Stroke help and more on the horizon

The ABCs of Biotech for Christians - Twenty-first in a series - T is for Tumor Necrosis Factor

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) is a pro inflammatory cytokine, a protein that signals information. We laypeople will approach this subject from a simpler perspective.

Have you ever had a problem with inflammation? Probably so. If you have ever had a fever, you had a system-wide inflammation, but it may not have been a very big health dilemma. However, if you have or have had severe brain injury, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis or other major health challenge, then you understand that inflammation is a serious problem. You have too much TNF.

Some diseases are caused or result from the body’s turning on itself. “An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake.” For example in multiple sclerosis, the person’s immune system attacks a fatty material, myelin, which wraps around nerve fibers to protect them. Without that outer shell, the nerves become damaged, so the brain cannot send signals through the body correctly. What causes MS and other autoimmune diseases?

For most, the cause is unknown. Certainly the usual suspects are to be blamed: not enough rest or sleep, lack of exercise, poor diet, stress. Leading an unhealthy lifestyle eventually will take a toll on us. Unfortunately, those causes are not always possible to address in some lives, in a timely manner. Also, heredity may be the chief culprit. The biotech challenge is to find answers for healing no matter what the causes.

Medical researchers have have learned a lot about TNF and its role in illness. It has been found to induce fever, activate the coagulation system, induce hypoglycemia, slow down heart contractions, reduce vascular resistance, bring about weakness, and help to control bacterial growth in septic shock. And a lot more.

A particularly exciting discovery is how TNF can be reduced to restore normal functioning in stroke victims. The YouTube video describes and shows the process, and the many comments on the page are enlightening as well.

This topic shows how biotech discoveries are moving mountains without using embryonic stem cells. This is the research we should applaud and encourage young doctors and scientists to pursue.

Angel fish
Public Domain, Link

...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1


A SistersSite eBook

Flesh and Bone and The Protestant Conscience is an e-book on It is 99¢ and in the Amazon lending library as well. It is also available here in PDF format. The book description follows.

Would you let your conscience be your guide?

Does God care if the skin and bone of the dead are passed along to the living for medical uses? Is organ donation OK with God? Should you sign a Living Will?

Did you know that dead organ donors are often anesthetized before their organs are removed? Do you know the current definition of death? The conscience cannot function without facts.

As we ponder the ethics of in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and man-made chimeras, our thoughts trail off. How then should we live? (Ez 33:10)

How should a Christian think about euthanasia by starvation when doctors and the state attorney general all agree it is time to withhold feeding from a brain injured patient? Some things are family matters, but someday it may be our family.

Here is a small book to help you think about whether you want to sign your driver's license, donate a kidney, cremate your loved one, and many other practical questions that may arise in the course of your healthcare decisions or watch over others.

It offers a special focus on the doctrine of the Resurrection that is related to such decisions. Sunday School classes and Bible Study groups could use this book to facilitate discussion about the issues covered.