Five Years Later, Evolutionary Immunology and other Icons of Kitzmiller v. Dover Not Holding Up Well

Judge Jones might not realize it, but in a recent article in the York Dispatch he admitted that his ruling in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case amounted to judicial activism. He stated: “The decision seems to be holding up well … No other school district has engaged in this kind of a battle. I hope that’s a product of the decision and perhaps the way that I wrote the decision.” As Lawrence Baum writes in his book American Courts: Process and Policy, “[w]hen judges choose to increase their impact as policymakers, they can be said to engage in activism; choices to limit that impact can be labeled judicial restraint.” By admitting that he sought to impact the policy decisions of Read More ›

Shape-Shifting Protein in Bacterial Flagellum Controls Spin Direction

It’s been long known that the bacterial flagellum can spin in one direction and then quickly reverse directions and spin in the other. A recent issue of Nature has an article titled, “Structure of the torque ring of the flagellar motor and the molecular basis for rotational switching” which elucidates some of the biomechanical properties of the FliG motor protein that allows this rotation switch to occur: The flagellar motor drives the rotation of flagellar filaments at hundreds of revolutions per second, efficiently propelling bacteria through viscous media. The motor uses the potential energy from an electrochemical gradient of cations across the cytoplasmic membrane to generate torque. A rapid switch from anticlockwise to clockwise rotation determines whether a bacterium runs Read More ›