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“Junk DNA” Drives Embryonic Development, Study Finds

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From here:

“One of the first, and arguably most important, steps in development is the allocation of cells into three germ layers—ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm—that give rise to all tissues and organs in the body,” explains Mark Mercola, Ph.D., professor and director of Sanford-Burnham’s Muscle Development and Regeneration Program in the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center. In a study published in the journal Genes & Development, Mercola and his team, including postdoctoral researcher Alexandre Colas, Ph.D., and Wesley McKeithan, discovered that microRNAs play an important role in this cell- and germ layer-directing process during development.

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Related note as to the ethical concerns: Faster, safer method for producing (Adult) stem cells - December 4, 2012 Excerpt: A new method for generating stem cells from mature cells promises to boost stem cell production in the laboratory, helping to remove a barrier to regenerative medicine therapies that would replace damaged or unhealthy body tissues.,,, Aside from the well-known ethical controversies, ESCs, "embryonic stem cells," have a less discussed problem: Tissues grown from ESCs may trigger immune reactions when they are transplanted into patients.,,, Using ILC, the group reprogrammed human fibroblasts (adult skin cells) to become angioblast-like cells, the progenitors of vascular cells. These new cells could not only proliferate, but also further differentiate into endothelial and smooth muscle vascular lineages. When implanted in mice, these cells integrated into the animals' existing vasculature. "One of the long-term hopes for stem cell research is exemplified by this study, where stem cells would self-assemble into 3D structures and then integrate into existing tissues," says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte. While such clinical use may be years away, this new method has several advantages over current techniques, he explains. It is safer, since it does not seem to produce tumors or other undesirable genetic changes, and results in much greater yield than other methods. Most important, it is faster, and this is part of what makes it not only more productive, but less risky. "Generally it can take up to two months to create iPSCs and their differentiated derivatives, which increases the chances for mutations to take place," says Emmanuel Nivet, the third of the first co-authors. "Our method takes only 15 days, so we've substantially decreased the chances for spontaneous mutations to take place." http://phys.org/news/2012-12-faster-safer-method-stem-cells.html bornagain77
This paper reminds of the refutation of ERV's (Endogenous Retro Viruses) as 'Junk DNA', which use to be a very popular argument of Darwinists for evolution, in which ERV's were, very contrary to evolutionary thinking, also found to be expressed very early in embryonic development: Refutation Of Endogenous Retrovirus - ERVs - Richard Sternberg, PhD Evolutionary Biology - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4094119 Sternberg, R. v. & J. A. Shapiro (2005). How repeated retroelements format genome function. Cytogenet. Genome Res. 110: 108-116. Related notes: Shapiro, J.A. & R. v. Sternberg (2005). Why repetitive DNA is essential for genome function. Biol. Rev. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 80: 227-250. Shapiro and Sternberg Anticipated the Fall of Junk DNA (in 2005) Douglas Axe September 13, 2012 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/09/shapiro_and_ste064291.html bornagain77

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