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…
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.”
Hamsters from hell. Quote of the decade: “We don’t understand this system as well as we thought we did.” One suspects that some of these people are going to learn respect for the design of life the hard way. Hope it’s not too hard on the rest of us.
Researchers: “The molecules of life, DNA, replicate with astounding precision, yet this process is not immune to mistakes and can lead to mutations.” Astounding precision?
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…
The basic message is that we can’t improve on all the things that just happen to work by accident in exactly the right way. Yet in just about any area of life other than evolution theory we find a completely different picture. Why is Darwinism allowed to be such a big exception to the general rule?
But Darwinism about human beings is the bread and butter of pop science media! If that’s under threat now, what will become of, for example, evolutionary psychology?
With genes as with documents, how much do the lost ones matter? If the recreated passenger pigeon was pretty much like the old one, what difference would it make? Shouldn’t the main question be, is this a good ecological idea overall?
One of the faculty advisors is Nathan Lents, known to many readers as the author of a book, Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, claiming that humans are poorly designed. Perhaps we will soon hear that these unique, de novo genes were poorly designed.
“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.
Meanwhile, in the United States, and doubtless in many other places, righteous science activists could probably get a court order against anyone teaching in a publicly funded school that evidence for macroevolution is missing. The fact that it is missing is an Unfact, so to speak.
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.”
Subtitled “Long lambasted as junk DNA or genomic parasites, transposable elements turn out to be contributors to adaptation.”
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. )
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.”