Anammox

I believe I predicted that there would be a chemistry DpSU today, and look what there is – New Insights into Earth’s Nitrogen-Balancing System. That may sound more biological than chemical, but the title of the paper that it is based on – Molecular mechanism of anaerobic ammonium oxidation – shows it to be more chemistry related. As a side note, Oxidation-Reduction was the paper with the least credits in this mornings exam, and the only one with a remotely difficult question in it. Continue reading

Your Mitochondria May Be Infected

That is to say, according to some studies that a recent paper in Nature cites, an enzyme used in mitochondrial DNA transcription is “distantly related” to that of Bacteriophage T7 (a virus which infects E. coli), a similar enzyme that does the same thing in chloroplasts, and Pol I polymerases generally (whatever they are). This paper itself adds to the table the 3D structure of the human version of the enzyme.

Structure of the human mtRNAP, the enzyme in question. Continue reading

Antibiotic Resistance and Creationism

Antibiotic resistanceIn the most recent(ly discovered by me) article by Brian Thomas, Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria Shows Adaptive Design, we have the creationist explanation for why Antibiotic resistance is not, apparently, evidence (if not confirmation) for evolution. The article, coincidentally, is very similar to the most recent DpSU I wrote about, which was about the evolution (or ‘adaptation’ to Mr Thomas) of yeast. While this is not a DpSU, if you placed this among 9 articles that were you couldn’t pick it out.

Mr Thomas begins:

Bacterial survival in antibiotics has been taken as proof of evolution in action. But in-depth studies of the specific mechanisms for antibiotic resistance in bacteria show that no evolutionary processes are involved. One recent study even mentioned the possibility that bacteria are able to fine-tune the shapes of their own biochemicals in order to circumvent the harmful effects of antibiotics.

This is a big claim. No evolutionary processes? So the image to the right is incorrect, and there is no selection stage? Interesting… Continue reading