Self Sacrifice Functions at the Cellular Level

Atheistextremist
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Self Sacrifice Functions at the Cellular Level

'Charitable' Behavior Found in Bacteria

ScienceDaily (Sep. 1, 2010) — Researchers at Boston University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard have discovered that charitable behavior exists in one of the most microscopic forms of life -- bacteria. Their findings appear in the Sept. 2 issue of Nature.


In studying the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, the researchers found that the populations most adept at withstanding doses of antibiotics are those in which a few highly resistant isolates sacrifice their own well being to improve the group's overall chance of survival.

This bacterial altruism results when the most resistant isolates produce a small molecule called indole.

Indole acts as something of a steroid, helping the strain's more vulnerable members bulk up enough to fight off the antibiotic onslaught. But while indole may save the group, its production takes a toll on the fitness level of the individual isolates that produce it.

"We weren't expecting to find this," said lead investigator James J. Collins, Ph.D., professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute. "Typically, you would expect only the resistant strains to survive, with the susceptible ones dying off in the face of antibiotic stress. We were quite surprised to find the weak strains not only surviving, but thriving."

The findings also shed new light on the level of complexity and heterogeneity within bacterial strains. Until now, it was assumed that the overall resistance level of any given population was reflected in each of its isolates. Instead, Collins and his team found that dramatic differences can exist within a single population with some bacteria showing exceptional resistance and some almost none, not unlike cancer cells in humans.

The fact that the full complexity of bacteria strains can now be more accurately understood has significant ramifications for the medical community. "Now, when we measure the resistance in a population, we'll know that it may be tricking us," said Collins. "We'll know that even an isolate that shows no resistance can put up a stronger battle against antibiotics thanks to its buddies."

Collins is a founder of the field of synthetic biology, an area of research that combines science and engineering to construct new biological circuits that can reprogram organisms, particularly bacteria, to perform desired tasks, much like we program computers now.

His research at Boston University has also led to the development of a new class of medical devices being developed at the Wyss Institute, including vibrating insoles that help reduce falls among elderly users and normalize the gait of children with cerebral palsy.

"The Wyss Institute was founded on the premise that by breaking down institutional barriers and bringing together some of the world's top minds in science and engineering, we could accelerate transformative discovery," said Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director of the Wyss Institute. "I'm proud to say that the research being done by Dr. Collins is a great example of how this vision is beginning to play out."

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901132157.htm

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


mellestad
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It is pretty amazing how we

It is pretty amazing how we are starting to see that even the 'basic' forms of life are actually rather complex.  I wonder if we will start to see bacteria and such as tiny animals someday, rather than a lower form of life?

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Atheistextremist
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Yep

 

I dislike the morality argument and the adhom it implies against non believers. Ultruism and associated feelings and actions broadly defined as morality need to be relegated to their increasingly apparent position.

As powerful survival mechanisms of all social species. Plants, microorganisms and animals.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


jimmy.williamson
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I normally don't post on

I normally don't post on your science forums. Not that I don't read them just that I have very little scientific experience.
This one seems so elementary that even I can understand the premise. Amazing really that there are that much intelligence in such a small life form. I take that as a very hard push on the evolution argument.
I hope I didn't dumb down your science post to much! Lol

Throughout human history as our species has faced the frighten terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are and where we are going; it has been the authority (the political, the religious, and the educational authorities) who have attempted to comfort us. By giving us order, rules, and regulation. Informing or forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question these authorities. THINK FOR YOURSELF…


Atheistextremist
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Don't hesitate to

 

Jump in, Jimmy.

I can't pretend it's not a massive rush to get the ghost of a perception of our true origins. All of us true ancestors of the first life forms on the earth. You're right. It does make elementary sense. As Mellestad said up-thread, the idea that bacteria are highly complex animals is a profound thought. It certainly has the potential to change the way we think about ourselves. About what we are and how we came to be. 

When you consider it, this stuff is just what we would expect to find if evolution were true. Personally, I think evolution is beyond dispute, but filling in the chinks is a lot of fun and it's good to know dedicated people are out there doing serious research we can use to support our rational beliefs.  

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


jimmy.williamson
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I'm not the scientist and I

I'm not the scientist and I can see the clear evidence of evolution.
You know that Kirk will still want to see a crocaduck before they will give up on Their pathetic believe.

Throughout human history as our species has faced the frighten terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are and where we are going; it has been the authority (the political, the religious, and the educational authorities) who have attempted to comfort us. By giving us order, rules, and regulation. Informing or forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question these authorities. THINK FOR YOURSELF…


100percentAtheist
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jimmy.williamson wrote:

jimmy.williamson wrote:
Amazing really that there are that much intelligence in such a small life form. I take that as a very hard push on the evolution argument. I hope I didn't dumb down your science post to much!

 

Ok, I actually thought of two possible theistic interpretations:

1) Look!  This little creature are so complex that only God could create them.

2) The behavior of this creatures is so complex that they could not possibly "evolve" from something simpler because there may be nothing simpler.  So, this totally disproves the theory of evolution. 

 

Sad

 

 

 


jimmy.williamson
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Yeah and there's no

Yeah and there's no crocaduck so there's no evolution. That's why I said I'm waiting on that link of evidence that just jumps off the page.
It's coming, hopefully in our lifetime.

Throughout human history as our species has faced the frighten terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are and where we are going; it has been the authority (the political, the religious, and the educational authorities) who have attempted to comfort us. By giving us order, rules, and regulation. Informing or forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question these authorities. THINK FOR YOURSELF…