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Worlds Leading Genomics Conference | Global Meetings …

Posted: September 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

ConferenceSeries LLC provides the perfect platform for global networking and we are truly delighted to invite you to attend our 6thInternational Conference on Genomics & Pharmacogenomics, during July 13-14, 2017 Chicago, USA. Genomics-2017 is a global platform to discuss and learn about Genomics & Pharmacogenomics and its allied areas Bioinformatics, Transcriptomics, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering.

Track 1:Cancer Genomics

TumorGenomicsis the investigation ofhereditarytransformationsin charge of malignancy, utilizinggenomesequencingandbioinformatics. Diseasegenomicsis to enhance growth treatment and results lies in figuring out which sets of qualities and quality associations influence diverse subsets of tumors. UniversalCancer GenomeConsortium (ICGC) is a deliberate experimental association that gives a discussion to joint effort among the world’s driving growth andgenomic analysts.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConference onNext Generation Sequencing, July 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 4th InternationalConferenceonIntegrativeBiology, July 18-20, 2016, Berlin, Germany, InternationalConferenceonClinicalandMolecularGenetics, November 28-30, 2016 Chicago, USA; InternationalConferenceonMolecularandCancerBiomarkers, September 15-17 2016, Berlin, Germany; 5th InternationalConferenceonCellandGeneTherapy, May 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA;CancerGenome(Q1), February 7-11, 2016, Alberta, Canada; 18th InternationalConference onCancer Genomics, January 26 – 27, 2016, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Enhancer Malfunction in Cancer (Q6), February 21-24, 2016, New Mexico, USA;DNA Damage, Mutation & Cancer, March 13-18, 2016, Ventura, USA; Chromatin andEpigenetics, 20 March 2016, Dubrovnik, Croatia;

Track 2:Functional Genomics

UtilitarianGenomicsuse incomprehensible abundance of information created bygenomic transcriptomictasks to portray quality capacities and cooperations. Patterns inFunctional Genomicsare Affymetrix developed as an early trend-setter around there by imagining a commonsense approach to examine quality capacity as a framework.

RelatedConferences: WorldCongressonHumanGeneticsOctober 31- November 02, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 4th InternationalConferenceonIntegrativeBiology, July 18-20, 2016, Berlin, Germany; InternationalConference onMolecularBiology, October 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; InternationalConferenceonGeneticCounselingandGenomicMedicine August 11-12, 2016 Birmingham; 5th InternationalConferenceonCellandGeneTherapyMay 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; InternationalSymposiumon RiceFunctionalGenomics, Sept 21-24, 2015, China;Ribosome structureand function 2016, 610 July 2016 | Strasbourg, France; 5thGeneticsand Genomics Conference, June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; Chromatin,Non-codingRNAsandRNAPIIRegulationinDevelopmentandDiseaseConference,29 March 2016, Austin, USA;Maintenance ofGenome Stability2016, March 7-10, 2016, Panama, Central America

Track 3:Next Generation Sequencing

Cutting edge sequencing(NGS) is regularly alluded to as greatly parallel sequencing, which implies that a large number of little parts ofDNAcan be sequenced in the meantime, making a gigantic pool of information. Cutting edge sequencing (NGS), hugely parallel or profound sequencing is connected terms that portray aDNA sequencinginnovation which has upsetgenomic research.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConference onNext Generation Sequencing, July 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 4th InternationalConference onIntegrative Biology, July 18-20, 2016, Berlin, Germany; 6th InternationalConferenceonGenomicsandPharmacogenomics, September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; InternationalConferenceonGeneticCounselingandGenomicMedicineAugust11-12,2016 Birmingham; InternationalConferenceonMolecular Biology, October 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 6thNext GenerationSequencingConference, May 25-26, 2016, Boston, USA;GeneticsinForensicsCongress, 14-15, March 2016, London, UK; ICHG 2016, April 3-7, 2016, Japan;GenomeEditingandGene ModulationCongress, 6-8 April, 2016, Oxford, UK; 4th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsand Computational Biology, February 2-3, 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Track 4:Biomarkers & Molecular Markers

Biomarkerscan be trademark organic properties or particles that can be distinguished and measured in parts of the body such as the blood or tissue.Biomarkerscan be particular cells, atoms, or qualities, quality items, chemicals, orhormones.Atomicmarkeris a section of DNA that is connected with a specific area inside of thegenome. Atomic markers are utilized as a part of sub-atomic science andbiotechnologyto distinguish a specific grouping of DNA in a pool of obscure DNA.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonMolecularandCancerBiomarkersSeptember 15-17, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 4th InternationalConference onIntegrative Biology, July 18-20, 2016 Berlin; 7th InternationalConferenceonBiomarkersandClinicalResearch, November 28-30, 2016 Baltimore, USA; InternationalConferenceonBiochemistryOctober 13-15, 2016 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; InternationalConference onProteinEngineering, October 26-28, 2015 Chicago, USA;BiomarkerSummit, 2123 March 2016, San Diego, United States; 18th InternationalConference on Biomarkers andClinical Medicine, 16-17 May, 2016, Paris, France;Circulating Biomarkers World Congress2016, 21-22 March, 2016, Boston, USA;The Biomarker Conference, 18 – 19 February 2016, San Diego, USA;CancerMolecular Markers, 7-9, March 2016, San Francisco, USA

Track: 5Pharmacogenomics & Personalized Medicine

Pharmacogenomicsis a piece of a field called customized solution that means to tweak human services, with choices and medications custom-made to every individual patient inside and out conceivable.Pharmacogenomicsandpharmacogenomicsmanages new developments in the field of customized meds and advancements in modified medication revelation utilizingproteomeinnovation.

RelatedConferences: 5th InternationalConferenceonMetabolomics, May 16-18, 2016 Osaka, International Conference onGeneticCounselingandGenomicMedicineAugust 11-12, 2016 Birmingham; Japan; 5th InternationalConferenceonTissueScienceandRegenerativeMedicine September 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany; InternationalConferenceonRestorativeMedicine October 24-26, 2016 Chicago, USA; InternationalConferenceonMolecularGenetics, November 28-30, 2016 Chicago, USA; Golden Helix Symposium, January 14-16, 2016, Mansoura, Egypt;ThePersonalized Medicine, World Conference 24-27 January, 2016, San Francisco, USA; 14thAsia-PacificFederationforClinicalBiochemistryand LaboratoryMedicineCongress, November 26-29, 2016,Taipei, Taiwan;Personalized Medicine, July 10-15, 2016, Hong Kong, China; 18th InternationalConferenceonPharmaceuticalEngineeringandPharmacogenetics, March 30 – 31, 2016, Istanbul, Turkey

Track 6:Clinical Genomics

Clinical Genomicsis the utilization of genome sequencing to educate understanding analysis and care.Genome sequencingis relied upon to have the most effect in: portraying and diagnosinghereditary infection; stratifying patients for fittingmalignancytreatment; and giving data around an individual’simaginable reactionto treatment to lessen antagonistic medication responses.

RelatedConferences: ThePersonalized Medicine, World Conference24-27 January, 2016, San Francisco, USA; InternationalConferenceonClinicalandMolecularGenetics, November 28-30, 2016 Chicago, USA; 5th InternationalConferenceandExhibitiononMetabolomics, May 16-18, 2016 Osaka, Japan; InternationalConference onRestorativeMedicine October 24-26, 2016 Chicago, USA; 5th InternationalConferenceonTissue ScienceandRegenerativeMedicineSeptember 12-14, 2016 Berlin, Germany;AmericanCollege ofMedicalGeneticsandGenomics(ACMG)Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, March 8-12, 2016, Tampa, USA; BelgianSocietyofHumanGeneticsandDutchSocietyforHumanGeneticsJoint Meeting 2016 (NVHG BESHG 2016), February 4-5, 2016, Leuven, Belgium; An International theAssociation ofBiomolecularResourceFacilities, February 20-23, 2016, Florida, USA; 14th Asia-PacificFederation forClinicalBiochemistryandLaboratoryMedicineCongress, November 26-29, 2016,Taipei, Taiwan;Personalized Medicine, July 10-15, 2016, Hong Kong, China

Track 7:Micro RNA

MicroRNAscomprise a novel class of small, non-coding endogenous RNAs that regulategene expressionby directing their targetmRNAsfor degradation or translational repression. miRNAs represent smallRNA moleculesencoded in thegenomesofplantsand animals. These highly conserved 22 nucleotides longRNA sequencesregulate the expression of genes by binding to the 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTR) of specific mRNAs. A growing body of evidence shows that mRNAs are one of the key players in cell differentiation and growth, mobility andapoptosis.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonClinicalandMolecularGenetics, November 28-30, 2016 Chicago, USA; InternationalConferenceonNextGenerationSequencingJuly 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 7th InternationalConferenceandExpoonProteomicsOctober 24-26, 2016 Rome, Italy; InternationalConferenceonStructuralBiologyJune 23-24, 2016 New Orleans, USA; InternationalConference onTranscriptomicsAugust 18-20, 2016 Portland, Oregon USA; InternationalConferenceonMolecular BiologyOctober 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 18th InternationalConferenceon ExtracellularBiomarkers, 22 23 April, 2016, London, United Kingdom; The 21st Annual Meeting of the RNA Society, June 28-June 2, 2016, Kyoto, Japan;NoncodingRNAsinHealthandDisease, February 21-24, 2016, New Mexico, USA;Small RNASilencing: Little Guides, Big Biology, January 24-28, 2016, Colorado, USA;MicroRNAas Biomarkers and Diagnostics, Positive-Strand RNAViruses, May 1-5, 2016, Texas, USA

Track 8:mRNA Analysis

mRNAis a subtype of RNA. AmRNAatom conveys a segment of the DNA code to different parts of the cell for preparing.mRNAis made amid interpretation. Amid the translation handle, a solitary strand ofDNAis decoded by RNA polymerase, and mRNA is incorporated. Physically, mRNA is a strand of nucleotides known asribonucleiccorrosive, and is single-stranded.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonClinicalandMolecularGenetics, November 28-30, 2016 Chicago, USA; InternationalConferenceonNextGenerationSequencingJuly 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 7th InternationalConferenceandExpoonProteomicsOctober 24-26, 2016 Rome, Italy; InternationalConferenceonStructuralBiologyJune 23-24, 2016 New Orleans, USA; InternationalConference onTranscriptomicsAugust 18-20, 2016 Portland, Oregon USA; InternationalConferenceonMolecular BiologyOctober 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; FromCellBiologytoPathology, January 24-27, 2016, New Mexico, USA; Complex Life of mRNA, 58 October 2016, Heidelberg, Germany;Genome Editingand Gene ModulationCongress2016, 6-8 Apr 2016, Oxford, United Kingdom;NGS2015 Sheffield Conference, 18-19 November, 2015, Sheffield, USA;QuantitativemethodsinGeneRegulation-III, 7-8 December, 2015, Cambridge, UK


Bioinformaticsis the exploration of gathering and breaking down complex organic information, for example,hereditary codes. Sub-atomic solution requires the joining and examination of genomic, sub-atomic, cell, and additionallyclinical informationand it in this way offers a momentous arrangement of difficulties to bioinformatics.

RelatedConferences: 5th InternationalConferenceonComputationalSystemsBiologyAugust 22-23, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 6th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsMarch 29-30, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 7th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsOctober 27-28, 2016 Chicago, USA; 2nd InternationalConference onTranscriptomics August 18-20, 2016 Portland, Oregon USA; InternationalConferenceonNext GenerationSequencingJuly 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; The FourteenthAsia PacificBioinformaticsConference, 11th-13 January 2016, San Francisco, USA; 18th InternationalConferenceonBioinformatics andBiotechnology, 19 20 May 2016, Berlin, Germany; IEEEconference onComputationalIntelligenceinBioinformaticsandComputationalBiology, October 5-7, 2016, Chiang Mai, Thailand; 7th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsModels,MethodsandAlgorithms, 21- 23 Feb, 2016, Rome, Italy;Bio banking2016, 57 January 2016, London, United Kingdom

Track 10:Comparative Genomics

SimilarGenomicsandgenomicmedicinenewfieldofnaturalexaminationinwhichthegenomegroupins of variousspecies- human, mouse and a wide assortment of different life forms from yeast to chimpanzees-are looked at. The assessment of likenesses and contrasts betweengenomesof various life forms; can uncover contrasts in the middle of people and species and also transformative connections.

RelatedConferences: WorldCongressonHumanGeneticsOctober 31- November 02, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 4th InternationalConferenceonIntegrativeBiology, July 18-20, 2016, Berlin, Germany; InternationalConference onMolecular Biology, October 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; InternationalConferenceonGenetic Counseling andGenomicMedicineAugust 11-12, 2016 Birmingham; 5th InternationalConference onCellandGeneTherapyMay 19-21, 2016 San Antonio, USA; 20th Annual InternationalConferenceonComputationalMolecularBiology, April 17-21, 2016, Santa Monica, USA; 8th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsandComputationalBiology, April 4-6, 2016, Nevada, USA; Visualizingbiological data, 911 March 2016, Heidelberg, Germany; Chromatin andEpigenetics, March 20-24, 2016, British Columbia, Canada; Game ofEpigenetics,April 24-28, 2016 in Dubrovnik

Track 11:Plant Genomics

Late mechanical headways have generously extended our capacity to dissect and comprehendplantgenomesand to diminish the crevice existing in the middle of genotype and phenotype. The quick advancing field of genomics permits researchers to dissect a huge number of qualities in parallel, to comprehend the hereditary building design ofplant genomesfurthermore to separate the qualities in charge oftransformations.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonPlantPhysiologyJune 09-11, 2016 Dallas, USA ;GlobalSummit onPlant ScienceNovember 28-30, 2016 Baltimore, USA; 5th InternationalConferenceonAgricultureand HorticultureJune 27-29, 2016 Cape Town, South Africa ; 6th InternationalConferenceonGenomicsand PharmacogenomicsSeptember 22-24, 2016 Berlin, Germany; InternationalConferenceonGreen Energy& ExpoNovember 28-30, 2016 Baltimore, USA;PlantGenomes andBiotechnology: from genes to networks Dec ember 02-05, 2015 Berlin, Germany; Plant Genome Evolution 2015 September, 6 – 8 2015 Amsterdam, The Netherlands; The 3rdPlant GenomicsCongressSeptember 14-15,2015 Missouri, USA; ProkaGENOMICS EuropeanConferenceonProkaryoticandFungalGenomics29 September-2 October 2015 Gttingen, Germany; InternationalMeetingonBioinformaticsand OMICs October 27- 30,2015 Varadero, Cuba; The 2ndPlant GenomicsCongress: September 14-15, 2015 MO, USA; GETGlobal ConferenceSeptember17-19, 2015 Vienna, Austria

Track 12:Personal Genomics

Individualgenomicsis the branch of genomics worried with thesequencingand examination of the genome of a person. Thegenotypingstage utilizes diverse strategies, includingsingle-nucleotide polymorphism(SNP) examination chips or incomplete or fullgenome sequencing.

RelatedConferences: 4th InternationalConferenceonIntegrativeBiology, July 18-20, 2016, Berlin, Germany; 2nd InternationalConferenceonTranscriptomicsAugust 18-20, 2016 Portland, Oregon USA; InternationalConferenceonNextGenerationSequencingJuly 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany;WorldCongress onHumanGeneticsOctober 31- November 02, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 18th InternationalConference onHuman Genetics, February 25 – 26, 2016, London, United Kingdom;Visualizing biological data, 911 March 2016, Heidelberg, Germany; 1st Annual InternationalCongressofGenetics, April 25-28, Dalian, China;ChromatinandEpigenetics, March 20-24, 2016, British Columbia,Canada;GameofEpigenetics, April 24-28, 2016 in Dubrovnik

Track 13:Microbial Genomics

MicrobialGenomicsappliesrecombinantDNA,DNAsequencingroutines,andbioinformaticsto succession, gather, and dissect the capacity and structure of genomes in organisms. Amid the previous 10 years, genomics-based methodologies have profoundly affected the field ofmicrobiologyand our comprehension of microbial species. In view of their bigger genome sizes,genome sequencingendeavors on growths and unicellular eukaryotes were slower to begin than ventures concentrated on prokaryotes.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonMolecular BiologyOctober 13-15, 2016 Dubai, UAE; 4th InternationalConferenceonIntegrativeBiologyJuly 18-20, 2016 Berlin, Germany; InternationalConference onMicrobial Physiology and Genomics October 20-22, 2016 Rome, Italy; 4th InternationalConference onClinicalMicrobiologyandMicrobialGenomics October 05-07, 2015 Philadelphia, USA; 2ndWorld CongressandExpoonAppliedMicrobiologyOctober 31-November 02, 2016 Istanbul, Turkey; 18th InternationalConferenceonClinicalMicrobiologyandMicrobialGenomics, June 9 – 10, 2016, San Francisco, USA; 18th InternationalConferenceonMicrobialGenomeResources, February 11 – 12, 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 18th InternationalConferenceonMicrobialGenomeResourcesand Clinical Microbiology, January 12 – 13, 2016, Zurich, Switzerland; 18th InternationalConference onMolecular Geneticsand Microbiology, February 25 – 26, 2016, London, United Kingdom

Track 14:Future trends in Genomics

Genomics researchholds the way to meeting a considerable lot of the difficulties of the coming years. Right now, the greatest test is in information investigation. We can produce a lot of information modestly, yet that overpowers our ability to comprehend it. The significant test of theGenomeResearch is we have to imbuegenomic datainto restorative practice, which is truly hard.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonClinical and Molecular Genetics, November 28-30, 2016 Chicago, USA; 2nd InternationalConferenceonTranscriptomicsAugust 18-20, 2016 Portland, Oregon USA;International ConferenceonNextGenerationSequencingJuly 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; The FourteenthAsia PacificBioinformaticsConference, 11th-13 January 2016, San Francisco, USA;WorldCongress onHumanGeneticsOctober 31- November 02, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 18th InternationalConference onGeneticsand Genomics, June 9 – 10, 2016, San Francisco, USA; NGS 16Genome Annotation, April 4 6, 2016, Barcelona, Spain; Maintenance of Genome Stability 2016, March 7-10, 2016, Panama, Central America;Epigenomics: new marks, new horizons, December 2015, 2 December 2015, UK;Human GenomeMeeting, 28 February 2 March 2016, Houston, USA

Track15:GenomicMedicine GenomicMedicineas “a developing restorative train that includes utilizinggenomicdataaround a person as a major aspect of their clinical consideration (e.g., for demonstrative or remedial choice making) and the wellbeing results and strategy ramifications of that clinical use.” Already,genomic medicationis having an effect in the fields ofoncology,pharmacology, uncommon and undiscovered maladies, and irresistible illness.

RelatedConferences: InternationalConferenceonMolecularandCancerBiomarkersSeptember 15-17, 2016 Berlin, Germany; 4th InternationalConferenceonIntegrativeBiology, July 18-20, 2016 Berlin; 7th InternationalConferenceonBiomarkers & Clinical Research, November 28-30, 2016 Baltimore, USA; InternationalConferenceonBiochemistryOctober 13-15, 2016 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; InternationalConference onProtein Engineering, October 26-28, 2015 Chicago, USA;BiomarkerSummit, 2123 March 2016, San Diego, United States; 18th InternationalConferenceonBiomarkersandClinicalMedicine, 16-17 May, 2016, Paris, France; Circulating Biomarkers World Congress 2016, 21-22 March, 2016, Boston, USA; The Biomarker Conference, 18 – 19 February 2016, San Diego, USA; CancerMolecular Markers, 7-9, March 2016, San Francisco, USA

Track 16:Genomics Market

Genomicsis the study of thegenetic materialor genomes of an organism. Analysts forecast theGlobal Genomicsmarketwill grow at a CAGR of 11.21% over the period 2013-2018. According to the report, the most important driver of the market is an increase in the demand for consumables. The growing adoption ofgenetictestingfor various applications, especially in regions such as the APAC, and an increase ingenetictestingvolumes in North America and Western Europe is increasing the demand for consumables.

RelatedConferences: 5th InternationalConferenceonComputationalSystemsBiologyAugust 22-23, 2016 Philadelphia, USA; 6th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsMarch 29-30, 2016 Valencia, Spain; 7th InternationalConference onBioinformaticsOctober 27-28, 2016 Chicago, USA; 2nd InternationalConference onTranscriptomicsAugust 18-20, 2016 Portland, Oregon USA; InternationalConferenceonNext GenerationSequencingJuly 21-22, 2016 Berlin, Germany; The FourteenthAsia PacificBioinformaticsConference, 11th-13 January 2016, San Francisco, USA; 18th InternationalConference on Bioinformatics andBiotechnology, 19 20 May 2016, Berlin, Germany; IEEEconference onBioinformaticsandComputationalBiology, October 5-7, 2016, Chiang Mai, Thailand; 7th InternationalConferenceonBioinformaticsModels, MethodsandAlgorithms, 21- 23 Feb, 2016, Rome, Italy;Bio banking2016, 57 January 2016, London, United Kingdom.

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Worlds Leading Genomics Conference | Global Meetings …

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Journal of Human Genetics – Nature Publishing Group

Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:09 am

The The Journal of Human Genetics is the official journal of the Japan Society of Human Genetics, publishing high-quality original research articles, short communications, reviews, correspondences and editorials on all aspects of human genetics and genomics. It is the leading genetics journal based in the Asia-Pacific region.

*** Announcing Open ***

The Journal of Human Genetics offers authors the option to publish their articles with immediate open access upon publication. Open access articles will also be deposited in PubMed Central at the time of publication and will be freely available immediately.

The Journal of Human Genetics recently received an Impact Factor of 2.487* – submit to The Journal of Human Genetics and benefit from:

Visit our author instructions to find out more.

*Data is taken from the 2015 Journal Citation Report, Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

Cardiovascular Genetics

Genetics studies help elucidating mechanisms of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs). The new JHG web focus features CVDs with 11 special articles introducing latest studies around CVDs. Topics such as genetics of congenial heart disease, hereditary large vessel diseases and cardiomyopathy are discussed.

Announcing the winners of 2015 JHG Young Scientist Award

JSHG – Journal of Human Genetics Young Scientist Award identifies articles that have made a significant contribution to the Journal of Human Genetics, using the judgment criterion of scientific excellence and impact in the field of human genetics.

Shinji Ono Mutations in PRRT2 responsible for paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias also cause benign familial infantile convulsionsFREE

Surakameth Mahasirimongkol Genome-wide association studies of tuberculosis in Asians identify distinct at-risk locus for young tuberculosisFREE

Web Focus: Reviews in JHG

Welcome to the JHG Reviews collection – a selection of recently published Reviews on various topics in Human Genetics studies. This collection is freely available until January 2016 and features some important articles from the past collection of reviews on pharmacogenomics and epidemiology, or comprehensive review on the impact of whole-exome sequencing.

Editor’s Choice- Highly-Influential Articles in Human Genetics

This Editor’s Choice web focus presents a range of research papers and review articles on popular topics in human genetics, including next generation sequencing (NGS), the molecular basis of genetic diseases, and population genetics all drawn from the pages of the Journal of Human Genetics (JHG).

JHG Commentaries and commented articles

The Journal of Human Genetics is delighted to feature Commentaries, which provide narratives of interpretation, evaluation and opinion from area experts about the topics discussed in articles appeared in the same or recent issues of the journal. This web focus provides you with free access to a selected set of commentary and commented articles published from recent issues. You are invited to view full text of these articles and check how research experts have described and commented on these original articles, and how their comments may differ from your own thoughts and opinions.

JHG Archive 1977-2005

We are happy to announce that the archive of the The Journal of Human Genetics from 1977-2005 is now freely available in our Archive.

Research Diversity web focus

The Journal of Human Genetics (JHG) is pleased to presents fine articles and reviews on various aspects of human genetics on the JHG research diversity. Selected papers include the first genome-wide association study on anorexia nervosa, review and article on recent progress in asthma genetics, articles on new associations with schizophrenia, hair thickness etc.

Editor’s choice

The Journal of Human Genetics is proud to present a collection of top reviews from recent years, as chosen by the editor. This collection covers a range of topics, including the functional analysis of disease-causing genes, polymorphisms of disease-associated genes, statistical genetics, pharmacogenetics, medical genetics and the genetics of multifactorial disease. Complementing this collection, the January issue also includes the latest reviews and articles on various aspects of human genetics.

New to NPG

From January 2009, Nature Publishing Group begins publishing the Journal of Human Genetics on behalf of the Japan Society of Human Genetics.

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Journal of Human Genetics – Nature Publishing Group

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Cloning Fact Sheet

Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Cloning What is cloning?

The term cloning describes a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity. The copied material, which has the same genetic makeup as the original, is referred to as a clone.

Researchers have cloned a wide range of biological materials, including genes, cells, tissues and even entire organisms, such as a sheep.

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Yes. In nature, some plants and single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, produce genetically identical offspring through a process called asexual reproduction. In asexual reproduction, a new individual is generated from a copy of a single cell from the parent organism.

Natural clones, also known as identical twins, occur in humans and other mammals. These twins are produced when a fertilized egg splits, creating two or more embryos that carry almost identical DNA. Identical twins have nearly the same genetic makeup as each other, but they are genetically different from either parent.

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There are three different types of artificial cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning.

Gene cloning produces copies of genes or segments of DNA. Reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals. Therapeutic cloning produces embryonic stem cells for experiments aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased tissues.

Gene cloning, also known as DNA cloning, is a very different process from reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Reproductive and therapeutic cloning share many of the same techniques, but are done for different purposes.

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Gene cloning is the most common type of cloning done by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). NHGRI researchers have not cloned any mammals and NHGRI does not clone humans.

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Researchers routinely use cloning techniques to make copies of genes that they wish to study. The procedure consists of inserting a gene from one organism, often referred to as “foreign DNA,” into the genetic material of a carrier called a vector. Examples of vectors include bacteria, yeast cells, viruses or plasmids, which are small DNA circles carried by bacteria. After the gene is inserted, the vector is placed in laboratory conditions that prompt it to multiply, resulting in the gene being copied many times over.

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In reproductive cloning, researchers remove a mature somatic cell, such as a skin cell, from an animal that they wish to copy. They then transfer the DNA of the donor animal’s somatic cell into an egg cell, or oocyte, that has had its own DNA-containing nucleus removed.

Researchers can add the DNA from the somatic cell to the empty egg in two different ways. In the first method, they remove the DNA-containing nucleus of the somatic cell with a needle and inject it into the empty egg. In the second approach, they use an electrical current to fuse the entire somatic cell with the empty egg.

In both processes, the egg is allowed to develop into an early-stage embryo in the test-tube and then is implanted into the womb of an adult female animal.

ltimately, the adult female gives birth to an animal that has the same genetic make up as the animal that donated the somatic cell. This young animal is referred to as a clone. Reproductive cloning may require the use of a surrogate mother to allow development of the cloned embryo, as was the case for the most famous cloned organism, Dolly the sheep.

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Over the last 50 years, scientists have conducted cloning experiments in a wide range of animals using a variety of techniques. In 1979, researchers produced the first genetically identical mice by splitting mouse embryos in the test tube and then implanting the resulting embryos into the wombs of adult female mice. Shortly after that, researchers produced the first genetically identical cows, sheep and chickens by transferring the nucleus of a cell taken from an early embryo into an egg that had been emptied of its nucleus.

It was not until 1996, however, that researchers succeeded in cloning the first mammal from a mature (somatic) cell taken from an adult animal. After 276 attempts, Scottish researchers finally produced Dolly, the lamb from the udder cell of a 6-year-old sheep. Two years later, researchers in Japan cloned eight calves from a single cow, but only four survived.

Besides cattle and sheep, other mammals that have been cloned from somatic cells include: cat, deer, dog, horse, mule, ox, rabbit and rat. In addition, a rhesus monkey has been cloned by embryo splitting.

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Despite several highly publicized claims, human cloning still appears to be fiction. There currently is no solid scientific evidence that anyone has cloned human embryos.

In 1998, scientists in South Korea claimed to have successfully cloned a human embryo, but said the experiment was interrupted very early when the clone was just a group of four cells. In 2002, Clonaid, part of a religious group that believes humans were created by extraterrestrials, held a news conference to announce the birth of what it claimed to be the first cloned human, a girl named Eve. However, despite repeated requests by the research community and the news media, Clonaid never provided any evidence to confirm the existence of this clone or the other 12 human clones it purportedly created.

In 2004, a group led by Woo-Suk Hwang of Seoul National University in South Korea published a paper in the journal Science in which it claimed to have created a cloned human embryo in a test tube. However, an independent scientific committee later found no proof to support the claim and, in January 2006, Science announced that Hwang’s paper had been retracted.

From a technical perspective, cloning humans and other primates is more difficult than in other mammals. One reason is that two proteins essential to cell division, known as spindle proteins, are located very close to the chromosomes in primate eggs. Consequently, removal of the egg’s nucleus to make room for the donor nucleus also removes the spindle proteins, interfering with cell division. In other mammals, such as cats, rabbits and mice, the two spindle proteins are spread throughout the egg. So, removal of the egg’s nucleus does not result in loss of spindle proteins. In addition, some dyes and the ultraviolet light used to remove the egg’s nucleus can damage the primate cell and prevent it from growing.

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No. Clones do not always look identical. Although clones share the same genetic material, the environment also plays a big role in how an organism turns out.

For example, the first cat to be cloned, named Cc, is a female calico cat that looks very different from her mother. The explanation for the difference is that the color and pattern of the coats of cats cannot be attributed exclusively to genes. A biological phenomenon involving inactivation of the X chromosome (See sex chromosome) in every cell of the female cat (which has two X chromosomes) determines which coat color genes are switched off and which are switched on. The distribution of X inactivation, which seems to occur randomly, determines the appearance of the cat’s coat.

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Reproductive cloning may enable researchers to make copies of animals with the potential benefits for the fields of medicine and agriculture.

For instance, the same Scottish researchers who cloned Dolly have cloned other sheep that have been genetically modified to produce milk that contains a human protein essential for blood clotting. The hope is that someday this protein can be purified from the milk and given to humans whose blood does not clot properly. Another possible use of cloned animals is for testing new drugs and treatment strategies. The great advantage of using cloned animals for drug testing is that they are all genetically identical, which means their responses to the drugs should be uniform rather than variable as seen in animals with different genetic make-ups.

After consulting with many independent scientists and experts in cloning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided in January 2008 that meat and milk from cloned animals, such as cattle, pigs and goats, are as safe as those from non-cloned animals. The FDA action means that researchers are now free to using cloning methods to make copies of animals with desirable agricultural traits, such as high milk production or lean meat. However, because cloning is still very expensive, it will likely take many years until food products from cloned animals actually appear in supermarkets.

Another application is to create clones to build populations of endangered, or possibly even extinct, species of animals. In 2001, researchers produced the first clone of an endangered species: a type of Asian ox known as a guar. Sadly, the baby guar, which had developed inside a surrogate cow mother, died just a few days after its birth. In 2003, another endangered type of ox, called the Banteg, was successfully cloned. Soon after, three African wildcats were cloned using frozen embryos as a source of DNA. Although some experts think cloning can save many species that would otherwise disappear, others argue that cloning produces a population of genetically identical individuals that lack the genetic variability necessary for species survival.

Some people also have expressed interest in having their deceased pets cloned in the hope of getting a similar animal to replace the dead one. But as shown by Cc the cloned cat, a clone may not turn out exactly like the original pet whose DNA was used to make the clone.

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Reproductive cloning is a very inefficient technique and most cloned animal embryos cannot develop into healthy individuals. For instance, Dolly was the only clone to be born live out of a total of 277 cloned embryos. This very low efficiency, combined with safety concerns, presents a serious obstacle to the application of reproductive cloning.

Researchers have observed some adverse health effects in sheep and other mammals that have been cloned. These include an increase in birth size and a variety of defects in vital organs, such as the liver, brain and heart. Other consequences include premature aging and problems with the immune system. Another potential problem centers on the relative age of the cloned cell’s chromosomes. As cells go through their normal rounds of division, the tips of the chromosomes, called telomeres, shrink. Over time, the telomeres become so short that the cell can no longer divide and, consequently, the cell dies. This is part of the natural aging process that seems to happen in all cell types. As a consequence, clones created from a cell taken from an adult might have chromosomes that are already shorter than normal, which may condemn the clones’ cells to a shorter life span. Indeed, Dolly, who was cloned from the cell of a 6-year-old sheep, had chromosomes that were shorter than those of other sheep her age. Dolly died when she was six years old, about half the average sheep’s 12-year lifespan.

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Therapeutic cloning involves creating a cloned embryo for the sole purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell. These stem cells can be used in experiments aimed at understanding disease and developing new treatments for disease. To date, there is no evidence that human embryos have been produced for therapeutic cloning.

The richest source of embryonic stem cells is tissue formed during the first five days after the egg has started to divide. At this stage of development, called the blastocyst, the embryo consists of a cluster of about 100 cells that can become any cell type. Stem cells are harvested from cloned embryos at this stage of development, resulting in destruction of the embryo while it is still in the test tube.

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Researchers hope to use embryonic stem cells, which have the unique ability to generate virtually all types of cells in an organism, to grow healthy tissues in the laboratory that can be used replace injured or diseased tissues. In addition, it may be possible to learn more about the molecular causes of disease by studying embryonic stem cell lines from cloned embryos derived from the cells of animals or humans with different diseases. Finally, differentiated tissues derived from ES cells are excellent tools to test new therapeutic drugs.

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Many researchers think it is worthwhile to explore the use of embryonic stem cells as a path for treating human diseases. However, some experts are concerned about the striking similarities between stem cells and cancer cells. Both cell types have the ability to proliferate indefinitely and some studies show that after 60 cycles of cell division, stem cells can accumulate mutations that could lead to cancer. Therefore, the relationship between stem cells and cancer cells needs to be more clearly understood if stem cells are to be used to treat human disease.

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Gene cloning is a carefully regulated technique that is largely accepted today and used routinely in many labs worldwide. However, both reproductive and therapeutic cloning raise important ethical issues, especially as related to the potential use of these techniques in humans.

Reproductive cloning would present the potential of creating a human that is genetically identical to another person who has previously existed or who still exists. This may conflict with long-standing religious and societal values about human dignity, possibly infringing upon principles of individual freedom, identity and autonomy. However, some argue that reproductive cloning could help sterile couples fulfill their dream of parenthood. Others see human cloning as a way to avoid passing on a deleterious gene that runs in the family without having to undergo embryo screening or embryo selection.

Therapeutic cloning, while offering the potential for treating humans suffering from disease or injury, would require the destruction of human embryos in the test tube. Consequently, opponents argue that using this technique to collect embryonic stem cells is wrong, regardless of whether such cells are used to benefit sick or injured people.

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Last Reviewed: May 11, 2016


Cloning Fact Sheet

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What Happens When We All Live to 100? – The Atlantic

Posted: September 8, 2016 at 6:31 am

For millennia, if not for eonsanthropology continuously pushes backward the time of human originlife expectancy was short. The few people who grew old were assumed, because of their years, to have won the favor of the gods. The typical person was fortunate to reach 40.

Beginning in the 19th century, that slowly changed. Since 1840, life expectancy at birth has risen about three months with each passing year. In 1840, life expectancy at birth in Sweden, a much-studied nation owing to its record-keeping, was 45 years for women; today its 83 years. The United States displays roughly the same trend. When the 20th century began, life expectancy at birth in America was 47 years; now newborns are expected to live 79 years. If about three months continue to be added with each passing year, by the middle of this century, American life expectancy at birth will be 88 years. By the end of the century, it will be 100 years.

Viewed globally, the lengthening of life spans seems independent of any single, specific event. It didnt accelerate much as antibiotics and vaccines became common. Nor did it retreat much during wars or disease outbreaks. A graph of global life expectancy over time looks like an escalator rising smoothly. The trend holds, in most years, in individual nations rich and poor; the whole world is riding the escalator.

Projections of ever-longer life spans assume no incredible medical discoveriesrather, that the escalator ride simply continues. If anti-aging drugs or genetic therapies are found, the climb could accelerate. Centenarians may become the norm, rather than rarities who generate a headline in the local newspaper.

Pie in the sky? On a verdant hillside in Marin County, Californiahome to hipsters and towering redwoods, the place to which the Golden Gate Bridge leadssits the Buck Institute, the first private, independent research facility dedicated to extending the human life span. Since 1999, scientists and postdocs there have studied ways to make organisms live much longer, and with better health, than they naturally would. Already, the institutes researchers have quintupled the life span of laboratory worms. Most Americans have never heard of the Buck Institute, but someday this place may be very well known.

Buck is not alone in its pursuit. The University of Michigan, the University of Texas, and the University of California at San Francisco are studying ways to slow aging, as is the Mayo Clinic. Late in 2013, Google brought its trove of cash into the game, founding a spin-off called the California Life Company (known as Calico) to specialize in longevity research. Six months after Calicos charter was announced, Craig Venter, the biotech entrepreneur who in the 1990s conducted a dramatic race against government laboratories to sequence the human genome, also founded a start-up that seeks ways to slow aging.

Should research find a life-span breakthrough, the proportion of the U.S. population that is elderlyfated to rise anyway, considering declining fertility rates, the retirement of the Baby Boomers, and the continuing uplift of the escalatormay climb even more. Longer life has obvious appeal, but it entails societal risks. Politics may come to be dominated by the old, who might vote themselves ever more generous benefits for which the young must pay. Social Security and private pensions could be burdened well beyond what current actuarial tables suggest. If longer life expectancy simply leads to more years in which pensioners are disabled and demand expensive services, health-care costs may balloon as never before, while other social needs go unmet.

With each passing year, the newly born live about three months longer than those born the prior year.

But the story might have a happy ending. If medical interventions to slow aging result in added years of reasonable fitness, life might extend in a sanguine manner, with most men and women living longer in good vigor, and also working longer, keeping pension and health-care subsidies under control. Indeed, the most-exciting work being done in longevity science concerns making the later years vibrant, as opposed to simply adding time at the end.

Postwar medical research has focused on specific conditions: there are heart-disease laboratories, cancer institutes, and so on. Traditional research assumes the chronic later-life diseases that are among the nations leading killerscardiovascular blockage, stroke, Alzheimersarise individually and should be treated individually. What if, instead, aging is the root cause of many chronic diseases, and aging can be slowed? Not just life span but health span might increase.

Drugs that lengthen health span are becoming to medical researchers what vaccines and antibiotics were to previous generations in the lab: their grail. If health-span research is successful, pharmaceuticals as remarkable as those earlier generations of drugs may result. In the process, society might learn the answer to an ancient mystery: Given that every cell in a mammals body contains the DNA blueprint of a healthy young version of itself, why do we age at all?

Here in our freezers we have 100 or so compounds that extend life in invertebrates, says Gordon Lithgow, a geneticist at the Buck Institute. He walks with me through labs situated on a campus of modernistic buildings that command a dreamlike view of San Pablo Bay, and encourage dreamlike thoughts. The 100 compounds in the freezer? What we dont know is if they work in people.

The Buck Institute bustles with young researchers. Jeans and San Francisco 49ers caps are common sightsthis could be a Silicon Valley software start-up were not microscopes, cages, and biological-isolation chambers ubiquitous. The institute is named for Leonard and Beryl Buck, a Marin County couple who left oil stocks to a foundation charged with studying why people age, among other issues. When the institute opened, medical research aimed at slowing aging was viewed as quixoticthe sort of thing washed-up hippies talk about while sipping wine and watching the sunset. A mere 15 years into its existence, the Buck Institute is at the bow wave of biology.

In one lab, researchers laboriously tamper with yeast chromosomes. Yeast is expedient as a research subject because it lives out a lifetime before an analysts eyes, and because a third of yeast genes are similar to human genes. Deleting some genes kills yeast; deleting others causes yeast to live longer. Why deleting some genes extends life isnt knownBuck researchers are trying to figure this out, in the hope that they might then carry the effect over to mammals. The work is painstaking, with four microscopes in use at least 50 hours a week.

Buck employs Lilliputian electrocardiogram machines and toy-size CT scanners to examine the internal organs of mice, since the goal is not just to make them live longer but to keep them healthy longer, with less cancer or heart disease. Researchers curious about aging mainly work with mice, worms, flies, and yeast, because they are small and easily housed, and because they dont live long, so improvements to life expectancy are quickly observable. Twenty years ago it was a really big deal to extend the life span of worms. Now any postdoc can do that, says Simon Melov, a Buck geneticist. Experiments funded by the National Institute on Aging have shown that drugs can extend a mouses life span by about a quarter, and Buck researchers have been able to reverse age-related heart dysfunction in the same animal. Think how the world would be upended if human longevity quickly jumped another 25 percent.

The rubber will meet the road with human trials. We hope to find five to 10 small molecules that extend healthy life span in mice, then stage a human trial, says Brian Kennedy, the Buck Institutes CEO. A drug called rapamycinbeing tested at the institute and elsewhereseems closest to trial stage and has revolutionary potential. But in addition to being ethically fraught, human trials of a life-extension substance will be costly, and might take decades. The entry of Googles billions into the field makes human trials more likely. Calico is tight-lipped about its plansthe company agreed to let me visit, then backed out.

Anti-aging research is not without antecedents, some of which offer notes of caution. A generation ago, Linus Pauling, a winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, proposed that megadoses of vitamin C would retard aging. It turned out that at megadoses, vitamins can become toxic. If you take vitamins, swallow the amounts recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.

A decade ago, a biotech start-up called Sirtris sought to devise drugs that mimic the supposed health-giving properties of red wine. GlaxoSmithKline bought Sirtris for $790 million in todays dollars, money the company may wish it had back: Sirtris experiments have yet to lead to any practical product.

About 15 years ago, Bruce Ames, an accomplished scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, proposed that acetylcarnitine, which regulates the mitochondria of cells, combined with an antioxidant, might retard aging while treating mild Alzheimers. Antioxidant has become a buzzword of supplement marketing and Dr. Ozstyle quackery. Too much antioxidant would be unhealthy, since oxidation is essential to the bodys respiration. Ames thought he had found a compound that safely moderates the pace at which cells use themselves up. He began dosing himself with acetylcarnitine, and continues to work at Berkeley, at age 85; whether he would have enjoyed such longevity anyway is unknowable. Pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in Amess ideabecause it occurs naturally, acetylcarnitine cannot be patented, and, worse from Big Pharmas standpoint, the substance is inexpensive.

Today, lab results show a clear relationship between a restricted-calorie diet and longevity in mice. That eating less extends the life spans of small mammals is the strongest finding of anti-aging research to this point. A restrictive diet seems to put mouse cells into a state vaguely similar to hibernation; whether caloric restriction would work in people isnt known. A campaign against calories might seem to possess broad practical appeal, since whats recommendedeating lesscosts nothing. But if the mice are any indication, one would need to eat a lot less, dropping caloric intake to the level at which a person feels hunger pangs throughout the day. Caloric restriction is a fad diet in Northern California, Melov told me. We had a caloric-restriction group come in to visit the institute. They did not look at all healthy.

Recently, separate teams at Harvard, Stanford, and UC San Francisco reported that transferring the blood of adolescent mice into old, declining mice had a rejuvenating effect on the latter. The thought of the old rich purchasing blood from the young poor is ghoulish on numerous levels. The research goal is to determine what chemical aspect of youthful blood benefits mature tissue. Perhaps compounds in adolescent blood excite dormant stem cells, and a drug could be developed that triggers the effect without transfusion.

The Buck Institute and other labs have been looking for health-span DNA that may exist in other mammals. Whales are a lot less likely than people are to get cancer. Polar bears consume an extremely high-fat diet yet dont develop arterial plaque. If the biological pathways for such qualities were understood, a drug might be designed to trigger the effect in people. Mimicking what nature has already developed seems more promising than trying to devise novel DNA.

In worms, genes called daf-2 and daf-16 can change in a way that causes the invertebrates to live twice as long as is natural, and in good vigor. A molecular biologist named Cynthia Kenyon, among the first hires at Calico, made that discovery more than two decades ago, when she was a researcher at UC San Francisco. By manipulating the same genes in mice, Kenyon has been able to cause them to live longer, with less cancer than mice in a control group: that is, with a better health span. The daf-16 gene is similar to a human gene called foxo3, a variant of which is linked to exceptional longevity. A drug that mimics this foxo3 variant is rumored to be among Calicos initial projects.

A long time has passed since Kenyons eureka moment about worm genes, and shes still far from proving that this insight can help people. But the tempo of the kind of work she does is accelerating. Twenty years ago, genetic sequencing and similar forms of DNA research were excruciatingly time-consuming. New techniques and equipment have altered that: for instance, one Silicon Valley lab-services firm, Sequetech, advertises, Go from [cell] colony to sequence in a day. The accelerating pace of genetic-information gathering may come in handy for health-span research.

The Buck Institute became cautiously optimistic about rapamycin when its life-extension properties were noticed in yeast. Lab mice dosed with rapamycin are dying off more slowly than they would naturally, and many of the old mice appear energetic and youthful. Devised to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, rapamycin seems to alter some chemistry associated with cellular senescence. (More on that later.) If the drug turns out to delay aging in people, it would be the greatest off-label pharmaceutical use ever. But dont ask your doctor for a prescriptionhealth-span therapy based on rapamycin is years away, if it ever happens. Kennedy, the Buck Institute CEO, does not dose himself with rapamycin, whose side effects are not understood.

Researchers at the Buck Institute are lean: societys obesity problems are not in evidence there. Everyone takes the stairs; elevators are viewed as strictly for visitors. If there is a candy machine on the 488-acre grounds, it is well hidden. I met some researchers for lunch in a glass-and-chrome conference room (Bucks buildings were designed by I. M. Pei and fairly shout Give me an architecture award!). Lunch was an ascetic affair: water and a small sandwich with greens; no sides, soda, or cookies. Kennedy says he seldom eats lunch, and runs up to 20 miles weekly. Yet, even doing everything right by the lights of current assumptions about how to stave off aging, at age 47, Kennedy has wrinkle lines around his eyes.

Except with regard to infectious diseases, medical cause and effect is notoriously hard to pin down. Coffee, salt, butter: good, bad, or neither? Studies are inconclusive. Why do some people develop heart disease while others with the same habits dont? The Framingham Heart Study, in its 66th year and following a third generation of subjects, still struggles with such questions. You should watch your weight, eat more greens and less sugar, exercise regularly, and get ample sleep. But you should do these things because they are common sensenot because there is any definitive proof that they will help you live longer.

The uncertainty inherent in the practice of medicine is amplified when the subject is longevity, because decades might pass before anyone knows whether a particular drug or lifestyle modification does any good. Scrutinizing the very old has not been the gold mine some researchers hoped it would be. Lifestyle studies of centenarians can be really puzzling, Kennedy says. They smoke more and drink less than we might guess. Few are vegetarians. Nothing jumps out as a definitive cause of their long lives.

Among the first wide-scale efforts to understand gerontology was the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, begun by federal researchers in 1958 and ongoing. Its current director, Luigi Ferrucci, says, The study has determined that disabilities among the elderly often have warning signs that can be detected in youth, and this insight might lead to early-life interventions that decrease late-life chronic disease. But on some of the big questions, such as whether longevity is caused mainly by genes or mainly by lifestyle and environment, we just have no idea at all.

Studies of twins suggest that about 30 percent of longevity is inherited. This is one of the factors that make researchers optimisticif 30 percent of longevity is inherited, perhaps laboratories can design a compound that causes anyones blood chemistry to mimic what happens in the bodies of those who were born with the DNA for long life. But when we sequence the genome, only 1 percent seems linked to longevity, Ferrucci told me. The other 99 percent of the presumed genetic effect is unexplained.

At medical conferences, Ferrucci likes to show physicians and researchers an elaborate medical profile of an anonymous patient, then ask them to guess her age. Guesses are off by as much as 20 years too high or low, he says. This is because medically, we do not know what age is. The sole means to determine age is by asking for date of birth. Thats what a basic level this research still is at.

Aging brings with it, of course, senescence. Cellular senescence, a subset of the overall phenomenon, is a subject of fascination in longevity research.

The tissues and organs that make up our bodies are prone to injury, and the cells are prone to malfunctions, cancer being the most prominent. When an injury must be healed, or cancerous tissue that is dividing must be stopped, nearby cells transmit chemical signals that trigger the repair of injured cells or the death of malignant ones. (Obviously this is a simplification.) In the young, the system works pretty well. But as cells turn senescent, they begin to send out false positives. The bodys healing ability falters as excess production of the repair signal leads to persistent inflammation, which is the foundation of heart disease, Alzheimers, arthritis, and other chronic maladies associated with the passage of time. Cars wear out because they cannot repair themselves; our bodies wear out because they lose the ability to repair themselves. If the loss of our ability to self-repair were slowed down, health during our later years would improve: a longer warranty, in the auto analogy.

If we can figure out how to eliminate senescent cells or switch off their secretions, says Judith Campisi, who runs the Buck Institutes research on this topic, then we could prevent or lessen the impact of many chronic diseases of aging. Its not a coincidence that incidence of these chronic diseases increases sharply after the age of 50, a time when senescent cells also increase in number. If you believe, as many scientists do, that aging is a prime cause of many chronic diseases, it is essential that we understand the accumulation of senescent cells. Rapamycin excites longevity researchers because it seems to switch off the repair signal mistakenly sent by senescent cells. Mayo Clinic researchers are studying other substances that dampen the effects of cellular senescence; some have proved to keep mice fit longer than normal, extending their health span. Many elderly people decline into years of progressive disability, then become invalids. If instead most people enjoyed reasonable vigor right up to the end, that would be just as exciting for society as adding years to life expectancy.

Big medical efforts tend to be structured as assaults on specific conditionsthe war on cancer and so on. One reason is psychological: a wealthy person who survived a heart attack, or lost a parent to one, endows a foundation to study the problem. Another reason is symbolic: we tend to view diseases as challenges thrown at us by nature, to be overcome one by one. If the passage of time itself turns out to be the challenge, interdisciplinary study of aging might overtake the disease-by-disease approach. As recently as a generation ago, it would have seemed totally crazy to suppose that aging could be cured. Now curing aging seems, well, only somewhat crazy.

The life-expectancy escalator has for nearly two centuries risen about three months a year, despite two world wars, the 1918 influenza pandemic, the AIDS epidemic, and the global populations growing sevenfoldthe latter deceptively important, because crowded conditions are assumed to more readily communicate disease. Will life-span increases continue regardless of what may happen in biotech? The yea position is represented by James Vaupel, the founder of Germanys Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; the nay by Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 2002, Vaupel published an influential article in Science documenting the eerily linear rise in life expectancy since 1840. Controversially, Vaupel concluded that reductions in mortality should not be seen as a disconnected sequence of unrepeatable revolutions but rather as a regular stream of continuing progress. No specific development or discovery has caused the rise: improvements in nutrition, public health, sanitation, and medical knowledge all have helped, but the operative impetus has been the stream of continuing progress.

Vaupel called it a reasonable scenario that increases will continue at least until life expectancy at birth surpasses 100. His views havent changed. The data still support the conclusions of the 2002 paper. Linear rise in life expectancy has continued, Vaupel told me earlier this year. In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the age-adjusted U.S. death rate declined to a record low in 2011. Today the first four causes of death in the United States are chronic, age-related conditions: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower-respiratory diseases, and stroke. As long as living standards continue to improve, Vaupel thinks, life expectancy will continue to increase.

On the opposite side of this coin, Olshansky told me the rise in life expectancy will hit a wall soon, if it hasnt already. He noted, Most of the 20th-century gains in longevity came from reduced infant mortality, and those were onetime gains. Infant mortality in the United States trails some other nations, but has dropped so muchdown to one in 170that little room for improvement remains. Theres tremendous statistical impact on life expectancy when the young are saved, Olshansky says. A reduction in infant mortality saves the entire span of a persons life. Avoiding mortality in a young personsay, by vaccinesaves most of the persons life. Changes in medicine or lifestyle that extend the lives of the old dont add much to the numbers. Olshansky calculates that if cancer were eliminated, American life expectancy would rise by only three years, because a host of other chronic fatal diseases are waiting to take its place. He thinks the 21st century will see the average life span extend another 10 years or so, with a bonus of more health span. Then the increase will slow noticeably, or stop.

Whether human age may have a biological limit does not factor into this debate. A French woman who lived from 1875 to 1997, Jeanne Calment, had the longest confirmed life span, at 122. Shes obviously an outlier, and while outliers dont tell us much, they do hint at whats possible. Her age at death was well beyond the average life span that either Vaupel or Olshansky are contemplating in their analyses. And in any case, various experts, at various times across the past century, have argued that life span was nearing a ceiling, only to be proved wrong.

Diminishing smoking and drunk driving have obviously contributed to declining mortality. Homicide has fallen so muchshootings arent necessarily down, but improved trauma response saves more victimsthat murder is no longer among the top 15 causes of death in the United States. Other health indicators seem positive as well. All forms of harmful air and water emissions except greenhouse gases are in long-term decline. Less smog, acid rain, and airborne soot foster longevitythe old are sensitive to respiratory diseasewhile declining levels of industrial toxins may contribute to declining cancer rates. Life expectancy can be as much as 18 years shorter in low-income U.S. counties than in high-income counties, but Obamacare should correct some of that imbalance: Romneycare, enacted in 2006 and in many ways Obamacares precursor, reduced mortality in low-income Massachusetts counties. These and many other elements of Vaupels stream of continuing progress seem to favor longevity. So does climate change: people live longer in warm climates than cold, and the world is warming.

Popular attention tends to focus on whether what we gulp down determines how long we live: Should people take fish oil and shop for organic probiotic kefir? The way our homes, families, and friendships are organized may matter just as much. Thomas Perls, a professor at Boston Medical Center who analyzes the genomes of centenarians, notes that Seventh-Day Adventists enjoy about a decade more life expectancy than peers of their birth years: They dont drink or smoke, most are vegetarians, they exercise regularly even when old, and take a true weekly day of rest. But what really strikes Perls about Seventh-Day Adventists is that they maintain large social groups. Constant interaction with other people can be annoying, but overall seems to keep us engaged with life.

For years, the American social trend has been away from constant interaction with other peoplefewer two-parent homes, fewer children per home, declining participation in religious and community activities, grandparents living on their own, electronic interaction replacing the face-to-face in everything from work to dating. Prosperity is associated with smaller households, yet the large multigeneration home may be best for long life. There are some indications that the Great Recession increased multigeneration living. This may turn out to boost longevity, at least for a time.

The single best yardstick for measuring a persons likely life span is education. John Rowe, a health-policy professor at Columbia University and a former CEO of Aetna, says, If someone walked into my office and asked me to predict how long he would live, I would ask two things: What is your age, and how many years of education did you receive?

Jay Olshanskys latest research suggests that American women with no high-school diploma have experienced relatively small life-span increases since the 1950s, while the life expectancy of highly educated women has soared since then. Today the best-educated Americans live 10 to 14 years longer than the least educated, on average. Nothing pops out of the data like the link between education and life expectancy, Olshansky says. The good news is that the share of the American population that is less educated is in gradual decline. The bad news is that lack of education seems even more lethal than it was in the past.

Education does not sync with life expectancy because reading Dostoyevsky lowers blood pressure; college is a proxy for other aspects of a persons life. Compared with the less educated, people with a bachelors degree have a higher income, smoke less, are less likely to be overweight, and are more likely to follow doctors instructions. College graduates are more likely to marry and stay married, and marriage is good for your health: the wedded suffer fewer heart attacks and strokes than the single or divorced.

Many of the social developments that improve longevitybetter sanitation, less pollution, improved emergency roomsare provided to all on an egalitarian basis. But todays public high schools are dreadful in many inner-city areas, and broadly across states including California. Legislatures are cutting support for public universities, while the cost of higher education rises faster than inflation. These issues are discussed in terms of fairness; perhaps health should be added as a concern in the debate. If education is the trump card of longevity, the top quintile may pull away from the rest.

Society is dominated by the oldold political leaders, old judges. With each passing year, as longevity increases, the intergenerational imbalance worsens. The old demand benefits for which the young must pay, while people in their 20s become disenchanted, feeling that the deck is stacked against them. National debt increases at an alarming rate. Innovation and fresh thinking disappear as energies are devoted to defending current pie-slicing arrangements.

This isnt a prediction about the future of the United States, but rather a description of Japan right now. The Land of the Rising Sun is the worlds grayest nation. Already the median age is 45 (in the U.S., by comparison, it is 37), and it will jump to 55 by 2040. As Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute, has noted, median age in the retirement haven of Palm Springs, California, is currently 52 years. Japan is on its way to becoming an entire nation of Palm Springs residents.

The number of Americans 65 or older could reach 108 million in 2050. Thats like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors.

Japans grayness stems from a very low fertility ratenot enough babies to bring down the average ageand strict barriers against immigration. The United States remains a nation of immigrants, and because of the continual inflow of young people, the U.S. median age wont go haywire even as life expectancy rises: the United Nations World Population Prospects estimates that the U.S. median age will rise to 41 by mid-century.

Nonetheless, that Japan is the first major nation to turn gray, and is also the deepest in debt, is not encouraging. Once, Japan was feared as the Godzilla of global trade, but as it grayed, its economy entered a long cycle of soft growth. In 2012 the centrist Democratic Party of Japan, then holding the Diet, backed a tax whose goal was not to pay down what the country owes but merely to slow the rate of borrowing. The party promptly got the heave-ho from voters. Last year Japans public debt hit $10 trillion, twice the nations GDP.

Sheila Smith, a Japan specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me, Young people in Japan have some of the worlds worst voter-participation rates. They think the old have the system so rigged in their favor, theres no point in political activity. The young dont seem excited by the future. News accounts of young Japanese becoming so apathetic that theyve lost interest in having sex sound hard to believe, but may bear some truth.

Young urban Japanese surely are aware that their elders are ringing up bills to be handed to them, but theyre also aware that if funding for the retired is cut, Grandma may want to move into their very small apartment. As life expectancy rises, a Japanese person entering the happy-go-lucky phase of early adulthood may find that parents and grandparents both expect to be looked after. Because the only child is common in Japans newest generation, a big cast of aging people may turn to one young person for financial support or caregiving or both. Acceding to public borrowing may have become, to young Japanese, a way to keep older generations out of the apartmenteven if it means crushing national debt down the road.

That America may become more like Japansteadily older, with rising debt and declining economic growthis unsettling. From the second half of the George W. Bush administration until 2013, U.S. national debt more than doubled. The federal government borrowed like there was no tomorrow. The debt binge, for which leaders of both political parties bear blame, was a prelude to the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Tomorrow has a way of coming.

Suppose the escalator slows, and conservative assumptions about life expectancy prevail. In a 2009 study, Olshansky projected future demographics under the hit a wall scenario. The number of Americans 65 or older, 43 million today, could reach 108 million in 2050that would be like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors. The oldest old cohort, those 85 and older, may increase at least fivefold, to more than 6 percent of the U.S. citizenry. Olshansky projected that by 2050, life expectancy will extend three to eight years past the age used by the Social Security Administration to assess the solvency of its system, while forecasting that by 2050, Medicare and Social Security will rack up between $3.2 trillion and $8.3 trillion in unfunded obligations. (State and local governments have at least another $1 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities.) These disconcerting numbers flow from the leading analyst who thinks that the life-span increase is slowing down.

When President Obama took office, Social Securitys trustees said the current benefits structure was funded until 2037. Now the Congressional Budget Office says the year of reckoning may come as soon as 2031. States may be funding their pension obligations using fuzzy math: New York issues promissory notes; Illinois and New Jersey sell debt instruments distressingly similar to junk bonds. Many private pension plans are underfunded, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which on paper appears to insure them, is an accident looking for a place to happen. Twice in the past three years, Congress has voted to allow corporations to delay contributions to pension plans. This causes them to pay more taxes in the present year, giving Congress more to spend, while amplifying problems down the road. Social Securitys disability fund may fail as soon as late 2016. Medicare spending is rising faster than Social Security spending, and is harder to predict. Projections show the main component of Medicare, its hospital fund, failing by 2030.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the next decade, all federal spending growth will come from entitlementsmainly Social Security and Medicareand from interest on the national debt. The nonpartisan think tank Third Way has calculated that at the beginning of the Kennedy presidency, the federal government spent $2.50 on public investmentsinfrastructure, education, and researchfor every $1 it spent on entitlements. By 2022, Third Way predicts, the government will spend $5 on entitlements for every $1 on public investments. Infrastructure, education, and research lead to economic growth; entitlement subsidies merely allow the nation to tread water.

If health span can be improved, the costs of aging-related disability may be manageable. Not that long ago, vast sums were spent on iron lungs and sanitariums for treatment of polio: preventing the disease has proved much less expensive than treating it. If chronic ailments related to aging can be prevented or significantly delayed, big-ticket line items in Medicare might not go off the rails.

But if health span does not improve, longer life could make disability in aging an economic crisis. Today, Medicare and Medicaid spend about $150 billion annually on Alzheimers patients. Absent progress against aging, the number of people with Alzheimers could treble by 2050, with society paying as much for Alzheimers care as for the current defense budget.

Many disabilities associated with advanced years cannot be addressed with pharmaceuticals or high-tech procedures; caregivers are required. Providing personal care for an aged invalid is a task few wish to undertake. Already many lists of careers with the most job openings are headed by caregiver or nurses aide, professions in which turnover is high.

As longevity increases, so too does the number of living grandparents. Families that once might have had one oldest old relative find themselves with three or four, all expecting care or money. At the same time, traditional family trees are being replaced with diagrams that resemble maps of the London Underground. Will children of blended families feel the same obligation to care for aging stepparents as they feel for biological parents? Just the entry of the phrase birth parent into the national lexicon suggests the magnitude of the change.

With Japan at the leading edge of lengthening life expectancy, its interest in robotics can be eerie. Foxconn, the Asian electronics giant, is manufacturing for the Japanese market a creepy mechanized thing named Pepper that is intended to provide company for the elderly. More-sophisticated devices may be in store. A future in which large numbers of very old, incapacitated people stare into the distance as robot attendants click and hum would be a bad science-fiction movie if it didnt stand a serious chance of happening.

As the population ages, so do the political powers that beand theyre aging in place. Computerized block-by-block voting analysis and shameless gerrymanderingMarylands new sixth congressional district is such a strange shape, it would have embarrassed Elbridge Gerrylock incumbents into power as never before. Campaign-finance laws appear to promote reform, but in fact have been rigged to discourage challengers. Between rising life expectancy and the mounting power of incumbency, both houses of Congress are the oldest theyve ever been: the average senator is 62 years old; the average representative, 57.

A graying Congress would be expected to be concerned foremost with protection of the status quo. Government may grow sclerotic at the very time the aging of the populace demands new ideas. Theres already a tremendous advantage to incumbency, one experienced political operative told me. As people live longer, incumbents will become more entrenched. Strom Thurmond might not be unusual anymore. Many from both parties could cling to power too long, freezing out fresh thinking. It wont be good for democracy. The speaker was no starry-eyed radical: he was Karl Rove.

Now think of the Supreme Court as life expectancy increases. The nine justices on the first Court sat an average of nine years; the last nine to depart, an average of 27 years. John Paul Stevens, the most recent to retire, was a justice for 35 years. If Clarence Thomas lives to the actuarial life expectancy of a male his current age, he could be a Supreme Court justice for 40 years.

The Framers would be aghast at the idea of a small cadre of unelected potentates lording it over the body politic for decades. When the Constitution was written, no one could have anticipated how much life span would increase, nor how much power the Supreme Court would accrue. If democracy is to remain vibrant as society ages, campaign laws must change to help challengers stand a chance versus incumbents, and the Constitution must be amended to impose a term limit on the Supreme Court, so confirmation as a justice stops being a lifetime appointment to royalty.

In 1940, the typical American who reached age 65 would ultimately spend about 17 percent of his or her life retired. Now the figure is 22 percent, and still rising. Yet Social Security remains structured as if longevity were stuck in a previous century. The early-retirement option, added by Congress in 1961start drawing at age 62, though with lower benefitsis appealing if life is short, but backfires as life span extends. People who opt for early Social Security may reach their 80s having burned through savings, and face years of living on a small amount rather than the full benefit they might have received. Polls show that Americans consistently underestimate how long they will livea convenient assumption that justifies retiring early and spending now, while causing dependency over the long run.

James Vaupel has warned that refusing to acknowledge longevitys steady march distorts peoples decisions about how much to save and when to retire and gives license to politicians to postpone painful adjustments to Social Security. Ronald Reagan was the last president to push through legislation to account for life-span changes. His administration increased the future eligible age of full Social Security benefits from 65 to 66 or 67, depending on ones birth year. Perhaps 99 percent of members of Congress would agree in private that retirement economics must change; none will touch this third rail. Generating more Social Security revenue by lifting the payroll-tax cap, currently $117,000, is the sole politically attractive option, because only the well-to-do would be impacted. But the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded that even this soak-the-rich option is insufficient to prevent insolvency for Social Security. At least one other change, such as later retirement or revised cost-of-living formulas, is required. A fair guess is that the government will do nothing about Social Security reform until a crisis strikesand then make panicked, ill-considered moves that foresight might have avoided.

Americans may decry government gridlock, but they cant blame anyone else for their own decisions. Peoples retirement savings simply must increase, though this means financial self-discipline, which Americans are not known for. Beyond that, most individuals will likely need to take a new view of what retirement should be: not a toggle switchno work at all, after years of full-time laborbut a continuum on which a person gradually downshifts to half-time, then to working now and then. Lets call it the retirement track rather than retirement: a phase of continuing to earn and save as full-time work winds down.

Widespread adoption of a retirement track would necessitate changes in public policy and in employers attitudes. Banks dont think in terms of smallish loans to help a person in the second half of life start a home-based business, but such lending might be vital to a graying population. Many employers are required to continue offering health insurance to those who stay on the job past 65, even though they are eligible for Medicare. Employers premiums for these workers are much higher than for young workers, which means employers may have a logical reason to want anyone past 65 off the payroll. Ending this requirement would make seniors more attractive to employers.

Many people may find continuing to work but under the lower-stress circumstances of part-time employment to be preferable to a gold watch, then idleness. Gradual downshifting could help ease aging people into volunteer service roles, where theres never any end of things to do. The retirement track could be more appealing than traditional retirement. A longer health span will be essential to making it possible.

Understanding the evolutionary biology of aging might help the quest for improved health span. Each cell of the body contains DNA code for a fresh, healthy cell, yet that blueprint is not called on as we grow old. Evolutionists including Alfred Russel Wallace have toyed with the idea of programmed deaththe notion that natural selection wants old animals to die in order to free up resources for younger animals, which may carry evolved genetic structures. Current thinking tends to hold that rather than trying to make older animals die, natural selection simply has no mechanism to reward longevity.

Felipe Sierra, a researcher at the National Institute on Aging, says, Evolution doesnt care about you past your reproductive age. It doesnt want you either to live longer or to die, it just doesnt care. From the standpoint of natural selection, an animal that has finished reproducing and performed the initial stage of raising young might as well be eaten by something, since any favorable genetic quality that expresses later in life cannot be passed along. Because a mutation that favors long life cannot make an animal more likely to succeed at reproducing, selection pressure works only on the young.

A generation ago, theorists suspected that menopause was an evolutionary adaptation exclusive to the Homo genuswomen stop expending energy to bear children so they can care longer for those already born, as mothers and grandmothers. This, the theory goes, increases childrens chances of survival, allowing them to pass along family genes. Yet recent research has shown that animals including lions and baboons also go through menopause, which increasingly looks more like a malfunction of aging cells than a quality brought about by selection pressure. As for the idea that grandparents help their grandchildren prosper, favoring longevitythe grandmother effectthis notion, too, has fared poorly in research.

The key point is: if nothing that happens after a person reproduces bears on which genes flourish, then nature has never selected for qualities that extend longevity. Evolution favors strength, intelligence, reflexes, sexual appeal; it does not favor keeping an organism running a long time. For example, a growing body needs calcium, so nature selected for the ability to metabolize this element. In later life, calcium causes stiffening of the arteries, a problem that evolution has no mechanism to correct, since hardened arteries do not occur until its too late for natural selection to side with any beneficial mutation. Testosterone is essential to a youthful man; in an aging man, it can be a factor in prostate cancer. Evolution never selected for a defense against that.

Similar examples abound; the most important may be senescent cells. Natural selection probably favors traits that reduce the risk of cancer, because cancer can strike the young before reproductive age is reached. Senescence doesnt occur until evolution is no longer in play, so natural selection has left all mammal bodies with a defect that leads to aging and death.

If senescence could be slowed, men and women hardly would become immortal. Violence, accidents, and contagious disease still would kill. Even if freed of chronic conditions, eventually our bodies would fail.

But it is not credulous futurism to suppose that drugs or even genetic therapy may alter the human body in ways that extend longevity. Brian Kennedy, of the Buck Institute, notes, Because natural selection did not improve us for aging, theres a chance for rapid gains. The latest BMWs are close to perfect. How can an engineer improve on them? But the Model T would be easy to improve on now. When young, genetically we are BMWs. In aging, we become Model Ts. The evolutionary improvements havent started yet.

In the wild, young animals outnumber the old; humanity is moving toward a society where the elderly outnumber the recently arrived. Such a world will differ from todays in many outward aspects. Warm-weather locations are likely to grow even more popular, though with climate change, warm-weather locations may come to include Buffalo, New York. Ratings for football, which is loud and aggressive, may wane, while baseball and theatergoing enjoy a renaissance. The shift back toward cities, initiated by the educated young, may give way to another car-centric suburban and exurban growth phase.

The university, a significant aspect of the contemporary economy, centuries ago was a place where the fresh-faced would be prepared for a short life; today the university is a place where adults watch children and grandchildren walk to Pomp and Circumstance. The university of the future may be one that serves all ages. Colleges will reposition themselves economically as offering just as much to the aging as to the adolescent: courses priced individually for later-life knowledge seekers; lots of campus events of interest to students, parents, and the community as a whole; a pleasant college-town atmosphere to retire near. In decades to come, college professors may address students ranging from age 18 to 80.

Products marketed to senior citizens are already a major presence on television, especially during newscasts and weathercasts. Advertising pitched to the elderly may come to dominate the airwaves, assuming there still is television. But consumerism might decline. Neurological studies of healthy aging people show that the parts of the brain associated with reward-seeking light up less as time goes on. Whether its hot new fashions or hot-fudge sundaes, older people on the whole dont desire acquisitions as much as the young and middle-aged do. Denounced for generations by writers and clergy, wretched excess has repelled all assaults. Longer life spans may at last be the counterweight to materialism.

If health span extends, the nuclear family might be seen as less central. Bearing and raising children would no longer be the all-consuming life event.

Deeper changes may be in store as well. People in their late teens to late 20s are far more likely to commit crimes than people of other ages; as society grays, the decline of crime should continue. Violence in all guises should continue downward, too. Horrible headlines from Afghanistan or Syria are exceptions to an overall trend toward less warfare and less low-intensity conflict. As Steven Pinker showed in the 2011 book Better Angels of Our Nature, total casualties of combat, including indirect casualties from the economic harm associated with fighting, have been declining, even as the global population has risen. In 1950, one person in 5,000 worldwide died owing to combat; by 2010, this measure was down to one person in 300,000. In recent years, far more people have been killed by car crashes than by battle. Simultaneously, per capita military expenditure has shrunk. My favorite statistic about the world: the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports that, adjusting to todays dollars, global per capita military spending has declined by one-third in the past quarter century.

The end of the Cold War, and the proxy conflicts it spawned, is an obvious influence on the subsiding of warfare, as is economic interconnectedness. But aging may also be a factor. Counterculture optics notwithstanding, polls showed that the young were more likely to support the Vietnam War than the old were; the young were more likely to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq, too. Research by John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University, suggests that as people age, they become less enthusiastic about war. Perhaps this is because older people tend to be wiser than the youngand couldnt the world use more wisdom?

Older people also report, to pollsters and psychologists, a greater sense of well-being than the young and middle-aged do. By the latter phases of life, material and romantic desires have been attained or given up on; passions have cooled; and for most, a rich store of memories has been compiled. Among the core contentions of the well-being research of the Princeton University psychologist Daniel Kahneman is that in the end, memories are all you keepwhats in the mind matters more than what you own. Regardless of net worth, the old are well off in this sense.

Should large numbers of people enjoy longer lives in decent health, the overall well-being of the human family may rise substantially. In As You Like It, Jaques declares, Man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. The first five embody promise and powerinfant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, and success. The late phases are entirely negativepantaloon, a period as the butt of jokes for looking old and becoming impotent; then second childishness, a descent into senile dependency. As life expectancy and health span increase, the seven ages may demand revision, with the late phases of life seen as a positive experience of culmination and contentment.

Further along may be a rethinking of life as better structured around friendship than around family, the basic unit of human society since the mists of prehistory. In the brief life of previous centuries, all a man or woman could hope to accomplish was to bear and raise children; enervation followed. Today, life is longer, but an education-based economy requires greater investments in childrencontemporary parents are still assisting offspring well into a childs 20s. As before, when the child-rearing finally is done, decline commences.

But if health span extends, the nuclear family might be seen as less central. For most people, bearing and raising children would no longer be the all-consuming life event. After child-rearing, a phase of decades of friendships could awaitpotentially more fulfilling than the emotionally charged but fast-burning bonds of youth. A change such as this might have greater ramifications for society than changes in work schedules or health-care economics.

Regardless of where increasing life expectancy leads, the direction will be into the unknownfor society and for the natural world. Felipe Sierra, the researcher at the National Institute on Aging, puts it this way: The human ethical belief that death should be postponed as long as possible does not exist in naturefrom which we are now, in any case, diverging.

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What Happens When We All Live to 100? – The Atlantic

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US Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

Posted: August 23, 2016 at 9:18 am

BMJ. 2000 Nov 4; 321(7269): 11531154.

British Medical Association, London WC1H 9JP

The pomegranate was chosen as the logo for the Millennium Festival of Medicine from a shortlist that included DNA, the human body, and a heart beat. Not only has the pomegranate been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties but it also features in the heraldic crests of several medical institutions involved in the organisation of the festival.

The pomegranate has been held sacred by many of the world’s major religions

It has been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties

Preparations of different parts of the plant have been used to treat a variety of conditions

It features in the coat of arms of several medical associations

Before its medicinal properties were described the pomegranate was held sacred by many of the world’s major religions.

In the Greek myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, lord of the underworld, the pomegranate represents life, regeneration, and marriage.1 One day while out gathering flowers, Persephone noticed a narcissus of exquisite beauty. As she bent down to pick it, the earth opened and Hades seized her and dragged her down to his kingdom. By eating a few pomegranate seeds, Persephone tied herself to Hadesthe pomegranate being a symbol of the indissolubility of marriage. Inconsolable at the loss of her daughter, the corn goddess Demeter prevented the earth from bearing fruit unless she saw her daughter again. Zeus intervened and worked out a compromise: Persephone should live with Hades for one third of the year and the other two thirds with Demeter. Persephone’s return from the underworld each year is marked by the arrival of Spring.

The pomegranate probably originated in Iran and Afghanistan and was much used in Zoroastrian ritual and domestic observances.23 In Persian mythology Isfandiyar eats a pomegranate and becomes invincible.4 In The Persian War Herodotus mentions golden pomegranates adorning the spears of warriors in the Persian phalanx.5

Pomegranate seeds are said to number 613one for each of the Bible’s 613 commandments.6 The pomegranate was revered for the beauty of its shrub, flowers, and fruitsymbolising sanctity, fertility, and abundance.7 The Song of Solomon compares the cheeks of a bride behind her veil to the two halves of a pomegranate.8 Depictions of the fruit have long featured in architecture and design. They decorated the pillars of King Solomon’s temple and the robes and regalia of Jewish kings and priests.

Along with the citrus and the peach, the pomegranate is one of the three blessed fruits. In Buddhist art the fruit represents the essence of favourable influences.9 In Buddhist legend the demoness Hariti, who devoured children, was cured of her evil habit by the Buddha, who gave her a pomegranate to eat. She is depicted in Buddhist art holding a child. In Japan she is known as Kishimojin and is invoked by infertile women.10

In China the pomegranate is widely represented in ceramic art symbolising fertility, abundance, posterity, numerous and virtuous offspring, and a blessed future.11 A picture of a ripe open pomegranate is a popular wedding present.

A symbol of resurrection and life everlasting in Christian art, the pomegranate is often found in devotional statues and paintings of the Virgin and Child.

In medieval representations the pomegranate tree, a fertility symbol, is associated with the end of a unicorn hunt. The captured unicorn appears to be bleeding from wounds inflicted on him by the hunters.12 The wounds are actually pomegranate seeds dripping their blood red juices on his milk white body. Wild and uncontrollable by nature, unicorns can be tamed only by virgins. Once tamed, the unicorn was held in an enclosed garden and chained to a pomegranate tree, symbolising the impending incarnation of Christ.13

The heavenly paradise of the Koran describes four gardens with shade, springs, and fruitsincluding the pomegranate. Legend holds that each pomegranate contains one seed that has come down from paradise.5 Pomegranates have had a special role as a fertility symbol in weddings among the Bedouins of the Middle East.14 A fine specimen is secured and split open by the groom as he and his bride open the flap of their tent or enter the door of their house. Abundant seeds ensure that the couple who eat it will have many children.

Preparations of different parts of the plantflower, fruit juice, rind, barkhave been used for a wide variety of conditions, although gastroenterological ailments predominate. Dioscorides describes some of them:

All sorts of pommegranats are of a pleasant taste and good for ye stomach . . . The juice of the kernells prest out, being sod and mixed with Hony, are good for the ulcers that are in ye mouth and in ye Genitalls and in the seate, as also for the Pterygia in digitis and for the Nomae and ye excrescencies in ulcers, and for ye paines of ye eares, and for the griefs in ye nosthrills . . . The decoction of ye flowers is a collution of moist flagging gummes and of loose teeth . . . ye rinde having a binding faculty . . . but ye decoction of ye roots doth expell and kill the Latas tineas ventris.15

The use of pomegranate rind and root bark as a treatment for tapeworm infestation (Latas tineas ventris) was recommended by several early Roman medical writers and is still listed as a treatment for tapeworms and diarrhoea in a current encyclopaedia of medicinal plants.16

The British Medical Association and three royal colleges feature the pomegranate in their coats of arms. The pomegranate was part of Catherine of Aragon’s coat of arms and was accepted into English heraldry when she married King Henry VIII in 1509. The Royal College of Physicians of London had adopted it in their coat of arms by the middle of the sixteenth century.17 The heraldic meanings of the pomegranate hark back to the meanings of the pomegranate in the myth of Persephonethe persistence of life, fertility, and regeneration.

Competing interests: None declared.

British Medical Association

Royal College of Midwives

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Royal College of Physicians

1. New Larousse encyclopedia of mythology. London: Hamlyn; 1983.

2. Trees at the Chelsea Physic Garden. London: Chelsea Physic Garden Company; 1997. p. 14.

3. Modi JJ. The religious ceremonies and customs of the Parsees. Bombay: British India Press; 1922.

4. Curtis VS. Persian myths. London: British Museum Press; 1996. p. 54.

5. Herodotus . The histories. London: Penguin; 1996. p. 389.

6. Good A, Nurock M. The fruits of the Holy Land. Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press; 1968.

7. Wigoder DE. The Garden of Eden cookbook. San Francisco: Harper & Row; 1988.

8. Holy Bible. Song of Solomon 4, 3.

9. Hall J. Hall’s illustrated dictionary of symbols in eastern and western art. London: John Murray; 1995.

10. Munsterberg H. Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese art. New York: Hacker Art Books; 1981. p. 241.

11. Cooper JC. An illustrated encyclopaedia of traditional symbols. London: Thames and Hudson; 1995. p. 134.

12. Freeman MB. The unicorn tapestries. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1976.

13. Cherry J. Mythical beasts. London: British Museum Press; 1995. pp. 4752.

14. Garrison W. Strange facts about the Bible. Nashville: Festival Books; 1980. p. 184.

15. Gunter RT. The Greek herbal of Dioscorides. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1934. pp. 8081.

16. Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of medicinal plants. London: Dorling Kindersley; 1996. p. 257.

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US Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

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Where To Get Cyberpunk Clothing | Neon Dystopia

Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

These days its difficult to find decent cyberpunk clothing unless you are willing to pay a shitload of money and search through the millions of clothes that have nothing to do with cyberpunk, yet still claim to be. Its a problem with the current dystopian western society weve found ourselves in no terminals to hack into with our brain stem but plenty of clothes that are goth, steampunk, rave or industrial that have little relation tocyberpunk clothing or the cyberpunk attitude. The other option you have is making the clothes yourself but for that you would need to be talented and, for ease, lets assume for the moment that you arent (or if you want to feel better about yourself, lets say you cant build a raid server or port scan companies in Japan at the same time as sewing pfft).

The point is this; you want to go out and you want to change the worlds perception of fashion while at the same time remaining under the radar in the crowd as you get to the club to pick up another unsavoury job from your employer.

In the early days of public internet it was perfectly acceptable for cyberpunks to fit into the almost-cybergoth scene; wearing minimal black clothing, nails painted black and earning money from rich goths willing to pay for a little bit of hacking done from your Windows 98 laptop. This idea isnt too far-fetched it was stolen from reality by the creators of The Matrix.I was doing gigs like this before the film came out while I was visiting the same club they used for the down the rabbit hole scene (Hellfire in Chippendale, Sydney) all while having a high paying job at a software/internet company where I first saw the trailer for The Matrix. I admit; I saw myself more like Lenny from Strange Days totes cooler than anyone from theMatrix films. After this time, if you wore a long black or brown leather jacket people would call out to you, Hey Matrix idiot making you no longer anonymous. Thanks, Matrix you fuckfaces.

Fashion has caught up somewhat since those fucking days in the 90s but the idea of what cyberpunk fashion is has strayed in the public consciousness mostly because people dont understand the cyberpunk ethos or where it comes from. What impresses me are the costumes in cyberpunk films like Total Recall (2013) and, more recently, in games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and especially Remember Me. Nilins costume is outrageously gorgeous.

So how do you track down the ultimate cyberpunk fashion for that specific cyberpunk style? I was getting to that.

Start with the outrageously expensive places like Plastic Wrap (http://www.plastikwrap.com/) and Google cyberpunk clothing to get some ideas of what you would like to wear. Then, hit the markets (yes, I mean real life markets). Theres bound to be several places that you never thought of to go to buy cyberpunk or dystopian clothes because obviously retail is too expensive and buying low quality, overpriced shit online was the only way to get the cool shit. Well you were wrong.

Most young people trying to get a foot in the fashion industry are making some of the coolest shit and selling it at markets to get a leg up in the industry but what that means for you is you can buy awesome unique pieces that ultimately can fuel your dream outfit for your dark corner of our dystopia. I have been blown away at some of the functional and cyberpunkclothesIve been able to find of late in markets in Sydney. Wherever you are in the world there are bound to be similar places, you just need to find out where your local markets (usually in cities) are located.

There is also a heap of cool clothing waiting to be found in second-hand clothing stores. You just gotta look and usually its as cheap as a hooker in Chiba City, Japan Im not kidding.

Remember three things when searching for cyberpunk clothing:

If you just cant find anything outside, here are some potential online sources for decent cyberpunk clothing:

Cryoflesh http://www.cryoflesh.com

While promoting itself as Urban Future Wear theres clearly a lot of goth and rave wear to sift through with some interesting accessories. Reasonably cheaper than most online stores but difficult to put together a full outfit from this one site and still remain true to the cyberpunk ethos.

Cyberdog http://shop.cyberdog.net/

Cyberdog has come a long way since its inception but still focuses more on rave culture than actual cyberpunk clothing. Everything is in pounds so dont forget how expensive that makes everything.

Plastik Wrap/Plastic Army http://www.plastikwrap.com/

Plastik Wrap have been around for a long time and built up their brand and even had some costumes featured in Total Recall 2013 unfortunately this also makes them one of the most expensive brands out there. They have some amazing pieces but use them for reference only.

Eva Zolinar https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ZOLNAR/ Via Etsy, Eva Zolinar has been creating some very interesting pieces that fit right into a cyberpunk underground. While some of the more detailed pieces are extremely expensive some of the smaller pieces and accessories are quite cool average out to the price of some of the pieces on cryoflesh.

Futurestate http://www.futurstate.com/

With a much more Industrial sometime borderline steampunk edge Futurestate does have some interesting torso pieces and jackets especially for men again the prices are right up there but its worthwhile for looking at the hoodies and jackets.

Siskatank http://www.siskatank.com/

Very expensive printed clothing.

Immoral Fashion http://www.immoralfashion.com.au/

An Australian fashion site with some amazing pieces and surprisingly low prices. Pants tops and jackets are all high quality from here. Again you are wading through steampunk and goth clothing but its all high quality.

Neurolab (non corporeal clothing) http://www.neurolab-inc.com/blog/en/category/categories/clothes-categories/

If you are fan of Second Life, which I am not, you might want to check out Neurolabs clothing and gear. Warning: this is strictly clothing for your avatar in second life not real life clothing.

There you have it plenty of advice and resources to get yourself going. If you cant find yourself anything to wear above, well, I guess youll have to learn to sew.

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Where To Get Cyberpunk Clothing | Neon Dystopia

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NATO – Wikipedia, den frie encyklopdi

Posted: July 29, 2016 at 3:08 am

NATO (engelsk: North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eller p fransk: OTAN (Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord) er en international organisation for politisk og militrt forsvarssamarbejde omkring den nordlige del af Atlanterhavet, som blev etableret i 1949 med de allierede krigspartnere USA, Storbritannien og Frankrig som de drivende krfter.

Landene er forpligtet til at forsvare hinanden i tilflde af, at de skulle blive angrebet. Derudover arrangerer NATO ofte strre, militre velser for medlemslandene. NATO deltager desuden med styrker i krigshrgede lande, fx Afghanistan.

Da man etablerede NATO, var der 12 lande med. Disse lande var Belgien, Canada, Danmark, Frankrig, Holland, Island, Italien, Luxembourg, Norge, Portugal, Storbritannien og USA. Senere er NATO blevet udvidet med flere medlemslande. Den sidste store udvidelse skete i 2004, hvor blandt andet en rkke af de tidligere Warszawapagt-lande blev indlemmet i NATO.

Bruxelles-Traktaten, der blev underskrevet 11. marts 1948 af Belgien, Holland, Luxembourg, Frankrig og Storbritannien, anses for at vre forgngeren til NATO aftalen. Denne traktat etablerede en militr alliance, der kaldtes Vestunionen eller WEU.[1] Men amerikansk deltagelse blev anset for ndvendig, hvis man skulle kunne matche Sovjetunionens militre styrke, og derfor begyndte forberedelsen af en ny, militr alliance hurtigt efter traktatens vedtagelse.[2]

Resultatet blev den Nordatlantiske Traktat, der blev udarbejdet af Lester B. Pearson og underskrevet i Washington D.C. 4. april 1949. Traktaten inkluderede de fem lande, der havde underskrevet Bruxelles-Traktaten, samt USA, Canada, Portugal, Italien, Norge, Danmark og Island.[3] Tre r senere, 18. februar 1952, underskrev ogs Grkenland og Tyrkiet aftalen. P grund af deres geografiske beliggenhed kunne Australien og New Zealand ikke vre med i alliancen, og i stedet blev ANZUS aftalen indget mellem de to lande og USA.[4]

I 1954 foreslog Sovjetunionen, at den skulle indg i NATO-alliancen for at bevare fred i Europa. NATO-landene ngtede dog dette, da de s det som et forsg p at oplse NATO indefra.

Indlemmelsen af Vesttyskland i NATO 9. maj 1955 blev beskrevet som “et afgrende vendepunkt i vort kontinents historie” af Norges davrende udenrigsminister Halvard Lange.[5] Et af de jeblikkelige resultater var da ogs oprettelsen af Warszawapagten, der blev underskrevet 14. maj 1955 af Sovjetunionen og dens satellitstater. Dermed var de to parter i den kolde krig endeligt etableret.

NATO’s sammenhold blev brudt allerede tidligt i alliancens historie med en krise under Charles de Gaulles tid som prsident i Frankrig fra 1958 og frem. De Gaulle protestererede mod det, han mente var USA’s hegemonistiske rolle i organisationen, og det han s som et specielt forhold mellem USA og Storbritannien. I et memorandum, han sendte til USA’s prsident Eisenhower og den britiske premierminister Harold Macmillan 17. september 1958, argumenterede han for en ligestilling af USA, Storbritannien og Frankrig, og for at NATO’s dkning skulle udvides til ogs at omfatte franske geografiske interesseomrder.

Charles de Gaulle ans svaret p sit memorandum som utilfredsstillende og begyndte at arbejde for et uafhngigt, fransk forsvar. Frankrig trak sin middelhavsflde ud af NATO kommandoen 11. marts 1959 og arbejdede henimod et selvstndigt atomvbenprogram.

I juni 1959 forbd de Gaulle al udstationering af udenlandske atomvben p fransk jord, og USA trak 200 militrfly ud af Frankrig. Dermed blev 26th Tactical Reconnaisance Wing, der tidligere var baseret i Tol-Rosires luftbasen, relokeret til Ramstein Air Base i Vesttyskland, og Tol-Rosires blev givet tilbage til Frankrig i 1967. Mellem 1950 og 1967 drev det amerikanske luftvben ti strre baser i Frankrig. 13. februar 1960 afprvede Frankrig sin frste atombombe, Gerboise Bleue.

Selv om Frankrig udviste solidaritet med resten af NATO under Cubakrisen i 1962, fortsatte de Gaulle sine bestrbelser for et selvstndigt fransk forsvar ved ogs at trkke de franske atlanterhavs- og kanalflder ud af den integrerede NATO kommando. I 1966 blev de franske, vbnede styrker ogs trukket ud af NATO’s integrerede kommando, og alle udenlandske tropper blev bedt om at forlade Frankrig. Frankrig fortsatte dog som medlem af den politiske alliance. Frankrigs nej til udenlandske tropper resulterede i, at NATO’s europiske overkommando (SHAPE) blev flyttet fra Paris til Casteau, nord for Mons i Belgien 16. oktober 1967.[6] Frankrig trdte igen ind i NATO’s militre kommando i 1993.

Skabelsen af NATO havde som konsekvens, at der blev brug for en standardisering af militr teknologi. Standardiseringen skete gennem STANAG aftalen, der blandt andet resulterede i en flles kaliber for militre hndvben, flles procedurer for militre lufthavne og en rkke andre standardiseringer. Der blev ogs brug for en flles militr strategi. Den blev sikret gennem flles kommando, kontrol og kommunikationscentre.

Under det meste af den kolde krig optrdte NATO ikke som organisation i bne militre konflikter. 1. juli 1968 blev Traktaten om ikke-spredning af kernevben bnet for underskrifter.

30. maj 1978 definerede NATO landene to yderligere ml for alliancen: At opretholde sikkerheden og arbejde for afspnding. Dette skulle gres ved at tilpasse alliancens militre magt til Warszawapagtens offensive formen uden at starte et vbenkaplb.

12. december 1979 efter at warszawapagtlandene havde get deres atomvbenkapacitet i Europa, blev yderligere amerikanske atomvben deployeret i Europa. De nye vben skulle styrke Vestens forhandlingsposition i forhandlingerne om nedrustning. Beslutningen blev kaldt Dobbeltbeslutningen, fordi den egentlig indeholdt to beslutninger. Man ville tilbyde Sovjetunionen nedrustningsforhandlinger, men samtidig opruste, hvis ikke disse forhandlinger frte til noget. I 1983-1984 blev der i forbindelse med denne beslutning opstillet amerikanske Pershing II raketter i Europa som svar p Warszawapagtlandenes oprustning med SS-20 mellemdistanceraketter i Europa. Pershing II raketterne var i stand til at n Moskva p f minutter. Denne oprustning frte til protester fra fredsbevgelserne i Vesteuropa.

I denne periode var der ikke de store ndringer i NATO’s sammenstning. I 1974 trak Grkenland sine tropper vk fra NATO kommandoen, og 30. maj 1982 blev Spanien indlemmet i alliancen. Efter grsk-tyrkiske spndinger efter striden om Cypern i 1974 blev de grske styrker igen underlagt NATO kommandoen i 1980 i samarbejde med Tyrkiet.

I november 1983 skabte NATO-velsen Able Archer 83 panik i Kreml. velsen simulerede et atomvbenangreb mod Sovjet. Det sovjetiske lederskab blev bekymret for, at den amerikanske prsident Ronald Reagan havde planlagt at starte et rigtigt angreb. Som reaktion blev de sovjetiske atomvbenstyrker i sttyskland og Polen sat i alarmberedskab. Selvom Sovjetunionens reaktion i samtiden blev udlagt som propaganda, mener mange historikere, at den sovjetiske frygt for et angreb var gte.

24. oktober 1990 afslrede den italienske premierminister, Giulio Andreotti, eksistensen af Gladio, en hemmelig, paramilitr milits, hvis officielle ml var at udkmpe en guerillakrig bag fjendens linjer i tilflde af et angreb fra warszawapagtlandene. Andreotti fortalte det italienske parlament, at NATO lnge i det skjulte havde trnet partisaner til dette forml.[7][8][9]

Gladio programmet var tilsyneladende aktivt i alle europiske NATO-lande og nogle neutrale lande. Emnet er specielt kontroversielt i Italien, hvor en rapport i 2000 konkluderede, at Gladio havde vret involveret i nyfascistisk terrorisme, der skulle mindske kommunistisk, politisk indflydelse i landet.[10][11]

Afslutningen p den kolde krig og oplsningen af Warszawapagten i 1991 fjernede NATO’s primre modstander. Dette gav anledning til en strategisk revaluering af NATO’s forml og opgaver. I praksis medfrte det en gradvis (og stadig igangvrende) ekspansion af NATO i steuropa og en udvidelse af aktiviteter til en rkke omrder, der ikke tidligere havde vret NATO’s arbejdsomrder. Den frste udvidelse af NATO efter den kolde krig skete med genforeningen af Tyskland 3. oktober 1990 efter Berlinmurens fald. Det tidligere sttyskland blev en del af Tyskland og dermed ogs af NATO alliancen. For at sikre en sovjetisk godkendelse af et forenet Tyskland, der fortsat var en del af NATO, blev det aftalt, at udenlandske tropper og atomvben ikke mtte udstationeres i sttyskland, og at NATO aldrig ville blive udvidet lngere stp.[12]

28. februar 1994 deltog NATO for frste gang i ben kamp, da fire serbiske fly blev skudt ned efter at have brudt et flyveforbud over Bosnien-Hercegovina der var beordret af FN. NATO hndhvede flyveforbuddet, der var startet 12. april 1993 og sluttede 20. december 1995. NATO’s luftangreb i 1995 hjalp med til at afslutte krigen p Balkan.

Mellem 1994 og 1997 dannede NATO flere fora for regionalt samarbejde mellem NATO og alliancens naboer, for eksempel Partnerskab for fred og Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. 8. juli 1997 blev tre tidligere kommunistiske lande, Ungarn, Tjekkiet og Polen inviteret til at deltage i NATO alliancen og blev formelt indlemmet i 1999.

24. marts 1999 deltog NATO i den frste strre konflikt i alliancens historie, da NATO styrker gik ind i Kosovokrigen med en 11 uger lang luftkampagne mod dele af det davrende Jugoslavien (nuvrende Serbien). En formel krigserklring fandt aldrig sted. De serbiske jugoslaver kaldte Kosovokrigen for militr aggression og imod FN-charteret.[13]

Konflikten sluttede 11. juni 1999, da Slobodan Miloevi bjede sig for NATO’s krav og accepterede resolution 1244.[14] Nato hjalp derefter med at etablere KFOR, en NATO ledet styrke under FN mandat, der varetager sikkerheden i Kosovo.

NATO’s ekspansion, aktiviteter og geografiske dkning er blevet forget yderligere efter terrorangrebet 11. september 2001. Angrebet frte til, at NATO chartrets artikel 5 blev taget i brug. Artikel 5 siger, at et angreb p en medlemsstat anses for et angreb p alle alliancens medlemmer. 4. oktober 2001 fastslog NATO endeligt, at angrebet var dkket af artikel 5.[15]

Angrebet medfrte de frste militre aktioner begrundet med artikel 5 i NATO’s historie: Operation Eagle Assist og Operation Active Endeavour.

P trods af denne hurtige, solidariske reaktion stod NATO snart over for en krise. 10. februar 2003 nedlagde Frankrig og Belgien veto mod planer om at forsvare Tyrkiet i tilflde af en krig med Irak. Begrundelsen var, at sdanne planer ville sende et signal om, at forhandlingerne med Irak havde slet fejl.[16] Tyskland brugte ikke sin veto-ret, men stttede alligevel Frankrigs og Belgiens veto.

I sprgsmlet om Afghanistan udviste alliancen til gengld strre sammenhold. 16. april 2003 enedes NATO landene om at tage kommandoen over International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) i Afghanistan. Forslaget blev fremsat af Tyskland og Holland, de to lande der ledte ISAF, og alle 19 NATO ambassadrer godkendte beslutningen enstemmigt. ISAF kom under NATO’s kontrol 11. august. Det var frste gang i NATO’s historie, at alliancen styrede en militr operation uden for Europa.[17]

31. juli 2006 overtog en NATO-ledet styrke bestende af tropper fra Canada, Storbritannien, Tyrkiet, Danmark og Holland de militre operationer i det sydlige Afghanistan fra en amerikansk ledet styrke.[18]

Nye NATO strukturer blev skabt, og gamle nedlagt. NATO’s reaktionsstyrke, NATO Response Force (NRF), blev dannet efter NATO topmdet i Prag 21. november 2002.[19]19. juni 2003 startede en strre omstrukturering af de militre NATO kommandoer, da hovedkvarteret for Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic blev nedlagt og en ny kommando, Allied Command Transformation (ACT) blev oprettet i Norfolk i Virginia i USA. Samtidig blev Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) ogs hovedkvarter for Allied Command Operations (ACO). ACT er ansvarlig for at transformere NATO til fremtidige opgaver, mens ACO er ansvarlig for militre operationer.[20]

Udvidelsen med nye medlemslande fortsatte, og syv nye lande blev indlemmet i NATO: Estland, Letland, Litauen, Slovakiet, Slovenien, Bulgarien og Rumnien.[21] Disse lande blev inviteret til forhandlinger om medlemskab ved NATO topmdet i Prag i 2002 og blev optaget i NATO 29. marts 2004. Udvidelsen var den strste i NATO’s historie.[22]

En rkke andre lande har ogs udtrykt nske om at blive optaget i NATO, blandt andet Albanien, Kroatien, Den Tidligere Jugoslaviske Republik Makedonien, Georgien og Montenegro.

Rusland mener, at NATO’s udvidelser mod st siden slutningen p den kolde krig har vret en klar overtrdelse af en aftale mellem den sovjetiske leder Mikhail Gorbatjov og George H.W. Bush, der tillod en fredelig genforening af Tyskland. NATO’s ekspansionspolitik bliver set som en fortsttelse af den kolde krigs forsg p at omringe og isolere Rusland.[23][24][25]

Artikel 10 af den Nordatlantiske Traktat gr det muligt for ikke-medlemslande at blive optaget i NATO:

Artikel 10 stter to generelle begrnsninger for kommende medlemsstater:

I 1999 blev der fastsat en procedure for optagelsen af fremtidige medlemslande, Membership Action Plan (MAP). Et potentielt medlemsland skal rligt rapportere om sine fremskridt inden for fem omrder:[27]

NATO giver feedback og teknisk rdgivning til det enkelte land og evaluerer dets fremskridt.[28]

Det er usandsynligt, at NATO skulle invitere lande som Irland, Sverige, Finland, strig og Schweiz til medlemskab, fordi befolkningen og de valgte regeringer i disse lande ikke sttter et medlemskab i NATO. NATO anerkender officielt disse landes neutralitetspolitik.

Der er blevet etableret to fora, der skal fremme fremtidigt samarbejde mellem de 28 NATO-lande og 21 skaldte “partnerlande.”

De 21 partnerlande er:

Den Individuelle Partnerskabshandlingsplan (IPAP), der s dagens lys ved NATO topmdet i Prag i 2002, er ben for lande, der har den politiske vilje til at ge deres samarbejde med NATO.[31][32]

IPAP handleplaner er oprettet med disse lande:

Middelhavsdialogen der blev startet i 1994, er et forum for samarbejde mellem NATO og syv lande i Middelhavsomrdet.

I 2004 styrkedes Middelhavsdialogen p et topmde i Istanbul, og blev hvad NATO kalder et “gte partnerskab,” med en rkke nye ml: Styrkelse af den politiske dialog, strre interoperabilitet, en forsvarsreform og terrorbekmpelse.[33]

NATO samarbejder med Rusland i NATO-Rusland Rdet, der blev etableret i maj 2002.[34]

Filippinerne har lnge vret allieret med USA. Filippinerne fik betegnelsen “strre ikke-NATO allieret” 6. oktober 2003, hvilket tillod USA og Filippinerne at samarbejde om militr forskning og udvikling. I april 2005 indgik Australien, der lnge har vret allieret med USA, en sikkerhedsaftale med NATO, der skulle ge efterretningssamarbejdet i krigen mod terrorisme. Australien har ogs en forsvarsattach posteret i NATO’s hovedkvarter.[35] Samarbejde med Japan, El Salvador, Sydkorea og New Zealand er ogs blevet udtrykt som vrende en prioritet.[36] Israel er med i middelhavsdialogen og har sgt at udvide sit samarbejde med NATO. Israel blev for frste gang besgt af en NATO-leder 23. februar 24. februar 2005.[37] Den frste flles fldevelse mellem NATO og Israel fandt sted 27. marts 2005.[38] I juni samme r deltog israelske tropper i NATO velser.

Flere har talt for, at Israel optages i NATO-alliancen, blandt andet Spaniens tidligere premierminister, Jos Mara Aznar og den italienske forsvarsminister Antonio Martino. Men NATO’s generalsekretr Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, afviste i september 2006 at et Israelsk medlemskab kan komme p tale. Israel har heller ikke sgt om en optagelse i NATO.[39]

Som alle alliancer styres NATO i sidste ende af sine 28 medlemslande. Den Nordatlantiske Traktat, og andre aftaler, faststter rammer for hvordan beslutninger tages i NATO. Hver af de 28 medlemslande sender en delegation, eller mission, til NATO’s hovedkvarter i Bruxelles i Belgien. Lederen af hver delegation kaldes “den permanente reprsentant” og er normalt en hjtrangerende embedsmand eller erfaren ambassadr. Den permanente reprsentant har diplomatisk status af ambassadr.

Sammen udgr de permanente reprsentanter det Nordatlantiske Rd (NAC), et organ der mdes mindst en gang om ugen og har den politiske beslutningsmagt inden for NATO. Der er ogs jvnlige mder i rdet med deltagelse af udenrigsministre, forsvarsministre eller regeringsledere, og det er ved disse mder, store beslutninger om NATO’s politik normalt bliver taget. Det skal dog bemrkes, at rdet har samme politiske beslutningsmagt, ligegyldigt hvilket niveau mderne foregr p.

Mderne i det Nordatlantiske Rd ledes af NATO’s generalsekretr, og nr beslutninger skal trffes, trffes beslutningerne enstemmigt. Der stemmes ikke, og der kan ikke tages beslutninger ud fra flertallets nsker.[41]

Et andet medlem af hvert lands NATO-delegation er den militre reprsentant, en hjtrangerende officer fra det enkelte lands militr. Sammen udgr de militre reprsentanter den Militre Komit,[42] et organ, der er ansvarligt for at udarbejde anbefalinger til det politiske organ i militre sprgsml. Til tider holder rdet ogs mder med landenes forsvarschefer.

NATO’s Parlamentariske Forsamling (NPA) udgres af reprsentanter fra medlemslandene og reprsentanter fra 13 partnerlande.[43] Officielt er forsamlingen ikke en del af NATO’s politiske struktur og har som arbejdsomrde at samle NATO lande til diskussioner om sikkerhedspolitik.

NATO’s militre operationer ledes af to strategiske ledere, begge hjtstende officerer fra USA’s militr, assisteret af en stab, der udgres af medlemmer fra hele NATO. De strategiske ledere er underlagt den Militre Komit.

Fr 2003 var de strategiske ledere verste, allierede leder i Europa (SACEUR) og den verste allierede leder for Atlanten (SACLANT). Under den nuvrende ordning er den samlede kommando delt mellem to kommandocentre, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), der er ansvarlig for udvikling og trning af NATO-styrkerne, og Allied Command Operations, der er ansvarlig for NATO’s militre operationer p verdensplan. Lederen af Allied Command Operations har beholdt titlen SACEUR, og hovedkvarteret er stadig SHAPE, der ligger i Belgien. ACT derimod ligger i det tidligere SACLANT hovedkvarter i Norfolk i Virginia, USA.

Stillingen som chef for Allied Command Europe, der siden 2003 har heddet Allied Command Operations, er blevet besat af flgende:[45]

Note: Fra Ridgways tid har SACEUR ogs vret chef for United States European Command


Koordinater: 505234N 42519 / 50.876155555556N 4.4220111111111 / 50.876155555556; 4.4220111111111

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Space Travel and Exploration

Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:56 pm

NASA Establishes Institute to Explore New Ways to Protect Astronauts 20 New Countries to Invest in Space Programs by 2025 NASA, USAID Open Environmental Monitoring Hub in West Africa Russia, US Discuss Lunar Station for Mars Mission Dark Matter Particle Remains Elusive NASA Seeks Picometer Accuracy For Webb Telescope Return to the underwater Space Station .. A decade of plant biology in space On this day 10 years ago, Space Shuttle Discovery was launched to the International Space Station carrying ESA’s European Modular Cultivation System – a miniature greenhouse to probe how plants grow … more .. Mathematical framework prioritizes key patterns to accelerate scientific discovery Networks are mathematical representations to explore and understand diverse, complex systems-everything from military logistics and global finance to air traffic, social media, and the biological pr … more .. Exploring inner space for outer space An international team of six astronauts from China, Japan, USA, Spain and Russia have descended into the caves of Sardinia, Italy, to explore the depths and train for life in outer space. One of the … more .. Quantum technologies to revolutionize 21st century Is quantum technology the future of the 21st century? On the occasion of the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, this is the key question to be explored today in a panel discussion with the Nobel La … more .. Blue Origin has fourth successful rocket booster landing US space firm Blue Origin conducted a successful fourth test Sunday of its reusable New Shepard rocket, which dropped back to Earth for a flawless upright landing seen on a live webcast. … more .. TED Talks aim for wider global reach TED Talks, known for “ideas worth spreading,” are aiming for a wider global audience with a new mobile application that can be used in two dozen languages. … more .. Disney brings its brand to Shanghai with new theme park Entertainment giant Disney brings the ultimate American cultural concept to Communist-ruled China on Thursday, opening a massive theme park in Shanghai catering to a rising middle class. … more .. Tech, beauty intersect in Silicon Valley The beauty industry has long relied on creating a sense of mystery, magic even, around its creams, powders and potions. But now it has something else up its sleeve: high technology. … more

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Oceania Map – Maps of World

Posted: July 23, 2016 at 4:22 am

About Map :-Though there is much debate over the definition of Oceania, the Pacific Islands including Australia and New Zealand are consistently included. This map of Australia and Oceania shows the many islands that dot the Pacific Ocean, such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands.

Political Map of Countries in Oceania

Top Viewed Australia Continent Map

Cities in Oceania’s Countries Map

Oceania also includes the thousands and thousands of coral reef islands off the coasts of these countries. Some definitions for Oceania include all the nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean between North and South America and Asia, which would also mean Taiwan and Japan were part of Oceania rather than Asia. Oceania is a not just a geographic region and ecozone, it is also a geopolitical region, defined by the United Nations to include Australia, New Zealand, and other island nations that are not generally considered part of the Asian continent.

ACOD~20130104 Last Updated On : January 09, 2013

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Oceania Map – Maps of World

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TDV Offshore

Posted: at 4:20 am

Im a long-term US expat, who has spent the majority of my adult life living, working and investing in numerous countries around the world, and on every inhabitable continent. Like so many of our clients, I long ago became aware of an alarming trend of rapidly declining levels of personal freedom, and our basic human right to personal privacy, in the rapidly declining industrialized world which I have happily left behind.

As it is my lifes passion, this quest for personal freedom, and our basic human right to personal privacy, I work to help others achieve those same goals, and to help their children avoid a lifetime of declining standards of living. With an apparent irreversible downward economic spiral currently in motion in North America and the European Union, not to mention Japan, the only way to avoid the negative effects of this degradation is through wide diversification. That means as to asset class, financial institutions, and jurisdiction.

I help our clients accomplish this by sharing the value of my personal experiences on a number of fronts, and obtained through years of experience in this arena. Recently, the changes have been quick, and mostly detrimental to our freedom. I work hard to stay ahead of this curve, and to help our clients do so as well.

What we do at TDV Offshore

Formation of offshore legal umbrellas in the form of an LLC or IBC

This is typically the first step in your diversification plan. We know that it takes a great deal of contemplation and soul-searching to take that first step, but history shows, that once that step is taken, our clients realize the benefits, and therefore increase their offshore foothold. The reasons to establish a company in a privacy-respecting jurisdiction are many, to name a few: 1) No recognition of foreign judgments 2) Names of owners are not public record 3) Creditors receive only charge order status in case that a local judgment has been obtained, etc etc

Bank, Brokerage and Precious Metals purchasing and storage

Now that you have a properly established structure to hold, and act as a legal umbrella for your assets, you need to move those assets to a similarly asset-protecting environment. Therefore, we will also help you to establish a bank or brokerage account in the name of the newly established company, and in one of these same jurisdictions, where sharing the names of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (you) is also restricted by law. Of course, the name of your account will be your company name, and that company is registered in a different jurisdiction, and the disclosure of the UBOs of the company, in that separate jurisdiction, are also protected by law.

This will protect you from such threats as:

The fee to establish both an LLC, and an account in the name of the LLC, is $2,600 ($2,400 for TDV Premium subscribers). This includes apostille of company documents, delivery of the original documents to you, and our assistance in every aspect of both processes.

I stay available to you in the future to answer any questions you may have in which my experiences may be of value. Our network of clients are a group of like-minded people who are living in every corner of the globe. Im continuously connecting those who have joined our growing club to achieve a bit of synergy in our/their experiences, and on a growing number of topics.Self Directed IRA

For our US citizen clients only SD IRAs are Self-Directed tax-deferred retirement accounts. Actually, all IRAs are self-directed, but the IRS allows each administrator the opportunity to decide what types of investments to offer. As a result banks and brokerage houses only offer the products that they benefit from, like US stocks, CDs and mutual funds in which they can earn commissions from you. Under the plan we offer, there are no investment options offered, and therefore no bias nor restrictions to USD-based investments. Outside of a very few prohibited transactions, you can legally diversify your tax-deferred IRA assets out of the USD, and into foreign real estate, precious metals, foreign stocks etc, and legally maintain a qualified status and therefore stay tax-deferred, and protected from the imminent conversion to worthless government bonds.

We will assist you from start to finish to:

The fee to perform all of these steps is $3,200 ($2,900 for TDV Premium subscribers). You can be certain that your Senators and Representatives have already made this move. What are you waiting for?Trusts and Foundations

Trusts and Foundations are the best of all asset protection umbrellas for your lifes savings. With a Trust or Foundation, youre not only protected by the same privacy and anonymity laws as with companies, but have the added benefit of transferring ownership of assets to this legal vehicle, while maintaining 100% control of those assets.

As I prefer the foundation, let me use that as an example, as although the benefits of the trust and foundation are identical, the foundation has a bit more flexibility, and lower annual fees. Very briefly, the Council Members of the foundation, have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets for the future ownership of your named beneficiaries, but no control over those assets after we have correctly structured the ownership under an LLC with the foundation as sole member, and you would also be sole signatory on all accounts, etc.

If you would like to further discuss your specific situation, and which structure and jurisdiction(s) would best suit your needs, please complete the following contact form. I will then contact you by email in order to establish an appointment for a free consultation via either skype or by telephone.

For those who become clients, we can also discuss some ways to obtain citizenship in a new country, and obtain a more reliable travel document. There are also some ways to disengage from the US system legally if youre forced by circumstances to remain there.

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TDV Offshore

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