Michael Behe

Michael Behe
Lehigh University · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

82
Publications
30,512
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3,265
Citations
Citations since 2016
4 Research Items
369 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060

Publications

Publications (82)
Article
Full-text available
W artykule tym Michael J. Behe pokrótce przedstawia ideę inteligentnego projektu, kładąc szczególny nacisk na własną koncepcję nieredukowalnej złożoności układów biochemicznych. Wskazuje na nieporozumienia i odpowiada na różne zarzuty wobec swojej koncepcji, wysuwane pod adresem podanych przez niego przykładów nieredukowalnej złożoności, takich jak...
Conference Paper
Biological information must be expressed to be consequential. In the past half century, science has discovered that expression often takes the form of sophisticated molecular machinery. Information resides in the very shape of the machinery itself, as well as in the instructions to build the machinery, to regulate it, to allow separate systems to c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the course of evolution organisms have adapted to their environments by mutating to gain new functions or to lose pre-existing ones. Because adaptation can occur by either of these modes, it is of basic interest to assess under what, if any, evolutionary circumstances one of them may predominate. Since mutation occurs at the molecular level, o...
Article
Full-text available
A century and a half after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, it seems we are more sure of how species originate than what they are. As time passes, the less we remember what previous generations of naturalists and philosophers considered them to be, and the more we invent novel definitions to try to...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive evolution can cause a species to gain, lose, or modify a function; therefore, it is of basic interest to determine whether any of these modes dominates the evolutionary process under particular circumstances. Because mutation occurs at the molecular level, it is necessary to examine the molecular changes produced by the underlying mutation...
Article
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IN the Abstract of their recent article, “Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution” (Genetics 180: [1501–1509][1], 2008), Durrett and Schmidt write that one of their aims is “to expose flaws in some of Michael Behe's
Article
In his unfavorable review (“God as genetic engineer,” Books et al. , 8 June, p. [1427][1]) of my book, The Edge of Evolution ([1][2]), Sean Carroll writes that “Behe's chief error is minimizing the power of natural selection to act cumulatively,” and implies that I fail to discuss “
Article
Michael Behe makes a case for intelligent design.
Article
In his Editorial (this issue), Professor Hermodson reports that comments sent to him assume a consensus, “Thus, intermediate states must also be assumed to be selected.” Some significant previous work does not make this assumption (Kimura 1985; Ohta 1989), but our paper supports such a consensus. This is a strong requirement—that not only the end p...
Article
Gene duplication is thought to be a major source of evolutionary innovation because it allows one copy of a gene to mutate and explore genetic space while the other copy continues to fulfill the original function. Models of the process often implicitly assume that a single mutation to the duplicated gene can confer a new selectable property. Yet so...
Article
In his seminal work On the Origin of Species, Darwin hoped to explain what no one had been able to explain before - how the variety and complexity of the living world might have been produced by simple natural laws. His idea for doing so was, of course, the theory of evolution by natural selection. In a nutshell, Darwin saw that there was variety i...
Article
Full-text available
When biologists are asked to discuss the evidence for evolution at public forums, they usually use well-established microevolutionary examples. Although these examples show the efficacy of evolution within species, they often leave audiences susceptable to the arguments of creationists who deny that evolution can create new structures and species....
Article
Full-text available
In 1996 I published Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. The main thesis of the book was that science has discovered in the cell biochemical systems that are what I term irreducibly complex, where the removal of one of the components of the system causes it to lose its function, and that such systems are very difficult to exp...
Article
Full-text available
In Darwin's Black Box: The BiochemicalChallenge to Evolution I argued thatpurposeful intelligent design, rather thanDarwinian natural selection, better explainssome aspects of the complexity that modernscience has discovered at the molecularfoundation of life. In the five years since itspublication the book has been widely discussedand has received...
Article
Full-text available
Some biochemical systems require multiple, well-matched parts in order to function, and the removal of any of the parts eliminates the function. I have previously labeled such systems "irreducibly complex," and argued that they are stumbling blocks for Darwinian theory. Instead I proposed that they are best explained as the result of deliberate int...
Article
M. K. Richardson et al. , the authors of a study ([1][1]) demonstrating fraud (E. Pennisi, Research News, 5 Sept. 1997, p. 1435) by 19th-century embryologist Ernst Haeckel have objected (Letters, 15 May, p. 983) that their work was “used in a nationally televised debate to attack evolutionary
Article
Large segments of the S. cerevisiae, C. elegans, D. melanogaster, mouse, and human genomes, as well as the genomes of four bacterial species, have been analyzed for the occurrence of tracts of separated, alternating, and mixed adenosine and cytidine residues. Several surprising features have been observed. Although both yeast and nematode DNA are r...
Article
Michael J. Behe is Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and a Fellow in the Discovery Institute Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture in Seattle, Washington. 1. Ernst Mayer, One Long Argument (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), 35-39. 2. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 6th ed. (18...
Article
We have measured the ability of oligoadenosine tracts 25 base pairs in length to influence nucleosome formation. Such tracts can cause DNA to bind in nucleosomes at higher temperatures with a free energy up to 1 kcal/mol more favorable than heterogenous-sequence DNA. Furthermore, the position of the oligoadenosine tract affects the free energy of b...
Article
Guidelines for submitting commentsPolicy: Comments that contribute to the discussion of the article will be posted within approximately three business days. We do not accept anonymous comments. Please include your email address; the address will not be displayed in the posted comment. Cell Press Editors will screen the comments to ensure that they...
Article
Yeast histone H4 has been mutagenized at several positions which participate in the globular core of the nucleosome. The native protein contains residues at those positions which are invariant or highly conserved over all known H4 sequences, whether from yeast, Tetrahymena or higher eukaryotes. Nonetheless the protein is tolerant of non-conservativ...
Book
Full-text available
Reviewed by Thane Hutcherson Ury 7 cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, yet I can see no evidence of beneficent design, or indeed of design of any kind, in the details.' Charles Darwin, letter, July 12, 1870. We know a lot more about animals and plants than Darwin did, and still not a single case is known to me of a complex or...
Article
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A search of sequence information in the GenBank flies shows that tracts of 15–30 contiguous purines are greatly overrepresented in all eukaryotlc species examined, ranging from yeast to human. Such an overabundance does not occur in prokaryotlc sequences. The large Increase in the number of oligopurine tracts cannot be explained as a simple consequ...
Article
The synthetic polymer poly(dA).poly(dT) was long thought to be refractory to nucleosome formation. Several years ago our laboratory demonstrated that the polymer could be mixed with authentic nucleosomes in a low-salt exchange procedure to form a nucleoprotein complex that behaved in a manner identical with that of nucleosomes. Competitive exchange...
Article
The structure of a 146 base-pair nucleosomal DNA has been probed using hydroxyl radical cleavage in buffers containing NaCl concentrations ranging from 80 mM to 800 mM. The highest salt concentrations used here are close to those required to dissociate core histone H2A and H2B from nucleosomal DNA. Nonetheless, the cleavage pattern of the DNA is un...
Article
Nucleosomal-length DNA was constructed to contain one of two 10 bp oligopurine-oligopyrimidine sequences, either d(A10.T10) or d(G10.C10). The 146 base pair (bp) sequences were then each tandemly cloned. This allowed for the production of circularly-permuted sequence variants in which the oligopurine tract was located at eight different positions....
Article
Synthetic double-stranded polydeoxynucleotides of the general form poly[d(AnT).d(ATn)], with n ranging from 3 to 11, have been synthesized. The conformation of the polymers was investigated by circular dichroism spectroscopy and the polymers were examined for their ability to form nucleosomes. Although spectra show that a circular dichroism band ch...
Article
Full-text available
Nucleosomal-length DNA was prepared from the genomic DNA of various prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms by limited nuclease digestion after reconstitution with core histones. The DNAs ranged in base composition from 26.5% to 72% guanosine-pluscytosine (%GC). The nucleosomal-length DNAs were then used in a competitive reconstitution assay in order...
Article
Full-text available
A globular protein adopts its native three-dimensional structure spontaneously under physiological conditions. This structure is specified by a stereochemical code embedded within the amino acid sequence of that protein. Elucidation of this code is a major, unsolved challenge, known as the protein-folding problem. A critical aspect of the code is t...
Article
The ability of tracts of synthetic oligopurine.oligopyrimidines containing both adenosine and guanosine residues to approach the conformation of analogous polypurine.polypyrimidines has been examined as a function of tract length by CD spectroscopy. Tracts of up to 19 contiguous, alternating dA and dG residues yield CD spectra that are distinctly d...
Article
Large variations in DNA base composition and noticeable strand asymmetries are known to occur between different organisms and within different regions of the genomes of single organisms. Apparently such composition and sequence biases occur to fulfill structural rather than informational requirements. Here we report the wide occurrence of a more su...
Article
A basic tenet of the molecular clock hypothesis is that the rate of sequence drift for a protein depends on the number of amino acid residues that are critical for its function. However, recent experiments have determined that, although core histone sequences are highly conserved among eukaryotes, large regions of the proteins are dispensable for g...
Article
Full-text available
In order to examine sequence-dependent structural effects in DNA, the ability of alternating purine-pyrimidine fragments to undergo a B-Z transition when cloned in a supercoiled plasm id was determined solely as a function of sequence, with base and nearest-neighbor composition held constant. Sequences of 22 GC and 2 AT base pairs were synthesized...
Article
The ability of synthetic polydeoxynucleotides composed of oligoguanosine tracts of increasing length to form nucleosomes has been determined by several reconstitution procedures. When the presence of nucleosomes is determined by resistance to nuclease digestion, a protected band of approximately 150 base-pairs is detected only with difficulty for p...
Article
The double-stranded polypurine.polypyrimidines poly(dG).poly(dC) and poly[d(A-G)].poly[d(T-C)] and the mixed ribose-deoxyribose polynucleotide poly(rG-dC).poly(rG-dC) have been successfully reconstituted into nucleosomes. The radioactively labeled particles comigrate in gel electrophoresis and sucrose density gradient experiments with authentic nuc...
Article
Double-stranded synthetic polydeoxynucleotides of the general form poly[d(GnCn)] · poly[d(GnCn)], poly[d(GnC)] · poly[d(GCn)], and poly[d(AnTn)] · poly[d(AnTn)] have been synthesized. When n = 4 or larger, the CD spectra of polymers of the form poly[d(GnCn)] · poly[d(GnCn)] or poly[d(GnC)] · poly[d(GCn)] closely resemble the spectrum of poly[dG] ·...
Article
Full-text available
In order to study the sequence dependence of the B-Z transition, we have synthesized eight double-stranded polydeoxynucleotides. The polymers have defined alternating purine-pyrimidine sequences with repeating units of 6-16 base pairs, and contain 12.5-33% AT base pairs. A and T nucleotides are in nearest-neighbor positions in the series poly[d[TA(...
Article
Full-text available
Twenty four DNA and RNA viral nucleotide sequences, comprising over 346 kilobases, have been analyzed for the occurence of strings of contiguous purine or pyrimidine residues. On average strings greater than or equal to 10 contiguous purines or pyrimidines are found three and a half times more frequently than would be expected for a random distribu...
Article
An acid phosphatase has been partially purified from lactating bovine mammary gland. Properties of this enzyme were compared with those of a well-characterized phosphoprotein phosphatase from bovine spleen. The two enzymes were similar in their activation by sulfhydryl reagents and inhibition by metal chelating agents. Both enzymes rapidly hydrolyz...
Article
The DNA sequence of the human beta-globin region, comprising over 67 kilobase pairs, has been analyzed for the occurrence of strings of contiguous purine or pyrimidine residues. Tracts of 10 or more contiguous residues are found 4 times more frequently than would be expected with a random distribution of bases, so that a long string occurs at an av...
Article
Full-text available
The conformation of the double-stranded, mixed ribo-deoxyribo polynucleotide, poly (rG-dC)•poly (rG-dC), has been examined in the presence of tetraalkyl ammonium ions. Tetramethyl ammonium ion stabilizes the “low salt” Z conformation (1) of the polymer from submillimolar to molar concentrations of the counterion. In the presence of tetraethyl and t...
Article
Full-text available
Results obtained from gel filtration showed that beta-lactoglobulin binds p-nitrophenyl phosphate with a stoichiometry of 1 mol of ligand per 18,360 monomer. Circular dichroic spectra confirmed the binding and implicated tryptophan and phenylalanine residues in the interaction. Fluorescence of the protein was quenched on binding also supporting com...
Article
Full-text available
In this communication we report the synthesis and characterization of a defined-sequence, alternating purine-pyrimidine polymer with a 10-base pair repeating unit: poly[d(CGCGCGTGCA)]. It is seen that the polymer can undergo a right-left-hand helical transition, but the conformational transition requires much higher salt concentration than with pol...
Article
The vacuum CD spectra of poly(rG-dC)·poly(rG-dC) and poly(dG-m5dC)·poly(dG-m5dC) have been obtained for the low-salt Z-conformations of both polymers. The spectra are very similar to those for the high-salt Z-forms. This behavior is consistent with the suggestion that the low- and high-salt Z-forms are comprised of different proportions of ZI- and...
Article
We have investigated the effect of increasing percentages of methylated pyrimidines on the structure of poly(dA-dU).poly(dA-dU). This was done by synthesizing analogous polynucleotides that contained deoxythymidine residues as well as deoxyuridine residues and observing their 31P NMR spectra in increasing amounts of CsF. The results show that methy...
Article
Full-text available
Salt induced transitions between four conformations of the methylated ribo-deoxyribo co-polymer poly (rG-m5dC).poly (rG-m5dC) have been studied using phosphorous-NMR, Raman spectroscopy, and circular dichroism. A high salt A–Z transition is observed for the polymer. However, the methylated polymer does not enter the high salt Z form more readily th...
Article
The double-stranded helical complexes of poly(dG-dC) and of poly(dG-m5dC) are shown to convert from B- to Z-DNA-type conformations at moderate or low ionic strengths, lower for the 5-methyl than for the non-methyl species, in a highly cooperative temperature-dependent equilibrium. In the presence of low concentrations of divalent ion, e.g., Mg2+, t...
Article
Full-text available
The left-handed helical conformation of various polynucleotides has been seen in solution at higher salt concentration than has the right-handed helical conformation of the corresponding polymer. We report here, however, studies of conformational transitions in the mixed polymer poly-(rG-dC) X poly(rG-dC). This polynucleotide appears to exist in a...
Article
Full-text available
By working at very low Na+ concentrations (1mM and less), the number of bound Mg(2+), cobalt hexamine(3+), and spermine(4+) necessary to induce the B-Z transition of poly (dG-m5 dC) has been directly measured. The results show that if as little as 1 cobalt hexarnine(3+) or spermine(4+) is bound per 40–50 nucleotides the transition will occur. A gre...
Article
The B to Z transition of poly(dG-m5dC) . poly(dG-m5dC) has been monitored by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as a function of concentration of several salts. In 5 mM Tris- [tris(hydroxymethyl)amino-methane] HCl buffer two peaks of equal area (0.27 ppm separation) are observed at -4.2 ppm (upfield from trimethyl phosphate), indicat...
Article
Excerpt There is now persuasive evidence in many eukaryotes of an inverse correlation between the expression of a gene and the level of DNA methylation in the neighborhood of that gene (Felsenfeld and McGhee 1982). For a variety of globin genes, the herpes thymidine kinase gene, mouse metallothionein gene, adenoviral and immunoglobulin genes, and o...
Article
Full-text available
We have studied the properties of complexes formed between histones and the methylated synthetic polydeoxynucleotide poly(dG-m5dC). poly(dG-m5dC). This polymer undergoes the transition from B DNA to left-handed Z DNA at moderate ionic strength. When the polymer is in the Z form it will bind histones, but nucleosomes are not detected. When the polym...
Article
Random sequence DNA adsorbed to surfaces such as calcium phosphate has recently been shown to be cut preferentially by nucleases1 at sites separated by 10.6+/-0.1 nucleotides2, corresponding to the helical periodicity of the DNA. We have now applied a variation of this technique to determine the periodicity of the alternating synthetic polydeoxynuc...
Article
Full-text available
We have compared the behavior in solution of the synthetic polynucleotide poly(dG-m5dC).poly(dG-m5dC) with that of the unmethylated polynucleotide poly(dG-dC).poly(dG-dC). In solutions containing high concentrations of salt, poly(dG-dC).poly(dG-dC) is known to exhibit altered circular dichroic and absorption spectra correlated with formation of a l...
Article
The ability of a variety of phenyl derivatives to inhibit sickle cell hemoglobin gelation was placed on a quantitative scale by parallel equilibrium and kinetic assays. Modifications of the phenyl ring studied include polar, nonpolar, and charged substituents, added aromatic rings, and loss of aromaticity. Other noncovalent inhibitors previously re...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines a theoretical formalism for describing the gelling behavior of sickle cell hemoglobin in mixtures with other hemoglobin and non-hemoglobin proteins. Experimental applications are reported for hybridized and unhybridized mixtures of HbS (sickle hemoglobin), HbA (adult hemoglobin), HbF (fetal hemoglobin), and HbC Harlem. The theor...
Article
Full-text available
Sickle hemoglobin (Hb S) gelation displays kinetics consistent with a rate-limiting nucleation step. The approximate size of the critical nucleus can be inferred from the order of the reaction with respect to Hb S activity, but determination of the reaction order is complicated by the fact that Hb S activity is substantially different from Hb S con...
Article
Full-text available
To Darwin, the cell-and every microbiological function-was an unknowable black box. Now that we can look into this box, can we apply Darwin's theory to it? Why is it that, of the thousands of papers published in science journals, none ever discuss detailed models for intermediates in the development of complex biomolecular structures? In drawing hi...
Article
Full-text available
Introdução Os críticos da Teoria do Design Inteligente (doravante TDI) afirmam que a entre outros, de que existem sinais de inteligência e que eles são empiricamente detectados na natureza é pseudociência ou criacionismo disfarçado. A TDI seria pseudociência porque não obedece ao rigor do método científico, criacionismo disfarçado porque propõe uma...
Article
Traducción de: Darwin's Black Box El autor de esta obra, bioquímico de la Universidad de Leigh, ofrece aquí su propia teoría sobre el origen de la vida. Dice que mientras más se conoce de bioquímica y de biología celular, la teoría de la evolución darwiniana es invocada sin ser explicada. Según él, el origen de la vida no se puede explicar por el d...

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