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Dov

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Everything posted by Dov

  1. From Scientific American Sept 2004 SA Perspectives : "Were Einstein alive today, he would undoubtedly still find causes for outrage" about Jews not living peaceably with Arabs and about USA foray into Iraq. This statement by The Editors of SA is a glaring example of antiscientism: (1) It is based on were/if,(2) plus an injection of the Editors' (royal s?) attitudes into Einstein's personality, (3) plus obvious ignorance of the nature of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,(4) plus a more than just ignorant referral to Jews in lieu of Israelis. However, this is also a demonstration of The Editors' excellent editorial expertise, of how to package so many booboos in such a small paragraph. Dov Henis
  2. Xenoturbella bocki is a worm. It is the most primitive existing member of the group to which humans belong, called the deuterostomes. This is what we evolved from 500 million years ago, as did all mammals, fish, starfish and worms. You might search, then, at two stages : pre- and post- Xenoturbella bocki.
  3. Just read (The Scientist) updated reports that purified PrPSc do not replicate and that indeed various PrPSc's differ in amino acid component(s) . Therefore it is required now to learn if tagged PrPc shows up in the PrPSc, or not, for finding if the PrPSc is formed from PrPc, or if it is formed instead of and to the exclusion of PrPc. Also these data enhance the probability that the PrPSc's includes an adjunct "agent" , lost upon PrPSc purification, that directs the preferred formation of PrPSc.
  4. Thank you for suggesting the link. However, at my advanced age (1) I may not live long enough to read the whole article properly, (2) I try reading most recently updated information, and (3) I feel uneasy at the apparently contrasting statements in the abstract: (a)"cellular PrP (PrPC) is converted into PrPSc through a posttranslational process" (b)"The species of a particular prion is encoded by the sequence of the chromosomal PrP gene of the mammals in which it last replicated" I raise the subject because back in the early '50s I effected encephalomyelitis in fowls by inadequate levels of niacin or tryptophane and found that the minimal required level of these amino acids for the type of fowl was related to the physiology/activity characteristics of the different fowl types. My gut feeling ( obviously not experimental evidence ) is that PrPc to PrPSc conversion is indeed a "posttranslational conversion", initiated and maintained by a replacement of an amino acid, initiated and chain-reacting due to an energetically effected equation situation, on one side the combined suspended/soluble presence of PrPc and its precursors and on the other side the precipitating PrPSc.
  5. Yes, the pathogenic prions are "misfolded" plus replicating plus resist enzymatic digestion, but what is most interesting: is there any chemical change involved in the transition of normal to pathogenic prions, that leads to the changed characteristics of normal-to-pathogenic prions ?
  6. Re Scientific American July 2004 Detecting Mad Cow Disease, Stanley B. Prusiner Genesis and replication modes of pathogenic prions curiously connote initial genesis and evolution of life, maybe from an RNA-related conformation. In both cases the process-enabling-moving circumstances are presence of the precursors of the Bingo Conformation plus a favorable energy balance. Is it probable/possible, therefore, that the switch from normal to pathogenic prions is enabled and moved by a replacement of a component amino-acid such as tryptophane/niacin ? Dov Henis
  7. Extraterrestrial Life? The preoccupation of some humans with possibilities of off-Earth life and their efforts in search of extraterrestrial life are, in our present state of comprehension of the nature of life, futile and pitiful, as long as humans seek only extended-human-culture-like signals. Even our own base life elements, our genes, have no use and no need of cultural toolings for their needs and purpose, which are solely and neatly to survive and proliferate. Their proteinaceous toolings and chemical communications are for them superior to our toolings for our needs and purpose. Human-culture-like traits are just a chance diversion in the course of Earth life evolution, and they are superfluous for our genes for their proliferation purpose, being much less effective for their energy exploitation and chemical transformations and construction processes. Likewise other life forms might have occurred somewhere and evolved and developed in other modes with other types of toolings and communications that render them replicable. Present human-culture-like traits may turn out to be less efficient also for the survival-replication of other life forms that may exist. In order to conduct an effective search for non-Earth life it is required first to comprehend the basic nature of life that may be common to all possible forms of life. And since Life must evolve from Life, and in view of the characteristics of Life and Death, Life in general is most probably a "bubble of energy system", a system initiated and maintained by "energy" in a direction to reverse the universal thermodynamic drive to a state of ever dissipating order and energy.
  8. Woese, a microbiology professor at the University of Illinois, with most provocative publications in the 1960s, traced sequence differences in microorganisms for the molecules he believed to be most central and conserved in life--the ribosomal RNAs responsible for protein translation, the universal language of cells. By the way, in so doing, Woese made a then textbook-changing discovery, convincing many that archaea exist as a domain of life distinct from bacteria and eukaryotes. From this, he then constructed the first phylogenetic tree of microorganisms, leaving bacteria at the root, with archaea and eukaryotes branching off at a later date. This has later been contested with several different conjectures...
  9. Occasionaly (for example http://www.the-scientist.com/yr2003/oct/research2_031006.html, "Microbial Co-op in Evolution"), I come accross articles that "discover" in "scientifically sophisticated” verbiage, plainly ubiquitous phenomena of cooperation in evolution between cells or organisms or between their communities. In my opinion co-op in evolution started, most probably, much earlier than in microbial communities; it started between individual pre-celled genes, who eventually formed and elaborated the cooperative associations we call genomes. Prior to this, even the genesis of Life itself is a product of cooperation, of molecules that were precursors to Life. Life has always been and still is a fractal phenomenon and affair, a repetition of a framework of processes on ever more complex pattern. It cannot be otherwise;it is inherent in evolution. And surviving-proliferating life has always been a cooperative affair since cooperation is the most successful route for overall survival/proliferation.
  10. FYI : I am posting this also in another forum, that deals with biological evolution. The Stealthy Life Genesis ------------------------- Sometimes, when you seek the right answer, it helps to pose the right question. Consider the vastly versatile life on planet Earth. Many questions about its mechanisms and evolution have been asked and answered, many of the further questions that evolve continuously about it are tackled by scientists and will most probably be answered within few years, and still many further questions will be raised and answered... However, in order to come closer to answering The Question, The Origin-Nature-Direction of Life, I posit that it would help to ask the question rightly and ask the right question. First it is necessary to seek the question, to consider where within the enormous maze of information it might be searched, then search for it and spot it, and then lead up to it and grab it tightly. Most scientists should or would concur that all the vastly versatile Earth lives that we know as well as those we do not yet know evolved from single self-replicating cell or cells. Most scientists consider the earliest single cell/cells to be the Big Bang of Earth life. Some scientists conjecture that the early cell/cells came into being on Earth, whereas others conjecture that they have arrived on Earth from elsewhere somehow. Still others might conjecture, like I do, that the primary cell or cells were evolutionary products of yet earlier non-celled life, and that chromosomal genes associations, genomes, are products of evolution and cooperation of their individual gene constituents much as their following mono- and poly-cell organisms are products of evolution of their earlier cellular forms. In this scenario the way back initiation of life was not yet in a cellular form but in, probably, a conformation akin to RNA. Now, obviously for scientists concuring with the "cellular big-bang" scenario the right question is difficult to seek and to search and to spot. However, if you accept (remember Pasteur?) the "archaic pre-celled genes" scenario then you can further extrapolate backwards in time and in conditions to the formation-transition of a chemical into a self-replicating base organism. The two elements involved in this primordial occurence would be the presence of the bingo chemical conformation together with its precursors and the stealthily lurking energy balance state. And the right questions in this case would be "is it possible to computer-model such an occurrence?", and "was this just a local solar system accident or is the life phenomenon, the bubble-of-energy, a universally omnipresent energy-directed phenomenon in reverse of the overall universal expansion in a direction of ever dissipating order and energy?". end
  11. Sayonara is precise, as usual. BlackJackal post is "A New Theory for the Origins of Life". My remarks aim at No or Yes likelihood of some conjectures about origin of life
  12. Probable early life raw materials on earth's surface were CO2, CO, H2, N2. None or very little free oxygen, thus formation of organic compounds enabled, that evolved into life. Water was the medium enabling life evolution and celling of primary early archaic RNA genes, as lipid bilayer biological membranes need water to form. The characteristics of the 4BYA environmental energy, that drove the auto-synthesis of complex living molecular conformations , is not now yet known. Ukaryotes arose via ingestion and development of obligate symbiotic relationships which were metabolically specialized. Chloroplasts and mitochondria are compartments within the cells, bound by double membranes. Their DNA is in a circular strand, organized not like the chromosomes. Comparisons of ribosomal RNA and other molecules have confirmed that they are related to and likely arose from bacteria. Mitochondria were probably free-living bacteria that became cellular endosymbionts and lost much of their autonomy. By evidence to date mitochondria were acquired only once within eukaryotes. In the case of chloroplasts, evidence suggests that several different types of photosynthetic bacteria contributed to several different episodes of formation of endosymbionts, since there are large differences among chloroplasts and chloroplast DNA.
  13. look at this : http://www.ridgesandfurrows.homestead.com/friction_skin.html
  14. On the NO side ================== (1) "Life is organization" No more than "a car or everything else is an organization" of its components. (2) "evolution of life is the increase of biological organization" No. It is ( as stated further ) an increase of complexity. And this not because " raw solar heat (?) is converted into increased complexity ", but due to ever increasing availability of number of mutatable factors. (3) "Influx of heat into an open system will increase the entropy of that system, not decrease it. All known cases of decreased entropy (or increased organization) in open systems involve a guiding program of some sort and one or more energy conversion mechanisms. Evolution has neither of these". Influx in case of life is not just heat, translated into motion, and Life Evolution certainly does have several inherent guiding programs, all plainly scientifically verified . (4) "Mutations are not "organizing" mechanisms, but disorganizing. " Mutations are neither of these, but naturally occuring unavoidable events in the complex and vast systems. (5) "there is still no bona fide proof of evolution, past or present". You can't be serious... On the MAYBE yes side =========================== * Life is a system of collecting, using and storing energy. Compare Life with Death. * Earliest Life was not yet celled, and consisted of individual archaic genes most probably of RNA conformation. * Genes are live organisms that underwent and are undergoing evolution, and we are now unable to "roll back their development" for evidence. end
  15. Dov

    Time Dilation

    For a quick grasp and demonstration of speed effect on time dilation see : http://www.fourmilab.ch/cship/timedial.html And if you search "time dilation" by Google you'll have lots of presentations of various aspects...
  16. Corrected: This is The Life Big Bang Question we all seek to understand
  17. "why did more complex life arise after the swith to dna from rna?" The essence of Evolution is further complexity, as ever more and newer mutateable items arise. "what came first...the protein or the rna" Obviously proteins are tools, both instructed and constructed originally by RNA, an archaic gene. As the DNA gene evolved from its RNA predecessor it took over the protein instruction function, preventing the RNA from re-DNAing by replacing its thymine with uracil, and retaining it as a tool for numerous tasks. "how did the rna come to code for protein?" This is The Life Big Nan Question we all seek to understand....
  18. (1) A not-too-old RNA review should not be missed by RNA fans: http://www.nature.com/horizon/rna/background.html ===================================================== (2) Structural analysis of components of the complex that generates mRNA (m=messanger) templates from pre-RNA molecules, the so-called spliceosome, suggests that it is RNA molecules rather than proteins in the complex that catalyze the reaction, report US biophysicists. The spliceosome oversees the process of alternative splicing, which involves cutting out non-coding portions from the pre-mRNAs, selecting from various alternative coding segments, and sticking the fragments back together to create mature mRNAs. It's a process that enables approximately 40,000 human genes to produce the 100,000 proteins found in human cells, explains Samuel Butcher, assistant professor in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. ====================== (3) Per my "armchair scientist" conception of Evolution, even prior to any browsing through the above review, each RNA is both a basic pre-DNA archaic edition of a DNA gene and the DNA's tool. In pre-DNA life the RNAs lived independently and/or cooperatively with other RNAs. With passage of time more complex DNA life evolved from the archaic RNA genes into novel symbiotically-associated genes, and the original basic primary RNA forms have been retained as tools for their consequent DNA edition... =========================== This is my gut feeling...
  19. xxxAuroraxxx's openning posting : "What made Humans, humans? Why are we evolved more than say, the Hippo, or a Wasp? What makes us different? Was it a change in our enviorment? Was it just random "mutations" that made us this way? Or maybe, the only thing that seperates us from every other animal is the ability to imagine? Imagination is the biggest thing seperating us from other animals. Well, maybe . And if this is true, how did we develop this ability? Again, was it a random "mutation"? " Repeating what I wrote elsewhere, with slightly further elaboration: The first revolutionary evolution of life on earth was the celling of early genes and their entourages. The second, recent, revolutionary evolution has been initiated, in a similar vein, by the primates that adapted from life in semi- or tropical circumstances to life on plains. Humans’ uniqueness on Earth was initiated by a stimulus in a zone in the brain of some of them when challenged by needs for new manipulations, and for new capabilities of analysis and assessments of wider vistas open to them, when changing posture to erect due to change of environment from forests to plains. The new demands employed existing brain cells in one half of their brain, overtaxed its capabilities and led to compensation by overworking the symmetrically located cells in the second half of the split brain, and this in turn led again to compensation in the first half thus causing contralaterallization that is still evolving now. As their changed living posture led to modified perceptive/adaptive capabilities Humans have gradually replaced adaptation to changed circumstances with self-evolving cultures/civilizations for control and modification of much of their circumstances. This is essentially similar to Life's earlier "celling" evolution, but with culture serving for Humans for changing/controling their circumstances in lieu of protein toolings that serve in-cell genomes for adapting their physiology to changing circumstances
  20. The InterAcademy Council (within the UN framework) has been considering recently "inventing a new global organization for developing worldwide cooperation for a science-based better future". Seems to me that the long march towards a worldwide cooperation for a "science-based better future" might require, first, a starting step to develop a worldwide consensus on the reasons-incentives-goals for the march. The following is an outline of a project I propose for starting such a worldwide move. Any comments/ suggestions? SCM PROJECT A. Prepare and present a Scientist Creed Manifest (SCM) as a basis of a call for tolerance and cooperation between humans. The SCM will comprise the following main themes, written in very brief format and in plainest non-professional language, yet scientifically updated: (1) Description of Earth's position in our galaxy, of Milky Way galaxy, and of its position in the cosmos, and of the origin and state of the cosmos. (2) Inter-relationship of genomes of all Earth organisms with reference to comparative genomics and to history of Earth's life evolution. (3) All phenomena of life are fractal, from in-cell to comprehensive total Earth life, including all aspects of human cultures/civilizations. (4) Life is a "bubble of energy" system, initiated by energy and collects and stores energy in a pattern and direction opposite the universal thermodynamic drive towards a state of ever dissipating order and energy. (5) The emergence of human culture and civilization is a Life evolutionary revolution similar to the emergence of cells, with the novelties that culture functions for Humans as protein toolings function for genes, and that humans vary their circumstances according to their needs rather than become adapted to varying circumstances. B. A Scientist Creed Manifest might become a germinating and growing seed of promotion of worldwide tolerance and cooperation between communities: 1. "Scientists" are persons learned in science or investigating scientifically. "Scientism" is a method or doctrine characteristic of scientists, and the proposition that methods of natural sciences should be used in all areas of investigation. 2. If all "scientists" would have embraced "scientism" and thus be "truly scientific" most scientists would find themselves sharing similar opinions or attitudes in regards to most matters or issues. However, the fact is that "scientists" are not apart from non-scientists in regards to opinions or attitudes about a host of matters or issues. Together with non-scientists they comprise disagreeing or even hostile groups, especially in most opinion- or attitude-groups regarding social, moral, ethical or religious issues. 3. The two main reasons for this situation are (a) that social, moral, ethical, religious and other humanistic issues are, unlike physical matters, not considered scientific thus not analyzed nor assessed and treated scientifically, and (b) that many or most scientists have not adopted scientism concurrently with acquisition of various levels of technical expertise in the field(s) of their interest. 4. It is posited (a) that many or most scientists may be persuaded that each and all humanistic matters and issues are, for humans and for human societies, natural sciences that are functional for humans in the manner that intra-and inter-cell proteinaceous accessories are functional for cellular genomes, and (b) that scientists embracing and practicing scientism would inevitably hold and share similar opinions or attitudes about humanistic matters and issues, and/or otherwise would not be hostile towards others holding opinions or attitudes different from theirs. C. The SCM will be a continuous cooperative project of the worldwide scientific community. Consequent to completion of its first draft it will be updated once a year: 1. Its reason, purpose, scope and format will be presented in a dedicated web site, which will be referred to in major scientific printed and electronic networks. 2. Its first draft and its following annual updates will be composed on-line with the assistance of welcome readers' suggestions. 3. Only its minimal on-line editorial staff will be paid; all other contributors, reviewers and peers will serve and function voluntarily. end.
  21. Dov

    Axioms

    Etymology: Latin axioma, from Greek axiOma, literally, something worthy, from axioun to think worthy, from axios worth, worthy; akin to Greek agein to weigh, drive -- more at AGENT 1) a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit 2) a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference : postulate 3) an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth
  22. for implying a process reciprocal and complementary to the specific above-mentioned universal expansion...
  23. "Abiogenesis" is spontaneous origination of living organisms directly from lifeless matter. Look up Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). If humans will ever learn what have big-banged to become our universe, and from where and how was its origin, they might learn the origin of Life. Meanwhile, by considering what Death is, it may be speculated that Life is a self-replicating system for storing energy in the combined forms of ordered structures and inter-related chemical reactions. During Life the system, the "buble of energy", exists in a format that is counter to the universal process of ever degrading order and dispersing energy. Upon dying, the ex-living system becomes part of the universe. Maybe Life and "black holes" are some manifestations of a phase of the "pre-big-bang" universe when it "impanded" (opposite of expanded) to become what eventually big banged and started expanding circa 14 human billion years ago... And maybe there is not one universe but two or several universes acting on each other, some simultaneously expanding as other(s) are "impanding" thus answering the riddle of the missing weight of "our" universe ...
  24. ABCD of Earth Life April-June 2001, w/touch-up mid 2003 A. Pre-cell Life ? A most profound and stirring lesson of published genomes is, for some strange reason, not mentioned nor discussed. This lesson is the realization that reconstruction of biology has been due ever since biologists adopted the appearance of cellular life on Earth as the Big Bang of Life. Genomes, all genomes, make most sense if celled life evolved from pre-celled life which, by our present knowledge, might have been based on individual archaic genes that evolved and speciated into more elaborate genes, some of whom entered into symbiotic associations, some associations then celled themselves, some cells then formed further intra- and/or inter-cells associations, etc.,. If you adjust the concept of the evolution of life to such a scheme you realize that chromosomal genes associations, genomes, are products of evolution and cooperation of their individual gene constituents much like their following mono- and poly-cell organisms are products of evolution of their earlier cellular forms, all being products of evolution of their in-cell genome residents who, by means of their early RNAs and later protein toolings, evolved and are designed and driven solely towards their replication, the replication of the in-cell residents, the genomes. B. Earth-Life's Two Revolutionary Evolutions There were two similar revolutionary evolutions in the history of Earth's Life Evolution: The first revolutionary evolution was the "celling", by membrane, of the pre-celled archaic genes-associations plus their (nucleolus like?) retinues. This evolved in the course of the ongoing ubiquitous development of self-replicating life entities in the direction of ever higher complexity. The revolutionary aspect of this evolution was being no longer at the mercy of all environmental circumstances but, instead, having some control over many of them. The following Darwinian evolution of poly-celled life has been a continuation and an extension of this revolutionary evolution. The second, recent, revolutionary evolution has been initiated, in a similar vein, by the primates that adapted from life in semi- or tropical circumstances to life on plains. As their changed living posture led to modified perceptive/adaptive capabilities Humans have gradually replaced adaptation to changed circumstances with self-evolving cultures/civilizations for control and modification of much of their circumstances. This is essentially similar to Life's earlier "celling" evolution, but with culture serving for Humans for changing/controling their circumstances in lieu of protein toolings that serve in-cell genomes for adapting their physiology to changing circumstances. Cultural aspects, ALL cultural aspects, function for individual humans and for human communities of ALL sizes including human phenotypes (distinct ethnic/national/cultural communities) in the same manner and for the same ends as biological systems function in cells. This is plainly in accord with the fractal nature of Earth Life. C. Extraterrestrial Life? The preoccupation of some humans with possibilities of off-Earth life and their efforts in search of extraterrestrial life are, in our present state of comprehension of the nature of life, futile and pitiful, as long as humans seek only extended-human-culture-like signals. Even our own base life elements, our genes, have no use and no need of cultural toolings for their needs and purpose, which are solely and neatly to survive and proliferate. Their proteinaceous toolings and chemical communications are for them superior to our toolings for our needs and purpose. Human-culture-like traits are just a chance diversion in the course of Earth life evolution, and they are superfluous for our genes for their proliferation purpose, being much less effective for their energy exploitation and chemical transformations and construction processes. Likewise other life forms might have occurred somewhere and evolved and developed in other modes with other types of toolings and communications that render them replicable. Present human-culture-like traits may turn out to be less efficient also for the survival-replication of other life forms that may exist. In order to conduct an effective search for non-Earth life it is required first to comprehend the basic nature of life that may be common to all possible forms of life. And since Life must evolve from Life, and in view of the characteristics of Life and Death, Life in general is most probably a "bubble of energy system", a system initiated and maintained by "energy" in a direction to reverse the universal thermodynamic drive to a state of ever dissipating order and energy. D. Elaboration on the above If one accepts, intuitively and logically, Pasteur's observation that all life must come from previously existing life, then the answer to " what makes a mono- and poly-cell life-form a LIFE " is the answer to " what makes some molecular associations in cells LIVES", and vice versa. Therefore for many years I have been wondering why we have elected to regard the cell as the base unit element of life. Most of the cells that we know (there are some poly-cell and great many mono-cell organisms we do not yet know) comprise such a variety and number of processes and structures of wide range of sizes and functions, that should make us regard a cell as a liquid-ambient spaceship comprising baser-than-cell life-base-elements. It is a matter of adjusting one's concepts to a different scale of things, to a world dimensioned circa 10^-14 of ours. Presently we regard as an "organism" or a "life form", a unit element of a continuous lineage with an individual evolutionary history. This should apply also to the way-back early evolutionary version of the organism, about which we might yet know nothing or very little. However, it is scientifically logical and reasonable to conjecture that throughout their evolution from single archaic to chromosome-association-members genes have been and are now as living organisms as the single or poly-celled organisms that evolved from/by them in their drive to proliferate, in the process of accumulating-maintaining bubbles of life-energy. Wondering about earlier way-back gene-origin is, at our present state of knowledge, like wondering about the origin of what big-banged to form our universe. Now, mitochondria and chloroplast and nucleus and chromosomes, each constituting a continuous lineage, are not now considered “organisms" because by themselves they presently have no possibility of survival, i.e. of independent replication. But once upon the time very likely some or all of them were "independent", before entering into an endosymbiotic association with a partner cell and consequently becoming dependent members of an association. Why is it difficult to accept that very likely early individual independent genes have likewise entered into symbiotic associations with each other, eventually evolving into chromosomal-associations-based organisms. After all when you ponder and reflect on each and every organizational pattern or process of a living system, regardless of its complexity, you cannot but realize that all phenomena of life are fractal, repetitive of similar phenomena on several scales, from in-cell to comprehensive total Earth life, including all human societies. Each and every life form, including human, is designed and organized to preserve and proliferate its DNA-based genome. This is Life's biological drive and target. And every aspect of each and every life form, including of humans, derives from this drive and serves it, and in the case of humans these aspects include all our civilizations and all our forms of cultures, which have evolved to improve our chance to survive and proliferate, for the sole purpose that our base genome survive and proliferate. Thus I have tried to present a case (1) for pre-cell evolutionary life, (2) for life as a fractal phenomenon, (3) for life being a phenomenon of a "bubble of energy", and (4) for the emergence of humans as an evolutionary revolution similar to the emergence of cells. end.
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