Mutations and Duplications: Pools of Innovation?

first_imgCreationists looked in what evolutionists called “junk DNA” and found gems.   Evolutionists are still looking for their gems in junk mutations.Like gift wrapping, headlines of science articles do not always reveal what’s inside.  Some people send dead flowers in pretty boxes to make a statement.  Evolutionists are still looking for something beautiful in mutations, as evidenced by this title on PhysOrg: “Insects show how DNA mistakes become evolutionary innovation.”  As if to avoid embarrassment, the subtitle quickly added, “One of the more difficult aspects of evolution for some people to swallow is the notion that random copying errors in DNA can add up to anything useful.”  That’s a clever parlay; the problem is yours, not Darwin’s! (see “Shifting the Burden of Proof” fallacy.)What did reporter Faye Flam offer as proof for this “notion”?  Two papers that claim mutated copies of a gene allowed insects to avoid death when ingesting toxins called cardenolides (old news; see 7/25/2012).  The “innovation,” therefore, is not a new organ or capability that didn’t exist before, but a reduced vulnerability.  The article celebrated this as an “evolutionary trick” that produced “convergent evolution” in different insect lineages.  Evolution, though, should produce new species (like Darwin titled his book, The Origin of Species).  Flam could not claim that the varieties able to ingest the toxins were new species; in fact, the article confessed at the end, “The way new species are born is another longstanding puzzle in evolution that DNA is helping scientists to solve.”  Come back later for the promised proof of innovation.Speaking of Darwin, another press release from the Vienna University of Evolutionary Medicine echoed on Science Daily promised to help Darwin out by showing “New Understandings of How Populations Change Over Time.”  The article set the stage with a low drum roll portending disaster (note the ominous reference to “climate change”):Since 1859, when Darwin’s classic work “On the Origin of Species” was published, we have known that populations change over the course of time. The ability to adapt to changing surroundings is the basis for evolution and is crucial for animals and plants to come to terms with new environmental conditions, for example as a consequence of climate change. Despite the obvious importance of the process, however, we still do not understand the underlying mechanisms. It is clear that organisms change their DNA in response to selection pressures. But how?First off, readers may be puzzled why the “But how?” question has not been answered since 1859, since that was the main thing Darwin’s best-seller was supposed to have solved.  And second, observers have known long before Darwin that populations change over time.  But anyway, where’s the gem in this mutational junkpile?  Has Christian Schlötterer rescued Darwin by showing how a random genetic change is linked to genetic changes?Well, yes and no.  Schlötterer cruelly subjected fruit flies to cold temperatures and shouted “Evolve or perish!” so to speak.  He did find some genetic changes, but didn’t associate them with adaptive benefits.  “It will be intriguing to try to find out whether the two categories of gene affect distinct groups of traits,” he said.One of the biggest studies of gene duplication was reported in Science this week.  The title is catchy: “Real-Time Evolution of New Genes by Innovation, Amplification, and Divergence” (Näsvall et al., Science 19 October 2012: Vol. 338 no. 6105 pp. 384-387, DOI: 10.1126/science.1226521).  There must be gems in this pile!  Alas, Elisabeth Pennisi in her review in the same issue was not so sanguine, despite her hopeful title, “Evolution: Gene Duplication’s Role in Evolution Gets Richer, More Complex” (Science 19 October 2012: Vol. 338 no. 6105 pp. 316-317, DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6105.316).  The phrase “More complex” is code for “harder to understand.”  It’s not a simple victory for Darwin.She discussed Susumi Ohno’s 1970 theory that gene duplication lets the copy evolve, then Michael Lynch’s late-1990s theory that genes with two functions can duplicate and divide the work (subfunctionalization).  Nice ideas, but they didn’t satisfy everyone, and are now seen as simplistic.  And there were problems: “Given natural selection’s tendency to purge unnecessary genes, how would the gene copy stick around long enough to take on a new or subfunction?”  Hold it; wasn’t that the claim behind junk DNA?The details about how Näsvall et al. coaxed a bacteria to make tryptophan from precursors when a gene for making it was disabled, and how it had to wait for the right mutation to arrive by promoting duplication, are described in Pennisi’s article.  The point of the experiment, though was to show innovation, not just getting back to where the bacterium was before a gene was broken. The researchers stated that two mutations were required to produce the “innovation” (which was actually more like a “restoration” of a deleted function).Other scientists called this “a nice, elegant experimental system” (sounding like faint praise), but were not convinced it’s a general principle applicable outside the bacterial world.  “No matter what, Näsvall’s experiment will encourage more experimental tests of gene-duplication scenarios,” someone said (translation: send more funding).Empty promises, endless promissory notes, why do we trust these guys?  Where is the really big innovation attributable to mutations?  Duplications are a form of mutation, but just because you get a second copy of a text message on your smartphone, it doesn’t mean the second one will evolve into a new, helpful message when cosmic rays hit it.  This is all wishful thinking in dreamland, hyped by ideologues with power.  Darwin was supposed to explain the big things– the trunk on the elephant, the wing on the bird, the brain in the Einstein.  All we get are tiny, questionable instances of possible adaptive changes in bacteria (remember that bacteria can swap information through lateral gene transfer, and may have designed mechanisms to control their own mutations).  These get wildly extrapolated into vast scenarios of evolution, completely unwarranted by the meager data that is often subject to interpretation.  But they KNOW that there’s enough innovation in that junkpile of mistakes to explain elephants, birds and humans, why?  Because EVOLUTION IS A FACT!   Now you know why living in Darwinland is like being trapped in a cult compound. 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Demo plots at the Farm Science Review

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Across a series of fields, diseased soybean plants stand, tarnished by pesticide that spread much further than intended. Another patch of soybeans grew only minimally, planted in the same spot year after year, without a break.“We’re going to show you: If you mess up, this is what’s going to happen,” said Harold Watters, a field specialist with Ohio State University Extension.Watters was referring to an exhibit at the Farm Science Review where crops were planted to demonstrate various challenges farmers face, as well as possible solutions. Watters and other experts will be on hand to discuss the crops they planted and the outcome that either shows a problem or resolves one. All demonstration plots were planted to illustrate research findings about what works and what doesn’t for various hurdles farmers face.This year’s growing season came with many weather-related challenges. A warmer than typical winter caused some growers to plant early, but then heavy spring rains washed some seeds away or made it hard for seeds to emerge in muddied, then dried over soils. Insects were out early. And the rain continued, causing ponding on fields.“We want to hear about what worked for farmers, their trials and tribulations. If they want to stop and talk, that’s what we’re here for,” Watters said.The demonstration plots that Watters and other agricultural experts have grown will illustrate successes, as well as problems. A patch of oats and cereal rye shows how cover crops can help hold the soil in place amid heavy rain. In another section, a variety of corn grows that tolerates glufosinate, a common weed killer.One plot shows the progression of corn plants as they changed over years of selective breeding to make them heartier and offer a higher yield of corn.“I call this the ‘Antique corn,’ ” Watters said, referring to older varieties of corn.On display for visitors is Teosinte, the ancestor to modern corn and several varieties before modern day hybrids were available which offer a far shorter growing season than Teosinte, larger cobs and resistance to various diseases.Another nearby plot of corn was planted to show how corn seeds sown late in the season, in June, can still offer good yields.“That’s to show you do have flexibility when you plant the corn,” Watters said. “The yields aren’t bad.”These are just a few of the hundreds of exhibits available to visitors. The FSR, sponsored by CFAES, annually draws between 110,000 and 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada. The FSR is the largest agricultural event in Ohio. It offers more than 4,000 product lines from 630 commercial exhibitors.last_img read more

NIT warns students not to gate crash weddings

first_imgThe National Institute of Technology in Kurukshetra has warned its students against gate crashing weddings near its premises. “It has been reported that some of the students have been going to attend weddings in the city without having invitation. This is not only unethical and immoral but also uncalled for,” a letter sent to hostel inmates by the Chief Warden said. ComplaintsSources in the institute said that off late there have been complaints that students have been gate crashing weddings to skip meals in the mess which is why this directive was issued. The letter directed students to desist from indulging in such type of “uncivilised activities” which also brings a bad name to the institution.Disciplinary action The letter warned students of disciplinary action if they are found doing so. “Disciplinary action as per institute rules will be taken against the students if they are found indulging in such an activity, the letter said.last_img read more

Kawhi Leonard leads Raptors to first NBA Finals

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DRAKE WATCHRaptors fan and ‘global ambassador’ Drake sat in his regular seat adjacent to the Toronto bench. The rapper wore a black hoodie with ‘KAWHI ME A RIVER’ printed on the back.STREET PARTYOutside the downtown arena, fans flooded streets, bringing traffic to a standstill. One video posted on social media showed a group of fans partying on the roof of a Toronto city bus. Fans surrounded Marc Gasol’s car as he was driven out of the arena , and the center rolled down his window to trade high fives with the crowd.BIRTHDAY BOYToronto’ reserve Norman Powell scored nine points on his 26th birthday. Standing at the back of the room, Powell’s mother wished him a happy birthday at the end of her son’s press conference.FAMILIAR POSITIONThe last team to overcome an 0-2 deficit and win a conference finals was Oklahoma City, which beat San Antonio in six games in 2012 after losing the first two on the road. Ibaka played for that Thunder team, while Leonard was a Spurs rookie.UP NEXTThe NBA Finals comes to Canada for the first time when the Raptors host the Warriors on Thursday night. Toronto swept Golden State in the regular season. View comments ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Toronto was eliminated by LeBron James and the Cavaliers in three straight postseasons before shaking things up last summer with the acquisition of Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP who was acquired from San Antonio and has carried the Raptors in this postseason.“He’s the best player in the league and we’re happy he’s in Toronto,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said.Asked about Ujiri’s compliment, Leonard said he’s focused on different goals.“I just want to win,” he said. “I don’t care about being the best player. I want to be the best team.”Antetokounmpo had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, but the NBA’s top team in the regular season saw its bid for a first finals berth in 45 years come to a disappointing end with a fourth consecutive defeat.“Man, obviously when you’re up 2-0, that doesn’t mean nothing,” Antetokounmpo said. “You’ve got to learn how to come out and close out games, especially after Game 3. We’ve got to get better as a team, and we’ve got to get better individually.”Even Nurse found his team’s turnaround hard to believe.“Beating this team four times in a row is almost mind boggling,” Nurse said.Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said it hurt to see a great season end.“The roster that was put together for this season, as the season started going, you started feeling like it was special and could do special things, including advancing past tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Budenholzer said. It sure did. Now imagine how it will sound when the NBA Finals come to Toronto for the first time next week.Leonard had 27 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Raptors into the finals for the first time with a 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. His big dunk with 6:46 to go in the fourth quarter was the final basket in a game-changing 26-3 run that began late in the third.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It was kind of a momentum capper,” Lowry said. “We were on a run, and why not feed the big dog? Let the big dog eat.”The Raptors overcame a 15-point deficit to win the series in six games and will host the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) holds up the trophy after the team’s 100-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals Saturday, May 25, 2019, in Toronto. The Raptors advanced to the NBA Finals. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Kyle Lowry stole the ball and pushed it ahead, then waited for Kawhi Leonard to arrive before feeding his All-Star teammate for a thunderous one-handed slam over Giannis Antetokounmpo.“The building exploded after that dunk,” Leonard said.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals? PLAY LIST 01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war A win is a win It will be the two-time defending champions against a Raptors team that will finally bring the NBA Finals outside the U.S. after entering the league in 1995.“They’re one of the greatest teams in history,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of the Warriors. “It will be a tall task, but we’ll try to figure it out.”Pascal Siakam scored 18 points, Lowry had 17 and Fred VanVleet 14 for the Raptors.Lowry held the game ball and picked up his children after the game, finally getting to the championship round after the Raptors kept falling short against Cleveland.“It’s taken a long time to get here in my career,” Lowry said. “I’ve run into one guy for a while.”ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Down 76-71 to start the fourth, the Raptors tied it with an 8-2 run while Leonard and Antetokounmpo were both on the bench. Serge Ibaka’s dunk with 10:32 to go tied it at 78.Antetokounmpo returned after a timeout, but Leonard kept sitting. That didn’t matter to Toronto, with Siakam’s basket giving the Raptors an 80-78 lead, their first lead since it was 6-3.Toronto made 12 of 27 3-point attempts, including four of eight in the fourth quarter.Siakam, who missed a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter of Toronto’s double-overtime win in Game 3, hit one to make it 98-94. Leonard grabbed the rebound on the second and was fouled. He made both, putting the Raptors up 100-94 with 3.9 seconds to go.Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton each made a pair from long range as the Bucks shot 6 for 9 from 3-point range in the first and closed the quarter with 10 unanswered points to lead 31-18. Toronto shot 6 for 19 in the opening quarter, missing six straight twice in the first 12 minutes.The Bucks extended their lead to 38-23 on a 3 by Ersan Ilyasova with 7:46 left until half. Toronto cut the gap to 46-43 on a 3 by VanVleet with 1:07 left in the second, but Eric Bledsoe answered with a 3 and Antetokounmpo split a pair at the line, giving the Bucks a 50-43 advantage at the intermission.The lead went back to 15 in the third before Leonard finished the period with a flourish. He had eight points in the final 2:01 and Toronto closed with a 10-0 run, cutting a 15-point deficit to 76-71.TIP-INSBucks: Milwaukee shot 4 for 16 in the second but three of its made baskets were 3-pointers. … The Bucks had six points in the paint in the first half. They finished with 28. … Budenholzer was called for a technical foul on Milwaukee’s first possession of the second half. Leonard missed the free throw. … Antetokounmpo shot 5 for 10 at the free throw line.Raptors: Danny Green, who missed all three of his field goal attempts in 16 minutes in Game 5, had another rough night. Green shot 0 for 4 in 14 minutes. … Leonard’s 17 rebounds were his most in any game this postseason. … Lowry had eight assists. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transportlast_img read more