Cell biology Genetics Intelligent Design

Dramatic recent finding: There is a new DNA structure in our cells, beyond the double helix

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019 dna i motif structure living cells 2
Zeraati et al., Nat Chem, 2018

From Peter Dockrill at Science Alert:

For the first time, scientists have identified the existence of a new DNA structure never before seen in living cells.

The discovery of what’s described as a ‘twisted knot’ of DNA in living cells confirms our complex genetic code is crafted with more intricate symmetry than just the double helix structure everybody associates with DNA – and the forms these molecular variants take affect how our biology functions.

“When most of us think of DNA, we think of the double helix,” says antibody therapeutics researcher Daniel Christ from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia.

“This new research reminds us that totally different DNA structures exist – and could well be important for our cells.”

The new DNA component the team identified is called the intercalated motif (i-motif) structure, which was first discovered by researchers in the 1990s, but up until now had only ever been witnessed in vitro, not in living cells. More.

“crafted with more intricate symmetry”? Be careful, guys. Darwin Is Watching You. Let’s hope you’re not forced to emit some garbage that does not clearly follow from your findings, just to keep your job.

Paper. (paywall)

See also: Attempt to explain the assembly of the bacterial flagellum, “a complex process involving more than 70 genes”


Defending Intelligent Design theory: Why targets are real targets, probabilities real probabilities, and the Texas Sharp Shooter fallacy does not apply at all.

7 Replies to “Dramatic recent finding: There is a new DNA structure in our cells, beyond the double helix

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    a few notes;

    B, Z, Cruciform, Triplex DNA – drawing

    Cruciform DNA – drawing

    G-quadruplex DNA – drawing

    Side and top view of A-, B-, and Z-DNA conformations. – drawing

    DNA – Cross Section

    First 3-D structure of the enzymatic role of DNA – March 2, 2016
    Excerpt: DNA does not always adopt the form of the double helix which is associated with the genetic code; it can also form intricate folds and act as an enzyme: a deoxyribozyme.,,,
    “We have uncovered the first structure of a deoxyribozyme, and for the first time we can see that this DNA is capable of taking on forms as complex as those of protein enzymes or ribozymes ?an RNA capable of catalytic activity,” points out the Spanish scientist Almudena Ponce-Salvatierra, a member of the European group responsible for accomplishing this breakthrough.
    The researchers have broken the paradigm of the supposed stiffness of DNA -a sort of symbol that is popularly associated with the double helix of Watson and Crick-, by demonstrating that this molecule can also adopt complicated three-dimensional structures in addition to being much more flexible than what was previously thought.

    If you arranged the DNA in a human cell linearly, it would extend for nearly two meters. How do you pack all that DNA into a cell nucleus just five or ten millionths of a meter in diameter? According to the usual comparison it’s as if you had to pack 24 miles (40 km) of extremely thin thread into a tennis ball. Moreover, this thread is divided into 46 pieces (individual chromosomes) averaging, in our tennis-ball analogy, over half a mile long. Can it be at all possible not only to pack the chromosomes into the nucleus, but also to keep them from becoming hopelessly entangled?
    Obviously it must be possible, however difficult to conceive — and in fact an endlessly varied packing and unpacking is going on all the time.,,,

    Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: At the megabase scale, the chromatin conformation is consistent with a fractal globule, a knot-free, polymer conformation that enables maximally dense packing while preserving the ability to easily fold and unfold any genomic locus.

    Researchers storing information securely in DNA – July 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Bachand was inspired by the recording of all of Shakespeare’s sonnets into 2.5 million base pairs of DNA—about half the genome of the tiny E. coli bacterium. Using this method, the group at the European Bioinformatics Institute could theoretically store 2.2 petabytes of information—200 times the printed material in the Library of Congress—in one gram of DNA.

    To call all this amazing design that is apparent in DNA an accident, as Darwinists constantly try to do, is nothing short of pathetic.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    If I saw this pattern in an electronic circuit or a neural circuit or an organizational chart, I’d know what it’s doing. It’s providing feedback and feedforward between the ‘rails’. Pre-boosting some parts of the signal, damping others.

    We don’t know that any sort of signal flows along these ‘rails’, but the inference is irresistible.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    polistra, it might interest you to know,,,

    Electric DNA
    Excerpt: unbroken DNA conducts electricity, while an error blocks the current. Now Dr Barton has found that some repair enzymes exploit this. One pair of enzymes lock onto different parts of a DNA strand. One of them sends an electron down the strand. If the DNA is unbroken, the electron reaches the other enzyme, and causes it to detach. I.e. this process scans the region of DNA between them, and if it’s clean, there is no need for repairs.

    Proteins also conduct electricity:

    Proteins Conduct Electricity – November 25, 2012
    Excerpt: “The team showed that the protein could carry large currents, equivalent to a human hair carrying one amp. The team also discovered that current flow could be regulated in much the same way as transistors, the tiny devices driving computers and smartphones, work but on a smaller scale: the proteins are only a quarter of the size of current silicon based transistors.”
    The finding represents a leap forward in measurement at the nano scale. “Prior to this work, measurement of millions, if not billions of proteins was only possible, so losing crucial details of how an individual molecule functions.” The team used scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to read the electronics of a single molecule of cytochrome b562, a protein just 5 nanometers long.

    Of note: AWG 44 wire is the wire size that is equivalent to the width of a human hair,,

    Measurements and Gauge
    Excerpt: An AWG # 44 wire is about the thickness of a human hair.

    And AWG 44 wire is rated at well below the .014 Ampacity, the last Ampacity they have listed, for AWG 40 wire,,,

    AWG Wire Table, AWG Copper Wire Gauge Chart

    Thus, since 1 divided by .010 is 100, the ampacity (current carrying capacity) for the protein they measured is at least 100 times better than a copper or silver wire would be compared at the size of a human hair. And is twice as good as man has thus far achieved with graphene.

    Also of note: The best manmade (intelligently designed) conductor of electricity beats copper and silver by only 30 to 50 times:
    Graphene: How It Will Change the Future – Apr 12, 2012
    Excerpt: Copper is a great conductor of electricity and heat. Only silver beats copper (by less than 10%). That is why we use copper wires to transmit electricity and data, and copper pots are prized by cooks.
    Graphene conducts heat and electricity 30-50 times better than copper and silver: electrons flowing in graphene travel near the speed of light.

    Bottom line, the communication going on between molecules in the cell is far more sophisticated than anything man has devised and communication in the cell is certainly not just the result of molecules ‘randomly’ colliding into each other as Darwinists originally thought.

    The Real Bioinformatics Revolution – Proteins and Nucleic Acids ‘Singing’ to One Another?
    Excerpt: the molecules send out specific frequencies of electromagnetic waves which not only enable them to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ each other, as both photon and phonon modes exist for electromagnetic waves, but also to influence each other at a distance and become ineluctably drawn to each other if vibrating out of phase (in a complementary way).,,, More than 1 000 proteins from over 30 functional groups have been analysed. Remarkably, the results showed that proteins with the same biological function share a single frequency peak while there is no significant peak in common for proteins with different functions; furthermore the characteristic peak frequency differs for different biological functions. ,,, The same results were obtained when regulatory DNA sequences were analysed.

    Researchers discover that DNA naturally fluoresces – August 15, 2016
    Excerpt: For decades, textbooks have stated that macromolecules within living cells, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, do not fluoresce on their own. Technology instead relies on special fluorescence dyes to enhance contrast when macromolecules are imaged.,,,
    “There are textbooks that say biological molecules don’t absorb light and don’t fluoresce,” said Zhang, associate professor of biological engineering. “It’s what everyone learns; it’s a part of training, so nobody questions it.”,,,
    Backman, Zhang, and Sun discovered that when illuminated with visible light, the molecules get excited and light up well enough to be imaged without fluorescent stains. When excited with the right wavelength, they even light up better than they would with the best, most powerful fluorescent labels.
    “This is ideal because staining is toxic,” Zhang said, “and it makes imaging less precise.”
    This toxicity makes it tricky to get an accurate image of the active processes in living cells because they die immediately after the application of fluorescent stains.,,,

    The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain – Dec. 17, 2010
    Excerpt: In recent years, a growing body of evidence shows that photons play an important role in the basic functioning of cells. Most of this evidence comes from turning the lights off and counting the number of photons that cells produce. It turns out, much to many people’s surprise, that many cells, perhaps even most, emit light as they work.
    In fact, it looks very much as if many cells use light to communicate. There’s certainly evidence that bacteria, plants and even kidney cells communicate in this way. Various groups have even shown that rats brains are literally alight thanks to the photons produced by neurons as they work.,,,
    ,,, earlier this year, one group showed that spinal neurons in rats can actually conduct light.
    ,, Rahnama and co point out that neurons contain many light sensitive molecules, such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores and aromatic amino acids. In particular, mitochondria, the machines inside cells which produce energy, contain several prominent chromophores.
    The presence of light sensitive molecules makes it hard to imagine how they might not be not influenced by biophotons.,,,
    They go on to suggest that the light channelled by microtubules can help to co-ordinate activities in different parts of the brain. It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained. Electrical signals travel too slowly to do this job, so something else must be at work.,,,
    (So) It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job.

  4. 4

    Excellent post and comments. Thank you!

  5. 5
    bb says:

    polistra & ba77,

    Fascinating. Thanks for highlighting this avenue. It reminds me of how some sponges were discovered, over 10 years ago, to make higher quality fiber-optics than human manufacturers. They do so at lower than room temperature, and use them to channel light to photosynthetic bacteria that produce food for the sponge. A fascinating symbiosis.

    “Higher quality” referring to the fact that not only do the fibers have comparable transmission properties, but they are flexible enough to tie into a knot without breaking. The engineering in God’s creation is always miles ahead.

  6. 6
    Belfast says:

    Let me join with bb in thanking polistra and ba77 for their input. Fascinating, indeed.

  7. 7
    LocalMinimum says:

    BA @ 1:

    The visualizations are great. Every cell is as a cathedral where every note is an operating piece of machinery. Beautiful. Incredible.

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