News to Note, May 19, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on May 19, 2012

Khirbet Qeiyafa Science standards: The Next Generation Primitive pollinator Biological corkscrew Stone soup

1. Fortress Represents Jewish Challenge

Impressive fortress at Khirbet Qeiyafa likely represents the Jewish challenge to Philistine power 3,000 years ago.

2. Influencing Next Generation Science Standards

You are invited to influence the Next Generation Science Standards.

3. Tiny Insects Pollinated Plants in Dinosaur Era

Tiny insects pollinated plants in the “age of the dinosaurs.”

4. Secret of Self-Propelled Corkscrew Revealed

Secret of self-propelled cyanobacterium’s internal corkscrew unveiled.

5. Primordial Soup Remains Lifeless

The stone starter for a nourishing primordial soup remains as lifeless as ever.

And Don’t Miss …

  • “A significant step forward in using pluripotent stem cells to repair and replace bone tissue” reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that it may be possible to “grow compact bone in quantities large enough to repair centimeter-sized defects.” The actual study was conducted using human embryonic stem cells but in order to avoid the tumors that are “consistently observed when undifferentiated hESCs are implanted,” the mouse immune systems were suppressed. The bone grafts were grown on scaffolds that guided development and then transplanted into the immunodeficient mice where they continued to produce healthy bone for 8 weeks. Knowing that the new scaffolds are able to successfully guide the pluripotent cells in bone formation, lead author Dr. Darja Marolt is developing technology to use induced pluripotent stem cells to grow bone grafts in patients with traumatic injuries and birth defects. The induced pluripotent stem cells can be produced from a patient’s own cells and therefore should avoid problems of graft rejection. This bone graft engineering technology will represent another therapeutic opportunity to use a patient’s own stem cells, thus avoiding potential immune system problems. There is no need to destroy innocent human life to make this treatment available for patients. In fact, despite headlines hailing the success of embryonic stem cells in this laboratory’s research, the embryonic stem cells have proven impractical for therapeutic use due to their tendency to form tumors.
  • Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul drew criticism from gay activists, conservatives, and political allies when he tried to make a witty comment about President Obama’s declaration in favor of “gay” marriage. (See News to Note, May 12, 2012 for last week’s discussion.) Proponents of gay marriage naturally objected, and some conservatives felt the issue is too serious to warrant a humorous sound bite. But Senator Paul’s serious comments on the issue deserve more attention. Like us, Senator Paul, who came to office last year, found President Obama’s assertion that his views favoring legal recognition of gay marriage were based on the biblical “golden rule” quite a stretch. Then Senator Paul offered some genuine biblical thinking. He said, “Now that doesn’t mean we have to be harsh and mean and hate people. We understand sin and if we believe it’s a sin ... then people sin. We’re not out there preaching some sort of hateful dogma against people. But that doesn’t mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions. We’ve got 6,000 years of tradition.” The senator’s words remind us that we all are sinners, that God hates sin but loves sinners, and that we are to imitate Him. The senator’s words also reflect the biblical truth that the true foundation of marriage—as established by the Creator of all about 6,000 years ago—is found in the book of Genesis.

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Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn’t catch last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.