VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Why Blood Clots Are Stretchy

A team of biophysicists at University of Illinois ran a computation for six months to find out why blood clots are stretchy.  The primary protein in the clot, fibrinogen, can stretch two to three times its resting size.  By studying the force on every atom in the protein, Science Daily said, they produced a force […]

Did Darwinism Build the Nuclear Pore Complex?

After nine years of work, three universities including a team at Rockefeller University completed a beautiful new model of the nuclear pore complex.  The story is told by Science Daily.     The article attributed the origin of this exquisite gatekeeper of the nucleus to evolution: “their findings provide a glimpse into how the nucleus […]

Nose Code Rockets Smell Discrimination

You have a code in your nose.  Scientists working on fruit fly olfactory systems have found that a mapping mechanism between components maximizes the fly’s ability to discriminate smells.  The coding system provides a non-linear response that appears finely tuned to maximize the information content of odor inputs.     The components of this system […]

A Pitcher of Health, and Reasons to Love Slime

Pitcher plants contain chemicals that just might help medicine and agriculture, reported PhysOrg.  A Japanese team found a myriad of interesting proteins in this “evolutionary marvel,” a plant that eats insect meat.     Now for some slimy good news.  PhysOrg said, “You know algae.  It’s the gunk that collects on the sides of a […]

Bacteria to the Future

Bacteria used to be considered so boring, they were passed over by scientists eager to look where the action was: eukaryotic cells.  That was then.  Now, Nature reported,1 the little rods and spheres and spirals have lots of tricks up their sleeves worth investigating.  “Long dismissed as featureless, disorganized sacks, bacteria are now revealing a […]

Stem Cells: It’s a New Ball Game

A year ago, the ethical battle over human embryonic stem cells was raging.  Now, both Science and Nature have acknowledged that the new induced pluripotent stem cell technology (see 11/20/2007) has opened up a new era that may make embryonic stem cells practically obsolete.     Martin Pera, writing in Nature1, left open only a […]

Missing Links or Linking Misses?  The Case of the Fungus Crystal

Another evolutionary missing-link claim showed up in the news recently.  The suggestive phrase “missing link” implies a chain with just one piece missing.  It also implies that the chain is visible from one end to the other.  Maybe a magic crystal from a fungus can help us visualize the chain.     A “critical missing […]

Quality Control Ensures Accurate Cell Division

Cell division (mitosis) is a very complex process in which every part must be accurately duplicated and sent to the proper destination.  Picture a marching band where each flute player or tuba player is able to clone itself.  The players congregate at the center in two lines, divide, and move apart, forming two marching bands […]

Evolution Goes Forward, Backward and Sideways

According to an article by Becky Ham on MSNBC, evolution can make things more complicated or less complicated.  She referred to iconic cartoons that show the progress of evolution from slime to couch potato.  “It’s just a joke, but the idea that life starts simple and gets more complex over time persists even in scientific […]

Will Adult Stem Cells Cure Sickle Cell Anemia?

It’s been just weeks since two labs announced success harvesting pluripotent stem cells from skin cells (11/20/2007), and already beneficial applications are in sight.  Science Daily and Live Science reported on initial tests that show the new “induced pluripotent stem cells” offer hope for millions afflicted with sickle-cell anemia.  Though it’s too early to tell […]

Cell Gatekeepers: Diverse, Complex, Accurate

Cargo moves around rapidly and ceaselessly in every cell.  Some moves in and out of the external membrane, and some moves in and out of organelles and the nucleus.  In a system of protected domains surrounded by impermeable membranes, how does the cell control what should pass?  Details of the amazing gatekeeping mechanisms embedded in […]

More Cell Codes and Authentication Mechanisms

Here are more “cool cell tricks” that ensure a smoothly-functioning system inside the cell that can adapt to changes while protecting assets. Ribosome code:  Why don’t all ribosomes look alike?  Perhaps they know a secret code.  Another possible coding mechanism has been found in ribosomes, those important organelles in the cytoplasm that translate messenger RNA […]

Month-End Close-Out

Sometimes the creation-evolution news comes in too fast.  Here’s a baker’s dozen from the October shelf, lest they go stale; time to start a new batch for November. Charity begins at worldview:  David Cyranoski in Nature (450, 24-25, 10/31/2007) investigated why the level of charitable giving in prosperous Japan is a tenth of that in […]

Cilia Are Antennas for Human Senses and Development

The little hair-like projections on cells, called cilia, have more functions than previously believed.  A press release from Johns Hopkins University said that researchers found cilia are important for the sense of touch – particularly, for heat sensation.  In fact, cilia are implicated in at least three of the five traditional senses.     The […]

Make Your Face Sparkle With Diatoms

Human engineers may join forces with cellular architects to produce the next generation of paints, cosmetics and holograms, reported Science Daily.  Scientists are finding ways to harness the rapid growth of diatoms.  Manufacturing consumer products with these properties currently requires energy-intensive, high-temperature, high-pressure industrial processes that create tiny artificial reflectors.  But farming diatom shells, which […]
All Posts by Date