Are Cellular Motors Related by Evolution?

first_imgJust because two things go round and round, does that make them related by common ancestry?  A Japanese team thinks so.  A bacterial flagellum rotates (06/04/2002).  So does ATP synthase, though it is about 10 times smaller (04/30/2004).  Publishing in PNAS,1 these researchers looked for a relationship, and noted that these two motors bear some structural similarities.  Also, the Type III Secretion System (TTSS) seems involved in this evolutionary family.  “These results imply an evolutionary relation between the flagellum and F0F1-ATPsynthase and a similarity in the mechanism between FliI and F1-ATPase despite the apparently different functions of these proteins,” they said.1Imada, Minamino, Tahara and Namba, “Structural similarity between the flagellar type III ATPase FliI and F1-ATPase subunits,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0608090104, published online before print January 3, 2007.Sad to see these researchers, who do great work on understanding cellular motors, be drawn into the dork side of the farce.  Their argument seems based strictly on structural similarity.  This represents a very weak understanding of homology (05/05/2004) and cannot hold up under scrutiny.    According to Darwinian theory, each random variation or mutation can only be selected if it has survival value.  In the first place, not all bacteria have flagella or TTSS systems, so the evolutionary need for them seems doubtful.  More importantly, how could you go from a working motor to one ten times larger in a stepwise fashion?  Imagine evolving a dump truck from a motorcycle.  Let’s say that the next generation has a lucky mutation on the way to our goal—a piston ten times larger.  But now it doesn’t fit the cylinder!  The motorcycle is broken, and stops working.  Being useless to the motorcycle, it rapidly finds its way to the junkyard.    The laws of natural selection are very demanding.  Unless each small step aids survival, it cannot be selected.  (We’re assuming here, too, that you hadn’t yet heard that neo-Darwinism has already been falsified, so none of this matters anyway—see 12/14/2006).  All the parts of the ATP-synthase motor and the flagellar motor are not only necessary, they are fitted together to each other’s specifications.  What’s more, the genetic code also has to assemble all these parts in the right order, in the right location, or they won’t work.  In other words, you can’t get from the motorcycle to the dump truck in a series of chance mutations, nor can you get from ATP synthase to a flagellum, or vice versa.    For these scientists, therefore, to presume for a moment that the two motors are related just because some parts of the ATP-synthase bear some structural resemblance to the parts of the flagellum, like motorcycle to the dump truck, admitting as they do that they have different functions, is ludicrous.  They must realize this.  They work as close as anyone to the paragon of molecular machines (10/07/2006).  They appreciate their complexity (11/02/2005).  Is this paper their annual pinch of incense to Charlie so that they can keep their jobs?  We need scientists with the courage to tell the truth: complex interacting systems do not arise by chance.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Traditional Styling, Passive House Construction

first_imgShort of training as a Passivhaus consultant, one way to immerse yourself in Passivhaus technology and practice is to have a home built to the standard and then live in it. That’s what Sarah Evans and her husband, Stuart Rue, have done with their two-story project in Salem, Oregon, which broke ground in August 2009 and earned certification by Passive House Institute U.S. last month.Planted on a roomy corner lot, the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house has about 1,880 sq. ft. of space divided almost evenly between the two floors. Evans and Rue hired local, green-minded experts to help them shape their vision for the house and get it in the ground: builder Bilyeu Homes Inc. and architect Nathan Good, both based in Salem. And like many other homeowners, designers, and builders who venture into the still-rarefied realm of Passive House construction, the couple blogged about the process and posted lots of photos.The Evans-Rue house features advanced framed double-stud walls (just over a foot thick) and exceptional airtightness, having achieved .20 ACH at 50 Pascals in its last blower-door test. It also features exterior detailing that honors the traditional look of much older homes in the Northwest, including the 100-year-old house that, until about 12 years ago, had occupied the Evans-Rue lot. Evans credits Good with forging a compatible design.“We wanted our house to fit in with the surrounding neighborhood and Nathan really made that happen,” she told Earth Advantage, a nonprofit green building and rating program based in Portland, Oregon, that certified the house with a Platinum rating, its highest, based on the building’s high level of energy efficiency.“We have received two power bills constituting a little less than two months of electricity service at the new house,” Rue wrote on July 16. “We have averaged a tiny bit less than 14 kW per day. By way of comparison, the average American house uses about 30 kWh per day, according to the Department of Energy. Except for a few days last week, the weather since we’ve moved into the house has been very temperate, so we weren’t expecting a huge bill. Still, it’s nice to see such a low bill, especially considering that electricity is our only energy source.”For more information on the house, see Net Zero Energy Homes Case Study 2: Rue Evans Passive House.last_img read more

PUCL demands repeal of ordinance on immunity to public servants

first_imgThe People’s Union for Civil Liberties on Saturday demanded repeal of a controversial ordinance which has made public servants immune against investigation and barred the media from disclosing their names until prior sanction is granted for their prosecution. The PUCL has also decided to challenge the ordinance in the Rajasthan High Court.The ordinance, promulgated on September 6, attempts to silence the media and prevent the judiciary from exercising its function of setting the criminal law in motion. “It’s alarming that the intention was to prevent at the very threshold any possibility of investigation being ordered by a magistrate when the evidence was prima facie brought before the court, PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava said.Addressing a press conference here, PUCL national vice-president Radha Kant Saxena said the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Penal Code brought through the ordinance went against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Lalita Kumari’s case, 2014. The judgment had dealt with both cognisable and non-cognisable offences committed by public servants.The apex court’s Constitution Bench had held that an FIR has to be lodged and investigation initiated by the police officer on the complaint about a cognisable offence. In the cases of non-cognisable offences, the investigating officer is empowered to initiate a preliminary enquiry and seek the court’s direction to obtain sanction for prosecution.Mr. Saxena said the ordinance was meant to neutralise the Supreme Court’s ruling as well as the state government’s own circular of 2015 by removing the power of police to initiate even a preliminary enquiry. “Why has the ordinance made provisions to keep everything under wraps and equated the public servants with victims of crimes such as rape in order to keep their identity discreet?” he asked.The amendments, he said, were superfluous and unnecessary as Section 197 of Cr.P.C. already provides protection to public servants by making it mandatory for a court to take cognisance against them after getting the government’s sanction. Instead of cognisance, the amendment refers to the word “investigate”.The PUCL said the ordinance would make it impossible for the public to make complaints against and bring to justice not only the corrupt government officials but also those involved in the offences such as custodial death, firing on crowd, torture of innocent people and violation of human rights. “Is it the intent of the ordinance to shield guilty officers in the run up to the 2018 Assembly elections?” asked Ms. Srivastava.While pointing out that no pre-legislative consultation was carried out before promulgating the ordinance and its information was suppressed, the PUCL demanded that the ordinance should not be placed in the Assembly session beginning on Monday for replacing it with a bill.last_img read more

18 days agoProdl admits Watford desperate for points boost

first_imgProdl admits Watford desperate for points boostby Freddie Taylor18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford defender Sebastian Prodl admits the club needs points soon or they risk relegation.The Hornets have two points from eight games heading into the international break.Prodl said: “We need to step forward, we need to get positive results in and we can’t waste any more time.”We want to maintain our status as a Premier League club and the sooner we face reality, the better it is to get out and the easier it will become to get out [of the relegation zone]. We face another tough opponent away next (Tottenham) — that’s the Premier League. It doesn’t matter if it is Sheffield or Tottenham, we need points.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

The Situation Becomes An Animal Advocate For PETA

first_imgJersey Shore may be about to kick off its final season, but Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino already has his next gig lined up: animal advocate.The Situation PETA AdThat’s why Sorrentino, who recently spent time in the Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) house, teamed up with PETA US for a brand-new campaign that calls attention to the homeless animal situation. In the ad, the CBB finalist shows off his celebrated six-pack amid a rowdy crowd of felines and next to the words, “Too Much Pussy Can Be a Bad Thing” The ad concludes, “Spay or neuter today.”“It definitely was overcrowded, and I learned that there’s been a problem, and it’s a growing problem,” Sorrentino said of the homeless animal overpopulation crisis following a recent visit to an animal shelter. “Fix your animals.” Sorrentino also cautions everyone that adopting a dog or cat is a lifelong commitment and urges anyone who witnesses animal abuse to call the authorities immediately.Each year, thousands of cats and dogs in animal shelters must be killed because there aren’t enough good homes for them. Other animals are abandoned on the streets, where they starve to death, get injured or killed by vehicles or fall prey to abuse. Adopting – not buying – is the answer. Also, the best way to minimize the number of homeless cats and dogs is by always having companion animals spayed or neutered.Sorrentino joins a long list of celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Kellan Lutz and Simon Cowell, and reality TV stars, such as Lauren Goodger and Chantelle Houghton, who have teamed up with PETA and its affiliates to help fight animal abuse.For more information, visit PETA.org.uk.last_img read more