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Evolution, biology, etc.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Evolution, biology, etc. Reply with quote

I couldn't find a good thread, so hopefully this can be a catchall for related topics.

Someone asked a question about life and it's interaction with the 2nd law of thermodynamics a while back... this isn't real clear, but it's relevant and I wanted to share it:

"Enzymic reactions are reversible in principle but unidirectional in practice. and the direction is ultimately imposed by energetics. The second law mandates that all process in the real world flow down the thermodynamic hilll: all entail the degradation of energy, the loss of potential and the production of entropy. Biosynthesis, control and communication all come under this requirement, and can be considered energy-dissipating processes. The dynamic order of the metabolic web, a state far removed from equilibrium, is maintained by the continuous flow of energy from some environmental source to its eventual sink, namely heat. Enzymes channel the flow of energy (and the accompanying flow of matter), but they do not create the current. The metabolic web illustrates the fundamental principle clearly enunciated by harold Morowitz [reference], that the flux of energy through a system organizes that system. And more than a few speculative thinkers suspect that the origin of metabolism and of life is to be sought in the great stream of energy that passes over the earth's surface."

- The Way of the Cell, p. 78

In other news, Bacteria have sex. Hatte if you felt inclined to peruse that blog entry for any glaring misconceptions on my part I'd be grateful.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, please. He'll be perusing it for exactly what you think he'd be perusing it for. Bacteria porn.
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's actually very interesting, and explains quite a lot. I've often wondered how Natural Selection alone could produce antibiotic resistance in so few generations. It's a bit of a misnomer to refer to the process as "sexual", though. It's an entirely asexual method of passing genetic information between organisms individually, rather than at the group or population level.
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...how Natural Selection alone could produce antibiotic resistance in so few generations.


With the rate that bacteria reproduce I was never really that surprised by it. Most of the antibiotics that they are becoming resistant to have been around for what, 20 or 30 years? Multiply that times the number of people using the antibiotic in a given year, times the number of generations a bacteria goes through in a given year and I would think the number would be more than enough to expect some resistance to arise.
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm talking about the classic micro-bio lab where you culture bacteria from your own nostrils on a petri dish and then over the course of less than ten generations create a super-bacteria, which is promptly autoclaved. That's moving pretty quickly, evolutionarily speaking.
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madhatte wrote:
I'm talking about the classic micro-bio lab where you culture bacteria from your own nostrils on a petri dish and then over the course of less than ten generations create a super-bacteria, which is promptly autoclaved. That's moving pretty quickly, evolutionarily speaking.


Ah, okay, I would definitely agree with that.
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's pretty impressive. The F1 generation has almost no survival, which is what you streak for the F2 generation... by about the F6 generation, you can't kill it. Of course, you work under a hood to do this. I'm surprised that poor classroom supervision hasn't resulted in any huge outbreaks of unusually tough common bacteria...

OH WAIT
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We are going to have to stick a pin in a map, set fire to something and carry on until the earth looks flat! -- RandyMac

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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something that I didn't discuss is that a bacteria with dna to provide resistance can start duplicating that gene so that it has multiple copies, and/or move it to a higher priority location on the dna strand. This make it more likely that those genes will be expressed.

Bacteria placed under stress do exactly that and begin to exhibit multiple copies of the genes they need to survive. If you remove the stress those duplicates start falling away again. Lots of details in that second article, but it's a hard read if you're not a biologist.

this partially explains why there's not just "resistant" and "not resistant" but a spectrum of toughness.
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"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and MRSA is ugly. I know someone who has that and simply can't get rid of it. It's potentially lethal, difficult to treat, and fairly contagious unless some strict-ish precautions are taken.

I think... she's allergic to the antibiotics that it would normally respond to or something like that. It's a bad situation.
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check it, yo.
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We are going to have to stick a pin in a map, set fire to something and carry on until the earth looks flat! -- RandyMac

I could teach you to how file a washer to make it worth a nickel but if you really want to make big bucks just take a penny and drill a hole in it and it becomes a washer and is worth a dime. -- Art Martin, Old-Time Logger
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nifty. (And we thought plants were peaceful ; )
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

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"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Jon Boy
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

does that mean that plants will take over the world?
Quote:
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chowda
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon Boy wrote:
does that mean that plants will take over the world?

Imagine the growth in organized cyme. Especially if the cops aren't carrying pistils.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AHAHAHAHAHAHAcoughcoughcough
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chowda wins!!!
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

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"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently this has been around for a while but I just saw it for the first time. Very cool tool for explaining micro vs macro evolution.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that is a very good explanation/analogy.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thirded. I like it.
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madhatte wrote:
I'm talking about the classic micro-bio lab where you culture bacteria from your own nostrils on a petri dish and then over the course of less than ten generations create a super-bacteria, which is promptly autoclaved. That's moving pretty quickly, evolutionarily speaking.


Every time I tried this in school we would come in the next morning and all the petri dishes would be broken except mine which would grow a full beard overnight. Did I mention I share a birthday with Chuck Norris?
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