Saturday, 28 October 2017

Zika - The Nasty Designer Plays it Sneaky!

Zika Virus Infects Developing Brain by First Infecting Cells Meant to Defend Against It

First, a little story:

God sat in Heaven gazing down at his creation that he loved and adored beyond measure and he noticed that things were not perfect. He notice all the war, famine, pestilence and hate.

He noticed that humans were finding cures for polio, smallpox, even malaria, and using antibiotics to cure infections that would have killed millions in earlier times. He noticed that very many children were growing up into strong, healthy adults when once they would have died in infancy.

He noticed though that there was still much suffering. He noticed the children born with physical and mental handicaps. He noticed the anguish of the parents of these children as they struggled to cope and make life bearable for these unfortunate children. He noticed too the deprivation suffered by the siblings of these children as their parents were forced to devote less time to them than they needed.

So he pondered on the problem and sat stroking his beard for many days, wondering what he could do about it. Why were things not as he would have wished them to be in his beloved creation? Had he not created it perfectly?

At last, a solution came into his mind.

So he improved antibiotic resistance in his bacteria and then he created the Zika virus. As a touch of brilliance, he created the Zika virus so it attacks and disables the cells that would have grown and developed into the victim's brain defences against pathogens.

"Let's see them cure that!", he thought. "Now, how's Ebola doing?"

Well, that's the creationist view.

Now let's look at the science.

A false color micrograph shows microglia cells (green) infected by the Zika virus (blue).
According to a press release:

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil, report that the Zika virus is transmitted from mother to fetus by infected cells that, ironically, will later develop into the brain’s first and primary form of defence against invasive pathogens. The findings are published in the current online issue of Human Molecular Genetics.

The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Human Molecular Genetics a few days ago, but it sits behind a paywall and I can't get permission from the copyright holders to reprint even the abstract here, so I only have the press release to go on.

It quotes Alysson Muotri, PhD, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and co-author of the paper as saying:

It’s a Trojan Horse strategy. During embryogenesis — the early stages of prenatal development — cells called microglia form in the yolk sac and then disperse throughout the central nervous system (CNS) of the developing child.

In the brain, these microglia will become resident macrophages whose job is to constantly clear away plaques, damaged cells and infectious agents. Our findings show that the Zika virus can infect these early microglia, sneaking into the brain where they transmit the virus to other brain cells, resulting in the devastating neurological damage we see in some newborns.

[...]

Considering the timing of transmission, we hypothesized that microglia might be serving as a Trojan horse to transport the virus during invasion of the CNS.

The findings are based on in vitro experiments in which microglial and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) were derived from human stem cells. They observed that the microglia cells did their job and engulfed the Zika-infected NPCs, but when these microglia cells then came into contact with non-infected NPCs, they infected them with Zika virus.

What a neat solution to a defence system that has taken millions of year to evolve!

Creationists must be amazed at the intelligence and benevolence of a designer which not only is that creative in finding a solution to a problem that it created when it designed the human brain and its defences, but also at its loving benevolence in finding such a brilliant way to produce handicapped children and so add to the sum total of suffering on Earth.

No doubt they'll praise it and thank it on Sundays while they tell others of the moral superiority believing in that malevolent thug gives them.

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