Haha! Gumming up the works!

Its been years ago, now, that I nomie-nomed up Behes stupid arguments about TEH EDGE UV EVILUTION and HIV-1. Geeze, what, two years ago? And to this day there are still things about Behe that make me literally *LOL*

For instance, Ive always loved Behes IDiotic perspective on viruses. You see, bacteria and humans and such contain elegantly Intelligently Designed molecular machines that are absolutely perfect. Viruses, on the other hand, are common hooligans that just ‘gum things up’:

Like throwing a wad of chewing gum into a finely tuned machine, its relatively easy to clog a system, blah blah, *fart*

Instead of appreciating viruses for the stealth, immensely clever (and in the case of HIV-1, unstoppable) creatures they are, Behe sees them as lumbering dimwits hurling rocks and his pretty, pretty machines.

Yeah, turns out a potential HIV-1 therapy someone has come up with is to just throw shit at Vpu to gum it up:

We propose that it is feasible to increase the effective cell surface density of Vpu-free tetherin by designing transmembrane peptide decoys that target the Vpu TM α-helix and abort the assembly of tetherin-Vpu heterooligomers.

It requires exploring the TM sequence landscape to identify optimal Vpu TM matchmakers that would self-assemble into unproductive heterooligomers, thereby overcoming the restrain on tetherin and the consequent restriction of virion release from infected cells.

In other words, find any peptide that binds to Vpu in such a way it forms non-functional heterooligomers instead of binding up tetherin. Dump it into HIV-1 patients. Essentially ‘knock down‘ Vpu. PROFIT!


Throwing gum in the works! So unrefined! *puts noes in air*



  1. #1 Optimus Primate
    June 4, 2009

    <Behe> Well, obviously it was designed to work that way. The Intelligent Designer* works in mysterious ways. </Behe>

    *No representation is made that the quality of spooky shit performed The Intelligent Designer is greater than the quality of spooky shit performed by other hypothetical deities.

  2. #2 rrt
    June 4, 2009

    Very cool, ERV.

    But I can’t stop giggling at “heterooligomers.”

    Heterooligomers. Hehe! Hehehe! Heterooligomers.


    (you know…oooo, rhymes with booo?)

  3. #3 Mobius
    June 5, 2009

    Yes, but I can just hear some IDiot, having misunderstood, say something like, “That Abbie Smith says AIDS can be cured by chewing gum.”

    That seems to be how their brains work.

  4. #4 Brian
    June 5, 2009

    Chewing gum and green tea, you mean.

  5. #5 dvizard
    June 5, 2009

    Note the irony: here, the gum-peptide which clogs the beautiful machine is the only part of the system which is actually intelligently designed 😀
    (Or do they search for useful peptides by affinity-binding and in vitro evolution? That would be even more evolutionary pwn.)

  6. #6 Sili
    June 5, 2009

    On behalf of the Society for the Reïntroduction of the Diaraesis I bring you “heteroöligomer”.

  7. #7 ERV
    June 5, 2009


  8. #8 carlsonjok
    June 6, 2009

    But I can’t stop giggling at “heterooligomers.”

    Actually, most of the gomers I have come across are homo.

  9. #9 Tomato Addict
    June 15, 2009

    I just had a pleasant evening following your links and admiring your demolition of Behe. Thanks for bringing that back. Two years ago I wasn’t paying much attention to the argument, and I missed lots of fun.

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