SCIENTISTS BUILD DNA FROM SCRATCH TO ALTER LIFE’S BLUEPRINT

Scientists have long been able to make specific changes in the DNA code. Now, they’re taking the more radical step of starting over, and building redesigned life forms from scratch. Boeke, a researcher at New York University, directs an international team of 11 labs on four continents working to “rewrite” the yeast genome, following a detailed plan they published in March.

I wonder how God views man’s efforts to be the Creator. Is this another “end time” indicator?

Scientists build DNA from scratch to alter life's blueprintNYU School of Medicine Professor Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Jef D. Boeke speaks during an interview in his office at the Alexandria Centre for Life Sciences in New York.
Their work is part of a bold and controversial pursuit aimed at creating custom-made DNA codes to be inserted into living cells to change how they function, or even provide a treatment for diseases. It could also someday help give scientists the profound and unsettling ability to create entirely new organisms.

The genome is the entire genetic code of a living thing. Learning how to make one from scratch, Boeke said, means “you really can construct something that’s completely new.”

The research may reveal basic, hidden rules that govern the structure and functioning of genomes. But it also opens the door to life with new and useful characteristics, like microbes or mammal cells that are better than current ones at pumping out medications in pharmaceutical factories, or new vaccines. The right modifications might make yeast efficiently produce new biofuels, Boeke says.

Also on the horizon is redesigning human DNA. That’s not to make genetically altered people, scientists stress. Instead, the synthetic DNA would be put into cells, to make them better at pumping out pharmaceutical proteins, for example, or perhaps to engineer stem cells as a safer source of lab-grown tissue and organs for transplanting into patients.

Some have found the idea of remaking human DNA disconcerting, and scientists plan to get guidance from ethicists and the public before they try it.

Still, redesigning DNA is alarming to some. Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University, a bioethicist who’s been following the effort, is concerned about making organisms with “properties we cannot fully know.” And the work would disturb people who believe creating life from scratch would give humans unwarranted power, she said.

“It is not only a science project,” Zoloth said in an email. “It is an ethical and moral and theological proposal of significant proportions.”

Rewritten DNA has already been put to work in viruses and bacteria. Australian scientists recently announced that they’d built the genome of the Zika virus in a lab, for example, to better understand it and get clues for new treatments.

At Harvard University, Jeffrey Way and Pamela Silver are working toward developing a harmless strain of salmonella to use as a vaccine against food poisoning from salmonella and E. coli, as well as the diarrhea-causing disease called shigella.

A key goal is to prevent the strain from turning harmful as a result of picking up DNA from other bacteria. That requires changing its genome in 30,000 places.

“The only practical way to do that,” Way says, “is to synthesize it from scratch.”

The cutting edge for redesigning a genome, though, is yeast. Its genome is bigger and more complex than the viral and bacterial codes altered so far. But it’s well-understood and yeast will readily swap man-made DNA for its own.

 

Last year, Boeke and others announced a separate effort, what is now called Genome Project-write or GP-write . It is chiefly focused on cutting the cost of building and testing large genomes, including human ones, by more than 1,000-fold within 10 years. The project is still seeking funding.

In the meantime, leaders of GP-write have started discussions of ethical, legal and social issues. And they realize the idea of making a human genome is a sensitive one.

“The notion that we could actually write a human genome is simultaneously thrilling to some and not so thrilling to others,” Boeke said. “So we recognize this is going to take a lot of discussion.”

 

WHAT IS THE MOST COMPLEX COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE?

The human genome is the most complex computer operating system anywhere in the known universe.

It controls a super-complex biochemistry that acts with single-molecule precision. It controls the interaction network of hundreds of thousands of proteins. It is a wonderful testament to the creative brilliance of God and an excellent example of the scientific bankruptcy of neo-Darwinian theory. Why? Because the more complex life is, the less tenable evolutionary theory becomes. Super-complex machines cannot be tinkered with haphazardly or they will break. And super-complex machines do not arise from random changes.

The four dimensional human genome defies naturalistic explanations.

Our computer programs are essentially one-dimensional. The human genome operates in four dimensions. This is one of the greatest testimonies to the creative brilliance of God available.

ecoli-bacterium-lge

Figure 1: A comparison of the control of transcription in E. Coli (left) with the Linux call graph (right). The bacterial cell is able to control many protein-coding genes (green lines at bottom) with relatively few controls (yellow and purple lines). Linux, while obviously a result of intelligent design, falls far short in that it requires many more high-level instructions to control relatively few outputs. From Yan et al. 2010.1

I am serious when I compare the genome to a computer operating system. The only problem with this analogy is that we have no computers that can compare to the genome in terms of complexity or efficiency. It is only on the most base level that the analogy works, but that is what makes the comparison so powerful. After millions of hours of writing and debugging we have only managed to create operating systems that can run a laptop or a server, and they crash, a lot. The genome, though, runs a hyper-complex machine called the human body. The organisation of the two are radically different as well. A team made up of computer scientists, biophysicists, and experts in bioinformatics (in other words, really smart people) compared the genome of the lowly E. coli bacterium to the Linux operating system (figure 1) and have discovered that our man-made operating systems are much less efficient because they are much more “top heavy”.1 It turns out that the bacterial genome has a few high-level instructions that control a few middle-level processes, that in turn control a massive number of protein-coding genes. Linux is the opposite. It is much more top heavy and thus much less efficient at getting things done. The bacterium can do a lot more with fewer controls. I predict that the study of genomics will influence the future development of computers.

This is very brief summary of the information contained in the DVD by Dr Robert Carter  The High Tech Cell. You need to get this valuable resource and I suggest you purchase a copy from the Creation Ministries webstore.

DEFEND THE BIBLE – GO ON THE OFFENSIVE

Looking for Answers pic

There is now so much evidence which proves the Bible is trustworthy that Christians properly equipped can go on the offensive rather than go on the defensive as so many do when challenged as to the veracity of Scripture’s claims.

The many fulfilled Bible prophesies, such as Isaiah’s prophesy that a Persian king would arise with the name Cyrus – around 150 years before the event occurred. Three hundred prophesies in the Old Testament (OT) of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus that all occurred exactly as prophesied.

In the field of archaeology, the Bible has been confirmed accurate by numerous archaeological discoveries. The Hittites were presumed to be a mythical tribe because no physical evidence had been found. That was until a huge ‘City of the Hittites was uncovered.  The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls as late as 1947 with an almost complete copy of Isaiah in which there are so many of the prophesies of Jesus life, death by crucifixion and resurrection. As a result, the Bible is regarded as “the most accurate history book in the world”(The Archaeology of the New Testament by E.M.Blaiklock). Considering this fact alone, one can logically assume that its other historical claims in Genesis such as a real Adam and Eve and a global Flood are also true.

In the New Testament (NT), scholars used to be skeptical about John’s description of the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, but archaeology showed that John’s description was accurate (which also proved that the gospel of John was authored by someone who had been in Jerusalem before the AD 70 destruction, which fits very well with the Apostle John being the author). John and all the NT authors – and even Jesus himself – believed and quoted from Genesis more than any other book in the Bible.

It is in the area of Genesis Creation where the rubber really hits the road, and where Creation Ministries has truly shone with evidence that recent discoveries particularly on DNA (Information Theory) and the function of cells have demonstrated the futility of evolution with its proposed mechanisms of natural selection and mutation. On their website http://www.creation.com there are almost 8,500 fully searchable articles you can access to equip you with answers to provide real seekers of the truth about God and Creation.

The Bible is trustworthy, including its claims about sin and salvation. Jesus is who he said He is. He is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus believed Genesis was true history then I suggest so should we.

MARRIAGE – becoming one flesh

Man + Woman God's Way

Sexual intimacy and bearing children result in becoming ‘one flesh’ through shared DNA

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. ”   Genesis 2:24

There is now good evidence to suggest that the immune tolerance generated in the woman by un-protected sex with her husband results in successful and complication-free pregnancy outcomes. This out-come has been linked not to coitus alone but to sperm exposure. The presence of sperm in the woman’s body  provides priming events for exposure to the female T cell lymphocytes resulting  in maternal immune tolerance to the paternal antigens. These T cell lymphocytes, thus reprogrammed, recognize the paternal antigens in the conceptus and facilitate implantation rather than attack the ‘foreign’ cells.

There is burgeoning medical literature demonstrating that a lack of immune tolerance has been linked with severe complications, including risk of miscarriage, preterm labour, pre-eclampsia, preterm rupture of membranes (mother’s water breaking prematurely), placenta abruption, intrauterine growth restriction ( a baby will not achieve normal weight and size), and HELLP syndrome (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes , and low platelets – a devastating disease described as a worse form of eclampsia). The significance of maternal immune intolerance is further illustrated by the higher risk of pre-eclampsia and miscarriage in pregnancies from in-vitro fertilization, or IVF.

It is not by accident that behaviours stated in Scripture to be sinful, such as adultery and fornication, are also unhealthy. many women know that their regular pap smears are designed to detect early changes in the cervical cells that may lead to cancer. But many ar e unaware that this disease is caused by a sexually transmitted virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV). Condoms do not protect against infection by this family of viruses. Notably where sexual partners commence a relationship while virgins, and remain together for life in an exclusive relationship, the woman;s risk of acquiring HPV and subsequently, cervical cancer is exceedingly low. The Oxford Textbook of Pathology states in this regard, that women are at higher risk of cervical cancer by: • having multiple partners • having a partner who has had multiple sexual partners • having sex at a young age.

The God who made us, and loves us, knows what is best for us, and He has provided us with His rule book – The Bible.

Extract from article, Becoming One Flesh by Dr Kathy Wallace, BA, BHSc Hons, BM BS, FRACGP             For complete article go to http://www.creation.com

 

A GOOD GOD & A WORLD OF DEATH & SUFFERING?

lambs

One of the most common questions asked of Christians is some version of: “If God is so loving, why are there bad things in the world?” The implication being that if God created this world in the state it is in, He can’t be ‘very good’ Himself. This is sometimes used as a reason to reject belief in God.

If God created everything in 6 days when exactly were ‘bad things’ created?

The first thing we need to understand is that God wasn’t surprised by the Fall of Adam. God is all knowing and so knew that a punishment would have to be meted out following Adam’s (and his offspring’s) rebellion.

According to Scripture, at the time of the Fall the environment changed and there were changes in the physical construction of some things as well. For example thorns appeared where there were none before. Some might ask ‘Doesn’t that mean God must have created new genetic information for these things at that time where there was none before?’ Not necessarily, because ‘hidden’ genetic information can lie dormant within living things and be activated under certain environmental conditions.

For example up to the 1920’s, scientists used to classify grasshoppers as a separate species to locusts. However, researchers have since determined that they are actually the same creature. Under certain (laboratory reproducible) circumstances they exhibit a sort of Jekyll/Hyde transformation that is truly startling!

Behavioural differences happen immediately at the transformation, with physical changes appearing in subsequent generations. The difference in behaviour (grasshoppers are solitary, locusts swarm), and morphology (locusts have smaller legs, wings and bodies but have a 30% larger brain than grasshoppers) is significant and changes neural, muscular and exo-skeletal expression. And the transformation from grasshopper to locust can also be reversed back again. Yet the DNA of the two creatures is identical.7

This ability for DNA to express different programming from the same source code under different environmental conditions is actually fairly common. The epigenetic code, a set of switches that turn genes on and off (e.g. in response to environmental stimuli) is a main contributor to this ability of the ‘finished product’ to vary despite the same DNA ‘instructions. This is known as ‘phenotypic plasticity’.

Not only is the discovery of latent genetic information an incredible challenge for evolution to account for, and a tremendous evidence of design (because it exhibits all of the characteristics of foresight and pre-planning in the genomes of creatures around the world), but it also helps answer the supposedly unanswerable question of how ‘bad things’ appeared after the Fall if God’s creation was completely finished by the end of the sixth day of creation.

God’s word is true

Foreknowing the Fall of man,9 God created the features of a post-Fall world in latent form within His very good world. They only became activated when God cursed the creation as punishment for Adam’s transgression. And the entire creation groans because of that Curse and is evidence that something is desperately wrong with this world. If God had not caused our physical environment to change at the time of the Fall, we would be lost without Him, bound for Hell but still in a virtual paradise. How would we know there was anything wrong and that we were in need of our Saviour

extract from article “The good, the bad and the ugly ….” by Calvin Smith on http://www.creation.com

 

Awesome Creator says Dr Yusdi Santoso

10396472-computer-artwork-showing-a-hand-and-double-stranded-dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid-molecules-dna-is-compo[1]

Dr Yusdi Santoso an Oxford PhD scientist whose research on DNA polymerase led to the discovery that, prior to proof reading, there is an additional process that screens the DNA letters before they are incorporated into the copy. Since defective screening leads to copying errors Dr Yusdi’s work may contribute to curing genetic diseases arising from inefficiencies in this process.

Only those people who have already decided to reject God, reject it is a miracle of design by an awesome designer outside the Matter/Space/Time Universe He created says, Dr Yusdi Santoso.

It is interesting that Francis Crick evolutionist, one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA and author of Life Itself: Its Origin & Nature admitted, “an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many conditions which would have to be satisfied to get it going”.

Can I recommend you take a look at the complete article “Oxford trained scientist acknowledges the Creator” in Creation magazine Vol. 36, No. 3 2014. Dominic Statham interviews biophysicist Dr Yusdi Santoso. It concludes with – Dr Santoso is adamant that the reality of God can be seen in creation: “The Bible tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 134:19) and I saw this clearly in much of my scientific work. My research into DNA polymerase, particularly, showed me just how complex life is. All this speaks of an awesome Creator.

Human Genome Decay supports Biblical History

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Recent reports on the human genome provide powerful support for the Biblical history of Creation and The Fall.

In his landmark book Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome, geneticist Dr John Sanford clearly demonstrates that human genomes are decaying at an unstoppable rate.

Dr Sanford became famous back in the seventies when he jointly invented the “Gene Gun” which enabled scientists to genetically modify fruit and vegetables.

An even more important development occurred with Sanford and colleagues release of a powerful computer simulation programme Mendel’s Accountant. It allows greater refinement in predicting the fate of mutations in populations and the results agree with Sanford’s earlier work. There are no realistic evolutionary models in the scientific literature that contradict these results. This overwhelming negative evidence clearly contradicts Darwinian expectations, but clearly and dramatically fits the Biblical record of Creation and The Fall.

‘The Darwinian claim – that life could have started with low fidelity self replicating molecules – is exposed as culpable foolishness. The ‘RNA world’ scenario collapses into error catastrophe so quickly it is scandalous that such nonsense can be taught as a realistic model of origin in our school and universities.”

This article was extracted from a paper in Journal of Creation Vol 28 (1) 2014:  Human genome decay and the origin of life by Alex Williams.

The book Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome can be obtained from http://www.creation.com

 

 

IS CONSENSUS SCIENCE, ANTI-SCIENCE?

Ben Stein Expelledignaz_semmelweis
Pictured is Dr Ignaz Semmelweis. He struggled against the scientific consensus of his day. The cost of ignoring his research findings was the loss of countless lives and much suffering.

Sadly consensus science has a poor record. In fact the task of science has nothing to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science on the contrary requires only one investigator who happens to be right.

Dr Ignaz Semmelweiss, a Hungarian surgeon, was one of those investigators who was right. He discovered that ‘childbed fever’ which typically caused a ten to thirty percent mortality level, could largely be abolished if doctors simply washed their hands in a chlorine solution before examining pregnant mothers.
The compelling evidence however failed to impress his superiors and he was eventually dismissed from the clinic even though the mortality rate for his patients was essentially zero. Semmelweis’s procedure went contrary to the whole theory of medical consensus existing in his day. He spent the last years of his life unsuccessfully trying to convince European doctors of his systems effectiveness. He ended his life in a mental hospital and his ideas forgotten until Dr Joseph Lister took up the battle this time successfully.
The story of Dr Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen is much the same. In 1795 he suggested that the fevers which were the number one killer of women following childbirth were an infectious process and he was able to prevent/cure them. The consensus said NO…. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right/same conclusion. These are but two of many examples of scientists resistance to accepting the truth when it conflicts with accepted dogma.

Evolution is also an entrenched dogma despite the overwhelming evidence for amazing design of life and the universe. Since the discovery of the complexity of  DNA (ENCODE PROJECT) and sub-microscopic cell machinery of irreducible complexity there is a growing number of eminent scientists embracing intelligent design.  Why the establishment is so wedded to materialism and evolutionary naturalism is perhaps best explained by Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist and probably one of the world’s leaders in promoting evolutionary biology.

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment , a commitment to materialism. It’s not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori  adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations no matter how counter- intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”

Dr Scott Todd, an immunologist from Kansas State University said it more succinctly: “Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.”

Evolution sheds no light on the beginning of the Universe and life. It postulates matter, energy and time brought this beautiful orderly Cosmos into being, with its intricate life forms, its complex natural laws, its intangible moral qualities and the creative and reasoning powers of man. Even Aristotle and Plato knew this speaks of infinite intelligence and yet evolution insists blind chance can account for it all. At a foundational level we are involved in a battle of world views.

Christians know God, so the idea that matter and energy and blind chance can produce the Cosmos we inhabit is absurd.

Recommended reading: By Design, Dr Jonathan Sarfati, The Design Inference, Dr William Dembski, The Edge of Evolution, Dr Michael Behe and of course  www.creation.com

Nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of design

Dr SanfordDr John Sanford

Almost all the early transgenic crops were transformed with the gene gun – especially corn and soybeans.

Dr John Sanford, a former Cornell University Professor, is well known in genetic engineering circles as the co-inventor of the ‘gene gun’ approach to genetic engineering of plants. This technology has had a major impact on agriculture around the world.                                                                                                                                                           

For Christians, Dr Sanford is a prime example of how the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit transforms our lives as we submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a democracy it’s a Kingdom. Jesus taught us to pray to our Heavenly Father, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
See what Dr Sanford has to say, “I came to believe in God but this still did not significantly change my intellectual outlook on origins. I accepted evolution. However thankfully, the Holy Spirit transformed my mind as I submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This included how I viewed science and history. I would not say science led me to the Lord which is the experience of some. Rather, I would just say that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see God as creator – I was blind and gradually I could see. On a personal level, this was a time of spiritual awakening, but professionally I remained ‘in the closet’. I felt the need to take a temporary leave from academia and institutional science because of the tension and enormous hostility I sensed from my academic colleagues. In the current intellectual climate to reject evolutionary theory has the appearance of rejecting science itself. This is totally upside down”.
Professor Sanford is back and he considers that whilst his ‘gene gun’ success was a special blessing, it only paved the way for his current work “which I consider much more important”.
His ground breaking book GENETIC ENTROPY and the MYSTERY of the GENOME traces the history of human genetic decline due to mutations in our DNA. The evidence is startling because it refutes conventional dates for alleged human evolution.
All of the problems with evolutionary theory as outlined in GENETIC ENTROPY and the MYSTERY of the GENOME have now been rigorously proven using numerical simulation by scientists, Dr John Baumgardner, Dr Wesley Brewer, Dr Paul Gibson and Walter ReMine M.S using ‘Mendel’s Accountant’, a state of the art computer analytical tool for genetic systems which they had developed.
1. Mutations arise faster than selection can eliminate them.
2. Mutations are overwhelmingly too subtle to be selectable.
3.”Biological noise” and “survival of the luckiest” overwhelm selection.
4. Bad mutations are physically linked to good mutations, so they cannot be separated in inheritance. The result is that all higher genomes degenerate. Genetic Entropy is no doubt the underlying mechanism explaining the extinction process (mutation accumulation).
These findings have been widely reported and Mendel’s Accountant is available for free download to assist any scientist interested in furthering knowledge in this field.
Dr Sanford’s second book outlining these findings “Genetic Entropy and Mendel’s Accountant is expected to be published shortly.
For more information on Dr John Sanford and to get a copy of his book visit http://www.creation.com

DNA & INFORMATION DEBUNKS EVOLUTION

ENCODE_logo

The ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Project proves beyond doubt that the Evolution inspired view that the human genome is mostly “junk DNA” is false.
Many evolutionists don’t like the findings. One blogged on Scientific American’s website that he doubted the death of junk DNA and complained about the “public damage” being caused by ENCODE publicity.
Damage to what? Surely not science? Atheism?
Giving three reasons why evolution requires lots of junk DNA, he concluded that the findings of ENCODE that 80% + (100% is likely) is functional must be wrong or misreported.
Junk DNA is dead and this blog only shows that evolution should die with it.
There are three fundamental theorems of information:
Theorem 1: The fundamental quantity information is a non material (mental) entity. It is not a property of matter so that purely material processes are fundamentally precluded as sources of information.
Theorem 2: Information only arises through an intentional, volitional act.
Theorem 3: Information comprises the nonmaterial foundation for all technological systems and for all works of art.
The greatest known density of information is that in the DNA of living cells exceeding by far the best achievement of highly integrated storage densities in computers.
Thousands of man-years of research as well as unprecedented technological developments were required to produce a Megabit chip, but we are expected to believe that the complex storage principles embodied in DNA, with their much higher degree of integration, developed spontaneously in matter which was left to itself.
Such a “theory” is, to say the least, absurd in the highest degree.
References:
Dazzling DNA by Dr Don Batten http://www.creation.com
In the Beginning was Information by Dr Werner Gitt Master Books 2007.