Friday, January 16, 2009

Membrane Repair

A paper published in Nature Cell Biology (11, 56 - 64; 2008), MG53 nucleates assembly of cell membrane repair machinery, is authored by Chuanxi Cai, Haruko Masumiya, Noah Weisleder, Noriyuki Matsuda, Miyuki Nishi, Moonsun Hwang, Jae-Kyun Ko, Peihui Lin, Angela Thornton, Xiaoli Zhao, Zui Pan, Shinji Komazaki, Marco Brotto, Hiroshi Takeshima and Jianjie Ma. The authors note the importance of membrane repair and remodeling to the maintenance of cellular integrity and function. They focus their attention on a protein known as MG53 which belongs to a protein family named TRIM 72. MG53 is a component of the sarcolemmal membrane-repair complex and functions to enable a fusion between intracellular vesicles and sarcolemmal membranes. Impairment of the sarcolemmal membrane can result in the introduction of extracellular substances which have oxidative effects. The assembly of the membrane repair machinery may be initiated by MG53 according to the paper.


Monday, January 12, 2009

New Regulatory Response Mechanism to DNA Damage

WSTF regulates the H2A.X DNA damage response via a novel tyrosine kinase activity (Nature 457, 57-62) was authored by Andrew Xiao, Haitao Li, David Shechter, Sung Hee Ahn, Laura A. Fabrizio, Hediye Erdjument-Bromage, Satoko Ishibe-Murakami, Bin Wang, Paul Tempst, Kay Hofmann, Dinshaw J. Patel, Stephen J. Elledge and C. David Allis. The paper notes two accomplishments: adding to our knowledge of domains containing tyrosine kinase activity and the discovery of a DNA damage response mechanism. As the authors explain double stranded breaks in DNA are a potentially lethal threat to a cell. Genomic instability can lead to cancer.

The new regulatory mechanism, identified by researchers, is mediated by a transcription factor dubbed BAZ1B or WSTF- Williams–Beuren syndrome transcription factor. WSTF is a component of an ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling complex. The complex is dubbed the WICH complex. WSTF, which has a phophorylation function, plays an important regulatory role in the DNA damage response.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Irreducible Complexity and a Strawman

I made a comment in a Telic Thoughts thread entitled Sad Smoke and Mirrors in which I quoted from Dembski's book No Free Lunch. Dembski refers to irreducibly complex systems- ones which would not develop "in one fell swoop." What struck me about the quote was that Dembski was not making the claim that IC systems could not come about by identifiable means. In fact he mentions non-Darwinian events he excludes from the insuperable obstacle to an IC system outcome. The significance being that a strawman is destroyed i.e. the one alleging that IDists claim an IC system could not be produced by known physical means.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Brain Research Fads

Steven Rose examines current brain theories in the article In search of the God neuron. His analysis takes place within multiple book reviews and covers a lot of turf. The author notes David Hume's argument that one could not derive an ought from an is. Although I disagree with much of what Hume wrote I think he is on target with that observation. The contemporary rage is that our morality is reducible to genetics and developmental processes. What a crock. It's more fun though to delve into these matters in a feedback forum like Telic Thoughts.

Thanks to Clare for this link.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

From Scoffing to Apologetics

The blog entry at Telic Thoughts Scoffing: A Tactical Weapon gave rise to a number of comments and links with apologetic value. From the thread:

Cornelius Tacitus

This link supplied by fmm.

This link courtesy of chunkdz

The Jesus Seminar Under Fire

This comment supplied by Vividbleau

This comment of mine

Another comment of mine

This comment of fifth monarchy man

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Friday, January 02, 2009


Frank Sherwin wrote The Wax That Taxes Darwin which appears at the ICR website. It's a short but informative article about earwax. As Sherwin points out about 4,000 glandular cells are involved in the production of earwax which he describes as a "brownish-yellow substance called cerumen." Sherwin also notes that earwax "contains anti-microbial proteins, squalene, long-chain fatty acids, and peptides (molecules consisting of two or more amino acids)." Quoting Sherwin:

Earwax protects the ear by trapping dust particles, bacteria, fungal spores, sand, and dirt, preventing them from entering inner recesses and possibly damaging the ear. If they do gain a "foothold," disease-causing micro-organisms (e.g., E. coli) are subject to a veritable smorgasbord of defensive compounds such as lactoferrin, beta-defensin-1, cathelicidin, beta-defensin-2, lysozyme, MUC1 and secretory component of IgA (a major class of antibody) found in the cerumen.2 These are highly complex compounds that defy a naturalistic origin explanation. But not only does earwax attract and trap debris --its bitterness also repels insects, mites, and other creatures.

Sherwin rightly credits God with the design of a wondrous substance we sometimes think of as a nuisance. Yet earwax has a valuable protective purpose.