Chinese Experiment –an Abominable Nightmare!
vox wrote on April 12:
“Scientists in China have created a new kind of monkey. It’s got a human brain gene. And that just might make its intelligence a little bit more like ours.
“That, in turn, makes its fate — and its very existence — very ethically fraught.
“In a study published last month in Beijing’s National Science Review journal, researchers took human copies of the MCPH1 gene, which is believed to play an important role in our brain development, and introduced it into monkey embryos by means of a virus that carried the gene.
“Of the 11 transgenic macaque monkeys they generated, six died. The five survivors went through a series of tests, including MRI brain scans and memory tests. It turned out they didn’t have bigger brains than a control group of macaques, but they did perform better on short-term memory tasks. Their brains also developed over a longer period of time, which is typical of human brains.
“Although the sample size was very small, the scientists excitedly described the study as ‘the first attempt to experimentally interrogate the genetic basis of human brain origin using a transgenic monkey model.’ In other words, part of the point of the study was to help tackle a question about evolution: How did we humans develop our unique brand of intelligence, which has allowed us to innovate in ways other primates can’t?…
“It’s hard to imagine a study like Su’s ever getting the green light in the US, where primate research has come under increasing scrutiny, thanks in part to the work of animal rights advocates. But China is much more open to this kind of research. The country has vast breeding facilities for monkeys, tens of thousands of which it exports each year.”
This research only reflects a little bit of what actually is taking place in the name of science.
Do Pigs Die?
Reuters.com wrote on April 17:
“Yale University scientists have succeeded in restoring basic cellular activity in pigs’ brains hours after their deaths in a finding that may one day lead to advances in treating human stroke and brain injuries, researchers reported on Wednesday.
“The scientists emphasized that their work did not even come close to reawakening consciousness in the disembodied pig brains. In fact the experiment was specifically designed to avoid such an outcome, however improbable.
“Still, the study raises a host of bioethical issues, including questions about the very definition of brain death and potential consequences for protocols related to organ donation.
“The research grew out of efforts to enhance the study of brain development, disorders and evolution. The main practical application is the prospect of allowing scientists to analyze whole brain specimens of large mammals in three dimensions, rather than through studies confined to small tissue samples, Yale said…
“The limited rejuvenation of circulatory function and cellular metabolism in pig brains, which were harvested from animals slaughtered at a meat-packing plant, was achieved four hours after death by infusing the brains with a special chemical solution designed to preserve the tissue.
“‘The intact brain of a large mammal retains a previously underappreciated capacity for restoration of circulation and certain molecular and cellular activities multiple hours after circulatory arrest,’ lead researcher Nenad Sestan said in a Yale press release issued ahead of the study…
“In the meantime, the research could spark new quandaries surrounding the determination of death itself, widely defined by one measure as the irreversible loss of all brain function. The blurring of that line has implications in turn for deciding when doctors are ethically bound to go from preserving a patient’s life to preserving their organs.”
Israeli Researcher Prints a 3D Heart
Bloomberg reported on April 15:
“Israeli researchers have printed a 3D heart using a patient’s own cells, something they say could be used to patch diseased hearts — and possibly, for full transplants.
“The heart the Tel Aviv University team printed in about three hours is too small for humans — about 2.5 centimeters, or the size of a rabbit’s heart. But it’s the first to be printed with all blood vessels, ventricles and chambers, using an ink made from the patient’s own biological materials.
“‘It’s completely biocompatible and matches the patient,’ reducing the chances of rejection inside the body, said Tal Dvir, the professor who directed the project.
“Researchers took fatty tissue from a patient, then separated it into cellular and non-cellular components. The cells were then “reprogrammed” to become stem cells, which turned into heart cells. The non-cellular materials were turned into a gel that served as the bio-ink for printing, Dvir explained…
“‘Patients will no longer have to wait for transplants or take medications to prevent their rejection,’ the press release said. ‘Instead, the needed organs will be printed, fully personalized for every patient.’”
Note what God said of mankind’s capacity at the tower of Babel: “And the LORD said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them’” (Genesis 11:6).
Don’t Bully Us!
Politico reported on April 10:
“Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party’s lead candidate to be Commission president, warned Washington not to ‘play with’ the EU when it comes to trade.
“‘It must be clear that when we sit together, we are working together as partners on an equal, level playing field,’ Weber said at an event hosted by the Bruegel think tank in Brussels.
“‘We cannot be forced to do something. That must be clear. So if there is one action, one concrete [trade] activity against us — steel, Airbus or car industry — then Europe has to answer, no doubt about this. And that must be a decisive and a strong answer. So, don’t play with us.’
“His comments come a day after the U.S. released a list of $11 billion worth of European goods — including wine, cheese and helicopters — that could be hit with punitive tariffs in a long-running dispute over subsidies for airplane manufacturer Airbus.”
Mussolini’s Great Gandson—Now a Possible Far-right Candidate
The Washington Post reported on April 18:
“During the political convention last weekend of the Italian far right party Fratelli D’Italia (FDI), leader Giorgia Meloni described its platform as ‘revolutionary.’ She vowed to ‘change everything in Europe’ and to move ‘Europe’s capital’ to Rome. While FDI’s campaign for the upcoming European Parliament elections abounds in predictions for the future, the party also seems to have an eye fixed on the country’s past — more specifically, its fascist past under Benito Mussolini.
Earlier this month, Meloni announced in a Facebook video that Mussolini’s great grandson, Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini, will run with the party in the May 26 elections. The video was shot in front of Rome’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, a well-known 1940s example of fascist architecture.
There’s little doubt that Mussolini was nominated because of — not despite — his relationship to Il Duce, who ruled from 1922 to 1943. Both Meloni and Mussolini avoided explicit references to fascist ideology, but Mussolini repeatedly hinted he views his great grandfather as an inspiration.
Russia Challenges U.S. Leadership in the World
Newsweek wrote on April 13:
“Russia’s top diplomat has argued that the world is losing faith in the United States as a global leader and that the international community has sought a more diverse approach to global decision making.
“At an annual address to Moscow’s diplomatic academy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hailed on Friday a new geopolitical era marked by ‘multipolarity,’ stating that ‘the emergence of new centers of power to maintain stability in the world requires the search for a balance of interests and compromises.’ He said there is a shift in the center of global economic power to East from West, where a “liberal order” marked by globalization was ‘losing its attractiveness and is no more viewed as a perfect model for all.’…
“Washington and Moscow, rival superpowers during the decades-long Cold War, have somewhat resumed their bout for global influence in the 21st century. Russian President Vladimir Putin has set to restore and revamp his country’s military and political posture, which were deeply damaged in the collapse of the Soviet Union, leaving the U.S. entirely unmatched.
“Despite President Donald Trump’s promises of detente, the U.S. has doubled down on sanctions and other measures designed to push back against the Kremlin since the Republican leader entered the White House. Trump and Putin, once seen as potential political allies, have continued to feud over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and, at times, have both found themselves largely isolated internationally.
“The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened sanctions against several nations, including allies, for not adhering to its policies targeting stated foes such as Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.”
Indeed, the United States is having less and less the final say on global issues as other nations step in.
U.K.’s Tarnished Global Image
U.S.News wrote on April 17:
“When it comes to Brexit, the United Kingdom’s now delayed divorce from the European Union, the British public is still deeply divided on whether it’s a good idea. But there’s one thing that a sizable majority of voters agree on: the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May bungled the negotiations with the EU.
“A mere 7 percent of Britons say the talks have gone well, according to recently published data from the National Centre for Social Research. Meanwhile, 80 percent of Leave voters and 85 percent of Remainers say it’s been a mess.
“And much of the rest of the world agrees.
“The shambolic Brexit haggling and Parliament’s subsequent inability to coalesce around any final agreement have badly dented the United Kingdom’s once sterling international standing as a leading parliamentary democracy and a diplomatic powerhouse, experts in international relations say.
“’It’s caused significant damage to the U.K.’s reputation,’ says Jamie Gaskarth, a senior lecturer in politics and foreign relations at the University of Birmingham.
“Britain’s impotence in the negotiations was on display last Wednesday when May met with the 27 other EU leaders in Brussels to plead for a short delay of Brexit. She wanted more time to win parliamentary approval for either the withdrawal agreement she and the EU spent two years hammering out, or a modified version of it. Britain was initially scheduled to exit the bloc on March 29. But days before that deadline, the EU granted it an extension to April 12. May wanted to stretch that out until June 30. Instead, the EU leaders extended the deadline by six months, to Oct. 31.
Brexit will continue to unravel the U.K.—both at home and internationally!
Immigration Issues Rise in Finland
Afp.com reported on April 13:
“In the remote, northern Finnish town of Oulu where he has lived for seven years, Syrian-born Jabo Waleed recently started feeling that some people’s behaviour towards him was becoming less welcoming…
“Waleed’s experiences have been echoed by many other immigrants across Finland, since police in Oulu announced in December the arrest of nine suspects — all of whom had arrived in the EU country as refugees or asylum seekers — for suspected sexual offences against minors. A handful of similar arrests followed in subsequent months.
“The heavily publicised incidents spread outrage through Finland, and helped the far-right, populist Finns Party capitalise on anti-immigration sentiment ahead of Sunday’s legislative elections.
“The Finns Party’s election manifesto, released after the arrests, goes into detail about a perceived security risk posed by immigrants, particularly in the areas of sexual assault and terrorism.
“After three years as the fifth largest party in public opinion polls, pre-election forecasts put Finns Party support at around 16 percent, which could make it the second largest party after Sunday.”
Hard-line anti-immigration positions are fueling far-right political parties across Europe, and that will lead to a dramatic change in national leadership.