The proponents of intelligent design believe that chance and selection are too casual and slow to allow complex new properties to arise. In particular, they argue that the intermediate steps in shuffling the genes to make something new are likely to scramble the existing system and be bad for the organism ("half an eye is bad for you").
The work, directed by Mark Isalan, leader of the group Gene Network Engineering and Luis Serrano, coordinator of the research programme Systems Biology and leader of the group Design of Biological Systems, from the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, will be published tomorrow in the prestigious magazine Nature.
Although it’s true that it seems incredible that organisms could be able to face extreme mutation processes and gene reorganization, Isalan et al. show just that. This work describes a new method that links information networks in the genome of the bacterium Escherichia coli that are not usually communicating with each other. Not only do most of the bacteria survive with the new transcription networks, but some gain new properties that allow them to do better than the original bacteria in extreme conditions. For example, some survive better at 50°C or have a longer lifespan after growing to maturity.
Organisms appear to have an innate capacity to allow evolution. This new and revolutionary methodology opens the door to a much more rapid evolution that offers multiple new phenotypes or properties.
This will have useful applications in biotechnology, for example in the production of biofuel from more efficient microorgansims. Ultimately, evolving cellular gene networks may allow the production of new properties in a wide variety of cells, with profound implications for human health.
Gloria Lligadas | alfa
First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife
Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
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14.10.2016 | Event News
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25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences