“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
The heart is an amazingly complex organ consisting of muscle tissue. And what do muscles do? They contract when stimulated by electric pulses. Though the human heart will beat 2-3 billion times in a person’s lifetime, heart disease is one of the most common causes of death. That’s why researchers have been looking for a way to produce artificial heart tissue. Have they finally succeeded?
Lei Yang and his team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh reported that they were able to transform human skin into lab-grown “heart muscle cells” that contracted spontaneously in a dish.
To accomplish this extraordinary feat, the researchers first changed skin cells into stem cells and then treated them with growth factors. Then they added the cells to the structural shell of a mouse heart that had been stripped of its own cells. The human cells transformed the shell into tissue that pulsed at 40 to 50 beats per minute.
Evolutionists, no doubt, will look at this achievement as making headway in man’s quest to create artificial life. But let us remind them that the cells were produced using already-existing skin cells and growth factors. Besides, the “heart cells” were not a product of purposeless chance or mutations but the result of considerable effort by an intelligent team of scientists … a reminder that life itself is the work of an intelligent, purposeful and all-wise Creator.
Father, I thank you for my heart that sustains my life by beating regularly for so many years. I praise You most of all for turning my heart of stone into a heart that loves You, both now and long after my physical heart has stopped beating. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Science News, Web Edition 8/15/13. J. Shugart, “Lab-grown heart has rhythm.” Nature Communications 4, Article #2307. “Repopulation of decellularized mouse heart with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells.” 8/13/13. Photo: The University of Pittsburgh is also where Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.