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Tag Archives: news
Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm
Cloning What is cloning?
The term cloning describes a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity. The copied material, which has the same genetic makeup as the original, is referred to as a clone.
Researchers have cloned a wide range of biological materials, including genes, cells, tissues and even entire organisms, such as a sheep.
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Yes. In nature, some plants and single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, produce genetically identical offspring through a process called asexual reproduction. In asexual reproduction, a new individual is generated from a copy of a single cell from the parent organism.
Natural clones, also known as identical twins, occur in humans and other mammals. These twins are produced when a fertilized egg splits, creating two or more embryos that carry almost identical DNA. Identical twins have nearly the same genetic makeup as each other, but they are genetically different from either parent.
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There are three different types of artificial cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning.
Gene cloning produces copies of genes or segments of DNA. Reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals. Therapeutic cloning produces embryonic stem cells for experiments aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased tissues.
Gene cloning, also known as DNA cloning, is a very different process from reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Reproductive and therapeutic cloning share many of the same techniques, but are done for different purposes.
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Gene cloning is the most common type of cloning done by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). NHGRI researchers have not cloned any mammals and NHGRI does not clone humans.
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Researchers routinely use cloning techniques to make copies of genes that they wish to study. The procedure consists of inserting a gene from one organism, often referred to as “foreign DNA,” into the genetic material of a carrier called a vector. Examples of vectors include bacteria, yeast cells, viruses or plasmids, which are small DNA circles carried by bacteria. After the gene is inserted, the vector is placed in laboratory conditions that prompt it to multiply, resulting in the gene being copied many times over.
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In reproductive cloning, researchers remove a mature somatic cell, such as a skin cell, from an animal that they wish to copy. They then transfer the DNA of the donor animal’s somatic cell into an egg cell, or oocyte, that has had its own DNA-containing nucleus removed.
Researchers can add the DNA from the somatic cell to the empty egg in two different ways. In the first method, they remove the DNA-containing nucleus of the somatic cell with a needle and inject it into the empty egg. In the second approach, they use an electrical current to fuse the entire somatic cell with the empty egg.
In both processes, the egg is allowed to develop into an early-stage embryo in the test-tube and then is implanted into the womb of an adult female animal.
ltimately, the adult female gives birth to an animal that has the same genetic make up as the animal that donated the somatic cell. This young animal is referred to as a clone. Reproductive cloning may require the use of a surrogate mother to allow development of the cloned embryo, as was the case for the most famous cloned organism, Dolly the sheep.
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Over the last 50 years, scientists have conducted cloning experiments in a wide range of animals using a variety of techniques. In 1979, researchers produced the first genetically identical mice by splitting mouse embryos in the test tube and then implanting the resulting embryos into the wombs of adult female mice. Shortly after that, researchers produced the first genetically identical cows, sheep and chickens by transferring the nucleus of a cell taken from an early embryo into an egg that had been emptied of its nucleus.
It was not until 1996, however, that researchers succeeded in cloning the first mammal from a mature (somatic) cell taken from an adult animal. After 276 attempts, Scottish researchers finally produced Dolly, the lamb from the udder cell of a 6-year-old sheep. Two years later, researchers in Japan cloned eight calves from a single cow, but only four survived.
Besides cattle and sheep, other mammals that have been cloned from somatic cells include: cat, deer, dog, horse, mule, ox, rabbit and rat. In addition, a rhesus monkey has been cloned by embryo splitting.
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Despite several highly publicized claims, human cloning still appears to be fiction. There currently is no solid scientific evidence that anyone has cloned human embryos.
In 1998, scientists in South Korea claimed to have successfully cloned a human embryo, but said the experiment was interrupted very early when the clone was just a group of four cells. In 2002, Clonaid, part of a religious group that believes humans were created by extraterrestrials, held a news conference to announce the birth of what it claimed to be the first cloned human, a girl named Eve. However, despite repeated requests by the research community and the news media, Clonaid never provided any evidence to confirm the existence of this clone or the other 12 human clones it purportedly created.
In 2004, a group led by Woo-Suk Hwang of Seoul National University in South Korea published a paper in the journal Science in which it claimed to have created a cloned human embryo in a test tube. However, an independent scientific committee later found no proof to support the claim and, in January 2006, Science announced that Hwang’s paper had been retracted.
From a technical perspective, cloning humans and other primates is more difficult than in other mammals. One reason is that two proteins essential to cell division, known as spindle proteins, are located very close to the chromosomes in primate eggs. Consequently, removal of the egg’s nucleus to make room for the donor nucleus also removes the spindle proteins, interfering with cell division. In other mammals, such as cats, rabbits and mice, the two spindle proteins are spread throughout the egg. So, removal of the egg’s nucleus does not result in loss of spindle proteins. In addition, some dyes and the ultraviolet light used to remove the egg’s nucleus can damage the primate cell and prevent it from growing.
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No. Clones do not always look identical. Although clones share the same genetic material, the environment also plays a big role in how an organism turns out.
For example, the first cat to be cloned, named Cc, is a female calico cat that looks very different from her mother. The explanation for the difference is that the color and pattern of the coats of cats cannot be attributed exclusively to genes. A biological phenomenon involving inactivation of the X chromosome (See sex chromosome) in every cell of the female cat (which has two X chromosomes) determines which coat color genes are switched off and which are switched on. The distribution of X inactivation, which seems to occur randomly, determines the appearance of the cat’s coat.
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Reproductive cloning may enable researchers to make copies of animals with the potential benefits for the fields of medicine and agriculture.
For instance, the same Scottish researchers who cloned Dolly have cloned other sheep that have been genetically modified to produce milk that contains a human protein essential for blood clotting. The hope is that someday this protein can be purified from the milk and given to humans whose blood does not clot properly. Another possible use of cloned animals is for testing new drugs and treatment strategies. The great advantage of using cloned animals for drug testing is that they are all genetically identical, which means their responses to the drugs should be uniform rather than variable as seen in animals with different genetic make-ups.
After consulting with many independent scientists and experts in cloning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided in January 2008 that meat and milk from cloned animals, such as cattle, pigs and goats, are as safe as those from non-cloned animals. The FDA action means that researchers are now free to using cloning methods to make copies of animals with desirable agricultural traits, such as high milk production or lean meat. However, because cloning is still very expensive, it will likely take many years until food products from cloned animals actually appear in supermarkets.
Another application is to create clones to build populations of endangered, or possibly even extinct, species of animals. In 2001, researchers produced the first clone of an endangered species: a type of Asian ox known as a guar. Sadly, the baby guar, which had developed inside a surrogate cow mother, died just a few days after its birth. In 2003, another endangered type of ox, called the Banteg, was successfully cloned. Soon after, three African wildcats were cloned using frozen embryos as a source of DNA. Although some experts think cloning can save many species that would otherwise disappear, others argue that cloning produces a population of genetically identical individuals that lack the genetic variability necessary for species survival.
Some people also have expressed interest in having their deceased pets cloned in the hope of getting a similar animal to replace the dead one. But as shown by Cc the cloned cat, a clone may not turn out exactly like the original pet whose DNA was used to make the clone.
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Reproductive cloning is a very inefficient technique and most cloned animal embryos cannot develop into healthy individuals. For instance, Dolly was the only clone to be born live out of a total of 277 cloned embryos. This very low efficiency, combined with safety concerns, presents a serious obstacle to the application of reproductive cloning.
Researchers have observed some adverse health effects in sheep and other mammals that have been cloned. These include an increase in birth size and a variety of defects in vital organs, such as the liver, brain and heart. Other consequences include premature aging and problems with the immune system. Another potential problem centers on the relative age of the cloned cell’s chromosomes. As cells go through their normal rounds of division, the tips of the chromosomes, called telomeres, shrink. Over time, the telomeres become so short that the cell can no longer divide and, consequently, the cell dies. This is part of the natural aging process that seems to happen in all cell types. As a consequence, clones created from a cell taken from an adult might have chromosomes that are already shorter than normal, which may condemn the clones’ cells to a shorter life span. Indeed, Dolly, who was cloned from the cell of a 6-year-old sheep, had chromosomes that were shorter than those of other sheep her age. Dolly died when she was six years old, about half the average sheep’s 12-year lifespan.
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Therapeutic cloning involves creating a cloned embryo for the sole purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell. These stem cells can be used in experiments aimed at understanding disease and developing new treatments for disease. To date, there is no evidence that human embryos have been produced for therapeutic cloning.
The richest source of embryonic stem cells is tissue formed during the first five days after the egg has started to divide. At this stage of development, called the blastocyst, the embryo consists of a cluster of about 100 cells that can become any cell type. Stem cells are harvested from cloned embryos at this stage of development, resulting in destruction of the embryo while it is still in the test tube.
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Researchers hope to use embryonic stem cells, which have the unique ability to generate virtually all types of cells in an organism, to grow healthy tissues in the laboratory that can be used replace injured or diseased tissues. In addition, it may be possible to learn more about the molecular causes of disease by studying embryonic stem cell lines from cloned embryos derived from the cells of animals or humans with different diseases. Finally, differentiated tissues derived from ES cells are excellent tools to test new therapeutic drugs.
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Many researchers think it is worthwhile to explore the use of embryonic stem cells as a path for treating human diseases. However, some experts are concerned about the striking similarities between stem cells and cancer cells. Both cell types have the ability to proliferate indefinitely and some studies show that after 60 cycles of cell division, stem cells can accumulate mutations that could lead to cancer. Therefore, the relationship between stem cells and cancer cells needs to be more clearly understood if stem cells are to be used to treat human disease.
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Gene cloning is a carefully regulated technique that is largely accepted today and used routinely in many labs worldwide. However, both reproductive and therapeutic cloning raise important ethical issues, especially as related to the potential use of these techniques in humans.
Reproductive cloning would present the potential of creating a human that is genetically identical to another person who has previously existed or who still exists. This may conflict with long-standing religious and societal values about human dignity, possibly infringing upon principles of individual freedom, identity and autonomy. However, some argue that reproductive cloning could help sterile couples fulfill their dream of parenthood. Others see human cloning as a way to avoid passing on a deleterious gene that runs in the family without having to undergo embryo screening or embryo selection.
Therapeutic cloning, while offering the potential for treating humans suffering from disease or injury, would require the destruction of human embryos in the test tube. Consequently, opponents argue that using this technique to collect embryonic stem cells is wrong, regardless of whether such cells are used to benefit sick or injured people.
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Last Reviewed: May 11, 2016
Posted: August 21, 2016 at 11:08 am
First-time flier Kate Rubins and veteran spacewalker Jeff Williams will venture outside the International Space Station this morning (Aug. 19) to install a massive, crucial piece of machinery:a vital new docking port that will allow private space taxis to link up with the station on future missions.
The spacewalk is slated to begin at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 GMT), NASA officials said during a news briefing. You can watch the spacewalk live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
This spacewalk marks a first for Rubins, and the fourth of Williams’ career. The two astronauts plan to spend about 6.5 hours outside the station installing this new heavy piece of machinery, known as an International Docking Adapter (IDA), which arrived at the station on July 20 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. [The Most Memorable Spacewalks in History (Photo Gallery)]
The IDA being installed today is the first of two devices that will be attached to the space station as part of a new international standard that allows a variety of vehicles to dock with the orbiting lab independently rather than being grappled with the station’s robotic arm.
Williams, Expedition 48’s commander, will head out first, and Rubins will hand off a bag of IDA installation tools before stepping outside the station.
“This EVA [spacewalk] that we are going to be doing on Friday represents a very significant milestone on the path to establishing a commercial crew capability on board the ISS,” Kenny Todd, the station’s mission operations integration manager, said at the news briefing Monday (Aug. 15). “We’re very excited to put this piece of hardware on the front of the station.”
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams are all set to venture outside the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow (Aug. 19) to install the first International Docking Adapter. This addition to the ISS will allow future private space vehicles to hook up to the station.
Multiple previous spacewalks paved the way for today’s installation. During four EVAs (extravehicular activity) performed earlier this year, and in 2015, astronauts routed cables for the docking adapter and installed a control panel, among other maintenance tasks.
On Wednesday (Aug. 17), the ground robotics team successfully removed the IDA from the Dragon spacecraft’s trunk using the space station’s robotic arm, and positioned it 3 feet (0.9 meters) from the front of the port. This morning, prior to the start of the spacewalk, the ground crew used the arm to move the IDA closer to the port, so that it would be ready to be installed by Williams and Rubins.
The International Docking Adapter as seen before its launch to the International Space Station.
The new IDA, which measures 7.8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter, will allow for larger crews to launch from all different places around Earth and dock with the space station automatically. Boeing and SpaceX have contracts with NASA to send astronauts to the space station in 2017.
If all goes according to plan, the spacewalkers will complete some additional tasks after hooking up the IDA. Williams and Rubins will install thermal covers, as well as set up mirrors that will allow future space taxis to autonomously navigate, align and connect with the space station properly. The team will also route some additional cables for the second docking adapter, which is expected to fly up to the space station next year.
The International Space Station is the largest structure in space ever built by humans. Let’s see how much you know about the basics of this science laboratory in the sky.
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Cosmic Quiz: Do You Know the International Space Station?
The International Space Station is the largest structure in space ever built by humans. Let’s see how much you know about the basics of this science laboratory in the sky.
On Sept. 1, a second EVA will be conducted to perform more work on the IDA, during which astronauts will retract one of the station’s thermal radiators.
Williams and Rubins are part of a six-member space station crew. They arrived at the station on July 9, and are joined by Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka, Alexey Ovchinin and Anatoly Ivanishin.
Visit Space.com later today for complete coverage of the spacewalk and a final wrap-up of the day’s orbital activities.
Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.
Posted: August 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm
LONDON There were no reported fatalities on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) last year, according to the 2016 Oil & Gas UK Health & Safety Report.
Reportable injury rates for the offshore oil and gas industry were also lower than other industries such as manufacturing, construction, retail and education, while the lost time injury frequency rate on the UKCS was below the European average and lower than in Norway, Denmark, and Ireland.
Also down was the number of dangerous occurrences, including fires or explosions, dropped objects and weather damage, with incidents down by 30% between 2013 and 2015.
One exception was oil and gas releases which rose slightly – the majority were minor, while major releases remained the same.
The increase in minor releases may be down to the fact that operators are increasingly using technology that helps detect the smallest of escapes. In addition, new reporting criteria came into effect during the second half of 2015 that included releases not deemed reportable under previous legislation.
The report said the industry has worked hard to reverse the increase in its safety-critical maintenance backlog.
Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment policy director at Oil & Gas UK, said: This is a testing time for the industry and our commitment to safety has at times been questioned. However, our report demonstrates that safe operations continue to be intrinsic to how we go about our activities on the UK continental shelf, regardless of the oil price.
It shows that the UK sector is focusing in the right areas and overall is heading in the right direction. The report is also a reminder that there is no place for compromise or complacency and that safety must remain at the top of our agenda.
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Posted: at 2:41 pm
Updated Aug 12, 2016 02:40 PM ET
Prior Close: $22.26
5-Strong Sell 5
Value: C | Growth: F | Momentum: F | VGM: F
The Style Scores are a complementary set of indicators to use alongside the Zacks Rank. It allows the user to better focus on the stocks that are the best fit for his or her personal trading style.
The scores are based on the trading styles of Value, Growth, and Momentum. There’s also a VGM Score (‘V’ for Value, ‘G’ for Growth and ‘M’ for Momentum), which combines the weighted average of the individual style scores into one score.
Within each Score, stocks are graded into five groups: A, B, C, D and F. As you might remember from your school days, an A, is better than a B; a B is better than a C; a C is better than a D; and a D is better than an F.
As an investor, you want to buy stocks with the highest probability of success. That means you want to buy stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2, Strong Buy or Buy, which also has a Score of an A or a B in your personal trading style.
Zacks Style Scores Education – Learn more about the Zacks Style Scores
This is our short term rating system that serves as a timeliness indicator for stocks over the next 1 to 3 months. How good is it? See rankings and related performance below.
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The ever popular one-page Snapshot reports are generated for virtually every single Zacks Ranked stock. It’s packed with all of the company’s key stats and salient decision making information. Including the Zacks Rank, Zacks Industry Rank, Style Scores, the Price, Consensus & Surprise chart, graphical estimate analysis and how a stocks stacks up to its peers.
The detailed multi-page Analyst report does an even deeper dive on the company’s vital statistics. In addition to all of the proprietary analysis in the Snapshot, the report also visually displays the four components of the Zacks Rank (Agreement, Magnitude, Upside and Surprise); provides a comprehensive overview of the company business drivers, complete with earnings and sales charts; a recap of their last earnings report; and a bulleted list of reasons to buy or sell the stock. It also includes an industry comparison table to see how your stock compares to its expanded industry, and the S&P 500.
Researching stocks has never been so easy or insightful as with the ZER Analyst and Snapshot reports.
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Read more about this innovative method in the Zacks Earnings ESP Guide See all the top Earnings ESP Stocks.
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CF Industries Holdings, Inc. is the holding company for the operations of CF Industries, Inc. CF Industries, Inc. is a major producer and distributor of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products. CF Industries operates world-scale nitrogen fertilizer plants in Louisiana and Alberta, Canada; conducts phosphate mining and manufacturing operations in Central Florida; and distributes fertilizer products through a system of terminals, warehouses, and associated transportation equipment located primarily in the midwestern United States.
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Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:22 pm
However you arrived at this page, we welcome you. The Libertarian Party of North Carolina seeks to return the focus of those we elect to the people who elected them. We believe the only way we can achieve this is to recruit, support and elect libertarian candidates.
We cannot do this without the support of what we call the voiceless voters. Those voiceless voters — Libertarian and unaffiliated — make up nearly one-third of registered voters in our great state. So you’d think bringing about change to our broken political system should be relatively easy. The truth is the deck is severely stacked against those seeking to put people, not politics first.
Please spend some time looking through our site. A great place to start is on our news page. It is chock full of relevant and recent content, all just a click away.
Most importantly we want you to connect with us. Throughout the site there are places for you to reach out and get involved to whatever extent you desire and to whatever extent you are comfortable with. Just get involved.
Together we will be voiceless no more.
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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
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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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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2002 | REBECCA TROUNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2001 | ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, Arianna Huffington is a syndicated columnist. E-mail: email@example.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.
See more here:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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. 220.127.116.11.
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]
See the article here:
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:
Charles H. Anderson
See the article here: