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Why Stuff Evolves: Not Having Stuff Would Be Terrible

The delicate yet effective choreography of DNA Damage Repair was described by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in terms of amazement: “Safeguarding genome integrity through extraordinary DNA repair.”  DNA repair is essential for health: “To prevent not only gene mutations but broken chromosomes and chromosomal abnormalities known to cause cancer, infertility, and other diseases in humans, […]

Complexity Appears “Earlier than Thought”

Widely-separate branches of science seem to converge on a common puzzle: complexity goes farther back than scientists expected – evolutionary scientists, that is. Cosmology:  More evidence has come that galaxies formed very early.  A mature galaxy detected through gravitational lensing was announced by the Hubble Telescope team, with an estimated redshift of 6.027.  In the […]

Is This What Darwin Had in Mind?

Evolution is a word loosely used in science these days.  Reporters and scientists talk about “the evolution of” this or that sometimes carelessly, without regard to how the explanation fits old Darwinism or neo-Darwinism.  Has the word evolution become a kind of catch-all hypothesis, for which rigor is no longer necessary? Survival of the discreetist:  […]

Adult Stem Cell Advances Continue

The momentum for stem cell therapy is still on the side of adult stem cells (ASC), not embryonic stem cell (ESC) research.  Here are some recent findings: Blood vessel repair:  A press release from King’s College London says, “Scientists from King’s College London have uncovered the first genetic evidence that shows cells found on the […]

Plants Generate Their Own Sunscreen

Ultraviolet radiation hits plants as well as humans, but plants can’t reach for a tube of sunscreen.  Too much exposure can damage them; what do they do?  They have a sensor that turns on production of their own brand of sunscreen and spreads it on their skin automatically.     UV-B rays are the most […]

Plagiarizing Nature

Copying someone else’s invention is a crime, but researchers in biomimetics are doing it with impunity and getting away with it. Leaf power:  “Why come up with new ways to generate clean energy, when we can copy what plants have been doing for millennia?”  That’s what led Daniel Nocera and colleagues at MIT to develop […]

Your DNA Repairman Is Handy as an Octopus

Some 10 times a day in a given cell, your DNA breaks on both strands.  This is an emergency.  Unless repaired quickly, serious diseases, like cancer, can develop.  But no fear: the first responder is an octopus-shaped protein complex that rushes to the rescue, wraps around the damaged site, and brings in all the parts […]

Neurons Know What to Do

Neurons are among the most vital cells in the body: after all, your brain is largely composed of neurons.  Neurons are transmission lines of information that keep a body in touch with itself and the world.  None of the other body organs would work without neurons.  The increasingly powerful tools of microscopy are allowing neuroscientists […]

We Are Filled with Viruses

Viruses have a bad connotation.  We immediately think of the ones that cause disease: “I’ve got a virus,” you say when feeling under the weather.  Actually, you have trillions of them all the time, even in the best of health.  A single gram of stool sample can have 10 billion of them!  What does that […]

Evolution Everyone Can Agree On

The controversy over Darwinian evolution concerns one core question: Can an unplanned, undirected process generate new functions and complex organs of irreducible complexity without design?  No one really doubts that organisms vary in horizontal or downward ways – either by modifications of existing genetic information, or by deleterious mutations that somehow allow animals to continue […]

Double Ratchet Found in ATP Synthase

ATP synthase, the rotary engine in all living things, has another trick in its design specs: a ratcheting mechanism that improves the efficiency of ATP synthesis.  ATP is the “energy currency” of cellular life, so the efficiency of production of ATP is of vital importance.  (For background and animation, see CMI article.)     Three […]

Don’t Tell the Creationists

John Horgan, a blogger for Scientific American, wanted to use this headline 20 years ago, but the editor didn’t let him.  Now that editor is gone, so Horgan let the cat out of the bag: “Pssst!  Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began.”  Well, he just did.     […]

Evolution by Loss

Evolutionists have added a counter-intuitive notion to their explanatory toolkit.  It surfaced this week in Nature,1 then reverberated around the media: our ancestors became human when they lost genetic information from ape-like ancestors.     New Scientist exemplified the new story line: “Key to humanity is in missing DNA.”  Reporter Andy Coghlan explained the central […]

Go to the Cell, Thou Sluggard

Solomon ordered the lazy man, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise (Proverbs 6:6).  Today, he would probably tell lazy materialists needing wisdom to consider the cell.  Several recent scientific papers and news stories illustrate why materialism faces a stiff challenge from design features found in the fundamental units of […]

Racial Evolution Education Proposed

Skin color provides a “handy tool for teaching evolution,” says a anthropologist at Penn State.  PhysOrg reported that professor Nina Jablonski believes “The mechanism of evolution can be completely understood from skin color.”  She proposes using the easily-observed trait in humans to teach evolution to students.  “People are really socially aware of skin color, intensely […]
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