Daily Archives: February 27, 2010

Where are the prokaryotic mice?

By following the lead of Richard Dawkins, we realize that random variations coupled with natural selection can function as a designer-mimic – the blind watchmaker. But as I have noted earlier, all designers are constrained (and thus, in a way, guided) by their design material.

When we survey the living world today, it would be unjustified to assume that the blind watchmaker could craft a world of similarly complex and integrated creatures without proteins for the simple reason that the living world today is a protein-dependent reality. Without the use of proteins as design material, it is not clear what the designer-mimic could actually design.

But what if we moved up the ladder of complexity and considered the two basic cell designs – prokaryotic and eukaryotic.

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Introns Intro

Since I will be discussing introns, let me begin with a few points of clarification.

First, I will be focusing on introns found in protein-coding genes.  In other words, these are the introns that interrupt sequence that code for amino acids and are removed by spliceosomes in order to form the mature mRNA.  There are other introns that may have front-loaded the existence of these protein-coding introns, but that is another topic for another day.  For now, when I refer to ‘introns,’ I am referring to introns found in protein-coding genes

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