"A major question in developmental biology is, How do cells know where they are in the body? For example, skin cells on the scalp know to produce hair, and the skin cells on the palms of the hand know not to make hair." Significant progress on this question is published in PloS Genetics. "By comparing cells from 43 unique positions that finely map the entire human body, the authors discovered that cells utilize a ZIP-code system to identify the cell's position in the human body." Just as a zip code has been designed to inform human users of positional information (postal addresses), the developing organism has just such a system to orchestrate its own construction. The authors comment: "A particularly attractive and distinctive feature of the positional identity model is the parsimonious use of molecular entities to construct the system, leading to universality of the coordinate system."
There are some massive challenges here for neodarwinists to offer any coherent thoughts on the origin of such an information-rich system. This is yet another case of research leading to the uncovering of deeper and deeper levels of complex specified information that is best understood by reference to purposeful intelligent design.
Furthermore, there are important questions about where these positional identity markers come from. It is a characteristic of all cells in an organism that they exhibit genomic equivalence. An inference can be made that activating particular "zip codes" requires information external to the DNA of the organism. This suggests a significant epigenetic input during development. In their discussion, the authors write: "the organization of differentiated fibroblasts based on superimposed positional gene expression patterns strongly implicates epigenetic mechanisms that stably specify fibroblast differentiation."
Neodarwinism has locked itself into the dogma that DNA is the key to life. They approach cell biology, developmental biology and evolutionary biology from within this paradigm. However, every time we find indications that information resides outside the DNA of the cell, the neodarwinist model becomes increasingly outdated. Interestingly, ID biologists have identified this as an important area for research, which is yet another indication that ID has much to offer the biological community.
Anatomic Demarcation by Positional Variation in Fibroblast Gene Expression Programs
John L. Rinn, Chanda Bondre, Hayes B. Gladstone, Patrick O. Brown, Howard Y. Chang.
PLoS Genet 2(7): e119 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020119
Synopsis: A major question in developmental biology is, How do cells know where they are in the body? For example, skin cells on the scalp know to produce hair, and the skin cells on the palms of the hand know not to make hair. Overall, there are thousands of different cell types and each has a unique job that is important to overall organ function. It is critical that, as we grow and develop, each of these different cells passes on the proper function from generation to generation to maintain organ function. In this study, the authors present a model that explains how cells know where they are in the body. By comparing cells from 43 unique positions that finely map the entire human body, the authors discovered that cells utilize a ZIP-code system to identify the cell's position in the human body. The ZIP code for Stanford is 94305, and each digit hones in on the location of a place in the United States; similarly, cells know their location by using a code of genes. For example, a cell on the hand expresses a set of genes that locate the cell on the top half of the body (anterior) and another set of genes that locates the cell as being far away from the body or distal and a third set of genes that identifies the cell on the outside of the body (not internal). Thus, each set of genes narrows in on the cell's location, just like a ZIP code. These findings have important implications for the etiology of many diseases, wound healing, and tissue engineering.
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Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at