APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

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Ann
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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Ann » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:49 pm

As for intelligent design, which implies a creator, Carl Sagan once asked the following question:

Why should it be easier to believe in a creator, who has to arise out of nothing, than to believe in a creator-less universe which has to evolve to its present state (including us) on its own accord?

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:50 pm

emc wrote: But I do not see how complex life forms could have evolved from a lower state… it seems too many systems have to be in place at the same time (not over long periods) for the creature to exist. That doesn’t make sense.
It does not make any more sense to invoke a magical being which would indeed be many times or infinitely more complex than the organism you find too complex to exist on its own.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by emc » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:57 pm

Ann wrote:As for intelligent design, which implies a creator, Carl Sagan once asked the following question:

Why should it be easier to believe in a creator, who has to arise out of nothing, than to believe in a creator-less universe which has to evolve to its present state (including us) on its own accord?

Ann
Both are perplexing!

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by emc » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:57 pm

geckzilla wrote:
emc wrote: But I do not see how complex life forms could have evolved from a lower state… it seems too many systems have to be in place at the same time (not over long periods) for the creature to exist. That doesn’t make sense.
It does not make any more sense to invoke a magical being which would indeed be many times or infinitely more complex than the organism you find too complex to exist on its own.
Both thoughts are baffling!

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:28 pm

zorts wrote:This is, indeed, a cool video clip - but I like it better when APOD sticks to straightahead astronomy.
Other than the hydrogen atoms in the DNA and associated cellular machinery, every atom in the video was produced inside stars that no longer exist... and the hydrogen atoms themselves were produced shortly after the Big Bang.

It's interesting to occasionally reflect on how our knowledge of the Universe informs us about things that are, on the surface, not related to astronomy at all. And now, as the most capable probe we've ever landed on Mars goes on an active search for life, or for evidence it once existed, a reminder about how life as we understand it actually works seems quite appropriate.
Chris

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by rstevenson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:40 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:Question to anybody who got an ad- was it in the embedded video, or did you click through to the YouTube page and see the ad there?
I clicked the link " DNA: The Molecule that Defines You" in the first post at the top of this thread to open it in a Tab in my browser, and viewed the video there. As always, an ad popped up near the bottom of the video and I click the X to dismiss it. As always, a few ads came up in place of the video when it ended. The ads are put there by Youtube, as far as I can tell.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:01 pm

Evidently my other version of this post was not in compliance with some of the forums rules....so I have....shortened it....let us say.... :roll:
Concepts are constant. Many things follow the same concept.
In order to fit in a cell, the six foot strand of DNA has to be wrapped, spun into a coil, and compressed, evidently several times, which reminds me of our intestines, which reminds me of packing a parachute. The cords and chute are wended back on themselves to conserve space. Just think how big a cell would have to be to hold the unfolded, unspun, untwisted, DNA strand.
Then in order to replicate, there are nano chemical machines that do the work. Like a textile factory. A piece comes in, and two pieces go out, and in this case, one is made backwards. Pretty good for just an accidental freak of nature.

We as a chemical factory are recreating ourselves. Cell are regenerating and replacing old ones that die off. Thus, our hair grows out, our nails, our skin sloughs off. Our internal organs, etc...we are a biological, electro-chemical power plants, and we are an organism of organized organizations of organs...all connected, that work synergistically as a whole. And all the while our Telemeres shorten. Get yourself some T-65.

No single science covers it all...you need all of them...no single religion or philosophy covers it all...
So...maybe combine CONCEPTS...make you a more complete person in your understanding.

Don't JUST KEEP LOOKING UP....you will fall into the manhole....

Things are going to change...We are going to change...the Universe will be a dark wasteland someday, with no stars in the sky, and just a bunch of burned out electrons...So, enjoy it while you can...


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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:03 pm

I just clicked the arrow on the video and got no ad... :D

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by flash » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:51 pm

neufer wrote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/researchers-write-book-using-dna/2012/08/19/9a84903c-e95b-11e1-a3d2-2a05679928ef_print.html wrote:
Researchers write book using DNA
By Hristio Boytchev, Washington Post: August 19

Researchers have encoded a full book in DNA, the largest amount of information stored on the biological medium yet.
Think that's good? Leonard Adleman (The A in RSA) has used DNA (and related chemical processes) to encode and then solve very difficult problems that would take the best existing computers millions of years to solve. Here's a snippet of his wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Adleman:
Born in California, Adleman grew up in San Francisco, and attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his BA degree in mathematics in 1968 and his Ph.D. degree in EECS in 1976. In 1994, his paper Molecular Computation of Solutions To Combinatorial Problems described the experimental use of DNA as a computational system. In it, he solved a seven-node instance of the Hamiltonian Graph problem, an NP-complete problem similar to the travelling salesman problem. While the solution to a seven-node instance is trivial, this paper is the first known instance of the successful use of DNA to compute an algorithm. DNA computing has been shown to have potential as a means to solve several other large-scale combinatorial search problems.

In 2002, he and his research group managed to solve a 'nontrivial' problem using DNA computation. Specifically, they solved a 20-variable SAT problem having more than 1 million potential solutions. They did it in a manner similar to the one Adleman used in his seminal 1994 paper. First, a mixture of DNA strands logically representative of the problem's solution space was synthesized. This mixture was then operated upon algorithmically using biochemical techniques to winnow out the 'incorrect' strands, leaving behind only those strands that 'satisfied' the problem. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of these remaining strands revealed 'correct' solutions to the original problem.

For his contribution to the invention of the RSA cryptosystem, Adleman, along with Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir, has been a recipient of the 1996 Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award and the 2002 ACM Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of Computer Science. Adleman was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by bystander » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:11 pm

rstevenson wrote: I clicked the link " DNA: The Molecule that Defines You" in the first post at the top of this thread to open it in a Tab in my browser, and viewed the video there. As always, an ad popped up near the bottom of the video and I click the X to dismiss it. As always, a few ads came up in place of the video when it ended. The ads are put there by Youtube, as far as I can tell.
I see no ads. I also have pop ups disabled except for sites where I absolutely need them. YouTube is not one of those sites. Even if you are viewing an embedded video from YouTube on APOD, if you are seeing pop up ads, they are coming from YouTube not APOD. Disable pop ups on APOD, you certainly don't need them there. I would recommend you disable all pop ups, and make exceptions for those very few sites where you actually need them.

Does everyone who doesn't see ads have pop ups disabled?

Does anyone who does see ads have pop ups disabled?
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alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by emc » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:55 pm

Boomer12k wrote:Evidently my other version of this post was not in compliance with some of the forums rules....so I have....shortened it....let us say.... :roll:
Concepts are constant. Many things follow the same concept.
In order to fit in a cell, the six foot strand of DNA has to be wrapped, spun into a coil, and compressed, evidently several times, which reminds me of our intestines, which reminds me of packing a parachute. The cords and chute are wended back on themselves to conserve space. Just think how big a cell would have to be to hold the unfolded, unspun, untwisted, DNA strand.
Then in order to replicate, there are nano chemical machines that do the work. Like a textile factory. A piece comes in, and two pieces go out, and in this case, one is made backwards. Pretty good for just an accidental freak of nature.

We as a chemical factory are recreating ourselves. Cell are regenerating and replacing old ones that die off. Thus, our hair grows out, our nails, our skin sloughs off. Our internal organs, etc...we are a biological, electro-chemical power plants, and we are an organism of organized organizations of organs...all connected, that work synergistically as a whole. And all the while our Telemeres shorten. Get yourself some T-65.

No single science covers it all...you need all of them...no single religion or philosophy covers it all...
So...maybe combine CONCEPTS...make you a more complete person in your understanding.

Don't JUST KEEP LOOKING UP....you will fall into the manhole....

Things are going to change...We are going to change...the Universe will be a dark wasteland someday, with no stars in the sky, and just a bunch of burned out electrons...So, enjoy it while you can...


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‘Keep looking up’ implies we are looking down… watching for those manholes! :wink: Some things in life are going to be baffling (well I’ll admit at least for me). I don't believe anyone has all the provable answers but I also believe that we will have more answers tomorrow than we do today. But we will likely also have more questions. I try to follow the code here which is to keep a polite and discerning attitude geared toward science... mostly.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by florid_snow » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:26 pm

In a class discussion about ethics, I recall a teacher asking a student to define the end of a beings life. "When all their cells stop reproducing," he answered. So the teacher said, "By that definition there is only one creature on Earth, and it hasn't died yet."

I like thinking about life and DNA like that. Individual creatures die, but while they were alive their living sex cells reproduced into children, which can stay alive and keep reproducing. So the most recent common ancestor of all life is still alive, it's us! It's cells haven't stopped reproducing yet. The DNA model allows us to see the unity of all life.
Last edited by florid_snow on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by flash » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:28 pm

Ann wrote:
Guest76 wrote:

The only way it could be inevitable is if the universe is infinite, and then you could say, 'life had to happen somewhere, and we're it'. But the universe does not seem to be infinite.
How do you know that the universe isn't infinite?

Ann
I believe that the current view is that the universe is "finite, but unbounded" in exactly the same manner that the surface of a sphere is finite (surface area), yet is unbounded (has no boundary)

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:34 pm

Boomer12k wrote:In order to fit in a cell, the six foot strand of DNA has to be wrapped, spun into a coil, and compressed, evidently several times, which reminds me of our intestines, which reminds me of packing a parachute. The cords and chute are wended back on themselves to conserve space. Just think how big a cell would have to be to hold the unfolded, unspun, untwisted, DNA strand. Then in order to replicate, there are nano chemical machines that do the work. Like a textile factory. A piece comes in, and two pieces go out, and in this case, one is made backwards. Pretty good for just an accidental freak of nature.
It betrays a lack of understanding of evolutionary processes to see this as an accident. Evolution is a mechanism of complexification and adaptation, that follows well structured rules. Any particular endpoint is statistically unlikely (in the sense that the specific position of a grain of sand on a beach is statistically unlikely), but arriving at an endpoint is assured.

Evolution demonstrates the power of incremental change subject to positive and negative selection.
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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Ken » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:21 pm

When I follow the link at the start of the thread I see the intended video, but if I go to "http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/" it links to the "Nocturnal: Scenes from the Southern Night" video from some August 6th, although the rest of the page appears to be the same.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by rstevenson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:30 pm

bystander wrote:Does anyone who does see ads have pop ups disabled?
The choice in Firefox (in Mac OS X) is "Block popup windows". The ads come up on Youtube videos whether or not that is checked. (Same in Safari.)

Rob

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by neufer » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:04 pm

emc wrote:
But I do not see how complex life forms could have evolved from a lower state… it seems too many systems have to be in place at the same time (not over long periods) for the creature to exist. That doesn’t make sense.
Image
geckzilla wrote:
It does not make any more sense to invoke a magical being which would indeed be many times or infinitely more complex than the organism you find too complex to exist on its own.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Show_on_Earth:_The_Evidence_for_Evolution wrote:
<<The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution is a 2009 book by British biologist Richard Dawkins. It sets out the evidence for biological evolution, and is Dawkins's 10th book, following his bestselling critique of religion The God Delusion (2006). Chapter eight: Here Dawkins cites an interaction between J.B.S. Haldane, a leading architect of neo-Darwinism, and an evolution skeptic. The skeptic poses a complex question of how, even given billions of years, a single cell could develop into a complicated human body that thinks and feels. Haldane’s one-liner response was, “But madam, you did it yourself. And it only took you nine months.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Beyond » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:17 pm

She didn't do it herself. It's something that her parents did, which most likely, she replicated some years later.
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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:10 pm

DNA; coiled around and around they say! 2 meters long and stuffed into a cell I can't even see. Hard to imagine it's what made me. I'm glad it brought me here today! :wink:
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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by flash » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:29 pm

neufer wrote:The skeptic poses a complex question of how, even given billions of years, a single cell could develop into a complicated human body that thinks and feels.
In my view the leap from no cells to one cell is greater than the leap from one cell to a human. But that doesn't prevent me from believing that that's how it all evolved.

just for fun:
http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2005/12/18
http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2011/07/10

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by ems57fcva » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:35 pm

zorts wrote:This is, indeed, a cool video clip - but I like it better when APOD sticks to straightahead astronomy.
I will second that.

GBDB

Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by GBDB » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:39 pm

Ann wrote:
Guest76 wrote:

The only way it could be inevitable is if the universe is infinite, and then you could say, 'life had to happen somewhere, and we're it'. But the universe does not seem to be infinite.
How do you know that the universe isn't infinite?

Ann
REST ASSURED: The universe is infinite.

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:08 pm

GBDB wrote:REST ASSURED: The universe is infinite.
That is far from certain. And without doubt, the accessible universe is finite.
Chris

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by flash » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:17 pm

GBDB wrote:REST ASSURED: The universe is infinite.
Thanks for the assurance. But you can probably tell that I'm not all that assured.

Finite but unbounded is the generally accepted belief. Just as the 2-dimensional surface of a sphere is finite in area (but has no end or boundary), the 3-dimensional volume of the universe is finite (but it too has no end or boundary). I find this analogy most satisfying. Just as flatlanders living on a two-dimensional surface of a sphere, if you go far enough in any direction you will eventually return to where you started.

Having no boundary is not the same thing as infinite.

What has convinced you otherwise?

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Re: APOD: DNA: The Molecule that Defines You (2012 Aug 21)

Post by BMAONE23 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:45 pm

It would seem to me that Finite but unbounded would be untestable at least to the limits of current technology. Using the 2d model in a 3d reference frame would essentially say that we could in fact travel in any 1 of 3 spacial directions and eventually wind up back here. How could this hypothesis ever be tested?