Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Biotech Science

Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve 140

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve

Comments Filter:
  • Error in post (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:17PM (#38639728)

    The research was published in PLoS Biology, not in Nature.

  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:24PM (#38639794) Journal

    It may have had an advantage at one time (such as viral resistance).

    However it could also be a no-benefit/no-cost change, which can also happen, it isn't degeneration (a weakening of the creature), and even degeneration would be a subset of evolution, since it would involve changes over time which are influenced by natural selection, genetic drift, etc.

  • Wrong paper? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:27PM (#38639822)

    Second link points to wrong paper, Nature paper is here.

  • Re:So this is not... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:04PM (#38641106) Journal

    We need to have a nice sit down talk with all the folks involved. Sort of explain the basic rules for playing the game. The guys on the left. What you do is not science. It has no basis in science. Its belief... faith... it needs no foundation in science, because its about your mythos and the stories you tell about the creator. You absolutely have a right to that, and in this country the freedom to celebrated and express that faith any way you see fit, save acts that harm or risk harm to others. Stop trying to crib you faith into some psuedo-scientific theoretical framework. When you try to force facts to fit theory, you end up with something contrary to the very nature of science and anyway, its klugie, smells like feet and you've gone and dressed it funny.

    You, yes, all y'all on the right. Stop poking at the folks on the left. They aren't stupid. They are practicing a perfectly natural human behavior and if it doesn't pass the muster of your process for validating truth and reality, tough, it isn't meant to, they have the right engage in magical thinking, and in some very interesting conversations, may well have things to say a human beings and metaphysics that will take the scientists among us a very long time to determine one way or the other. I mean its nonsense to mess with intangibles that way, would you try to quantify the elements of your healthy emotional life? There are parts of the human experience and behavior that are illogical, and presuppose completely unprovable assertions. Trying to logic your way through them will only irritate the natives and undermine your ability to communicate or demonstrate the amazing power of your rigorous intellectual process for determining reality when the general populace will some day most need that bright thinking.

    Please, play nice and stop trying to break each others toys. Its irritating. I know some of you get your hackles up when you see Cavemen riding on the backs of Apatosaurs at the Christian Museum in Kansas City (a la Flintstones.) It wasn't so long ago you believed in St. Nick. Stop trying to screw up the others kids Christmas morning, its not your place. Maybe some day soon, somebody will squish something big at the LHC and what quirts out displays a message that says "Jesus is here too!", until then, cut each other a little slack and try to enjoy the toys you have.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.