Mar 31, 2022
According to National Geographic, “More than 80 percent of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, or even seen by humans.” That’s pretty incredible, given how much the ocean matters to our lives. And new research is showing us a much smaller frontier with just as much mystery: the cell.
As Yasemin Saplakoglu recently described in Quanta Magazine, scientists at the University of Illinois have embarked on an ambitious project to map, using computers, a complete simulation of a “minimal cell.” At 493 genes, the lab-made cell they’re mapping contains far fewer genes than even the simplest natural organism. But the challenge is still proving to be steep.
“For example,” writes Saplakoglu, “no one knows what 94 of those genes do except that the cell dies without them.” One of the researchers suggests there may be “living tasks or functions essential for life that science is oblivious to.”
That’s an understatement. The more we learn, the more we should be filled with awe. After all, as Casey Luskin with Evolution News recently argued, high information structures like these have only one known source: intelligence with a Designer behind it.