Copernicus’ book “On the Revolution of Celestial Spheres” (1543)
Newton’s book “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” (1687)
Einstein’s Relativity (1907)
Alexander Fleming’s Penicillin (1928)
The Human Genome Project (2003)
They are all scientific discoveries and advancements that have had a major impact on the world, yet when the discoveries were made, life went on as usual. Consider that on a certain day in 2003 when the Human Genome Project was declared finished, you woke up and went about your daily affairs as though nothing of huge importance happened. Yet on that day Francis Collins and his colleagues completed a major genetics project that has greatly advanced science and human health and will continue to do so into the future.
When major discoveries are made, life tends to go on as usual. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Our parents or grandparents likely remember the great excitement that resulted when Jonas Salk (not to be confused with the Jonas Brothers, younger folks) introduced a safe Polio vaccine in 1955. Or they remember the excitement that arose when, in 1922, two physicians from Canada walked onto a hospital diabetes ward full of grieving parents and dying children, gave the children injections of their newly discovered hormone called insulin, and quickly brought the comatose children back from the clutches of death.
Did you know that a major medical discovery was made over the last year, a discovery that will likely go down in the history books as having a significant impact on heart health? As the discovery unfolded, you and I probably went about our daily affairs as though nothing hugely important occurred. Interesting, isn’t it? Here is what happened.
Researchers at the University of Utah and other locations discovered that stem cells taken from the bone marrow of heart failure patients, incubated in a bio-reactor, and then inserted into failing hearts, rejuvenated heart muscle. Researcher Dr. Amit Patel said that the inserted stem cells "send out little chemicals that go to all the local heart muscle, and throughout the body . . . recruit[ing] other cells to the heart [that] work together to actually rebuild and remodel [the heart]." Dr. Patel described the remodeling and rebuilding process as “very dramatic." The procedure is not yet a cure, but it is prolonging lives and giving heart patients and their loved ones new hope.
The Lord is the benefactor of great latter-day scientific discoveries. The apostle Paul testified that in the last days, God would pour out His spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17). Joseph Fielding Smith taught that that spirit, the Light of Christ, inspires men to “invent and discover the great truths which, until now, the Lord has seen fit to keep hid from the inhabitants of the world.”
The Spirit of the Lord will continue to bless us with scientific discoveries just as the apostle Paul testified nearly 2000 years ago. We might not know when breakthroughs occur, but they are happening, thanks to the Lord.