Friday, July 30, 2010

ASC Production

An interesting article from Science Daily:
"Now, for the first time, MIT researchers have shown that they can deliver those same reprogramming genes using RNA"

Friday, July 23, 2010

ESC Research

An article at Science Daily on the state of ESC research:
"Dr. Denis Evseenko... placed human embryonic stem cells into culture and, after three or four days, found a small subset of the cells that had lost a key cell surface marker characteristic of the pluripotent state and had gained a new marker that is a hallmark of mesodermal cells"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ASC and Heart Attacks

Encouraging news from Science Daily on combining stem cells (presumably adult) and genetic engineering in rats:
"the researchers observed significant improvements in blood pressure function in the rats implanted with scaffolds seeded with stem cells modified to overproduce Akt1, SDF-1 and HGF"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Glenn Beck on the Atonement

I've started following James White's ministry (Dividing Line). On a recent podcast, he mentioned Glenn Beck giving a presentation on the atonement (on Fox News channel, no less!).

This was too bizarre for words. Here we have a (self-described) Mormon, on a politically slanted news channel, presenting the heart of Christian theology! And doing a better job than many preachers on TBN!

Now Beck's main point is the bad (liberation) theology of James Cone. There's so much bad stuff there, it's easy to find the target.

But Beck nails it in one:
"And when it comes to salvation, how about the concept of grace? Saved by grace. You cannot earn your way into Heaven. There is no deed, no random act of kindness, no amount of money to spread around to others that earns you a trip to heaven. It's by God's grace alone that you are saved. Now, that doesn't mean you aren't supposed to do works and deeds — 'faith without works is dead.' Our work is a demonstration of our faith." (emphasis added)
Odd times indeed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

ASC Research

An interesting article from Science Daily on using adult stem cells to investigate Parkinson's disease:
"iPS cells provide new and exciting opportunities to grow and study dopamine neurons from patients for the first time"

Friday, July 16, 2010

ASC Supply

An interesting story from Science Daily on growing adult stem cells in hydrogel.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

ESC and Tumors

From Science Daily:
"Using small molecule compounds that inhibit this pathway, the scientists were able to dramatically reduce the potential of embryonic stem cells to form teratomas [unusual tumors]."
So, we have scientists using human embryonic stem cells (putting them into mice)- in an attempt to figure out how to deal with problems caused by ESC.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

ASC and Leukemia

Somewhat related to a previous article...
From Science Daily:
"blood stem cells are collected from a donor and then infused into the patient where they travel to the bone marrow and begin to produce new blood cells"
"After treatment with alloSCT, more than 40 percent of participants with this otherwise fatal disease enjoyed long-term freedom from relapse."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


What I like most about Doug Wilson is that he takes his theology seriously. He wants to be totally consistent, and apply Biblical thinking to every aspect of life.

Of course, I disagree strongly with him in certain aspects of theology, most particularly postmillenialism.

There is a really good point here:
"I believe that Christian republics and commonwealths are formed by preaching, baptizing, and discipleship, and not by campaigning, legislating, pundit-blogging, and so on. This gospel work will have political results, but it is not politically established. "

But let's go back to Wilson's question:
"Christians who argue for a secular public square are caught on the horns of a dilemma. Either Jesus wants this or He doesn't. Or maybe He doesn't care."
Let's look at John 18:36
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
That's a pretty strong statement. Of course, this is before the resurrection and Pentecost.
Acts 1:6-7
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."
Wilson is caught on the phrase "disciple the nations" (Matthew 28:19). Interesting, that phrase is not in the other Gospels (Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Luke 24:47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.").

The word "nations" is ethnos, which refers to people - not constitutions or laws. Mark uses kosmos ("world").

Saturday, July 3, 2010


A chilling story from Albert Mohler:
"Abortion, which she [Antonia Senior] acknowledges is the killing of a human life, is defined as 'a lesser evil' than the curtailing of abortion rights in the name of liberating women."
I won't repeat the story here (I encourage you to read it at Mohler's site, if you can stomach it), I am interested in the theology of the thing.

I am reminded of the recent story on ultrasound. This great technology has allowed many to literally see that the unborn child really is a child. However, it is not sufficient to turn the tide against abortion (indeed, it is now used for sex selection abortion).

In this story, we hear about how much one's views can be changed by becoming a parent. But not enough to turn from the idol of abortion.

The statement that struck me the most is:
"If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too"
An odd phraseology, which I can't recall having been put forward as a serious argument before (it does make a nice catch phrase for Duke Nuke'm).

Of course, the underlying feeling many would agree with: the ultimate test of one's values is what you will kill for. In our society, we kill those who are threats - through war or the death penalty (police shooting armed suspects, etc.). To some extent this is necessary, lest society be overrun by barbarians.

But, as Christians (and I think this is a key problem for postmillenials), our ultimate values lie in heaven. We are perfectly capable of having things worth dying for - and not worth killing for (Matthew 10:28).

Friday, July 2, 2010

ASC and Sepsis

An encouraging article from Science Daily:
"Six hours after inducing the infection, approximately half the mice were given an intravenous injection of mouse mesenchymal stem cells, while the other half received a control injection of a salt solution. Both groups of animals also received antibiotics, which is the standard treatment for sepsis in the clinic. After five days, 50 per cent of the animals that received the cells were alive, compared to just 15 per cent of the control animals"
"About a quarter of patients with severe sepsis die... To achieve approximately 70 per cent reduction in mortality is pretty remarkable, even in a mouse model" (quoting two of the researchers there)