October 19, 2006

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD....:

How do you parse that disease? (SETH BORENSTEIN, 10/19/06, Associated Press)

Using grammar rules alongside test tubes, biologists may have found a promising new way to fight nasty bacteria, including drug-resistant microbes and anthrax.

Studying a potent type of bacteria-fighters found in nature, called antimicrobial peptides, biologists found that they seemed to follow rules of order and placement that are similar to simple grammar laws. Using those new grammar-like rules for how these antimicrobial peptides work, scientists created 40 new artificial bacteria-fighters.

Nearly half of those new germ-fighters vanquished a variety of bacteria, and two of them beat anthrax, according to a paper in Thursday's journal Nature. [...]

Using grammar as their guide, scientists could easily produce tens of thousands of new bacteria-fighters and test them for use as future drugs, said study lead author Gregory Stephanopoulos, a chemical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Even the Biologists are Designists these days.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2006 8:51 AM
Comments

So it's (I)sopto Cetapred Ophthalmic before (E)rythromycin except after (C)etamide. Who knew?

Posted by: Rick T at October 19, 2006 9:15 AM

English grammer or Spanish grammer? Do the bacterial adjectives come before or after the nouns?

Posted by: Brandon at October 19, 2006 9:38 AM

Even the Biologists are Designists these days.

That's because they aren't scientists, but engineers.

English grammer or Spanish grammer?

Well, according to St.Chomsky, all grammars are the same if you look long and hard enough (and have the right political imagination), so to be a linguist these days one no longer needs to study actual, real, spoken languages. Why should bacterial "grammar" be any different from them?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 19, 2006 11:42 AM
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