Home > Uncategorized > This is Not Your Father’s Biology

This is Not Your Father’s Biology

T7-virion-actual-imageScientists at the University of Texas Houston have observed and deciphered the molecular-level process by which a virus infects a bacterium.  They’ve also created a computer graphics visualization of the detailed process.  OK, it’s not Avatar, but Avatar wasn’t real:

The words are here.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/01/09/science.1231887

  1. LOL
    January 11, 2013 at 8:33 am

    God must really love us to have created such horrible things.

    My favorite is the parasitic Loa Loa worm whose chief function is to eat the retinas of, specifically, humans. Could such a highly specialized creature evolve over hundreds of millions of years? Of course not. Only God could create such terribleness because we are all evil and cursed and only through embracing God can we be free of his evil wrath. Love at the barrel of a shotgun. God is great!

  2. Mightymous
    January 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

    How can it be a “random walk” to find a productive site for infection? Is that like random voting? But seriously, this is so much more worthwhile than politics or theology!

  3. Mitch
    January 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Mightymous,

    The word “find” incorrectly implies conscious search, it’s just a linguistic short-cut. The abstract explains in technical language that some of the molecules only deform, changing their layout, when another chemical change has taken place in the virus due to it’s being well-oriented and at a location on the bacterium’s surface that the virus will be able to pierce.

    Viruses are remarkable because they occupy the border between chemistry and biology, showing how a biological system can emerge from chemistry via evolution and a lot of time.

    “Random walk” is actually a technical term. If you’ve ever shined a flashlight in a dusty room, you’ve seen the dust motes doing a random walk.

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