(CNN)The flu virus has reached nearly every corner of the nation.
(CNN)The flu virus has reached nearly every corner of the nation.
This will be the year of the “medical chip.” That’s the prediction of leading health expert Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic and a regular Newsmax Health contributor.
“We will be using more computer chip technology or silicon chips to improve health whether internally to communicate with an insulin pump or externally like the new sleep apnea device,” he says.
“We will be seeing vast improvement and efficiency in emergency rooms and clinics all over the world using chips to monitor patients’ vital statistics instead of poking and prodding them. A team of physicals in one central monitoring area, like a ‘command central,’ will be able to evaluate hundreds of patients at a time in hospitals — even around the world — using chip technology.”
Chip advances are just one of several up-and-coming technologies and advances in the medical field predicted by the Cleveland clinic for 2018. Each year, the clinic convenes a panel of physicians and scientists — led by Roizen — to identify the next big things in medicine.
Here are some of the panel’s top picks for 2018, along with other medical innovations we can expect.
Gene therapy: This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve a new gene therapy treatment that targets cells in the body through viral “vectors” to provide visual function in some patients with forms of retinitis pigmentosa and Leber Congenital amaurosis.
The advance marks the latest in a series of breakthoughs in gene therapy that have emerged in recent years, from new medications that target gene defects to diagnostic tests for heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics are expected to be a major focus of medical research in the year ahead.
Immunotherapy for cancer: Several critical recent developments in using immunotherapy techniques that enlist the body’s own natural defenses to fight cancer are expected to make greater strides in 2018.
“Treatments are being developed using antibodies to disrupt the tumor’s shield, so that your own immune system can attack,” says Dr. Joanne Weidhaas, director, Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
“We are also working on treatments where we take cells out of your immune system, reengineer them and return them to fight the cancer.”
Hybrid insulin delivery system: Hailed as the first artificial pancreas, the hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system helps make Type 1 diabetes more manageable. It was approved by the FDA in 2016 and the market for the product is expected to be officially launched in 2018 as more patients demand the technology.
The new technology replaces the “open loop” system that requires diabetics to use the information from their continuous glucose monitor to determine how much insulin to inject. A chip allows direct communication between the glucose monitoring device and the insulin pump to ensure stabile blood glucose at an unprecedented level, says Roizen.
Wearable patch for apnea: Sleep apnea, the most common sleep disturbance in the country, impacts 21 million Americans and can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices are the gold standard of treatment, it is estimated that almost half sleep apnea patient refuse to wear them.
Companies are now marketing an implant that delivers direct stimulation to open key airways during sleep. It is controlled by a wearable patch that works like a pacemaker and has had positive results in clinical testing.
“These neuromodulation systems are predicted to help deliver a better night’s sleep to more patients and spouses nationwide,” says Roizen.
Telemedicine: Roizen heralds the emergency of telemedicine technology as one of the greatest life-saving advances.
“Removing geographic barriers to health care can result in timelier, more efficient and more optimal outcomes as well as significant cost savings,” he says.
Telemedicine, also known as “distant health technology,” can enable care for both the physically challenged and those most vulnerable to infection. It’s predicted that over 7 million patients will use telemedicine technologies in 2018 — a 19-fold increase from 2013.
Pointer study for Alzheimer’s disease: The Alzheimer’s Association will launch a $20 million U.S. two-year clinical trial to test the ability of a multi-dimensional lifestyle intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in2, 500 older adults at risk for cognitive decline.
This important study comes on the wake of the breakthrough Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in 2017 pinpointing the important of lifestyle changes in preventing and delaying Alzheimer’s disease.
Surgical advance: In 2018, the MasSpec pen will undergo clinical trials that may allow surgeons to analyze tissue during surgery to determine on-the-spot whether tissue is healthy or cancerous, increasing the success of such operations. (Click to Source)
The entire continental United States is experiencing widespread flu right now, the first time in the 13 years of the current tracking system that that has happened, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials said that this flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent years.
The rate of flu hospitalizations — the number of people hospitalized with flu per 100,000 — nearly doubled last week compared with the previous week. Last week it was 22.7 per 100,000 people; the week before that rate was 13.7.
At the peak of the 2014-15 season, one of the two most severe seasons in the last 15 years or so, 29.9 people out of every 100,000 were hospitalized for flu.
The latest data — for the week ending Jan. 6 — suggest the season may be peaking right now, the CDC’s director, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, told reporters Friday. But she warned that many more people will be infected before the season is over.
There’s a difference between an active flu season — when a large number of people get sick — and a severe season, when the numbers of people hospitalized for flu or who die from the infection are unusually high.
It can be hard to tell in real time where a flu season will fall on the severity scale, because sometimes reports of influenza hospitalization and deaths — especially deaths among children — lag.
That said, this year is starting to look like a severe season, and maybe more severe than last year, which was also bad, said Dr. Dan Jernigan, head of CDC’s influenza division.
“There’s lots of flu in lots of places,” he said.
So far, Jernigan said, this year’s season doesn’t appear to be quite as bad as 2014-15.
The influenza A virus H3N2 has caused the lion’s share of the illness in most parts of the country this year.
But recently there’s been an uptick in activity by another influenza A virus, H1N1, Jernigan said, warning that even if the season appears to have peaked, flu viruses will circulate for weeks to come and people should continue to take precautions against getting infected.
Jernigan said that people over the age of 65 are being hospitalized for flu this season more than any other population. Even people age 50 to 64 are being hospitalized in high numbers.
Flu often hits the ends of the age spectrum more than the middle, and that’s the case this year as well. The CDC reported seven more children have died from flu, bringing the season total to 20 so far. While tragic, that number is low in comparison with other years — 110 last year, 92 in 2015-2016. But if other seasons are a gauge, that grim tally may continue to rise in coming weeks.
Officials feared that the flu vaccine may not work particularly well this season, but it appears to be faring slightly better than expected.
Preliminary testing by the CDC suggests the vaccine is probably more protective than it was in Australia during its 2017 winter. The Australian interim estimate suggested the H3N2 component of the vaccine — and H3N2 was the main virus there during their most recent winter — was only about 10 percent effective.
That means if 100 people got the flu shot and all were exposed to H3N2 viruses, only 10 would have been protected.
Jernigan said it looks more like the H3N2 portion of the vaccine is performing here like it did last year, when it was 34 percent effective at preventing infection. Unfortunately, that’s about on par for the flu shot’s H3N2 component, which is the weak link of flu vaccine.
The CDC should have interim data on the question of the vaccine’s effectiveness in the second half of February. (Click to Source)
“I’ve always believed that America is an idea [which is] not defined by its people but by its ideals,” Graham said in a press statement January 12 which sought to criticise President Donald Trump for describing some foreign countries as less pleasant than America, or as “shitholes.”
The American ideal is embraced by people all over the globe. It was best said a long time ago, E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Diversity has always been our strength, not our weakness. In reforming immigration we cannot lose these American Ideals.
Graham was a founding member of the 2013 “Gang of Eight” pro-amnesty group and has frequently urged the importation of more cheap labor for his home-state companies.
His view of Americans’ homeland as the shared property of the world is shared by many other pro-immigration advocates. For example, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is working with Graham to push the amnesty bill, said in December:
America is a land of immigrants — it is who we are … that is why I have consistently supported humane and comprehensive immigration law reform, and it is why I am a proud co-sponsor of the DREAM Act.
In 2014, President Barack Obama voiced a similar claim, telling his audience that Americans do not have the right to exclude migrants:
Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently.
And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration. If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, well, I don’t want those folks. Even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.
Business elites also use the ideal of immigration to shake off the civic demands from their fellow citizens — and also to cut payroll costs, increase sales, grow profits and spike the value of real-estate.
On January 12, for example, shortly after Democrats leaked Trump’s description of some foreign countries as “shitholes” — Goldman Sachs’s CEO used Twitter to declare that Americans’ prime directive is acceptance of foreign immigrants.
The D.C.-based head of Mark Zuckerberg’s cheap-labor lobby, FWD.us, also insists that America is home to anyone who gets through the border.
In contrast, President Donald Trump won the 2016 election because voters shared his frequently expressed favoritism towards his own country and his fellow citizens. In his inauguration speech, Trump declared:
This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.
In his pro-immigration statement, Graham also argued that government-imposed civic variety — “diversity” — is an American ideal that is ensured by mass-immigration.
But numerous studies have shown that diversity increases civic conflict and reduces citizens’ ability or willingness to control their government and elites, such as their home-state Senators. According to a 2007 article describing a multi-year study by Harvard University about the impact of diversity:
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam — famous for “Bowling Alone,” his 2000 book on declining civic engagement — has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings …
Putnam writes that those in more diverse communities tend to “distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.”
“People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’ — that is, to pull in like a turtle,” Putnam writes.
Polls show that Trump’s American-first immigration policy is very popular. For example, a December poll of likely 2018 voters shows two-to-one voter support for Trump’s pro-American immigration policies, and a lopsided four-to-one opposition against the cheap-labor, mass-immigration, economic policy pushed by bipartisan establishment-backed D.C. interest-groups.
Business groups and Democrats tout the misleading, industry-funded “Nation of Immigrants” polls which pressure Americans to say they welcome migrants, including the roughly 670,000 ‘DACA’ illegals and the roughly 3.25 million ‘dreamer’ illegals.
The alternative “priority or fairness” polls — plus the 2016 election — show that voters in the polling booth put a much higher priority on helping their families, neighbors, and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting 1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.
The cheap-labor policy has also reduced investment and job creation in many interior states because the coastal cities have a surplus of imported labor. For example, almost 27 percent of zip codes in Missouri had fewer jobs or businesses in 2015 than in 2000, according to a new report by the Economic Innovation Group. In Kansas, almost 29 percent of zip codes had fewer jobs and businesses in 2015 compared to 2000, which was a two-decade period of massive cheap-labor immigration.
Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a large percentage of the nation’s annual income has shifted to investors and away from employees. (Click to Source)
By Matt Agorist
A damning report from the Environmental Working Group has just revealed that drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that are shown to cause cancer. Not only does the report expose the deadly levels of radiation but it also shows that officials have been actively covering it up.
EWG’s investigation consisted of testing the water supplies of nearly 50,000 public water systems from all 50 states. Researchers found that from “2010 to 2015, more than 22,000 utilities in all 50 states reported radium in the treated water delivered to customers’ taps.”
Only a small percentage of the water supplies exceeded what the Environmental Protection Agency considers “safe;” however, their standards for legal radiation limits are more than 40 years old. EWG pointed out that, according to more recent standards, like those set in 2006 in California, nearly 100 percent of tested water supplies failed. These findings make Flint, Michigan look like child’s play.
“Most radioactive elements in tap water come from natural sources, but that doesn’t take away the need to protect people through stronger standards and better water treatment,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s senior science advisor for children’s environmental health. “Millions of Americans are drinking water with potentially harmful levels of radioactive elements, but the outdated federal standards mean many people don’t know about the risk they face when they turn on the tap.”
The problem is only getting worse, too. As EWG reports, the government has long known about this problem and has covered it up by fudging the numbers. Now, one of the people who admitted to fudging the numbers has just been nominated to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ
The nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White, admitted in a 2011 investigation by Houston’s KHOU-TV that if utility tests found radiation levels over the EPA limit, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would subtract the test’s margin of error to make it appear the water met federal standards. In some cases, this meant that Texans whose tap water posed the extraordinarily elevated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 400 were not informed of the danger.
Hartnett White told KHOU she did not trust the science behind the EPA’s standard. When pressed by a reporter – “What if you’re wrong and EPA’s right?” – she said: “It would be regrettable.”
Not only did Hartnett White admit to the media they’d been cooking the books but last month, she told the Senate, who then rescinded her nomination. However, this week, Trump renominated her.
“Putting someone in charge of CEQ who deliberately falsified data to get around federal regulations is outrageous, and the fact that her deception left people at serious risk of cancer is even more alarming,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s vice president of government affairs. “The Senate should reject this radioactive nominee.”
“With the renomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to the White House Council of Environmental Quality, President Trump is failing these 170 million at-risk Americans who are drinking contaminated water,” said Christy Goldfuss, vice president for energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress. “When Hartnett White was tasked with addressing radiation in Texas’s drinking water as a government official, she regularly and deliberately underreported the amount of radiation in drinking water, keeping families in the dark about their health and safety. Putting her in charge of the Council of Environmental Quality could do untold damage to even more Americans. With today’s data revealed, it is even more vital that our leaders and representatives prioritize clean and safe drinking water for all.”
There you have it. Americans are slowly being given cancer by their government and not only is one of the people responsible for covering it up not getting held accountable, she’s getting a massive promotion. (Click to Source)
Bethel Church, a controversial megachurch in Redding, California, is now under fire in Christian circles for allegedly promoting New Age occultism in the use of “Destiny Cards,” which critics have likened to tarot cards.
Leaders of the 9,000-member congregation have been accused of working with a Melbourne, Australia-based group known as Christ Alignment, a group that claims to have worked with many churches in that country to do readings.
Christ Alignment staff describe themselves as “trained spiritual consultants,” and say on their website that they “draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit.”
“We practice a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ. We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation,” they say.
Marsha West of the Christian Research Network argues that the Destiny Cards are just another name for tarot cards which Christ Alignment uses to “practice the prophetic.”
“Tarot cards are used to tell one’s future. Fortune telling is an occult practice. Occultists believe they are endued with magical or supernatural powers. These folks are into witchcraft, satanism, and other forms of psychic discernment (tarot cards, astrology, séances, Runes, palm reading, teacup reading, etc.). So it is clear that the Christ in Christ alignment is the New Age Christ, not the Christ of Holy Scripture, as God’s people are not to participate in occult practices such as Destiny Card reading. (Deut. 18:10),” CRN wrote.
Bethel staff initially denied any association with Christ Alignment and condemned the use of Destiny Cards, according to Church Watch Central.
“Someone told me there is an article stating that some Christians are now using ‘Christian Tarot Cards’ (apparently called ‘Destiny Cards’), and that some people associated with Bethel were doing so,” wrote Kris Vollotton, senior associate leader at Bethel Church and co-founder at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, in a deleted response on Facebook.
“This is insane! First of all, whoever is doing this needs to repent and stop the craziness in the ‘name of reaching people for Christ.’ Secondly, Bethel has graduated 10,000 students, has 9,000 people in their congregation and a couple million followers. For some reason when some ‘Christian’ does something crazy, the media often want to blame the church they go to or the podcast they listen to etc., guilt by association. Believers are called to love the broken so we are privileged to have them named among us. But broken people often act broken. Assigning their broken condition to the people loving on them is like blaming doctors for their patients’ sickness!” he continued.
The post was reportedly deleted after Ken and Jenny Hodge of Christ Alignment publicly wrote about the group’s connection to the megachurch and their school while challenging allegations that they are a cult.
“We are not a cult, we hate tarot with a passion, we have not joined ‘the world,’ we fully support everything Bethel believes in and we do not have to repent as our ministry has nothing to repent off. Jesus celebrates it. … We have had many Bethel students over the years come out on teams with us — some of your finest. They can attest to you that we have done nothing wrong, rather something right.
“We have developed a method of reaching new agers that is unique and enables us to pluck them out of darkness. We actually teach this method to churches in Australia and indeed shared it to some of your students when we were visiting Bethel,” the Hodges wrote. “It is ridiculous that Christians have judged us based on photos where cards appear, yet not one person has asked, ‘what exactly are those cards?'”
On Tuesday, Theresa Dedmon, pastoral staff member at Bethel who oversees the Creative Arts Department for the church and the School of Supernatural Ministry, denied in a blog post that the Destiny Cards are tarot cards, and explained what they are and defended their use in ministry.
“First, ‘Destiny Cards’ are not tarot cards. They do, however, have a similar look that attracts people who are searching for a ‘reading.’ What they get from Christ Alignment staff is a prophetic word about their destiny, which is to have a personal relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ, and encountered through the Holy Spirit,” she said. “Destiny Cards are simply images that help to communicate the message of the Good News to those who are searching for a hope and a future.”
She further went on to cite why they were biblically acceptable.
The Christian Post reached out to Bethel for further comment on Friday but was told Dedmon would not be able to respond until January 2018. (Click to Source)
Sunday, December 31, 2017 by: Mike Adams
(Natural News) Happy New Year, America! Somehow, we all survived 2017 and we’re still breathing. America hasn’t been shattered yet, North Korea hasn’t yet nuked us and Baltimore still has at least a few citizens who aren’t heroin addicts. The dollar hasn’t collapsed and neither has the stock market. Heck, even Bitcoin is still over $12,000 right now… at least for the moment.
So drink up and party down while you still can. You’ll want to sober up quickly so that you can face 2018 with a degree of seriousness, because a lot of the craziness that didn’t quite bubble to the surface is 2017 is now primed for a 2018 eruption.
2018 is looking like it will be a year of incredible global conflict. I’ve already posted a list of my top ten predictions for 2018, so I won’t repeat them all here, but the convergence of disturbing events in 2018 is shaping up to be nothing less than epic. Here’s a list of just some of the global conflicts that are accelerating toward uncontrolled eruptions in 2018:
In essence, making it through 2018 largely intact becomes a guessing game of trying to figure out which system is going to break first. Although it’s just an educated guess, my sense is that war with North Korea is imminent and highly likely to take place in 2018.
The looming stock market crash, on the other hand, may have been kicked down the road a couple more years by the recent GOP tax cut that slashed corporate tax rates to 21% across the board. This will result in a huge influx of corporate capital that’s currently being offshored, resulting in a very strong domestic expansion of jobs, R&D, manufacturing facilities and small business growth.
Pensions will take several years to fully implode, so I don’t expect a “pension apocalypse” to strike home in 2018. Although some pension programs may begin to crater, this is really a longer term mathematical problem that will really be exposed when the stock market crash comes at some future date.
Political strife, however, seems highly likely to occur in 2018. I’ve even covered rumors of scenarios where “contractor” operators are hired to help quell the outbreak of riots across multiple U.S. cities. There are numerous scenarios that could set this off, including the collapse of the food stamp system, a staged false flag shooting of a minority person, or even Leftists waging an attempted nationwide revolt after losing badly in the 2018 mid-term elections. Some U.S. states (like California) are already nearly in a state of insurrection against the federal government, witnessed by Gov. Brown recently pardoning illegal aliens who committed violent crimes there, in order to prevent the feds from deporting them.
One scenario that I keep hearing a lot about is the possibility that Trump could wage mass arrests of deep state operatives across the bureaucracy. This act — which absolutely needs to be done to save America… and it needs to include Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Peter Strzok — would immediately set off insane outrage on the Left. But Trump likely realizes he has a nation of Second Amendment patriots — i.e. gun owners who will defend the Constitution — to back up any attempt to criminally prosecute deep state operatives who are destroying America. This is one scenario that could quickly escalate to an actual shooting civil war in some areas of the country. (There’s no question that the Clinton / Comey deep state is a dangerous criminal conspiracy that must be brought to an end if America is to survive as a Republic.)
Considering all this, what should you prepare for in terms of prioritizing your preps for 2018 and beyond?
The answer, believe it or not, isn’t anything new:
That brings in the importance of nutrition for brain performance. If you aren’t feeding your brain right, it’s not going to give you the performance you need when you’re under stress or panic. There are numerous superfoods and nutritional supplements that help protect and enhance cognitive function (such as turmeric). We offer dozens of them — all laboratory verified — at the Health Ranger Store.
Keep reading this website for more coverage of groundbreaking events through 2018 and beyond. (Click to Source)
We are coming to the Days of Noah. So what kind of monsters are sinful humans going to create? The Nephilim are coming back!
Can robots and humans make babies together? This is a serious question inspired by some of the advances already achieved in the 21st century by researchers in cell biology and in a discipline variously known as biorobotics, synthetic biology, or bionanotechnology.
Although it had long been a truth universally acknowledged that sexual intercourse was an essential precursor to conception, it was only around 150 years ago that early studies of embryology revealed the reason why, according to the dogma of the time, intercourse was “essential” in human reproduction. The reason was that only an egg from a female, fertilized by a sperm from a male, can result in a live birth. But thanks to the Nobel prize winning work of researchers like embryologist John Gurdon and stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka, it has become possible during the past few years to create both sperm cells and eggs in the laboratory from skin cells, obviating the need for a human mother or father to kick off the reproductive process.
At the end of April 2016, Stanford University and the Valencia Infertility Institute announced the result of a collaboration project in which human sperm, with tails, were created from skin cells. Just five months later, testifying to the speed with which stem cell research is progressing, researchers at the University of Bath reported that they had discovered a method of creating offspringwithout the need for a female egg. This was heralded as a major breakthrough which rewrites 200 years of biology teaching, and could pave the way, for example, for a baby to be born from the DNA of two men.
In August 2017, researchers at Ohio State College of Engineering announced an exciting new technology. “Tissue nanotransfection” (TNT for short) which enables injured or aging tissue to be repaired or restored, including blood vessels, nerve cells and entire organs.
TNT technology has two major components: First is a nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver cargo to adult cells in a live body. Second is the design of specific biological cargo for cell conversion. TNT doesn’t require any laboratory-based procedures and is also non-invasive.
“By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced. We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining,” writes the study’s co-lead, Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State’s Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies. The next step for the Ohio researchers is clinical trials next year to test this technology in humans.
In fraction of a second, TNT injects genetic code into the skin, turning those cells into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions, generating any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. This is key to the concept of a human-robot baby whose genetic information comes from both “parents,” the robot as well as the human. The skin cells used to derive the sperm and egg which start the embryonic process, already contain genetic information from the human parent. But what of genetic information derived from the robot parent?
To answer this question, let us consider the research of a South Korean team lead by Jong-Hwan Kim, a pioneer in robotics. In 2005, Kim and his team at the Robot Intelligence Technology Lab in Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) published a paper in which they describe an artificial creature called Rity, living in a virtual world. They used Rity to test the world’s first robotic chromosomes—a set of computerized DNA codes for creating artificial creatures that can have their own personality, and can ultimately reproduce their own kind or even evolve as a distinct species. The effectiveness of the Korean team’s artificial chromosomes was demonstrated by implanting genetic code into two Rity robots living in a virtual world, in order to specify their personality.
In 2007, the Korean team applied for a patent for their “genetic robot” invention. The patent describes in some detail how the research team model their software robot based on established biological inheritance laws, including those propounded by Gregor Mendel, who lived from 1822 to 1884, the founding father of the modern study of genetics.
When a sperm and egg meet, their respective DNAs combine so that half of our DNA comes from our mother and half from our father. We need to understand how the Korean model operates in order to understand how a human-robot baby can be created with genetic codes derived partly from a robot. The team define their “genetic robot” as an artificial creature, a software robot, or a general robot that has its own “genetic codes,” the genetic code of a robot being a single robot genome composed of multiple artificial chromosomes.
The genetic codes are classified into “personality genes” related to the internal state of the software robot, and “outward genes” related to its outward appearance. The outward genes provide pieces of outward genetic information that determine the outward appearance of the software robot, such as its face and its eyes. The personality genes provide fundamental genetic information, internal state genetic information, and behavior determination genetic information, and they dictate the robot’s personality by determining changes in its internal states, including changes in the robot’s motivations, its homeostasis, and its emotions, and changes in the corresponding behaviour manifestations as the robot interacts with its external environment.
The term “fundamental genetic information” refers to fundamental parameters, for example volatility, which have a great effect on changes to the robot’s internal states and external behaviours. The internal state genetic information comprises parameters that affect the internal state of the robot in relation to how it is affected by external inputs to the robot. The behavior determination genetic information refers to parameters that determine the robot’s external behaviours based on its current internal states.
So to summarize their invention, the multiple artificial chromosomes implanted in the Korean software robot dictate the individual personality characteristics peculiar to that robot, which in turn governs how the robot’s internal states change, including its motivation, homeostasis, emotion, and its behavior resulting from those changes while it is interacting with its external environment.
The Korean team’s patent application also summarizes their method for passing on genetic information from a robot “parent” to its robot “offspring.” The genetic codes of one or more software robots are used as the genetic codes of a pair of parent software robots, and new genetic information is created by combining genetic information from paired homologous chromosomes – information provided by the genetic codes of the parent software robots. The combining is conducted according to a predetermined gene crossover rule.
The Korean invention allows the user to design a genetic code for a software robot easily and intuitively and to design genetic codes for various software robots by crossover. It also enables a user to easily modify or construct a genetic code for a software robot by providing both a changing function for intuition traits and a software robot crossover function. This exercise in genetic engineering is used to create software robot offspring with the desired personality features.
It cannot be a huge step to translate the genetic code format generated by the Korean algorithm, into the genetic code format employed in the Ohio TNT chip, thereby allowing researchers to specify personality traits and physical characteristics to be passed from a robot parent to a human-robot baby.
Suddenly the very real possibility has appeared on the horizon of the robots of the future manipulating human skin cells to create human sperm and human eggs, and from them, using the Ohio discovery of TNT as the basis, creating an entire human-robot baby whose embryo can be nurtured and carried through pregnancy by a mother surrogate. By injecting genetic code into skin cells à la TNT, the Ohio researchers have paved the way for the genetic code of a robot, containing some of the characteristics of the robot, to be passed on to its offspring along with human genetic code. This is how I believe it will be possible, within the foreseeable future, for humans and robots to make babies together.
Will this happen in my lifetime? Probably not, as I am 72. But given the phenomenal rate of discovery and progress in the fields of cell biology and nanotechnology, I think it is likely to happen before the end of this century.
There are all sorts of ethical questions relating to such a use of genetic engineering as part of the process to create babies.
These implications were put somewhat into perspective in a post on human genetic engineering by Renuka Sivapatham, a graduate student at the University of Southern Denmark. DNA editing techniques have been available for decades and are crucial tools for understanding gene functions and molecular pathways. Recently, genome editing has stepped back into the limelight because of newer technologies that can quickly and efficiently modify genomes by introducing or genetically correcting mutations in human cells and animal models.
Genome editing technologies have come a long way and have already advanced towards mammalian models and clinical trials in humans. These results force scientists to question the future and the implications of such powerful technology. Should we accept the genetic engineering of human embryos? If yes, when and in what capacity should we accept it?
Prominent scientists in the field have already initiated conversations regarding the ethical implications that arise when modifying the human genome. Preventing genetic diseases by human genetic engineering is inevitable. The slippery slope is if, and when, we start to use it for cosmetic changes such as eye color or for improving a desired athletic trait. A perfect example is surgery, which we have performed for hundred years for disease purposes and is now widely used as a cosmetic tool. Opening the doors for the genetic engineering of human embryos could, with time, lead to genetic manipulation for desirable traits, raising the fear of creating a eugenic driven human population.
Who are we to manipulate nature? For those who suffer from genetic diseases, the answer is not so simple. If we can safely prevent severe genetic diseases and create healthy humans, why not manipulate nature?
At this time the long-term effects of genome editing remain unknown, raising additional questions. As the field progresses, with appropriate regulations and guidelines, it will eventually co-exist alongside other major controversial topics like nuclear power and genetically modified organisms. Since ethics are different across the world, creating international guidelines will be a challenge, but a necessity. Strict regulations are in place for nuclear power, the same should be possible for the genetic engineering of human embryos. To outlaw genetic engineering entirely will be potentially declining a place at the discussion table, as the further utilization of such technologies is unlikely to be abandoned. (Click to Source)
Excerpted from “Can Robots and Humans Make Babies Together?”, keynote speech of the third International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, delivered in London on Dec. 20.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The pain clinic tucked into the corner of a low-slung suburban strip mall was an open secret.
Patients would travel hundreds of miles to see Dr. Andrzej Zielke, eager for what authorities described as a steady flow of prescriptions for the kinds of powerful painkillers that ushered the nation into its worst drug crisis in history.
At least one of Zielke’s patients died of an overdose, and prosecutors say others became so dependent on oxycodone and other opioids they would crowd his office, sometimes sleeping in the waiting room. Some peddled their pills near tumble-down storefronts and on blighted street corners in addiction-plagued parts of Allegheny County, where deaths by drug overdose reached record levels last year.
But Robert Cessar, a longtime federal prosecutor, was unaware of Zielke until Justice Department officials handed him a binder of data that, he said, confirmed what pill-seekers from as far away as Ohio and Virginia already knew. The doctor who offered ozone therapy and herbal pain remedies was also prescribing highly addictive narcotics to patients who didn’t need them, according to an indictment charging him with conspiracy and unlawfully distributing controlled substances.
Zielke denied he was overprescribing, telling AP he practiced alternative medicine and many of his patients stopped seeing him when he cut down on pain pills.
His indictment in October was the first by a nationwide group of federal law enforcement officials that, armed with new access to a broader array of prescription drug databases, Medicaid and Medicare figures, coroners’ records and other numbers compiled by the Justice Department, aims to stop fraudulent doctors faster than before.
The department is providing a trove of data to the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which draws together authorities in 12 regions across the country, that shows which doctors are prescribing the most, how far patients will travel to see them and whether any have died within 60 days of receiving one of their prescriptions, among other information.
Authorities have been going after so-called “pill mills” for years, but the new approach brings additional federal resources to bear against the escalating epidemic. Where prosecutors would spend months or longer building a case by relying on erratic informants and only limited data, the number-crunching by analysts in Washington provides information they say lets them quickly zero in on a region’s top opioid prescribers.
“This data shines a light we’ve never had before,” Cessar said. “We don’t need to have confidential informants on the street to start a case. Now, we have someone behind a computer screen who is helping us. That has to put (doctors) on notice that we have new tools.”
And Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, told AP the Justice Department will consider going after any law-breaker, even a pharmaceutical company, as it seeks to bring more cases and reduce the number of unwarranted prescriptions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been in lock-step with President Donald Trump about the need to combat the drug abuse problem that claimed more than 64,000 lives in 2016, a priority that resonates with Trump’s working-class supporters who have seen the ravages of drug abuse first-hand. The president called it a public health emergency, a declaration that allows the government to redirect resources in various ways to fight opioid abuse.
But he directed no new federal money to deal with a scourge that kills nearly 100 people a day, and critics say his efforts fall short of what is needed. The Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t seem eager to put extra money toward the problem.
While the effectiveness of the Trump administration’s broader strategy remains to be seen, the Justice Department’s data-driven effort is one small area where federal prosecutors say they can have an impact.
The data analysis provides clues about who may be breaking the law that are then corroborated with old-fashioned detective work — tips from informants or undercover office visits, said Shawn A. Brokos, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Pittsburgh division. Investigators can also get a sense for where displaced patients will turn next.
Authorities acknowledge there are legitimate reasons for some doctors to prescribe large quantities of opioids, and high prescribing alone doesn’t necessarily trigger extra scrutiny. What raises red flags for investigators are the dentists, psychiatrists and gynecologists who are prescribing at surprisingly high rates.
The effort operates on the long-held perception that drug addiction often starts with prescriptions from doctors and leads to abuse of more dangerous black market drugs like fentanyl, which, for the first time last year, contributed to more overdose deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing pain pills and heroin.
But that focus can cause law-abiding physicians to abandon disabled patients who rely on prescriptions, for fear of being shut down, said University of Alabama addiction researcher Stefan Kertesz. Those patients will turn to harder street drugs or even kill themselves, he said.
“The professional risk for physicians is so high that the natural tendency is to get out of the business of prescription opioids at all,” he said.
Another addiction expert, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, said prosecutors’ emphasis on “drug-dealing doctors” is appropriate but inadequate on its own.
“It’s just not really going to have that much of an impact on an epidemic,” he said. The bigger change will come from a stronger push for prevention and treatment, he said. And, he added, “They should go after the bigger fish…. the legal narcotics distributors and wholesalers who have literally been getting away with mass manslaughter.”
Investigators said Zielke charged $250 a visit and made patients pay in cash. But Zielke said prosecutors unfairly targeted him. Instead of more prosecutions, he said, the government “should promote more alternative therapies,” he said. “And they should find out why so many people have pain.”
A second indictment by the anti-fraud unit involved a cardiologist in Elko, Nevada, accused of routinely providing patients fentanyl and other painkillers they did not need. Justice officials hope to expand the data-driven work nationwide.
Will it work? As Soo Song, who watched addiction warp communities while serving as acting U.S. attorney in western Pennyslvania, put it: “The best measure of success will be if fewer people die.” (Click to Source)
The U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel came exactly 500 years after the Reformation (1517) and 100 years after the Balfour Declaration (1917). The Balfour declaration came at the end of World War I and stated that Great Britain wanted to establish a Jewish homeland in ancient Judea.
His Majesty’s government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
In addition, the Trump declaration came exactly 50 years after Jerusalem was reunited (1967) during the Six-Day War. While we do not know when the actual Jubilee year should be, it is amazing that these four historical and prophetic events came on the 50th year.
Is this what Yeshua meant when He responded to His disciples (after they asked about the restoration of Israel) “It is not for you to know the times or the dates, which the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:7). It would appear that God has a set timing for Zion’s restoration, and we are witnessing it in real time.
Sadly, many Bible teachers teach that the disciples were slow of mind in asking this question. John Calvin said of the disciples’ inquiry, “This question has as many problems as it has words.” But Yeshua did not respond as Calvin. He understood that this was the obvious question for any student of the bible.
The disciples were familiar with passages such as Zechariah 14:8-9, which says, “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the Dead Sea and the other half to the Mediterranean Sea. This will happen for the summer as well as the winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. In that day it will be—”The Lord is one,” and His name is one.”
Or maybe they were thinking of Jeremiah 30:18, “I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city will be built upon her own heap, and the palace will remain in its rightful place.”
Yes, it was the most obvious question to ask. Each jump in Israel’s restoration brings us closer to the Millennial age, when the Messiah will return (Rev. 19:11 and following) and fight for Israel (Zech. 14:3-4) and set up His international kingdom in Jerusalem. (Click to Source)