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Flagellar Swimmers Attain Mechanical Nirvana

Those little germs that scientists love, E. coli – you know, the ones with the flagella that intelligent-design folk get all excited about – well, they move through the water pretty efficiently with those high-tech outboard motors of theirs.  Some Pennsylvania physicists reporting in PNAS1 measured the “swimming efficiency of bacterium Escherichia coli” and concluded, […]

Yoke Up Those Bacteria

My, how history repeats itself – often in unexpected ways.  In ancient times, our ancestors got the heavy work done by hitching oxen, horses or slaves (like Samson, see pictures 1 and 2) to a harness and making them turn a grinding wheel.  The same principle is now on the cutting edge of modern applied […]

Express Your Inner Alley Oop

There’s a little Neanderthal in a lot of us, claims The Telegraph.  This is bad news and good news: People who have large noses, a stocky build and a beetle brow may indeed be a little Neanderthal, according to a genetic study.  But the good news is that other research concludes that Neanderthals were much […]

Another Flagellum Excites Scientists

“The bacterial flagellar motor excites considerable interest because of the ordered expression of its genes, its regulated self-assembly, the complex interactions of its many proteins, and its startling mechanical abilities,” begins a paper in Nature by three Caltech scientists.1  They performed electron cryotomography imaging on the flagella of Triponema primita, a different critter with a […]

Chimp-Human Genes Evolved Much Faster Than Expected

It’s been all over the news lately – human DNA shows surprisingly divergent regions from chimpanzee counterparts.  The Houston Chronicle, for instance, summarizes the find: Searching across the four genomes, the team looked for regions of DNA about 100 letters long that had made the biggest leaps. One, they found, had changed nearly twice as […]

How Useful Is Evolutionary Theory to Biology?

A favorite quote by evolutionists is the line by Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”  Why, then, do so many biological papers fail to mention evolution at all?  Indeed, many employ design language, sometimes with a sense of awe.  Here are more recent examples in which the E […]

Team Returns Pseudogene to Junkpile to Counter ID Claim

An earlier claim that a pseudogene has a function (see 05/01/2003 story) has been debunked by a team of scientists reporting in PNAS.1  Their reanalysis of the claim made in 2003 “invalidates the data upon which the pseudogene trans-regulation model is based and therefore strongly supports the view that mammalian pseudogenes are evolutionary relics.”  The […]

Bacteria Rule the World – Benevolently

We should love bacteria, not annihilate them.  Bacteria are our friends, according to Dianne K. Newman of Caltech:1 As a microbiologist, I’m appalled when I go to buy soap or dishwashing detergent, because these days it’s hard to find anything that doesn’t say ‘antibacterial’ on it…. It’s a commonly held fallacy that all bacteria are […]

Self-Correcting RNA: Is It a Missing Link?

A team of Russian scientists at Rutgers discovered a remarkable phenomenon: RNA that proofreads itself during its own synthesis.  The work was reported in Science1: “We show that during transcription elongation, the hydrolytic reaction stimulated by misincorporated nucleotides proofreads most of the misincorporation events and thus serves as an intrinsic mechanism of transcription fidelity.”  It […]

A Second Code Controls the DNA Code

More has been discovered about the histone or nucleosome code (see 02/17/2004), a second genetic code independent of the DNA genetic sequence that directs the formation of proteins.  The New York Times (see also Science Daily) reported on work by scientists at Northwestern University who found that the wrapping of DNA around nucleosomes (made of […]

Cell Backup Systems Challenge Evolution, Show Design Principles

Has an intelligent design paper been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences?1  Read the abstract and decide whether this research supports Darwinism or design: Functional redundancies, generated by gene duplications, are highly widespread throughout all known genomes.  One consequence of these redundancies is a tremendous increase to the robustness of organisms […]

Cell Untangles Its Own DNA

DNA is packed like spaghetti in a basketball (07/28/2004), but must constantly be accessed by transcribers, duplicators and other molecular machines.  Scientists at the Karolinska Institute, according to EurekAlert, have found a complex of protein machines that know how to untangle DNA.  Machines that can keep DNA from separating too early (cohesins) and keep DNA […]

Genetic Code Began by Lamarckian Evolution

It takes guts to tackle the origin of the genetic code from a naturalist perspective.  It also takes guts to resurrect Lamarck in the age of Darwin.  Carl Woese and colleagues tried a new hypothesis in PNAS1 that boldly goes headlong into both challenges.  To preserve a natural explanation for the genetic code, they felt […]

Stem Cells Protect Against Defective Copies

The Pasteur Institute (see Louis Pasteur) has found evidence supporting a controversial theory known as the “immortal DNA” theory.  According to News-Medical.Net, researchers at the institute believe that stem cells keep the best copies and allow only defective ones to differentiate and specialize.  If so, this may be another mechanism for minimizing the effects of […]

Evolutionists Find Pegasus in the Gene Epic

When you conjure with genes, you never know what might appear.  Japanese scientists, publishing in PNAS,1 tried to find evolution in mammalian retroposons and found an unexpected relationship.  New Scientist explains: “You could call it a batty idea, but bats seem to be more closely related to horses than cows are.”     “Despite the […]
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