Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Malevolent Designer News - How Our Immune System Turns Against Us

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis implicates a type of immune cell — called a dendritic cell — in the development of chronic lung diseases that can follow after a respiratory viral infection. Shown is a stained section of mouse lung. Epithelial cells, which line the airway, are red. Dendritic cells are green. Any cell nuclei are blue.

Credit: Holzman Labs
Immune cell implicated in development of lung disease following viral infection – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Imagine a designer designing an aircraft with a vital system so designed that, on random occasions, vital systems failed spectacularly causing the plane to crash, killing everyone on board, not through accidents caused by inept design but deliberately, designed by its designer in the full knowledge of what it would do.

That's the sort of intelligent [sic] designer that Creationists worship, as we can see from this finding from Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA. Creationists believe their putative intelligent [sic] designer is the Abrahamic god, whom they believe is omniscient, omnipotent and perfect in every way. They also believe it to be all-loving and wanting a maximally good world for its creation.

This means that there are certain fundamental axioms to which all ID advocates subscribe:
  • All living organisms were designed by this putative designer.
  • Everything designed by this putative designer is perfectly designed and works exactly as intended, nothing more and nothing less.
  • Everything done by this putative designer's design was known about at the time it was designed. It was designed specifically to do that.
  • If it so wished, this putative designer could stop its designs doing what they do.
  • When it chooses not to stop its designs doing what they do, it is satisfied that they are working exactly as intended.
So, when our immune system turns against us and causes often fatal illnesses, this was exactly what Creationism's putative designer intended it to do and it is satisfied that it does so.

Bear in mind also, that our imune system was designed to protect us from the viruses and bacteria that were also the creation of this same intelligent [sic] designer!

The fact that our immune system can and sometime does turn against us following a viral infection is the problem researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA have been trying to understand and explain.

As Julia Evangelou Strait explains in the Washington University School of Medicine press release:
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have implicated a type of immune cell in the development of chronic lung disease that sometimes is triggered following a respiratory viral infection. The evidence suggests that activation of this immune cell — a type of guardian cell called a dendritic cell — serves as an early switch that, when activated, sets in motion a chain of events that drives progressive lung diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The new study, published in The Journal of Immunology, opens the door to potential preventive or therapeutic strategies for chronic lung disease. More immediately, measuring the levels of these dendritic cells in clinical samples from patients hospitalized with a viral infection, such as influenza or COVID-19, could help doctors identify which patients are at high risk of respiratory failure and death.

We’re trying to understand how a viral infection that seems to be cleared by the body can nevertheless trigger chronic, progressive lung disease,” said senior author Michael J. Holtzman, MD, the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine. “Not everyone experiences this progression. We believe there’s some switch that gets flipped, triggering the bad response. We’re identifying that switch and ways to control it. This work tells us that this type of dendritic cell is sitting right at that switch point...

But this study suggests that the cascade starts even further upstream. Dendritic cells are telling the cells lining the airway what to do. There’s more work to be done, but this data tells us that the dendritic cells play an important role in getting the airway-lining cells onto the wrong path...

Many people never develop chronic lung disease after a viral infection, but others have a genetic susceptibility to this type of disease. People who are susceptible to virus-triggered disease include patients with asthma, COPD, and viral infections such as COVID-19. It’s really critical to look for ways to fix this disease response and prevent the problems that might occur after the virus has gone...

Similarly, if this process is not underway, the patient might be more likely to avoid these types of long-term problems. We’re pursuing this line of research to help improve prediction of severe lung disease after infection and to provide companion therapies that could prevent this switch from being flipped or flip it back to reverse the disease.

Professor Michael J. Holtzman, MD
Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine
Director of the Division of Critical Care Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine
Studying mice with a respiratory viral infection that makes the animals prone to developing chronic lung disease, the researchers showed that these dendritic cells communicate with the lining of the airway in ways that cause the airway-lining cells to ramp up their growth and inflammatory signals. The inflammation causes airway-lining cells to grow beyond their normal boundaries and turn into cells that overproduce mucus and cause inflammation, which in turn causes cough and difficulty breathing.

“We’re trying to understand how a viral infection that seems to be cleared by the body can nevertheless trigger chronic, progressive lung disease,” said senior author Michael J. Holtzman, MD, the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine. “Not everyone experiences this progression. We believe there’s some switch that gets flipped, triggering the bad response. We’re identifying that switch and ways to control it. This work tells us that this type of dendritic cell is sitting right at that switch point.”

Holtzman’s past work had implicated the lining of the airway — where the viral infection takes hold — as the likely trigger for this process.

“But this study suggests that the cascade starts even further upstream,” said Holtzman, also director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “Dendritic cells are telling the cells lining the airway what to do. There’s more work to be done, but this data tells us that the dendritic cells play an important role in getting the airway-lining cells onto the wrong path.”

Holtzman calls this dendritic cell a type of sentinel because its job is to detect an invading virus and trigger the body’s initial immune response against the infection. The problem comes when the cell doesn’t shut down properly after the threat has passed.

“Many people never develop chronic lung disease after a viral infection,” Holtzman said. “But others have a genetic susceptibility to this type of disease. People who are susceptible to virus-triggered disease include patients with asthma, COPD, and viral infections such as COVID-19. It’s really critical to look for ways to fix this disease response and prevent the problems that might occur after the virus has gone.”

In the meantime, Holtzman said, high levels of these dendritic cells and their products in the lungs of hospitalized patients could serve as a warning to doctors that such patients are likely to develop severe disease and should be provided with respiratory interventions and other supportive therapies that are precisely tailored to their disease process.

“Similarly, if this process is not underway, the patient might be more likely to avoid these types of long-term problems,” Holtzman said. “We’re pursuing this line of research to help improve prediction of severe lung disease after infection and to provide companion therapies that could prevent this switch from being flipped or flip it back to reverse the disease.”
The group's research was published today in the Journal of Immunology, sadly, behind an expensive pay wall, However, the Abstract is available here.

So, as I see it, ID Creationists now have three choices:
  1. The human immune system was deliberately designed to fail randomly and cause serious or even fatal illness following a viral illness, even if the person recovers from the viral illness.
  2. The human immune system was incompetently designed with this flaw, but the designer isn't concerned to rectify its mistake, or chooses not to, apparently satisfied with what it does. Since this condition can be induced in mice, we have to assume this design, with this flaw, has been used multiple times without correction.
  3. Our immune system is the result of an amoral, uncaring, utilitarian, natural 'design' process in which neither intelligence nor intent played a part. The fact that mice have the same problem is evidence of common ancestry.
For some reason, probably connected with power rather than with a genuine love of this supposed magic designer, Creationist frauds seem to prefer their dupes to think of it as malevolent and/or incompetent rather than accept an explanation which doesn't include it.








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