Junk DNA' Design inference Genetics Information Intelligent Design specified complexity

Intelligent Design=Pattern Recognition

This Phys.Org press release isn’t about a particularly interesting scientific paper. However, what the authors tells us about how this paper came to be is very interesting. And, I may add, very revealing. Listen to what they have to say about their “aha” moment: Inside some of the data that a standard mapping algorithm normally Read More…

Cell biology Genetics Intelligent Design

Researcher: Viruses are “smart” but the human immune system is smarter

“Viruses are very smart, that’s what I love to say,” Muller says. “They have lots of strategies to stick around, and they don’t do a lot of damage for a very long time, because that’s one way to hide from the immune system. It’s becoming harder for researchers to claim that there is no intelligence in nature. That’s probably why so many of them are embracing panpsychism. They want a way to include intelligence in nature without an intelligence outside nature. It won’t work but at least it makes more sense in relation to the evidence.

Cell biology Genetics Intelligent Design

It just so happens that essential genes are protected from mutations

At The Scientist: Monroe and his colleagues found evidence of specific epigenetic characteristics such as cytosine methylation that prevent mutations from occurring in those regions, not unlike protective barriers. These structures and the variability in mutation rates within a single organism’s genome, Monroe says, suggest that “evolution created mechanisms that changed how evolution works.”

Cell biology Genetics Intelligent Design

Protein tidies cells like sorting a kitchen drawer…

At ScienceDaily: “Each compartment created by a lamin acts like a kitchen utensil drawer, keeping knives, forks and spoons easy to access, and more rarely used items like serving pieces out of the way until needed,” Reddy says. (And the high information level needed for all that came into existence randomly, of course, just like kitchen drawers and utensils… Which makes sense if you buy the Darwinian approach to consciousness, which treats it as an illusion (whose?) So tidiers and tidying are random too… The people who built up Darwinism decades ago probably didn’t expect to find this stuff. )

Genetics Intelligent Design

Five more species of bacteria use alternate genetic codes

At The Scientist: “The genetic code has been set in stone for 3 billion years,” study coauthor Yekaterina Shulgina, a Harvard University graduate student in systems biology, tells The Scientist. “The fact that some organisms have found a way to change it is really fascinating to me. Changing the genetic code requires changing ancient, important molecules like tRNAs that are so fundamental to how biology works.”