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  1.  
    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/518006/how-a-fly-brain-detects-motion/
    Another step in understanding natural computation
  2.  
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2013
     
    Link's broken Andrew
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2013
     
  3.  
    Animal grows gears


    Does anyone understand how DNA is able to program this? Where is the piece of code for the gearwheel diameter, the number of teeth, their shape, their size, etc..? There is much we do not understand, planthopper.
  4.  
    The development of a new life is a spectacular process and represents a masterpiece of temporal and spatial control of gene expression.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_biology
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanAnimal grows gears


    Does anyone understand how DNA is able to program this? Where is the piece of code for the gearwheel diameter, the number of teeth, their shape, their size, etc..? There is much we do not understand, planthopper.


    You're kidding...right?
  5.  
    Retinoic acid gradients' action on Hox genes, then. Too macro for this to be deduced.

    What's your version of how this is assembled?

    Ever read GEB and the assembly of that phage?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2013
     
    First of all, there is no wheel or axle. It is a cam with teeth. It is not hard to play Just-So and imagine that it started as two pads that rubbed together which became more efficient as they became rougher. Regular projections like spines and thorns are seen throughout the living world.

    I am guessing that GEB is Hofstadter's book, which has pages, not bacterium-eating viruses, so I am no closer to winkling out what you might mean.
  6.  
    Give it up, mates: There is a God, and she has an inordinate fondness for beetles.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2013
     
    Any more of that, mate, and you'll be Haldane contempt.
  7.  
    Yes, that GEB. Weren't your socks knocked off by the phage that looked like a lunar lander, and the fact that the complete genome could be written down (and was)? It described significant complexity and yet there it was.

    It's not just a cam with teeth. It's a gear. The teeth mesh. I've never seen that before.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2013 edited
     
    What is the difference between two cams with enmeshed teeth and a gear? The axle. There are no axles in nature other than the nanomechanical one on a bacterial flagellum. And there's none here, so it's not a gear.

    On the other hand surfaces that roll to gether are not uncommon. Adding teeth doesn't seem to me to be a great innovation. After all, the teeth in your head cam together when you chew, if you want to look at it that way.

    I'm not sure what's amazing about the genome of the famous bacteriophage. We can write down the genome of humans now, and the results it produces are even more complex. We are even beginning to get a handle on how that works
  8.  


    All that with about six thousand bases. As a programmer, I'm calling that astounding.
    Sanger, F., et al. "Nucleotide sequence of bacteriophage φX174 DNA", Nature 265 (Feb. 24, 1977). An exciting presentation of the first laying-bare ever of the full hereditary material of any organism. The surprise is the double-entendre: two proteins coded for in an overlapping way: almost too much to believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_X_174

    I think you're right - meshed teeth do not a gear make. But since, as you rightly point out, Nature can make a bearing, I'd say that there's probably a real gear out there somewhere.
  9.  
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanI'd say that there's probably a real gear out there somewhere.


    If so, it will have to be nano-scale. Any large piece of an animal requires supply of fluids and there is no example of a rotating fluid coupler in nature that I know of.

    They're hard enough to make artificially.
  10.  
    Lamprey/shark.
    • CommentAuthortinker
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2013
     
    Scarlett Johannson
  11.  
    If you look enough like a dead leaf, I won't eat you.

    The Leaf-Eaters will.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew Palfreyman

    All that with about six thousand bases. As a programmer, I'm calling that astounding.
    Sanger, F., et al. "Nucleotide sequence of bacteriophage φX174 DNA", Nature 265 (Feb. 24, 1977). An exciting presentation of the first laying-bare ever of the full hereditary material of any organism. The surprise is the double-entendre: two proteins coded for in an overlapping way: almost too much to believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_X_174

    I think you're right - meshed teeth do not a gear make. But since, as you rightly point out, Nature can make a bearing, I'd say that there's probably a real gear out there somewhere.


    An interesting thing is how the intelligence which led to the lunar lander parallels the evolutionary process leading to the critter.