Biology Evolutionary biology Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

Natural Scaffolding Discovered

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Formation of “irreducibly complex systems” via purported scaffolding has been an ongoing debate amongst evolution and intelligent design theorists. Now a natural scaffolding has been discovered – and it may itself be part of another “irreducibly complex system”.

Sharma et al., discovered that natural fat works as a biological scaffold for “cells to grow and mature”. Then fascinatingly, “when the cells have matured into the desired tissue, they secrete another substance that breaks down and destroys the scaffold.”

Could the formation of this natural biological scaffold AND its subsequent removal form an irreducibly complex system? E.g. is such scaffolding essential or necessary to achieve a minimum growth rate? Could the secretion removing the scaffolding also be essential to trim function rather than being “bloated”? I expect this fat scaffolding/removal system will be found to be another irreducibly complex system which very efficiently reuses its materials.

See: Body fat may help us heal

. . .the sticky substance secreted by the cells. . . . derived from adipose cells—aka body fat—turned out to be a natural extracellular matrix, the very thing [Nagrath] was looking for.

Nagrath, who joined Rice in 2009, and his co-authors have since built a biological scaffold that allows cells to grow and mature. He hopes the new material, when suffused with stem cells, will someday be injected into the human body, where it can repair tissues of many types without fear of rejection. . . .

The basic idea is simple: Prompt fat cells to secrete what bioengineers call “basement membrane.” This membrane mimics the architecture tissues naturally use in cell growth, literally a framework to which cells attach while they form a network. When the cells have matured into the desired tissue, they secrete another substance that breaks down and destroys the scaffold.

Structures that support the growth of living cells into tissues are highly valuable to pharmaceutical companies for testing drugs in vitro. Companies commonly use Matrigel, a protein mixture secreted by mouse cancer cells, but for that reason it can’t be injected into patients.

“Fat is one thing that is in excess in the body. We can always lose it,” Nagrath said. The substance derived from the secretions, called Adipogel, has proven effective for growing hepatocytes, the primary liver cells often used for pharmaceutical testing. . . .

Once that goal is achieved, Adipogel may be just the ticket for transplanting cells to repair organs. “You can use this matrix as an adipogenic scaffold for stem cells and transplant it into the body where an organ is damaged. Then, we hope, these cells and the Adipogel can take over and improve their functionality.. . .”

My approach is to force the cells to secrete a natural matrix,” he said. That matrix is a honey-like gel that retains the natural growth factors, cytokines (substances that carry signals between cells) and hormones in the original tissue.

See See: Full news at R&D

See Article: Adipocyte-derived basement membrane extract with biological activity: applications in hepatocyte functional augmentation in vitro
Nripen S. Sharma, Deepak Nagrath, and Martin L. Yarmush
FASEB J..2010; 0: fj.09-135095v1 Published online before print March 16, 2010 as doi: 10.1096/fj.09-135095. E-mail contact: ireis@sbi.org

Abstract

Natural and synthetic biomaterials utilized in tissue engineering applications require a dynamic interplay of complex macromolecular compositions of hydrated extracellular matrices (ECMs) and soluble growth factors. The challenges in utilizing synthetic ECMs is the effective control of temporal and spatial complexity of multiple signal presentation, as compared to natural ECMs that possess the inherent properties of biological recognition, including presentation of receptor-binding ligands, susceptibility to cell-triggered proteolytic degradation, and remodeling. We have developed a murine preadipocyte differentiation system for generating a natural basement membrane extract (Adipogel) comprising ECM proteins (collagen IV, laminin, hyaluronan, and fibronectin) and including relevant growth factors (hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and leukemia inhibitory factor). We have shown the effective utilization of the growth factor-enriched extracellular matrix for enhanced albumin synthesis rate of primary hepatocyte cultures for a period of 10 d as compared to collagen sandwich cultures and comparable or higher function as compared to Matrigel cultures. We have also demonstrated comparable cytochrome P450 1A1 activity for the collagen-Adipogel condition to the collagen double-gel and Matrigel culture conditions. A metabolic analysis revealed that utilization of Adipogel in primary hepatocyte cultures increased serine, glycine, threonine, alanine, tyrosine, valine, methionine, lysine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, taurine, cysteine, and glucose uptake rates to enhance hepatocyte protein synthesis as compared to collagen double-gel cultures. The demonstrated synthesis, isolation, characterization, and application of Adipogel provide immense potential for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.—Sharma, N. S., Nagrath, D., Yarmush, M. L. Adipocyte-derived basement membrane extract with biological activity: applications in hepatocyte functional augmentation in vitro.

2 Replies to “Natural Scaffolding Discovered

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    The big problem with unsubstantiated speculations such as scaffolding, co-option/exaptation, indirect evolutionary pathways, and other Darwinian fantasies, is that these mechanisms must be so ubiquitous and universal in their creative power that they can explain everything in biology, including complex information-processing systems.

    This is simply absurd, and this absurdity should be obvious to anyone with minimal reasoning power.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    off topic:
    Tonight on the History Channel a new documentary on the Shroud of Turin will air at 7pm central.

    The Real Face of Jesus?
    http://www.history.com/shows/t.....e-of-jesus

    I read a few blogs talking about the documentary and the atheists, as usual, complete skip over one of the main points of the movie, which is the unique 3-Dimensionality found within the image on the Shroud, and are stuck on the now invalidated 1988 carbon dating. They do not seem to realize the extent to which the carbon dating has now been brought into question.

    Shroud Of Turin – Sewn From Two Pieces – 2000 Years Old – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109101

    The Sudarium of Oviedo
    http://www.shroudstory.com/sudarium.htm

    In a fairly recent breakthrough, the carbon dating question has been thoroughly addressed and refuted by Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford in 2000. Their research, with textile experts, showing the carbon testing was done with a piece of the Shroud which was subject to expert medieval reweaving in the 1500’s had much historical, and photographic, evidence behind it. Their historical, and photographic, evidence was then scientifically confirmed by chemical analysis in 2005 by Raymond Rogers. Thus, the fact that a false age was shown by the 1989 carbon testing has been accepted across the board scientifically.

    New Evidence Overturns Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4222339

    The following is the main peer reviewed paper which has refuted the 1989 Carbon Dating:

    Why The Carbon 14 Samples Are Invalid, Raymond Rogers
    per: Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425 pages 189-194, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California)
    Excerpt: Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud. The fact that vanillin can not be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years.
    http://www.ntskeptics.org/issu.....oudold.htm

    Rogers passed away shortly after publishing this paper, but his work was ultimately verified by the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

    Carbon Dating Of The Turin Shroud Completely Overturned by Scientific Peer Review:
    Rogers also asked John Brown, a materials forensic expert from Georgia Tech to confirm his finding using different methods. Brown did so. He also concluded that the shroud had been mended with newer material. Since then, a team of nine scientists at Los Alamos has also confirmed Rogers work, also with different methods and procedures. Much of this new information has been recently published in Chemistry Today.
    http://shroudofturin.wordpress.....s-of-time/

    This following is the Los Alamos National Laboratory report and video which completely confirms the Rogers’ paper:

    “Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired. – Robert Villarreal
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned By Scientific Peer Review – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041193

    Now that the flawed carbon dating is finally brought into line, all major lines of evidence now converge and establish the Shroud as authentic.

    ——————-

    Though I am not satisfied with the methodology, in which they seek to establish some points of the actual 3-Dimensionality of the body of Christ in the documentary, The documentary is none-the-less very interesting for it has several pieces of evidence that have only recently come to light, as well as addressing new historical evidence.

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