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Ethics

Submitted by scestero on Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:36

Since the Human Genome Project was finished in 2005, there have been an array of both benefits and issues that have arised in the field of genetics. As genetic testing is becoming more readily available, more and more people are getting tested for various ailments that are related to genetics. What people forget to understand is that just because you have the gene, it doesn't mean that it will be expressed or that you will that particular disease. For example, having cancer alleles doesn't mean you will have cancer, but having the Huntington's allele does mean you will have Huntington's. In 2015, president Obama issued a Genetic Discrimination bill. This bill prevented employers and insurance companies from denying people who have undergone genetic testing and have ay ailment. This became a huge problem because insurance companies refused to cover individuals with cancer associated alleles for cancer. This poses a major problem in the field of ethics and medicine. Do you think people should be covered for ailments found in their genetic code.

Ethics

Submitted by scestero on Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:23

In todays world we can do an array of things with genetics and medicine, ever since the human genome prject was finished. In 2015 president Obama issued a bill saying that employers and insurance companies are not allowed to not hire you due to genetic test results. Many insurance companies won't cover people who have gotten genetic testing and come out with a cancer allele, Huntingtons or diabetes. If they do cover these people they wont cover the specific diseases that have been found in your DNA. The law was passed because employers and insurance companies were looking at peoples private genetic testing results. The problem with this is that with most of these ailments you are not definetely going to get them if you have the allele. 

Mammals

Submitted by scestero on Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:22

Mammals are one of the most diverse organisms in the world when it comes to environment, they can live virtually anywhere. Many mammalian species have evolved to live in the ocean or in other bodies of water, in a sense they have gone back to the water. As we know dolphins and whales are examples of such animlas, but there are also otters and seals. Some like the manatee and whale are far more evolved for life in the water than a sea otter. Otters have an extremely thick coat of hair, a coat that almost cuased them to go extinct due to hunting. This coat is an extremely good insulator, but there are mammals thathave evolved more efficient forms of insulation. Sea lion, seals and whales have evolved a fatty layer underneth the skin called blubber. This acts as an insulator in water and can reach up to 20inches in thickness. 

Bends

Submitted by scestero on Tue, 03/21/2017 - 18:06

For many mammalian species the bends, or decompression sickness is a serious issue. This occurs when divers dive very deep and are under tremendous amounts of pressure by the water. If the diver comes to the surface or swims up too quickly it can cause decompression sickness. This happens due to a sudden change is pressure, much like when you open a soda can. The blood has been filled up with air, mainly nitrogen, and when the diver rises too quickly it causes the nitrogen to escape the blood and turn into bubbles. These bubbles will travel through your blood and essentially all your blood would start to fizz up like a soda. This can be extremely dangerous, even fatal in some cases. The bubbles will lodge themselves between bones, muscles, ligaments and cause extreme pain. This can cause permenant scarring on the bone if the condition worsens. In the worst case scenario the nitrogen will form a larger bubble that can travel to the lungs, heart or brain. the result of this is pulmenary edema, a stroke or cardiac arrest. We all know that humans are very suseptible to the bends can thus cannot dive very deep, but whales have also experienced the bends. If whales dive too deep and come up too quicly they too can get the bends. Granted whales have to dive much deeper, their bodies have mechanisms that help prevent the bends unlike humans. 

CHarges

Submitted by scestero on Mon, 03/20/2017 - 10:56

When using an electrograph we can see how charges interact with one another. We must follow 3 basic rules which are that opposites attract, likes repel and there is a conservation of charge unless the objects are touching. To test this we use an electrograph in which we add electrons by charging a metal rod and holding it against the electrograph. When the rod touches the machine the leaves in the center repel because the electrons are traveling down the machine and repelling against one another. IN order to get as far away as possible they go to the tips of the leaves, which in turn makes the leaves stand up. When the rod is held close to the electrograph,not touching it, the leaves also stand up because the electrons in the machine are repelled to the ends of the leaves. There is no direct transfer of electrons but they cansense one another enough to repel. This concept also works when youu hold a negatively charged rod to a stream of water.

Interferometer

Submitted by scestero on Wed, 03/08/2017 - 10:26

IN physics we learned about photons and interferometers, which are some of the worlds most accurate machines. These machines use light waves in order to measure the distance between two distinct objects. the most famous of these machines is LIGO, a machine that scientists have been trying to build since the 1970's. This machine has three massive arms that span about 3 km each, it was made to pick up the differences in space. The machine was finally completed in 2015, which the scientists stop messing with it very late at night and decided to go home while the machine ran for the rest of the night. Before any of them got home, no more than 30 minutes after the machine was turned on, these men recieved a nobel prize. The machine detected a gravitational wave and caused the photon waves to get out of phase with one another. The gravitational force was caused by two massive black holes, millions and million of lightyears away, colliding with one another  at the speed of light. The physicists believed at first that this interfernce was caused by a lighting strike hitting a tree in Tanzinia, this is how accurate this machine is. These gravitational waves are so powerful that they changed the size of the earth for a split second, but this machine was able to detect it. The waves cause everything to slightly compress and return to normal size by a fraction of an atom. They were able to calculated by how much the Earth was compressed, which ended up being a fraction of the length of a piece of hair. 

Pond

Submitted by scestero on Tue, 03/07/2017 - 21:14

Today i was sitting by the campus pond and i was observing the wildlife around me. I Noticed that there were many more geese and ducks in the pond than usual and i wonder why they were there. The geese seemed to be much more active than the ducks and made much more noise. I wonder if that is a random noise or if they do it as a form of communication. The geese were all about the same color and size. I was able to pin point which ones were most likely males because they would "fight". the fighting consisted of them honking at one another and opening up their wings to flap them around as they slowly moved back. The behavior seemed to be a defense warning towards the other goose that was doing the same thing. The ducks were mostly all together on one side of the pond and were a litle more diverse in color. Some ducks were grey with green while others were predominatly brown with small white 'freckles" on their backs. The ducks were much more calm and liked to lay still much more than the geese. The two animals seemed to pay no mind to the other species unless they accidentally bumped into one another. 

HeLa controversy

Submitted by scestero on Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:19

In the world of modern medicine there is much controversy over the immortalized HeLa cancer cells. These cells were taken from a middle aged black woman called Henrietta Lacks, hence the name HeLa cells. This woman would constantly complain of pain in her lower abdomin, which resulted to be cervical cancer caused by  HPV. At first, doctors told her that she just had an STD and ignored her symptoms, until they discovered her unique cancer. Her cells were first cultured and studied by a group of doctors in the John Hopkins hospital, where Henrietta was being treated. A few months after the usage of the cells, researchers began to develope treatments and even cures for an array of diseases. These cells gave them insight on cancer that they only dreamed of having, but the controversy lies on whether or not they are permitted to do this. It is believed that doctors did not properly ask or explain to Henrietta what they would be doing with her cells, hence they did not have permission to patent and distribute said cells. As the cells were passed from researcher ot reseacher and nobel prizes were won, Henrietta Lacks died and now lies in an unmarked grave. The family was only recently made aware of Henrietta's cells, almost 40 years after Henrietta was admitted to the hospital. Do you think the family deserves some type of compensation? 

 

 

Genetics

Submitted by scestero on Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:08

in genetics we read an article about human evolution and the human genome. We saw that the modern human came from Africa and migrated outwards from there. As a result of this migration much of the genetic diveristy in humans tsayed within africa. Although, there are some places outside of Africa that have particular variation, they are not the original source of genetic variation within the original population. Today we can see which genes in particular moved out of Africa and which of those genes stayed. Africans have a unique array of variations that can only be found in few parts of africa. Another interesting disocvery was that the humans that left africa met other hominin species and most likely mated wiht them .Through genetic testing we have beenable to identify neanderthal DNA within our own genome. 

HeLa

Submitted by scestero on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 19:34

We looked at the ethical dilemma that is faced with the HeLa cells. The cells were taken from Henrietta Lacks' cervical tumor and used as immortalized cells. These cellswere cultured  and provided insight on an array of medical problems such as HPV and various types of cancer including cervical cancer, which henrietta lacks had. The moral issue with the use of HeLa cells is that the family never recieved any form of compensation because their grandmother/mother never formally gave consent for doctors t take her cells and use them. the debate is that the family was not made aware of their use until after prizes were won and major discoveries were made. The question is, should the family recieve any form of conpensation for the discoveries made by doctors? I personally think that they shouldn't, due to the fact that did not work for these discoveries,  but i do believe that it was wrong of doctors to not notify the family of their use of the HeLa cells. 

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