February 27, 2009 | David F. Coppedge

Cell Motors Play Together

If one molecular machine by itself is a wonder, what would you think of groups of them playing in concert?  Recent papers and news articles are claiming that’s what happens in living cells: molecular motors coordinate their efforts.
    Science Daily led off a story on this by saying, “Even within cells, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.”  Researchers at the University of Virginia said they “found that molecular motors operate in an amazingly coordinated manner” when “simple” algae named Chlamydominas need to move with flagella.  This contradicts earlier models that pictured the motors competing with each other like in a tug-o’war.  “The new U.Va. study provides strong evidence that the motors are indeed working in coordination, all pulling in one direction, as if under command, or in the opposite direction – again, as if under strict instruction.”  It almost requires imagining a conductor or foreman guiding the process.  Understanding it could help with treatments of neurodegenerative disorders.  The article did not mention evolution.  The researchers published their work in PNAS.1 
    Another cellular system reported by Science Daily refers to coordination of independent parts.  DNA transcripts made of messenger RNA emerge from the nucleus in 3-D clumps.  These need to be “straightened out” into a linear code that can be read by the ribosome.  Research at Rockefeller University shows that one of the 30 kinds of proteins in the nuclear pore complex “magnetically” attaches to the transcript when it passes through the gate, joining an unwrapping machine called a helicase “to form a machine that unpacks balled-up messenger RNA particles so that they can be translated.”  Here’s how Andre Hoelz described the action: “We found that the messenger RNA protein package and Nup214 competitively bind to the helicase, one after the other.” Each binding strips one protein off as it passes through.  “The process is akin to a ratchet mechanism for messenger RNA export,” Hoelz said.  Failures in the mechanism, again, were said to be implicated in disease.  Once again, also, the article said nothing about evolution.


1.  Laib, Marin, Bloodgood and Guilford, “The reciprocal coordination and mechanics of molecular motors in living cells,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online February 12, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0809849106.

The Darwinists have their chance to show up and explain the evolution of coordinated action of multiple parts needed for function, the failure of any component of which leads to disease or death.  The intelligent design team showed up.  Where’s the evolution team?  It’s like in sports.  Fail to show up and you forfeit.

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