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!

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!

Is It Possible To Resurrect Proteins From The Dead?

No, this isn’t Jesus resurrecting from the dead, that is a separate but factual issue however, in a recent publication we noticed some secular scientists making claims that ancient proteins (assumed to be four billion years old) can be brought back to life!

Live Science puts it this way…

Researchers have reconstructed the structure of 4-billion-year-old proteins.”

“The primeval proteins, described today (Aug. 8) in the journal Structure, could reveal new insights about the origin of life, said study co-author José Manuel Sanchez Ruíz, a physical chemist at the University of Granada in Spain.”

Exactly how life emerged on Earth more than 3 billion years ago is a mystery. Some scientists believe that lightning struck the primordial soup in ammonia-rich oceans, producing the complex molecules that formed the precursors to life. Others believe that chemical reactions at deep-sea hydrothermal vents gave rise to cell membranes and simple cellular pumps. And still others believe that space rocks brought the raw ingredients for life — or perhaps even life itself — to Earth.”

“But it’s difficult to recreate events that happened so far in the distant past.”

The BBC news put it this way…

“The resurrected protein is thought to have existed almost four billion years ago in single-celled organisms linked to the earliest ancestor of all life.”

Neo-Darwinism relies on gradualism which relies on nature being flexible in a step by step by a non-intelligent process. However, sooner or later nature always comes into conflict with Neo-Darwinism as the researchers found out…

“Prof Eric Gaucher of Georgia Tech, US, helped with the ancestral gene sequence reconstruction and commented: “A gene can become deactivated by as few as one or two mutations.”

Only one or two mutations (errors in the genetic code), talk about something very incompatible with the theory of evolution! Where is the flexibility that is supposed to be the law of nature? To answer such a question, they theorize there must have been a “discrete” jump where it wouldn’t be observable through gradual pathways because it went by so fast like it was traveling at the speed of light.

Another thing, shouldn’t this ancient fossil, assumed to be billions of years old, be much simpler rather than complex, possessing all these functions? Is that how evolution works from simple cells to more complex? The BBC really goes off the deep end by invoking science fiction that was popular long before man landed on the moon by claiming thioredoxin had emerge on Mars and was transported by meteorites because they believe in the early years of earth that Mars was more “flexible” for life than earth was. Even though no life on Mars has been found neither has elements to sustain life been ever found!

Before scientists speculate and tell us or debate what they believe about origins of life, they first must understand what life is first as pointed out by NASA’s magazine

“If we ever hope to identify life elsewhere in the universe, we need to understand what separates living creatures from non-living matter. A working definition lately used by NASA is that “life is a self-sustaining system capable of Darwinian evolution.” 

Evolutionists have never created life in a lab, let alone know how electricity from the sky causes life in a pond full of simple non-living chemicals. It is not science to make various claims because we observe very highly designed complex cells so they emerged somehow in an unseen ancestor. We have observed a functioning that cell requires to have all its parts working correctly at once to remain a functioning cell as evolutionist, Wilhelm Huck even points out! So was it a “discrete” miracle in evolution?

Science is supposed to be about observable, testable, and repeatable events rather than scientists telling us what they believe could have happened in a supposed billions of years time frame. And the cell wasn’t resurrected from the dead like the BBC claimed. I don’t blame them for wanting a “time machine” to observe the distant past, they would have learned a great deal on how the earth was intelligently designed.

Evolution Observed Using Intelligent Design?

Breaking news, various media outlets report that what was expected to occur within billions of years, happened in a lab in just 60 days without “mystical complexity or a lot of the things that people have hypothesized — special genes, a huge genome, very unnatural conditions,” said evolutionary biologist Michael Travisano of the University of Minnesota, co-author of a study that was published on Jan. 17, 2012.

Evolutionists believe multicellular life forms evolved from single-celled ones but are unable to explain how single cells could unlearn the selfishness that is required for survival and learn to work as a team.  Also a very important aspect that is used quite often to measure evolution is called fitness.  This is also  important to use in determining the value of this particular experiment.

The subject of the experiment was yeast. In Wired, the experiment went like this…

“Once per day they shook the flasks, removed yeast that most rapidly settled to the bottom, and used it to start new cultures. Free-floating yeast were left behind, while yeast that gathered in heavy, fast-falling clumps survived to reproduce.”

“Within just a few weeks, individual yeast cells still retained their singular identities, but clumped together easily. At the end of two months, the clumps were a permanent arrangement. Each strain had evolved to be truly multicellular, displaying all the tendencies associated with “higher” forms of life: a division of labor between specialized cells, juvenile and adult life stages, and multicellular offspring.”

The authors admitted that this was not “natural selection” at work,  “by selecting for yeast cells or clusters that settled most quickly.”  Their reasoning for the lab experiment was this was give them knowledge on how this could have worked in the distant past. They have the idea if they can perform it in the lab, nature could surely do it also. A problem with that is, this is how they would accomplished it in the lab but how do that know that this is how nature would accomplish the same task in the real world?

So during the experiment the scientists would select to keep only the large clusters that sank to the bottom, then select the best snowflake-formers to survive and reproduce.

Remember evolution is measured in terms of “fitness” so how fit were the artificially produced ones from the originals? Michael Behe comments on the research with this…

“… Examination showed that the fast-sedimenting cells formed clusters due to incomplete separation of replicating mother-daughter cells.

“The cell clusters also were 10% less fit (that’s quite an amount) than the beginning cells in the absence of the sedimentation selection. After further selection it was seen that some cells in clusters would “commit suicide” (apoptosis), which apparently made the clusters more brittle and allowed chunks to break off and form new clusters. (The beginning cells already had the ability to undergo apoptosis.)”

The experiment fails the fitness factor, the yeast became less fit than the originals. Also how could it be called evolution in general when the yeast could form snowflake clusters before any selected pressure was applied to them? In other words, no new ability, they were the same snowflake clusters producers throughout the process. No new information had evolved in the lab and when you take into account the failed measure of fitness, the breaking news was just all hype.