A New Technique for Pluripotent Stem Cells | The Institute for Creation Research
A New Technique for Pluripotent Stem Cells

Stem cell treatments have proven successful for many diseases, and there is great promise that new treatments will emerge to combat even more maladies. These successful treatments involve inserting correctly functioning stem cells into tissues where native mutated cells have caused disease.

Researchers have typically used viruses to deliver specific genes to cells during the conversion of ordinary skin cells into pluripotent stem cells, which are able to differentiate into a variety of tissue types. These genes cause the cells to wind back their clocks from “differentiated” skin back to “undifferentiated,” or undecided, cells. But using viruses increases the risk of cancer and other side effects.

Now, scientists have successfully delivered the “clock-reversing” genes using a new technique that uses a transposon instead of a virus. Transposons are segments of DNA that have the ability to cut out and then splice into different, but usually specified, places on chromosomes. They are one of the many gene-shuffling mechanisms that God placed into living organisms to give them the potential for rapid variation (even in just one generation!). In many cases, this variation has increased the survival chances of those with a combination of genetic elements that can produce descendents that best fit their environment.

With the results of this new research, yet another reason for God to have implanted transposons is possible: He foreknew their potential to combat disease. As mutations build up over generations, incidences of illness increase. It is conceivable that the Creator God would manifest His grace by providing transposons to use in medicine. In this way, not only is the risk of cancer reduced, but so is the need to destroy unborn humans by harvesting embryonic stem cells.

Reference

  1. Hirschler, B. Researchers find safer way to make stem cells. Reuters, March 2, 2009.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on March 16, 2009.

The Latest
ACTS & FACTS
Abound in This Grace
One of the strongest exhortations for Christian giving is found in Paul’s encouragement to the believers in Corinth. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul...

APOLOGETICS
Food Web Ecology Corroborates Scripture
Real-world ecology supports the Bible’s trustworthiness. Accordingly, how creatures get and use food matches how Scripture describes our world.1-3 Food...

ACTS & FACTS
Leviathan: Legend, Croc, or Something Else?
In Job 41, God points Job’s attention to a terrifying animal called leviathan. It’s clear this was a real creature, but what was it? Bible...

ACTS & FACTS
Why Mosquitoes Attack: Mystery Solved
It’s late evening. You’re relaxing on the backyard deck when suddenly they find you. Mosquitoes! One way they locate you is by tracking...

DISCOVERY CENTER
ICR Discovery Center's First Anniversary Celebration!
The ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History recently celebrated the first anniversary of its grand opening. To commemorate this milestone,...

ACTS & FACTS
New Testament Upholds Created Kind Stasis
The opening chapter of Genesis makes a significant and scientifically accurate statement concerning the fixity of created kinds. During the creation...

ACTS & FACTS
An Old Friend Came Home
Years ago, an attendee at an ICR Back to Genesis seminar approached me with a fossil he and his daughter had found while on a hike in Washington State....

ACTS & FACTS
Lava Flows Disqualify Lake Spillover Canyon Theory
There has been considerable debate among scientists over the origin of Grand Canyon. We all agree it was formed by the removal of some 1,000 cubic miles...

RESEARCH
ICR Paleoclimate Research Continues
Because the Genesis Flood caused the Ice Age,1 studies of Earth's past climate, or paleoclimatology, have long been a focus of the Institute...

ACTS & FACTS
Casting the Vision
Each workday morning, the Institute for Creation Research staff meets for a time of devotion and prayer. Dr. Brian Thomas recently led our group and...