Is The Stem Cell Debate Over?

Harvesting embryonic cells for research had sparked a debate with the pro-life movement. Not with the research itself but how the stem cells were obtained. Years ago, I can remember some friends of mine who were highly critical of George W. Bush for withdrawing funding for the research along with celebrities like Michael J Fox who had Parkinson’s disease. All of which was found to be a non-issue with the discovery in 2007 when scientists were able to reprogram adult stem cells back to their embryonic state.

In the last few years, there hasn’t been much news about stem cell research in general. Here are a few new developments in the field… Wildfires have been raging in California, fighting fires like these often times result in injuries. Canadian researchers have devised a way to grow stem cells from the burnt victims own skin in order to increase the recovery time.

From Medical Xpress

“Until now, almost nobody thought of looking for viable cells in the burned skin itself, which is normally considered medical waste. When the U of T researchers began looking in the first pieces of discarded skin, they hoped to find even one living cell. They were exhilarated by the discovery of thousands of cells – in some cases up to one million cells.”

“Much faster healing would be a major step forward.”

Not only would faster healing be a tremendous accomplishment but also limit the rejection rate. Prior to this proposed research, stem cells used in this type of treatment came from other people’s bodies. The rejection rate is very high for the patients who obtained this type of treatment which is something critics of the pro-life movement failed to take into an account.

Who would have thought to use burned skin? Practically nobody but these Canadian researchers decided to think outside the box and will put into practice next year as they test their new theory! This is great research hopefully they will get good results!

The debate over harvesting embryonic cells for research isn’t quite dead, despite the fact that stem cells can be used from a patient’s own body whether that be reprogramed stem cells or adult stem cells, in general, which produces a much greater success for recovery. Some Scientists are trying to be a little sneaky about using embryonic cells which are considered to be human. They changed the term to “hES” cells rather than calling it “human embryonic stem cells”., Of course, there is an ethical issue with their experiment so even though they admit as much, they still try and hide it. So if are a patient of this research, be aware of the terms used so you know what you are getting because it’s not only your life (because your immune system can perceive them as “foreign,” and reject them) but someone else’s life too.

Scientists do not have to be sneaky, in fact, it’s unethical to be that sneaky! They can use better alternatives like the Canadian researchers are planning on doing next year. Another indication that the debate is not over is the fact that there is a rising popularity with cloning. By cloning the person, embryonic cells would have a much better chance of being accepted by the patient’s body. However, when Human Embryonic cells were injected into mice, the mice got tumors which were cancerous. There is no margin for error, if just one cell doesn’t reproduce the right way, it would mean death for the patient. So the treatment may someday cure someone with one disease but then kill them with another.

Reprogrammed cells have not eliminated the cancer threat. If scientists can reprogram adult stem cells without altering the DNA which may reduce the risk of cancer, you might see the pro-life movement and those against it on the same side on this issue!

No Trace of Evolution in Bacteria

In the early years of this blog, someone commented about bacteria resistance as proof of observing ‘evolution’ in real-time. One thing that gets better over time and that is research, but not answers about evolution rather more question which fits the model of a falsified theory.

Those of us who went to public schools have heard that bacteria supposedly evolves resistance towards modern drug use. Medical studies on bacteria resistance are critical for better future treatments. The more we understand over time, the better! A very common bacterium associated with many health issues and also has been a challenge for medical teams around the world because of its ability to resist modern drugs is Klebsiella pneumoniae. The bacterium is mostly known for pneumonia, and bloodstream infections as well as inflections for wounds and surgical areas.

Researchers from Sandia Labs released their study this month and let me tell you, it’s evolution in name only rather in process. The headline reads as follows: Tracing the evolution of a drug-resistant pathogen. But when one reads this article, there is no evolution going on!

“Using Sandia’s genome sequencing capabilities, Hudson and colleagues Robert Meagher and Kelly Williams, along with former postdoctoral employee Zach Bent, identified several mechanisms that bacteria use to share genes and expand their antibiotic resistance. They found that in some cases, bacteria can receive a new set of genes all at once and in the process become pathogenic.”

“To better understand how the process works, they focused on the large mobile DNAs, such as plasmids, which exist as free DNA circles apart from the bacterial chromosome, and genomic islands, which can splice themselves into the chromosome. These mobile DNAs are major mechanisms for evolution in organisms that lack a true nucleus. Genomic islands and plasmids carry genes that contribute to everything from metabolism to pathogenicity, and move whole clusters of genes all at once between species.”

Where are these mutations and natural selection developing new information that is used for resisting drugs? The article never comments on this. This makes the headlines miss leading and contradictory. However, the subtitle which should have been the headline says this, “Bacteria share genetic material with other bacteria.”  

It’s an amazing process but has nothing to do with evolution. This has more to do with intelligent design than randomness. If the information is already there and it’s only being shared, this hardly constitutes evolution in action. So the study proves it’s only evolution by name, not by process. Perhaps one day, there will be drugs which will prohibit or distort the sharing of information process among the bacteria which may render it useless. Thus, making people more healthy :)

Evolutionists Lose Human Eye Debate

How many times have creationists heard this from sources like the USS Clueless...”Occasionally I see creationists point to the human eye as a miracle of design, as if this somehow is evidence of divine origin for the human form. Unfortunately, from an engineering perspective, the human eye is seriously suboptimal. It simply isn’t that good a design.” I would say, quite a number of times, especially from those like Kenneth Miller who is a Professor at Brown University who argues for signs of bad design which they say disproves creationism so they use the human eye as an example. Why? Because our eyes’ have photoreceptor cells which face away from incoming light and the optic nerve extends over them thus supposedly making it “suboptimal” (without showing how it could be improved) because it blocks some light.

What generally always happens with these arguments from evolutionists, they get shot down by advancements in science either by creationist scientists or by their own data or both. Sometimes it takes many years. The human eye debate has been written about and debated about for many years. Creationists as well as the modern intelligent design movement have been arguing for years that the human eye is well designed here are two examples the first one being from the modern intelligent design movement

“The photoreceptors in the human eye are oriented away from incoming light and placed behind nerves through which light must pass before reaching the photoreceptors. Why? A visual system needs three things: speed, sensitivity, and resolution. The inverse wiring does not affect speed. Nor does it affect resolution, except for a tiny blind spot in each eye. You don’t usually notice it because your brain’s visual harmonization system easily compensates for the blind spot. You need to do special exercises to discover it. What about sensitivity? Sensitivity requires an inverted retina. Retinal cells require the most oxygen of any cells in the human body, so they need lots of blood. But blood cells absorb light. In fact, if blood cells invade the retinal cells, irreversible blindness may result. By facing away from the light, retinal cells can be nourished by blood vessels that do not block the light. They can still be so sensitive that they respond to a single photon, the smallest unit of light.” -2008

The second one being strictly from ICR, one of the main websites that advocate creationism…

“Research by ophthalmologists has clearly shown why the human retina must employ what is called the “inverted” design. An inverted retina is where the photoreceptors face away from the light, forcing the incoming light to travel through the front of the retina to reach the photoreceptors. The opposite placement (where the photoreceptors face the front of the eye) is called a “verted” design. One of the many reasons for the inverted design is, behind the photoreceptors lies a multifunctional and indispensable structure, theretinal pigment epithelium (Martínez-Morales 2004, p. 766). This monolayered tissue contains the black pigment melanin that absorbs most of the light not captured by the retina. This design has the very beneficial effect of preventing light from being reflected off the back of the eye onto the retina, which would degrade the visual image.”

“The photoreceptors (rods and cones) must also face away from the front of the eye in order to be in close contact with the pigment epithelium on the choroid, which supplies the photoreceptors with blood. This arrangement allows a “steady stream of the vital molecule retinal” to flow to the rods and cones without which vision would be impossible (Kolb 2003, p. 28). The verted design, claimed by Miller to be superior, would place the photoreceptors away from their source of nutrition, oxygen, and retinal (the choroid). This design would cause major problems because rods and cones require an enormous amount of energy for their very high metabolism required in functioning, maintenance, and repair. In addition, because of phototoxicity damage, the rods and cones must completely replace themselves approximately every seven days or so.”

As you know, evolutionists have been arguing that the human eye was designed poorly until now…Israel Institute of Technology, a think tank for evolution  says they have discovered why the human eye is wired backwards and it’s not because of a poor design…

“Previous experiments with mice had suggested that Müller glia cells, a type of metabolic cell that crosses the retina, play an essential role in guiding and focusing light scattered throughout the retina. To test this, Ribak and his colleagues ran computer simulations and in-vitro experiments in a mouse model to determine whether colors would be concentrated in these metabolic cells. They then used confocal microscopy to produce three-dimensional views of the retinal tissue, and found that the cells were indeed concentrating light into the photoreceptors…”

“The retina is not just the simple detector and neural image processor, as believed until today,” Ribak added. “Its optical structure is optimized for our vision purposes.”

Even before this research came out, their has been attempts to build image sensors that are base on its design of biological retinas. If retinas are really that poor in design, then why would engineers be trying to make image sensors that are based on the retinas design?    Since the research turned out to confirm creationism rather than evolution, researchers at Israel Institute of Technology has to bluff about its significance by claiming that “from a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye — a product of our evolutionary baggage — doesn’t make a lot of sense” is really confirmation of evolution…lol

Can you imagine if science came out with evidence of a bad design of the human eye and turned around and said, “Even though a bad design doesn’t make much sense, but this is a great product of creationism.” It wouldn’t be considered science right? Neither is the researchers view on evolution of the eye. These stories about evolution holds no scientific ground! We are blessed with amazingly designed eyes!

New Study Challenges Evolution’s Basic Concept

How can natural selection choose if the necessary component to create life’s most specialized complex system? In the earlier years of evolution, scientists did not have the technology to observe a cell. Since evolution was based on slight modifications by mutations chosen by natural selection in order to produce complex systems, evolutionists believed the cell was simple, but as it turns out science has shown it to be designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery!

Think of it this way, evolution of a rocket. You already have the machinery and information on how to build its shell where you got that information is unknown, now take that existing information and use slight errors in the instructions to come with a design for the engine, and after that using more errors to come up the fuel it must run on to work. Even though you were provided with information and have the ability to build, more than likely, you can’t choose from the errors created from the previous information which by now with all its errors no longer make sense for even building a rocket shell let alone obtaining information on how to build its engine and the fuel that runs it!

This is why mutations in the genetic code does not create new information from existing information that can produce a different complex component that never was in existence before!

Evolution goes beyond what natural selection can actually do! Now comes a term which is very familiar to you and that is…”survival of the fittest.” This basic concept is being challenged by researchers from Oxford University (see here) who say “fittest” doesn’t arrive so it’s not around to survive!

“By modelling populations over long timescales, the study showed that the ‘fitness’ of their traits was not the most important determinant of success. Instead, the most genetically available mutations dominated the changes in traits. The researchers found that the ‘fittest’ simply did not have time to be found, or to fix in the population over evolutionary timescales.”

Like many explanations in evolution, it raises more questions than answers which leads to dead ends! This model conducted by evolutionists say mutational possibilities that have benefits which are just too rare. This means, the fittest don’t arrive in the evolutionary timescale, there is nothing to fix.

This comes back to Hugo de Vries who was a  Professor of Botany who began his experimentation on plants in 1800. De Vries believed in enormous changes in animals which were based on his “mutation theory”. He also said, “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest”.  Simply because natural selection can only choose what already exists.

It would have been interesting today, how he would have viewed the mutation experiment with fruitflies which began to de-evolve over a period of time in more than ideal conditions rather than showing signs of change that would eventually lead to another species as explained in the theory of evolution.

The explanations are like a game of poker with its bluffing, evolutionary theory does bluff on what it explains being pretentious, and self-contradictory about it. But that is what happens when you try to explain things in order to disagree with reality which doesn’t go along with evolution. Reality suggests that the universe was created with a mind, and that mind was God!

Research With Adult Stem Cells Improve

This subject reminds me of Christopher Reeve, the former Hollywood actor who became an adviser on stem cell research, claiming scientists were on a brink of a major breakthrough using embryo stem cells. Some friends of mine hated the fact that Bush refused to endorse and fund embryo stem cell research using new embryo stem cells rather than a few existing ones. This is why hype in scientific research must be met with caution rather than making it political. The Hwang scandal in 2004, bares this out as well! Years later, all that hype was not justified! Similar to many claims about evolution! They figured evolutionary explanations about the past had so much success in keeping in the box, why couldn’t embryo stem cell research?

 

Adult stem cell research has grown by leaps and bounds, destroying such arguments made by the former adviser on stem cell research, Christopher Reeve and political figures like John Kerry.  If scientists decided to stay in the box with Reeve and Kerry’s ideals on stem cell research along with other scientists, then two years later Yamanaka’s breakthrough with reprogramming adult stem cells wouldn’t have never happened! A year later Scientific American reported…

“The end of the politically explosive, decadelong ethical battle over human embryonic stem cells may finally be in sight. Two groups of researchers report today that washing human skin cells in similar cocktails of four genes enabled them to reprogram the cells to resemble those harvested from embryos. The finding potentially paves the way for scores of labs to generate new stem cell lines without cloned embryos, which had long been considered the only realistic way of making human stem cells in the short run.”

No embryos required! Imagine that, only two years later after Kerry’s speech about Reeve. Other Adult stem research as discussed in this blog, became the year’s breakthrough in science. But reprogramming adult stem cells didn’t put itself in a box, rather scientists have now discovered another new method. And that method is using “stress”, although stress is not good for the heart, it’s good for reprogramming stem cells, says Sasai and Obokata, two Japanese researchers who used a modest acid bath to create stress with the most fit animal on the planet who can survive extreme conditions and that is the bacterium. Once exposed to the acid bath, the bacterium’s cells revert back to the embryonic stage but even more so than using  Yamanaka’s method.

Using a stress method is logical, especially knowing that the body is able to repair damage tissue. Regenerative medicine has a ways to go but is showing tremendous progress outside of the politically correct box!

 

 

Scientists Discover More Innovation With Stem Cells

The field of adult stem cell research is growing by leaps and bounds! There is an enormous progress taking place as we speak. Firstly, scientists discovered a better way to create induced pluripotent stem cells that can produce any cell type, thus being fully able to do what embryonic stem cells can do…

In Science Magazine… 

“Given the right instructions in the lab, mature cells can turn back into embryoniclike ones that researchers covet, but the process is frustratingly slow and inefficient. By removing a molecular brake, scientists have now figured out how to reprogram cells with almost 100% efficiency.”

“In a process called cellular reprogramming, researchers increase the expression of four genes in skin, blood, or other mature cells to turn them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can become any of the body’s cell types.”

“Scientists value the method because it allows them to make patient-specific cells in the lab that they can use to study disease—and perhaps someday to treat patients. However, the reprogramming procedure is hit-and-miss. The most efficient methods reprogram only about 10% of mature cells into iPSCs.”

What if scientists could reprogram stems cells right in your body? This concept is not far fetched! A state never produced in a lab before was successful in mice!

Science Daily…

“One of the greatest achievements in recent biomedical research was in 2006 when Shinya Yamanaka managed to create embryonic stem cells (pluripotent stem cells, induced in vitro, or in vitro iPSCs) in a laboratory from adult cells, via a cocktail of just four genes. Yamanaka’s discovery, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2012, opened a new horizon in regenerative medicine.”

“CNIO researchers have taken another step forward, by achieving the same as Yamanaka, but this time within the same organism, in mice, without the need to pass through in vitro culture dishes. Generating these cells within an organism brings this technology even closer to regenerative medicine.

The first challenge for CNIO researchers was to reproduce the Yamanaka experiment in a living being. They chose a mouse as a model organism. Using genetic manipulation techniques, researchers created mice in which Yamanaka’s four genes could be activated at will. When these genes were activated, they observed that the adult cells were able to retreat in their evolutionary development to become embryonic stem cells in multiple tissues and organs.

“María Abad, the lead author of the article and a researcher in Serrano’s group, said: “This change of direction in development has never been observed in nature. We have demonstrated that we can also obtain embryonic stem cells in adult organisms and not only in the laboratory.”

The reprogrammed adult stem cells can also be removed from the body for further study. Unlike origin evolutionary research where scientists are trying to come up with a way to produce life from dead chemicals in a lab in order to take credit on the way nature has been designed, this article says no such thing, what was reprogrammed is not what happens in evolution. Even though evolution was given some props, this was an amazing year for real science that includes adult-stem cell research!

Human Skin Stem Cells Treating Various Disorders

What is a stem cell? It’s basically a “blank” cell, which is capable of becoming other cell types like muscle cells or nerve cells or even skin cells. Adult stem cells can become a built-in repair system for the human body, replenishing other cells as long as a person remains alive!

This research has become more important in recent years than ever before for treating various diseases and disorders! Speaking of which, there has been exciting news coming out with reprogramming skin cells for new treatments!

Science Daily writes…

“The study is the first successful attempt to employ human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) to produce a population of cells that are critical to neural signaling in the brain. In this instance, the researchers utilized cells crafted from human skin and transplanted them into animal models of myelin disease.”

“This study strongly supports the utility of hiPSCs as a feasible and effective source of cells to treat myelin disorders,” said University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) neurologist Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study. “In fact, it appears that cells derived from this source are at least as effective as those created using embryonic or tissue-specific stem cells.”

“The discovery opens the door to potential new treatments using hiPSC-derived cells for a range of neurological diseases characterized by the loss of a specific cell population in the central nervous system called myelin…”

There was great hype with embryonic stem cells with the claim that scientists think human embryonic stem cells could lead to cures for many ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, some forms of blindness and possibly cancer. However, as science progresses, adult stem cells can replace embryonic ones and be even more effective. For instance, using one’s own stem cells from their own body for treatment lessens the odds greatly of rejection! Also, there is not controversy by destroying another human in the process!

Adult stems cells are in abundance! They can be collected from various  pregnancy-related tissues, and body tissues where they can be also reprogrammed as you seen in this article to the embryonic stage! How exciting is that? :)