Disaster Recovery Plan Found in Cells | The Institute for Creation Research
Disaster Recovery Plan Found in Cells

The Internet search engines Google and Yahoo! have massive server farms that are all interconnected in a network configuration called “cloud computing.” These systems are engineered with fault tolerance features so that if one server breaks down it does not impair the operation of the whole, since another server has all the data ready to go in no time. Although mankind has learned through hard experience to structure networks this way, it turns out that biological systems have been equipped all along with their own disaster recovery backups.

A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University computational biologist Ziv Bar-Joseph found evidence for these built-in fault tolerance features in cells. The research showed that essential regulatory DNA sequences, like the ones that tell the cell which genes need to become active at what time and for how long, are backed up “to a degree we hadn’t appreciated.”1

Certain experimental observations had previously befuddled cell biologists, who thought that the informational redundancy in DNA served no practical purpose, except perhaps as fodder for further evolutionary changes. However, when master genes were purposefully wrecked one by one, all different kinds of cells continued living, as though the genes were still there. Bar-Joseph found the answer to the puzzle—there are backup copies of these key, or “master,” genetic sequences.

Researchers then removed both primary and backup copies of master genes to test their hypothesis. They found very noticeable effects as sets of genes under regulatory control failed to activate. These backup copies were part of a dynamic fault tolerance plan that focused on the disaster recovery of key regulatory gene sequences.

Anthony Gitter, lead author of the study, said that “for the most part cells are very robust machines,…robust computational devices, employing redundancy in the same way that enables large computing systems, such as Amazon, to keep operating despite the fact that servers routinely fail.”1

Interestingly, however, the research report avoided asking where these amazing biological plans came from. Since Google and Yahoo! server systems were purposefully engineered to include various levels of fault tolerance, it makes sense that similar features in cells also required purposeful engineering. The natural, random processes observed in the world are not capable of engineering such “robust” cellular machines.

However, a Creator as wise, powerful, and benevolent as the One described in the Bible could—and did.

Reference

  1. Spice, B. Cells Are Like Robust Computational Systems, Carnegie Mellon-Led Team Reports. Carnegie Mellon University press release, June 16, 2009, reporting research published in Gitter, A. et al. 2009. Backup in gene regulatory networks explains differences between binding and knockout results. Molecular Systems Biology. 5 Article number: 276.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on August 4, 2009.

The Latest
NEWS
Nose-Horned Lizard: Extinct, or Hiding for 129 Years?
Did Modigliani’s striking lizard—a variety of Agamidae “dragon lizard”—go extinct, or has it just been hiding in Indonesia...

NEWS
Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Next Week
Both amateur and professional stargazers have an opportunity to see a little more of God’s glory revealed in the heavens1 next week. The...

NEWS
Great American Outdoors Act, Signed into Law by President
In a bipartisan legislative achievement to promote better stewardship of American public lands, U.S. Senators and Representatives finalized their bill...

NEWS
Grandmothers, Eat Fish to Protect Your Brains!
This month the American Academy of Neurology published a medical science study showing that senior women can fight air pollution hazards, including brain...

NEWS
Embarrassment Continues over Evolutionary Blunder about “Junk...
Recent research from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) continues to highlight how evolutionary theory influenced...

NEWS
God’s Plan Is Best: Salmon Need Saltwater Acclimation
Once again, results are better when aquaculture imitates the natural life cycle of Atlantic salmon.1,2 In other words, the closer fish farmers...

NEWS
Inside August 2020 Acts & Facts
Have you heard about ICR’s new President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Randy Guliuzza? What can we learn from an old prayer? Is creation evidence...

NEWS
After 30 Years, Red Kites Soar in British Skies
Good news is always welcome. So, it’s good to learn of another conservation comeback. This time it’s the red kite happily soaring in Great...

CREATION PODCAST
Meet Dr. G
Hear the history and heart of ICR’s newly appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Randy Guliuzza. He has served as ICR’s National...

ACTS & FACTS
'Doing Business' in Good Times and Bad
No doubt many of you, like me, have been earnestly looking for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. He called all believers to be godly “salt”...