Sunday, September 3, 2006

Inside a Cell

Mike Gene at Telic Thoughts tells us that:

One of the best scientific animations ever can be found here.

It illustrates the process of leukocyte extravasation, but focuses largely on a protein's-eye view of the various events that take place inside the cell. You'll see both the assembly and disassembly of actins and microtubules, the shuttling of the cargo vesicles by the motor protein kinesin, the export of RNA through the nuclear pore complexes, the assembly of ribosomes on the RNA along with translation, the shuttling of ribosomes to the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum, the transport of vesicles to the golgi complex, and the exocytosis and activation of new receptors. Many details are missing and this is only a three minute excerpt from an eight minute animation.

The video is pretty neat although there's no explanation of what you're seeing. Even so, it's a remarkable piece of animation, especially if you appreciate biological beauty and are impressed by the amazing complexity of living cells. It just astonishes me to think that blind, purposeless processes and forces could produce such a marvel of engineering, but it must be so, after all, because people like Richard Dawkins assure me that it is.

For a little background on the clip go here.

What's Really Going On?

The bottom line for much that is going on in the Middle East today may be found at the link below. You may want to read this excerpt serveral times so it really sinks in...

"Moreover, any asset, regardless of location, that is denominated in dollars is a US asset in essence. When oil is denominated in dollars through US state action and the dollar is a fiat currency, the US essentially owns the world's oil for free. And the more the US prints greenbacks, the higher the price of US assets will rise. Thus a strong-dollar policy gives the US a double win."

Read the entire article here.