Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

At Science Daily: Bacteria and humans have similar defenses against viruses

arroba Email

Marketed as we’re not all that different from bacteria:

“This study demonstrates that we’re not all that different from bacteria,” said senior author Aaron Whiteley, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry. “We can learn a lot about how the human body works by studying these bacterial processes.”

What was the find?

For the study, Whiteley and co-first author Hannah Ledvina, a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow in the department, collaborated with University of California San Diego biochemists to learn more about a protein called cGAS (cyclic GMP-AMP synthase), previously shown to be present in both humans and, in a simpler form, bacteria.

In bacteria and in humans, cGAS is critical for mounting a downstream defense when the cell senses a viral invader. But what regulates this process in bacteria was previously unknown.

Using an ultra-high-resolution technique called cryo-electron microscopy alongside other genetic and biochemical experiments, Whiteley’s team took an up-close look at the structure of cGAS’s evolutionary predecessor in bacteria and discovered additional proteins that bacteria use to help cGAS defend the cell from viral attack.

Specifically, they discovered that bacteria modify their cGAS using a streamlined “all-in-one version” of ubiquitin transferase, a complex collection of enzymes that in humans control immune signaling and other critical cellular processes.

Because bacteria are easier to genetically manipulate and study than human cells, this discovery opens a new world of opportunity for research, said Ledvina.

Any life form needs a strategy for dealing with viruses. Humans, bacteria, and perhaps countless other life forms may have hit on the same one.

You may also wish to read: Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible?

Evolution appears to converge on goals
this is similar to the concept of emergent, namely, begging the question by using a convenient term to explain the magic. But each fails for two reasons (maybe more,). First where did the proteins come from. This has been explored in some studies but not in detail. The means to do so exist but never used. Why? The second which is never explored is what would the new species do to its ecology. It is assumed the other species would just adapt. But could they? Is there enough time? So why wouldn’t a significant new species disrupt the ecosystem in which it appeared? jerry
but first of all, where all the unique viruses come from ? This question is a way bigger problem than the origin of life problem (cellular life). martin_r

Leave a Reply