From Veronique Greenwood at Quanta:
In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell.
And what did they find?:
In all, they found 550,000 pairs that, when removed, result in sickness or death. This network of genetic connections reveals a previously hidden scaffolding that underlies the operation of the cell. “The complete picture,” Boone said, “clearly shows a beautiful hierarchical structure.”
Over here are the genes involved in taking out the cell’s garbage, and over there are the genes responsible for its metabolism. Zoom out from one cluster of genes, and you’ll find the ones involved in the larger process the cluster is nested in. Zoom out from those and you’ll find all the ones that function alongside them in the same compartment of the cell. There’s something vertiginous in this view of life, a feeling that all the layers of complexity that let the organism thrive are there to look through, just as they were laid down by evolution. [colour emphasis added – News] More.
Laid down by what? evolution? Then evolution must be functioning as some sort of designer, architect, or lawgiver, not as the outcome of natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism).
The Toronto researchers are already thinking about another big project: knocking out trios of genes instead of pairs. Many of their cells with two genes missing did not show any particular change from normal. But with a third gene removed, more cells will fail. Even if the groups test only a targeted set of genes to start out with, the group could uncover potentially thousands of new interactions.
Doubtless more beautiful hierarchical structures to come.
See also: Why one microbiologist decided to openly acknowledge design in nature
Self-organization: Can we wring information from matter — shake the bit out of the it?
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