Posts Tagged ‘bacteria’
The shape of bacteria has long been anticipated to correlate with movement. From an evolutionary perspective, form is predicted to follow function – but, had yet to be tested. In the words of evolutionary geneticist Fouad El baidouri, “despite a few pioneering attempts to link bacterial form and function, functional morphology is largely unstudied in prokaryotes [bacteria].”
Now in a landmark study published in Nature, Ecology & Evolution, a research team lead by El baidouri from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom Elizabeth Allen explains in Phys Org, “the shape of bacteria does not influence how well they can move – this is the surprising finding… The findings refute long-held theories that there should be a strong link between the evolution of shape in bacteria and their ability to move.”
New Evolution Dilemma
A new and unanticipated evolution dilemma now follows the wake of a massive new microbe discovery. Using a new technique, the number of known bacteria has been “bolstered by almost 50 percent,” according to a new article by Kevin Hartnett published in QuantaMagazine.org and re-printed in ScientificAmerica.com.
With a series of successively smaller porous filters, the University of California Banfield Group at Berkley, discovered a massive number of tiny “bacteria representing > 35 phyla… that consistently distinguished these organisms from other bacteria.” Travis Bedel’s illustration displays the magnitude of the discovery. These newly discovered ultra-small microorganisms, however, accentuates the long-standing dilemma between the theory of evolution and the scientific evidence. Continue Reading
NASA astrobiology scientists In December 2010 announced the discovery of molecular evidence for life in an arsenic-rich environment.
Geomicrobiologist Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a NASA funded astrobiology fellow in residence at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, discovered a bacterium in 2009 from arsenic-rich sediments collected at the bottom of Mono Lake, California, U.S.A. Continue Reading
Long denigrated as vestigial or useless structure, the human appendix is now known to have a number of specific functions. The most widely recognized function is as a “safe house” for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut.” There are approximately 500 species of bacteria in the gut alone—the continued presence of beneficial bacteria is essential for good health.
ScienceDaily in an article entitled “Appendix Isn’t Useless At All: It’s A Safe House For Good Bacteria,” October 8, 2007, William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of experimental surgery along with R. Randal Bollinger, M.D., Ph.D., Duke University professor emeritus noted—”Our studies have indicated that the immune system protects and nourishes the colonies of microbes living in the biofilm. By protecting these good microbes, the harmful microbes have no place to locate. We have also shown that biofilms are most pronounced in the appendix and their prevalence decreases moving away from it.” One of the functions of the appendix is to serve as a microbe storehouse.
According to their study published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, the bacteria in the human gut functions to digest food and produce vitamins, like Vitamin K—essential to coagulation. In the event that bacteria in the intestines become unbalanced, or taken over by opportunistic organisms such as cholera or amoebic dysentery, the appendix functions to reboot the bacterial flora. Parker explains the mechanism: “Once the bowel contents have left the body, the good bacteria hidden away in the appendix can emerge and repopulate the lining of the intestine before more harmful bacteria can take up residence.”
“Darwin simply didn’t have access to the information we have,” explains Parker. “If Darwin had been aware of the species that have an appendix attached to a large cecum… he probably would not have thought of the appendix as a vestige of evolution.”
When Jerry Coyne (2009), professor at the University of Chicago, writing in his book, Why Evolution is True that “our appendix is simply the remnant of an organ that was critically important to our leaf-eating ancestors, but is of no real value to use,” excluded known evidence. Continued adherence to the vestige status of the appendix by evolutionists requires rejection of the scientific method.
“Maybe it’s time to correct the textbooks,” says William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgical sciences at Duke and the senior author of the study. “Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a ‘vestigial organ.'”