Adult Stem Cell Research Continues To Flourish

Adult stem cells has been compiling more promise for future medical research with no ethical qualms.  On the other hand, embryonic stem cell research has no compiling  record with major ethical concerns! The breakthrough of science back in 2009, continues to dazzle with more breakthroughs with understanding pluripotent cells (adult stem cells reprogrammed back to their embryonic stage).

New Scientist reports of a discovery with human skin containing important adult stem cells that are able to repair wounds! These cells exist in sweat and are not found in animals, the article adds this…“Humans have three times more eccrine glands than hair follicles, making them the major contributor to new skin cells.”  Elaine Fuchs from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland says the discovery was unexpected and goes against current dogma!

In Medical Xpress, pluripotent cells could be used to create personalized medicine for cancer patients!

“In the November 19 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that these new stem-like cells do not express the same genes as embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) do.”

“That explains why they don’t produce tumors when they grow in the laboratory, as the other stem cells do, and why they are stable, producing the kind of cells researchers want them to. “These seem to be exactly the kind of cells that we need to make regenerative medicine a reality,” says the study’s senior investigator, chairman of the department of pathology at Georgetown Lombardi, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center.”

Very exciting news in adult stem cell research! Are you looking to refresh those old cells of yours? Well guess what? Researchers at the University of Toronto discovered a way to refresh those old cells, making them look young again!

Science Daily reports…

“A new method of growing cardiac tissue is teaching old stem cells new tricks. The discovery, which transforms aged stem cells into cells that function like much younger ones, may one day enable scientists to grow cardiac patches for damaged or diseased hearts from a patient’s own stem cells — no matter what age the patient — while avoiding the threat of rejection.”

With so much success continuing for adult stem cells which has been quite amazing, it seems superfluous to continue work with ethically-charged embryonic stem cells where concerns about abuse are being raised.

Can one trust scientist to regulate themselves with ethics? This is something the public insists upon.  However rigging public support is an unethical practice. Here is an example of claiming to employ an unbiased statistical sample of the public concerning stem cell research…

“Representing the Public in Public Engagement: The Case of the 2008 UK Stem Cell Dialogue” where Alison Mohr and Sujatha Raman (PLoS Biology) analyze the situation…

“Efforts to engage the public in science take many forms, yet in many cases, “engagement” is a means toward acceptance rather than true participation. In 2008, the largest ever public engagement (PE) exercise sponsored by UK Research Councils was held. The Stem Cell Dialogue (SCD), designed to identify the range of views and concerns amongst the wider public about stem cell research, was jointly supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and Sciencewise.”

The SCD revealed high levels of public support for stem cell science and technology, according to the official press release [1], and thus seems to validate the traditional reasons offered for conducting PE around cutting-edge science: that engaging the wider public in dialogue at an early stage can help scientists communicate the motivations for their research, including its expected societal benefits, assuage potential ethical concerns, avert damaging controversies, and secure public acceptance.”

“But, is this instrumental rationale–engagement toward a predetermined goal–sufficient? Can it offer the democratic legitimacy that underlies the recent turn to this type of “upstream” engagement? And does the SCD as it actually unfolded merit the summary finding of public support reported in the press release? In this paper, we draw from our work as official evaluators of the SCD (see Box 1), and recent debates on the purpose of engagement, to ask: how should we understand the “public” in PE; why is PE important for both society and science; and what lessons should we take from actual PE exercises? “

Some very good questions, the problem is, employing an unbiased statistical sample of the public concerning stem cell research is not the case! Yes, you read about how “competing rationales for representing the public can lead to particular outcomes that conflict with the democratic ideals of PE.”  So they take into account opposing viewpoints towards the research. But look who they omitted in the sample…

“The lack of alternative or more critical/skeptical perspectives of counter-experts (e.g., advocacy/pro-life group, religious group, journalistic, or National Health Service viewpoints) limited the range of participants’ discussion and increased the potential for obtaining positively biased indications of public approval and acceptance.”

The workshops contained mostly those who were for the research while skeptical perspectives were practically invisible! What does that mean? It means, a rigged sample of representing the public! By using this method, the public would be portrayed as overwhelmingly supported of any type of research being conducted!

“The homogeneity of responses appears to have been shaped by the role played by experts in framing the discussion. Framing played a significant role in bounding the discussions as participants showed a strong tendency to follow and explore the main issues raised in the experts’ presentations.” 

Not only does this rigging of public support happen with stem cell research, but it happens often with evolution which also requires public engagement! Despite the flaw and unethical ways of rigging public opinion, adult stem cell continues to flourish with astounding advancements for promising treatments for various people which would enhance our heath greatly!

Was E. Coli Bacteria Evolving In the Lab?

In 1988, with one single microbe started an experiment conducted by Richard Lenski, who is an evolutionary biologist.  In 2008, evolutionists were tooting their horns claiming a new ability to subsist on citrate was proof that new traits can evolve! But there was a cost along the way  as a result of activating this so-called new trait through mutations.

Michael Behe, in his paper points out…

“By examining the DNA sequence of the E. coli in the neighborhood surrounding the IS [insertion sequence] elements, the investigators saw that several genes involved in central metabolism were knocked out, as well as some cell wall synthesis genes and several others.”

“In subsequent work, Cooper et al. (2001) discovered that twelve of twelve cell lines showed adaptive IS-mediated deletions of their rbs operon, which is involved in making the sugar ribose. Thus, the adaptive mutations that were initially tracked down all involved loss-of-FCT.”

“Several years later, when the cultures had surpassed their 20,000th generation, Lenski’s group at Michigan State brought more advanced techniques to bear on the problem of identifying the molecular changes underlying the adaptation of the E. coli cultures. Using DNA expression profiles, they were able to reliably track down changes in the expression of 1300 genes of the bacterium, and determined that 59 genes had changed their expression levels from the ancestor, 47 of which were expressed at lower levels (Cooper et al. 2003).”

“The authors stated that “The expression levels of many of these 59 genes are known to be regulated by specific effectors including guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and cAMP-cAMP receptor protein (CRP)” (Cooper et al. 2003:1074). They also noted that the cellular concentration of ppGpp is controlled by several genes including spoT. After sequencing, they discovered a nonsynonymous point mutation in the spoT gene. When the researchers examined ten other populations that had evolved under the same conditions for 20,000 generations, they found that seven others also had fixed nonsynonymous point mutations in spoT, but with different substitutions than the first one that had been identified, thus suggesting that the mutations were decreasing the protein’s activity.”

After 20,000 generations, not much happened. But after a while, the types of changes taking place in the E. coli tended to decrease or eliminate protein function! Now we get to the ability of E. coli to metabolize citrate. This is where evolutionists love to toot their horn, “after a series of mutations “bacteria that use citrate dominate the population,” they say.

What they didn’t tell you is that E. coli already have the machinery to uptake and metabolize citrate (like a number of enzymes that normally use citrate and can digest it) but doesn’t do it under oxic conditions! The experiment wasn’t showing any evidence for a  biochemical pathway invented by the mutations which was entirely new! Instead, it was only activating its machinery with a cost under different conditions.

In other words, normal E. Coli lacks the ability to transport citrate through the cell membrane into the cell under oxic conditions. But Lenski’s E. Coli, the regulation mechanism of a citrate-transport gene lost its function thereby causing an over expression (turning the switch on) which then enables the bacteria to uptake the citrate under oxic conditions!

Last month, another story breaks, just like last time, evolutionists are tooting their horns once again. After 56,000 generations under some predetermined conditions such as plenty of oxygen but very limited food supply. Testing the bacteria with a small amount of glucose, to see how they would react. We see a revisit of the hype as shown below…

Science News

“Learning to eat citrate, also called citric acid, is as big an innovation for E. coli as developing eyes or wings would be for multicellular creatures, says evolutionary geneticist Paul Rainey of Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany.”

It’s hardly an innovation! But what they are observing is nothing more than duplication and rearrangement of pre-exsiting information while loosing the regulation mechanism which then allowed the uptake of citrate by the E. Coli bacteria. Does this mean the bacteria was evolving in the lab? The answer is a resounding, no! The bacteria wasn’t evolving for the last 25 years along with its 56,000 generations!

Breaking News: Stem Cell Research

Adult stem cell research is providing opportunities to treat people with a various  diseases and conditions.  In 2010, a man’s ankle refused to heal so the doctor took  bone marrow from the man’s pelvic bone with a needle, condensed it to about four teaspoons of rich red liquid, and injected that into his ankle. Four months later, the ankle was healed!

Since 2000, there has been great controversy over stem cell research namely embryonic stem cells which is mainly left-wing  ideology that blamed former President Bush for denying treatments rather than where the science goes. Embryonic stem cells are taken from a developing embryo at the blastocyst stage, destroying the embryo, a developing human life.

Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are found in all tissues of the growing human being and, according to latest reports, also have the potential to transform themselves into practically all other cell types, or revert to being stem cells with greater reproductive capacity.  Here is some of the latest research concerning stem cells…

How often have you donated or seen money raised for muscular dystrophy? Has there been any progress recently? Well yes there has been!

In phys.org…

“The research, published today in Cell Stem Cell, outlines the strategy for the development of a rapidly dividing population of skeletal myogenic progenitor cells (muscle-forming cells) derived from induced pluripotent (iPS) cells. iPS cells have all of the potential of embryonic stem (ES) cells, but are derived by reprogramming skin cells. They can be patient-specific, which renders them unlikely to be rejected, and do not involve the destruction of embryos.”

“Upon transplantation into mice suffering from muscular dystrophy, human skeletal myogenic progenitor cells provided both extensive and long-term muscle regeneration which resulted in improved muscle function,” the article said.

In North Carolina  School of Medicine, they had discovered that embryonic stem cells will commit suicide rather than risk DNA damage! Bax is a protein that is responsible for causing cell death.

In phys.org…

“Of all the important things our bodies’ cells do, staying alive is clearly key. But a cell’s ability to die when something goes wrong is equally critical. For example, a faulty self-destruct button is one factor that allows cancer cells to proliferate unchecked and cause tumors.”

“Deshmukh and his colleagues discovered stem cells are extremely sensitive to DNA damage, which can be caused by factors like chemicals, radiation or viruses. The experiment showed that virtually 100 percent of human embryonic stem cells treated with a DNA-damaging drug killed themselves within 5 hours, as compared to 24 hours for other types of cells.”

There had been concerned over iPS stem cells but techniques for inducing pluripotent stem cells from tissues (iPS) continue to improve.

“Our results show that human iPS cells accrue genetic changes at about the same rate as any replicating cells, which we don’t feel is a cause for concern,” says Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D., a professor of medicine and oncology, and a member of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.

“Each time a cell divides, it has the chance to make errors and incorporate new genetic changes in its DNA, Cheng explains. Some genetic changes can be harmless, but others can lead to changes in cell behavior that may lead to disease and, in the worst case, to cancer.”

Great research continues to progress with adult stem cells, the craziness of promoting ES back in 2000 to the present day were wrong.  If If iPS cells or other adult stem cells do better with fewer problems and no moral concerns, why is there a dispute?

Scientists Claim: They Performed Evolution

Geneticists are in the process of engineering molecules which is great science, but when scientists alter molecules which is not found in nature, are they performing evolution which is a mindless unguided process or intelligent design? Is there any evidence for evolution in the experiment?

The abstract in the paper goes like this…

Genetics provides a mechanism for molecular memory and thus the basis for Darwinian evolution. It involves the storage and propagation of molecular information and the refinement of that information through experience and differential survival. Heretofore, the only molecules known to be capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution were RNA and DNA, the genetic molecules of biology. But on page 341 of this issue, Pinheiro et al. (1) expand the palette considerably.”

“They report six alternative genetic polymers that can be used to store and propagate information; one of these was made to undergo Darwinian evolution in response to imposed selection constraints. The work heralds the era of synthetic genetics, with implications for exobiology, biotechnology, and understanding of life itself. “

Here the paper uses circular reasoning, “Genetics provides a mechanism for molecular memory and thus the basis for Darwinian evolution.” There was no observation of nature selecting the defined structures nor the targets, nor the aptamers! It was an international team of scientists who did the selecting! Not only that but their altered molecules “remains relatively inefficient.” unnatural or designed by scientists are poor polymerase substrates at full substitution.

Molecular memory is not a demonstration of evolution rather it’s an assumption of the data.  Scientists invented their own selection strategy which they call  “compartmentalized self-tagging.”  

The conclusion of the paper says…

Our work establishes strategies for the replication and evolution of synthetic genetic polymers not found in nature, providing a route to novel sequence space. The capacity of synthetic polymers for both heredity and evolution also shows that DNA and RNA are not functionally unique as genetic materials.”

“The methodologies developed herein are readily applied to other nucleic acid architectures and have the potential to enable the replication of genetic polymers of increasingly divergent chemistry, structural motifs, and physicochemical properties, as shown here by the acid resistance of HNA aptamers (fig. S17). Thus, aspects of the correlations between chemical structure, evolvability, and phenotypic diversity may become amenable to systematic study. Such “synthetic genetics” — that is, the exploration of the informational, structural, and catalytic potential of synthetic genetic polymers — should advance our understanding of the parameters of chemical information encoding and provide a source of ligands, catalysts, and nanostructures with tailor-made chemistries for applications in biotechnology and medicine.”

Other media makes wild claims that this experiment produces a more understanding about the origin of life which is nothing more than presupposes the existence of DNA. Because without DNA along with its specified information, and proteins to build DNA, nothing happens! Unless scientists are observing this in nature without their tinkering around, this is not evolution rather they are tinkering with something that was intelligently designed by God.  Even if evolution was true, just because it was done in a lab, doesn’t mean nature does it and altering molecules in a lab is not a demonstration on how evolution works rather just like evolution itself, it’s a man-made up story about the experiment.