August 2, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Cell Regulation Doesn’t Just Happen

Scientists are finding that it’s not just having the right parts that makes a body go; it’s having those parts controlled by the right regulators.  Recent stories make the case with their headlines: “‘Guardian of the Genome’: Protein Helps Prevent Damaged DNA in Yeast,” announced Science Daily.  “Scientists find gas pedal – and brake – for uncontrolled cell growth,” reported PhysOrg.  Another PhysOrg article about stem cells gave “New insights into how stem cells determine what tissue to become.”  Still another on PhysOrg said that “Researchers find key step in body’s ability to make red blood cells.”  Finally, also on PhysOrg, another use was found for large pieces of RNA transcribed from the big stretches of code between genes.  In “‘Linc-ing’ a noncoding RNA to a central cellular pathway,” the opening paragraph announced, “The recent discovery of more than a thousand genes known as large intergenic non-coding RNAs (or ‘lincRNAs’) opened up a new approach to understanding the function and organization of the genome.  That surprising breakthrough is now made even more compelling with the finding that dozens of these lincRNAs are induced by p53 (the most commonly mutated gene in cancer), suggesting that this class of genes plays a critical role in cell development and regulation.”  All that was announced in just 3 days of science news, suggesting this is a hot area of research.  Without precise regulation of the parts of a cell and its genes, bad things happen.

This brief entry today is a teaser to go and read the articles, look for mentions of evolution or design, and think about which point of view found these discoveries surprising or not.  Of course, don’t expect to see the words “intelligent design” anywhere, since that phrase is effectively banned from secular science journalism.  Look instead for indirect inferences that design is the best explanation.  Or, look for the lack of attempts to explain the regulation by evolution.

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Categories: Cell Biology, Genetics, Health

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