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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:2, Insightful)

    by rufty_tufty (888596) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:09PM (#38639606) Homepage

    What could a creationist do with this?
    Would not an intelligent designer re-use the most efficient design in all the lifeforms? Unless someone can demonstrate that the 3 ringed design is better for fungi but only for fungi; but even in that case that just shows limited random mutation combined with selection of the fittest works. I just don't get how this can be used for ignorance.
    Although arguing against creationism is kind of like arguments against flat Earth...

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:10PM (#38639620) Homepage

    So this is not about cell phone networks?

    Nope, it's biology. Biology manages to make lemonade out of lemons. Cell phone networks make vinegar out of cider.

    How do like them apples for a mixed metaphor?

  • Re:inb4 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:17PM (#38639722) Homepage

    This is just an example why you can't really 'argue' with a creationist. Anything you come up with, they can make a magic-fairy-dust argument that it's because God wanted it that way.

    It isn't science.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:22PM (#38639764)
    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.
  • Wait for it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:38PM (#38639974) Homepage

    Pat Robertson: "Science perverting resurrection is an abomination, and God's wrath will strike us most likely in the form of a random earthquake or hurricane or tornado sometime within the 12 months."

    I'd add the /sarcasm tag just to show I'm just making fun of him, but I actually think my prediction of what will show up on YouTube from him next is pretty accurate.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AJH16 (940784) <aj@noSpam.gccafe.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:47PM (#38640082) Homepage

    As a Christian, I have to say the biggest frustration I find is the fact that so many Christians are so insistent on 6 24 hour days when there wasn't even the concept of a modern day for the first several days. Even more direct, Jesus said he would come again "soon". I'm pretty sure that rules out the idea of our idea of time being anything like what God considers time so I have no idea why someone would insist it MUST be 6 24 hour days. Could God have made things look like they do and do it in 6 days if he's all powerful? Sure, but why would he. It doesn't make sense and there isn't anything Biblical that says that it is 6 24 hour days either.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:58PM (#38640210)

    A creationist with any sense would acknowledge adaptation. Only fools refuse such inter species evolution exists.

    As a creationist I beleive in the vast majority of modern science with the caveat that it was all created by Someone/thing (in my case God) with vast complexity built-in. We don't see the big picture, which is why it is important to explore these avenues of how things came to be, how they adapted and why. We don't know why the 3 ring is better for fungi, but that is the very reason why it must be explored.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueg3 (192743) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:02PM (#38640258)

    Nonsense. Most models are wrong. They're still enormously useful compared to something that's more wrong. Newtonian mechanics is wrong, but it was -- and still is -- very useful for the overwhelming majority of situations.

    It is very wrong to say the earth is flat. There are many, many ways of demonstrating its wrongness and assuming the earth is flat will lead you to wildly incorrect conclusions for many problems.
    It is less wrong to say the earth is a sphere. However, it's harder to demonstrate that it's wrong, and you can do many useful calculations assuming a sphere for simplicity.
    It's also wrong, but not very much, to say the earth is a slightly squashed sphere. It requires very careful measurement to demonstrate this, and it's such an accurate approximation to make that it's rare to see someone actually model the earth's correct shape.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:19PM (#38640476) Homepage Journal

    It isn't science.

    No, it isn't. It's philosophy, and it shouldn't be in a science story, but somehow the athiests on this board insist on bringing it up anyway.

    Logic won't convince a a religious person that there's no god any more than you can convince me that my computer doesn't exist, but no argument can sway anyone into believing, either. The religious person has percieved his god, so he doesn't need faith to believe any more than I need faith to know that this computer is real (although I could be locked in a rubber room dreaming this nonexixtant computer up). The athiest needs faith.

    The only logical position is agnosticism. It's a pointless argument, why do you guys keep insisting on the argument? It['s tedious and tiresome and I wish you'd stop. It's completely offtopic.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ph0rk (118461) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:35PM (#38640714)
    To re-hash the point for the millionth time:

    The athiest needs faith.

    Technically, no, he does not. There are gnostic and agnostic atheists, just as there are gnostic and agnostic theists.

    A gnostic atheist "knows" there is no god(s), an agnostic atheist does not believe in the existence of a god(s), but will claim they cannot know for certain.

    Admitting the lack of certain knowledge -and- the lack of a belief in what are essentially unsubstantiated rumors don't require much faith in anything other than one's own powers of observation.

  • Re:inb4 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RoccamOccam (953524) on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:38PM (#38641624)
    Is it functionally different than the "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" argument? Is that rationally unsupportable?

"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy." -- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards