Irreducible Complexity News

“Incredible ”bacterial rotors, varying torques, imaged

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three bacterial motors/Morgan Beeby, Imperial College London

From ScienceDaily:

By looking at distantly related bacteria from different branches of the evolutionary tree, the team speculate that the ability to alter torque in this way may have evolved up to two billion years ago.

“Entire branches of the bacterial family tree have evolved motors with different torques, leading to a diversity of species each geared to their own environment,” said Dr Beeby. The team is now investigating how and when the evolutionary steps that altered motor torque happened. More.

Evolved two billion years ago? That’s not a lot of time for Darwinian evolution, even if a wheel could be achieved that way, given enough monkeys, enough typewriters.

See also: You’ll never guess why biological wheels are not irreducibly complex The New Scientist writer seems anxious to so mangle the idea of irreducible complexity that “irreducible complexity” means lack of diversity and “evolved only once.”

and

Irreducible complexity (if you actually wanted to know)

Here’s the Significance:

Many bacteria swim using helical propellers, flagella. Intriguingly, different bacteria show different swimming abilities, strikingly illustrated by the abilities of some to bore through viscous fluids (e.g., gastrointestinal mucus) in which others are completely immobilized. We used 3D electron microscopy to show that differences can be explained by the structures of the torque-generating motors: two diverse high-torque motors position additional torque-generating complexes at wider radii from the axial driveshaft than in the model enteric bacteria; this positioning is consistent with the exertion of greater leverage to rotate the flagellum and thus greater torque generation. Intriguingly, these torque-generating complexes are scaffolded at wider radii by a conserved but divergent family of structures, suggesting an ancient origin of reconfiguring torque output. (open access .pdf) – Morgan Beeby, Deborah A. Ribardo, Caitlin A. Brennan, Edward G. Ruby, Grant J. Jensen, David R. Hendrixson. Diverse high-torque bacterial flagellar motors assemble wider stator rings using a conserved protein scaffold. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 201518952 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1518952113

7 Replies to ““Incredible ”bacterial rotors, varying torques, imaged

  1. 1
    Origenes says:

    Speaking with forked tongue …

    “For the first time, we have been able to see and explain how these nanoscale molecular machines have evolved in bacteria to colonize new environments,” said Dr Beeby.

    Ok, so Dr Beeby claims he is able to explain how these flagella have evolved. He can even “see” it. However there is nothing in the article, other than the repeated bald assertion that the flagella “have evolved”, which indicates that such an explanation is actually forthcoming.
    The last sentence of the article confirms my skepticism:

    The team is now investigating how and when the evolutionary steps that altered motor torque happened.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1141908409155424/?type=2&theater

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, good to see you, missed you trust you have been okay. KF

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    BA77,
    Just as KF said, glad to see you back in town.
    Most probably many anonymous visitors missed your informative posts too.
    The mission field is in many places, including here too. [Matthew 9:37-38]

    Thank you for posting the indirect link to BioVisions/XVIVO video.
    As they say, sometimes a picture is worth thousand words.
    Those animation videos are effective illustrations to complement written explanation of the amazing biological systems.
    However, when watching that or similar videos we should keep in mind that what they show is a gross oversimplification of the real thing. 🙂
    We ain’t seen nothing yet. The best is still ahead. 🙂

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    BA77,
    Here’s another interesting animation of protein packing:
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/uHeTQLNFTgU

    There are other biology animations here:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAUL7Wl_lydKXI8q0oi4CUw
    Note that most biology animations present grossly oversimplified descriptions of the reality, but still can serve as effective illustrations for complementing written explanations.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks kf and Dionisio.

    You guys may appreciate this:

    Darwinian Evolution is a Pseudo-Science – Mathematics – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1132659110080354/?type=2&theater

  7. 7
    J-Mac says:

    Welcome back B77!

    I hope you are ok…

    This blog is not the same without you…

    Q

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