Stem Cells Polarize Ethics

first_imgAdult stem cells are continuing to promise revolutionary therapies, while embryonic stem cells remain a political football even after Obama’s loosening of restrictions.  Some stories seem to suppress the word “embryonic” and just talk about “stem cells,” but there is a big difference in the ethics of one over the other.  Embryonic stem cells require harvesting a human embryo.Adult Stem Cell NewsDiabetes:  Sufferers of peripheral artery disease, common among diabetics, may have hope using stem cells from their own bone marrow.  PhysOrg reported that researchers at the University of Western Ontario isolated three types of stem cells from bone marrow that can regrow blood vessels.Bone:  Arthritis?  Hip fracture?  The BBC News reported that stem cells from bone marrow are showing promise to regrow bone.  Researchers at Keele University attach the stem cells to tiny magnets and then guide them to places where they are needed.  “The technique combines the patients [sic] own bone marrow stem cells with donor bone cells to patch-repair damaged bones that would otherwise need treatment with metal plates and pins.” Angina:  Adult stem cells may alleviate the pain of angina and allow patients with the heart condition to walk again.  Autologous (from-the-patient) stem cells from bone marrow helped patients walk longer on a treadmill without pain, reported Science Daily.Embryonic Stem Cell NewsFetal harvesting:  An upbeat article from Science Daily says “New Stem Cell Therapy May Lead To Treatment For Deafness.”  The body of the article describes a scientist from University of Sheffield harvesting cochlear cells from 9- to 11-week old human fetuses.  They got them to differentiate into inner ear cell types, but not to form the hair bundles characteristic of the cochlea.  The research is in the early stages; no actual treatments are being proposed.  It was not clear from the article where they got the fetuses.Brazil nuts:  Science last week reported that Brazil ran roughshod over religious leaders by banking on embryonic stem cell research over their objections.  “Despite vocal opposition from religious groups, the Brazilian government has launched a major initiative in pluripotent stem cell research.  In the past 3 weeks, eight university labs in four states started receiving the first payments of a 3-year, $9.3 million grant intended to reshape them into Cell Technology Centers.”  In this predominantly Catholic country, religious leaders have opposed ES research for years, but “A coalition of scientific groups, including the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science, and patients’ advocacy organizations fought back.”  Last year, after one advocate “helped fill the Supreme Federal Court galleries with people in wheelchairs and their relatives,” Brazil’s Supreme Court upheld a 2005 law allowing the harvesting of stem cells from fertility clinics.  Now the government is supporting it with the taxes of those who oppose it.Harvesting Obama for more:  Constance Holden wrote in Science March 20 that scientists, though thrilled with Obama’s executive order loosening restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, want more: “Many scientists would like to work with lines created through research cloning, or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).”  Human cloning was considered abhorrent by most ethicists during the Bush administration.  Arguments for stem cells from fertility clinics at the time stressed that those embryos were going to be destroyed anyway.  Many politicians on both sides of the aisle at the time stressed that they did not support human cloning.    Obama’s executive order, however, did not specify the source of the embryos.  It appears that scientists might have the liberty to choose what stem cells to work on – including those of human embryos created solely for research purposes.  What guidelines or restrictions will the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide?The traditional opponents of hES cell research are expecting the worst.  Even with the derivation of new cell lines still banned, some fear the new policy will turn the federal government into an indirect supporter of cloning.  The executive order “turned out to be far more extreme than [the] biggest proponents had hoped,” said the Family Research Council.  “With no clear policy from the White House, you and I could be footing the bill for research that clones embryos just to scavenge their parts.”  Psychiatrist and columnist Charles Krauthammer, a former member of the president’s bioethics commission, said in an op-ed column that he does not oppose hES cell research but accused the president of “moral abdication” in leaving it up to scientists whether to create embryos solely for research.    On the contrary, says Harvard University’s George Daley: “We need legislation that allows [such] decisions … to be left to scientists.”  Daley points out that guidelines hammered out in 2005 by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and regularly updated, as well as recommendations by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, do not specify what biological sources should be used but focus on informed consent procedures for obtaining eggs, sperm, or embryos, and proper scientific procedures.    So far, there’s no available evidence that researchers anywhere are using lines other than from excess IVF embryos….The tone of the article indicates that scientists want to police their own policies but fear running afoul of public concerns over ethics.  Meanwhile, Kurt Gottfried and Harold Varmus, in the same issue of Science (March 20), portrayed the Obama Era (including his support of embryonic stem cell research) as “The Enlightenment Returns.”  This presumably portrays the Bush Era as a kind of scientific Dark Ages.  They commented on Obama’s call for scientific integrity, which they interpreted as science free from political agendas performed by those with good scientific qualifications, but they did not use the words ethics or morals.  Speaking of ethics, two researchers wrote in the same March 20 issue of Science about the growing problem of offshore clinics that lure patients with promises of miracle cures with stem cells. Where to draw the line?  The editorial in Nature March 26 said, “Now that the US federal funding ban on human embryonic stem cells is lifted, scientists must engage the public’s concerns about embryo research.”  What kind of embryos are acceptable for research?  Notice where these strong advocates of embryonic stem cell research drew an ethical line:A key requirement for productive dialogue is a common frame of reference.  Here, the word ‘embryo’ is a stumbling block.  This term refers to everything from a newly fertilized single-celled egg to millions of cells organized into eyelids, ears, genitals and limbs.  Yet the latter form, which is present some eight weeks after fertilization, is not only ethically unacceptable for research but also far too old to yield embryonic stem cells.    Multiple sets of widely accepted guidelines from, for example, the US National Academies, the International Society for Stem Cell Research and Britain’s Warnock Report agree that the first sign that cells for the future body are starting to specialize – the glimmer of a structure known as the primitive streak at about 14 days after an egg begins to divide – marks the end of when any laboratory research on human embryos should be considered.  To discuss this responsibly, scientists should insist on precision, specifying an embryo’s developmental state in terms of its age, for example, or the number of cells.But is this stage of the embryo such a clear dividing line?  Could it not be pushed to 15 days, then 16, then three weeks or more by a future consortium of scientists and politicians, especially when money or fame are at stake?  The Germans learned in a grim way that scientific consensus is no bedrock on which to anchor a standard of what is “acceptable” (04/07/2005).Leading science journals have been attacking the Bush era and praising the Obama administration for its support of embryonic stem cell research.  Nature said last week, “President Barack Obama’s appointment of academic scientists and economists to positions of high authority in his administration has created the sort of excitement in universities and among researchers that has not been seen for eight years.  Certainly, after George W. Bush’s grudging agreement to a constricted programme of stem-cell research and his politicization of scientific findings about the environment, Obama’s choice of prominent scholars is a breath of fresh air.”    Likewise, Science interviewed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, giving her high marks for her support of “science.”  Reporter Jeffrey Mervis called her a “big hit” and said she “lights up a crowd” with her support of scientific institutions.  “Donning her mantle as party leader, she used the events to take a swipe at the Bush Administration,” he said, quoting her: “For a long time, science had not been in the forefront.  It was faith or science, take your pick.  Now we’re saying that science is the answer to our prayers.”  She also told a group of “assembled biomedical bigwigs” that “we need your help again to make President Obama’s executive order on stem cell research the law of the land.”The scientific societies, wedded to liberal politics as they are, don’t know ethics from a black hole.  “We don’t see anyone cloning humans… yet” they say, softening the public, like a frog in the pot, to accept what is coming.    To understand what is going on, read Ann Coulter’s book Godless about the secular liberal love fest with abortions and embryonic stem cells, in spite of the scientific evidence.  Read how liberals use victims and emotional propaganda, like celebrity pleas and courtrooms filled with wheelchairs, to spin their desire to kill as “compassion.”  See intentional folly turn into moral evil in the name of science by people who hate real science.  It will break your heart.    From the people who deny God as the Author of life, and who see humans as evolved slime, what would you expect?  Life is cheap.  Life is trash.  Scientists can play with it and do whatever they want.  Morals, shmorals.  If a cure for some disease emerges, fine, but it’s not a requirement.  Just get me a Nobel Prize.  In a perverted revolutionary cry, the out-of-control scientists shout: give me liberty, and give me death.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA congratulates China’s new president

first_img18 March 2013 South African President Jacob Zuma has joined global leaders in wishing Xi Jinping well as he takes over as China’s new president. Xi was announced as China’s new President on Thursday. He was appointed to the Communist Party’s top post in November, and now succeeds President Hu Jintao. The Presidency said in a statement on the weekend that South Africa looked forward to consolidating its strong relations with the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner and a significant investor in the South African economy. In 2012, total trade between the two countries stood at R201-billion, according to the South African Revenue Service. The two countries are also members of the BRICS group of influential emerging economies, which is to host its fifth summit in Durban next week. Xi’s visit to South Africa to attend the summit will be one of the first he undertakes as president of China. Zuma said that China and South Africa had agreed to work towards a more equitable trade balance so that both nations benefited from the growth in trade between them. A joint working group on trade statistics has been established under the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission in order to address the trade imbalance. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine Gets More Facebooky

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting As Facebook moves closer to Microsoft, Bing is becoming more like Facebook.Microsoft’s search engine gained “five times more content” on Thursday, the company said, adding much more Facebook content to the “sidebar” on the right-hand side of Bing’s organic search results. Now, Facebook status updates, shared links, comments and photos will all be shown when a user performs a search, provided the user is logged in to Facebook.Previously, Bing allowed users to ask their Facebook friends for responses to a query, such as the best restaurants in San Francisco. Now, those results will appear automatically, provided that a user’s friend network has actually discussed the topic. Photos will pop out, and queries such as “Notre Dame” will generate facts and figures on the cathedral, the university and your friends’ opinions as to whether or not Heisman Trophy candidate Manti Te’o’s girlfriend ever existed.“We think matching your search intent with relevant people and experts is a profound change to the way we use search, and can make it more useful than ever before,” the Bing Team wrote in a blog post. “We began this work last June, and now with our latest update, we’re expanding beyond ‘Likes,’ photos and profile information to include status updates, shared links and comments – all in an effort to help you get more done.Facebook And Microsoft Sitting In A Tree…Bing is busy getting closer to Facebook this week. Bing’s new Facebook integration is significant but not quite what Facebook promised with the introduction of Graph Search earlier this week. There, Facebook promised to eventually search its entire corpus of photos, posts, and interests over its more than one billion members. (And if Facebook Graph Search doesn’t return any results, it defaults to Bing as a backup.)For now, however, Graph Search searches are restricted in many cases to friends, apparently as much for reasons of privacy as much as voyeurism. For example, one can search for “photos of women taken at beaches” and only photos taken by friends are shown. But if one searches for “photos by women taken at beaches,” many more photos, taken by friends of friends, show up.Searching for “photos of women taken at beaches” didn’t produce any social search results at all on Bing, although one Facebook friend had taken several photos of friends at a recent beach wedding that he had uploaded to Facebook. (Photos or other content posted by “friends of friends” doesn’t seem to appear.) Oddly enough, four out of the four recommended videos Bing suggested were “adult only,” and blurred out by Bing’s SafeSearch feature. Tags:#Bing#Facebook#Microsoft Public information from Quora, Twitter and other social feeds will still appear in the sidebar as well, a Microsoft spokesman said in an email. Still, Facebook is given pride of place, and the only mention I saw of “Notre Dame” on another social network in my sidebar was Quora – and, as a Notre Dame alum, my Twitter feed has been burning up over the past few days.Facebook Photos Better On… FacebookWhile photos do appear on Bing’s sidebar, the best place to discover photos on Facebook is still… Facebook. A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to New Zealand, but a search on Bing highlighted only one photo – one of his earliest. Another friend’s recent trip to Hawaii wasn’t mentioned at all when I search for “Hawaii,” although other friends’ posts, dating back to March, appeared. Granted, those posts could have been more heavily weighted somehow within the Bing search algorithm, but their omission makes me doubt Bing’s ability to find relevant photos. One question I had following the launch of Facebook Graph Search was how much knowledge or benefit Microsoft would be able to derive. I’m seeing some, but not as much as I had hoped for.What I’ve said before still probably holds true, however: The benefits you’ll see with the enhanced Bing social search depend as much as the content your friends produce – how timely, relevant and tagged it is – versus Bing’s own search capabilities. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts markhachman 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Lipid Levels vs. Plant-Based Diets

first_imgPhoto by Sarah PittmanLipid Levels vs. Plant-Based DietsBy Sarah Pittman, Senior Dietetics studentOne of the benefits of eating a plant-based diet is related to cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet can reduce overall cholesterol and LDL levels. But studies have shown that a plant-based diet may not have any effect on increasing HDL or lowering triglyceride levels.What helps lower LDL and overall cholesterol the most? Phytosterols. Phytosterols help to decrease the absorption of cholesterol. The recommended intake of phytosterols is 2 g/day, (Cabral, C. E., Klein, M. R. S. T., 2017).Foods that are high in phytosterols include:Vegetable oils (wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, corn oil and canola oil)Whole grainsBran (rice bran, corn bran, wheat bran)Flour (soy flour, rye flour, whole wheat flour)Soybeans (Satija, A., Bhupathiraju, S., Spiegelman, D., Chiuve, S., Manson, J., Willett, W., & Rexrode, K., 2017).According to “Phytosterols-deficient and high-phytosterol diets developed for controlled feeding studies”,  while fruits and vegetables are relatively low in phytosterols by weight, they enhance the phytosterol content of a high-phytosterol diet due to their relative abundance.HDL and a plant-based diet:“The effect of a low-fat, plant-based lifestyle intervention (CHIP) on serum HDL levels and the implications for metabolic syndrome status – a cohort study”, looked at a lifestyle intervention where they took roughly 5,000 individuals to participate in a low-fat, plant-based eating pattern for 30 days. In those 30 days, they found that HDL actually decreased 8.7%.According to, “Association between plant-based diets and plasma lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis” they also found from looking at 8,385 studies that included 30 observational studies and 19 clinical trials that consumption of vegetarian diets did, in fact, decrease total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.All in all, a plant-based diet can be very beneficial for lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol although studies have shown that it may not be beneficial for HDL and triglyceride levels.What advice do you have for better cholesterol levels? We would love to hear from you!References:Yokoyama, Y. , Levin, S. , & Barnard, N. (2017).  Association between plant-based diets and plasma lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Nutrition Reviews, 75(9), 683-698. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nux030Satija, A., Bhupathiraju, S., Spiegelman, D., Chiuve, S., Manson, J., Willett, W., & … Rexrode, K. (2017). Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology, 70(4), 411-422. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.047Madigan, M. (2017). The Role of Plant-Based Nutrition in Preventing Heart Disease. University Of Toronto Medical Journal, 94(3), 17-24.Cabral, C. E., Klein, M. R. S. T. (2017). Phytosterols in the Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases. Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia, 109(5), 475-482.Susan B. Racette, Ph.D., Catherine Anderson Spearie, M.H.S., R.D., Katherine M. Phillips, Ph.D., Xiaobo Lin, Ph.D., Lina Ma, M.S., and Richard E. Ostlund, Jr., M.D. Phytosterol-deficient and high-phytosterol diets developed for controlled feeding studies.Kent, L., Morton, D., Rankin, P., Ward, E., Grant, R., Gobble, J., & Diehl, H. (2013). The effect of a low-fat, plant-based lifestyle intervention (CHIP) on serum HDL levels and the implications for metabolic syndrome status – a cohort study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 10, 58. http://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-10-58This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

IPL 2011: Deccan Chargers vs Delhi Daredevils- DC win by 16 runs

first_imgHyderabad’s 169-run target proved to be too tough for Delhi as they lost this IPL match by 16 runs at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday. Score | PhotosThe bulk of scoring from the Hyderabad camp was done by opener Sunny Shohal (62) and Kumar Sangakkara (49) who put on 92 runs for the second wicket.Delhi started their chase poorly looking wickets early. In fact, they lost their first wicket in the fourth over when the total was 28. Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag wanted to cut loose and he made room for that in Hyderabad medium-pacer Harmeet Singh’s over but ended up getting caught at point by Daniel Christian on 12.The last ball of the next over saw Naman Ojha too walk back. Christian trapped him leg-before on 2 to reduce Delhi to 33/2. New man Aaron Finch too did not stay at the crease for long and was sent back to the dugout by Harmeet on a nought. Delhi were 38/2 at the stage.Then David Warner and Venugopal Rao put on 52 runs for the fourth wicket and they were quick in their pursuit, scoring in boundaries, but Hyderabad leggi Amit Mishra ensured that their partnership did not last long. He got the better of Rao in the 13th over with Christian performing the final honours near the boundary. Rao fell for 21 and Delhi fell to 90/4.David Warner, who was going steady till now too departed. And it had to be Hyderabad part-time bowler Shikhar Dhawan who scripted his departure in the 15th over. Warner played a pull shot off him and D Ravi Taje pouched him at deep mid-wicket on 51. Delhi were reduced to 99/5 post his wicket.advertisementOn the first ball of the 16th over Irfan Pathan played a sweep off Hyderabad left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and the ball took the aerial route to land in Bharat Chipli’s hands at deep mid-wicket for 5. Delhi were 112/6 at the stage and were looking in trouble.Yogesh Nagar, who scored 22 before being bowled out by Christian in the last over, and James Hopes tried hard for a revival but failed as the team ended up losing the match by 16 runs.Hyderabad innings Opener Sunny Shohal and Kumar Sangakkara scored 92 runs for the second wicket as Hyderabad posted 168/4 in 20 overs against Delhi on Tuesday’s first IPL match.Earlier, Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat against the hosts at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium pitch and ended up losing their opener Shikhar Dhawan in the second over of the innings to Delhi paceman Irfan Pathan. Hyderabad were 14/1 at the stage in the 19th match of the IPL.But, post that wicket captain Kumar Sangakkara and Sunny Sohal got on with a partnership to frustrate the opposition bowlers. The two put on 92 runs for the second wicket before a rush of blood saw Sangakkara taking the aerial route off Ashok Dinda on the last ball of the 12th over and Aaron Finch took a fine catch moving backwards. He didn’t move his eyes of the ball and pouched the ball nicely. Sngakkara fell on 49 and Hyderabad were 106/2.After his wicket, Sohal too lost his rhythm and fell to Shahbaz Nadeem in the 15th over. He scored a fien 62 that came off just 41 balls. Daniel Christian was the last wicket to fall for Hyderabad as Cameron White and Bharat Chipli scored an unbeaten 12 runs for the fith wicket as Hyderabad finished with a fine 168/4 on board in this IPL match against Delhi.last_img read more