Stressosomes: Bacteria's Ingenious Coping Mechanism | The Institute for Creation Research
Stressosomes: Bacteria's Ingenious Coping Mechanism

Advancing technology continues to reveal new aspects of cellular function. Molecular biologists have known that “stressosomes,” large protein complexes in bacterial cells, play some role in enabling single-cell life forms to cope with ever-changing environments. Now, through the use of new, remarkable high resolution imaging, scientists have witnessed a cascade of biochemical signaling involving stressosomes that is instrumental in preparing bacteria to survive stressful or hazardous situations.

According to a recently-published study,1 molecular machines within a cell detect when the environment becomes too salty, acidic, hot, irradiated, or dry. This information is then relayed by a series of protein messengers to one or more stressosomes located deeper inside the cell. Researchers from the Imperial College London and Newcastle University observed that the stressosome responds by detaching specific proteins from its edges, sending dozens of signals to other parts of the cell. The cell responds immediately to protect itself from the impending, and potentially life-threatening, environment by manufacturing over 150 new proteins, all geared to shut the cell down until conditions improve.

Dr. Tim Grant of Imperial College explained, “The cell's stressosomes are very good at their job as crisis command centres [sic] because they provide a very fast effective response to danger. The chain reaction they kickstart produces results really quickly which enables bacteria to adapt to changes in their surroundings almost instantaneously.”2

When he published his famous theory, Charles Darwin admitted, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”3 The stressosome response system seems to be such a case. Unless the hypothetical protobacterium (the proposed evolutionary precursor of all bacteria) was able to quickly deploy over 150 brand new self-defense proteins, then it would have died in its first encounter with a hazardous situation. To argue that it must not have died because bacteria are still alive today begs the question of evolutionary origins in the first place, since such reasoning explains neither the origin of bacteria nor of higher life forms.

The capability of bacteria to persevere in harsh environments, and especially through stressful times, was necessary not just for bacteria but for all other living things on the planet. However, since bacteria do not have the advantage of large, multicellular bodies to buffer environmental fluctuations, they have been outfitted with unique, “very fast effective” preservative mechanisms that are “very good at their job,” as though they were purposefully planned and placed there. All life, either directly or indirectly, physically depends on bacteria. Fortunately, a wise Creator has outfitted them with stressosomes.

References

  1. Marles-Wright, J. et al. 2008. Molecular Architecture of the "Stressosome," a Signal Integration and Transduction Hub. Science. 322 (5898): 92-96.
  2. Don't stress! Bacterial crisis command centre revealed. Imperial College London and Newcastle University joint press release, October 3, 2008.
  3. Darwin, C. 1859. On the Origin of Species. London: John Murray, Chapter VI, 189.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on October 14, 2008.

The Latest
NEWS
Thanks for Everything
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20) Being thankful for...

NEWS
Even Sherlock Holmes Can’t Explain African Dinosaurs
A new species of duck-billed dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, was recently unearthed in North Africa.1 This is the first hadrosaur-type dinosaur...

NEWS
Glow-in-the-Dark Platypuses Illuminate the Creator
The platypus is perhaps the most evolution-defying creature on Earth. It’s not enough that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a...

NEWS
Rapid Crystal Growth Supports Flood Model
Secular scientists are finding exactly what Flood geologists have predicted all along—huge crystals can and did grow extremely fast. In other words,...

NEWS
Hot Neptune Atmosphere "Shouldn't Exist"
An exoplanet 260 light-years away is being described as the first of its kind ever detected.1,2 This exoplanet, catalogued as LTT 9779b, is...

NEWS
Inside November 2020 Acts & Facts
Where can we see God’s engineering? What is ICR’s new scientific theory? How do hummingbirds reveal God’s design? How can you refute...

ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...