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Directed Evolution

Professor Frances Arnold has won the Millennium Technology Prize for pioneering "directed evolution". In her laboratory she used evolution to create better enzymes (a substance that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction). Prof Arnold is an engineer rather than a biochemist. BBC News (24 May 2016) reports her as saying:

I looked at nature and said, well, nature didn't actually design enzymes... How does this happen? You make mutations randomly, you look through a large number of things for the ones that have the properties you're interested in, then you repeat the process.

Evolution, to me, is the best designer of all time.

The "directed evolution" process works directly with small stretches of DNA and the proteins they encode. Arnold says she figured out that this should be the algorithm for forward design, for making new biological code that is useful to humans... accumulating beneficial changes over multiple generations, "pretty much like we've done for cats, dogs, cows, chickens, you name it."

There were no refutations or comments of any kind on the article from anyone who does not believe in biological evolution. According to Slate magazine, the Pew Research Center has 73 percent of American adults younger than 30 expressing some sort of belief in evolution, a jump up from 61 percent in 2009, the first year in which the question was asked. About 34 percent of Americans 50 to 64 years old are reported as believing in creationism, and for Americans older than 65 it's 37 percent."

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.