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Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

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Jul 282015
 

David King

The main debate around human genetics currently centres on the ethics of genetic testing, and possibilities for genetic discrimination and selective eugenics. But while ethicists and the media constantly re-hash these issues, a small group of scientists and publicists are working towards an even more frightening prospect: the intentional genetic engineering of human beings. Just as Ian Wilmut presented us with the first clone of an adult mammal, Dolly, as a fait accompli, so these scientists aim to set in place the tools of a new techno-eugenics, before the public has ever had a chance to decide whether this is the direction we want to go in. The publicists, meanwhile are trying to convince us that these developments are inevitable. The Campaign Against Human Genetic Engineering, has been set up in response to this threat.

Currently, genetic engineering is only applied to non-reproductive cells (this is known as ‘gene therapy’) in order to treat diseases in a single patient, rather than in all their descendants. Gene therapy is still very unsuccessful, and we are often told that the prospect of reproductive genetic engineering is remote. In fact, the basic technologies for human genetic engineering (HGE) have been available for some time and at present are being refined and improved in a number of ways. We should not make the same mistake that was made with cloning, and assume that the issue is one for the far future.

In the first instance, the likely justifications of HGE will be medical. One major step towards reproductive genetic engineering is the proposal by US gene therapy pioneer, French Anderson, to begin doing gene therapy on foetuses, to treat certain genetic diseases. Although not directly targeted at reproductive cells, Anderson’s proposed technique poses a relatively high risk that genes will be ‘inadvertently’ altered in the reproductive cells of the foetus, as well as in the blood cells which he wants to fix. Thus, if he is allowed to go ahead, the descendants of the foetus will be genetically engineered in every cell of their body. Another scientist, James Grifo of New York University is transferring cell nuclei from the eggs of older to younger women, using similar techniques to those used in cloning. He aims to overcome certain fertility problems, but the result would be babies with three genetic parents, arguably a form of HGE. In addition to the two normal parents, these babies will have mitochondria (gene-containing subcellular bodies which control energy production in cells) from the younger woman.

Anderson is a declared advocate of HGE for medical purposes, and was a speaker at a symposium last year at UCLA, at which advocates of HGE set out their stall. At the symposium, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people, James Watson, of DNA discovery fame, advocated the use of HGE not merely for medical purposes, but for ‘enhancement': ‘And the other thing, because no one really has the guts to say it, I mean, if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it?’

In his recent book, Re-Making Eden (1998), Princeton biologist, Lee Silver celebrates the coming future of human ‘enhancement’, in which the health, appearance, personality, cognitive ability, sensory capacity, and life-span of our children all become artifacts of genetic engineering, literally selected from a catalog. Silver acknowledges that the costs of these technologies will limit their full use to only a small ‘elite’, so that over time society will segregate into the “GenRich” and the “Naturals”:

“The GenRich – who account for 10 percent of the American population – all carry synthetic genes… that were created in the laboratory …All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry are controlled by members of the GenRich class…Naturals work as low-paid service providers or as labourers, and their children go to public schools… If the accumulation of genetic knowledge and advances in genetic enhancement technology continue … the GenRich class and the Natural class will become…entirely separate species with no ability to cross-breed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a current human would have for a chimpanzee.”

Silver, another speaker at the UCLA symposium, believes that these trends should not and cannot be stopped, because to do so would infringe on liberty.

Most scientists say that what is preventing them from embarking on HGE is the risk that the process will itself generate new mutations, which will be passed on to future generations. Official scientific and ethical bodies tend to rely on this as the basis for forbidding attempts at HGE, rather than any principled opposition to the idea.

In my view, we should not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by this argument. Experience with genetically engineered crops, for example, shows that we are unlikely ever to arrive at a situation when we can be sure that the risks are zero. Instead, when scientists are ready to proceed, we will be told that the risks are ‘acceptable’, compared to the benefits. Meanwhile, there will be people telling us loudly that since they are taking the risks with their children, we have no right to interfere.

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Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

eugenics | genetics | Britannica.com

 Eugenics  Comments Off on eugenics | genetics | Britannica.com
Jul 212015
 

eugenics,the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by the British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwins theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable. Social Darwinism, the popular theory in the late 19th century that life for humans in society was ruled by survival of the fittest, helped advance eugenics into serious scientific study in the early 1900s. By World War I, many scientific authorities and political leaders supported eugenics. However, it ultimately failed as a science in the 1930s and 40s, when the assumptions of eugenicists became heavily criticized and the Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of entire races.

Galton, Sir FrancisCourtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, LondonAlthough eugenics as understood today dates from the late 19th century, efforts to select matings in order to secure offspring with desirable traits date from ancient times. Platos Republic (c. 378 bce) depicts a society where efforts are undertaken to improve human beings through selective breeding. Later, Italian philosopher and poet Tommaso Campanella, in City of the Sun (1623), described a utopian community in which only the socially elite are allowed to procreate. Galton, in Hereditary Genius (1869), proposed that a system of arranged marriages between men of distinction and women of wealth would eventually produce a gifted race. In 1865, the basic laws of heredity were discovered by the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel. His experiments with peas demonstrated that each physical trait was the result of a combination of two units (now known as genes) and could be passed from one generation to another. However, his work was largely ignored until its rediscovery in 1900. This fundamental knowledge of heredity provided eugenicistsincluding Galton, who influenced his cousin Charles Darwinwith scientific evidence to support the improvement of humans through selective breeding.

The advancement of eugenics was concurrent with an increasing appreciation of Charles Darwins account for change or evolution within societywhat contemporaries referred to as Social Darwinism. Darwin had concluded his explanations of evolution by arguing that the greatest step humans could make in their own history would occur when they realized that they were not completely guided by instinct. Rather, humans, through selective reproduction, had the ability to control their own future evolution. A language pertaining to reproduction and eugenics developed, leading to terms such as positive eugenics, defined as promoting the proliferation of good stock, and negative eugenics, defined as prohibiting marriage and breeding between defective stock. For eugenicists, nature was far more contributory than nurture in shaping humanity.

During the early 1900s, eugenics became a serious scientific study pursued by both biologists and social scientists. They sought to determine the extent to which human characteristics of social importance were inherited. Among their greatest concerns were the predictability of intelligence and certain deviant behaviours. Eugenics, however, was not confined to scientific laboratories and academic institutions. It began to pervade cultural thought around the globe, including the Scandinavian countries, most other European countries, North America, Latin America, Japan, China, and Russia. In the United States, the eugenics movement began during the Progressive Era and remained active through 1940. It gained considerable support from leading scientific authorities such as zoologist Charles B. Davenport, plant geneticist Edward M. East, and geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate Hermann J. Muller. Political leaders in favour of eugenics included U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of State Elihu Root, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. Internationally, there were many individuals whose work supported eugenic aims, including British scientists J.B.S. Haldane and Julian Huxley and Russian scientists Nikolay K. Koltsov and Yury A. Filipchenko.

Pearson, KarlCourtesy of Professor D.V. Lindley; photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co. Ltd.Galton had endowed a research fellowship in eugenics in 1904 and, in his will, provided funds for a chair of eugenics at University College, London. The fellowship and later the chair were occupied by Karl Pearson, a brilliant mathematician who helped to create the science of biometry, the statistical aspects of biology. Pearson was a controversial figure who believed that environment had little to do with the development of mental or emotional qualities. He felt that the high birth rate of the poor was a threat to civilization and that the higher races must supplant the lower. His views gave countenance to those who believed in racial and class superiority. Thus, Pearson shares the blame for the discredit later brought on eugenics.

In the United States, the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was opened at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N.Y., in 1910 with financial support from the legacy of railroad magnate Edward Henry Harriman. Whereas ERO efforts were officially overseen by Charles B. Davenport, director of the Station for Experimental Study of Evolution (one of the biology research stations at Cold Spring Harbor), ERO activities were directly superintended by Harry H. Laughlin, a professor from Kirksville, Mo. The ERO was organized around a series of missions. These missions included serving as the national repository and clearinghouse for eugenics information, compiling an index of traits in American families, training field-workers to gather data throughout the United States, supporting investigations into the inheritance patterns of particular human traits and diseases, advising on the eugenic fitness of proposed marriages, and communicating all eugenic findings through a series of publications. To accomplish these goals, further funding was secured from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Battle Creek Race Betterment Foundation, and the Human Betterment Foundation.

Prior to the founding of the ERO, eugenics work in the United States was overseen by a standing committee of the American Breeders Association (eugenics section established in 1906), chaired by ichthyologist and Stanford University president David Starr Jordan. Research from around the globe was featured at three international congresses, held in 1912, 1921, and 1932. In addition, eugenics education was monitored in Britain by the English Eugenics Society (founded by Galton in 1907 as the Eugenics Education Society) and in the United States by the American Eugenics Society.

Following World War I, the United States gained status as a world power. A concomitant fear arose that if the healthy stock of the American people became diluted with socially undesirable traits, the countrys political and economic strength would begin to crumble. The maintenance of world peace by fostering democracy, capitalism, and, at times, eugenics-based schemes was central to the activities of the Internationalists, a group of prominent American leaders in business, education, publishing, and government. One core member of this group, the New York lawyer Madison Grant, aroused considerable pro-eugenic interest through his best-selling book The Passing of the Great Race (1916). Beginning in 1920, a series of congressional hearings was held to identify problems that immigrants were causing the United States. As the countrys eugenics expert, Harry Laughlin provided tabulations showing that certain immigrants, particularly those from Italy, Greece, and Eastern Europe, were significantly overrepresented in American prisons and institutions for the feebleminded. Further data were construed to suggest that these groups were contributing too many genetically and socially inferior people. Laughlins classification of these individuals included the feebleminded, the insane, the criminalistic, the epileptic, the inebriate, the diseasedincluding those with tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilisthe blind, the deaf, the deformed, the dependent, chronic recipients of charity, paupers, and neer-do-wells. Racial overtones also pervaded much of the British and American eugenics literature. In 1923, Laughlin was sent by the U.S. secretary of labour as an immigration agent to Europe to investigate the chief emigrant-exporting nations. Laughlin sought to determine the feasibility of a plan whereby every prospective immigrant would be interviewed before embarking to the United States. He provided testimony before Congress that ultimately led to a new immigration law in 1924 that severely restricted the annual immigration of individuals from countries previously claimed to have contributed excessively to the dilution of American good stock.

Immigration control was but one method to control eugenically the reproductive stock of a country. Laughlin appeared at the centre of other U.S. efforts to provide eugenicists greater reproductive control over the nation. He approached state legislators with a model law to control the reproduction of institutionalized populations. By 1920, two years before the publication of Laughlins influential Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (1922), 3,200 individuals across the country were reported to have been involuntarily sterilized. That number tripled by 1929, and by 1938 more than 30,000 people were claimed to have met this fate. More than half of the states adopted Laughlins law, with California, Virginia, and Michigan leading the sterilization campaign. Laughlins efforts secured staunch judicial support in 1927. In the precedent-setting case of Buck v. Bell, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., upheld the Virginia statute and claimed, It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.

During the 1930s, eugenics gained considerable popular support across the United States. Hygiene courses in public schools and eugenics courses in colleges spread eugenic-minded values to many. A eugenics exhibit titled Pedigree-Study in Man was featured at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 193334. Consistent with the fairs Century of Progress theme, stations were organized around efforts to show how favourable traits in the human population could best be perpetuated. Contrasts were drawn between the emulative, presidential Roosevelt family and the degenerate Ishmael family (one of several pseudonymous family names used, the rationale for which was not given). By studying the passage of ancestral traits, fairgoers were urged to adopt the progressive view that responsible individuals should pursue marriage ever mindful of eugenics principles. Booths were set up at county and state fairs promoting fitter families contests, and medals were awarded to eugenically sound families. Drawing again upon long-standing eugenic practices in agriculture, popular eugenic advertisements claimed it was about time that humans received the same attention in the breeding of better babies that had been given to livestock and crops for centuries.

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eugenics | genetics | Britannica.com

Non-Aggression – Libertarianism.org

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Jun 202015
 

April 8, 2013 columns

Zwolinski argues that some of the results the non-aggression principle logically leads to mean we ought to question its universal application.

Many libertarians believe that the whole of their political philosophy can be summed up in a single, simple principle. This principlethe non-aggression principle or non-aggression axiom (hereafter NAP)holds that aggression against the person or property of others is always wrong, where aggression is defined narrowly in terms of the use or threat of physical violence.

From this principle, many libertarians believe, the rest of libertarianism can be deduced as a matter of mere logic. What is the proper libertarian stance on minimum wage laws? Aggression, and therefore wrong. What about anti-discrimination laws? Aggression, and therefore wrong. Public schools? Same answer. Public roads? Same answer. The libertarian armed with the NAP has little need for the close study of history, sociology, or empirical economics. With a little logic and a lot of faith in this basic axiom of morality, virtually any political problem can be neatly solved from the armchair.

On its face, the NAPs prohibition of aggression falls nicely in line with common sense. After all, who doesnt think its wrong to steal someone elses property, to club some innocent person over the head, or to force others to labor for ones own private benefit? And if its wrong for us to do these things as individuals, why would it be any less wrong for us to do it as a group as a club, a gang, ora state?

But the NAPs plausibility is superficial. It is, of course, common sense to think that aggression is a bad thing. But it is far from common sense to think that its badness is absolute, such that the wrongness of aggression always trumps any other possible consideration of justice or political morality. There is a vast difference between a strong but defeasible presumption against the justice of aggression, and an absolute, universal prohibition. As Bryan Caplan has said, if you cant think of counterexamples to the latter, youre not trying hard enough. But Im here to help.

In the remainder of this essay, I want to present six reasons why libertarians should reject the NAP. None of them are original to me. Each is logically independent of the others. Taken together, I think, they make a fairly overwhelming case.

Theres more to be said about each of these, of course. Libertarians havent written much about the issue of pollution. But they have been aware of the problem about fraud at least since James Child published his justly famous article in Ethics on the subject in 1994, and both Bryan Caplan and Stephan Kinsella have tried (unsatisfactorily, to my mind) to address it. Similarly, Roderick Long has some characteristically thoughtful and intelligent things to say about the issue of children and positive rights.

Libertarians are ingenious folk. And I have no doubt that, given sufficient time, they can think up a host of ways to tweak, tinker, and contextualize the NAP in a way that makes some progress in dealing with the problems I have raised in this essay. But there comes a point where adding another layer of epicycles to ones theory seems no longer to be the best way to proceed. There comes a point where what you need is not another refinement to the definition of aggression but a radical paradigm shift in which we put aside the idea that non-aggression is the sole, immovable center of the moral universe. Libertarianism needs its own Copernican Revolution.

Matt Zwolinski is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, and co-director ofUSDs Institute for Law and Philosophy. He has publishednumerous articles at the intersection of politics, law, economics, with a special focus on issues of exploitation and political libertarianism. He is the editor of Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2009), and is currently writing two books: Exploitation, Capitalism, and the State and, with John Tomasi, Libertarianism: A Bleeding Heart History. The latter is under contract with Princeton University Press. Matt Zwolinski is the founder of and a regular contributor to the blog Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

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Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …

 Cosmic  Comments Off on Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …
Jun 152015
 

(“Because in a world of ever more progressive depravity there is no penicillin for human stupidity, cruelty and systemic as conventional as pathological intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical disorientation to our native life and land as though for our own safety, security, salvation, survival or “ascension” and that of all Mankind. Such is a social repository or delta of psychologicalinvectivestantamount to and aptly demonstrated by doing as good a job as one could at compromising our social, familial and individual biological and psychological immune systems with vaccinations as much against the onset of infection from viruses as from any true safety or truly living intelligence worthy of the name. Because all crime, war and disease is as much a biological reality as a sociopolitical one in a cybernetic-industrial society, one contracts with Man for an exchange for anything like our native psychology of Life and Thought forwhat augmentations come currencies (bounties on the heads on the deaths and resurrections of our children) of infinite devaluations of our Life and Thought in terms of our born “debt” to God or State or both (a contract that would, surpassing that of gold for iron in a world where gold is nothing more than a worthless ingot, require no little embellishment and “incentivization”), a debt we can but pay, however spiritual or philanthropic the economics thereof (link), with our own blood, sweat and tears and that of our children though to a Sun or God of State or mass delusional psychosis obscured and revealed by and to strategic variations and distributions of competing thoughts and ideologies, clouds of war, disease, stupidity and conventional cruelty (moved as easily as toy boats across the pond of what used to constitute human thought) for which a child is born with absolutely no concept and in terms of whose “ignorance” of which are summarily and conventionally consigned, effectively if not intentionally (the benefit of any psychosis – that what one needs to do need having nothing to do with what one means to do) to but dumb animals or born murderers (whose clemency rests in conducting a transaction of the very though freshly spilled hemoglobin of Man or God, an occult Saturnalian rite utterly contradictory to the actual Teachings of Jesus or Krishna, Anastasia or Hiawatha) of that very Life or Christ without which Man cannot possibly maintain let alone advance his and her born coordination, body and soul, native feeling and genius, with the whole of cosmic Life at the force and fullness, substance and horizon of the entire Universe of Man’s mind and vast natural, emotional, intellectual and spiritual inheritance and heritage by birth.Written while visiting a local University and doing for free what I used to pay thousands of dollars in order to fight the entire current of cybernetic schooling in order to do – study, as a and in terms of being a human being by birth, the pathological and as perpetual denouement (and denuding) of human civilization both as we know it and as we have, one and all, long ceased to know it.Although having our own land anddirect contact with our ownliving home, food, water and air and thought is the goal and whole image of human existence coursing through our brains, memories, senses, elements, heavens and Earth, one can have one’s own land without creating sufficient space and time to gain the full value of one’s conscious capacity for Life and critical thought and so one can create a sufficient space for one’s conscious capacity for Life and critical thought without owning your own land orgrowing your own food,livingland, food, water, earth, air andthought runs to Man, if at greater expense to our food, land, air, earth, water and thought, wherever we may be, withoutany reserve but that which we, as Man, place upon it as though for our own “salvation” much as indigenous peoples had to beconvinced to disorient themselves to their native born coordinates of and coordination with their living destiny and memory and language (to create death) in order to be “saved fromdeath” according as much to State Christianity as Islam or Evolutionary theory.I have experiencedand researched this since I was born almost forty years ago to the day.At first, you will want to learn as much as you can from your intellectual superiors. Then, if you are lucky(sharing astatistical anomaly with that of any majorlottery winner), you might start to question whether ornot your intellectual”betters”are as competently informed as theyhave been trained to think (and are paid to train other people to think)they are, acelestial mantle conferred upon them asmuch by letters of parchment as by any actual qualifications as such as though daubed with the bloodof the condor and the hair of a three-toed frog. Then you will share a similarity with that of motes of cosmic dust which have successfully made their pilgrimage across all of known intergalactic space when or if you start to study why your instructors think what they do and why modern schooling operates with the equivalent belief as though the element of water does not exist. Then and only then will you begin the true process of learning as anyone but a three year old would mean it – which is, frankly, as insulting to three year olds as what is loosely called the education system, one as successful, by definition, at condemning Man to the privilege and prestige of a contagious psychosis as any cybernetic system on Earth, be it economic, medical, psychological or religious.”)-Axiom 120- Domestication

“When people study evolution or astrophysics they are flattered for having escaped the perverse superstitions of mere religions when in fact they have found the most sophisticated and perverse religions there have ever been, religions for which all previous religions and their monumentally devastating effects serve as but vastly inferior prototypes, never guessing that they themselves are encouraged to think their predecessors as ignorant as nature made them and their progeny progressively more enlightened by a guiding international metaphysical military intelligence mafia (MIMMI) who know full well and gain all their power from the fact that the precise opposite is true.”

-From “Back To The Flat Earth Theory”

Mark my words.

It is both a wonderful and terrible thing that our thought effects, feeds, and is fed by the whole Earth, the whole World.

For, mark my words, the self-proclaimed high priests of every respective society on Earth know that we did not descend from apes and that the Theory of Evolution is, for the most part, a total crock, that our ancient land-based ecstatic human existence (and divine natural inheritance) has been colonialized by a modern or technocratic way of Life the most perilous in all of human history, a way of Life we routinely send our children away to foreign lands to murder and die for, so effective has been the occupation by way of severely dimming the human speed of thought far beneath that of the self-proclaimed high priests, human beings who have led us down a path of almost complete atrophy of the human mind and imagination, much to the peril of the health of all people on Earth.

And then there is the invincibility of the dawn.

One Sun, for instance, produces Light that is translated or communicated, through a medium or various mediums (depending on your perspective), to diverse living systems in turn communicated to millions of human bodies and trillions of human cells and neurons through food and air and water and much else besides, not the least of which must include human kindness and warmth, something also, like the absolute phase of eternal Life, at once so visible and so invisible and so vital to our health, that of the harmonic or cosmic (all-embracing) order of every cellular, social, terrestrial and celestial system, that of the endless expansion not of disease but health and not of suffering and sorrow but of Happiness and understanding born of contact with our vast natural, emotional, spiritual and intellectual inheritance.

Just imagine the creative Light that can be created by a Man and a Woman in the conception of the entire living conditions for and of their child in terms of the cosmic beauty of one another, that of the reflected Universal Love (that of God’s own eternal Soul) in and of a mother (a Universe Woman) as of the power of God’s very own most inspired Dream the birth all that can be born the warmth of Man.

Anything or anyone that would complicate the direct communication among God, you, and your land is never true to God, you, or your Motherland. That I have discovered for certain.

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Cosmic Heaven: The Marriage Of Heaven And Earth – The …

Regenerative Medicine Symposium set for April 24 at GRU

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on Regenerative Medicine Symposium set for April 24 at GRU
Apr 142015
 

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Scientists and physicians from the region interested in regenerative and reparative medicine techniques, such as helping aging stem cells stay focused on making strong bone, will meet in Augusta April 24 to hear updates from leaders in the field and strategize on how to move more research advances to patients.

The daylong Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapy Research Symposium, sponsored by the Georgia Regents University Institute for Regenerative and Reparative Medicine, begins at 8 a.m. in Room EC 1210 of the GRU Health Sciences Building.

“We think this is a terrific opportunity for basic scientists and physicians to come together and pursue more opportunities to work together to get better prevention and treatment strategies to patients,” said Dr. William D. Hill, stem cell researcher and symposium organizer.

Dr. Arnold I. Caplan, Director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve University and a pioneer in understanding mesenchymal stem cells, which give rise to bone, cartilage, muscle, and more, will give the keynote address at 8:45 a.m. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is under study for a variety of conditions including multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, emphysema, and stroke.

Other keynotes include:

The GRU Institute for Regenerative and Reparative Medicine has a focus on evidence-based approaches to healthy aging with an orthopaedic emphasis. “As you age, the bone is more fragile and likely to fracture,” Hill said. “We want to protect bone integrity before you get a fracture as well as your bone’s ability to constantly repair so, if you do get a fracture, you will repair it better yourself.”

Bone health is a massive and growing problem with the aging population worldwide. “What people don’t need is to fall and wind up in a nursing home,” said Dr. Mark Hamrick, MCG bone biologist and Research Director of the GRU institute. “This is a societal problem, a clinical problem, and a potential money problem that is going to burden the health care system if we don’t find better ways to intervene.”

The researchers are exploring options such as scaffolding to support improved bone repair with age as well as nutrients that impact ongoing mesenchymal stem cell health, since these stem cells, which tend to decrease in number and efficiency with age, are essential to maintaining strong bones as well as full, speedy recovery.

Dr. Carlos Isales, endocrinologist and Clinical Director of the GRU institute, is looking at certain nutrients, particularly amino acids, and how some of their metabolites produce bone damage while others prevent or repair it. Isales is Principal Investigator on a major Program Project grant from the National Institutes of Health exploring a variety of ways to keep aging mesenchymal stem cells healthy and focused on making bone. “I think the drugs we have reduce fractures, but I think there are better ways of doing that,” Isales said. “We are always thinking translationally,” said Hill.

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Regenerative Medicine Symposium set for April 24 at GRU

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

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Apr 132015
 

Libertarianism the philosophy of personal and economic freedom has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and its growing stronger. Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses have pushed millions more Americans in a libertarian direction. The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, the longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of this increasingly important political movement.

Boaz has updated the book with new information on the threat of government surveillance; the policies that led up to and stemmed from the 2008 financial crisis; corruption in Washington; and the unsustainable welfare state. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.

He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. The earlier edition of The Libertarian Mind, titled Libertarianism: A Primer, was described by the Los Angeles Times as a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas. His other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.

His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate, and he wrote the entry on libertarianism at the Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABCs Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNNs Crossfire, NPRs Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, The McLaughlin Group, Stossel, The Independents, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media.

Virginia: April 16 Hampden-Sydney College: The Libertarian Mind with Author David Boaz April 18 Young Americans for Liberty state convention, Blacksburg: http://www.yaliberty.org/convention/state/2015/va

Texas: April 22 Southern Methodist University: http://oneil.cox.smu.edu/events April 22 Americas Future Foundation, Dallas, TX: https://www.facebook.com/events/433923173452893/

Missouri April 30 St. Louis http://www.cato.org/events/cato-institute-policy-forum-st-louis-april July 7 or 8 Kansas City Public Library

Nevada July 8-11 FreedomFest, Las Vegas

Washington D.C. July 26 31 Washington D.C. Cato University http://www.cato.org/cato-university/2015

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The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

"The Paragraph Began to Self-Delete": Did NSA Hack Computer of Snowden Biographer & Edit Book Draft? – Video

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Apr 112015
 



“The Paragraph Began to Self-Delete”: Did NSA Hack Computer of Snowden Biographer Edit Book Draft?
http://tinyurl.com/2ezuoysai – We speak with a University of California scientist Tyrone Hayes, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But…

By: Cfgd vcvgD

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"The Paragraph Began to Self-Delete": Did NSA Hack Computer of Snowden Biographer & Edit Book Draft? – Video

NexImmune – Video

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on NexImmune – Video
Apr 112015
 



NexImmune
Ken Carter, Ph.D., CEO (Private) Headquarters: Gaithersburg, MA NexImmune, Inc. holds an exclusive worldwide license to the Artificial IMmune (AIM) technology from Johns Hopkins University….

By: Alliance for Regenerative Medicine

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NexImmune – Video

Novel tissue substitute made of high-tech fibers

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Apr 112015
 

Regenerative medicine uses cells harvested from the patient’s own body to heal damaged tissue. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a cell-free substrate containing proteins to which autologous cells bind and grow only after implantation. Samples of the new implants will be on show at the Medtec expo.

Donor organs or synthetic implants are usually the only treatment option for patients who have suffered irreparable damage to internal organs or body tissue. But such transplants are often rejected. Implants based on autologous cells are more likely to be accepted by the human organism. But in order to grow, these cells require a compatible structural framework. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart are working on a project to develop suitable substrates — known as scaffolds — in collaboration with the university hospital in Tbingen and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Their solution is based on electrospinning, a process in which synthetic and biodegradable polymers such as polylactides are spun into fibers using an electrical charge. These fibers are then used to create a three-dimensional non-woven fabric.

Growing cells inside the patient’s body

The scientists have chosen a novel approach in which proteins are added to the polymeric material during the electrospinning process, and become incorporated in the resulting hair-thin fibers. In this way, the material serves as a substrate to which the patient’s own cells will bind after it has been implanted. “Electrospinning enables us to create a cell-free substrate on which cells can grow after it has been implanted in the patient’s body. Each type of protein attracts specific cells, which adhere to the scaffold and grow there. By selecting the appropriate protein, we can build up heart tissue or regenerate other damaged organs,” explains Dr. Svenja Hinderer, one of the research scientists working on this project at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart.

The substrate is spun into a fine sheet and cut to the required size. To repair damage to the heart muscle, for instance, a scaffold corresponding to the extent of the damaged area is placed like a blanket over the muscular tissue. The polymeric fibers gradually degrade in the human organism over a period of approximately 48 months. During this time, the cells that bind to the proteins find an environment that is conducive to their growth. They construct their own matrix and restore the functions of the original tissue.

Successful bioreactor test results

The results of initial laboratory experiments and bioreactor tests have been very successful so far. The researchers have been able to demonstrate that esophageal/tracheal cells, which are difficult to culture in-vitro, are capable of binding to decorin protein fibers in the substrate and growing there. Another protein — the stromal-cell derived growth factor SDF-1 — binds with progenitor cells, a special type of stem cell necessary for constructing heart valves and for regenerating heart muscle cells after an infarction. “The implants we have fabricated using electrospinning demonstrate the same mechanical and structural properties as a normal heart valve. Like the original version, they close and open at a blood pressure of 120 to 80 mmHg during tests in a bioreactor,” says Hinderer. The next step for the researcher and her colleagues is to test the protein-coated scaffolds in animal models.

The hybrid materials composed of polymeric and protein fibers can be produced and stored in large quantities. The IGB team is working to bring the novel substrate to market as a rapidly implementable alternative to conventional heart valve replacements. “We can’t yet say how long this will take, though,” comments the researcher. One of the advantages of cell-free implants is that they are classified as medical devices and not as novel therapeutic drugs, which means less time waiting for approval. “Even so, the process of obtaining approval for medical devices that are populated with human cells prior to implantation is very long and expensive,” explains Hinderer. The researchers will be presenting samples of the polymeric scaffolds at the Medtec expo in Stuttgart from April 21 to 23, in the joint Fraunhofer booth (Hall 7, Booths 7B04/7B10). Exhibits also include a bioreactor for cell culture on these substrates.

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The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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Novel tissue substitute made of high-tech fibers

UMd. Investigation Concludes Offensive Email Protected By First Amendment / University of Maryland – Video

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Apr 112015
 



UMd. Investigation Concludes Offensive Email Protected By First Amendment / University of Maryland
A racist, sexist email sent by a fraternity member on the University of Maryland campus was protected under the First Amendment, the university concluded in a recent investigation. Breaking…

By: CBS News 24

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UMd. Investigation Concludes Offensive Email Protected By First Amendment / University of Maryland – Video

Rand Paul: 'I'm putting myself forward as a candidate for president'

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Apr 082015
 

Since riding the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010, Paul has carefully built a brand of mainstream libertarianism — dogged advocacy of civil liberties combined with an anti-interventionist foreign policy and general support for family values — that he bets will create a coalition of younger voters and traditional Republicans to usher him into the White House.

The test of that theory began Tuesday when the Kentucky senator made official what has been clear for years: He’s running for president.

“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I’m putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said at a rally in Louisville.

Paul immediately hit the campaign trail for a four-day swing through New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — the states that traditionally vote first in the primaries and caucuses.

A poster from the Rand Paul for President campaign.

READ: Can Rand Paul escape his father’s shadow?

In his speech, he called for reforming Washington by pushing for term limits and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. He argued that both parties are to blame for the rising debt, saying it doubled under a Republican administration and tripled under Obama.

“Government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized,” he said.

The line-up of speakers who introduced Paul sought to paint the senator as a nontraditional candidate with diverse appeal, and by the time he got on stage, he was the first white man to address the crowd.

The speakers included J.C. Watts, a former congressman who’s African-American; state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who’s Hispanic; local pastor Jerry Stephenson, who’s African American and a former Democrat; and University of Kentucky student Lauren Bosler.

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Rand Paul: 'I'm putting myself forward as a candidate for president'

Kentucky senator announces plans during rally

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Apr 082015
 

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) –

For Rand Paul, it’s all led to this moment.

Since riding the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010, Paul has carefully built a brand of mainstream libertarianism — dogged advocacy of civil liberties combined with an anti-interventionist foreign policy and general support for family values — that he bets will create a coalition of younger voters and traditional Republicans to usher him into the White House.

The test of that theory began Tuesday when the Kentucky senator made official what has been clear for years: He’s running for president.

“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I’m putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said at a rally in Louisville.

Paul immediately hit the campaign trail for a four-day swing through New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — the states that traditionally vote first in the primaries and caucuses.

In his speech, he called for reforming Washington by pushing for term limits and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. He argued that both parties are to blame for the rising debt, saying it doubled under a Republican administration and tripled under Obama.

“Government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized,” he said.

The line-up of speakers who introduced Paul sought to paint the senator as a nontraditional candidate with diverse appeal, and by the time he got on stage, he was the first white man to address the crowd.

The speakers included J.C. Watts, a former congressman who’s African-American; state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who’s Hispanic; local pastor Jerry Stephenson, who’s African American and a former Democrat; and University of Kentucky student Lauren Bosler.

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Kentucky senator announces plans during rally

LUID 03/28/15 Liberty University Indoor Drumline – Video

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Apr 072015
 



LUID 03/28/15 Liberty University Indoor Drumline
LUID 03/28/15 You guys were awesome! Liberty University Indoor Drumline.

By: Randy Naegel

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LUID 03/28/15 Liberty University Indoor Drumline – Video

Liberty vs. ODU Baseball – Video

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Apr 062015
 



Liberty vs. ODU Baseball
Liberty Baseball collected a win against Old Dominion last night, both Ashton Perritt and Becker Sankey had homeruns.

By: Liberty University

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Liberty vs. ODU Baseball – Video

Podcasting SEO with the PowerPress Plugin from BluBrry – Video

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Apr 062015
 



Podcasting SEO with the PowerPress Plugin from BluBrry
Learn how to install the PowerPress Podcasting Plugin into your WordPress Website. In this video from TeacherCast University, Jeff walks you through the steps needed to get your podcast up…

By: Jeffrey Bradbury

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Podcasting SEO with the PowerPress Plugin from BluBrry – Video

The Skanner News – Commentary: Free Speech Hypocrisy

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Apr 052015
 

Details Written by Lee A Daniels, NNPA Columnist Published: 03 April 2015

This winter the medias been ablaze with stories about racist, homophobic and sexist slurs being hurled this way and that by college students and other adults.

Revealingly, those that have captured the most attention all involve Black Americans as the targets of the racist speech or action: the members of the University of Oklahoma chapter of one prominent White fraternity singing a racist ditty that referenced lynching a Black man; the sexist slur hurled against adolescent baseball star MoNe Davis by a college baseball athlete, and the attempt by the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Texas to force that state to produce a license plate with their symbol, the Confederate battle flag, on it. This latest effort by Confederate sympathizers to obscure the racist rebellions ineradicable stain of treason in the defense of slavery, as one analyst wrote, has reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on the case last week.

The controversies have provoked a growing volume of commentary and opinion columns. Most of those Ive seen have declared that, while offensive speech and ideas are despicable, they must be tolerated in the name of freedom of expression so that society can benefit in the short- and long-term from the free flow of ideas.

Im a free-speech advocate myself. But in recent years, whenever these free-speech controversies have burst into the open, Ive increasingly noticed some important things missing from the general run of commentary and opinion columns. For one thing, I dont see them grappling with the question of why those who spout the slurs do so.

For example, shouldnt we be examining why a group of White college students, most of whom come from middle-class and upper-middle-class families, would gleefully traffick in expressions of racism?

And why a White college baseball player would feel the need to use a slur of sexual degeneracy against MoNe Davis, the 14-year-old Black American girl whose athletic prowess and off-the-field poise has won her well-deserved national attention?

Why should any public entity sanction the lies Confederate sympathizers continue to spout? The Confederacys own documents among them, the Confederate Constitution of 1861, and the individual ordinances of secession of each of the Confederate states make clear its driving force was the maintenance and expansion of its slave empire. If states that have these revenue-generating vanity-plate programs must open them to Confederate sympathizers, must they also accept the requests of drivers who want plates bearing the flags of other systems of extraordinary evil such as the Nazi flag, or the flag of ISIS too?

Part of whats bothering me is that when these controversies explode, I dont see the fierce condemnation of the values of the wrongdoers and their parents, neighborhoods and entire racial group thats standard procedure whenever some Black youth has done something wrong. Instead, I see many free speech advocates rush right past any consideration of the pain the offensive words cause to loftily order the individual and the group targets of the hate speech to ignore it or be better than the bigots.

In doing so, they deliberately ignore the reality that the old saying sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you has always been only partially true. Black American history is replete with many tragic episodes of racist slurs used to provoke and sustain racist violence. And now, the virulent online expressions of hatred against women whom misogynists feel are too assertive underscore the fact that sometimes offensive speech isnt just expression. Sometimes its used as a weapon to intimidate its target into silence.

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The Skanner News – Commentary: Free Speech Hypocrisy

UMD campus outraged over offensive email – Video

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Apr 032015
 



UMD campus outraged over offensive email
The University of Maryland's president says a student's racist and sexist email to fraternity brothers was “hateful and reprehensible,” but it's protected by the First Amendment and doesn't…

By: ABC7 WJLA

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UMD campus outraged over offensive email – Video

University of Maryland Wont Expel Student Who Sent Racist, Sexist Email

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Apr 032015
 

TIME U.S. Education University of Maryland Wont Expel Student Who Sent Racist, Sexist Email John GreimLightRocket via Getty Images McKeldin Library and fountain, University of Maryland. Concluded that email was protected by First Amendment, in contrast to other schools dealing with similar incidents

The University of Marylands president has decided not to expel a student for sending an email to his fraternity brothers filled with racist and misogynistic content.

The university learned of the explicit email, sent by a Kappa Sigma fraternity member, in March as it went viral online. The school launched an investigation through the universitys Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct and the campus and local police, but concluded Wednesday that this private email, while hateful and reprehensible, did not violate University policies and is protected by the First Amendment.

The response stands in contrast to how some other universities have handled recent, high profile incidents involving fraternity members and racist and sexist speech. The University of Oklahoma quickly expelled two students in March who were shown in a viral video of a group of SAE fraternity members singing a racist chant on a chartered bus. A few days later, a fraternity chapter at Pennsylvania State University was suspended after members allegedly operated a Facebook page collecting pictures of nude, unconscious women.

But the University of Maryland has taken a slightly different approach, focusing on rehabilitation and education in dealing with a somewhat similar situation. On Wednesday, university president Wallace D. Loh sent a note to the campus community explaining the results of the investigation and the decision not to expel. Quoting Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, he urged students who were harmed by the hateful speech to think in terms of restorative justice rather than legal justice.

When any one of us is harmed by the hateful speech of another, all of us are harmed, Loh wrote. We repair the harm to our community, in part, by restoring the wrongdoer as a responsible member of society. I appeal to the better angels of our nature and ask all members of our University community to join me in forgiving him in our hearts, not for his sake, but for our own.

The student will not return to campus this semester, and will perform community service as well as participate in individualized training in diversity and cultural competence. In an apology released by the university, the student wrote: Im committed to being a better person, a person that appreciates differences.

The University of Oklahoma came under fire from civil liberties advocates after its March expulsions, who said they had violated the free speech rights of the students. Federal law prohibits schools from failing to address behavior serious enough to create a hostile environment for a member of a protected class, such as a woman or a minority student.

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University of Maryland Wont Expel Student Who Sent Racist, Sexist Email

NASA Invites Public to April Hubble 25th Anniversary Events

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Apr 022015
 

GREENBELT, Md., April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 25 years of science this April 2015 with a variety of events open to the public around the U.S. Here is a sampling of events happening this month in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Some events charge admission.

The IMAX movie, “Hubble 3D” has re-opened at select theatres across the U.S. and showings continue in April. Hubble images come to vast, three-dimensional life and take audiences through the telescope’s 20-year existence and puts them in orbit with astronauts during the latest servicing mission. For more information and the trailer, visit: http://hubblesite.org/hubble_20/imax_hubble_3d/

Hubble will be featured at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space museum in Washington throughout April. For details and dates: http://airandspace.si.edu/events/calendar/Index.cfm?month=4&year=2015

From April 23 to May 2, a Hubble imagery exhibit called “Heaven’s Carousel,” created by the European Space Agency will be at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

On April 23 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. EDT, NASA will unveil the official Hubble 25th anniversary image at the Newseum in Washington. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld, and Hubble Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, will speak about Hubble’s achievements.

On April 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Smithsonian’s NASM Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia will hold a Family Day Event with astronauts. For information: http://airandspace.si.edu/events/detail.cfm?id=15779

On April 25, Hubble information and displays will be featured at a table during the University of Maryland Day at College Park, Maryland. For information: http://www.marylandday.umd.edu/

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASAand ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center inGreenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute(STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASAby the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.

For more information about the Hubble telescope and other upcoming events, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/hubble

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NASA Invites Public to April Hubble 25th Anniversary Events




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism