Bacteria ‘hotwire genes’ to fix faulty motor

Science

(Dan Eastwood) #1

From 2015, but with recent discussion of IC systems I thought this was worth sharing.

Scientists made the discovery by accident, while researching ways to use naturally occurring bacteria to improve the yield of crops. A microbe was engineered so that it could not make its ‘propeller-like’ flagellum and forage for food. However, when a researcher accidentally left the immotile strain out on a lab bench, the team discovered the bacteria had evolved over just a few days. The new variety of bacteria had resurrected their flagella in the process.

Video (~56 seconds)

News Release

Publication


(Timothy Horton) #2

[Must Be ID mode]

See! Empirical evidence of Behe’s claim the Intelligent Designer is watching our every move and swoops in to help bacteria whenever necessary!

[/Must Be ID mode]

:slightly_smiling_face:


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #3

They didn’t evolve flagellum from scratch. They fixed a broken regulatory circuit to resume making flagellum.


(Dan Eastwood) #4

What I know about regulatory system would fill up half of a very small piece of paper, writing large. :wink:

I was thinking this may demonstrate the assembly of an IC system from available parts. It doesn’t function (for motility) until the parts are assembled, and there seems to be a stepwise pathway to get there.


#5

I think it’s safe to assume that there’s always a stepwise pathway that can be followed to assemble parts into a functional whole where the function doesn’t emerge until the parts have been assembled. So I think it’s a mistake to think that anyone is denying that a stepwise pathway exists. (Not saying you’re doing that.)

But, for example, to say that Behe thinks no stepwise pathway exists would be to misunderstand his argument.