Diamond Caverns – the true gem among the Mammoth Cave caving system

diamond-caverns-1

A trip to Diamond Caverns in Park City, Kentucky, off of Exit 48 on I-65, just on the outskirts of Mammoth Cave National Park, is quite an adventure. The cave has a particularly abundant source of large flowstone formations, as well as beautiful “bacon” formations. Undoubtedly, though, visitors get to enjoy their caving while exploring one of the most beautifully laid-out cave tails in Kentucky’s caving system. Oh, and be on the lookout for cave crickets!

Fun Fact: As a product of the Flood’s aftermath, some of Diamond Caverns’ flowstones are thought to be the byproducts of underground waterfalls. (Flowstones are estimated to deposit at rates of 1-cubic centimeter every 150 years.)

Creation Science High School and Undergraduate Essay Contests

The third question in our series of writing prompts for our creation science writing contest asks students to consider the growth and formation of stalactites and stalagmites, including consideration of factors influential on their rates of growth. For instance, the 1932 article “An Unusual Occurrence of Stalactites and Stalagmites” by Karl Ver Steeg serves as a credible reference offering such valued information. In fact, for students choosing this question, a summary that highlights any differences between stalactites exposed to the elements (like the kind mentioned in Ver Steeg’s 1932 article) and stalactites formed underground (like those formed within Diamond Caverns, see the picture above) is encouraged. Such contrasted settings may show intriguing results with respect to stalactite growth rates. (Hint: Ver Steeg’s article will help with such a comparison.)

diamond-caverns-2Diamond Caverns – discovered in 1859, and rediscovered daily.

Just maybe the writing prompt that deals with geology (as well as the fossil record) was developed specifically for you!

We invite you to browse the aforementioned question here, as follows: “essay contests.”

Could you consider yourself in a role that helps improve our understanding of the geology of the planet?

Starting out now on your very own discovery of the intricacies of God’s creation today through scientific study might very well help in discerning what path you should take in the future. For example, for a possible career path, such study could help you better understand the activities of geologists. And one of your first activities ought to be growing your very own stalactites. In fact, in the book 77 Fairly Safe Science Activities for Illustrating Bible Lessons by Professor Donald B. DeYoung (2013), lesson #74 called “Cave Icicles” allows readers to do this very thing.

This blog is the third blog entry related to this year’s caving expeditions. Please click below to see the other two sites we explored.

References

DeYoung, D.B. (2013). 77 fairly safe science activities for illustrating Bible lessons. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Ver Steeg, K. (1932). An unusual occurrence of stalactites and stalagmites. The Ohio Journal of Science, 32(2), 69-84. Retrieved from https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/2552/V32N02_069.pdf?sequence=1.

Christmas Greetings – iterations of the Koch snowflake

koch-snowflake-2-uChristmas greetings – the 0th through 5th iterations of the Koch snowflake (2018).

For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

– Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

We at Ashland Creation Colloquium want to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

*** *** *** *** *** ***

The Koch snowflake is a recursive, self-similar mathematical pattern, with the zeroth through fifth iterations shown above. In other words, the Koch snowflake is a fractal.

According to Weisstein (n.d.):

The Koch snowflake is a fractal curve, also known as the Koch island, which was first described by Helge von Koch in 1904. It is built by starting with an equilateral triangle, removing the inner third of each side, building another equilateral triangle at the location where the side was removed, and then repeating the process indefinitely.

The 2018–2019 Creation Science Essay Contests

Challenge yourself this Christmas break by exploring our 2018-2019 creation science essay contests for high school students and college undergraduates. Select from informative writing prompts with diverse subject matter. For more information, please see our contest flyer (or download our printer friendly version of the writing prompts and contest submission guidelines).

The truth Ashland Creation Colloquium adheres to is that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and although it is not a book of science, everything the Bible says about science is true.

References

Weisstein, E.W. (n.d.). Koch snowflake. WolframMathWorld. [View in online article]

Dent in the armor of the Big Bang theory

annihilation-interaction

So we don’t miss the mark, the fact that…

Annihilation of matter (such as electrons) and anti-matter (such as positrons) occurs with such a high degree of reliability, the consistency invokes a sense of precision inherent with the most accurate time piece. Moreover, such consistency ratchets up the applicability factor associated with PET scans. However, this same reliability as well as applicability (and the very same exacting precision) serves as the Achilles’ heel of the Big Bang theory because matter/anti-matter annihilation interactions raise questions concerning the origin of matter in the universe.

Where does ordinary matter come from?

According to the Big Bang theory, matter and anti-matter arose at the same time. Nevertheless, neither a surplus in matter nor a deficit of it are detected from anti-matter and matter collisions performed experimentally (that is, from experiments thought to mimic conditions associated with the Big Bang). And this fact leaves us with an important question: where did all of our plain, ordinary matter existing abundantly around us come from? You can help answer this question by taking part in our creation science writing contest, by choosing the question that deals with PET scans in medicine.

pet-schemaThe technique of PET imaging

And who knows, maybe a career path too

Nuclear Medicine Technologists are the professionals responsible for implementing PET scans for the physicians who order these tests. So, who knows, from the knowledge gained through contest participation, you could be taking the first steps toward an exciting, patient-focused career. We look forward to reading your entry!

An extraordinary imbalance between ordinary matter and anti-matter

annihilation-interactionSchematic of pair production and annihilation interaction

We are recommending the short online article, “Baryon Conservation and the Antimatter Mystery,” by physicist Vernon R. Cupps. This article appears in the November 2018 issue of the science- and creation- magazine Acts & Facts, and, in our opinion, proves extremely insightful for students interested in our creation science writing contest, specifically those students who pick positron emission tomography for their essay topic. Here Dr. Cupps not only discusses the extraordinary science and deeper theological issues surrounding the disparity between ordinary matter and anti-matter, but he also approaches the topic in a way that translates exceptionally well for students concerned with the issue-at-hand for their essay option (that is, explaining pair production and annihilation in PET scanning in medicine for their entries).

pet-schemaThe technique of PET imaging

Biomimicry 101: Cardiovascular Medicine: Part 1: Thinking Outside the – Stem Cell – Box

anat-stent-ekg-monarch-caterpillarFigure 1: Anatomy of the heart, with blood flow schematic (top left panel); profile of a coronary artery stent application (top right panel); the electrocardiogram – abbreviated ECG or EKG – representing the heart’s conduction system (center panel); and the monarch caterpillar (bottom panel).

When you ponder biomimicry, think design, intelligent design, and creation, but please don’t think evolution. And when considering biomimetic applications, let your imagination know no bounds.

The previous article in our biomimicry series introduced several key issues describing the feasibility and use of engineered tissue in different health and medical fields. Presently, this article (in two installments) will focus on various examples concerning bioengineering and biomimicry in the field of cardiovascular medicine. For example, we address the ethics and challenges concerning the regeneration of cardiac tissue via stem cell therapy. At the same time, however, we draw the spotlight away from a stem cell model to survey other novel clinical cardiology and endovascular biomimetic research. What is more, a first principle that continues to serve as motivation for exploring biomimetic applications that deal with cardiac tissue is our viewpoint that the heart is uniquely and deliberately designed, as emphasized with respect to tissue scaffolds in our prior article, as follows:

Because of the unique makeup of cardiac tissue, the work surrounding cardiac tissue scaffolds has focused on mimicking the physiological properties of the heart itself. This fact is true whether we are talking about designing artificial heart valves that mimic the mechanical properties of native heart valve tissue (Capulli et al., 2017), or boldly seeking to engineer myocardial tissues that elicit the unique mechanical, biological, and electrical properties existing at cell-tissue interfaces throughout the heart (Kaiser & Coulombe, 2015). (“Three examples of biomimicry applied to tissue engineering,” para. 3)

Once again, the aim of this series, and in particular this subject matter, is to bring glory to God and His creation, which includes human beings as a special creation. We begin our discussion with an overview on heart anatomy and physiology.

Anatomy and physiology of the heart

Tissues that make up the heart integrate a distinct blend of mechanical, biological, and electrical properties. To best examine these properties, we first review this unique organ.

— Location, Location, Location —

The heart is centered within the chest cavity, just left of midline between our two lungs. In fact, our bodies accommodate its exact location because our left lung is comprised of only two lobes, whereas our right lung has three. This means our hearts are nuzzled into the space made available by the “missing” part of our left lung. What is more, an intimate vascular network exists between our heart and lungs, and when taken together these organs and their connections comprise our cardiopulmonary system (i.e., the heart-lung system).

— Circulation —

Our circulatory system, which includes the associated vasculature of the heart, is a closed-loop system that is responsible for moving blood through our bodies. With the heart serving as the system’s pump, there are three types of blood vessels: the arteries, the capillaries, and the veins.

  • Arteries are specialized blood vessels composed of three individualized layers: the innermost layer, the tunica intima; the middle layer, the tunica media; and the outermost layer, the tunica adventitia. Within the tunica media are smooth muscles that control the diameters of arteries via influence of the autonomic nervous system. Arteries function as conduits that, in all but one circumstance, carry oxygenated blood away from the heart. In addition, healthy arteries are well-known for their resilient, elastic nature. A very large artery known as the aorta is the first artery in the circulatory system.
  • Capillaries facilitate the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste by-products resulting from cellular respiration and metabolism.
  • Veins are characterized by their one-way valves that help direct blood flow toward the heart (and thus prevent the back-flow of blood).

— The Big Squeeze —

The heart’s squeezing action is what circulates blood throughout our vasculature. What is more, a heart cycle is easily detected via the heart’s squeezing sounds, the so-called lub-dub sound of the heart. The lub sound represents simultaneous contraction of the two top chambers (i.e., the atria), and the dub sound represents simultaneous contraction of the two bottom chambers (i.e., the ventricles). Blood has four main components: oxygen-carrying cells called red blood cells; functional immunity cells called white blood cells; cell fragments that are important for clotting called platelets; and a liquid constituent called plasma. What follows is the path our blood takes within the cardiopulmonary system:

  • After a red blood cell releases its oxygen content to our muscles and organs, it is called deoxygenated. Deoxygenated red blood cells, together with the aforementioned constituents, make their way back to the heart through our systemic venous system (i.e., our veins). As this pathway draws closer to the heart, it converges to form two large venous trunks known as vena cava. The superior vena cava brings back blood from the upper part of the body, and the inferior vena cava brings back blood from the lower part of the body. This returning systemic flow of blood then enters the first of our heart’s four chambers – the right atrium.
  • Once inside the right atrium, blood passes through the tricuspid valve into the second chamber of the heart – the right ventricle. This occurs in synchrony with the first of the two squeezing sounds, the so-called lub sound associated with atrial contraction.
  • As a result of ventricular contraction (i.e., the dub sound), the blood then passes from the right ventricle through the pulmonary semi-lunar valve and flows toward our lungs via both pulmonary arterial trunks, the right and the left pulmonary arteries. The pulmonary arteries carry the blood to the lungs where red blood cells are oxygenated within the lung’s capillary beds. The oxygenated blood will now flow back towards the heart by way of the pulmonary veins, a process returning this pulmonary flow of blood to the heart’s third chamber – the left atrium.
  • Once in the left atrium, the blood passes through the mitral valve into the fourth and final chamber of the heart – the left ventricle. Again, this occurs in synchrony with atrial contraction.
  • Finally, with contraction of the left ventricle, the oxygenated blood enters systemic circulation as it passes through the aortic semi-lunar valve (i.e., flowing out of the left ventricle and into the aorta).

TECHNICAL INSERT: Arteries and veins are recognized by the directional flow of blood that they facilitate away from – or toward – the heart, respectively, and not by whether or not the blood within the artery or vein is oxygenated or deoxygenated.

What is more, each squeezing action initiating a new cardiac cycle will simultaneously generate a pressure spike within our vessels, causing the blood to effectually pulsate through the circulatory system. Notably, this spike or wave of pressure is called systole, whereas the underlying pressure is referred to as diastole. Both systole and diastole make up our body’s systemic blood pressure. Normal systemic systolic pressure is 120 mmHg, and normal systemic diastolic pressure is 80 mmHg.

The term that describes the volume of blood pumped through the body is cardiac output, and this volume is seen as a marker of efficiency of cardiac mechanics and hemodynamics. To adequately deliver oxygen to our body’s tissues (called perfusion), cardiac output is approximately five liters per minute. In fact, investigations looking into cardiac output during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) led to guidelines from the American Heart Association to favor compression-only CPR to better achieve adequate blood flow and perfusion (Wininger, 2007). Investigators discovered that two different theories describing CPR-related chest compression – the cardiac pump theory and the thoracic pump theory – actually work together and in tandem depending on the physiological situation. One study helping investigators reach this level of insight was a review of the use of CPR for emergent care during coronary angiography. Today, there are even mechanical chest compression devices that heart catheterization labs can use, if necessary, during interventional care (Wagner et al, 2010).

Perspectives such as this illuminate how far we have come. Currently, a prototype of a ventricular assist device that mimics the natural squeezing/compression action of the heart has proven feasible. The device is a soft robotic sleeve that wraps around the heart, and it is being devised for those patients with severe heart failure (Roche et al, 2017). A major benefit of this particular device is that it never contacts blood, unlike traditional assistive devices, and thus eliminates the need for patients to be on blood thinners for prolonged periods of time.

— The Conduction of Electricity: The Conduction Pathway —

Cardiac squeezing action is controlled by the heart’s electrical activity. In fact, the conduction pathway that exists for this electrical activity is what we observe when looking at electrocardiogram tracings (abbreviated ECG, or colloquially known as EKG rhythm strips). ECG tracings show three main waves: the P-wave, the QRS-complex, and the T-wave. Crucially, analysis of these waves provides cardiologists with critical diagnostic information. The conduction pathway begins in the right atrium with a group of “like-minded” heart cells known as the sinoatrial node (abbreviated SA node and also called the heart’s “pacemaker cells”). Once the SA node fires, electrical charge disperses across the atrium and arrives at the aterioventricular (AV) node. At the AV node, the electrical charge then travels down through the intraventricular septum (a tissue that separates the chambers associated with the left and right ventricles), traveling down and along the bundle of His.

Continuing on – the charge follows the pathway that is made available by the bundle of His, a fibrous tissue pathway that splits within the septum and forms a right bundle branch and a left bundle branch. Here the electrical charge flows through the right and left bundle branches within the septum. Finally, both the right and left bundle branches divide and carry the electrical charge into terminal filaments of delicate, feathery-like fibers called Purkinje fibers.

The conduction pathway within the heart, not to mention the heart itself, is an electrochemical process. In fact, a physiological redundancy has been designed into the cardiac electrical system. By this I mean that the heart’s muscle cells, the cardiac myocytes, have the capacity to fire at sustained rates, and thus each contract individually on their own accord. However, specified regions exist throughout the myocardium, as well as along the conduction pathway, that are designed to fire in a hierarchal fashion, with each region firing at determined rates and led by the SA node, or in other words, the so-called pacemaker cells.

— The Arteries That Crown the Heart —

Coronary arteries are special arteries that crown the heart. These arteries are important because they provide the heart with oxygen so that it pumps effortlessly. Notably, all coronary arteries stem from two main divisions, aptly named the right coronary artery and the left main coronary artery. Of these two divisions, the left main coronary artery further divides into the left anterior descending artery and the left circumflex artery (with the latter known simply as the circumflex artery). However, the coronary arteries are important not only because they supply the heart with oxygen, but because they are also susceptible to inflammation and injury that may lead to an occlusive artery disease known as coronary artery disease, a condition that restricts oxygen delivery.

Coronary artery disease is a silent, chronic process that has two phases. The first phase begins when white blood cells respond to inflammation between the innermost and middle layers (the tunica intima and tunica media layers, respectively) of one or more of the coronary arteries. As more and more white blood cells arrive, over time they form a viable bump called an atheroma within the inner wall (i.e., the luminal lining) of the affected artery. If the surface of the lumen over the bump bursts, then the second phase of coronary artery disease is initiated. In the second phase, the rupture or burst triggers platelets to aggregate around the injured tissue in an attempt to clot off the injury. In fact, this clot formation is called a thrombus. If the clot (or thrombus) significantly occludes the vessel, or if the clot formation occludes the vessels at just the right place within the coronary artery vasculature, a person may suffer from a heart attack. Heart attacks are a life threatening situation because the surrounding heart tissue, or the so-called mycocardium, that is normally supplied with oxygen by the flow of blood from the effected artery, will no longer receive its supply.

TECHNICAL INSERT: The lumen of the artery (i.e., the inner passageway of the artery) is characterized by a clean, smooth lining. This luminal lining is made up of endothelial cells, and it is these cells themselves that compose the innermost arterial layer (i.e., the tunica intima). This layer is much more delicate compared to the middle and outermost layers, the tunica media and the tunica adventia, respectively. Notably, the tunica media contains bands of smooth muscle, whereas the tunica adventia contains connective tissue. However, all three layers play an important role in the elastic nature of all arteries, but in the coronary arteries particularly.

One of the best ways to guard against coronary artery disease is to observe Virchow’s triad. Although a comprehensive exam of the three aspects of Virchow’s triad is beyond the scope of this article, it is interesting to note that the prevention of endothelial injury, or the reduction of endothelial dysfunction, is plausible through proper diet and exercise. When taken together, proper diet and adequate exercise can reduce or even counteract the inflammatory process that endothelial cells endure. And again, endothelial cells are those cell types that make up the tunica intima layer of arteries, and thus, it is these cells that are responsible for the smooth luminal lining of coronary arteries (i.e., the smooth inner-wall of the passageway of an artery).

virchow's-triadFigure 2: The three sides of Virchow’s triad.

And, indeed, diet and exercise are important since a luminal narrowing of 20%, as evidenced by coronary catheterization studies, is considered normal (Bovin, Klausen, & Petersen, 2013). What is more, studies show that between 30% – 50% of patients undergoing coronary CT angiography can have a stenosis (or a luminal narrowing) of up to 50% and not indicate signs of ischemic disease detectable by myocardial perfusion imaging, such as SPECT imaging (Cremer, Hachamovitch, & Tamarappoo, 2014).

— The Husk of Life: Glycocalyx —

The word glycocalyx is shaped from the prefix glyco or “sweet” and the suffix kalyx or “husk.” Because the glycocalyx forms a sugary, slimy coating of certain cell types in various animals, as well as several different cell types of the human body, we may think of it as the sweet husk (i.e., coating) of life. What is more, the prefix refers to the coating’s composition, which is carbohydrate-based. Microscopically, gylcocalyx looks like feathery fibers. First-year anatomy and physiology students would recognize the coating as the feathery elements of the microvilli of our intestinal tracts (recalling that the microvilli are actually the lining of the villi). However, important for our purposes, a glycocalyx coating is present on the innermost layer of our vasculature (i.e., on the luminal surface of the endothelial cells that comprise the tunica intima). In fact, a protective barrier made up of glycocalic fibers functions as a vital component to our cardiovascular health (Sieve, Munster-Kuhnel, & Hilfiker-Kleiner, 2018). Moreover, researchers investigating the embryonic stages of certain bird species have shown that a glycocalyx layer is present and viable as soon as blood flow starts (Henderson-Toth, Jahnsen, Jamarani, Al-Roubaie, & Jones, 2012).

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

– Psalm 139:13,14 (ESV)

— A Unique Thing About Cardiac Myocytes: The Heart’s Muscle Cells —

From organ to tissue to the cellular level, the cardiac myocytes are rather specialized muscle cells. According to Ferrari’s comprehensive review (2002) of these cells:

The myocytes are extraordinary cells. They are immortal and contract for a lifetime, supporting the peripheral circulation. In order to do so, they have a unique ultrastructure and unique biochemical machinery that allows them to produce enough adenosine triphosphate to support the contraction. This article deals with the ultrastructure of cardiac muscle and myocytes, and with our current understanding of cardiac metabolism. In addition, the process of contraction is taken into consideration, as well as the mechanisms that allow the adult myocyte to be a terminal cell. However, even the myocytes can die; this can happen by necrosis as a result of an external insult (e.g. a lack of oxygen due to an abrupt occlusion of a coronary artery) or by apoptosis – a genetically programmed type of death that is operative in foetal life. Interestingly, and quite amazingly, under pathological conditions such as acute myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure, this genetic programme is reinstated and apoptosis can then occur, thus resembling features that occur in the embryonic phenotype. The metabolic alterations that occur under pathological conditions such as myocardial ischaemia are also addressed in depth, with several references to the so-called ‘new ischaemic syndromes’, such as stunning, hibernation and reperfusion paradox. The review is presented in light of an understanding of the biochemical and biomolecular changes that occur in pathological conditions, with the hope that this will provide room for innovative therapeutic intervention.

Thinking outside the embryonic stem cell box

In her 2007 article “Stem Cells: Does Their Origin Matter?” published in Answers Magazine, Dr. Georgia Purdom, a molecular geneticist with Answers in Genesis, presented several key points:

  • Stem cells are classified as either totipotent or pluripotent/multipotent.
  • Totipotent stem cells are taken from embryonic tissue, an action that kills the embryo in the process. These cells are capable of forming any cell type in the body, but carry certain risks for the recipient.
  • Pluripotent and multipotent stem cells are harvested from adult tissue, and notably, the process does no harm to the adult. These stem cell types are capable of forming almost every cell type in the body.
  • Ethical issues concerning life and its preservation can be easily reconciled through a biblical worldview.
  • Interestingly, an alternate approach to using embryonic stem cells taps the potential to reprogram adult cells to become more like embryonic stem cells. Here Dr. Purdom cited the work by Silva, Chambers, Pollard, and Smith (2006) with the protein Nanog on nervous system cells, published in the journal Nature.

Optimistic remarks concerning the reprogramming of adult cells surfaced ten years later in an interview with acclaimed materials scientist Buddy Ratner, PhD of the University of Washington. The interview appeared in a 2017 issue of the biotechnology journal Future Science, and celebrated Dr. Ratner’s forty-nine years of work in biomaterials science. When asked about exciting advances we should look for in the next five years within the biomaterials arena, Dr. Ratner’s response touched on the plasticity of adult cells. What follows is the relevant excerpt of that interview:

Another interesting area is a new concept I call ‘cell plasticity’. Through most of Modern Biology we have used the term ‘terminally differentiate’ – a mature cell cannot go any place. Now people are getting the idea that cells are actually very plastic, they change from one cell type to another, and the ability to control these transformations means almost any cell has a stem cell-like ability. We do have defined stem cells but I think the ability to take an adult cell and to crank it back to a more plastic, stem-like state, then direct it, gives us tremendous options in the area we call regenerative medicine. Within the initial biomaterials ideas we said ‘well if a part fails we’ll replace it with plastic and metal’ – the regenerative medicine field says ‘if a part fails we’ll just regrow it’. Regenerative medicine interest is increasing and efforts in that area are rightly accelerating. The interesting thing is, this still requires an extensive use of biomaterials in many different forms such as scaffolds and drug delivery platforms, so biomaterials are an important foundation technology to make regenerative medicine a reality. (“Question #5,” para. 2)

Part 2 will focus on biomimetic applications in cardiovascular medicine!

Keeping the preceding paragraphs in mind, we now outline the second installment of our focus on cardiovascular medicine (part two of our article) in this biomimicry series. First, discussion related to tissue engineering and regenerative science in cardiovascular research will center specifically on multipotent and pluripotent stem cell therapy. Second, we will briefly expand on cell plasticity related to cardiovascular medicine. Third, we will draw attention to the interesting, evolving role of protein therapy in cardiology, such as efforts to treat heart attack (i.e., myocardial infarction) by reprogramming/regenerating heart muscle cells (i.e., the cardiac myocytes). Fourth, we will highlight a novel approach to reperfusion therapy by Singh and Wang (2014), who introduced the concept of using coronary artery stents mimicked after the skeletal structure of the monarch caterpillar. Finally, we will explore a variety of other biomimetic applications that have promising potential to impact cardiac and endovascular patient care.

monarch-caterpillar-cvcuFigure 3: The segmented structure of the monarch caterpillar has inspired a novel coronary stent concept that offers segmented movement relative to pulsatile blood flow through the coronary arteries, as well as movement related to the heart’s squeezing action.

References

Bovin, A., Klausen, I.C., & Petersen, L.J. (2013). Myocardial perfusion imaging in patients with a recent, normal exercise test. World Journal of Cardiology, 5(3), 54-59. [View in article] [View in PubMed]

Cremer, P., Hachamovitch, R., & Tamarappoo, B. (2014). Clinical decision making with myocardial perfusion imaging in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Seminars in Nuclear Medicine, 44(4), 320-329. [View in PubMed]

Ferrari, R. (2002). Healthy versus sick myocytes: Metabolism, structure and function. European Heart Journal Supplements, 4 (supplement G), G1-G12. [View in article]

Henderson-Toth, C.E., Jahnsen, E.D., Jamarani, R., Al-Roubaie, S., & Jones, E.A. (2012). The glycocalyx is present as soon as blood flow is initiated and is required for normal vascular development. Developmental Biology, 369(2), 330-339. [View in article] [View in PubMed]

Purdom, G. (2007, January 1). Stem cells: Does their origin matter? Answers Magazine. [View in online article]

Ratner, B. (2017). Forty-nine years in Biomaterials Science: An interview with Buddy Ratner. Future Science OA, 3(1), FSO158. [View in article] [View in PubMed]

Roche, E.T., Horvath, M.A., Wamala, I., Alazmani, A., Song, S.E., Whyte, W., … Walsh, C.J. (2017). Soft robotic sleeve supports heart function. Science Translational Medicine, 9(373), eaaf3925. [View abstract] [View in PubMed]

Sieve, I., Munster-Kuhnel, A.K., & Hilfiker-Kleiner, D. (2018). Regulation and function of endothelial glycocalyx layer in vascular diseases. Vascular Pharmacology, 100, 26-33. [View in article] [View in PubMed]

Silva, J., Chambers, I., Pollard, S., & Smith, A. (2006). Nanog promotes transfer of pluripotency after cell fusion. Nature, 441, 997-1001. [View abstract] [View in PubMed]

Singh, C., & Wang, X. (2014). A biomimetic approach for designing stent-graft structures: Caterpillar cuticle as design model. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 30, 16-29. [View abstract] [View in PubMed]

Wagner, H., Terkelsen, C.J., Friberg, H., Harnek, J., Kern, K., Lassen, J.F., & Olivecrona, G.K. (2010). Clinical arrest in the catheterization laboratory: A 5-year experience of using mechanical chest compressions to facilitate PCI during prolonged resuscitation efforts. Resuscitation, 81(4), 383-387. [View abstract] [View in PubMed] [View in article]

Wininger, K.L. (2007). Chest compressions: biomechanics and injury. Radiologic Technology, 78(4), 269-274. [View abstract] [View in PubMed]

Wininger, K.L. (2018, September 14). Biomimicry 101: Biomaterials and tissue engineering. [blog post]. Retrieved from https://studiesoncreation.org/2018/09/14/biomimicry-101-biomaterials-and-tissue-engineering/.

Previous articles in this series:

Stay tuned as we continue our focus on cardiovascular medicine!

In our next installment, we not only continue our discussion on cardiac tissue engineering, but we will also highlight novel biomimetic applications across various areas of clinical cardiology and endovascular research.

Help us celebrate NASA’s 60th anniversary

apollo-11-bootprintApollo 11 bootprint (Courtesy of Buzz Aldrin and NASA)

Today marks NASA’s 60th anniversary!

Please help celebrate our unique place in the universe by liking (and sharing) some of our recent blogs related to all things cosmological and meteorological.

The blogs:

  1. Interviewing Steven Gollmer, PhD

  2. About the Moon – Armstrong Air and Space Museum

Selected excerpt:

Armstrong’s Famous Walk
History indeed offers much perspective on Armstrong’s famous first steps on the lunar surface. What follows is an excerpt from the book From Beirut to Jerusalem by author and columnist Thomas L. Friedman (1991):
When American astronaut Neil Armstrong, a devout Christian, visited Israel after his trip to the moon, he was taken on a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem by Israeli archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov. When they got to the Hulda Gate, which is at the top of the stairs leading to the Temple Mount, Armstrong asked Ben-Dov whether Jesus had stepped anywhere around there.
“I told him, ‘Look, Jesus was a Jew,’” recalled Ben-Dov. “These are the steps that lead to the Temple, so he must have walked here many times.”
Armstrong then asked if these were the original steps, and Ben-Dov confirmed they were.
“So Jesus stepped right here?” asked Armstrong again.
“That’s right,” answered Ben-Dov.
“I have to tell you,” Armstrong said to the Israeli archeologist, “I am more excited stepping on these stones than I was stepping on the moon.”
The Exchange between the Astronaut and the Archeologist
Considering Armstrong’s reclusive nature, it is quite amazing that the exchange between Armstrong and Ben-Dov was ever captured in the annals of history. Even more remarkable is how we came to know of it, as if we were there alongside Armstrong in Jerusalem touring the Temple Mount and listening in on him questioning Ben-Dov. But, most importantly, rather than getting a potentially biased opinion about the first moon walk appearing in an op-ed piece somewhere from some pundit, we can directly credit Armstrong himself as the one offering such a candid viewpoint on his own first steps.
  1. A Trek of Galactic Proportions

  2. The Expanding Universe: The Redshifts of Galaxies and Quasars Indicate Distance

  3. Pi Day Celebrates 3.14159…

orion-and-the-pleiadesAll of creation points to a Creator

Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the chords of Orion?

– Job 38:31 (ESV)

All of Creation Points to a Creator

The truth Ashland Creation Colloquium adheres to is that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and although it is not a book of science, everything the Bible says about science is true.

As an example, consider Orion and the Pleiades. The Book of Job says that the Pleiades is confined, whereas the three stars making up Orion’s belt are not. In recent decades, observations from modern physics and astronomy have shown that the constellation Pleiades, appearing to the right of Orion as a faint ball of light, is in reality a globular star cluster containing hundreds of stars. By imposing a gravitational pull, each star in the Pleiades constellation constrains its neighbor within the cluster. Conversely, similar observations of the most identifiable and perfectly aligned three stars in the night sky, those comprising the belt of Orion – that is, the stars Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka – reveal no such gravitational attraction on each other. In other words, despite their linear appearance, distances among these three stars go well beyond the constraining gravitational effects of any one star on either of the other two. Therefore, the alignment of Orion’s belt is much more than just an illusion of accidental geometry and optics.

Let’s consider a puzzle. Despite the limitations of our human condition, why are we able to understand the universe? Why can we study it – from far-reaching macroscopic vistas, as seen in Orion and the Pleiades, to the delicate microscopic level of subatomic particles, such as protons, neutrons, and electrons? Answering these types of questions is what Ashland Creation Colloquium is all about.

The 2018–2019 Creation Science Essay Contests

Celebrate further and challenge yourself by entering our 2018-2019 creation science essay contests for high school students and college undergraduates. When choosing from selected writing prompts that include diverse subject matter related to cosmology and meteorology, you can investigate the expanding, observable universe by describing the duality of light, or research and report on the heating and cooling of the planet, or even explore the interactions of particle physics by detailing concepts related to PET scans in medicine. Please click here for more information.

A harvest-time thanksgiving

harvest-moon-2018
The importance of astronomical observatories among early civilizations, especially among early agricultural societies, came directly from the need of people to construct calendars on which they could incorporate their celestial observations to predict the position of the sun and the phases of the moon for crop planting and harvesting (Genesis 1:14-18, English Standard Version; Struik, 1987).

A harvest-time thanksgiving

Working late into the evening hours in a not-so-distant past, farmers in North America relied heavily on the light of the full moon nearest the fall equinox to help bring in their crops. This moon came to be called the Harvest Moon.

— The full moon of harvest —

Although each year the fall equinox settles on the 21st or 22nd of September, the full moon phase nearest this seasonal change ranges between mid-September and early October.

In fact, during this time of the year, moon rise occurs 20 minutes sooner each evening (or only 30 minutes later as opposed to the normal 50 minutes later each successive night). Collectively, this cycle spans three days before and after the official full moon calendar date, or roughly a week’s worth of time. Even more, moon rise each evening during that week is nearly simultaneous with sunset. And the cumulative amount of light (that is, the light given by the sun and all the light reflected by the moon) translates into quite a striking event for harvesters, especially in the days before flood lamps appeared on farm equipment.

With the choicest fruits of the sun and the rich yield of the months.

– Deuteronomy 33:14 (ESV)

Fall equinox occurred this year on Saturday, September 22nd, at 9:54 p.m. (EDT), but the official full moon of harvest – the full Harvest Moon – occurs tonight, Monday, September 24th, at 10:52 p.m. (EDT). This timestamp marks the date and time at which there is 100% completeness in the face of the moon.

So, shortly after enjoying tonight’s sunset at 7:22 p.m. (EDT), look towards the east and enjoy this year’s Harvest Moon, which is set to rise at 7:35 p.m. (EDT).

References

Struik, D.J. (1987). The beginnings. A concise history of mathematics (4th ed.). New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.