Irreducible Complexity

Flagellum: Nature, it turns out, is an engineer

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From ScienceDaily:

How nature engineered the original rotary motor

The bacterial flagellum is one of nature’s smallest motors, rotating at up to 60,000 revolutions per minute. To function properly and propel the bacterium, the flagellum requires all of its components to fit together to exacting measurements. In a study published in Science, University of Utah researchers report the eludication of a mechanism that regulates the length of the flagellum’s 25 nanometer driveshaft-like rod and answers a long-standing question about how cells are held together.

While the biomechanical controls that determine the dimensions of other flagellar components have already been determined, the control of the length of the rod, a rigid shaft that transfers torque from the flagellar motor in the interior of the cell to the external propeller filament, were unknown. “Since the majority of the machine is assembled outside the cell there have to be mechanisms for self-assembly and also to determine optimal lengths of different components,” says biology professor Kelly Hughes. “How does it do that?”Paper. (paywall) – Eli J. Cohen, Josie L. Ferreira, Mark S. Ladinsky, Morgan Beeby, Kelly T. Hughes. Nanoscale-length control of the flagellar driveshaft requires hitting the tethered outer membrane. Science, 2017; 356 (6334): 197 DOI: 10.1126/science.aam6512More.

Curious that the authors don’t feel they need to watch their language here.

See also: Complexity of bacterial flagellum studied

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8 Replies to “Flagellum: Nature, it turns out, is an engineer

  1. 1

    My goodness … attention Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Bill Nye, NCSE, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Ball State University (Hedin), RVB8, … are you reading this?

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    You ID folks simply don’t understand evolution.
    🙂

  3. 3
    harry says:

    I watched about twenty minutes of the video. From what I saw the video could have been entitled The Vindication of Mike Behe.

    One has to be hopelessly closed minded if one can become aware of such overwhelming evidence of intelligent agency and persist in the belief that the bacterial flagellum is the result of mindless, purposeless accidents.

    The discoveries of modern science have rendered atheism profoundly irrational.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    harry,
    “The discoveries of modern science have rendered atheism profoundly irrational.”

    We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
    The avalanche of amazing discoveries has just started.
    The best are still ahead.
    Fasten your seatbelt.
    The complex complexity seen in the biological systems is looking more and more like an information management system on steroids.
    That’s why so many folks from electrical engineering, physics, computer science are joining interdisciplinary research teams.

  5. 5
    harry says:

    Hi Dionisio,

    Yes. Don Johnson (PhD in Computer Science from Univ. Minnesota, another PhD in Chemistry from Michigan State) wrote a pro-ID book, “Probability’s Nature and Nature’s Probability: A Call to Scientific Integrity.” It was published in 2009 and is available on Amazon.

    He is the kind of person you are talking about. He realized the irrationality of abiogenesis and macroevolution after he got into computer science. The techies “get it” first.

    You are right. Things are looking good. ;o)

  6. 6

    Full disclosure- –I am NOT the Don Johnson referenced above. I am the “real Don Johnson”

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    The bacterial flagellum is a reversible rotary motor powered by an electrochemical-potential difference of specific ions across the cytoplasmic membrane.

    The H(+)-driven motor of Salmonella spins at ?300 Hz, whereas the Na(+)-driven motor of marine Vibrio spp. can rotate much faster, up to 1700 Hz.

    A highly conserved motor structure consists of the MS ring, C ring, rod, and export apparatus.

    The C ring and the export apparatus show dynamic properties for exerting their functional activities.

    Various additional structures surrounding the conserved motor structure are observed in different bacterial species.

    In this review we summarize our current understanding of the structure, function, and assembly of the flagellar motor in Salmonella and marine Vibrio.

    The bacterial flagellar motor and its structural diversity.
    Minamino T, Imada K.
    Trends Microbiol. 23(5):267-74.
    doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.12.011

    Complex complexity.

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    Regulatory networks play a central role in the relationship between genotype and phenotype in all organisms.

    However, the mechanisms that underpin the evolutionary plasticity of these networks remain poorly understood.

    Evolutionary Remodeling of Bacterial Motility Checkpoint Control.
    Ni B1, Ghosh B1, Paldy FS2, Colin R1, Heimerl T3, Sourjik V4.
    Cell Rep. 18(4):866-877.
    doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.088

    Complex complexity.

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