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  Topic: Science Break, Selected Shorts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Henry J



Posts: 5358
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2013,13:20   

So whoever designed the scorpions goofed?

  
stevestory



Posts: 11889
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2013,17:13   

Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke

http://theconversation.com/chemist....e-19452

   
stevestory



Posts: 11889
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2013,19:32   

Quote
I keep being haunted by a figure he presents early in the book, showing that we have been living in an age of unusual climate stability—that “the last 7,000 years have been the most stable climatic period in more than 100,000 years.” As Nordhaus notes, this era of stability coincides pretty much exactly with the rise of civilization, and that probably isn’t an accident.

Now that period of stability is ending—and civilization did it, via the Industrial Revolution and the attendant mass burning of coal and other fossil fuels. Industrialization has, of course, made us immensely more powerful, and more flexible too, more able to adapt to changing circumstances. The Scientific Revolution that accompanied the revolution in industry has also given us far more knowledge about the world, including an understanding of what we ourselves are doing to the environment.
___
But it seems that we have, without knowing it, made an immensely dangerous bet: namely, that we’ll be able to use the power and knowledge we’ve gained in the past couple of centuries to cope with the climate risks we’ve unleashed over the same period. Will we win that bet? Time will tell. Unfortunately, if the bet goes bad, we won’t get another chance to play.


When I imagine that we're reaching the end of high-tech civilization, it's because of things like this.

   
REC



Posts: 638
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2013,20:01   

Quote (dvunkannon @ Oct. 25 2013,10:29)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....422.htm

Grasshopper Mice Are Numb to the Pain of the Bark Scorpion Sting

"Incredibly, there is one amino acid substitution that can totally alter the behavior of the toxin and block the channel," said Zakon.

Sounds like a beneficial, functional mutation to me. The mice couldn't pursue their lifestyle of eating scorpions without it.

Clearly a loss of the wild-type "drop dead from the toxin" function of the receptor.

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2013,11:09   

More to Egnor!

http://www.the-scientist.com/....Bedside

Overview, leading to a buy-my-book moment, about evolutionary medicine.

--------------
I’m referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
I’m not an evolutionist, I’m a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Quack



Posts: 1961
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2013,03:23   

Neuroscience:
Scanning the brain of a dead salmon

--------------
Rocks have no biology.
              Robert Byers.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2013,14:37   

Quote (Quack @ Nov. 04 2013,03:23)
Neuroscience:
Scanning the brain of a dead salmon

At least he's not insulted when someone tells him he has the brain of a dead fish.

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Quack



Posts: 1961
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,04:18   

Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 25 2013,19:32)
 
Quote
I keep being haunted by a figure he presents early in the book, showing that we have been living in an age of unusual climate stability—that “the last 7,000 years have been the most stable climatic period in more than 100,000 years.” As Nordhaus notes, this era of stability coincides pretty much exactly with the rise of civilization, and that probably isn’t an accident.

Now that period of stability is ending—and civilization did it, via the Industrial Revolution and the attendant mass burning of coal and other fossil fuels. Industrialization has, of course, made us immensely more powerful, and more flexible too, more able to adapt to changing circumstances. The Scientific Revolution that accompanied the revolution in industry has also given us far more knowledge about the world, including an understanding of what we ourselves are doing to the environment.
___
But it seems that we have, without knowing it, made an immensely dangerous bet: namely, that we’ll be able to use the power and knowledge we’ve gained in the past couple of centuries to cope with the climate risks we’ve unleashed over the same period. Will we win that bet? Time will tell. Unfortunately, if the bet goes bad, we won’t get another chance to play.


When I imagine that we're reaching the end of high-tech civilization, it's because of things like this.

I skimmed the article, and one thought came to mind:

Without sufficient manmade emissions, wouldn't an ice age be inevitable, sooner or later forcing us to increase emission levels to avoid that?

Isn't there a problem that all forces together affecting global climate result in a rather sluggish system of climate changes? Any action we as rulers of the planet may take to either increase or decrease the greenhouse effect will take how long before the desired level is reached?

May we overshoot the target?

It seems to me that an equilibrium never may be reached and that we are forced to consider how we may find models of continuous climate management that ensure climate stays within acceptable limits. We don't want any runaway effect that would be beyond or means to stagger before too late.

But I am certain that we'll have to do something about population control. The religious approach has got to give, in spite of how much it would be preferable to let nature rule.

Although by judging how human society really works, the most realistic view is that adequate solutions won't be implemented before to late.

--------------
Rocks have no biology.
              Robert Byers.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 06 2013,09:06   

I'm no aware of any seriously proposed runaway scenarios. Worst case I've seen would flood most coastal cities.

Some weather predictions haven't worked -- yet. Hurricanes and tornados are way down.

Loss of coastal cities could produce some unpredictable social consequences, including economic collapse, famine and war.

Or it might be treated as war damage and produce a rebuilding boom.

Interesting times.

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3668
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2013,11:41   

http://www.plospathogens.org/article....1003766

Researchers apparently find that the ability to evolve is heavily selected for in evolution.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 13 2013,13:38   

Proof that the genetic code was designed by the spaghetti monster.

http://www.washington.edu/news....ic-code

Pastafarians rejoice.

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
stevestory



Posts: 11889
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 13 2013,15:31   

Not enough info in that article for me to understand what the second code business is about.

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 13 2013,15:35   

Looks regulatory. If there is something new, it's that protein coding sequences can contain their own regulation.

Flying spaghetti coder.

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
REC



Posts: 638
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 13 2013,16:32   

Free abstracts for the summary:

https://www.sciencemag.org/content....summary

And Paper: "Exonic Transcription Factor Binding Directs Codon Choice and Affects Protein Evolution"

https://www.sciencemag.org/content....bstract

Basically, transcription factors, which regulate gene expression, do bind within exons (which code for proteins). Their DNA binding is sequence-dependent, so although which one of the potential codons coding one amino acid is present won't affect the protein form/function, it will impact protein expression via transcription factor binding.

One immediate implication is that synonymous mutations could impact expression levels.

  
Henry J



Posts: 5358
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 13 2013,16:49   

So some sections of DNA affect both protein sequence and regulation of something?

IMNSHO, it's bad "design" for the same piece of code to do both of those, even if what it regulates is how much of that protein to make. (More so if what it regulates is something else entirely. )

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 11163
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 14 2013,23:36   

http://www.nytimes.com/2011....ml?_r=0

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 11163
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 06 2014,17:30   

More Lenski:
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014....n-sight

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 06 2014,21:41   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 06 2014,17:30)
More Lenski:
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014.......n-sight

Not over yet. What will become of Behe's Edge?

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3668
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 09 2014,17:27   

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology....falling

Unintelligent things make irreducibly complex structures... right in front of our eyes.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1030
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 14 2014,22:16   

This should send the creationists into a tizzy Pelvic girdle and fin of Tiktaalik roseae

--------------
Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
Kattarina98



Posts: 1267
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 15 2014,06:09   

Yabbut it is still a fish/it was never carbon dated/it's a forgery.

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Barry Arrington is a bitch.

  
fnxtr



Posts: 3152
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 15 2014,11:18   

"El Pisto Stegalian" is probably very bad Spanish for something rude (viz. "The Rutles").

--------------
"[A] book said there were 5 trillion witnesses. Who am I supposed to believe, 5 trillion witnesses or you? That shit's, like, ironclad. " -- stevestory

"Wow, you must be retarded. I said that CO2 does not trap heat. If it did then it would not cool down at night."  Joe G

  
Henry J



Posts: 5358
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 15 2014,11:25   

A fish that wears a girdle? Huh.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2014,20:07   

http://www.wired.com/wiredsc....nd_digg



--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
REC



Posts: 638
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2014,21:34   

Probably worth a read:

Exploring Fold Space Preferences of New-born and Ancient Protein Superfamilies

http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article....1003325

Author summary

"While there is a relationship between a protein's sequence and its structure this relationship is highly complex and not fully understood. Protein structures tend to evolve differently to their sequences. They are far more conserved so tend to change slower. The aim of this paper was to identify trends in the way that protein structures evolve, rather than adapting models of sequence evolution."

Interesting tidbits:

1) "Protein structures are far more conserved than their sequences and thus preserve a deep phylogenetic signal. ... phylogenetic trees built using the structural content of species' proteomes have been shown to produce more reliable topologies than trees constructed using their protein sequences."

2) Newly evolved protein secondary structures and folds differ in form compared to ancient ones. They even differ in amino acid content and surface to volume ratios.

3) Older folds have more roles and interaction partners than new ones.

Cool stuff. If this is all the result of design, why is the design evolving?

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2014,22:07   

This implies a many to one relationship for sequences to folds. Kind of the opposite of isolated islands.

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Henry J



Posts: 5358
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 06 2014,21:24   

Quote
This implies a many to one relationship for sequences to folds. Kind of the opposite of isolated islands.

Didn't we already know that?

Henry

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2014,12:30   

Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 06 2014,21:24)
Quote
This implies a many to one relationship for sequences to folds. Kind of the opposite of isolated islands.

Didn't we already know that?

Henry

Define "we."

If "we" included most people, there would be no ID movement.

I think defeating the isolated island meme is the single most important goal of the neverending debate.

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Henry J



Posts: 5358
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2014,17:18   

I meant known to people who've paid attention to discussions of the subject matter.

Henry

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 4003
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 11 2014,23:28   

Sad happenings at Rutgers.

http://www.nj.com/educati....m-rpt-1

What does it mean?

--------------
Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
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