More Cellular Roles Found for RNA

For @Art

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Hmm…. Seems like we’ve tried this before.

I will add a couple of new comments about the ENV article. First, a science-y comment. This article points to, among other things, an interesting study that looks at the proximity of individual parts of single mRNAs in cells. They accomplish this by simultaneously hybridizing fluorescent probes that mark different parts of the mRNA, and using high resolution methods to measure the distances between these parts. One of the more interesting findings is that the 5’ and 3’ ends of translating mRNAs are not in especially close proximity. This is interesting because it has been thought for more than 20 years that translation requires direct interactions between the 5’ cap and 3’ poly(A) tail (incidentally, THE MOST IMPORTANT MOLECULE IN THE UNIVERSE), mediated by proteins that bind the cap, the poly(A) tail, and translation initiation factors that interact with cap-binding and poly(A)-binding proteins. A great deal of biochemical and genetic work supports this model. The Molecular Cell study ENV points to indicates that the 5’ end 3’ ends of translating mRNAs are not in the close proximity that the biochemical model would suggest. There is more than one explanation for this, each of which would lend new and detailed insight into the mechanisms by which translation is initiated. This is all very interesting, and I for one am still wrapping my mind around things.

Second, I would note that the entirety of the pro-ID arguments made in this article consists of tiny excerpting (quote-mining) of the work of others, to imply some ID-friendly science that just isn’t there. I sort of suspect that ID proponents think that, because the scientific articles they read are in English, that the designer must be English-speaking as well. This approach to journalism and scholarship reveals a decided intellectual bankruptcy, IMO.