The quote of the week comes from the essay “The Pattern of Life’s History” in The Third Culture, by the late Stephen Jay Gould:
There is no progress in evolution. The fact of evolutionary change through time doesn’t represent progress as we know it. Progress is not inevitable. Much of evolution is downward in terms of morphological complexity, rather than upward. We’re not marching toward some greater thing. The actual history of life is awfully damn curious in the light of our usual expectation that there’s some predictable drive toward a generally increasing complexity in time. If that’s so, life certainly took its time about it: five-sixths of the history of life is the story of single-celled creatures only.
Now, welcome to your weekly dose of cell and molecular biology. As always, I’ve selected all of the blogging commentary that I’ve seen, trying to keep the selection both topical and not mere reposting of press releases from jouranls and societies. The result, hopefully, is a zeitgeist of this week’s cyto-blogging:
- Science and Reason:
p53 protein and tanning
The “I’m in bed” cell: encoding abstract concepts in the mouse brain
- Epigenetics News:
Epigenetics in focus at Nature Reviews Genetics
- Gene Expression:
Swappable DNA module in bacteria gives light harnessing ability
- A Blog Around the Clock:
Stem cell experiment in The Scientist
Evo-Devo: what new animal models should we pick?
And for further cell biology news reports, there are a list of ScienceDaily picks below the fold.
- Cells use ‘noise’ to make cell-fate decisions
- Blood’s clotting cells harbor ‘ticking time bombs,’ finding may help extend blood supply
- Leukemic cells find safe haven in bone marrow
- Scientists reveal structure of gateways to gene control
- Blocking immune cell action increases Alzheimer’s-associated protein deposits
- Plant cells: how chloroplasts communicate with the cell nucleus
- Protein averts cell suicide but might contribute to cancer
- Immune response to cancer stem cells may dictate cancer’s course
- Nanoparticles can track cells deep within living organisms
- Small molecules engineered to probe proteins deep inside cell membrane