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
Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society
127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
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