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Who’s Playing Your Gene Piano?

Is your genetic code a library or a musical instrument?  Scientists have long considered it to be like the former, a genetic code.  Now, however, a new metaphor is emerging: a piano.  Discoveries in epigenetics (beyond-the-gene), processes that determine which genes are played or silenced, are tending toward the new interpretation.     In Medical […]

Intelligent Design Found in Bacteria

Poetry has been found in a bacterial genome.  We know it was intentional, because we know the poet who did it: Christian Bok.  The BBC News tells how Bok “encoded his verse into a strip of DNA and had it inserted into a common bacterium, E. coli.”  Would scientists of the future be able to […]

SETI in Reverse

The SETI Institute has had to close down its search with the Allen Telescope Array (08/12/2010) due to lack of funds.  But while incoming messages might be missed, outgoing messages are still en route.  The Voyager record is approaching interstellar space.     PhysOrg, Live Science and the BBC News all told about the budget […]

More Complexity in Simplicity Found

Primitive things aren’t.  That seems to be a common thread in some recent stories that found more complexity in simple living things. Box jellyfish eyes:  Jellyfish are among the simplest of animals, so why do box jellyfish have two dozen eyes but no brain?  Some of these eyes have now been found to detect features […]

Animal Tricks Inspire

Here we are in the millennium of science, and we are still trying to figure out how animals do such nifty things.  Some of their nifty tricks we didn’t even know about till researchers took a look.  With high-tech monitoring tools, we might even learn the tricks for our own good. Owl fowl:  The flapping […]

Teacher Protection Inflames Darwinist Outrage

Imagine a bill that protects teachers who wish to present facts – the facts about Darwinism.  Assume that it specifically forbids teaching creationism or intelligent design.  Imagine the bill seeking to increase critical thinking among students about controversial subjects.  Should it be a cause for alarm?     There’s actually a bill like that in […]

Psychologist Analyzes ID Belief with Emotionally Loaded Poll

Without any critique, Science Daily and PhysOrg reproduced a bizarre press release from University of British Columbia that alleges, “Death anxiety prompts people to believe in intelligent design, reject evolution.”     A contrived psychological survey, replete with imagining one’s own death and then reading quotes from Michael Behe and Richard Dawkins, scared 1,674 respondents […]

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 […]

Plants Spring into Action

We shouldn’t take plants for granted.  They seem so slow and stationary, but actually they move and breath and carry on their lives in truly amazing ways.  Plants really show off their glory in the spring.  But how do they know, without eyes, what time it is?     In “The science of spring,” PhysOrg […]

Sensing the World Requires Intelligent Design

How do our bodies make sense of the external world?  Through our senses, of course; at least they are the entry points of data into the mind.  Behind those senses are remarkable mechanisms that we use but do not actively operate.  The design in their automatic operations is slowly being revealed with better observing techniques. […]

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 […]

Follow the Insects

Science has good reason to study insects – not just because they are the most numerous and diverse animals on the planet.  They know some tricks we would do well to emulate.  Robot designers are taking the lead on following insects. Print a fly:  New printers are allowing inventors to print the paper-thin wings they […]

Feather Color Is a Costly “Complex System Design”

The brilliant, shimmering colors in the breast feathers of the Bird of Paradise have long fascinated ornithologists.  Alfred Russell Wallace was perhaps the first Englishman to see the magnificent birds in their native Malaysian habitats and wrote, “the richness of their glossy orange colouring, and the exquisite delicacy of the loosely waving feathers, were unsurpassable.”1 […]
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