Friday, March 17, 2017

DNA Revealed at Atomic Resolution - Science

At atomic resolution, scientists can watch life as it's lifing since no matter what else happens in the great circle, it all falls down without this element of DNA recombination.  The research focuses on the ORC complex which is the first step in replication.  (RT:  First steps in human DNA replication dance captured at atomic resolution)

The human ORC complex when fully assembled is ring-shaped, as shown in these images at atomic resolution, secured via x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. Bottom image: DNA (grey) fits through the 'ring' as a bolt fits snugly through the center of a nut.

Credit: Courtesy, Joshua-Tor Lab, CSHL

You're probably familiar with DNA as a double helix of two strands of primary genetic material.  Those strands split down the middle of the helix to form two single strands which can subsequently rejoin with single strands of DNA from elsewhere and really life could be lifing without this but it wouldn't be much interesting and the only diversity would come from some process which either doesn't exist or amounts to little on Earth.

Cloning is an alternative to this kind of lifing which yields no diversity and some creatures do that as a normal part of their existence but they still have genetic material and it will still work the same way in the right circumstance.  An example of commercial cloning is the banana industry as they're all clones and it has collapsed more than once when all the bananas were lost to some new fungus, etc.  The species has no genetic diversity in the commercial farms and cannot withstand new infections, etc.

It's not so much the observation of DNA which is compelling an article but rather the way they did it and see above about x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.  This is bona fide Jetsons territory since this did not exist in my earlier times.  There's been a radical revolution in microscopy over the last fifty years and I'm not well-enough versed to go on about it but the results are stunning.

Ed:  you mean they look at atoms, man ... like right at them?

It seems they really do, mate.

Ed:  what about watching atoms as they life?

Atoms don't life; they just hang about being indestructible until humans stupidly blow them up.  You need molecules for lifing and the next trick is figuring out why they ever started doing it in the first place.  When you see 'motivated molecules,' you're into a world two-thousand-year-old philosophy can't even grasp.  However, it's not sufficient to dismiss the philosophy on that basis since it falls incumbent on the scientist / assistants to help the proponents of the philosophy grasp it.

- This segues to the need for an ethics oversight board comprised of Theologists and Scientists to review what's happening and ensure understanding along with reason but the Rockhouse has advocated that many times.  I'm sure you know the variety of monks I mean for this role. -

Without going deep into the personal aspect at the Rockhouse, the mantra has been 'knowledge is strength and lack of it is fear' so find knowledge.

It just so happens the Rockhouse does have a bit of knowledge and we actually get a bang out of sharing it, hopefully to some benefit to y'all and make of it what you will since the sources are always cited.

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