Cell biology Intelligent Design

James Tour on the practical side of intelligent design

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At COSM 2021, scientists like James Tour and entrepreneurs like Matt Scholz offer a window into how we are learning to manipulate the building blocks of life, applying intelligent design to biology:

Yesterday COSM 2021, philosopher of science Stephen Meyer, synthetic organic chemist James Tour, and biotech entrepreneur Matthew Scholz looked at how nanotechnology (working directly with very small things, like molecules) will advance biology and medicine.

“Oscar Wilde said nature imitates art,” Meyer opened by saying. And today we’re going to see that “technology is now able to imitate and even in some ways, improve upon nature.”

He noted that since the 1960s we’ve been ;learning that living cells function because of the actions performed by molecular machines—those molecular machines are built using information.

Casey Luskin, “Manipulating molecules: Combining info + nano for better medicine” at Mind Matters News (November 12, 2021)

Tour explained to the audience that his nanodrills can be programmed to target the so-called “super bacteria” that have become resistant to drugs by drilling holes through their cell walls. Drilling either kills the bacterial cells or weakens them so that antibiotics work again against them!

Nanodrills are a valuable new tool because bacteria cannot simply develop resistance to them, as he noted:

This is not a chemical interaction. This is a mechanical interaction that is happening at the molecular scale. And because it’s a mechanical interaction, it’s very hard for a cell to deal with this.

It would be like developing resistance to a scalpel.

It gets better: When the nanodrills punch holes in the cell walls and cytoplasmic membranes of bacteria, the cells burst and their contents are dumped out into the body of the host. Then we can “couple this with immunotherapy,” he explained, so that an organism’s natural immune system can recognize the contents of bacteria and be activated to target those bacteria.

Adding information to our cells’ systems is key here: These nanodrills don’t just kill cells at random. They can be programmed so as to target only certain types of dangerous bacterial cells. They can even be programmed to recognize, target, and destroy cancerous cells in a host’s body where most cells aren’t cancerous.

Tour hopes that his nanodrills will find a place in future therapies to treat problems like antibiotic resistance and tumors. At the core of his research is using our own intelligence to create therapies that outsmart antibiotic resistance—in other words, to beat evolution with intelligent design.

More.


Takehome: Designed information is the basis of biology so if you want to fix medical problems at the root, designing better information is the way to go.

3 Replies to “James Tour on the practical side of intelligent design

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    This sounds to me like they’re working very much within a materialistic paradigm based on materialistic research that has teased out the structure and functions of the cell at the molecular level. Even if they assumed that there was some designing intelligence behind the cell, they have no idea who it was, they have no idea what its purpose might have been and they have no idea of the science and technology it used to accomplish its design. So beyond the possibility that there may have been an alien intelligence involved at some point, the presumption of design is effectively useless. They are working with such information as human researchers have uncovered using purely materialistic assumptions.

  2. 2
    Origenes says:

    Seversky

    This sounds to me like they’re working very much within a materialistic paradigm based on materialistic research …

    Paradigm and research are the result of intelligent design, and the same goes for nanodrills. Unfortunately for your position, adding ‘materialistic’ before each term doesn’t change that fact.

  3. 3
    AnimatedDust says:

    Sev @1. Man, if ever there was evidence of the wish being the father of the assertion, you just nailed it. You want so badly for materialism to be true. It will be, until you die. Gain wisdom and understanding. Your very life depends on it.

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