For your reading pleasure, here are a couple of science-related news articles that specifically mention that scary word: evolution. Articles related to intelligent design discoveries and achievements? Zero. I’ll keep looking, though. 😉
In the first case we have hereditary blindness being treated by gene-transfer. How do scientists manage to get the new genes where they need to go? Well, a product of evolution leads the way …
Now the gene-transfer technique is being tested for safety in people in a phase 1 clinical research study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Florida with support from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
A young adult with a form of hereditary blindness called Leber congenital amaurosis type 2, or LCA2, received an injection of trillions of replacement genes into the retina of one eye this month, making the volunteer one of the first people in the world to undergo the procedure. Shalesh Kaushal, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of ophthalmology at UF, performed the gene transfer.
In LCA-type diseases, photoreceptor cells are unable to respond to light. NEI and NEI-supported researchers have found that LCA2 is caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene, which produces a protein with the same name that is vital for vision. This trial will evaluate the use of a modified adeno-associated virus — an apparently harmless virus that already exists in most people — to deliver RPE65 to the retina.
“Viruses have evolved a way to get into cells very efficiently, more efficiently than anything else we know to deliver a piece of genetic material to a cell,” Hauswirth said. “So all we’re doing is using evolution to our advantage — in this case, to deliver our therapeutic gene.”
Research like the following example needs more publicity. The facts underlying the theory of evolution are many and diverse, serving as a never-ending river of real research possibilities. As can be seen here, evolution is treated as just matter of fact. It just says, “here’s what we’re doing.” Period. No apologies. No euphemisms. Just another day exploring evolution.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida and University of Texas at Austin scientists have shed light on what Charles Darwin called the “abominable mystery” of early plant evolution.
In two papers set to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists report that the two largest groups of flowering plants are more closely related to each other than any of the other major lineages. These are the monocots, which include grasses and their relatives, and the eudicots, which include sunflowers and tomatoes.
Doug and Pam Soltis, a UF professor of botany and curator at UF’s Florida Museum of Natural History, respectively, also showed that a stunning diversification of flowering plants they are referring to as the “Big Bang” took place in the comparatively short period of less than 5 million years — and resulted in all five major lineages of flowering plants that exist today.