Tag Archives: news

VRAC | Virtual Reality Applications Center

Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm

About the VRAC

Iowa State Universitys Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) is an interdisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of humans and technology, aimed broadly at enhancing the productivity and creativity of people. The VRACs world-class research infrastructure supports the research of faculty and students representing all seven of ISUs colleges, as well as the interests of collaborators from several federal agencies and numerous industry partners.

The VRAC research community spans a wide spectrum of disciplinary experts with particular strengths in state-of-the-art interaction technologies including virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) as well as mobile computing, developmental robotics, and haptics interaction. The VRAC community is also skilled at human centered design and user experience (UX) evaluation as well as assessing the effectiveness of new interaction modalities via formal user studies.

To complement its research mission the VRAC established and now leads ISUs interdepartmental graduate major in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). With more than 200 students currently enrolled, the HCI program is now the largest interdepartmental graduate major at ISU and offers PhD, MS and Professional Certificate degrees to resident and on-line student communities.

A friendly, efficient, service-oriented staff supports the collaborative interdisciplinary culture at VRAC. Administrative support facilitates research proposal preparation and submission, grant administration, purchasing and student appointments, while technical staff provides hardware maintenance, system integration, vendor coordination and technical assistance to the research community.

The hottest app making the news these days is an example of one of VRACs research areas augmented reality. Continue reading

2015 REU Intern Jordan Zonner cites Dr. Sharmin Sikich and the IINSPIRE-LSAMP program at Doane University with helping her find Continue reading

One of the largest conferences held annually for new research in human computer interaction is the Association for Computing Machinerys Continue reading


VRAC | Virtual Reality Applications Center

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political correctness – The American Prospect

Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:14 am

From left, Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie participate in the CNN Republican presidential debate on Dec. 15 in Las Vegas.

Like most people over a certain age, I first heard the term “politically correct” when I arrived at college (this was a couple of decades ago). At my small liberal arts school where almost everyone was a liberal, the PC folks were the ones who took things farther than the rest of us had the energy to go, turning their belief in social justice or environmentalism into a public performance of earnestness and commitment. At worst, they inspired guiltsure, you tossed your soda can in the recycling, but if you really cared about the planet you’d be weaving napkins out of hempbut back then nobody talked about being “politically incorrect” because the idea of bravely standing up to the politically correct was absurd. You can’t rebel against people who have no power.

We’ve come a long way since then, and today there is no mantle claimed more enthusiastically on the right than that of the politically incorrect, the courageous pathbreaker risking so much to oppose the sinister forces of political correctness. The idea has been around for some time, but 2016 marks the first election where so many presidential contenders are taking the crusade against political correctness as their rallying point.

It’s almost odd that it took this long, when you consider that our modern presidential campaign is mostly devoted to what we might call the utterance-outrage cycle. If you went back and looked over a month or two’s worth of campaign news, you’d see that the majority of it revolves around micro-controversies that begin when a candidate says something controversial (or at least something that can be made controversial if taken out of context), then his or her opponents express their umbrage, then reporters and pundits chatter about what the candidate really meant and whether it really was so awful, and we all have something with which to fill the news hole for a few days until somebody else says something terrible.

In other words, we spend the campaign in an extended meta-conversation, talking about talking. So it was inevitable that we’d end up talking about what we’re supposedly not allowed to talk about.

It also stands to reason that we’d see it among today’s Republican contenders, since more than ever before this a field that takes its cues from the rhetoric of conservative media, where political correctness has been a regular topic for years. In the telling of people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, conservatives live their lives in fear of the vicious mobs of liberals wielding political correctness like a nail-studded club. Speak the truth about anything, and the politically correct shock troops will swoop in to strike you down.

As they would have it, when somebody criticizes you for something you said, it constitutes proof that the thing you said was both courageous and true. What could be more appealing to a presidential candidate? So Ted Cruz says the Obama administration would have stopped the San Bernardino attacks, were it not so politically correct, and as a consequence, “Political correctness is killing people.” Ben Carson says that our military should just go ahead and kill civilians and torture prisoners, because “there is no such thing as a politically correct war.” Donald Trump justifies every appalling thing that comes out of his mouth by saying he won’t kowtow to political correctness. “Everybody wants to be politically correct, and that’s part of the problem that we have with our country,” he says.

Let’s be clear about something: when the candidates talk about political correctness, they’re seldom talking about things like campus speech codes. There’s a legitimate discussion to be had about whether in certain contexts, people have gotten too sensitive about hearing opposing views and too eager to create “safe spaces” where certain opinions aren’t allowed to be expressed. But that’s not what the candidates are referring to. Nobody is keeping them from saying what they want, and they don’t really care about what the atmosphere in the Oberlin student center is like. They cry “political correctness!” when someone criticizes them for what they say or what they believe.

The truth is that what conservatives call political correctness is often better described as “people telling you not to be such a jerk.” But for today’s Republican, if people think you’re a jerk then you must be doing something right, and the political correctness charge has become an all-purpose answer to criticism of any sort. You say my facts are wrong? I’m not going to knuckle under to your political correctness! You say my beliefs are abominable? Take your political correctness and shove it! It’s a way to pose as a brave truth-teller, even if all that’s actually happening is that people are pointing out that you’re a brave crap-teller.

There’s no question that the obsession with political correctness on the right has its roots in the slow decline of a certain kind of privilege certain people used to enjoy. Not caring about other people’s fortunes, let alone their feelings, is a big part of that privilege. But as women and minorities of all kinds have fought for their rights in recent decades, they’ve also drawn attention to the ways oppression is enacted in a broad range of behaviors and language. If you’re a man who grew up thinking it was perfectly fine to call your secretary “sweetheart” and give her a pat on the behind whenever the mood struck you, existing in today’s world can feel like something has been taken away from you. Older people in particular have trouble keeping up with the ways language evolves, including the ways it evolves to not offend people needlessly.

But fear not: There’s an entire political movement that’s here to tell you that you’re the victim in all this, particularly when it comes to race. You may have seen me make this point before, but I repeat it because it is so important to understanding what’s happening now: Those who make up the audiences for conservative media have been fed a steady diet of racial resentment for years, and the force-feeding became particularly vigorous when Barack Obama became president. They have been told again and again that white people (and white men in particular) are oppressed in America, that liberals are keeping them down because of who they are, and that the principal tool of that oppression is the false charges of racism used to silence and punish them.

They’ve been told that they’re being cowed by minorities and their white liberal allies who want to censor the conservatives who speak the truth. They’ve been told that Obama is a racial avenger, that literally everything he does is part of his project to punish white people for imagined sins of the past, that any domestic policy conservatives don’t like is “reparations” being showered on undeserving black people at the expense of hard-working whites, and that foreign policies they don’t like are part of his plan to destroy America’s place in the world so that the alien dark-hued victims of long-ago and better-forgotten colonialism may rise.

So when someone like Trump comes along and sets about to insult and offend every disadvantaged group he can find, it’s no surprise that lots and lots of conservatives cheer him for “telling it like it is.” When Trump and other Republicans pledge that they won’t abide political correctness, they’re saying to the (largely) older and (almost entirely) white people whose votes they seek: I’ll be your voice. Everything you think but realize you shouldn’t say out loud, I’ll say for you. I’ll tell those you-know-whats just what you think of them, and where they can go if they don’t like it.

“I’m so tired of this politically correct crap,” says Donald Trump, and he knows that plenty of Republican voters feel the same way. So he and the other GOP candidates promise liberation, that they’ll unshackle suffering white men from the rhetorical chains that bind them. It’s no wonder so many people are cheering.

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political correctness – The American Prospect

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Articles about Germ Warfare – latimes

Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm


August 6, 1997 | From Reuters

Iraq could reassemble its germ warfare program within six months with a still-intact scientific team working with freeze-dried organisms, a former U.N. investigator said in a report published Tuesday. “The work force of more than 200 persons who staffed Iraq’s biological warfare program is intact,” Raymond Zilinskas said. “Iraq’s civilian biotechnological infrastructure, comprising more than 80 research, development and production facilities, is whole and well equipped,” he added.


December 8, 2001 | From Times Wire Services

An international conference on germ warfare disbanded in chaos and anger Friday after the United States sought to cut off discussions about enforcing the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The treaty, ratified by the U.S. and 143 other governments, bans the development, stockpiling and production of germ warfare agents–but it has no enforcement mechanism. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the progress of a six-year effort to negotiate measures to enforce compliance.


May 4, 1988 | JOHN M. BRODER, Times Staff Writer

Ten nations, many of them hostile to the United States, currently are producing biological weapons, making it crucial that the Army pursue its controversial plan to build a germ warfare facility in Utah, a senior Defense Department official told Congress Tuesday.


January 22, 2008 | DANA PARSONS

They say war is hell, but getting sick is no picnic either. Here’s my briefing: Two weeks ago I was bivouacked on the sofa around 2200 hours, eating Jell-O pudding, when I detected the first sign of hostile troop movement. Unfortunately, the invaders’ advance party was small and stealthy, and my sentries paid little heed. I finished the pudding, watched more TV and went to bed around midnight. As I slept, the enemy massed. By daybreak, I was surrounded.



Sheldon H. Harris, a Cal State Northridge historian whose groundbreaking work helped establish that Japan conducted biological warfare experiments on Chinese civilians and military prisoners during World War II, has died. He was 74. Harris died of a blood infection Aug. 31 at UCLA Medical Center, but lived long enough to experience a moment of particular gratification, his son, David, said.


October 10, 2001 | ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, Arianna Huffington is a syndicated columnist. E-mail: arianna@ariannaonline.com

When it comes to matters of the heart, we’ve been sold the premise that men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Maybe, maybe not. But when it comes to thinking the unthinkable, the sexes are most definitely from different planets. At a dinner party in Los Angeles last week, six men and six women sat around a beautifully laid-out table. While the setting evoked an escapist fantasy, the conversation dwelt on the inescapable realities of the moment.

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Postpartum Progress – postpartum depression and postpartum …

Posted: July 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm

I couldnt leave the house yesterday.

Thats really hard to admit. Im a Warrior Mom Ambassador. I run the Facebook group for our Warrior Mom Conference attendees. I lead a support group. I help coach women through pregnancies after a PMAD. I am the strong one, the one you count on, the one with the resources and the answers and the shoulder to cry on.

Im also a black woman, mother to a black son, daughter to a black father, sister, friend, cousin, aunt. I grew up hearing stories of my father registering people to vote across the South. They were stories of terror in broad daylight and nights spent driving with no headlights on. I grew up on the narrative that my parents, and their parents, and everyone who made me possible had paid a debt so that I could be free, so that I could be safe in this country.

Last year I was followed and harassed by a police officer here in my home town. I was pregnant with my second child at the time and had just made it to what I considered my new normal after battling postpartum depression and anxiety. I didnt know then that I also had PTSD. All I knew was that I was vomiting, sobbing, and shaking in a parking lot and praising the lord that I was alive.

My daughter is eight months old. Ive been so lucky to not experience any major relapses in my postpartum depression or anxiety and to have my PTSD under control. I see a therapist every week. I take my medication every day. I practice self-care and I reach out for help when I need it.

I have so many privileges: financial, educational, heterosexual, light skin, in a relationship with a white partner. And still. Ive spent the last two nights unable to sleep. First because I couldnt get the voice a four year old girl trying to comfort her mother out of my head. Then last night it really felt like the world was falling apart.

As I write this we still dont have details on the sniper(s) in Dallas. I know that one is dead and the others are in custody. The officers who killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are both on paid administrative leave. They havent been arrested. I have no reason to believe there will be any arrests, convictions, or any type of punishment at all for the deaths of those men. Or for the murders of scores of boys and girls, men and women of color before them. Or for me if an officer decides to take my tone of voice, my reaching for my license, my skin color as a threat.

When I say #BlackLivesMatter, it is in desperation and defiance. I say it because I see no evidence that it is believed to be true in this country. I say it because after everything my father went through, after everything his father, and his, and his went through so that I could live free I still dont feel safe.

I know that I am more fragile than I seem from the outside. We all know that you cant see postpartum depression or anxiety. You cant see PTSD. When the panic attacks came at the thought of leaving the house and taking my son to camp, I had a choice to make. I chose to be honest with my partner about how I was feeling. I chose to reach out to my therapist and let her know I was not okay. I chose to keep my kids home with me, where I feel safe. We watched Disney movies and played with the baby, and dumped way too much bubble bath into the tub. I jumped at every sound and shook when sirens passed my house. I touched base with my relatives and made sure that I knew they were all safe. I tried my best not to get sucked into debates online.

This morning I left the house. I drove my son to camp. When I got home I fell apart. Then I put myself back together and sat down to start work.

I want to be the strong one. The one with the answers, and the resources and the shoulder to cry on. I want to be an ambassador, and a moderator, and a coach. I want to be the strong black woman that I am expected to be.

But Im not. Im scared. Im scared that I will never feel free. Im scared that someone I love will be the next hashtag. Im scared that I will be the next hashtag. Im scared that I will forever be shouting #BlackLivesMatter into the world and it will never, ever be true.

At Postpartum Progress, we believe Black Lives Matter. While not all readers will initially understand the importance of this movement or statement, we believe it matters to say this out loud and up front. We care deeply and equally for every mom suffering from a PMAD. In light of the traumatic events of this week, we are especially worried and grieved for women of color with PMADs and women mothering children of color. We stand in solidarity with you.

We are committed to caring for the most vulnerable members of our PMAD community because we believe the improved well-being of those who suffer most due to systemic racism is the improved well-being of us all.

Were a community. When one suffers, we all suffer. Were in this together. We stand with our moms of color and mothers of Black children.

We understand the unique issues our mothers of color and those parenting children of color experience while battling maternal mental illnesses. The heightened worry about your childs future combined with issues of access to care by clinicians who look like you and understand the complexities of mothering while Black make your recovery different and difficult. We understand and support your desire to speak up, to go into quiet grieving, or to do what you need to do at this time. We just want you to be safe, no matter what that entails.

We are thinking of all the pregnant and new moms who are fighting postpartum depression and anxiety while also living with the acculturative stress and trauma of this week and want to remind you that you are worthy of love, respect, wellness, and safety. We want you to know that we are here to provide support and connect you to help, and that we stand with you and by you. You can email help@postpartumprogress.org or send a Private Message to our Facebook page.

We see you. We hear you. Our hearts break for and with yours as you navigate the news as it unfolds. Were holding space for you in our hearts.

Sincerely, Postpartum Progress Staff

[Editors Note: Todays guest post comes from a Warrior Mom who experienced Postpartum OCD. She shares her journey with intrusive thoughts so that other moms might feel less aloneand also so others will understand that side of OCD. Some thoughts might feel triggering for moms in vulnerable places, so please only read if you are feeling safe today. -Jenna]

Ive found that no one really understands what OCD is in general. I hear a lot of things.

Oh, so you wash your hands a lot. Oh, you check the locks and stuff. Oh, I used to clean the house all the time, too, but I got over that.

Do people who suffer from OCD just wash their hands, check the locks, clean? NO. They perform rituals and compulsions like these far more often than the non-sufferer, and theres always a thought behind itusually an unpleasant onefueling what they do. Think: Im sure my mom will die if I dont wash my hands exactly seven times every hour in the same exact order.

Whats more is people really dont know about Pure O OCD and the intrusive thoughts that plague us. Its impossible to explain to someone who doesnt have it or get them.

Ill be honest: It sounds ridiculous to even try and say it out loud to someone. Throw in the fact that theres no visualcracked bleeding hands arent evident, someone you can see counting the times they touched the lock to make sure it is in fact really lockedand you have one big misunderstanding of this special kind of torture.

When I try to explain to a non-sufferer, Ive been told but thats just a thought, you wont do that, or the opposite, oh God, so you were like one of those women who wanted to hurt their kid. So I thought a post about thoughts that were constantly going through my mind when I suffered from Postpartum OCD might shed some insight.

When I say constantly, there is no exaggeration. I had intrusive thoughts and thoughts surrounding them every waking minute. I had them while I was knee deep in reports for work that required concentration. I had them while I was having full blown conversations with someone else. I never not had them.

On a good day I had a 10-15 second break in between.

Its amazing how you can be having a running horror movie in your head at any given time and no one knew or understood how, since you looked and acted so normal. Its much easier to talk about the latest episode of Greys Anatomy than say, Sorry my eating my apple is so loud. I couldnt cut it up this morning before I came because I was at home alone with the baby and what if

Who I was wasnt normal around was my husband. He received the full force of my confessing of the intrusive thoughts and reassurance seeking that I was not crazy or going to act on my thoughts, because as a person with OCD, you think, why else would you have them, right?

So heres a blip of a very typical night in the mind of my PPOCD experience.

Its 4:30, 4:30, 4:30. Thats only 15 more minutes until hes home. 15 minutes. Thats not too long. You can do this. You are fine. 15 minutes.

Thats enough time to hurt him. Oh God what if I hurt him.

Who thinks that? Whats wrong with me? What if he comes home and hes dead? Why would he be dead?

Dont be ridiculous. Youre fine. This is just OCD. You are not your thoughts.

Only 14 minutes. Just start dinner. Just start dinner. Man, it was easier to get dinner ready without a baby around.

Does that mean I dont want him? Does that mean I want to get rid of him? I know how people do that.

Oh God, Im going to be one of those people on the news.

Stop it. Just stop it. This is only OCD. Of course, it was easier without kids.

Thats the truth. Your therapist told you to look at the truth. Why isnt that calming me down? I KNOW thats the truth but I dont believe it. Only 13 minutes. Ill ask him when he gets here if he thought it was easier without a baby too.

He promised to tell me if I scared him with what I said. What if Im just good at acting like I have OCD and Im really a monster.

Stop it. Thats your OCD talking. Remember what your therapist said.

Only 12 minutes.

What can I make without a knife? I know its in the dishwasher. What if I grab it and

STOP picturing it. STOP.STOP STOP.

Noodles. I can make noodles. If hes in the other room, I wont hurt him.

Is he really in the other room. Yes, you see him damn it. Just stir your stupid noodles. Stir. Stirring. Stirrrriiiiing. Keep singing that like a song. If you sing it out loud, it will curb your thoughts.

Shit. Its not working. Wait, is he still in the other room?

YES, hes home.

I swear I put him in the other room while I was cooking so hes okay. I didnt really want to hurt him. But I dont know, maybe I did. Why else would I put him so far away? I also opened the dishwasher just to check but I didnt touch the knife I swear. I thought it was easier without him but that doesnt mean I dont want him right? Does that mean I want to get rid of him? What if he went missing and no one looked for him because they know Im seeing a therapist. What if he really was taken and ended up really dying because they never looked for him. How would I explain this to the police? They dont know what OCD is. Maybe my doctors would tell them. What if they really do think Im crazy and havent told me yet? Oh Jesus, do YOU think Im crazy!? Im so sorry you have to deal with me.

Um. No, youre not crazy. This is OCD. You know that. You know what your doctors have told you. Yes, it was easier without him. No that doesnt mean anything other than it was easier without him. I see were having noodles, again. Do you need me to unload the dishwasher tonight?

And this goes on. And on and on and on and on. All night.

I need you to cut up that watermelon. Actually I need you to take him in the other room while I do it because you can keep him safe from me.

I need you to give him a bath. But I can do the diaper first. Wait, what if I touch something accidentally when Im wiping him.

I need to work on my OCD workbook the therapist gave me, but what if someone sees what Im writing? They will take him from me. I know you said we can just burn it when Im done but that also gives me bad thoughts. Actually can we just use the oil furnace while youre not home? Just in case I flip my shit. I mean I know its OCD but still, what if its not?

No matter how many doctors told me the truth, that THIS WAS OCD and I WAS NOT MY THOUGHTS; no matter how many posts I read and Google searches I did; no matter how often I heard EVERYONE has random bizarre thoughts pop in to their head, they just go in one side and out the other not bothering them, its just us OCDers that get fixated on them; I had a very hard time accepting I was not a monster. I kept my distance from my son because the what ifs plagued me.

But after a long battle, I got help. I got medication that allowed me work on techniques to control my mind and to go from a run on sentence of thoughts to having them every 30 seconds.

Then every minute.

To eventually not even noticing/reacting to them like the normal person. I finally believed that this was OCD and that just because I wasnt familiar with what OCD really was before this blindsided me, didnt mean it wasnt true and my actual diagnosis.

So next time you say I was SO OCD this weekend and cleaned out my closet remember how lucky you are that cleaning out your closet was only a small chunk of your day with a perfectionist streaknot a horror movie with no commercial breaks in your mind that is OCD.

Chimamanda Adichie calls attention to the danger of a single story in her TED Talk.

Women of color find themselves lost and erased when the intersection of maternal mental health and minority maternal mental health is on the table because, among other things, the strong Black woman trope is at play. Stigma is very much the product of a single story.

Stigma is a mark of disgrace or negative judgment surrounding a certain circumstance. Stigma concerning mental illness isnt imagined. The controlling factor of stigma is shame.

Shame is a a statement that assumes that the judgment cast on a person is because the person is intrinsically flawed. Stigma and shame work together to keep folks struggling with mental illness believe they are bad and at fault for their suffering. This is especially true for women of color.

Bren Brown helped the general public by re-igniting the conversation around shame versus vulnerability. Brown asserted that becoming shame resistant means being vulnerable and authentic in our own stories.

While I tend to agree with Bren, I also understand that women of color take much greater risks in their attempts at engaging authenticity through sharing their most vulnerable life experiences. Black women are taught to be strong, that they dont have postpartum depression or any other mental illness, less they be perceived as a welfare queen or a trashy baby momma who had children she couldnt care for in the first place.

Generally speaking, people facing diagnosis of mental illness face significant difficulties around the stigmatization of being mental health conditions. When we factor in minority statues, especially multiple overlapping minority identities, the stigma becomes heavier and far more damaging. This is what it means when activists and experts reference that African American and Black women are at the greatest risk in the maternal mental health discussion.

Much of the stigma that many women of color experience is also built into tropes and archetypes that many women of color have internalized. For the sake of this discussion, we can evaluate the archetypes surrounding the Black female/femme experience that impact the stigma within maternal mental health. We can answer the question of why arent more Black women talking about their mental health issues by evaluating the stereotypes that confound the issue.

The projection of the strong Black woman is a roadblock to Black women obtaining care for mental illnesses like PPD. While empowering the culture of stigma around mental illness, the strong black woman isnt inclined to tell her story. * Openly suffering from mental illness is something that is highly tabooed in the cultural relations of Black women (Schreiber et al). Among researchers of Black womens experiences with depression, being strong repeatedly emerges as a key factor in their experiences (Beauboeuf-LaFontant, You have to Show Strength 35). Because of Black womens history of subjugation, often Black communities may possess the idea that due to their long history overcoming racism and discrimination, which attacked their mental states as inferior, Black women have the ability to muster through adversity (Hooks 70).

This trope is very unique to Black communities and should be taken into consideration anytime one wishes to provide support for Black women who may be suffering with mental illness. Black women are taught that we have inborn abilities to face struggle and hardship without showing wear mentally or physically.

While some of the initial construction of this image can be traced back to rejecting controlling images created by the white elite to oppress Black women (Hill Collins). The strong Black woman image is problematic because of its emphasis on caring for others and attaching the stigma of failure to any woman who exposes her mental health status attests that the Black woman is the mule of the world (Neale Hurston 1937).

So we find that it our work to simultaneously put to rest the strong Black woman myth by creating safe space for Black women to tell the stories of their mental health struggles.

For more posts in this series on Minority Mental Health:

References Beauboeuf-LaFontant, Tamara. You Have to Show Strength: An Exploration of Gender, Race, and Depression. Gender & Society 21.1 (2007): 28-51. Web. 14 Jan. 2013.

Hooks, Bell. Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery. Boston, MA: South End, 1993. Print.

Neale Hurston, Zora. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.

Schreiber, Rita, Phyllis Noerager Stern, and Charmaine Wilson. Being Strong: How Black West-Indian Canadian Women Manage Depression and Its Stigma. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 32.1 (2000): 39-45. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.

Did you ever wonder if you were suffering from postpartum depression because a friend talked to you about their experience? Did you read a book that reflected your experiences? If you found a narrative that fit with your experience, did you have access to health care because you had a treatment team that believed you?

Often times women dealing with postpartum depression or anxiety will report their difficulties finding a diagnosis and/or helpful treatment and support. Everyone is still working hard to understand PPD and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

As part of this conversation, though, there are two key words that are often overlooked: Exposure and access. These two words are important factors that impact the well-being of protected classes of people. Protected classes of people often have double the difficulty when dealing with maternal mental illness, because in order to obtain help, you have to be exposed to stories and informationthat reflect your experience, and then you need access to the processes that allow you to obtain help.

Postpartum depression is a serious, debilitating illness that affects approximately 10-20% of women. This statistic, though, is a measure of women who were able to identify what they were going through. Imagine the womenfor instance, women of colorwho arent added to this statistic because they dont have exposure and access to understand what they are suffering with?

A psychiatric study by Katy Backes Kozhimannil and her colleagues yielded results that concluded that:

there were significant racial-ethnic differences in depression-related mental health care after delivery.

These results outline a stark reality for women of color: They areless likely to be screened for PPD and less likely to get treatment and receive follow-up care. The results also showed that it was more likely for treatment teams to attribute symptoms of Black and Latin women to other ailments and not PPD.

To make it plain, while many women are never screened, women of color are bypassed in the screening process even more so, and when they do display symptoms of PPD, other factors are often blamed. So these moms wont get the help they really need. This reality means it is vital for women who are at risk for perinatal mood disorders to be strong self-advocates.

How, the question becomes, can one advocate for something that you havent been made aware of? If you have been exposed, how then does one self-create access in a system that either doesnt offer access to people who look like you or offers less-effective help or many fewer options?

Awareness for postpartum depression is increasing, yet there are still women who are falling through the cracks due to systemic oppression and racism. We must care for the most vulnerable among us. The postpartum depression conversation should involve early intervention, treatment, and awareness for ALL women.

The study I mentioned above also cited:

The differences in initiation and continuation of care uncovered in this study imply that a disproportionate number of black women and Latinas who suffer from postpartum depression do not receive needed services. These differences represent stark racial-ethnic disparities potentially related to outreach, detection, service provision, quality, and processes of postpartum mental health care. Although suboptimal detection and treatment rates are not uncommon for this condition or in this population (7,42,43), these results emphasize that postpartum depression remains an underrecognized [sic] and undertreated [sic] condition for all low-income women, especially for those from racial and ethnic minority groups.

During July, which is Minority Mental Health Month, Ill be having leading a conversation here at Postpartum Progress about ways to improve the conversation as it relates to women of color and postpartum depression. We will talk about stigma, social constraints, patient-provider communication, and involving more women of color in the change agency efforts.

Postpartum Progress means progress for ALL women, which means some difficult and important conversations. I hope youll join me.

[Founders Note: One of the goals at Postpartum Progress is to expand our reach and support so that all women are getting the information and help they need. As you all know, in general most women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are not getting the right help. It is also true, though, that women of color get even less access and have even fewer options than the general population. Ive been an advocate for more than a decade now and I know this to be true because I have seen it with my own eyes. Im thrilled that Jasmine is joining us to share her experience and knowledge so that we can open our eyes to what all types of women are experiencing and figure out what we can do better. -Katherine]

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Postpartum Progress – postpartum depression and postpartum …

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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

The rest is here:

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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Cloning Fact Sheet – Genome.gov

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