Scientists Discover Not All Human Cells Are Identical

The study:

Scientists in Montreal have discovered that not all human cells are identical, a surprising observation that could turn genetic research upside down.

For years, scientists have worked on the assumption that, when it comes to DNA, every cell in the body is essentially similar to every other cell.

But the results of a study published in the July issue of the journal Human Mutation show there are major genetic differences between blood and tissue cells.

“This is very important and exciting,” said Dr. Morris Schweitzer of McGill University’s department of medicine, who led the study.

He said that, when looking for genetic risk factors for diseases, researchers have assumed blood cells were a mirror of what was happening in tissue cells.

“Our findings show that it’s not the case. You have to look at the tissue if you really want to study the genetics of the disease,” Schweitzer said.

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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