Woese, uma voz do passado, conclamou uma nova biologia para um novo século - uma ciência mais fundamental

terça-feira, junho 29, 2021

American Society for Microbiology

Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews Volume 68, Issue 2, June 2004, Pages 173-186


A New Biology for a New Century

Carl R. Woese*

Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801

Source/Fonte: Science


Biology today is at a crossroads. The molecular paradigm, which so successfully guided the discipline throughout most of the 20th century, is no longer a reliable guide. Its vision of biology now realized, the molecular paradigm has run its course. Biology, therefore, has a choice to make, between the comfortable path of continuing to follow molecular biology's lead or the more invigorating one of seeking a new and inspiring vision of the living world, one that addresses the major problems in biology that 20th century biology, molecular biology, could not handle and, so, avoided. The former course, though highly productive, is certain to turn biology into an engineering discipline. The latter holds the promise of making biology an even more fundamental science, one that, along with physics, probes and defines the nature of reality. This is a choice between a biology that solely does society's bidding and a biology that is society's teacher.

Copyright © 2004 American Society for Microbiology

*Mailing address: Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, 601 S. Goodwin, Urbana, IL 61801. Phone: (217) 333-9369. Fax: (217) 244-6697. E-mail: carl@ninja.life.uiuc.edu.

O mecanismo atômico da periodicidade biológica elimina a "teoria atual" da evolução

segunda-feira, junho 28, 2021

Biological Periodicity’s Atomic Mechanism Disposes of the “Current Theory” of Evolution


Antonio Lima-de-Faria

University of Lund


Physics led the way in the creation of Molecular Biology by employing X-ray crystallography in the elucidation of the atomic structure of proteins and DNA. Now it is physics again, by using large accelerators of electrons and neutrons, that is transforming molecular biology into Atomic Biology. This transformation process is guided by the establishment of periodicity, a phenomenon that can now be shown to start with elementary particles, to extend to atoms and macromolecules, and to occur equally among living organisms including humans. Biological periodicity was established in the following properties: vision, regeneration, luminescence, flight, placenta, penis, plant carnivory and mental ability. Significant is that three of these properties do not start at the cell or the organism, as previously thought, but emerge already in crystals and minerals which have no genes, and where organization is decided by atomic and electronic interactions. The punctuated reappearance of a given property, which leads to periodicity, is based on its own evolution of DNA. This is demonstrated by the formation of the placenta, which in plants and in humans, is decided by the same DNA sequences. Also, vision, which appears in the simplest invertebrates as well as in humans results from the action of the same gene Pax6. It is this DNA homology which allows the reappearance of the same pattern, in the most different organisms. The law of periodicity which has been enunciated at the atomic level holds equally well for the periodicity found in living organisms allowing predictions.


Antonio Lima-de-Faria, University of Lund

Professor Emeritus of Molecular Cytogenetics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden


Interpretando a história da biologia evolutiva através de um prisma kuhniano: faz sentido ou não?

Perspectives on Science

Volume 29, Issue 1

January-February 2021

February 01 2021

Interpreting the History of Evolutionary Biology through a Kuhnian Prism: Sense or Nonsense? 

Koen B. Tanghe, Lieven Pauwels, Alexis De Tiège, Johan Braeckman

Author and Article Information

Koen B. Tanghe

Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

Lieven Pauwels

Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

Alexis De Tiège

Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

Johan Braeckman

Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive review, as well as the editor Alex Levine.

Online Issn: 1530-9274

Print Issn: 1063-6145

© 2021 by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Perspectives on Science (2021) 29 (1): 1–35.


Source/Fonte: New Scientist


Traditionally, Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) is largely identified with his analysis of the structure of scientific revolutions. Here, we contribute to a minority tradition in the Kuhn literature by interpreting the history of evolutionary biology through the prism of the entire historical developmental model of sciences that he elaborates in The Structure. This research not only reveals a certain match between this model and the history of evolutionary biology but, more importantly, also sheds new light on several episodes in that history, and particularly on the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), the construction of the modern evolutionary synthesis, the chronic discontent with it, and the latest expression of that discontent, called the extended evolutionary synthesis. Lastly, we also explain why this kind of analysis hasn’t been done before.

FREE PDF GRATIS: Perspectives on Science

Nova descoberta desafia princípio central em biologia: as células humanas podem escrever sequências de RNA no DNA

quarta-feira, junho 23, 2021

Polθ reverse transcribes RNA and promotes RNA-templated DNA repair

Gurushankar Chandramouly1,†, Jiemin Zhao2,†, Shane McDevitt1,†, Timur Rusanov1, Trung Hoang1, Nikita Borisonnik1, Taylor Treddinick1, Felicia Wednesday Lopezcolorado3, Tatiana Kent1, Labiba A. Siddique1, Joseph Mallon1, Jacklyn Huhn1, Zainab Shoda1, Ekaterina Kashkina1, Alessandra Brambati4, Jeremy M. Stark3, Xiaojiang S. Chen2 and Richard T. Pomerantz1,*

1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

2 Molecular and Computational Biology, USC Dornsife Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

3 Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA.

4 Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

↵*Corresponding author. Email: richard.pomerantz@jefferson.edu

↵† These authors contributed equally to this work.

Science Advances 11 Jun 2021: Vol. 7, no. 24, eabf1771


Genome-embedded ribonucleotides arrest replicative DNA polymerases (Pols) and cause DNA breaks. Whether mammalian DNA repair Pols efficiently use template ribonucleotides and promote RNA-templated DNA repair synthesis remains unknown. We find that human Polθ reverse transcribes RNA, similar to retroviral reverse transcriptases (RTs). Polθ exhibits a significantly higher velocity and fidelity of deoxyribonucleotide incorporation on RNA versus DNA. The 3.2-Å crystal structure of Polθ on a DNA/RNA primer-template with bound deoxyribonucleotide reveals that the enzyme undergoes a major structural transformation within the thumb subdomain to accommodate A-form DNA/RNA and forms multiple hydrogen bonds with template ribose 2′-hydroxyl groups like retroviral RTs. Last, we find that Polθ promotes RNA-templated DNA repair in mammalian cells. These findings suggest that Polθ was selected to accommodate template ribonucleotides during DNA repair.

FREE PDF GRATIS: Science Advances Sup. Info.

Cientistas descobrem uma nova característica que distingue os humanos modernos dos Neandertais

segunda-feira, junho 21, 2021

Reduced purine biosynthesis in humans after their divergence from Neandertals

Vita Stepanova, Kaja Ewa Moczulska, Guido N Vacano, Ilia Kurochkin, Xiangchun Ju, Stephan Riesenberg, Dominik Macak, Tomislav Maricic, Linda Dombrowski, Maria Schörnig, Konstantinos Anastassiadis, Oliver Baker, Ronald Naumann, Ekaterina Khrameeva, Anna Vanushkina, Elena Stekolshchikova, Alina Egorova, Anna Tkachev, Randall Mazzarino, Nathan Duval, Dmitri Zubkov, Patrick Giavalisco, Terry G Wilkinson, David Patterson, Philipp Khaitovich, Svante Pääbo

Skolkovo Institute for Science and Technology, Russian Federation; Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation; Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany; The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging, University of Denver, United States; Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan; Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering, Biotechnology Center, Technical University Dresden, Germany; Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany; Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Germany

Research Article May 4, 2021 Cite as: eLife 2021;10:e58741 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.58741

Source/Fonte: Live Science


We analyze the metabolomes of humans, chimpanzees, and macaques in muscle, kidney and three different regions of the brain. Although several compounds in amino acid metabolism occur at either higher or lower concentrations in humans than in the other primates, metabolites downstream of adenylosuccinate lyase, which catalyzes two reactions in purine synthesis, occur at lower concentrations in humans. This enzyme carries an amino acid substitution that is present in all humans today but absent in Neandertals. By introducing the modern human substitution into the genomes of mice, as well as the ancestral, Neandertal-like substitution into the genomes of human cells, we show that this amino acid substitution contributes to much or all of the reduction of de novo synthesis of purines in humans.


Espécies, especiação e paleontologia até a Síntese Moderna: temas persistentes e questões sem resposta

Palaeontology Volume 56, Issue 6 p. 1199-1223

Original Article

Free Access

Species, speciation and palaeontology up to the Modern Synthesis: persistent themes and unanswered questions

Warren D. Allmon

First published: 15 July 2013


Although it has been variously defined and discussed, the ‘species problem’ in evolutionary palaeontology actually consists of at least three separate but closely related questions: (1) What are species in living organisms? (the ‘species nature problem’); (2) To what degree can ‘species’ as recognized in living organisms be recognized in the fossil record? (the ‘species recognition problem’); (3) To the degree that species can be so recognized, to what degree can species be studied as modern species are, that is, what can we learn about the origin and evolution of species from fossils that we could not otherwise learn? This can be called the ‘species study problem’. A critical survey of the history of thinking about the nature and origin of species indicates that answers to at least two of these three questions (the first and third) have been remarkably persistent in both palaeontological and neontological views over the past 250 years, and the range of answers to them has changed remarkably little. The nature of Darwin's ideas on these issues, which has remained controversial, is an epitome of the persistent complexity and difficulty of the questions involved. This historical survey has a number of implications for modern palaeontological views of the nature and origin of species, including that the nature of species is a substantive (as opposed to a purely semantic) issue, likely to be decided empirically and not just theoretically, and that the roles of selection and isolation in the origin of species are likely diverse and complex.

FREE PDF GRATIS: Palaeontology

Mais uma hipótese sobre a origem da vida: formação de ligações peptídicas mecanoquímicas

terça-feira, junho 15, 2021

Angewandte Chemie International EditionVolume 60, Issue 23 p. 12727-12731


Mechanochemical Prebiotic Peptide Bond Formation**

Tomislav Stolar,Saša Grubešić,Dr. Nikola Cindro,Prof. Dr. Ernest Meštrović,Dr. Krunoslav Užarević,Dr. José G. Hernández

First published: 26 March 2021

Source/Fonte: PhysOrg


The presence of amino acids on the prebiotic Earth, either stemming from endogenous chemical routes or delivered by meteorites, is consensually accepted. Prebiotically plausible pathways to peptides from inactivated amino acids are still unclear as most oligomerization approaches rely on thermodynamically disfavored reactions in solution. Now, a combination of prebiotically plausible minerals and mechanochemical activation enables the oligomerization of glycine at ambient temperature in the absence of water. Raising the reaction temperature increases the degree of oligomerization concomitantly with the formation of a commonly unwanted cyclic glycine dimer (DKP). However, DKP is a productive intermediate in the mechanochemical oligomerization of glycine. The findings of this research show that mechanochemical peptide bond formation is a dynamic process that provides alternative routes towards oligopeptides and establishes new synthetic approaches for prebiotic chemistry.


A teoria da evolução de Darwin se transformando em teoria do Design Inteligente???

sexta-feira, junho 11, 2021

Towards an engineering theory of evolution

Simeon D. Castle, Claire S. Grierson & Thomas E. Gorochowski

Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 3326 (2021)


Biological technologies are fundamentally unlike any other because biology evolves. Bioengineering therefore requires novel design methodologies with evolution at their core. Knowledge about evolution is currently applied to the design of biosystems ad hoc. Unless we have an engineering theory of evolution, we will neither be able to meet evolution’s potential as an engineering tool, nor understand or limit its unintended consequences for our biological designs. Here, we propose the evotype as a helpful concept for engineering the evolutionary potential of biosystems, or other self-adaptive technologies, potentially beyond the realm of biology.

FREE PDF GRATIS: Nature Communications

Biologia funcional no seu contexto natural: mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

quarta-feira, junho 09, 2021

Functional biology in its natural context: A search for emergent simplicity

Joy Bergelson, Martin Kreitman, Dmitri A Petrov, Alvaro Sanchez, Mikhail Tikhonov

Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago, United States; 
Department of Biology, Stanford University, United States; 
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, United States; Department of Physics, Washington University in St Louis, United States

Review Article Jun 7, 2021


The immeasurable complexity at every level of biological organization creates a daunting task for understanding biological function. Here, we highlight the risks of stripping it away at the outset and discuss a possible path toward arriving at emergent simplicity of understanding while still embracing the ever-changing complexity of biotic interactions that we see in nature.


As we have argued, the enterprise of studying organisms in isolation and as static, already evolved entities, while hugely successful, is also profoundly limited. Our belief, which lies in contrast to Jacques Monod’s famous dictum — ‘Anything found to be true of E. coli must also be true of elephants’ — is that much of what one learns about the functional behavior of E.coli in isolation hardly even extends to E.coli in the gut, let alone to elephants in the savannah. The heart of our proposal, here, is thus the creation of a new field of Function of Evolving Systems that focuses on the function of organisms in the communities in which they reside, over periods of time when interactions evolve. It is both exciting intellectually, and essential practically.



A árvore de Darwin se transforma em uma rede, com implicações para o Design Inteligente

quinta-feira, junho 03, 2021

Evolution News @DiscoveryCSC

1 ° de junho de 2021, 12h41

A nova genômica poderia iniciar uma revolução científica que apanhe Darwin em sua teia? Sua “árvore da vida” icônica está se transformando em uma rede, graças a uma enxurrada de novos dados mostrando que a transferência lateral de genes (TLG) é onipresente. Se as opiniões de alguns geneticistas se enraizarem, os estudos filogenéticos podem se tornar relíquias do último paradigma. As implicações para a teoria da evolução são enormes.

Desde que Darwin esboçou uma árvore ramificada em suas anotações, o ícone da “árvore da vida” tornou-se um elemento fixo na mente de biólogos e estudantes. Parece intuitivamente óbvio: como os indivíduos descendem de pais e avós, cada espécie possui uma linhagem genética. De acordo com o pensamento de Darwin, essas linhagens se conectam no tempo devido à "origem das espécies" repetida pela seleção natural. Cada espécie teria se originado em um desses pontos de ramificação. Se seguidos o suficiente em regressão, todos os galhos e galhos bifurcados se conectariam em um padrão semelhante a uma árvore de descendência comum universal. Implícito nesta imagem está a suposição de que os ramos não se reconectam; uma vez bifurcados, eles compartilham as características do ancestral comum, mas evoluem nele em sua própria direção.

Um Profundo Repensar

Escrevendo na Current Biology, Cédric Blais e John M. Archibald relembram a revolução da genômica moderna e o profundo repensar que ela está causando sobre a "metáfora unificadora da biologia", a árvore da vida.

"Há cerca de vinte anos, as bases da árvore da vida foram abaladas pela compreensão de que os genomas procarióticos são compostos de genes com diferentes histórias evolutivas. Com A Origem das Espécies de Charles Darwin e as vívidas representações de Ernst Haeckel de árvores evolucionárias, a árvore da vida criou raízes como uma metáfora unificadora da biologia. A filogenética molecular surgiu nas décadas de 1960 e 1970 e seguiu o modelo de Darwin: os ramos da árvore da vida divergiram e nunca se fundiram (Quadro 1).

Esperava-se que a genômica comparativa solidificasse essa visão da evolução, mas os genomas de bactérias e arqueas foram identificados como mosaicos na natureza, tendo adquirido genes de táxons estreita e distantemente relacionados por transferência gênica lateral (ou horizontal). Essa percepção desbancou a primazia da descendência vertical na história da vida e seu uso na classificação taxonômica dos organismos. Isso iniciou um acalorado debate sobre a melhor forma de descrever as relações entre os organismos na natureza. A árvore da vida deveria ser abandonada e poderia ser adequadamente substituída por uma rede de vida? Ou a transferência lateral de genes era amplamente inconsequente, mero ruído que poderia e deveria ser filtrada, com o sinal restante revelando a verdadeira árvore da vida?" [Ênfase adicionada.]

Pense em como uma revolução científica profunda está em curso, quando a "metáfora unificadora da biologia" está sendo questionada. Alguns geneticistas estão com um machado na mão na base da árvore icônica. Blais e Archibald destacam que o aumento exponencial no sequenciamento do genoma, particularmente de micróbios, levou a essa grande reconsideração. Isso não estaria acontecendo sem a grande quantidade de dados forçar isso. Veja os conceitos há muito aceitos que estão correndo risco:

- A existência de uma única árvore filogenética

- O conceito de Carl Woese de três domínios (bactérias, archaea, eukarya)

- A prática de filogenética molecular

- Taxonomia

- Ancestralidade comum universal

Tomar partido

Como em qualquer revolução, as pessoas tomam partido. Os radicais em uma extremidade do espectro ficam felizes em derrubar a velha árvore e substituí-la por uma rede moderna. Os radicais do outro lado querem salvar a árvore, como os conservacionistas sentados nos galhos para parar as motosserras. Então, há um meio-termo onde os pacificadores pensam que os dois conceitos podem coexistir e todos ficarão felizes. Todo cientista, porém, deve estar unido quanto aos fatos. Blais e Archibald descrevem a política partidária sem tomar partido, mas apontam que o TLG é real e não pode ser ignorado:

"A primazia da árvore da vida deve ser qualificada pelo reconhecimento de que ela representa apenas uma fração da história evolutiva e que as redes capturam dinâmicas evolutivas genuínas que são incompatíveis com ela. As redes agora abrangem muito mais entidades e processos do que foram inicialmente considerados ao discutir a árvore e a rede da vida. Mesmo que a árvore da vida sobreviva, agora está claro que linhagens verticais e reticuladas coexistem em comunidades de troca gênica de topologias variadas."

E ainda assim, pense em como a imagem da árvore muda se os galhos se interconectam. A árvore se transforma em uma rede de nós interconectados. Não há nenhum componente vertical necessário para um diagrama de rede; ele pode ser girado à vontade e as conexões permanecem. Se a TLG é realmente muito difundida ao longo da vida, como parece fora de dúvida, o conceito de árvore da vida universal torna-se uma questão de preferência filosófica, não de demonstração empírica.

Como os organismos compartilham informações genéticas? Para procariotos, é simples: eles rotineiramente compartilham plasmídeos (é assim que os genes de resistência a antibióticos podem viajar de espécie para espécie). Esse fenômeno deu origem ao conceito de “quase-espécie”, em que indivíduos dentro de uma espécie podem não ter todo o repertório de genes, mas podem obtê-los de outros membros quando estão sob estresse. Para organismos superiores, outros métodos de transferência de informação incluem fagos e elementos genéticos móveis (“genes saltadores” ou transposons), hibridização e introgressão. Microbiologistas estão estudando canais nanoscópicos que parecem conectar células, através dos quais as informações podem viajar. Nesse caso, as células tornam-se menos como edifícios individuais e mais como praças comerciais com passarelas entre si.

Um entrave ao avanço científico

O antigo conceito de árvore pode atrapalhar o progresso científico, dizem os autores.

"A transferência lateral de genes não respeita os limites das espécies e é ativada por elementos genéticos móveis e seus veículos não incluídos na árvore da vida, como vírus, agentes de transferência de genes, plasmídeos e transposons ... Além disso, embora permita conexões laterais, a árvore da vida reconhece apenas uma maneira "certa" de agrupar táxons existentes: descendência vertical. Portanto, está mal equipado para estudar agrupamentos de espécies que refletem a complexa dinâmica de transferência de genes que existem no mundo microbiano.

As redes, por outro lado, não são restritas por uma estrutura de árvore e podem ser usadas para lançar uma nova luz sobre questões evolutivas. Na verdade, estudos recentes descobriram que as redes podem superar as árvores quando confrontadas com cenários filogenéticos complexos ou ambíguos."

As “questões evolutivas” no novo paradigma, se não forem verticais, dificilmente podem ser chamadas de evolucionárias no sentido darwiniano. A questão agora é se os limites das hierarquias aninhadas pelas quais os organismos foram classificados são tão impenetráveis quanto se acreditava anteriormente. As implicações do pensamento em rede ainda precisam ser totalmente exploradas, mas as perspectivas são tão empolgantes quanto revolucionárias.

Implicações para o Design Inteligente

Se o conceito de rede continuar a suplantar ou suplementar o antigo conceito de árvore, aqui estão algumas questões de pesquisa que os defensores do design podem considerar:

- A primazia da informação sobre a ancestralidade.

- A habilidade da TLG de preparar um organismo em migração para um novo ambiente.

- Adaptação à luz da TLG, em vez da ancestralidade.

- Como a rede fornece resiliência.

- Novas explicações para “evolução convergente” - compartilhamento em vez de ancestralidade.

- Princípios taxonômicos expandidos que incluem a TLG.

- Limites para o compartilhamento de informações que preservam a identidade das espécies.

- Interpretando o registro fóssil à luz da genômica em rede.

- Substituindo árvores filogenéticas por diagramas de rede.

Vale a pena ler o ensaio de Blais e Archibald, “The past, present and future of the tree of life”. Podemos estar à beira de uma grande revolução científica na biologia. Parece que a nova genômica será mais compatível com o design do que o modelo de Darwin jamais foi.

O Discovery Institute está co-patrocinando um evento esta semana no Texas, a “Conference on Engineering in Living Systems” (CELS). Os participantes provavelmente irão discutir alguns dos conceitos que vêm à tona na nova genômica e como eles se cruzam com os princípios de engenharia evidentes na vida. O que é mais projetado do que uma rede?

Processamento da informação em circuitos genéticos: mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

sábado, maio 29, 2021

Engineering in the biological substrate: information processing in genetic circuits

Publisher: IEEE

Illustration of the electrochemical interface for gene-circuit-based sensors.


We review the rapidly evolving efforts to analyze, model, simulate, and engineer genetic and biochemical information processing systems within living cells. We begin by showing that the fundamental elements of information processing in electronic and genetic systems are strikingly similar, and follow this theme through a review of efforts to create synthetic genetic circuits. In particular, we describe and review the "silicon mimetic" approach, where genetic circuits are engineered to mimic the functionality of semiconductor devices such as logic gates, latched circuits, and oscillators. This is followed with a review of the analysis, modeling, and simulation of natural and synthetic genetic circuits, which often proceed in a manner similar to that used for electronic systems. We conclude by presenting examples of naturally occurring genetic and biochemical systems that recently have been conceptualized in terms familiar to systems engineers. Our review of these newly forming fields of research demonstrates that the expertise and skills contained within electrical and computer engineering disciplines apply not only to design within biological systems, but also to the development of a deeper understanding of biological functionality. This review of these efforts points to the emergence of both engineering and basic science disciplines following parallel paths.

Published in: Proceedings of the IEEE ( Volume: 92, Issue: 5, May 2004)

Page(s): 848 - 863

Date of Publication: 19 April 2004

ISSN Information:

INSPEC Accession Number: 8021891

Publisher: IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Subscription or payment needed/Requer assinatura ou pagamento: IEEE 

Como as células consertam membranas com vazamento: mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

sexta-feira, maio 28, 2021

Sealing holes in cellular membranes

Yan Zhen, Maja Radulovic, Marina Vietri, Harald Stenmark

Author Information

Yan Zhen1,2, Maja Radulovic1,2, Marina Vietri1,2 and Harald Stenmark *,1,2,3

1Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

2Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

3Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

*Corresponding author. Tel: +47 22781818; E-mail: stenmark@ulrik.uio.no 

Holes in the plasma membrane can be sealed by patching, endocytosis, budding, macrophage-mediated membrane removal or reduction in membrane tension.


The compartmentalization of eukaryotic cells, which is essential for their viability and functions, is ensured by single or double bilayer membranes that separate the cell from the exterior and form boundaries between the cell’s organelles and the cytosol. Nascent nuclear envelopes and autophagosomes, which both are enveloped by double membranes, need to be sealed during the late stage of their biogenesis. On the other hand, the integrity of cellular membranes such as the plasma membrane, lysosomes and the nuclear envelope can be compromised by pathogens, chemicals, radiation, inflammatory responses and mechanical stress. There are cellular programmes that restore membrane integrity after injury. Here, we review cellular mechanisms that have evolved to maintain membrane integrity during organelle biogenesis and after injury, including membrane scission mediated by the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT), vesicle patching and endocytosis.


A existência de não religiosos céticos da evolução darwinista ou proponentes do design inteligente

segunda-feira, maio 24, 2021

Are there Non-Religious Skeptics of Darwinian Evolution and Proponents of Intelligent Design?

Dec 4, 2014

Article ID: JAF6362 | By: Casey Luskin


Honest truth seekers and agenda-driven atheists rarely pose the same questions, but both ask whether any nonreligious scientists and scholars challenge neo-Darwinism and/or support intelligent design (ID).

A logical response explains that an argument holds merit apart from the religious (or nonreligious) beliefs of the person arguing. Darwinism may be flawed regardless of whether its critics are religious. Rejecting an argument because of the personal religious beliefs of the arguer commits the genetic fallacy.

Nonetheless, many find it rhetorically persuasive to learn about atheists and agnostics who challenge materialistic accounts of origins. These nonreligious scientists and scholars who doubt modern Darwinian theory include former U.S. National Academy of Sciences biologist Lynn Margulis, medical professor Raymond Tallis, Rutgers cognitive scientist Jerry Fodor, New York University philosopher and legal scholar Thomas Nagel, and Princeton-trained mathematician David Berlinski—all of whom have publicly challenged neo-Darwinism and/or sympathized with ID.

Significantly, many of these scholars have faced harsh reactions from fellow nonbelievers. Margulis observes that those who attack Darwin become “persona non grata,” and Fodor has faced pressure to suppress his doubts “in public.” This demonstrates academic intolerance toward Darwin-skeptics, and leads one to wonder how many other atheists would challenge Darwinism if they had the academic freedom to do so.

At Discovery Institute, where I am employed, we receive many e-mails asking about evolution and intelligent design (ID), specifically whether there are nonreligious scientists and scholars who challenge modern neo-Darwinian theory and/or support ID.

As might be expected, a certain percentage of questioners merely want to taunt us with objections they think we can’t answer. But this question is posed not just by angry Internet critics but also by thoughtful truth seekers.

Of course, there are good answers to the query. The primary response is strictly logical. An argument must stand or fall on its own merits, and scrutinizing the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) of a person making an argument commits the genetic fallacy. After all, if Darwinian theory is flawed, those weaknesses remain, whether they are expounded by the Pope or the Devil.

Nonetheless, there is something inherently persuasive about a person with no philosophical bias predisposing them toward a particular viewpoint, adopting that position. Many find it convincing to learn about atheists or agnostics who doubt naturalistic accounts of origins. Thus, the second part of my response is rhetorical, as it recounts nonreligious scientists and scholars who challenge neo-Darwinism and/or sympathize with ID—often in the face of great pressure to conform to the materialist party line.


Raymond Tallis is a professor of medicine at the University of Manchester, a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a self-described “atheist humanist.”1 His 2011 book, Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis, and the Misrepresentation of Humanity critiques the scientism that has invaded the study of consciousness, as well as Darwinian explanations for the origin of the human mind.

Tallis coins the term “neuromania” to describe an ongoing media crusade telling the public that each “new discovery” has finally demonstrated a purely material explanation for consciousness. “Part of the attraction of Neuromania,” he writes, “comes from the belief that it is brand new and that it has grown out of the latest discoveries in the laboratory.”2 But Tallis calls the view that “there must be an organ in the body where the soul or mind or consciousness is to be found” an “enduring myth.”3


Tallis believes that evolutionary psychologists also overextend their arguments. Though he maintains he has “no quarrel with Darwinism,”4 he critiques those who have “Darwinitis”—the tendency to explain everything in Darwinian terms. Tallis illustrates how Darwinitis leads evolutionary psychologists to propose plausible-sounding hypotheses that are completely false:

Consider the recent claim that evolutionary psychology can explain why pink is associated with femininity and blue with masculinity. Women in prehistory were the principal gatherers of fruit and would have been sensitive to the colours of ripeness: deepening shades of pink. Men, on the other hand, would have looked for good hunting weather and sources of water, both of which are connected with blue. In fact, in Victorian Britain blue was regarded as the appropriate colour for girls (being associated with the Virgin Mary) and pink for boys (being a watered down version of the “fierce” colour red). Colour preferences are therefore scarcely rooted in the properties of brain shaped in the Pleistocene epoch. They are historically, not biologically, determined; but don’t expect an evolutionary psychologist to spot that.5

As a self-described “good Darwinian,”6 Tallis understands natural selection to be a “blind watchmaker,” that cannot select for future goals. But he acknowledges what few Darwinians will admit—that blind selection cannot explain the goal-directed nature of human consciousness: “Darwinism, therefore, leaves something unaccounted for: the emergence of people like you and me who are indubitably sighted watchmakers….Isn’t there a problem in explaining how the blind forces of physics brought about (cognitively) sighted humans who are able to see, and identify, and comment on, the ‘blind’ forces of physics…?”7

Tallis recognizes “the failure to explain any form of consciousness, never mind human consciousness, in evolutionary terms.”8 But he is hardly the only atheist who questions Darwinian explanations.


A member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and once the wife of Carl Sagan, biologist Lynn Margulis (1938–2011) is not the first person one might expect to critique neo- Darwinian theory vocally. But that’s exactly what she did. In an interview shortly before her death, Margulis explained, “Neo-Darwinists say that new species emerge when mutations occur and modify an organism. I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change—led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence.” Echoing the arguments of many ID proponents, Margulis maintains that “new mutations don’t create new species; they create offspring that are impaired.”9 In a 2003 book co-authored with Dorion Sagan (the son of Carl), she elaborates:

This Darwinian claim to explain all of evolution is a popular half-truth whose lack of explicative power is compensated for only by the religious ferocity of its rhetoric. Although random mutations influenced the course of evolution, their influence was mainly by loss, alteration, and refinement….Mutations, in summary, tend to induce sickness, death, or deficiencies. No evidence in the vast literature of heredity changes shows unambiguous evidence that random mutation itself, even with geographical isolation of populations, leads to speciation.10

Some Darwin defenders have cited Margulis’s eminence as evidence that critics have freedom to express their views. Margulis doesn’t agree, noting that “anyone who is overtly critical of the foundations of his science is persona non grata.”11 Other atheists who challenge Darwin have made similar observations.

Read more here: Equip

Especialista da Universidade Princeton afirma: as teorias de Darwin foram "distorcidas" por seu racismo e sexismo!

sexta-feira, maio 21, 2021

“The Descent of Man,” 150 years on

Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.


Science 21 May 2021:

Vol. 372, Issue 6544, pp. 769

In 1871, Charles Darwin tackled “the highest and most interesting problem for the naturalist…the descent of man.” Challenging the status quo, Darwin deployed natural and sexual selection, and his recently adopted “survival of the fittest,” producing scenarios for the emergence of humankind. He explored evolutionary histories, anatomy, mental abilities, cultural capacities, race, and sex differences. Some conclusions were innovative and insightful. His recognition that differences between humans and other animals were of degree, not of kind, was trailblazing. His focus on cooperation, social learning, and cumulative culture remains core to human evolutionary studies. However, some of Darwin's other assertions were dismally, and dangerously, wrong. “Descent” is a text from which to learn, but not to venerate.

Darwin saw humans as part of the natural world, animals that evolved (descended) from ancestral primates according to processes and patterns similar for all life. For Darwin, to know the human body and mind, we must know other animals and their (and our) descent with modification across lineages and time. But despite these ideal frames and some innovative inferences, “Descent” is often problematic, prejudiced, and injurious. Darwin thought he was relying on data, objectivity, and scientific thinking in describing human evolutionary outcomes. But for much of the book, he was not. “Descent,” like so many of the scientific tomes of Darwin's day, offers a racist and sexist view of humanity.


O neodarwinismo ainda ronda com frequência a teoria da evolução!!!

Neo-darwinism still haunts evolutionary theory: A modern perspective on Charlesworth, Lande, and Slatkin (1982)

Zachary B. Hancock, Emma S. Lehmberg, Gideon S. Bradburd

First published: 17 May 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14268

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14268


The Modern Synthesis (or “Neo-Darwinism”), which arose out of the reconciliation of Darwin's theory of natural selection and Mendel's research on genetics, remains the foundation of evolutionary theory. However, since its inception, it has been a lightning rod for criticism, which has ranged from minor quibbles to complete dismissal. Among the most famous of the critics was Stephen Jay Gould, who, in 1980, proclaimed that the Modern Synthesis was “effectively dead.” Gould and others claimed that the action of natural selection on random mutations was insufficient on its own to explain patterns of macroevolutionary diversity and divergence, and that new processes were required to explain findings from the fossil record. In 1982, Charlesworth, Lande, and Slatkin published a response to this critique in Evolution, in which they argued that Neo-Darwinism was indeed sufficient to explain macroevolutionary patterns. In this Perspective for the 75th Anniversary of the Society for the Study of Evolution, we review Charlesworth et al. (1982) in its historical context and provide modern support for their arguments. We emphasize the importance of microevolutionary processes in the study of macroevolutionary patterns. Ultimately, we conclude that punctuated equilibrium did not represent a major revolution in evolutionary biology – although debate on this point stimulated significant research and furthered the field – and that Neo-Darwinism is alive and well.


Evolutionary theory Gould macroevolution microevolution punctuated equilibrium species selection

Publication History

Accepted manuscript online:

17 May 2021

Manuscript accepted:

14 May 2021

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved


O design da natureza: a biologia da sobrevivência

quinta-feira, maio 20, 2021



MATEC Web Conf.

Volume 301, 2019

The 13th International Conference on Axiomatic Design (ICAD 2019)

Article Number 00023

Number of page(s) 10

Published online 02 December 2019

MATEC Web of Conferences 301, 00023 (2019)

Nature's Design's: The Biology of Survival

Pam Mantri* and John Thomas

Cognitive Tools Ltd. LLC, P.O. Box 695; 255 North Ave; New Rochelle, NY 10801, USA

* Corresponding author: pammantri@cogtools.com

This figure was uploaded by John Thomas


Life has existed on earth for at least 3.95 billion years. All along, the flame of life has been successfully passed on from generation to generation, and species to species across an immense temporal span. This includes at least five mass-extinction events that wiped out over 70% of all species in each such biotic crisis. Against such immense odds, life has learned to thrive despite repeat assaults. And the ingenuity embedded within natures designs has been an integral part of this inspiring story. For example, the ancient bacterial flagellum is powered by the Mot Complex which is part of a perfectly circular nanoscale rotary engine. It is obvious that nature came upon the wheel much before human arrival (i.e., at least as far back as 2.7 billion years). Many are the design lessons that may be gleaned from studying nature. This paper looks at the immense evolutionary design-laboratory that nature evolves its designs within, and frames it alongside an Axiomatic/Complex-Adaptive/Stigmergic Systems perspective.

Key words: Axiomatic Design / Biological Systems / Stigmergy; Emergence / Complex Adaptive System / Evolution

© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019

Licence Creative CommonsThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Teleologia, a amante que os biólogos evolucionistas se recusam desfilar publicamente!!!

Evolution ‘On Purpose’: Teleonomy in Living Systems

Living systems exhibit an internal teleology, the full implications of which have not been explored. This meeting will address various aspects of this phenomenon, including its scope and meaning, and its many forms and facets.

Date: 28th - 29th June 2021
Organiser: Linnean Events
Registration: Register on eventbrite.co.uk

Although it is now widely accepted that living systems exhibit an internal teleology, or teleonomy, the full implications of this distinctive biological property have yet to be explored. This online conference will seek to address various aspects of this important phenomenon, including the origins and history of the teleonomy concept, its scope and meaning, and its many forms and facets. Possible topics may include: an historical review of teleological thinking; teleology (and entelechy) versus teleonomy in evolutionary theory; the nature of teleonomy (who/what is in control, and how?); agency and teleonomy; semiotics and teleonomy; modelling teleonomic processes; teleonomy in the genome, in epigenesis, in physiology, and in behaviour; teleonomy and natural selection; teleonomy in human evolution; and, especially significant, how teleonomy has influenced the evolutionary process.

The Programme Committee includes Peter Corning, Eva Jablonka, Stuart Kauffman, Denis Noble, Samir Okasha, James Shapiro, Dick Vane-Wright, and Denis Walsh.

The organisers are Peter Corning (pacorning@complexsystems.org), Dick Vane-Wright (dickvanewright@gmail.com), and Padmaparna Ghosh (Linnean Society).

The full programme of 20 presentations, with abstracts and brief biographies, is now available here.

A Zoom link will be emailed to registered attendees 48 hours before the start of the event. Please note:

No questions or comments will be possible during or immediately after talks.

Registered attendees may pose questions (until 25 June, 2021) to each of the speakers regarding their talks via the e-mails that are provided with each abstract. The speakers may choose to respond during their talks, by personal e-mail messages, or not at all.

Some talks will be pre-recorded for the conference, for the convenience of speakers who are in remote time zones.

All talks will start at the time advertised, even if the previous talk ends early.

Attendees will have a choice about watching the talks. They are free to attend and leave the conference and return at their convenience, since all talks will be recorded as given and will be accessible online.

Registered attendees will have an opportunity to offer a commentary of up to three minutes on the second day, 29 June, during the first ‘evening’ hour (5:30–6:30 PM GMT, 6:30–7:30 BST). Application messages must be received by 25 June, and must be accompanied by a brief summary of your remarks, addressed to organiser Peter Corning at: pacorning@complexsystems.org. Dr. Corning will select the relevant comments and assign an order to the speakers. You will be notified if/when you will be recognized to speak.

In the last hour of the second day, comments/rejoinders will be allowed on a first come-first served basis. A summary of these comments may be used for the journal publication.

There is a commitment to publish one, or perhaps two sets of papers based on the conference (one to go to the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, potentially for a special issue).


Interesting excerpt/Excerto interessante:

Denis Walsh, University of Toronto

Title: “Teleophobia”


Teleology—the explanation of phenomena by appeal to the goals that they subserve— is widely thought to have been expunged from biology. The reasons generally offered for the putative banishment of teleology are numerous and varied—historical, conceptual, theoretical, metaphysical—and they are all wrong. There is no defensible reason for the teleophobia that holds contemporary biology in its grip. Furthermore, teleophobia has had a demonstratively deleterious effect on the development of evolutionary theory. It has aided and abetted the marginalisation of organisms from evolutionary thinking. Organisms, I argue, are natural purposes. The pursuit of organismal purposes makes a difference to the dynamics of evolution that can only be fully explained teleologically. Teleology must thus form an indispensable part of the evolutionary biologist’s methodological toolkit.

Free PDF Gratis: The Linnean Society