The prevention of genomic instability – and cancer – can be attributed to a “complex mousetrap” mechanism, said Robert M. Brosh, Jr (Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, NIH) in Nature.1 This not-so-subtle reference to Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex system described in Darwin’s Black Box even has a mousetrap illustration with the following caption:The BLM protein complex consists of several components, much like a mousetrap. With all the parts properly assembled, the mousetrap will operate efficiently and catch the mouse. In this case, a DNA structure called a double Holliday junction is caught in the BLM complex. Xu et al. and Singh et al. report the discovery of a component of this complex, RMI2, which stabilizes and orchestrates the action of the BLM complex, ensuring resolution of the double Holliday junction, and so promoting chromosomal stability.Later in the text, he continues the analogy:As for the significance of RMI2 to the BLM complex, for analogy let’s imagine a mousetrap. It contains several components, including a spring, a platform, a hammer, a hold-down bar and a catch. Omit certain components of the trap, and the device may still operate, albeit less efficiently. With all of the components in place – including those with primarily structural roles such as the hold-down bar and the platform – the trap is most likely to catch the mouse. Returning to the BLM complex: through its interaction with RMI1, RMI2 allows the ‘BLM�Topo-3alpha device’ to assume optimal stability and configuration so that it can efficiently catalyse the splitting of the double Holliday junction, and so prevent the escape of deleterious DNA structures that would lead to crossovers (Fig. 1). RMI2 therefore seems to have an integral structural role in the BLM�Topo-3alpha device by orchestrating its action.An easily missed reference after the phrase “and a catch” leads to a website by John H. McDonald that appears to refute Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity, showing that a “reducibly complex” mousetrap can still function. No mention was made of Behe’s counter-refutation on Access Research Network, which graciously ends:Darwinian scenarios, either for building mousetraps or biochemical systems, are very easy to believe if we aren’t willing or able to scrutinize the smallest details, or to ask for experimental evidence. They invite us to admire the intelligence of natural selection. But the intelligence we are admiring is our own.”1. Robert M. Brosh, Jr., “Molecular biology: The Bloom’s complex mousetrap,” NatureFor Brosh to employ this well-known analogy for his own purposes, without giving credit to Behe, and then to slap Behe’s face with a link to a flawed refutation of Behe’s concept without giving him a chance to respond, is disgustingly irresponsible. You would think the world’s leading science journal would demand proper citation. What happened to academic ethics? Mousetraps are common, but Behe’s use of a mousetrap as a symbol of an irreducibly complex system in the cell is so well-known throughout the biological community, Brosh cannot argue that each writer has equal access to the common household item for illustrative purposes. It’s interesting that his link to McDonald’s paper is a non-descriptive URL to the site, with no indication it leads to a refutation of Behe. Twinge of conscience, perhaps? The ARN article shows that Behe has the last laugh. So should you, noting that Brosh did not even attempt to explain how the BLM complex arose by an evolutionary process.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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Tags:#enterprise#news 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Today Teradata acquired fellow columnar database vendor AsterData for $263 million. This fits into the current trend of consolidation of next-generation data-warehousing vendors. Last summer, Teradata acquired another columnar database vendor called Kickfire. Also in the past year, EMC acquired Greenplum; IBM acquired Netezza; SAP acquired Sybase and HP acquired Vertica.For Briefings Direct, Tony Baer of Ovum writes that of the major platform companies, only Dell has yet to purchase a columnar database vendor.Although Teradata has historically been focused on business intelligence and data warehousing, Dennis Howlett speculates that Teradata could spin its business off into online transaction processing because it can offer solutions at a fraction of the cost of IBM and Oracle:Even when you take into account all the moving parts of a deal and the monetary tags that go with it, Teradata could chew off a big chunk of IBM and Oracle’s business and still profit handsomely. For companies looking at their total IT infrastructure cost landscape and already attempting to divest, Teradata could provide an intriguing possibility.Forrester analyst James Kobielus seems to agree. He wrote on Twitter: “AsterData gives Teradata the analytic application server (analytics + OLTP) they need to duke it out with Oracle Exadata.” However, he doesn’t mention it in his lengthy analysis of the deal.Regardless of where Teradata goes next, the big data is continuing to consolidate into the hand of a few large players. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair klint finley