Re: Intelligent Design ?

From: Pim van Meurs <pimvanmeurs@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Aug 18 2005 - 14:46:46 EDT

janice matchett wrote:

What does this posting have to do with either Intelligent Design or ASA?
Certainly invoking Rush Limbaugh as an "expert" on science seems quite
ironic. In fact the immune system shows a very good example of
'intelligent design' via mutation and selection that is. Thanks Rush for
making the case so clearly. Intelligent design can in fact be explained
by a designer of fully natural origin: Mutation...

Weird... Especially that crocodiles were given an immune system which
appears to work much better. Does this mean that the crocodile was the
'chosen' species?

<quote>
The crocodile’s immune system is much more powerful than that of humans,
preventing life-threatening infections after savage territorial fights
which often leave the animals with gaping wounds and missing limbs.</quote>

I am not sure why Rush is making the comments about animal rights activists

<quote>
We catch alligators in the coastal marshes of southwest Louisiana and
southeast Texas on a regular basis. The alligators are captured at night
from a boat with the aid of a spotlight. Their eyes are highly
reflective and can be seen from a great distance. We use cable snares
<http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/mmerchan/catches.html> to noose the
alligators. After capture, the mouths are secured with rubber bands
<http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/mmerchan/Rubber_Band.html>. We collect
blood <http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/mmerchan/blooddraw.html> from the
supravertebral branch of the jugular vein. After the alligators are
measured <http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/mmerchan/measure.html> and
their sex determined, they are released
<http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/mmerchan/release.html> unharmed within
minutes of capture.
</quote>

See http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/mmerchan/wound.html for some
interesting wounds alligators can heal...

Interesting research indeed but where is the ID angle?

Scientists have found a novel anti-microbial peptide and have shown how
this peptide kills bacteria which are resistant to present day antibiotics.

<quote>
Peptides, *small links of amino acids* (the building blocks of
proteins), are an essential part of the innate immune system. They are
*a cell’s first line of defense*, a kind of rapid-response SWAT team
against an infectious assault, and they are present in virtually every
living thing — from cows to crocodiles to crabs, honeybees, beetles,
even radishes.

In humans, *antimicrobial peptides line every surface of the body*,
including skin, eyes, lungs, tongue and the intestinal tract. Every time
we breathe or swallow, peptides rush in to engulf and destroy bacteria.
Unlike antibodies, which are part of the body’s acquired immune system
and take days or weeks to fend off an infection, *peptides work within
minutes*.

Located in white blood cells, the peptides in certain animals, such as
crocodiles and alligators, appear to be particularly powerful
anti-infectives, able to *kill the pathogenic bacteria without harming
the good bacteria*.
</quote>

But crocodiles are not the only ones. Frogs, komodo dragons all seem to
have these peptides (short amino acid chains). Komodo dragons are well
known for the lethality of their bites and yet they seem to be able to
survive bites by other komodo dragons.

Would be interesting to see a phylogeny based on these peptides...

http://www.umdnj.edu/umcweb/marketing_and_communications/publications/umdnj_magazine/spring2005/features/09diamondragons.htm

And that is the end of my Morning Update and the 'rest of the story'

> *Intelligent Design
> *Morning Update
> August 18, 2005
>
> You know that TV crocodile hunting team Steve and Terri Irwin? Well
> those two can expect some competition in days to come. Scientists in
> northern Australia have been collecting blood from crocodiles in hopes
> of saving humans.
>
> Studies in the late 90s showed that several antibodies in croc blood
> killed penicillin-resistant bacteria. More recently it has been
> discovered that crocodiles’ immune systems can kill the HIV virus.
> American scientist Mark Merchant says the reptiles “tear limbs off
> each other, [but] they heal up very rapidly and normally, almost
> always without infection.” Aussie scientist Adam Britton adds: “The
> crocodile has an immune system which attaches to bacteria and tears it
> apart and it explodes. It’s like putting a gun to the head of the
> bacteria and pulling the trigger.”
>
> These two scientists draw blood from wild and captive crocs, saltwater
> and freshwater species. After capturing the donor, they strap its jaws
> and go for a vein. The vein, Britton says, is “called a sinus, right
> behind the head, and it’s very easy just to put a needle in the back
> of the neck and hit this sinus and then you can take a large volume of
> blood very simply.”
>
> It’ll be years, of course, before croc blood is ready for human use.
> Their antibodies are so powerful they may have to be diluted. But this
> is pretty remarkable on two fronts. Once again, proof that embryonic
> stem cells aren’t the only “miracle” cure for all that ails us. And
> more importantly, understanding how crocodiles heal points to a pretty
> intelligent design in nature. Now when are the animal rights people
> going to start complaining to stop all of this? ~ Rush Limbaugh
> http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/
>
> *Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
> *(Crocodile blood may yield new antibiotics)
> <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-08/18/content_3370444.htm>
> http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-08/18/content_3370444.htm
Received on Thu Aug 18 14:48:49 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Aug 18 2005 - 14:48:50 EDT