Stem Cell Headlines

first_img1Quesenberry et al., “Ignoratio Elenchi: Red Herrings in Stem Cell Research,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5725, 1121-1122, 20 May 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1104432].2Gretchen Vogel, “Korean Team Speeds Up Creation Of Cloned Human Stem Cells,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5725, 1096-1097, 20 May 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5725.1096].3Magnus and Cho, “Issues in Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research,” Science, published online 19 May 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1114454].4Erika Check, “Korea’s accelerating stem-cell work prompts calls for global ethical rules,” Nature 435, 393 (26 May 2005) | doi: 10.1038/435393a.Our 02/08/2005 commentary still stands, and now we are in the thick of the ethical morass we knew was coming.  Bioethical voices seem powerless over the lure of money and prestige.  Erika Check quoted Caplan describing ethicists as standing on the sidelines and pouting, “you can’t do this.”  But would international controls help?  The U.N. with its Oil-for-Food scandal showed that international agencies are no guarantors of ethics: they can become the problem, not the solution.  Nor has the U.N. been willing or able to stop human rights violations in rogue nations like North Korea or Sudan.  It is doubtful an international science community would have any power over rogue nations and individuals now that stem cell research is hot.  We have seen that there are researchers within the civilized world with no qualms about trying anything that is possible, even putting human cells into rat brains (see 03/10/2005 entry).  In today’s amoral, selfish research culture, it seems as if the tables have turned: rat cells have invaded the human brain.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Research on embryonic stem cells is proceeding apace without an ethical anchor, and no clue where it will lead.  News coverage of the debate accelerated with an announcement from South Korea.Match point:  The BBC News and many other news sources published South Korea’s announcement that stem cells matched to the individual have been tailored for the first time.First clone:  The BBC News also announced that the UK had made its first human cloned embryo for harvesting stem cells.  The article quotes a ProLife alliance representative appalled over this; “No matter how it is created,” Josephine Quintavalle said, “a human embryo’s destiny should be to live and not to be turned into human stem cells.”  She also protested the “unsafe and inefficient” practice, and how it might subject women to dangerous fertility drugs in order to collect sufficient eggs.  Proponents agree that embryonic stem cell therapies only exist in theory; one professor said, “We are talking about several years before we are talking about a cell-based therapy that can go back into the patient.”Contradictory results:  Science last week1 tried to clarify contradictory lab results by explaining “red herrings in stem cell research.”  They identified eight factors influencing stem cell plasticity, especially injury to the cells during lab procedure.Korea and Ethics:  Gretchen Vogel in Science2 elaborated on South Korea’s widely-reported advance in the efficiency of deriving stem cells from cloned human embryos.  They got the success rate down from one in 200 to one in 20.  The improved skills of the Korean group nevertheless raise difficult ethical questions,” she says, referring to a Stanford bioethics statement in the same issue that warns, “research proceeds internationally, these issues must be adequately addressed for public confidence to be maintained.”3  Ethic problems include demand among scientists for fresh oocytes from young women, medical complications, long term complications, and chances that renegade doctors will attempt reproductive cloning.Presidential angst:  President Bush said he was “very concerned” about Korea’s rapid advances in stem cell research, and said he would veto any bill loosening restrictions on federal funding for it.  See report on MSNBC News.  Although the research is not “banned” in the United States, federal funding is restricted.  Bush said he worries about a “world in which cloning becomes accepted,” and does not believe taxpayer money should “promote science which destroys life in order to save life.”Political battle:  MSNBC also reported that a heated debate is brewing between Congress and the President over a bill proposed by a Republican from Delaware and a Democrat from Colorado to ease restrictions on federal funding of stem cell research.  Advocates are emphasizing promised cures “with emotional appeals from celebrity supporters as well as parents who ‘adopted’ their children as embryos,”  the article begins.  Supporters and opponents are deeply divided over whether the embryos are human beings.International tensions:  Nigel Williams in Current Biology4 surveys the international scene, particularly in Europe where the EU has member states that stand “poles apart” on the issue.  He contrasts Switzerland’s liberal policy with Italy’s stern opposition due largely to the Catholic church.International standards:  In Nature May 26,4 Erika Check suggested that nations need to pull together to decide what’s right.  Quoting Arthur Caplan, bioethicist at U. of Pennsylvania, “An international effort to coordinate stem-cell research would lend transparency to the field and ensure it proceeds in an ethical way.” Insufficient guidelines:  Nathaniel Nelson and Bert Thompson on Apologetics Press examined the NAS guidelines for embryonic stem cell research and found them “largely insufficient in dealing with the ethical stipulations” raised by the technology.last_img read more

Deals a-plenty at fifth Brics summit

first_imgThe five leaders and their retinues take their places just before confirming the establishment of the Brics Development Bank. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh reaffirmed his confidence in the work and purpose of the Brics group.(Images: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS• Brand South Africa +27 11 483 0122RELATED ARTICLES• Building revenue with beneficiation • Brics development bank underway?• Zuma: shared prosperity for all • SA to Brics: we’re ready for you Janine ErasmusThe second day of the fifth Brics summit saw a number of co-operation agreements signed between the attending heads of state in fields ranging from nuclear medicine and military technology to rail transport and the much-anticipated Brics bank.They included:• A multilateral agreement on green economy co-financing, which was signed by representatives of the Brics Inter-Bank Co-operation  Mechanism, which includes Jabu Moleketi, the chairman of the Development Bank of Southern Africa;• A multilateral agreement on infrastructure co-financing for Africa, also signed by representatives of the Inter-Bank Co-operation Mechanism;• The launch of the Brics Business Council, which was signed by representatives of the newly formed council. It’s chaired by South African mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe and is aimed at strengthening and promoting economic, trade, business and investment ties between the business communities of the five countries.The Brics Development Bank was the issue that had piqued the world’s curiosity, and it was confirmed by all five leaders at a plenary session on day two.“We considered that developing countries face challenges of infrastructure development due to insufficient long-term financing and foreign direct investment, especially investment in capital stock,” said President Jacob Zuma on behalf of the group.He said that the finance ministers had done an assessment in early 2012 on whether it was feasible to set up a bank, and that their report had satisfied the leaders that the establishment of the financial institution was viable.“We have agreed to establish the bank,” said Zuma. “The initial capital contribution to the bank should be substantial and will be sufficient for the bank to be effective in financing infrastructure.”He added that progress would be reviewed at the Brics group’s next meeting in September 2013.At the same time a few other new developments were announced, including the establishment of the Brics Think-Tanks Council, a body that will help with speeding up innovation; the launch of the Brics Joint Statistical Publication 2013; and the issuing of the eThekwini Declaration and eThekwini Action Plan.The declaration is a summary of the Brics countries’ common stance in key issues of global politics and economy, while the action plan provides a roadmap for Brics activity for the next 12 months, including areas of co-operation.The summit took place under the theme Brics and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation. Co-operation between developing powersNumerous other deals were concluded on day one. They included co-operation agreements between South Africa and China; South Africa and Russia; and Brazil and China.South African commercial transport company Transnet secured a deal with the China Development Bank which, say media sources, could be worth as much as US$5-billion. This loan will fund the revitalisation of rail networks around the region, used mainly for the transport of commodities such as iron and steel.Another deal was reached between South African defence equipment manufacturer Denel Aviation and Moscow-based Russian Helicopters. This will allow the state-owned Denel to officially operate a service and maintenance centre for the 600 or so Russian-built helicopters operating across the sub-Saharan region. Denel has years of experience in this field, and has designed and built its own attack helicopter, the Rooivalk.The centre has already been opened in Johannesburg.South Africa and Russia are also to work together in nuclear energy and nuclear medicine, particularly in the production of medical isotopes. South Africa is a major producer for the global market of molybdenum 99, which is a marker used in cancer diagnostic techniques.“Over the last five summits our forum has become more relevant,” said Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. “We stand to benefit enormously from our collective strengths. We need to exploit our complementarities for mutual benefit and encourage more interaction between institutions in Brics countries to enhance the education, energy, IT, healthcare and other sectors.”Singh stated that economic development in the bloc should be made more broad-based and inclusive. This, he said, would also help to address instability in vulnerable parts of the world.“I would like to reaffirm the importance that India attaches to the work of the Brics group,” he said, “not just for our people but for the world at large.”Singh expressed his conviction that the Brics forum would reach new heights in the years to come.last_img read more

Play Your Part ambassadors share the same vision with young people of Mpumalanga

first_imgPlay Your Part arrived at D.M. Motsoaseli High School to an audience of enthusiastic and motivated learners for its second leg of the in schools’ activation on Wednesday 30 May 2018.The Play Your Part activations are an opportunity for “a trade exchange between the learners and the Play Your Part ambassadors” as previously articulated by Brand South Africa’s General Manager of Marketing, Ms Sithembile Ntombela.With every activation that the Play Your Part programme will be done nationally, learners will engage not only with Play Your Part (PYP) ambassadors’ comedians Goliath and Goliath but also with other PYP ambassadors representing their specific province.The learners at D.M. Motsoaseli High School got their one-on-one with PYP ambassador Sandiso Sibisi and she shared her message and received insights from the learners; “My message to the learners at D.M. Motsoaseli High School was based on three principles of success that I use; firstly, work hard, it pays off secondly, knock on every door, leave no stone unturned and thirdly the dots always connect”, said PYP ambassador Ms Sandiso Sibisi from Accenture.Play Your Part encourages dialogue and sharing of ideas as this is a contributing factor to building a better future. “Engaging with young people is never an easy task but I believe the learners were inspired by my message, I believe some will dare try to play their part and make an impact in both their personal lives and the community they live in”, adds SibisiSandiso Sibisi has been a Play Your Part ambassador since 2015 and her work includes mentoring young women to be able to participate in the economy, through career development training. As well as working with Accenture and United Nations Development Programmes(UNDP) where she’s delivering projects that accelerate entrepreneurial growth in the continent.Sibisi said she was very impressed to hear that there are learners that are already playing their part in their community. “One of the learners sings to the sick, which I think is so endearing and another runs a soccer club for boys to keep themselves occupied and away from crime.”This very week, UNDP and Accenture launched a Pan-African portal-platform called YAS! The portal-platform provides; information, opportunities for funding and networking, a map of entrepreneurship eco-system players and sustainable development goal (SDG) challenges where young people can apply for grants. Youth must sign up at http://www.yasdg.com/ to take advantage of what YAS! has to offer and join the community of entrepreneurship in the African continent.“I encourage young people to take advantage of local support firstly when embarking on a community project, they need to make sure that all their classmates, family members, church and community leaders know about their project, and use these relationships to rally up support. It’s important to convince your close relationships first about your project or idea because they are your first customer, donor or beneficiary”, concludes Sibisi.Comedians Goliath and Goliath left the learners in stitches and most importantly with advice on which avenues to tap into in order to reach their full potential.Limpopo you are next on the 14 June 2018. Follow the conversation and for more information, @PlayYourPartSA  and  @Goliath_Goliath @sandisosibisi remember #PlayYourPart #GetInvolved.last_img read more

Time (almost) for checking yields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Harold Watters, Ohio State University AgronomistI am already getting comments about corn yield expectations. More than a couple of growers have told me they may have their best crop ever — but I point out that it’s still a bit early. I have others who say they haven’t seen rain in two weeks, it’s too late, and “corn is toast.” Again, it is a bit too early to say that. But by the time this column appears you should be able to get a reasonable idea on corn yield — soybeans not so much.So how do we check crop yield?The easy way is to wait until maturity then combine the crop and run it across the scales. That works best, and for soybeans is the most reliable way, but sometimes we want an estimate before that point.For corn, this from the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa Field Guide page 71, by Peter Thomison OSU’s state corn specialist is a good way to estimate yields.There are several techniques for estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest. This version is from the University of Illinois and is the most commonly used method. A numerical constant for average kernel weight is figured into the equation. Weight per kernel will vary depending on hybrid and environment; yield will be overestimated in a year with poor grain fill conditions and underestimated in a good year.Step 1: Count the number of harvestable ears in 1/1000th acre. For 30-inch rows that is 17 ft, 5 inches in length. So you need a tape measure for this part; for the rest a pen and paper.Step 2: Count the number of rows per ear on every 5th ear. Calculate an average.Step 3: Count the number of kernels per row of those same ears. Do not count kernels on either the butt or tip that are less than half size. Calculate an average.Step 4: Yield in bushels per acre equals: ear number multiplied times the average row number times average kernel number, all divided by 90. Or (ear x row x kernel)/90 – estimated yield in bushels per acre.From last year’s estimates, I have been told this was right on the money. So it can be pretty close.For soybeans, from Laura Lindsey OSU’s state soybean specialist.To estimate soybean yield: Calculate plants per acre. Count the number of pod-bearing plants in 1/1,000th of an acre. In 15-inch row spacing, count the number of plants in 34 feet, 10 inches of row. Estimate pods per plant. Count the number of pods (containing one or more seeds) from 10 plants selected at random. Divide the total number of pods by 10 to get the average number of pods per plant. Estimate the number of seeds per pod. Count the number of seeds from 10 pods selected at random. Generally, the number of seeds per pod is 2.5, but this number can be less in stressful environmental conditions. Divide the total number of seeds by 10 to get the average number of seeds per pod. Estimate the number of seeds per pound (seed size), assume that there are 3,000 seeds per pound. If the soybean plants experienced stress, seed size will be reduced, and it will take more seeds to make one pound. Use a seed size estimate of 3,500 seeds per pound if smaller seeds are expected because of late season stress. Using the above estimates, this formula is used to estimate soybean yield in bushels per acre: bushels per acre = [(plants/1,000th acre) x (pods/plant) x (seeds/pod)] ÷ [(seeds/pound) x 0.06]last_img read more

USDA to issue second tranche of trade payments

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will proceed with its second tranche of trade relief payments to American farmers as a result of retaliatory tariffs, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.“We just have gotten authorization on the second tranche. We’ll be getting it ready hopefully at the end of this month or early December,” he said.In May, the USDA announced it would again provide payments under the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), valued at $16 billion.The first round of payments was issued in August and Perdue indicated a third tranche may not be necessary.“We’re very hopeful that the China negotiations can come to a favorable conclusion. The numbers that we’re talking about right now would be very beneficial to our agricultural producers. We’re hopeful that trade would supplant any type of farm aid needed in 2020,” he said.MFP provides payments to eligible producers of:Non-specialty crops, including alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.Dairy (milk): $0.20 per hundredweightHogs: $11 per headFor non-specialty crops, assistance is based on a single-county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county. Acreage of non-specialty must have been planted by Aug. 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.Producers affected by natural disasters who filed prevented planting claims then planted an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested or for subsequent use as forage, qualify for a $15 per acre payment. Acreage of cover crops must have been planted by Aug. 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.last_img read more

Biting disorder! FIFA chief suggests Luis Suarez needs help

first_imgFIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said that Suarez should go through a treatment to stop doing it The players’ union and football’s governing body agree on one thing in the wake of the heavy ban imposed on Luis Suarez for his third biting incident: the Uruguay and Liverpool striker needs help.Suarez returned to Montevideo early Friday, arriving too late to see the hundreds of Uruguay fans who had gathered the previous night to give him a hero’s welcome despite his World Cup banishment.In Rio de Janeiro, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said a third biting incident in Suarez’s career was “unacceptable.””I think he should find a way to stop doing it – he should go through a treatment,” Valcke told reporters at Maracana Stadium, where Uruguay plays Colombia in a Round-of-16 match on Saturday.The players’ union, FIFPro, came to the same conclusion but from a more sympathetic approach.FIFPro said the FIFA disciplinary panel’s ban for Suarez of nine Uruguay matches and four months from all football “infringes his right to work” and doesn’t offer him the treatment he needs.Luis Suarez’s biting incident inspired numerous memes on Twitter “Luis Suarez should receive all the support he needs to deal with any off-field issues he may be experiencing at this time,” the union said, adding that “treatment must be a part of any sanction.”Neither Valcke nor FIFPro specified if the treatment should include anger management therapy or counselling.From Italy, Suarez also received support from his latest victim, Giorgio Chiellini, who described the sanction as excessive.advertisementSuarez bit Chiellini’s left shoulder during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy at Natal on Tuesday. The incident went unpunished by the referee but was broadcast around the world on TV.It was the third time Suarez has bitten an opponent, after incidents in the Dutch and English leagues. He was banned for seven and 10 matches, respectively.”If it starts to be more than once it is not any more an (isolated) incident, so that is why also the sanction has to be exemplary,” said Valcke. “I applaud the decision.””What happened with Suarez was beyond the game, was something which is far beyond the fair play and the attitude you can have when you play at the World Cup,” the French official said.Still, FIFPro said the sanctions should be reduced, calling on FIFA’s appeals panel to “focus especially on the accumulation of sanctions.””The fact that Suarez is prohibited from working for a long period must be addressed as it directly infringes his right to work,” the Netherlands-based union said in a statement.FIFPro suggested that a legal review could “re-establish the facts in a calm and considered setting.”The Uruguay football federation is preparing an appeal to FIFA, which Suarez’s club Liverpool is not involved in.If FIFA dismisses Suarez’s appeal, a further legal challenge is allowed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.CAS could freeze the sanctions upon request, allowing Suarez to resume training and playing for Liverpool during the appeal process.Chiellini, a veteran Italy and Juventus defender, wrote in a blog for website Sportlobster such a long ban could be “really alienating” for a player.”At the moment, my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period,” Chiellini said.last_img read more

Funeral arrangements for the Late DrBernard Nottage

first_img#MagneticMediaNews#FuneralArrangmentsforDrBernardNottage Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, The Bahamas, July 10th 2017: Viewing of the Late Dr. the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage will be held at PLP Headquarters on Tuesday, July 11th. In a release, cabinet announced funeral plans for the former minister, with viewing to take place at the National Stadium on Wednesday, July 12th and at the House of Assembly on Thursday, July 13th.An official funeral will take place on Friday, July 14th at St. Agnes Anglican Church, beginning at 11 a.m. Dr Nottage died last week in a Florida hospital after he had been airlifted to the US following three days in the Intensive Care Unit at Doctors Hospital. He was age 71.Dr.Nottage was a trained as a gynecologist at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.His political career spanned over three decades, serving as a Cabinet minister in one Pindling administration and two Christie administrations, serving as Minister of National Security between 2012 and 2017. Dr Nottage was defeated in the May 2017 general election by FNM candidate, 22-year-old Travis Robinson in the Bain and Grants Town constituency.He is survived by his wife, Portia and their two sons. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Related Items:last_img read more

Man arrested in house party shooting one injured

first_img KUSI Newsroom Posted: June 16, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter June 16, 2019 Man arrested in house party shooting, one injuredcenter_img Updated: 5:02 PM SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – One man is recovering from a gunshot wound and another man is under arrest after a shooting at a house party last night in the Jamacha Lomita neighborhood, police said today.The shots were fired at about 11 p.m. as a group of people attending the party were fighting in the street in the 1100 block of Koe Street, according to police.The suspected gunman fled in a white Scion but was later found by police at a nearby 7-Eleven store. Police said they found a gun in the car and took the driver into custody. The victim was treated at Paradise Valley Hospital for a wound that was not considered life-threatening, according to police.Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call San Diego police, or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more