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Carboncopies.org Foundation

Posted: July 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Stay Informed Facebook Group:carboncopies

Become amember of our carboncopies Facebook group to stay informed of our regular events, summits, and news about SIM!

Recent & interesting:

What is carboncopies.org?

is a nonprofit organisation with a goal of advancing the

of neural tissue and complete brains,

and development of

that reproduce functions of mind, creating what we call


SIM is a field of research which seeks to understand the brain and nervous system of a wide range of organisms, including humans, in order to facilitate emulation of these organisms in an artificial substrate, for example a computer processor.

For a more detailed description of the rationale behind carboncopies, its character and the objectives at its roots,


Why is carboncopies.org needed?

In order for progress to be made in the field of SIM, advancements in many key technologies and research areas are required. These include:

Nanotechnology, biotechnology, brain imaging, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, computational hardware and architectures, cognitive psychology and philosophy.

SIM sits at the confluence of many subjects, and cross-disciplinary research is a necessity. However, it can be difficult to manage and organise ideas from many different fields of expertise. SIM offers tantalizing possibilities, but they need to be understood and pursued in a structured fashion.

Carboncopies.org will help by offering a networking platform and hub around which experts in the individual fields relevant to SIM can gather and exchange ideas. It will also promote these ideas and explain the motivation behind SIM to a wider audience.

How will carboncopies.org achieve this?

Carboncopies.org organises workshops and conferences where interested parties can exchange ideas, network with others, and keep updated on the latest developments in the field. We also gather up-to-date literature and news relevant to the SIM community.

(Photo courtesy of Adam Falcon.)

In the News:

March 28, 2016

February 9, 2016

July 30, 2015

July 2, 2015

Re-launch of daughter-site

, a site dedicated to the concept of mind uploading.

November 25, 2014

November 18, 2014

September 27, 2014

September 19, 2014

June 17, 2014

Reading recommendation by carboncopies.org:

Chris Eliasmith,

Charles H. Anderson

See the article here:

Carboncopies.org Foundation

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What is Cloning? (with pictures) – wiseGEEK

Posted: June 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Cloning is the asexual production of an exact copy of an original. So for example, one could use cloning to produce the exact copy of a single cell. The cell copy would be identical to the first cell and would have the same exact DNA sequence. In many cases, cloning has been used to reproduce type specific cells. In some instances, cloning of an individual organism, like the sheep, Dolly, has been possible.

Unlike reproduction that involves two parents, such as a male and female plants, cloning has a single parent. This is often used in reproducing certain plants. Certain plants have undergone cloning processes for thousands of years, but they do not play a part in the ethical debates that surround cloning of animals, and most particularly humans.

For example, reproductive cloning of animals was first attempted in the 1950s. Most identify the sheep Dolly, cloned in 1996. Dollys parent had DNA transferred into an egg that had its nucleus removed. This is called a somatic cell nuclear transfer. The cell was then treated with chemicals and stimulated to grow so than an almost exact replicate of the cloned sheep was born.

In actuality, Dolly was not a precise clone of her parent. She shared the same DNA, but some of the genetic materials of the donor cell also became part of Dollys parentage. This is only .01% of Dollys DNA, but it does make a negligible difference.

The cloning resulting in Dolly was not exactly simple. In fact it took 277 donor eggs, and the production of 29 embryos before a live birth was achieved. Calf cloning experiments with somatic cell nuclear transfer have prospered less than 1% of the time.

However, the idea of cloning humans still remains. While many people feel that cloning human tissue, as for organs for transplant might be valuable, many others feel that cloning a whole human is unethical. Some scientists without religious affiliation also believe that ethical issues that might be engendered in prolonging life through cloned tissues need further scrutiny.

From a moral standpoint, much has to do with how some reproductive clones are made. Many believe that an embryo, even when simply fertilized sperm and egg is a human and thus should not be destroyed. Experimentation of embryos to produce clones often results in embryo death. Further some feel that cloned embryos might be used specifically to harvest body parts and then killed.

Some further feel that the harvesting of stem cells from an embryo is also wrong, or that creating embryos for the purpose of harvesting stem cells is unethical. Others argue that stem cell research may point the way toward curing diseases for which there is currently no cure. It should be noted, however, that fewer people object to the idea of cloning a body part, than cloning a human.

Others are concerned about the cloning of extinct or endangered animals. In fact Michael Crichtons novel Jurassic Park dealt with this theme extensively. Especially since actual dinosaur DNA has been found recently, in enough abundance to clone, some scientists are concerned about the environmental impact that could result from reproducing a long dead species.

In some countries, stem cell research has been halted, when it involves cloning human embryos. Other scientists investigate the possibility of finding stem cells elsewhere, as in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. It is suspected that some countries may be attempting to clone a whole human, but have not yet achieved this.

Though cloning is much in the news, it is still an imperfect science with more failures than successes at present. This suggests that scientists may not fully understand all the mechanisms involved in creating an exact copy of another organism. With further research, such mechanisms may be understood and clear the way toward making clones. Yet, doing so is likely to result in continued controversy.

Read the rest here:

What is Cloning? (with pictures) – wiseGEEK

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Cloning – Let Us Reason

Posted: at 2:37 pm



The replication of human beings through technological means has long been a subject of popular science fiction novels. Today as in many instances science has caught up with science fiction. We are told we now have the ability to improve the overall quality of life through genetic engineering.

We will soon be able to enhance our own intelligence, whether its through a chip implanted in the brain to make one smarter or have the blind see, and the deaf hear, or by gene splicing to give what is missing or correct what is flawed. Can wisdom enhancing agents be built in man that would have him go beyond any natural capabilities many say yes.

This new technology will not just affect a few people. It will directly affect the whole world we live in, as this technology will dominate the new century if allowed. Science allowed us previously to arrange the building blocks of life, now we can add or subtract them.

We now hear of Head transplants in monkeys, headless frogs, cloned sheep, designer humans, we are entering a very different world now. Nuclear transfer has been done before (which is a clone from the Nucleus of an adult cell), it was performed successfully on tetra, a primate who recently made the news. Most of us have not considered the ramifications of this new science breakthrough that is just now making the news. Eventually we will have to make up our minds about how we feel about cloning. I’m in no position to speak scientifically on these matters but I have looked at what is being said and for us to think through the ramifications of what will soon occur

We first heard about this from Scientists in Scotland that had successfully cloned a sheep called Dolly, the first mammal to be reproduced identically from the artificially manipulated cells of a donor mammal. Since Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996 scientists have been going further with their DNA research.

But Dolly was not the first mammal ever cloned in a lab. Many others, including rhesus monkeys, have been cloned from one, two, and four-celled embryos. Dolly was the first mammal cloned from adult cells, which is a more difficult achievement scientifically than embryonic cloning.

The researchers in Scotland responsible for Dolly have plainly stated that they see no reason to pursue human cloning and are personally repulsed by the idea. But not all feel the same way and many would like to see this funded for numerous reasons because they believe its beneficial. We all know that every technology has the ability for abuse even though it was invented for good. But good intentions will guarantee nothing This is one of those things that if allowed can have a more disastrous affect than the atom bomb, if not controlled. But who will control it?

In Scotland, sheep with human genes produce a drug-to treat cystic fibrosis. In the United States, arctic flounder genes have helped tomatoes resist frost. These do have benefits, but then we have Glow-in-the-dark mice scampering around labs in Japan, their bodies hosting DNA from fluorescent jelly-fish. I guess this will help to catch mice in the dark.

In USA weekend Oct.1–3 1999 the question was asked Is Jurassic park coming true? entombed in Siberian permafrost for 20,000 years, a well-preserved woolly mammoth may soon prove extinction is only temporary.

The ancient mammoth is to be dug out and sent to an underground laboratory and , a group of researchers will – cue the Jurassic Park soundtrack – attempt to extract DNA that eventually could be used to clone the seven-ton animal.

Larry Agenbroad, a mammoth expert from Northern Arizona University There are very good odds of finding intact DNA.

Using the same technique that produced Dolly, scientists might inject the nucleus from a mammoth cell into an elephants egg, then zap it with electricity to jumpstart cell division. Next step: Implant the mammoth embryo into a surrogate elephant mother.

There’s tremendous potential to re-create an animal that existed with humans in prehistory, says Agenbroad. And where might such an animal call home ? one possibility- an ice-age preserve called Pleistocene Park under construction in Siberia.

Still skepticism reigns in the scientific community. The likelihood [of cloning an extinct species) is very low, but one should never say never, says Rob DeSalle, a molecular biologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Ten years ago, scientists didn’t think cloning mammals was possible.

The mammoth may be only the first animal to rise from a dead species. In Australia and New Zealand, researchers are rounding up preserved specimens of an extinct tiger and Huia bird in a quest for viable DNA.

The last Spanish mountain goat in the world was killed by a falling tree but not to worry they are going to clone him. What this means is there may be no more endangered species. If they are successful with a Clone sample from a wooly mammoth or any of these, what next? What if they were to clone what they call cro magnon man should they clone him to see what they were like. There has even been talk of cloning the Shroud of Turin. On the Art bell show Malachi Martin was asked about this and he stated this could be the 2nd coming. Hardly, but something to seriously consider in the quest for cloning humans.

An Internet poll asking should humans be cloned?

Current Poll Results:Yes: 49% (892 Votes) No: 51% (897 Votes)

We are split on its usage, But do we know what its hidden potentials and dangers are?

Stephen Grebe: professor of biology, at American University- Were going to be facing this issue with humans… With that possibility open, Im concerned without safeguards that this will become a reality. It may very well already be.

A biotech company called Advanced Cell Technology announce it has created the first human embryos ever to be produced in cloning. This was Nov.2001( Bush Wants Human Cloning Banned Ginsa Kolata, The New York times on the Web Nov.26, 2001) If it cannot happen where it is illegal, they will certainly find a place where it is legal to do there New science.

We do know cloning occurs naturally Identical twins are an example, One in 67 births is twins. Identical twins are produced when a fertilized egg divides for the first time not remaining as a single organism, splitting into two independent cells. However each twin has his or her own distinct intellectual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual life. No twin considers themselves a carbon copy of someone else, they are individuals that enter different occupations, live different lifespans, get different diseases, They are shaped by their own likes and dislikes. Some say this is what clones would be like but we really don’t know.

Solving the Food Problem

Departing from genetic engineering in humans there are other ideas that many consider advantages. In a meeting the British Association delegates heard from scientists predictions of apples with antibodies that fight against tooth decay and crops that would glow when thirsty or diseased.

German scientists in Basle have already made fruit flies with extra eyes on their wings, antennae and legs, and scorpion poison genes have been added by Oxford geneticists to cabbages to kill caterpillars.

Monsanto has developed potatoes with bacterial insecticide genes to destroy Colorado beetle, and ESCA Genetics has made coffee beans with low caffeine, high aroma and pest resistance.

Genetic Engineering on Foods

was done to find a more effective way to reproduce already genetically engineered sheep for production of pharmaceuticals. Sheep can be genetically engineered to produce a certain human protein or hormone in its milk. The human protein can then be harvested from the milk and sold on the market. Scientists take the human gene for the production of this protein or hormone and insert it into an early sheep embryo. Hopefully the embryo will grow into a sheep that will produce the protein. Edinburgh scientists have made a whole series of identical sheep, with the potential to create a flock of thousands of perfect clones.

The first transgenic mammals were born in 1976. There are now reported 60,000 artificially mutated animals born in the UK each year. Many of these creatures are said to contain a unique blend of genes from two or three species.

Some have been made by adding human genes to make them grow faster, or to turn their bodies into human medicine factories, or to make organs suitable for transplant. We could be setting ourselves up for agricultural and ecological disasters.

If we cloned animals or fruit for food and a large percentage of a nation’s cattle were clones, if it were attacked by a virus it could effect the entire population or foods at one time. The result could be catastrophic food shortages in that nation if they depended on them. But with this research they could change the gene structure in the animal or food to be inoculated against it.

Nexia Biotechnologies in Canada cloned Three goats their next step is to use cloning to create goat that secretes spider silk gene in milk, commercial goal is to make Bio-Steel the strongest, toughest fiber in the world, (tensile strength 300,000 pounds per square inch.) Stronger and lighter than steel or polymers, uses could be artificial tendons or ligaments and other bio-degradable structures in medicine. First cloned goats with new gene will then be breed conventionally (reported by Reuters April 28, 1999).

There is now an enormous amount of gene altered food. In Europe crops have been torn up and stores have bannedthese products. In the US the stores want to carry biotech foods but the US government refuses to put labels on them. Up to 70% of the foods on shelves are genetically modified to improve flavor and shelf life (replacing preservatives, BHA and BHT ). The maker of Gerber foods recently dropped using genetically modified crops in its products. The nations two largest natural food chains are asking the FDA to label these genetically altered foods so they can be identified and kept out of health food stores.

Lets Look at Some of the Ideas on the Table

Here is where Cloning can be abused for health – Clone the child, keep the frozen twin available in case for when the original twin needs a transplant of some organ. There would be no rejection the tissues would match perfectly.

Artificial twins could be kept frozen as an insurance policy even after the original child is born. If the original child dies at an early age, a frozen twin could be thawed, and the parent would have the identical child to raise again. This may sound good to those who may grieve over their loss, having a replacement will fill the void of having no child.

Here is where Cloning can be abused for convenience. It would allow a women to have one set of identical twins without going through two pregnancies. The women may not want to disrupt her career, or would prefer to only have one child at a time. With cloning it would be assured that they would be identical. It would make things more convenient. A matter of fact a woman can clone a child put it on ice and take it out any time she pleased. If her pregnancy was inconvenient she can abort and take up where she left off years later. What kind of an identity crises would someone have to find they were not the original and a carbon copy a carbon copy from a lab an extra.

What happens where children are no longer loved and valued for who they are? We see this already with abortions, will this be any different? Many teenagers even adults struggle with the expectations of the culture to have the perfect image in the size and shape of their bodies. Will society influence everyone to have a certain ultimate look, or ability and reject those who do not! One question leads to another

Clones Rights United Front founder Randolfe Wicker, Were fighting for research, and were defending peoples reproductive rights… I realize my clone would be my identical twin, and my identical twin has a right to be born. This argument fails in that it was not a natural occurrence, he was not born in the true sense. Does this mean whatever we can make from another human being has as much rights as we do? Maybe more.

The bible teaches that reproduction is after each kind. God made an order to the species and a certain way for it to occur. Today scientists have the ability to not only change the species, they now have the ability to create a whole new species. Through Genetic engineering we are able to create something that has never been in nature before.

Critic Jeremy Rifkin called for an immediate ban on human cloning, urging it be classed a crime on par with rape, child abuse and murder. A spokesman for the lab that created the clone stated that animal cloning necessarily would lead to human cloning.

History has proven whatever can be thought of can eventually be done . what is forbidden now will become a normality of life later, especially if there is money to be made. Under scientific advancement the Pandora’s box is open.

Should this technology be left up to the population to vote by their pocketbooks (considering our sin nature, we would want to make ourselves perfect people. Laws have always lagged behind the technology as the product is marketed. We are never ready for the technology whether its guns, nuclear. There is no way for the laws to catch up with how fast science is progressing today. Yet many Scientist are excited as they see the potential for all kinds of possibilities.

Supporters of cloning feel the technological benefits of cloning for humanity outweigh any of the possible social consequences. As long as research is carefully done. We can all have an improvement in our quality of life. But do we want to roll the dice on this issue. Once its rolling it will be very hard to turn back , it could be a mistake of dire consequences.

The Benefits

No one wants to die. Bio-engineering is pursuing to understand the basic building blocks of life, they are pursuing knowledge that only God knew. Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, suggests that it may someday be possible to reverse the aging process because of what we learn from cloning.

If they can mutate a few genes they can prolong life immensely and postpone the penalty of sin.

Science has identified that the average person carries 8 defective genes inside them. These defective genes allow us to become sick when we would normally remain healthy. With the technology of human cloning it may be possible to ensure that we no longer suffer because of our defective genes. We could have optimum health.

There was a court case where a child was denied health insurance because of what is in his gene pool, he was not at risk now but could be in the future.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and several other industrialized countries. Scientists believe that they may be able to treat heart attack victims by cloning their healthy heart cells and injecting them into the
areas of the heart that have been damaged. This can mean no more surgery for cures. Cloning may replace organ donors as the compatibility would be close to 100%. Surgery as we know it may change. It may look very crude after we venture into this new science.

Cloning research may contribute to treating diseases by allowing scientists to reprogram cells. The benefits of cloning could provide spare parts ones liver cells, or eye cells, or bone cells, hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys could be produced. Embryonic stem cells can be grown to produce organs or tissues to repair or replace damaged ones. If any of body parts failed or were injured they can be replaced. Limbs for amputees may be able to be regenerated. Burn victims could receive new skin. Brain cells for the brain damaged, spinal cord cells for quadriplegics a paraplegic could be cloned, get a new body ending their paralysis. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, degenerative joint disease, diabetes, and other problems may become curable if human cloning and its technology are not banned. Sounds good on paper but

Take for example Jesse Gelsinger was born with ornithine transcarbamoylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare metabolic disorder that disables the liver and causes a toxic buildup of ammonia. He volunteered for gene-therapy program last September at the University of Pennsylvania because gene therapy had been hailed as the new frontier of medicine. The experiment entailed patients injected with corrective genes to replace the missing or defective ones. The purpose was a commendable one, to save lives. Within 24 hours after Jesse received his first infusion, he was suffering from a life-threatening clotting disorder which red blood cells were breaking down faster than the liver could metabolize them. He now is known as the first patient to die directly from the result of gene therapy. His father who encouraged him to do this said to a senate subcommittee investigating this that he was not given all the information. Such as side effects and that lab monkeys have died during the same experiment. (Death by research People 2/21/2000)

Cloning animals for medicines, organs, and body parts to benefit ill or injured humans is a humane concept, but does the means justify the end. Are we playing God? We could possibly expand the human lifetime to double or even a thousand years if one keeps replacing what fails. It may be the golden age of mankind that is found in ancient myths and legends, but it will not be the Millennium of the bible.

We are allowed by law to fix flaws or failures in our human body but we are not allowed to expand it beyond its basic natural capabilities. So why not? We already receive spare kidneys from family members and parts from other humans like a liver or a heart to save a life, so what can be wrong with taking a cell from ones own body to have a perfect match.

A Cloned cell as a replacement for a body part is certainly not a human person, but it does open the door. As we all know once the door is open the envelope gets pushed further in time.

gene therapy can be done by having the genes are changed in the embryo so when the person develops it will contain the new genes. Designer genes will not be something you wear but something you are. Some believe that if a parent wanted to produce talents in a child similar to his own, they can clone the DNA from the cell of the adult that may produce a child with the same traits. You can call them designer children. Clones that are derived from an existing adult cell, that has older genes. What will life be to a cloned son looking at his dad and know he is his exact twin? The cloned son will know how tall he will be, whether he will be bald at 30, what are the hereditary flaws he has and will know what talents he possesses, unless there is gene tampering.

Supporters of cloning feel that with controlled research, the technological benefits of cloning clearly outweigh any of the possible social consequences, but do they outweigh the scientific dangers? The applications of cloning is seen as humanitarian Cloning could stop parents who risk passing their defects to a child. A fertilized ovum could be cloned, and the duplicate would be tested for disease and disorder of the original. If the clone is found free from any defects, then other would be as well. But what if it is found defective? Will it be destroyed for a more optimum fetus or will it be fixed?

Through Genetic research and use of this technology the advantage of curing diseases and its ability to treat and cure genetic flaws diseases is an ethical goal. But the potential to Create new species with gene splicing is not. Serious questions about the ethical legitimacy and potential abuses surround this new science. Its likely that the answers will not come quickly, but will research will continue.

When the Sunday Times reported that British scientists have created a frog embryo without a head.

Dr Patrick Dixon, a leading authority on the ethics of human cloning, author of The Genetic Revolution which forecasted the cloning of animals, predicted Headless human clones will be used to grow organs and tissues for transplant surgery in the next 5-10 years. The technique used to create the headless frog could be adapted to grow human organs such as hearts, kidneys, liver and pancreases in an embryonic sac living in an artificial womb,

We are at the door of doing anything we want. Now people who may be dying can possibly get another body that was dead and make it alive by transplanting their head Right now we can freeze a body (cryonics) and we can even surgically remove a (monkeys )head and put it on another body. So when a persons body wears out they can have a cloned xtra and remove their head and transplant it onto the clone. The potential is that one can live forever as long as long as the bodies parts keep coming. What would it mean to have an x-tra body part for you that you know would be compatible if an organ failed or a body part was destroyed. Certainly it would be wonderful. But with this seemingly advancement in technology comes a darker side, something so sinister that humanity has no way of grasping it right now. For the most part, science makes its progress and influences human ethics not vice versa. Look at evolution and modern psychology.

What happens if the original person dies, the clone can take his place. How many copies can be made, 1 to 5 or even10 its all left up to us. Parents who have a child die could recover them by recovering the cells from their dead childs body. Appealing and possibly comforting but it can never give back the original lost child. The clones environment may change their personality even though they have the same genetic makeup as the original. In other words they may look the same but be a completely different person on the inside, if we can actually call them a person. Are they artificial, or genuine a human. What about their soul? Will they have one (Spirit). How do we reconcile what God made as a family unit now being dispensed with. This truly will be future shock, now.

One could literally make replacements for people and produce a whole new society. They can be automatons that do the work, while we their creators enjoy ourselves, the possibilities are endless for both good or bad.

This new population could be susceptible to the same diseases, and one disease could devastate the entire population if we are all clones having the same exact genes. Maybe the variety of man with all our flaws was included in Gods wisdom.

What of Infanticide? In India four million they’re missing young girls
because peasants have sonograms. China had to ban them. Will everyone choose males and no females. They may have men with no grand children. Do we remove the process of conception that was God given in the marriage relationship. This new science may well affect marriage as we know it.

If cloning is allowed for humans, there would be no genetic need for men, they can be replaced. All of us can be replaced because we would be an inferior product to the new an improved one.

If we mess with the DNA there is not telling what we can turn ourselves into. Somewhere in Germany is a baby Superman, born in Berlin with bulging arm and leg muscles. Not yet 5, he can hold seven-pound weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat.

DNA testing showed why: The boy has a genetic mutation that boosts muscle growth. New England Journal of Medicine, represents the first documented human case of such a mutation… story onsuperbaby

Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy Maryann Mott National Geographic News January 25, 2005.

Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimerasa hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal.

Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.

researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies.

Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing spare parts, such as livers, to transplant into humans.

A chimera is a mixture of two or more species in one body. Not all are considered troubling, though.

For example, faulty human heart valves are routinely replaced with ones taken from cows and pigs. The surgerywhich makes the recipient a human-animal chimerais widely accepted. And for years scientists have added human genes to bacteria and farm animals.

What’s caused the uproar is the mixing of human stem cells with embryonic animals to create new species.

Biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin is opposed to crossing species boundaries, because he believes animals have the right to exist without being tampered with or crossed with another species.

He concedes that these studies would lead to some medical breakthroughs. Still, they should not be done.

There are other ways to advance medicine and human health besides going out into the strange, brave new world of chimeric animals, Rifkin said, adding that sophisticated computer models can substitute forexperimentation on live animals.

One doesn’t have to be religious or into animal rights to think this doesn’t make sense, he continued. It’s the scientists who want to do this. They’ve now gone over the edge into the pathological domain. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0125_050125_chimeras.html

part 2 the moral and religious questions

Excerpt from:

Cloning – Let Us Reason

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The One-Page Guide to Financial Independence

Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money.

This year, I learned a lot about money.

I think the biggest breakthrough I had in 2013 was to connect the ideas of personal and financial independence. I spent a week in Ecuador talking with folks about this subject, and then I spent a couple of months putting my thoughts onto paper. Ive done a lot of writing and thinking and speaking on this topic.

But you know what? Ive come to realize that the essentials of financial independence can be boiled down to just a single page.

Financial Independence occurs when youve saved enough to support you for the rest of your life without needing to work for money. You might choose to work for other purposes such as passion and purpose but you no longer need an income to meet your expenses.

To achieve Financial Independence as quickly as possible, follow the basic rule of personal finance: To build wealth, you must spend less than you earn. But instead of heeding the standard advice to save 10 percent or 20 percent of your income, practice extreme saving. Your goal should be to save at least 50 percent of your income and 70 percent is better.

To do this, conduct a three-pronged attack.

To begin, minimize your spending. Because a handful of expenses consume most of your budget, pursue these first (and with the greatest vigor).

Next, maximize your income. Its great to cut expenses and develop thrifty habits, but theres only so much fat you can trim. In theory, theres no limit to how much you can earn.

Finally, funnel your savings into investment accounts. Take advantage of employer- and government-sponsored plans first. Then put your money into regular investment accounts. Dont get fancy. Invest your money into low-cost diversified mutual funds. Ideally, choose a total-market index fund. Ignore the news. Ignore the fluctuations of the market. Ignore everyone. Keep investing in good times and bad.

If you follow these three steps, you will become rich.

As you work and earn and save, keep score. Track your spending. Each January, conduct a review. How much did you spend during the previous year? How much are your investments worth? Have you saved enough to retire?

To determine whether you can retire, use the following assumptions:

Based on these assumptions, theres a quick way to check whether retirement is within reach.

Multiply your current expenses by 25. If the product is greater than your savings, you still have work to do. If the result is less than your savings, youve achieved Financial Independence. (If youre conservative and/or have low risk tolerance, multiply your expenses by 33 before comparing the product to your savings.)

Thats it. Thats all you need to know. Thats the sum total of everything Ive learned about early retirement over the past decade. If you want more information, check out Jacobs always-awesome Early Retirement Extreme.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, and more.

This article is about The Basics, Basics, Investing, Retirement, Savings

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The One-Page Guide to Financial Independence

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wage slavery – Why Work

Posted: at 5:44 pm

What is a wage slave?

So what exactly IS a wage slave, anyway? It’s doubtful that you’d be exploring this web site if you didn’t have some idea at least, but for the sake of ease, we’ll clarify further.

Here are some brief and incomplete definitions from CLAWS members:

“Wage slavery is the state where you are unable to perceive choices and create courses of action different from the grind of the job.”

“Wage slave: A wage earner whose livelihood is completely dependent on the wages earned.”

The point here, of course, is that we don’t have a single agreed-upon definition of wage slavery. Many of us prefer to focus on wage slavery as a state of mind, while others prefer to focus on the external aspects of wage slavery such as the wage economy. But overall, we seem to sense something rotten at the core of what we’ve been taught about “making a living”, and that’s the place to begin our questioning.

Have you ever noticed how many of us seem to live “lives of quiet desperation”, as Henry David Thoreau puts it? We feel trapped by forces beyond our control, trapped in a mindless job, for the sake of money, status or recognition. We complain that we never seem to have the time for what’s really important to us, because our jobs take so much energy and focus that we hardly have anything left over. We plod along day to day; sometimes we even dread getting out of bed in the morning.

We see the futility of the standard, socially approved path in America. It goes something like this: Go to school, get good grades, so you can get a “good” job, make lots of money, get a mortgage and a car and a spouse, keep up with the Joneses, and be “successful”. We know it’s not the path for us; we want to define success for ourselves. But we don’t know how to forge a new path for ourselves, because, well, what would we do for money if we quit? How would we support ourselves? Sometimes there’s a glazed look in our eyes; it’s as if some part of us has died. We are just doing time, working hard and hoping for the next promotion, waiting for the day when we can throw off our shackles, quit our dull jobs, and finally live life. Everything gets put on hold until we have more time, or more money. Meanwhile, life is passing us by.

Perhaps you are one of these people. If so, CLAWS was created for your benefit. We have news for you: You do not have to live your life that way. CLAWS is here to inspire you to greater fulfillment, and to help you figure out how to get out of the endless cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and feeling chained to a job you don’t care about.

We have other news, too: It won’t necessarily be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. You have a choice, but you may have to re-examine your way of thinking very thoroughly. The pull of the socially accepted way of doing things is amazingly strong, and trips up the best of us despite our good intentions. It takes a certain kind of independent thinker to be “job-free”. We use that term rather than “unemployed”, in an effort to convey to people that we’re proud, not ashamed, of not having regular jobs. We also make an important distinction between jobs and work. All of us do some kind of work, though not necessarily for monetary compensation.

Another thing you’ll need if you decide to rethink your beliefs about jobs and money is the willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. It will take perseverence, and a commitment to throw out the limiting beliefs you may have unwittingly adopted. This is not the path for everyone. If your priority is comfort or social approval, or if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t rock the boat, CLAWS probably won’t meet your needs.

If you embark on this path, it’s important to know what it will ask of you. It may require you to disassemble, dissect, and tear apart your old beliefs, let go of some mighty persistent and tempting illusions, and build a new foundation for your thinking, sometimes from scratch. Are you prepared to do this? If so, you’re in the right place.

Even if you have seen through the false sense of “security” a normal job offers you, and already questioned that approach to life, you may not really believe you can do it. You may still have questions about how to bridge the gap from the old way of life to a new one that you envision. That’s where we can help, dear reader. CLAWS would like to see you devote yourself to the life you’ve dreamed of, the life your heart desires. We don’t want to see you waste your precious days any longer. Life is short, and the time to pursue your dreams is NOW.

In the words of Norman Cousins:

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

“The debt and work cycle is an ingenious tool of subjugation. Make people think they need all these things, then they must have a job, and they give up control of their lives. It’s as simple as that. We live in one of the most free countries in the world, but we fix it so we are not free at all. ” – Larry Roth

“Capitalism only supports certain kinds of groups, the nuclear family for example, or ‘the people I know at my job’, because such groups are already self-alienated & hooked into the Work/Consume/Die structure.” – Hakim Bey

“Supposing we suddenly imagine a world in which nearly everybody is doing what they want. Then we don’t need to be paid in order to work and the whole issue of how money circulates, how we get things done, suddenly alters.” – Robert Theobald

“When survival or mere subsistence is at stake, a society can focus only on the overwhelming needs of the moment, and questions of meaningful work and leisure are considered purely academic. But we believe that the world has enough wealth to move all of humanity above survival and subsistence.” – Alfonso Montuori & Isabella Conti, From Power to Partnership: Creating the Future of Love, Work, and Community

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wage slavery – Why Work

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Cloning Fact Sheet – Genome.gov

Posted: June 12, 2016 at 12:39 am

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

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Dietary Supplements | National Institute on Aging

Posted: June 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Bills retired and lives alone. Often hes just not hungry or is too tired to fix a whole meal. Does he need a multivitamin, or should he take one of those dietary supplements he sees in ads everywhere? Bill wonders if they workwill one help keep his joints healthy or another give him more energy? And, are they safe?

Dietary supplements are substances you might use to add nutrients to your diet or to lower your risk of health problems, like osteoporosis or arthritis. Dietary supplements come in the form of pills, capsules, powders, gel tabs, extracts, or liquids. They might contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, herbs or other plants, or enzymes. Sometimes, the ingredients in dietary supplements are added to foods, including drinks. A doctors prescription is not needed to buy dietary supplements.

Do you need one? Maybe you do, but usually not. Ask yourself why you think you might want to take a dietary supplement. Are you concerned about getting enough nutrients? Is a friend, a neighbor, or someone on a commercial suggesting you take one? Some ads for dietary supplements in magazines or on TV seem to promise that these supplements will make you feel better, keep you from getting sick, or even help you live longer. Sometimes, there is little, if any, good scientific research supporting these claims. Dietary supplements may give you nutrients that might be missing from your daily diet. But eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need. Supplements may cost a lot, could be harmful, or simply might not be helpful. Some supplements can change how medicines you may already be taking will work. You should talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.

People over 50 may need more of some vitamins and minerals than younger adults do. Your doctor or a dietitian can tell you whether you need to change your diet or take vitamins or minerals to get enough of these:

The National Academy of Sciences recommends how much of each vitamin and mineral men and women of different ages need. Sometimes, the Academy also tells us how much of a vitamin or mineral is too much.

Vitamin B122.4 mcg (micrograms) each day (if you are taking medicine for acid reflux, you might need a different form, which your healthcare provider can give you) CalciumWomen over 50 need 1,200 mg (milligrams) each day, and men need 1,000 mg between age 51 and 70 and 1,200 mg after 70, but not more than 2,000 mg a day. Vitamin D600 IU (International Units) for people age 51 to 70 and 800 IU for those over 70, but not more than 4,000 IU each day Vitamin B61.7 mg for men and 1.5 mg for women each day

When thinking about whether you need more of a vitamin or mineral, think about how much of each nutrient you get from food and drinks, as well as from any supplements you take. Check with a doctor or dietitian to learn whether you need to supplement your diet.

You might hear about antioxidants in the news. These are natural substances found in food that might help protect you from some diseases. Here are some common sources of antioxidants that you should be sure to include in your diet:

Right now, research results suggest that large doses of supplements with antioxidants will not prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes. In fact, some studies have shown that taking large doses of some antioxidants could be harmful. Again, it is best to check with your doctor before taking a dietary supplement.

Herbal supplements are dietary supplements that come from plants. A few that you may have heard of are gingko biloba, ginseng, echinacea, and black cohosh. Researchers are looking at using herbal supplements to prevent or treat some health problems. Its too soon to know if herbal supplements are both safe and useful. But, studies of some have not shown benefits.

Scientists are still working to answer this question. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) checks prescription medicines, such as antibiotics or blood pressure medicines, to make sure they are safe and do what they promise. The same is true for over-the-counter drugs like pain and cold medicines.

But the FDA does not consider dietary supplements to be medicines. The FDA does not watch over dietary supplements in the same way it does prescription medicines. The Federal Government does not regularly test what is in dietary supplements. So, just because you see a dietary supplement on a store shelf does not mean it is safe, that it does what the label says it will, or that it contains what the label says it contains.

If the FDA receives reports of possible problems with a supplement, it will issue warnings about products that are clearly unsafe. The FDA may also take these supplements off the market. The Federal Trade Commission looks into reports of ads that might misrepresent what dietary supplements do.

A few private groups, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, ConsumerLab.com, and the Natural Products Association (NPA), have their own seals of approval for dietary supplements. To get such a seal, products must be made by following good manufacturing procedures, must contain what is listed on the label, and must not have harmful levels of things that dont belong there, like lead.

If you are thinking about using dietary supplements:

Heres what one active older person does:

When she turned 60, Pearl decided she wanted to stay healthy and active as long as possible. She was careful about what she ate. She became more physically active. Now she takes a long, brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week. In bad weather, she joins the mall walkers at the local shopping mall. On nice days, Pearl works in her garden. When she was younger, Pearl stopped smoking and started using a seatbelt. Shes even learning how to use a computer to find healthy recipes. Last month, she turned 84 and danced at her granddaughters wedding!

Try following Pearls examplestick to a healthy diet, be physically active, keep your mind active, dont smoke, see your doctor regularly, and, in most cases, only use dietary supplements suggested by your doctor or pharmacist.

Here are some helpful resources:

Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Information Center National Agricultural Library 10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room 108 Beltsville, MD 20705 1-301-504-5414 http://fnic.nal.usda.gov

Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 1-877-382-4357 (toll-free) 1-866-653-4261 (TTY/toll-free) http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/healthy-living

Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740 1-888-723-3366 (toll-free) http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CFSAN

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine NCCAM Clearinghouse P.O. Box 7923 Gaithersburg, MD 20898 1-888-644-6226 (toll-free) 1-866-464-3615 (TTY/toll-free) http://www.nccam.nih.gov

National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus http://www.medlineplus.gov

Office of Dietary Supplements National Institutes of Health 6100 Executive Boulevard Room 3B01, MSC 7517 Bethesda, MD 20892-7517 1-301-435-2920 http://www.ods.od.nih.gov

The Federal Government has several other websites with information on nutrition, including:

http://www.nutrition.govlearn more about healthy eating, food shopping, assistance programs, and nutrition-related health subjects.

http://www.choosemyplate.govinformation about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

For information on exercise, nutrition, and health scams and other resources on health and aging, contact:

National Institute on Aging Information Center P.O. Box 8057 Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057 1-800-222-2225 (toll-free) 1-800-222-4225 (TTY/toll-free) http://www.nia.nih.gov http://www.nia.nih.gov/espanol

Sign up for regular email alerts about new publications and find other information from the NIA.

Visit http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov, a senior-friendly website from the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine. This website has health and wellness information for older adults. Special features make it simple to use. For example, you can click on a button to make the type larger.

National Institute on Aging National Institutes of Health U. S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Censorship by Ownership? – Project Censored

Posted: May 13, 2016 at 6:41 am


At Project Censored, we examine the coverage of news and information important to the maintenance of a healthy and functioning democracy. We define Modern Censorship as the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in our mass media outlets. On a daily basis, censorship refers to the intentional non-inclusion of a news story or piece of a news story based on anything other than a desire to tell the truth. Such manipulation can take the form of political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions).

In our view, the only valid justification for declining a news story is that in a medium limited by time and space, another news story was simply more important to the people of the community, whether local, national or international. While admittedly a subjective process, it is nonetheless, a process to be undertaken by the news people themselves (the investigative journalists and editors), NOT by the managers and CEOs of their parent company. No professional journalist or researcher should ever have to face the destruction of his or her career (or life) simply because they wanted to tell the truth. While no two people will always agree on what story is more important than another, a system where the working reporters and editors run the newsroom would at least provide a fertile environment for debate, dissent and critical thinking.

The growth of independent media and journalism in recent years shows that people throughout the world yearn to hold not only their leaders accountable, but their media sources as well. For that reason, the Project Censored research program continues, in its small way, to support and highlight those who tell the truth about the powerful (no matter the consequences) and are relentless in their quest to hold Big Media accountable for their decisions.

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Attack on Free Speech: CEI Subpoenaed over Global Warming …

Posted: May 12, 2016 at 12:40 am

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just been subpoenaed, as part of Al Gores Climate Witch hunt. This is a move which so blatantly reeks of McCarthyite abuse of power, even some proponents of climate action are horrified at the attack on freedom which this subpoena represents.

The following is the statement of the Competitive Enterprise Institute;

CEI Fights Subpoena to Silence Debate on Climate Change

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organizations materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore.

CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group, said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. If Walker and his allies succeed, the real victims will be all Americans, whose access to affordable energy will be hit by one costly regulation after another, while scientific and policy debates are wiped out one subpoena at a time.

The subpoena requests a decades worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEIs work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.

On March 30, 2016, Attorney General Schneiderman, former Vice President Al Gore, and attorneys general from Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont, as well as Attorney General Walker, held a press conference in New York City to announce an unprecedented coalition of top law enforcement officials committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combating climate change. Schneiderman said that the group, calling itself AGs United for Clean Power, will address climate change by threatening criminal investigations and charges against companies, policy organizations, scientists, and others who disagree with its members climate policy agenda.

CEI has long been a champion of sound climate change policy, and opposed previous attempts to use McCarthy-style tactics by officials aiming to limit discussions between nonprofit policy groups and the private sector regarding federal policies. CEI is being represented in this matter by attorneys Andrew M. Grossman and David B. Rivkin, Jr., who recently founded the Free Speech in Science Project to defend First Amendment rights against government abuses.

Source: https://cei.org/content/cei-fights-subpoena-silence-debate-climate-change

The text of the subpoena is here.

Here is a response from Bloomberg, which frequently takes a pro climate action position;

Subpoenaed Into Silence on Global Warming

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is getting subpoenaed by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands to cough up its communications regarding climate change. The scope of the subpoena is quite broad, covering the period from 1997 to 2007, and includes, according to CEI, a decades worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEIs work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information.

My first reaction to this news was Um, wut? CEI has long denied humans role in global warming, and I have fairly substantial disagreements with CEI on the issue. However, when last I checked, it was not a criminal matter to disagree with me. Its a pity, I grant you, but there it is; the laws the law.

(I pause to note, in the interests of full disclosure, that before we met, my husband briefly worked for CEI as a junior employee. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.)

Speaking of the law, why on earth is CEI getting subpoenaed? The attorney general, Claude Earl Walker, explains: We are committed to ensuring a fair and transparent market where consumers can make informed choices about what they buy and from whom. If ExxonMobil has tried to cloud their judgment, we are determined to hold the company accountable.

That wasnt much of an explanation. It doesnt mention any law that ExxonMobil may have broken. It is also borderline delusional, if Walker believes that ExxonMobils statements or non-statements about climate change during the period 1997 to 2007 appreciably affected consumer propensity to stop at a Mobil station, rather than tootling down the road to Shell or Chevron, or giving up their car in favor of walking to work.

Prosecutors know the damage they can do even when they dont have a leg to stand on. The threat of investigation can coerce settlements even in weak cases.

Read more: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-04-08/subpoenaed-into-silence-on-global-warming

In my opinion, this hysterical executive overreach will be the downfall of the climate alarmist movement in America, just as outrage at the excesses of the McCarthy era brought an end to that dark period of American history.

You dont have to be a climate skeptic, to recognise that an attack on freedom of speech, in whatever guise, is an attack on everything which America stands for.

More than anything, this authoritarian, un-American attempt to silence dissent betrays the weakness of those perpetrating this attack on the CEI. In a Republic, people who have a compelling case to offer, dont have to intimidate their political opponents into silence, to win the argument.

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Bitcoin News, Prices, Charts, Guides & Analysis – CoinDesk

Posted: April 27, 2016 at 1:46 am


Apr 27, 2016 at 03:10 | Charles Bovaird

Global bitcoin prices were more than double their total last year, reaching $470 on the CoinDesk BPI today.


Apr 26, 2016 at 19:01 | Michael del Castillo

A European Parliament committee voted to adopt a report on virtual currencies today, moving Europe one step closer to an AML policy for the industry.


Apr 26, 2016 at 14:36 | Pete Rizzo

Gem has launched an initiative aimed at promoting exploration of blockchain in the healthcare sector.


Apr 25, 2016 at 23:00 | Pete Rizzo

Market observers weigh in on the news bitcoin exchange Bitstamp has secured what could be a key licensing in Luxembourg.


Apr 25, 2016 at 22:17 | William Mougayar

Investor William Mougayar discusses how enterprise businesses are seeking to establish and implement blockchain strategies


Apr 25, 2016 at 20:45 | Stan Higgins

The UK Treasury has said in a new report that it wont impose AML rules on digital currency wallet providers in a bid to avoid regulatory burdens.


Apr 25, 2016 at 19:26 | Charles Bovaird

Bitcoin prices passed $460 on 25th April, reaching their highest total in four months as the digital currency built on past gains.


Apr 25, 2016 at 18:46 | Pete Rizzo

Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange bitFlyer has raised $27 million in new funding, one of the largest rounds for a Japanese digital currency firm to date.


Apr 25, 2016 at 17:50 | Stan Higgins

A major US defense agency devoted to advanced R&D is seeking to create a secure-blockchain-based messaging system.


Apr 25, 2016 at 17:09 | Pete Rizzo

Ita Unibanco has become the first Latin America-based bank to join blockchain and distributed ledger consortium R3CEV.

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Bitcoin News, Prices, Charts, Guides & Analysis – CoinDesk

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