Corrupted Chemical Communication Causes Disease | The Institute for Creation Research
Corrupted Chemical Communication Causes Disease

By Brian Thomas, M. S. and Christine Dao*

Broken communication seems to be the cause of many diseases, not bad bacteria, according to research from the University of Wisconsin. Microbiologist Margaret McFall-Ngai and her colleagues have recently uncovered hundreds of genes that are responsible for coding chemicals that communicate between host organisms and bacteria. What they have found is a failure to communicate.1

The researchers observed that the same genes are involved in both healthy and unhealthy communications between bacteria and their hosts. If the host’s genes remain the same, then why are their body tissue reactions to bacteria sometimes different?

The answer lies in the very specific way that host organisms and bacteria interact. When the host cannot recognize that bacteria are beneficial, an immune response occurs and disease ensues. As Dr. McFall-Ngai concluded in a 2004 study, the host organism’s “interpretation of these bacterial signal molecules…can either lead to inflammation and disease or to the establishment of a mutually beneficial animal-microbe association.”2

The recent study refined this understanding of host-bacteria interaction. “These [communication] pathways and these molecules are likely to be 'symbiosis' pathways more than 'anti-pathogen,' ” Dr. McFall-Ngai stated.1 In other words, it seems the cellular communication pathways’ original purpose was not for defense against bacteria but for mutually beneficial bacteria-host interactions. However, they no longer function properly. So, some diseases—such as certain bacterial infections—are the result of garbled chemical communication.

The idea that the human-bacteria relationship was once engineered to be mutually beneficial (i.e., “very good”3) but subsequently broke down is consistent with a sin-plagued world as described in the Bible.4 Also, miscommunication at the cellular level reflects the broken communication between the Creator and His estranged creation. This broken relationship, however, was addressed in the form of Christ the Creator, who “was wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities” so that “with his stripes we are healed”5 when we believe on Him.6

References

  1. Symbiotic microbes induce profound changes in their hosts. University of Wisconsin-Madison News release, July 28, 2008, reporting on a study published in the August 12, 2008, edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (32): 11323-11328. 
  2. Koropatnick, T. A. et al. 2004. Microbial Factor-Mediated Development in a Host-Bacterial Mutualism. Science. 306 (5699): 1186.
  3. Genesis 1:31.
  4. Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 5:12; Romans 8:22.
  5. Isaiah 53:5.
  6. John 3:16.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer; Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor.

Article posted on August 26, 2008.

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...