Intelligent Design

Garter Snake Immunity, Sodium Channels, and Evolutionary Expectations Dashed Again

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Certain species of garter snake are remarkably immune to tetrodotoxin, a deadly compound that paralyzes and kills. That’s fortunate because the newt, one of the snake’s favorite meals, is loaded with the toxin. The resistance of these lucky snakes is due to tiny adjustments in a protein segment which otherwise is highly conserved across a wide range of animals. This high conservation, and the tiny variations in these snakes, constitute one of the many false predictions of evolutionary theory that lie hidden in journal papers. To understand this evolutionary quandary we first need a quick review of sodium channels.  Read more

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