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The Human Methylome: What Do These Patterns Mean? (high state of living cell's design "astonishing")
ICR News ^ | October 22, 2009 | Brian Thomas, M.S.

Posted on 10/22/2009 10:13:30 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts

The Human Methylome: What Do These Patterns Mean?

by Brian Thomas, M.S.*

For decades, researchers have noticed that tiny chemicals called “methyl groups” piggyback on DNA molecules, and that they occur in certain patterns. Intrigued by the meaning and function of methylation patterns, especially as they relate to medicine, a five-year, $ 190-million-dollar research effort funded by the National Institutes of Health began in 2008. In one of its studies, researchers have stumbled upon a new intricacy of cell function.

Joseph Ecker of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies led a collaboration to generate the world’s first complete map of human methylation patterns, called the “methylome.” This conveys genetic information beyond the well-known patterns in DNA bases.1

Previous studies showed that DNA methylation helps cells with “gene regulation, DNA-protein interactions, cellular differentiation, suppression of transposable elements, embryogenesis, X-inactivation, genomic imprinting and tumorigenesis.”2 Ecker said in a Salk Institute press release that this new study “will lead to a better understanding of how genome function is regulated in health and disease but also how gene expression is influenced by diet and the environment.”3

Some of the team’s results confirmed what researchers had suspected. For example, in embryonic stem cells, DNA was more densely “methylated”—or covered with methyl groups—than in a differentiated cell. Also, they found less methylation in areas where DNA interacts with proteins. These observations indicate that precise regions of DNA are more thickly covered with methyl groups in order to isolate them from use by the cell. This way, the correct proteins are manufactured at just the right time.

However, they also found unexpected methylation patterns. One type, called “CG Methylation,” was long known to occur. Another category, “non-CG methylation,” was thought to be insignificant, but this study reported that stem cells have “highly expressed genes containing threefold higher non-CG methylation density than non-expressed genes.”3 Thus, biologists now have to sort out yet another cellular mechanism that, like most of the human genome, they understand is important but aren’t quite sure why.4

Those who keep up with cell science often cannot help but be impressed with the high state of design they observe in the cell. For example, after studying DNA transcript regulation, researchers Melissa Moore and Nick Proudfoot recently concluded,

At every point along the way, multifunctional proteins and [ribonucleoprotein] complexes facilitate communication between upstream and downstream steps, providing both feedforward and feedback information essential for proper coordination of what can only be described as an intricate and astonishing web of regulation.5

In like manner, these methylome studies confirm “a highly dynamic, yet tightly controlled, landscape” essential to proper regulation of certain cell processes.3

The living world is full of features small yet robust, and well-regulated yet elegant. It is therefore quite natural to ascribe their origins to a transcendent Creator. It is increasingly difficult in light of ongoing scientific discovery to ignore the fact that “the LORD thy maker…hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth.”6

References

  1. See Thomas, B. Epigenetics: More Information than Evolution Can Handle. ICR News. Posted on icr.org January 30, 2009, accessed October 16, 2009.
  2. Lister, R. et al. 2009. Human DNA methylomes at base resolution show widespread epigenomic differences. Nature. Published online October 14, 2009.
  3. What drives our genes? Salk researchers map the first complete human epigenome. Salk Institute for Biological Studies press release, October 14, 2009.
  4. For example, these authors concluded with the vague notion that these newly discovered non-CG methylation patterns “suggest possible alternative roles for DNA Methylation” (ref. 1).
  5. Moore, M. J. and N. J. Proudfoot. 2009. Pre-mRNA Processing Reaches Bach to Transcription and Ahead to Translation. Cell. 136 (4): 688-700.
  6. Isaiah 51:13.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on October 22, 2009.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: cancer; catholic; christian; creation; dna; epigenetics; evangelical; evolution; genetics; genome; healthcare; intelligentdesign; judaism; medicine; nih; protestant; science

1 posted on 10/22/2009 10:13:31 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 10/22/2009 10:19:26 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
More Institute for Crackpot Research pablum, eh?
3 posted on 10/22/2009 10:20:55 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: GodGunsGuts

You haven’t had enough of your slanderous personal attack posts pulled yet?


5 posted on 10/22/2009 10:27:41 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


6 posted on 10/22/2009 10:29:15 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: GodGunsGuts
And to think - all this complexity and intricacy sprang up from a bubbling puddle of primordial mud.

Amazing!

7 posted on 10/22/2009 10:35:00 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Hope....Change...Bullsh*t)
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To: reagan_fanatic
You forgot the lighting bolt that came down and zapped the mud into something living.
8 posted on 10/22/2009 10:38:14 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Just say no to Soylent Green health care)
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To: reagan_fanatic

Isn’t Darwin’s natural selection god amazing!


9 posted on 10/22/2009 10:42:35 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: xcamel

You liken Christians to the Taliban, and you call what I say about your inebriated viciousness slanderous? Please!


10 posted on 10/22/2009 10:45:53 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

9th commandment doesn’t apply to you, eh?


11 posted on 10/22/2009 10:51:56 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: GodGunsGuts
I get such a kick out of it when Lyin' Brian references himself.

References

See Thomas, B. Epigenetics: More Information than Evolution Can Handle. ICR News. Posted on icr.org January 30, 2009, accessed October 16, 2009.

He's my hero.
12 posted on 10/22/2009 10:52:24 AM PDT by whattajoke (Let's keep Conservatism real.)
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To: whattajoke

==He’s my hero.

Yeah right, kind of like Milton Friedman is arnold schwarzenegger’s hero...yuck!


13 posted on 10/22/2009 10:56:15 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
From the article:

Those who keep up with cell science often cannot help but be impressed with the high state of design they observe in the cell.

Seriously, what does that mean? If cells didn't have some sort of "design," they wouldn't exist. This is exactly the same as saying, "Gee whiz, that hole in the sidewalk is amazing. It's the perfect size for that puddle!"
14 posted on 10/22/2009 10:56:41 AM PDT by whattajoke (Let's keep Conservatism real.)
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To: whattajoke

Perfect!!

Touché.


15 posted on 10/22/2009 10:58:45 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: reagan_fanatic
"... all this complexity and intricacy sprang up from a bubbling puddle of primordial mud."

LOL

Yup... all started with a gigantic explosion too!

I can't wait until I see them all facing the Creator himself...

16 posted on 10/22/2009 10:58:53 AM PDT by Ron C.
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To: GodGunsGuts

What is the breaking news that has it placed in that forum?
Methylation of DNA and histones and acetylation of histones has been known for decades. Must be a slow day at the IRC or Brian Thomas M S * got tired of ogling the picture of Ardi.


17 posted on 10/22/2009 11:08:11 AM PDT by Wacka
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To: whattajoke
"If cells didn't have some sort of "design," they wouldn't exist."

Ah yes, the weak anthropic principle. Lovely.

"This is exactly the same as saying, "Gee whiz, that hole in the sidewalk is amazing. It's the perfect size for that puddle!""

This is exactly the same as saying, "Jiminy Cricket! Carbon atoms self-assembled into cells and organisms because carbon atoms have an affinity for self-assembling into cells and organisms!"

18 posted on 10/22/2009 11:09:31 AM PDT by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: reagan_fanatic

Yep, it is amazing that God would set into motion all of these intricate processes to play out over billions of years. Billions you say! Not 6 days? I didn’t know that God was constrained by time. For that matter, I didn’t know that God had so little power that he could not make this vast universe and allow for such a concept as evolution. Why just a few hundred years ago it was mandated that we all believe that the universe revolved around earth and that the idea of manned flight was witchcraft. Is it that hard to see the work of God in the intracacies of the universe and all of creation. You are free to believe what you want and if that is in an oft rewritten and incomplete set of pre-new testament writings then you are welcome to worship the writings rather than God and his wonderous works of nature. I will applaud you but I will continue to believe in the magnitude of God’s greatness in evolution, geologic processes and the wonder of man’s God-given intellect by which he can recognize that there is a divine creator who is behind all of these wonders. You might want spend more time understanding the lessons brought to us by Christ to replace the old testament with His message of hope.


19 posted on 10/22/2009 11:19:16 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: RJS1950
“I will continue to believe in the magnitude of God’s greatness in evolution, geologic processes and the wonder of man’s God-given intellect by which he can recognize that there is a divine creator who is behind all of these wonders. “

Do you believe that “God's greatness in evolution” should be taught in the classroom?

20 posted on 10/22/2009 11:57:31 AM PDT by Mudtiger
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To: GodGunsGuts

” researchers have stumbled upon a new intricacy of cell function.”

Jesus is smarter than they give him credit for.


21 posted on 10/22/2009 11:58:48 AM PDT by RoadTest ( But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do)
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To: GodGunsGuts
OYG!!!! Something new was discovered in a science field....that means all things previously knnown or thought are now null and void!!!

Back to lyin' Brian Thomas MS* after only one article that was not nonsense?

Those who keep up with cell science often cannot help but be impressed with the high state of design they observe in the cell.

....and you, Brian Thomas MS* are not one of "those"...(typical use of the word "design"...check).

It is therefore quite natural to ascribe their origins to a transcendent Creator.

False conclusion, Brian.

It is increasingly difficult in light of ongoing scientific discovery to ignore the fact that “the LORD thy maker…hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth.”

Scientifically, there is ZERO difficulty in ignoring what your book says. Stop perverting science to suit your religious needs.

22 posted on 10/22/2009 12:40:17 PM PDT by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with vegetarian T. rex within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: RJS1950
Hmmm - OK. I don't believe I said anywhere in my post that I thought the Earth was created in 6 literal days - as a matter of fact, I don't buy the literal 6 day thing. I believe God's concept of time differs radically from ours, and it is quite possible a minute of His time could be the same as a million of ours.

I don't believe one species evolved into another, but I do believe a species can evolve and compensate according to their environment.

Hope that clears that up for ya.

23 posted on 10/22/2009 1:07:56 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Hope....Change...Bullsh*t)
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To: reagan_fanatic
“It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no light on the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life” (Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species. 6th edition, 1882. p. 421
24 posted on 10/22/2009 1:09:30 PM PDT by Ira_Louvin (Go tell them people lost in sin, There’s a higher power ,They need not fear the works of men.)
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To: reagan_fanatic
I don't buy the literal 6 day thing.

Then you better prepare for eternal damnation (so say some fR creationists).

I don't believe one species evolved into another, but I do believe a species can evolve and compensate according to their environment.

Can you explain what mechanism stops a particular species from continuing to evolve as the environment continues to change? What if one population is split in two by a catastrophic geologic event, resulting in two drastically different environments -one remains as it was and the other has a near complete change in flora due to volcanic soils. That portion of the population must adapt or die. It does to the point where it can no longer mate with the original population and looks very different due to the different environmental pressures. Do you accept the possibility of such a thing happening?
25 posted on 10/22/2009 2:27:45 PM PDT by whattajoke (Let's keep Conservatism real.)
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To: whattajoke

No I can’t, and I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject. This is just how I feel based upon what I’ve seen and studied in my 47 years on this planet. As I see it, these are the processes put into motion by a creator at some distant point in the past which continue to this day, much of it still not very well understood, and will no doubt be debated until the end of time.

Even though the existance of God cannot be proven scientifically, I am quite confident that not only did God create life and this planet to support it, he is still here and living in spirit. I’ll choose to follow him and trust in his word. If I’m wrong, I’ll guess I’ll find out when I die, right?


26 posted on 10/22/2009 4:38:07 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Hope....Change...Bullsh*t)
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To: reagan_fanatic
If I’m wrong, I’ll guess I’ll find out when I die, right?

Technically, if you are wrong, then when you die you will just be wormfood, and won't ever find out anything again.

27 posted on 10/22/2009 5:50:32 PM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: UCANSEE2

Not if he’s wrong, but the Hindus are right. :-)


28 posted on 10/22/2009 5:57:15 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (This tagline excerpted. To read more, click on MyOverratedBlog.com)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks! The more we learn of what creation is, the more our appreciation for the Creator grows!


29 posted on 10/22/2009 11:17:11 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks! The more we learn of what creation is, the more our appreciation for the Creator grows!


30 posted on 10/22/2009 11:18:38 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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