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Bioengineering Skin

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

An example of present work in growing skin from stem cells: scientists "are participating in research to study how to make use of the potential for auto regeneration of stem cells from skin, in order to create, in the laboratory, a patient's entire cutaneous surface by means of a combination of biological engineering and tissue engineering techniques. Skin is a tissue that naturally renews itself throughout our lives thanks to the existence of epidermic stem cells. ... We have found that this regenerative potential can be preserved in vitro (in the laboratory) if the cells are joined and become part of generated skin using tissue bioengineering techniques. ... The researchers have already been able to join together these epidermic stem cells into skin created by means of bioengineering, and they have observed that the cells preserve the regenerative potential that they normally have in our skin. That is, using a small biopsy from a specific patient, they can generate almost the entire cutaneous surface of that individual in the lab. ... The regenerative capacity of epidermic stem cells in these conditions is overwhelming, and it leads to the possibility of using these cells as a target for even more complex protocols, such as gene therapy. ... In fact, these researchers have already demonstrated, at the pre-clinical level, that it is possible to isolate epidermic stem cells from patients with different genetic skin diseases, cultivate them and, using molecular engineering as a first step, incorporate the therapeutic genes into each patient's genome to take the place of the one that the patient does not have or that functions abnormally. Afterwards, in the second step, the stem cells would be assembled into patches ready to be transplanted onto the patients."

Link: http://www.physorg.com/wire-news/80303525/bioengineering-to-repair-and-generate-healthy-skin.html

Source:
http://www.longevitymeme.org/newsletter/latest_rss_feed.cfm

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Abusing the Meaning of Coercion

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

There's an article over at Reason Magazine today that calls out one example in a pattern of abuse of meaning that I've long found threatening. Attempts to fundamentally rework the meaning of a basic and important word are one of those little fragments of 1984 that manage to drift into the real world, an unsavory activity in which the meaning of the word is both kept and entirely inverted at the same time. I think the following quote captures the essence of this particular case:

Lawler, a member of President George W. Bush's controversial Council on Bioethics, tried to make the case that using technology to radically extend human lifespans, and boost human intellectual, emotional, and physical capacities, will end in coercion. Those who don't want to take advantage of the kinds of enhancements that biotechnology, nanotechnology, and cognitive technology will offer, argues Lawler, will ultimately not have a choice about using them. ... But is that so? If anyone should be concerned about coercion, it is the transhumanists who rightly fear that bioconservatives like Lawler will try to use the power of the state to halt the research that would lead to the development of enhancements would enable them to improve their life chances and those of their children.

Shades of Freedom is Slavery march through all too many minds, methinks. That is a real threat, as halting and slowing research in the life sciences is something that the bureaucrats of the modern state are very good at indeed. That people carefully try to invert the word "coercion" to mean "the existence of freedom of choice that I personally do not approve of" is also a threat, as freedom of choice and freedom from coercion are the deep roots of wealth and technological progress. Without them, you end up living in something akin to the backward ruins and ruined, predatory culture of the final years of the Soviet Union.

Freedom is fundamental to transhumanist ideals - such as developing the means to greatly extend youthful life span through biotechnology. Freedom is vital for the research and research community needed to open these new doors:

Freedom of research is, in essence, economic freedom, which is no different from personal freedom - the freedom to invest and work in whatever arrangements you can freely agree upon with other people. The most rapid progress occurs in free marketplaces, free for the exchange of ideas, free for association with others for mutual benefit, free for the exchange of goods. Any and all interference by centralized entities - such as governments - is inefficient and serves only to slow things down, make goods more expensive, and ensure that some research never happens at all.

Further, freedom is the very essence of transhumanism itself, which is no more than the human imperative to create new choices where before there was nothing. Having a choice today in an area where there was no choice yesterday is an increase in your freedom, and building those new choices - these new freedoms - is exactly what humanity achieves through technology:

Transhumanism, make no mistake, is just a fancy name for common sense. Change for the better is good, right? Common sense. It's what we humans do in our scattered finer moments - we work to change things for the better. It's common sense to fetch in the harvest on wheels rather than on foot, and it's common sense to repair the biomolecular damage of Alzheimer's before the mind begins to rot. It's common sense to build perfect immune systems from nanomedical robots, and it's common sense to develop the technologies of regenerative medicine to their logical end. It takes work, but what is work compared to a world of suffering? Choosing not to attain these goals makes about as much sense as standing out in the rain to spite yourself.

The Soviet Union may be gone in all but the longer memories, but there is no shortage of people who would strive to rebuild it again, today, in their country, one piece at a time. There are so many petty would-be totalitarians in this world, each laboring under the belief that central control of the matters they care about will work - this time! - if it is just done their way. The real danger of centralized government is that sooner or later, those would-be totalitarians get their hands on their ability to do real harm by attempting to enact their visions.

Source:
http://www.longevitymeme.org/newsletter/latest_rss_feed.cfm

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Exposing the fraud and mythology of conventional cancer treatments

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Treating cancer is BIG business in America -- in fact, it's a $200 billion a year business. Yet 98 percent of conventional cancer treatments not only FAIL miserably, but are also almost guaranteed to make cancer patients sicker.

What's worse: The powers are suppressing natural cancer cures that could help tens of thousands of people get well and live cancer free with little or no dependence on drugs, surgery and chemotherapy.

The treatment of cancer in the U.S. is one of the most bald-faced cover-ups in medical history. Enough is enough! You deserve to know the truth about the criminality of oncologists and about the dangers of chemotherapy, conventional cancer treatments and the cancer "business."

Chemotherapy kills more than cancer
Want proof? Did you know that 9 out of 10 oncologists would refuse chemotherapy if they had cancer? That's up to 91% -- a huge percentage that clearly shines a light on the truth: chemotherapy kills. Conventional oncologists are not only allowing this to happen, but they're also bullying many patients into chemotherapy and surgery right after their diagnoses. Read more...

Ayurtox for Body Detoxification

Source:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/integratedmedicine

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

International Stem Cell Comments on Recent SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Article: “You Say Embryo, I Say Parthenote”

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

“We at International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO.OB) are finding it increasingly gratifying that mainstream and highly respected publications like Scientific American are now beginning to take notice of the fact that our Parthenogenetic Stem cells may well turn out to be a viable alternative to the embryonic stem cells that have dominated research and headlines for the last 10 years. 
Like embryonic stem cells, our Parthenogenetic stem cells can be converted into almost any kind of cell that might ever be needed for therapy, but can also provide a solution to the two biggest issues that have surrounded embryonic stem cell research: 1) the ethics of destroying a fertilized embryo, which our process never does, and 2) the problem of immune rejection by the patient.  We hope you enjoy the attached article." 
Ken Aldrich, Founder and Co-Chairman, International Stem Cell Corporation
October 21st, 2011
“You Say Embryo, I Say Parthenote”
Stem cells from unfertilized eggs may be too tightly regulated
By Julia Galef

Source:
http://intlstemcell.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Accessibility Extensions for Chrome Browser – Text-to-Speech and More

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

ChromeVox is just one of the Google Accessibility extensions. Be sure to check out ChromeVis, ChromeShades, and ChromeLite as well. The text-to-speech (TTS) programs convert text or web documents to human speech. Does it sound like a human voice? Not really, it is a computer-generated voice but it is as close to human as it gets. You can adjust the speed, repeat, or change the pitch of the voice.

ChromeVox

The ChromeVox screen reader is an extension to Chrome that brings the speed, versatility, and security of Chrome to visually impaired users.

Using Google Document List with ChromeVox that provides accessibility features for vision impaired users of Google Docs.

Other text-to-speech extensions include:
Chrome Speak - select to speak with offline TTS engine.
SpeakIt! Select text you want to read and listen to it. SpeakIt converts text into speech so you no longer need to read.

SpeakIt reads selected text using Google TTS (Text-to-Speech) with language auto-detection.

Balabolka

If you are not a Chrome user, Balabolka is a free and portable Text-To-Speech (TTS) program that is browser-independent. No installation is required.

You don't have to be visually impaired to benefit from TTS programs. For example, I use Balabolka several times a week to convert long articles from medical journals or newspapers to standard MP3 files. The files are then uploaded to Google Docs and I download them when I have some time to listen to the articles.

ChromeVis

Magnify and change the color of any selected text. Use the mouse or the keyboard to move the selection around the page.

How ChromeVis works.

ChromeShades

ChromeShades is an easy tool to help you make your site more accessible to blind users.

References:

Hear Web Text with Google Chrome Speak
New Text-to-Speech API for Chrome extensions

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


Source:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/CasesBlog

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

5 factors define happiness at work

Posted: October 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Research on psychological well-being at work (PWBW) is challenging.

Factor analysis revealed that psychological well-being at work can be conceptualized through 5 dimensions:

- Interpersonal Fit
- Thriving
- Feeling of Competency
- Desire for Involvement
- Perceived Recognition

This also applies to the training of medical residents and fellows. It is important to create an environment that promotes collaboration and personal growth, while avoiding exhaustion and finger pointing.

References:

What is Psychological Well-Being, Really? A Grassroots Approach from the Organizational Sciences. Véronique Dagenais-Desmarais and André Savoie. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2011.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


Source:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/CasesBlog

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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