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Biotech Science

Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve 140

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cellular-reverse-engineering dept.
ananyo writes with an excerpt from a Nature news release: "By bringing long-dead proteins back to life, researchers have worked out the process by which evolution added a component to a cellular machine. ... In a paper published in Nature, researchers recreated an 'ancestral' version of a cellular machine called the V-ATPase proton pump, which channels protons across membranes and is vital for keeping cell compartments at the right acidity. Part of this machine is a ring of six proteins that threads through the membrane. Animals and most other eukaryotes have a ring composed of two types of protein component; fungi are alone in having a ring with three. The researchers used computational methods to work backwards and find the most likely sequences of these proteins hundreds of millions of years ago. The team inserted the DNA into yeast and found that just two mutations can turn the simple 2-protein ring into the more complex 3-protein ring."
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Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve

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  • Re:inb4 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by s0litaire (1205168) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:41PM (#38640012)

    Their "battle cry" against Evolution is "Irreducible Complexity" meaning some biological systems are so complex that if a single part is removed the system fails.

    It's the equivalent of saying "if i remove the cam shaft from a vehicle it can't function, therefore GOD must have created vehicles"
    (Crap car analogy but can't be arsed thinking like a "new earth Creationist")

  • Re:inb4 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tgd (2822) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:42PM (#38640038)

    I'm fine with people saying evolution is the method, with a deity being the driving force. The issue is when they say that god created everything from nothing in six days around 6,000 years ago and any evidence to the contrary was put here by the devil to lure us away from the truth.

    Then your position is no more supportable or rational than the people you claim to have a problem with. Both of you are wrong. Degrees of wrong is interesting from an academic standpoint, or when you want to mock someone, but wrong is, in fact, black or white. But you're drawing a line in a non-rationally-supportable position, so you're already on the wrong side of it.

  • Error in summary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:53PM (#38640160) Homepage Journal
    The V-ATPase generally has more than 6 proteins that cross the membrane. Depending on the species, it is usually more around 10-12 individual subunits that work together to form a ring for useful transport.

    From a biochemical perspective, it is also worthwhile to point out that the enzyme is powered by ATP hydrolysis - hence the name V-ATPase. It is a motor, and ATP is the fuel. Without ATP you get no useful work.

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