Well i'm glad that that boy enjoys life.. I myself can't honestly sit there watching the news about murders and new scams with people trying to screw people out of their hard earned money, and learn about the whats going on with terrorists and think "how lucky I am to be in this world"..
Hey.. I can't help how I feel.. I feel how I feel. I don't have a dropdown menu in my brain where I can pick and choose what emotion I want to feel so before you start on me about how pathetic my outlook on life is.. I thought I would say that. I can't help it..
Hmm, let me see if I can post something as relevant to abortion as izzy's post was.
My favorite example of a mutation producing new information involves a japanese bacterium that suffered a frame shift mutation that just happened to allow it to metabolize nylon waste. The new enzymes are very inefficient (having only 2% of the efficiency of the regular enzymes), but do afford the bacteria a whole new ecological niche. They don't work at all on the bacterium's original food - carbohydrates. And this type of mutation has even happened more than once!
So, what is a frame shift mutation?
It happens when a chunk of genetic code (remember those agtctagatcgtatagc... Dna sequences from jurassic park?) is shifted by one or more nucleotides. In dna, each triplet of nucleotides codes for one amino acid, and each such triplet is called a codon. So, the amino acid arginine (symbol arg) is coded by the dna nucleotide sequence cgt, and also by codons cga, cgc,cgg, aga, agg. Likewise, the amino acid glutamic acid (symbol glu) is coded by the dna nucleotide sequence gaa, and also by the sequence gag. There are four types of nucleic acids, which naturally bond in one of two pairs: thymine/adenine, and cytosine/guanine (t/a and g/c). A thymine (t) on one strand of dna will bind to an adenine (a) on the paired strand, and so on. There would be 64 different possible amino acids with a three-nucleotide codon (43=64), but several of these are redundant, as shown in the lists above for amino acids arginine and glutamic acid. In biological organisms, there are just 20 different amino acids. Various dna triplets code for these amino acids, and strings of amino acids form proteins - molecules (such as enzymes) that really do something specific, such as metabolize sugars.
A frame shift is a radical mutation in which a single nucleotide is inserted or deleted, causing a shift in the triplets coded by the dna strand. It's fairly technical, so i'll present what a frame shift is by analogy with a different digital code, that being the ascii code used in computers to convert numbers from 0 to 255 into symbols or characters. For example, the ascii code for the letter "a" is 65, which in binary converts to 64+1, or 26 + 1, written thus: 01000000 + 00000001 = 01000001. For this analogy, we'll just be using the first 128 characters, and so we can use just 7 digits: thus, an "a" then has the 7-digit code 1000001. A lower case "a" is 32 higher than a capital a (which leaves room for 26 letters and a few extra characters), and is thus written 1100001 in 7-digit binary notation (=64+32+1 = 97 in decimal). A "b" is written 1100010 in 7-digit binary notation (=64+32+2 = 9. Likewise, a "d" is written 1100100 in 7-digit binary notation (=64+32+4 = 100), and an "e" is written 1100101 in 7-digit binary notation (=64+32+4+1 = 101).
What has all this to do with frame shifts, you ask? In this analogy, actual biological proteins or enzymes (strings of amino acids) correspond to words or phrases (strings of ascii characters). Individual amino acids (such as arginine) are analagous to individual ascii characters (such as the letter "a"). Finally, the dna nucleotides a, t, c and g correspond to the binary digits 0 and 1.
So, let us string together several letters to make a "digital" word. The ascii digital code for the word "bed" is made by stringing together the 7-digit codes for b (1100010), e (1100101), and d (1100100) to make one long code: 110001011001011100100.
The image below shows what happens when we apply a frame shift to the digital code for bed. Here, we shift the "reading frame" by one digit to the left, which requires that we add one extra digit as a prefix. Here, the prefix I chose was the digit 1.
The frame shift is not a mild mutation. It is huge. We still have a 3-letter string, but each letter is different. Shifting the reading frame one digit gives us three new characters: q:(1110001), 2 (0110010), and r (1110010).
This particular frame shift scrambles the perfectly fine word "bed" into the unintelligible, meaningless word "q2r." in this case, the frame shift is not only a drastic mutation, but has completely altered the meaning of the word "bed." in this case, at least, information has been "lost"or "degraded," just as creationists say will happen all the time - every time.
And that's where they are wrong. While most frame-shift mutations do indeed scramble meanings and degrade information, not all of them do so.
Here's an example of a frame shift creating information: here, the word "gas" is coded as g(1100111) + a (1100001) + s (1110011). When we apply a left frame shift to the long code for "gas," we do not end up with a meaningless phrase such as "q2r." in this case, we end up with a new, meaningful word: spy.
Similarly, the word "jib," when right-frame-shifted, is mutated into the new word "use."
as a final example, the word "ice," when left-frame-shifted, is mutated into the new word "dab."
certainly, most frame shifts will destroy information. But not all - and that is where creationists have it wrong. I have shown three examples where such "frame shifts" indeed create new information. After all, in the proper context, the words "spy," "use," and "dab" actually mean something. Since their meanings are totally unrelated to the original meanings, it is obvious that, at least in this case, the frame shift mutation process has created new information. It's important to note that context really means something as regards interpretation of these words. For example, if the word "luz" was generated, that would mean nothing in english, but it means "light" in spanish. Without a common language and culture, words won't mean anything! It's different with dna, because the "context" in which dna strands are interpreted is the world of chemical reactions. The "meaning" of novel strands of dna lies in how these strands are transcribed, what the new proteins look like, and (most importantly!) how the proteins react with other molecules, perhaps even affecting the organism's lifestyle.
Now, let's get back to biology, and the case of the bacterium which has evolved the capability of ingesting nylon waste (see kinoshita et. Al.). This case is most interesting. Nylon didn't exist before 1935, and neither did this organism. Detailed examination of the dna sequences of the original bacterium and of the nylon-ingesting version show identical versions in the gene for a key metabolic enzyme, with only one difference in over 400 nucleotides. However, this single microevolutionary addition of a single thymine ('t') nucleotide caused the new bacterium's enzyme to be composed of a completely novel sequence of amino acids, via the mechanism of frame shifting. The new enzyme is 50 times less efficient than its precursor, as would be expected for a new structure which has not had time to be polished by natural selection. However, this inefficiency would certainly not be expected in the work of an intelligent designer. The genetic mutation that produced this particular irreducibly-complex enzyme probably occurred countless times in the past, and probably was always lethal, until the environment changed, and nylon was introduced.
The image below shows just a part of the 400+-long nucleotide string for the key enzyme (see the susumu ohno paper). The original ("old") enzyme's amino acid sequence appears on top, and the frame-shifted ("new") sequence on bottom. The dna nucleotides appear in the middle for both the old species and the new (one t inserted). Over this small portion of the enzyme, the old dna coded for the amino acids arginine, glutamic acid, arginine, threonine, phenylalanine, histidine, arginine and proline.
But the new dna strand, which includes one extra t nucleotide, is shifted, and the new string of amino acids is completely changed. The addition of the thymine nucleotide produces a new methionine amino acid, which, like the conductor tapping his baton, indicates the start of a new protein. This is followed by other new amino acids because of the frame shift: asparagine, alanine, arginine, serine, threonine, glycine and glutamine. The new string of amino acids - the new protein - is completely different from the original.
While most frame shifts of such a key enzyme would destroy the enzyme, resulting in immediate death of the organism, this particular protein happened to react with nylon oligomers. And so it was that a drastic mutation suddenly gave an ordinary sugar-eating bacterium the unusual ability to digest nylon, which just happened to be present in abundance in the little waste pond behind a japanese factory. The japanese scientists who discovered strange bacterial mats growing in their scum ponds became very interested in this new ability, and finally found it was all due to a single frame shift mutation. The new enzyme is not active on common substrates - the bacteria's old "food" - and plenty were checked. Whether or not these bacteria retain enzymes to digest their former food source, the fact is that the former food source became much less important because of the new-found ability to ingest food from a novel source - nylon waste.
The creationist argument that all mutations must destroy information is clearly wrong. In this case, a mutation has clearly produced new information. That is, unless you want to quibble that the detailed three-dimensional structure and composition of a protein that reacts specifically to nylon is not "information."
creationists usually counter this example by claiming that the bacterium is, after all, "still a bacterium." it didn't mutate into a whale or a dinosaur. But that's changing the subject. The subject of this essay is "can mutations create new information."
science and logic both show the answer is a resounding yes.
Key points to ponder:
nylon did not exist before 1935. It is man-made. There are no "nylon deposits" that the bacteria could have lived in prior to 1935. (see http://inventors.About.Com/library/weekly/
aa980325.Htm for the details.)
therefore, this organism could not have existed before 1935. Where did it come from? Why, it evolved.
Thwaites noted that "all of this demonstrates that yockey (1977a and b), hoyle and wickramasinghe (1981), the creationists (gish, 1976), and others who should know better are dead wrong about the near-zero probability of new enzyme formation."
We had a fish named oscar, a beta. He was very smart. He liked to dance in his bowl when we fed him and when we started singing to him while feeding him, he danced feverishly around his bowl. We had him for a very long time until one night he went to sleep at the bottom of his bowl and did not wake up. we have remained pet-less for a long time out of respect for our dear little oscar.
There is a family of stray cats that the old lady next door feeds so now they are always hanging around. The momma cat had kittens a while ago but they are wild and won't come near anyone. We've been trying to trap them to give them to the animal shelter but have been unsuccessful.
I like kittens, my husband likes dogs, which is also why we don't have any pets at the moment. We compromised on oscar a long time ago. Now, they have these amphibious frogs near the beta's and i've been eyeing one of those for a while. What would you name a frog anyway (besides the obvious)?
I hate snakes. I am strictly a cute and cuddly animal lover. My parents own a horse farm in the country where they hope to retire one day. My mother also wants to breed and sale german shephards (sp?) whenever they finally retire. It will be yet another source of income once they retire. Right now, my parents have 2 horses, 3 mules, a house dog, and two cats. My mother can't turn any pet away and we used to have several animals around our house when I was younger until my mom could find them proper homes.
I have two cats (almost 11 years old) and a big, hairy dog that we rehomed in the summer. She's wonderful! She just loves everyone and everything. But kittens are definitely the most perfect creation ever.
I've been thinking more and more that I would like another fish. Fish are very low maintanence and I don't have to worry about leaving them in the apartment for a few days because they're mostly portable. I tend to travel quite a bit so a portable pet would be ideal. My husband doesn't want a cat or a dog in our shoebox and I don't blame him so I think I will definetly get another fish. I was wondering if I should get another beta or something else? What do you guys think?