Participants: Dr. James Marcum (Host), David Lindsey
Series Code: BRX
Program Code: BRX00007A
00:01 Are you confused by the conflicting health reports
00:03 in the news today?
00:04 In this well marketed world is hard to know who or
00:08 even what to believe, but there are answers
00:10 you can depend on.
00:11 Hi, I'm Dr. James Markham.
00:14 Join me for Bible RX, a program exploring
00:17 the healthcare world.
00:19 Looking at all aspects of healing, using the Bible
00:23 and biblical prescriptions as the ultimate
00:26 source of truth.
00:49 Today we have a very exciting program.
00:51 Dr. David Lindsey, a Molecular Biologist from
00:55 Walla Walla University has joined us.
00:57 We are going to be talking about science and medicine.
01:00 How God designed us.
01:04 Medicine and science are deeply interconnected.
01:08 The practice of medicine depends
01:10 on the science, the science determines
01:12 the medicines we use, the way we make diagnosis.
01:15 It is a very fascinating subject.
01:17 Today we have collected questions from all over the
01:20 United States and world regarding science and
01:23 how it relates to medicine.
01:25 We are lucky and very fortunate to have a special
01:27 guest with us today, Dr. David Lindsey who is a Molecular
01:31 Biologists, who thinks about science every day.
01:34 He is going to help answer some of these questions.
01:36 David I would like to welcome you Biblical RX.
01:40 No, Biblical RX stands for Biblical Prescriptions.
01:43 We try to use the Bible to have prescriptions
01:46 that change our chemistry.
01:48 We are just glad you are here.
01:50 What got you interested in science?
01:53 Were you playing around the science kit when you
01:55 were a little boy?
01:56 Or how do you get so interested in science,
01:58 to make it a career?
02:00 I think from early on I was
02:03 always excited you about nature
02:04 and being outdoors and looking
02:07 at the frogs, and the trees and understanding just how,
02:12 what are the wonderful things there are out
02:14 there in God's creation.
02:16 As I went on through, well in fact I probably started
02:20 in college, thinking I wanted to be in wildlife management.
02:26 As I moved on through college I became more and more
02:29 fascinated about what makes the trees and the frogs
02:32 actually work in the cell level, at a molecular level.
02:35 Now cells, which is bigger, a cell or molecule?
02:40 Well cells are made up of many, many molecules.
02:43 So then molecules are smaller than cells?
02:46 So these are the basic things that make up
02:47 you and me, right?
02:48 Yes, they are our life.
02:50 That is where it all started,
02:51 you were interested in little things?
02:54 Now what are your responsibilities today?
02:56 Are you still working with little things?
02:57 Or have you moved to big things, or are you mainly
03:00 teaching, or do you do research?
03:01 What are some of your responsibilities at
03:03 Walla Walla University?
03:04 I really have a wonderful job I think.
03:06 I am a Biology professor at Walla Walla University.
03:10 Which means I get to interact with students every day
03:14 in an academic environment, and I really,
03:16 really enjoy that.
03:18 I lecture and lecturing can be enjoyable, but what I
03:23 find really fascinating is being able to meet with students
03:26 one on one or in small groups.
03:28 A really good place to do that is
03:30 in a research laboratory.
03:31 It is an undergraduate research laboratory, but we have
03:33 Master students, so it is not a real high powered
03:37 research laboratory but it gives students an opportunity
03:39 to learn science.
03:41 Science that we publish, science that they present
03:44 at meetings, and it is great to watch students develop
03:48 into young scientists.
03:49 In research, the tools you use to research, whether it
03:53 is a small program or big problem, the basics are
03:55 pretty much the same, aren't they?
03:58 Okay so whether you are playing ball here or the major
03:59 leagues you still have to start somewhere?
04:01 That is right.
04:02 There are still certain rules that you have to play by?
04:03 Well do you ever have to answer questions?
04:05 Do I ever have to answer questions?
04:08 I answer lots of questions from students.
04:11 You know why I asked that question, because I've got a
04:12 load of questions that they have written into
04:14 Heartwise Ministries from all the world regarding
04:17 science and medicine.
04:18 I'm hoping some of these you will be able to tackle,
04:21 some of these we won't.
04:22 So let's just go to the questions right now.
04:24 First question comes from Florida, and this is from
04:27 Jeanie in Florida.
04:29 Someone once told Jeanie she had bad genetics.
04:33 Jeanie had bad genetics.
04:35 She wanted to know, she didn't know what that meant.
04:38 If someone says you have bad genetics,
04:40 what you think they are getting to?
04:42 I guess a doctor might have told her,
04:44 you just have bad genetics, Jeanie.
04:46 She wants to know what that means?
04:47 First you need to understand what genetics is.
04:50 It is a big word.
04:51 What is a gene?
04:53 Our bodies are made of cells.
04:56 All kinds of cells, we have heart cells,
04:58 we have liver cells, we have brain cells,
05:01 and those cells are made up of molecules,
05:03 like you were mentioning minutes ago.
05:06 Most of the molecules are really important to a cell
05:09 are called proteins.
05:10 Proteins are the rafters, the beams, the workers of the
05:16 cell that carry out the cells function.
05:19 It makes a heart cell beat.
05:20 It makes a liver cell do what it is supposed to do.
05:24 It makes a brain cell think, if you will.
05:26 Each of these cells have different proteins.
05:29 So how does proteins get there in the first place?
05:32 Well the cell makes the proteins, but in order to make
05:34 those proteins, they have to have a database.
05:37 They had to have a source of information source to
05:42 tell them how to make proteins.
05:44 To tell them how to do their jobs?
05:45 Yeah, that is what DNA is.
05:47 DNA carries the information that a cell uses
05:51 to make proteins.
05:52 Is that like a computer chip?
05:53 Yes! And so on DNA molecules are regions we call genes.
05:59 Each gene carries the information that is needed
06:02 to make a protein.
06:03 So genes encode proteins.
06:06 These proteins carry out everything we do, right?
06:09 The words that come out of my mouth,
06:11 are proteins and enzymes involved in that?
06:13 The proteins are involved in helping you formulate your
06:17 ideas and then to articulate those into words.
06:21 There are lots of other molecules involved in this,
06:23 but proteins are the key.
06:25 Well someone said that Jeanie had bad genetics.
06:28 So what is that?
06:30 Does she have bad proteins?
06:32 Genes are like, genes are like, we can say the
06:36 information is letters in a word.
06:38 Words spell things because you use certain letters to
06:42 make them and so genes carry information that way.
06:46 Proteins also are composed of a molecule we can
06:51 think of as letters.
06:52 A sequence of letters in DNA spell the sequence of
06:55 letters in a protein.
06:57 We call the letters in protein, amino acids.
07:00 So DNA tells the cell what amino acids to string
07:03 together to make a protein.
07:05 Now we can have these proteins, in order for them to
07:08 function properly they have to have the right sequence
07:12 of amino acids.
07:13 Sometimes if one amino acid is wrong,
07:15 protein doesn't work very well.
07:17 A good example is hemoglobin.
07:20 If you change...
07:21 that is the one that carries you red blood cells, right?
07:23 So that is what carries oxygen?
07:25 So if one of those is messed up, you are in bad shape?
07:28 Well if you just change one of those letters,
07:31 one of those amino acids, then we get a condition called
07:36 sickle cell anemia.
07:38 Because that hemoglobin cannot carry oxygen as well.
07:42 The reason why the protein has that difference,
07:46 is because the DNA that carries the information,
07:51 has the code as one of the letters that are different.
07:55 So we think of that as being a mistake because we think
07:58 of normal hemoglobin as being normal.
08:01 Sickle cell hemoglobin is being an abnormal situation.
08:07 So when you think of having bad genes, it is not a gene
08:12 that you had that nobody else has.
08:14 We all have the same genes, it is just that perhaps your
08:18 copy of that gene has a mistake in it.
08:21 So she might have inherited it from her mom or dad?
08:24 She could have an inherited it, that's right.
08:25 Can you make these genes bad, these building blocks
08:27 can you make it bad by the things you do?
08:29 Our bodies always being exposed to...
08:31 You hear about mutations, you know radiation,
08:34 damaging genes and stuff.
08:35 Right, certainly these things that we sometimes called
08:40 carcinogens, and other environmental factors,
08:43 can cause changes in the DNA in our cells.
08:46 We have remarkable systems that allow these cells to fix
08:49 those damaged letters.
08:53 If they can't fix the damage, then the cells have other
08:57 systems that will cause them to self-destruct.
09:00 We have a really remarkable systems that help ensure
09:03 that those bad genes don't become a part of the cells
09:07 in our body, but sometimes, as remarkable as our
09:10 systems are, one of them gets through.
09:12 So then we end up with a diseased cell that is the
09:17 consequence of that.
09:18 Fortunately when that happens, we do not pass that on
09:20 to our children, because that is not in what we call
09:23 our germ lines, it is not going to be a part of the
09:25 eggs and sperm.
09:26 If those mistakes happen in the cells that make our
09:29 egg and sperm, then yes we can pass both on to our
09:32 children and they will pass them on to their children.
09:34 So some of this bad genes, that Jeanie had,
09:37 might have been inherited?
09:39 From other people?
09:40 It could have been, or it could have been something
09:42 that happen because of changes that happened in cells
09:44 in her body, like what might cause cancer,
09:48 as a result of her lifestyle, or even things
09:52 we do not have any control over.
09:54 Well Jeannie that was a pretty big answer, but it is
09:57 pretty complex, this genetics and molecular biology.
10:00 Let's move to the next question Dr. Lindsey.
10:04 My little brother has leukemia, and the doctors
10:07 mentioned stem cell research.
10:10 You know we hear that on the news all the time,
10:12 stem cell research, cloning.
10:14 This person writes from Oklahoma.
10:16 In simple terms, how might that help my brother?
10:20 So maybe we can get a basic understanding of what
10:23 stem cell is, and how it is used in medicine,
10:26 and how it might help her brother.
10:28 Well let's talk about that.
10:29 Certainly stem cells is a hot topic today in the media.
10:32 I think if it is important for us to be informed and
10:35 understand the answers to medical questions and really
10:38 need to know what is going on in our bodies.
10:41 Get the basics?
10:42 Right, so once you think about is that in the beginning
10:47 of your life, the egg and the sperm join to form one cell.
10:52 And that cell is what starts your life.
10:54 From that one cell comes 10 trillion cells.
10:56 10 trillion?
10:58 Something along those lines.
11:00 That make us what we are.
11:03 But that cell, in order to become a human,
11:06 had to grow and divide, grow and divide, grow and
11:09 divide, and we call that cell proliferation.
11:11 So cells proliferate to make a whole bunch of cells.
11:14 Then those cells have to turn into all the different
11:17 kinds of cells in our bodies.
11:18 It's thought we have upwards to 220 different kinds of cells,
11:21 not just brain cells, and heart cells, a lot of
11:24 different kinds of cells.
11:25 What we talked about before, this DNA, amino acids,
11:28 and all those complexes determine which
11:29 direction these cells go?
11:31 That is right, that is right.
11:32 So the brain cell has a different set of proteins then
11:36 the heart cells that's made.
11:39 So this cell, that starts our life, has to have
11:42 remarkable potency, it has to be able...
11:44 What does potency mean?
11:46 The ability to become all these 220 different cells.
11:50 So at this point I might go in this direction, or this
11:53 direction and become this type of cell?
11:54 Right, so we think of embryonic
11:57 stem cells, those are the kind
12:00 we find in an embryo that is not very big.
12:05 An embryo that might form after about 5 or 6 days.
12:08 So this is inside uteruo as the mother is carrying?
12:11 As the mother is carrying this?
12:12 Right, and those cells have the potency to become
12:16 all the different cells.
12:17 As time goes on and the fetus forms, those cells do
12:21 differentiate into heart cells, and blood cells,
12:24 and so on.
12:26 But even after you are born, your body still carries
12:29 cells that had this remarkable ability to make new cells.
12:35 Your skin is constantly being changed.
12:38 You get new blood cells every few days.
12:40 Those cells have to come from what we call stem cells.
12:44 Only when they are in the adult,
12:46 we call them adult stem cells.
12:48 Scientists used to think that adult stem cells,
12:51 and scientists still think for the most part,
12:54 that adult stem cells have reduced potency.
12:57 That is they don't, they are not able to form all the
13:00 different types of cells in the body.
13:02 So they might be stuck be in this type of cell?
13:04 Well, right, so we have what, a special type of stem
13:08 cell that is able to make the blood cells in your body.
13:12 So they will be present usually in the bone marrow.
13:16 They will proliferate, and from time to time they will
13:20 stop proliferating and become one of the different
13:23 kinds of blood cells.
13:24 I think I am figuring this out.
13:26 What a stem cell is, it is a cell that proliferates,
13:30 but at certain times the cells can stop proliferating
13:35 and they become an adult cell,
13:38 which has an adult function.
13:40 You can be a hard cell or a liver cell,
13:42 or something like that.
13:43 Once a cell stops proliferating, it begins to go down
13:48 that pathway, normally it would not proliferate anymore.
13:53 It has an adult function now.
13:55 But it is those functions that makes us what we are,
13:59 that are important.
14:00 The idea behind stem cells is that if we have damage,
14:04 like we have leukemia, which is essentially a cancer of
14:08 the blood, then maybe we can take those bad cells out
14:13 and put new stem cells into our bone marrow that will
14:17 give us good blood cells instead of the bad cells,
14:21 which our stem cells are doing.
14:22 I see, so that is very interesting.
14:25 So you would take a cell, that has come from somewhere,
14:28 a good cell potentially make up with the bad cells?
14:33 So I guess that is how stem cells could
14:35 help her little brother?
14:36 Well that is very fascinating.
14:37 We are going to have to take a short break now,
14:40 but we will be back just after this message.