Sunday, 20 October 2013

God Hates Frogs

The Invasive Chytrid Fungus of Amphibians Paralyzes Lymphocyte Responses

The problem with being an intelligent designer is that when you change your mind and decide your creation was a mistake it can be very difficult to kill just that creation off and not harm the others. Look what happened when it decided to correct its mistake with humans, for example. It ended up killing everything else off too when it used a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

So, when the Intelligent Designer decided it had made a mistake with all those frogs it had to come up with something really clever. It chose a fungus - Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - to do the work but that wasn't as simple as it sounds. The problem was it had provided frogs with a way to fight fungal infections, what with them living in conditions normally conducive to fungal growth. It had provided them with a group of specialist body cells to cope with them, as well as bacteria. These cells normally crawl around looking for invading cells and ingesting them, then they program other cells to produce antibodies which quickly kill off any more cells if they get into the frog's body.

So, this was a problem for the Intelligent Designer's plan to kill of all the frogs with a fungus.

Luckily it thought up another brilliant plan and changed the fungus a little bit so it now turns off the frog's immune response and allows it to kill the frog and use its body to produce more fungi.

Abstract
The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide.

The Invasive Chytrid Fungus of Amphibians Paralyzes Lymphocyte Responses
J. Scott Fites, Jeremy P. Ramsey, Whitney M. Holden, Sarah P. Collier, Danica M. Sutherland, Laura K. Reinert, A. Sophia Gayek,
Terence S. Dermody, Thomas M. Aune, Kyra Oswald-Richter, and Louise A. Rollins-Smith
Science 18 October 2013: 342 (6156), 366-369. [DOI:10.1126/science.1243316]

This, of course, looks just like the sort of destructive arms race that evolutionary biologists predict will happen frequently by Darwinian Evolution, and looks just like there is no intelligence behind it because what Intelligent Designer would have to be that creative to overcome a problem of its own creation because it wouldn't have created frogs in the first place if it was going to kill them all off. Nor would it have given them an immune system to overcome fungal infections it it planned all along to kill them all with a fungus, but I expect creationists, especially the professional frauds at the Discovery Institute can think up a good reason why the Intelligent Designer works this way.

Or maybe they'll just ignore the devastation in the frog population which is now occurring on a global scale and just hope their scientifically illiterate and environmentally unaware target audience won't be aware of it either.

Reference:
The Invasive Chytrid Fungus of Amphibians Paralyzes Lymphocyte Responses
J. Scott Fites, Jeremy P. Ramsey, Whitney M. Holden, Sarah P. Collier, Danica M. Sutherland, Laura K. Reinert, A. Sophia Gayek, Terence S. Dermody, Thomas M. Aune, Kyra Oswald-Richter, and Louise A. Rollins-Smith
Science 18 October 2013: 342 (6156), 366-369. [DOI:10.1126/science.1243316]. (Subscription required)

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