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Cellular Trucks Use Moving Highways

Imagine how cool it would be to get in your car and have the road do the driving.  The highway would stretch or shrink, moving this way or that, till you saw your destination and hopped off.  That appears to be what the cargo-bearing motors do in the cells in your body.  A new paper […]

Love Your Planet

Modern astronomy and space travel have given humans the ability to view the earth from a distance and ponder its significance.  Some astronomers expected the earth to be ordinary-looking.  In many respects, however, astronomy is teaching us otherwise.  Clara Moskowitz, staff writer for Space.com began an article by saying, “Earth is one special planet.”   […]

It’s Networks All the Way Down

New ways of seeing biology are finding life is full of networks.  At both ends of the complexity scale – from humans to bacteria – complex interactions are the rule.  Two teams studying different phenomena had the same reaction – astonishment. Bottom-up complexity:  Who would have thought one of the simplest life forms has a […]

Amazing Cell Tricks: Contour Map Navigation

Watch a cell divide, and if things go well, it always divides in the middle.  How does a cell figure out where its middle is?  It follows its contour map.  PhysOrg titled its entry, “Dividing cells find their middle by following a protein ‘contour map’.”     Cell division, or cytokinesis, is a precisely-controlled operation […]

Leaf Vein Patterns Are Not in Vain

The vein patterns in a leaf approach perfection.  If the requirement is to reach every cell with the shortest and most efficient paths, leaves do it just right.  A team of scientists at Cornell, “inspired by plant leaves,” tried to build a network in a polymer substrate that would maximize distribution of fluid with evaporation-driven […]

Bacterial Flagellar Motor Has a Protein Clutch

The bacterial flagellum, the whiplike outboard motor that has become an icon of intelligent design, has another artificial-looking part: a clutch.  Science reported this in “machine language” as follows:1 The bacterial flagellum, powered by a motor that generates 1400 pN-nm of torque, can rotate at a frequency of greater than 100 Hz.  EpsE [the clutch […]

Long Live the Seed

A seed buried under the rubble of Herod the Great’s fortress took root and is now growing into a palm tree.  Science Now reported this as verification of claims that ancient seeds can still grow.  See also the National Geographic News report that added this record beats out the previous verifiable claim of ancient seed […]

Human Face Book Is Customized

Make a face.  How do you make a face?  We are all made with faces that can make unique facial expressions, thanks to unique combinations of subcutaneous muscles.  Nature News said that humans have unique faceprints of 16 common expression-making muscles.     We all have the same 5 subcutaneous muscles that can make us […]

Magic Box in the Cell Baffles the Experts

Put a string of amino acids into this magic box, and it comes out all precisely folded into a protein.  How does it do it?  A molecular machine described by Science Daily has scientists baffled.  Ironically, its name is TRiC.     TRiC is a chaperonin, a member of a class of molecular machines that […]

World’s Fastest Computer Approaches Brain Power

IBM has broken the petaflops barrier.  What’s that, you ask?  In computing lingo, it stands for a quadrillion floating-point operations per second.  The new Roadrunner supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory has set a new record for computing speed that may usher in a new era of scientific analysis of complex systems: “Roadrunner gives scientists […]

Few Typos Get Past Your Spell Checker

Inside your cells are thousands of spell checkers that put any human typist to shame.  In a process critical to all living things, RNA Polymerase II transcribes DNA into RNA rapidly with high fidelity.  Even very similar chemical letters are accurately discriminated by this wonder of a molecular machine that is described in Science Daily. […]

Asian Bees Speak European

Asian honeybees and European honeybees went their separate ways millions of years ago, say evolutionists.  Why, then, were Asian bees able to readily learn the European language?  An international team watched this happen.  They ran some affirmative-action integration experiments on the two species, and reported their results today in PLoS One.1     “The honeybee […]

Cell Electronics Is High-Tech

To describe a living cell these days, you have to borrow electronics lingo.  Notice how two recent articles described cell specs: Ham radio immunity:  What acts like a radio dial, a signal amplifier, and a precision rheostat?  Your immune system, according to Science Daily.  Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital described how the cell […]

Orchids: Epitome of Plant Evolution

“Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” said David Roberts [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] and Kingsley Dixon [Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia] in a primer on orchids in Current Biology.1  Yet some of the facts they shared about these amazingly diverse and well-adapted plants are puzzling for evolutionary theory.     First, […]

Complex Ankle Puts Bounce in Your Step

“The ankle is incredibly efficient at working so the amount of energy you burn with the ankle is much lower than what would be predicted with just isolated muscle studies.”  That’s what kinesiologist Daniel Ferris (U of Michigan) said in an article on Science Daily.  His team measured the efficiency of the muscles and tendons […]
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