February 18, 2009 | David F. Coppedge

Disease Genes Play the Wrong Tune

How did disease originate?  It might seem that large changes in genes would be required to turn a benign cell into a pathogen, but an article on Science Daily says it might just be a good cell playing a bad tune.
    Bacteria have more genes than they use at any one time.  What determines the behavior is how these genes are regulated.  A piano has 88 keys, but they can be played in many different combinations.  “The researchers found that bacteria can develop into illness-causing pathogens by rewiring regulatory DNA, the genetic material that controls disease-causing genes in a body,” the article said.  “Previously, disease evolution was thought to occur mainly through the addition or deletion of genes.”
    This means that the genetic information doesn’t change that much when a good cell goes bad.  “The difference between being able to cause disease, or not cause disease, lies in where, when and what genes in this collection are turned on,” said Brian Coombes, the lead author of a recent study.  “We’ve discovered how bacteria evolve to turn on just the right combination of genes in order to cause disease in a host.  It’s similar to playing a musical instrument – you have to play the right keys in the right order to make music.”
    Could disease arise from a mutation in a regulatory network turning a waltz into a dirge?

In Biblical theological history, a world that was pronounced very good, filled with life and health and beauty, was cursed due to sin.  One can see possibilities in this finding that the curse might not involve radical reconstruction of the creation, but just slight degenerations of existing systems.  Power tools can build houses or they can cut flesh.  Maybe all God did was remove some of the protective measures on a world that had rejected His rule.
    Do evolutionists have a better explanation?  Some of them, maybe even Darwin himself, thought they could rescue God by removing the origin of evil from His domain.  What they did, however, was remove the categories of good and evil altogether.  In a Darwinian world, stuff happens, and that’s that.  Go suffer.  Something in our conscience revolts against evil as something out of order.  Claiming there was no order in the first place begs more questions than it answers.
    Like a finely crafted instrument, the world was made to play harmony, not noise.  Because of the fall, ugliness and pain often overpowers the music that is still audible in the background.  By turning from the source of that noise (sin), and accepting God’s free tickets to The Creation and Messiah, each individual can receive noise-cancelling headphones and hear the music in its original glory.  He will put a new song in your mouth – a hymn of praise to the Lord (Psalm 33:3, Psalm 40:3, Psalm 96:1).

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Categories: Cell Biology, Genetics

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