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Darwin’s got the flu, a wimpy asteroid, CSI: Ice Age, and more!
Swine flu—both the virus itself and the associated paranoia—seems to be sweeping the world. Is it evolution in action?
The widely taught model of dinosaur extinction doesn’t line up with the latest fossil findings.
The preserved baby woolly mammoth shows that it died in an “oxygen-deprived environment” that “prevented decay and kept it intact.” Catastrophic processes, perhaps?
The mammoth, discovered last year in Russia, appears to have been only three to four months old when it died. CT scans conducted in Japan produced 3-D images of the mammoth’s internal organs, giving researchers their best information to date about the internal structure of mammoths.
What’s intriguing is how the mammoth appears to have perished. “The last movements of the trunk and its last breathing was bringing a lot of silt inside,” explains researcher Alexei Tikhonov of the mammoth’s death. National Geographic News’s James Owen writes, “It’s thought the Ice Age mammal met its end suddenly, when it drowned in a river or a lake, as its trunk, mouth, and digestive tract contained large amounts of mud.”
This certainly fits the scenario for how a catastrophic flood could drown and bury animals in sediments. Of course, because this mammoth was found at the top of the sedimentary layers (actually in permafrost), it would have been the result of a local flood some time after Noah’s Flood, presumably during the Ice Age. Alternatively, this mammoth may have simply been caught in a bog and unable to escape (again, during the Ice Age).
Look to AnswersInGenesis.org early next week for a more detailed review of the baby mammoth.
Scientists have built a molecular system that “evolves” in the lab. But like other such systems that have gone before it, this doesn’t prove Darwin.
Week after week, we’ve been reporting on breakthroughs in non-embryonic stem cell research—breakthroughs that show the superior viability of such life-honoring medical treatments.
In this case, the breakthrough concerns the process through which scientists convert adult body cells into so-called pluripotent stem cells, able to grow into many types of human tissue.
Previously, the process required the use of viruses to insert genetic material into the adult stem cells to activate the pluripotency. Of course, even to a layman that sounds dangerous; furthermore, there was medical fear that this method may trigger cancer in the implanted stem cells.
The breakthrough was the result of work by Scripps Research Institute chemist Sheng Ding, who—along with colleagues—figured out how to insert the necessary transcription factors without using a virus. The team experimented on mice cells and in live mice, demonstrating that the resulting stem cells are fully pluripotent.
While the method is less efficient than using viruses, the risks should be much lower. The researchers also caution that the method will have to be tested in humans.
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, 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!