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BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE WILL MAKE PEOPLE TELEPATHIC, SCIENTISTS SAY

(Neuralink)
Source: The Independent
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: The Independent

People will communicate ‘not only without speaking but without words – through access to each other’s thoughts at a conceptual level’

Neural interfaces that link human brains to computers using artificial intelligence will allow people to read other people’s thoughts, according to leading scientists.

A new report by the Royal Society outlines the benefits of such technology but warns that there could be severe risks if it falls into the wrong hands.

Brain-computer interfaces are already being developed by Facebook and Elon Musk’s Neuralink and the report estimates that by 2040 neural interfaces will be an “established option” for effectively treating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

More futuristic applications are expected to follow, such as brain implants that allow people to virtually taste, smell and see without actually physically experiencing the sensation. The report also details how such hardware could boost people’s memory, improve their vision and even allow thoughts to be transmitted from one person to another.

“People could become telepathic to some degree, able to converse not only without speaking but without words – through access to each other’s thoughts at a conceptual level. This could enable unprecedented collaboration with colleagues and deeper conversations with friends,” the report states.

“Not only thoughts, but sensory experiences, could be communicated from brain to brain. Someone on holiday could beam a ‘neural postcard’ of what they are seeing, hearing or tasting into the mind of a friend back home.”

The report calls on the government to launch a national investigation into this emerging field in order to shape the development of the technology. It outlines the ethical concerns of the technology, such as protecting privacy and preventing it from being used as a tool for surveillance.

Question are also raised about how such technologies affect what it means to be human. If implantable chips take control of certain decision processes, is that person still themselves or are they now part-machine?

“The applications for neural interfaces are as unimaginable today as the smartphone was a few decades ago,” said report co-chair Christofer Toumazou, a professor of engineering at Imperial College London.

“They could bring huge economic benefits to the UK and transform sectors like the NHS, public health and social care, but if developments are dictated by a handful of companies then less commercial applications could be side-lined. That is why we are calling on the government to launch a national investigation.” Elon Musk unveils Neuralink ‘threads’ that hook human brain directly to computers

Earlier this year, Neuralink made its first major announcement by unveiling implantable “threads” that link a human bran directly to a computer.

It is aimed at helping paraplegics control computers in order to improve the communication skills but Neuralink CEO Elon Musk said the technology will “ultimately achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence”.

Mr Musk has consistently warned about the dangers of advanced artificial intelligence, claiming that in the future humans could fall so far behind machines that they eventually view humans in the same way humans currently view house pets.

“I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution?” he said during a tech conference in 2016. “I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer.”

Key to achieving this parity with advanced AI, he said, is the sort of “neural lace” that is being developed at Neuralink. His company plans to begin clinical trials of the technology next year.

Facebook has described this new cyborg era as “the next great wave in human-oriented computing” and is working on a headset that is perhaps the first step towards telepathic communication.

In July, the technology giant published a paper in Nature Communications describing a headset that can transfer a person’s thoughts directly onto a computer screen. For now it can only decode a small selection of words but the firm hopes it will one day work seamlessly to transcribe thoughts.

“Imagine a world where all the knowledge, fun, and utility of today’s smartphones were instantly accessible and hands-free,” Facebook wrote in a blog post at the time.

“A decade from now, the ability to type directly from our brains may be accepted as a given. Not long ago, it sounded like science fiction. Now, it feels within plausible reach.”

Do you have a Facebook account? How does Facebook use your information to advance their computer and brain interface agenda? What do you know about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica privacy breach of Facebook accounts?

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Chip Implants: The Next Big Privacy Debate

Some say we will all, eventually, be chipped. Others say — never! Let the privacy, legal, technical, professional, medical, security, political, religious and ‘oh so personal’ battles begin.
BY DAN LOHRMANN / NOVEMBER 25, 2018
Source: Government Technology

Credit: Shutterstock – Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Have you been chipped?

That question is set to divide millions of people in the 2020s. And perhaps billions of people in the 2030s and 2040s.

Just as the world begins to understand the many benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT), but also learns about the ‘dark side’ from ‘smart everything,’ including our connected cities, we are now on the cusp of small chips causing major new privacy disagreements.

As individuals try to grapple with the privacy and security implications that come with IoT, big data, public- and private-sector data breaches, social media sharing, GDPR, a new California privacy law, along with data ownership and “right to be forgotten” provisions, along comes a set of technologies that will become much more personal than your smartphone or cloud storage history.

Get ready for people to ask you to place microchips under your skin for a wide variety of reasons.

Why are implanted chips so controversial? What is at stake? How can such a small thing affect so many people? What leads me to proclaim that implanted chips will become the next big privacy debate?

Short answer: Implanting chips in humans has privacy and security implications that go well beyond cameras in public places, facial recognition, tracking of our locations, our driving habits, our spending histories, and even beyond ownership of your data.  

This topic touches upon your hand, your heart, your brain and the rest of your body —literally. This new development is set to give a very different meaning to ‘hacking the body’ or biohacking. While cyber experts continue to worry about protecting critical infrastructure and mitigating security risks that could harm the economy or cause a loss of life, implanted chips also affect health but add in new dimensions that conflict with people’s religious beliefs.  

Let’s explore the good, the bad and the possible ugly implications that come with microchip implants.

Background on Implanting Microchips in Your Body

First, as background, we initially explored this implanted chips topic last year in this piece about employees at Three Square Market, a technology company in Wisconsin, who had a small chip injected in their hands for security convenience. Reactions to this news was all over the map, with headlines ranging from positive stories about the dawning of a great new era to big brother privacy concerns to fears that biblical prophecies are about to come true.

Many more articles have been written on this topic since my first article in July 2017. USA Today came out in August of 2017 with the headline: You will get chipped — eventually. Here’s a quote: “This would go beyond paying with your smartphone. Instead, chipped customers would simply wave their hands in lieu of Apple Pay and other mobile-payment systems.

The benefits don’t stop there. In the future, consumers could zip through airport scanners sans passport or driver’s license; open doors; start cars; and operate home automation systems. All of it, if the technology pans out, with the simple wave of a hand. …”

The Atlantic offered an article in September 2018 describing why you’re probably getting a microchip implant someday. The article focused on how microchip implants are going from tech-geek novelty to genuine health tool — and you might be running out of good reasons to say no.

“Three Square Chip says that its medical RFID implants will be powered by body heat, and McMullan’s plans to develop a single piece of hardware to aid patients with a wider range of conditions could make the chips more affordable than devices with more specialized (and limited) functions. “Many heart patients, right now, the only time they know they’ve got a problem is when they’re in the back of an ambulance,” McMullan says.

The company estimates that it will be selling chips capable of tracking a wearer’s live vital signs in a little more than a year, but a few other developments will come first. McMullan hopes that people will soon consider storing their medical information on encrypted RFID chips, and the group is also working on a way to make GPS-enabled chips available as an option for families to track relatives suffering from severe dementia—another use for the chips that poses both obvious benefits and legitimate concerns. …”

Second, the topic resurfaced last month with several stories, like this NPR article on how thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips under their skin. “More than 4,000 Swedes have adopted the technology, with one company, Biohax International, dominating the market. The chipping firm was started five years ago by Jowan Osterlund, a former professional body piercer.

After spending the past two years working full time on the project, he is currently developing training materials so he can hire Swedish doctors and nurses to help take on some of his heavy workload. …”

Third, the topic became heated — again — after this recent article in the The Guardian (UK) went viral, titled: Alarm over talks to implant UK employees with microchips. The article described how the Trade Union Congress is concerned over tech being used to control and micromanage people.

For a brief time this month, implanting chips into your body became the No. 1 topic of discussion on LinkedIn globally. An article that I posted received more than 30K views and well over a hundred comments — mostly appalled by the practice of implanting chips — at least for convenience. 

Fourth, there have been numerous articles over the past year describing medical advances, potentially even cures for various diseases, which may come by implanting microchips in humans in various ways. Here are three examples:

Implants Offered as an Optional Improvement?

But medical necessities aside, would you pay to receive a chip implant if it offered some other optional medical enhancement for your body? Other research, which started as deep-brain stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, now suggests that chip implants can boost your memory

Or, what if a chip implant offered the convenience of embedding a smartphone in your body? This Allure.com article suggests how.

“Chris Harrison, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, has been working on a similar idea since 2009. “People want to do more sophisticated things on mobile phones. And the industrial answer seemed to be: Let’s put bigger and bigger screens on them,” he says. “That only works up to a point. Why don’t we just forget the screen entirely? Why not use the skin? Instead of the three-and-a-half-inch iPhone, why not have the 20-inch arm bone?” So Harrison created OmniTouch (also in collaboration with Microsoft), a device worn on the shoulder that would project your phone interface onto your palm. A depth-sensitive camera picked up when and where you tapped on your skin, so the projection reacted with it. “The invention of smartphones enabled the creation of all these ideas and apps and services. Imagine what that will be like for the body,” Harrison says.

A Few Good Privacy Questions

There are many intriguing stories about the potential dark side of implanting microchips. Wired magazine describes, Mind Games: The Tortured Lives of ‘Targeted Individuals.’ Here’s the final paragraph from that piece: “Once she loved technology, shaping and molding it, playing with data in the backend of a website. When the targeting first began, she even considered the ways the technology could do good: What if, for instance, the chip inside your head could teach you to speak a new language? But she quickly learned that it wasn’t there to teach her—it was there to hurt her. It was permanent, and it would change her forever. …”

In this Forbes article, the author describes how The Privacy Debate Isn’t About Secrets, It’s About Control. Quote: “Even if Internet search yielded an accurate, fair, crowd-vetted record of all human experience — which it doesn’t — those records no longer belong to individuals, but rather to the faceless mechanisms of social discourse and surveillance. Sure, the loss of privacy can be embarrassing or frustrating, but it’s a side effect of this thornier issue of giving up control.”

Most of the same questions that surround cybersecurity and privacy in other disciplines apply to this microchip implant topic, only the stakes can become even higher and more personal.

At first, a microchip implant may be pretty “dumb” on the scale of microchip advancements. Perhaps all the chip can do is open a door or verify your identity at work. But is this only step one down a scary yellow brick road?

Here are a few basic questions to consider about microchip implants:

  • What are the benefits of implanting the chip(s)?
  • Is implanting chips physically and emotionally safe?
  • Who owns the data on the chip?
  • Who has access to the data — and when?
  • Do the chips communicate, somehow, with outside networks?
  • How are chips updated when flaws are found?
  • Can the chips be hacked? Assuming yes, what security is in place to stop unauthorized access to data and manipulation of data.
  • Do religious beliefs forbid the practice?
  • Is implanting the microchip truly voluntary? Will it still be voluntary tomorrow or in 10 or 20 years?
  • Is the practice medically necessary?
  • Are incentives offered to those who participate?
  • Are penalties coming for those who don’t participate?
  • Will being chipped start as an exception and become the rule?
  • Will ethical and moral processes and procedures be breached by hackers? (No way to stop the bad actors once you begin.)
  • What laws are put in place on this implanted chip topic?
  • What company policies are affected?

On a wider scale, since the Internet is an accelerator for good and evil at the same time, what good or evil outcomes will come from this implanted chip trend?

Closing Thoughts

There is no doubt in my mind that we will keep coming back to this implanted chip topic over the next decade. More health advantages are coming, as well as technology breakthroughs that may even bring cures for some diseases by using chip implants as part of the answer.

If you are interested, I recommend reading these other articles listing more benefits and downsides of implanting microchips — and explaining why the trend is set to explode over the next decade.

But the questions will remain about whether these substantial implanted chip benefits are worth the privacy, security and other risks. Expect related chip implant questions (in various forms) to become a top technology, privacy and security concern in the 2020s — and will even become a hotly debated topic in 2019.  

I was amazed at the deep emotional feelings regarding this topic that recently came through online, and this passion has grown in the past 18 months. More than any other privacy or security issue I have seen recently, implanted chips are, and will be, a hot-button privacy topic that is not going away. In fact, I think it may become the No. 1 privacy topic in the next few years.    

Military leaders point out that capabilities take a long time to develop, but intentions can change overnight. In other words, the debate will not only center on current technology solutions, but also on what you believe might happen in the future regarding the use of implanted chips. For example: Will it truly stay voluntary?  

Finally, since perspectives on this topic do not cut across the typical left-right divide, your personal decision on receiving a chip implant may have more to do with your trust in your doctor, your employer, your government, the technology company providing the answers, or even your religious beliefs, than your political party affiliation or what a specific chip can currently do — or not do. 

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Pakistani-Canadian scientist experiments brain-chip implantation for brain ailments

Last Updated On 29 March,2019 10:43 pm
Source: Dunyan News

These chips help understand the interaction between human tissues and electronic devices, said Dr.
Source: Dunyan News
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

(Web Desk) – Dr. Naweed Syed who invented neuro/bionic chip is starting experiments on humans this year to cure the brain-related ailments like seziures and epilepsy according to online website.

Pakistani-Canadian scientist of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute has been working on these brain chips for quite few years now which gained a lot of attraction all over the world.

These chips help understand the interaction between human tissues and electronic devices.

Dr. Naweed Syed is testing these chips for the incurable brain ailments and function loss by implanting them inside the brain. It might hit the road to bionic robotics for future.

Dr. Naweed, the pioneer of brain cell activity reading chips, will undertake the experiments in the middle of this year. The hybrid, ultra-sensitive bionic chip will first serve as a diagnostic device for epileptic patients through numerous, unprecedented approaches.

The hybrid bionic chip is one of the three unique chips developed by Syed. It aims at detecting seizures in a way that’s never been done before.

Furthermore, after it’s implanted, the chip can not only detect seizures but also convey the signals wirelessly to a wearable pocket device. This can relieve the patients of a 30-foot cable, which is a part of the conventional procedure.

This chip is significant because it will be MR compatible and enable the surgeon to identify the location of the seizures, which is quite hard to achieve normally.

Although it took almost two decades of feverish experiments, deign, redesign, and observations, a two-way brain chip is finally ready for human trials.

Nevertheless, in the next step, the chip will not only detect seizures but also switch to a device that can subdue them. The human trials will begin in mid-2019 at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

When new technologies, inventions and even medications come on the market there is typically an altruistic look at what it can do. Little thought is given to the consequences and ramifications. Indeed in the midst of a pandemic some of the loudest voices of vaccine hesitation are coming from health care workers themselves. The say the vaccine was politicized, some say it was rushed and consequently the whole world is apart of testing a vaccine that has not undergone the typical 7 years required for a ‘sound’ clinical trail that evaluates the response of the body to the vaccine. What are the ethics involved in implanting humans with chips? Have we properly tested the risk and implications? What could be the consequences of not doing so? COVID 19 has brought clinical trails into warp speed literally in the midst of a history of pharmaceuticals consistently fined for not following clinical trial laws. How has COVID 19 changed the landscape of clinical trails. The United States has already surpassed the number of people who died in WWII in COVID deaths.

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Seeing the COVID-19 Pandemic from Space

By Abigail Seadler,
NASA’s Earth Science Division

Source: NASA
Photos Source: NASA

Economic and social shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to noticeable changes in Earth’s environment, at least for the short term. NASA researchers are using satellite and ground-based observations to track these impacts on our airlandwater, and climate. These datasets have been collected in a free and openly available online dashboard.

Average NO2 levels over San Francisco for the past 5 years
Source: NASA
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
NO2 levels over San Francisco in March 2020
Source: NASA
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Nitrogen Dioxide Levels Over San Francisco, California

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an air pollutant, decreased significantly over urban areas during the pandemic. The left image above shows average NO2 levels over San Francisco for the past 5 years, and the right image shows NO2 levels over San Francisco in March 2020. These data are from NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Credit: NASA COVID-19 Dashboard

The NASA COVID-19 Dashboard features data collected by Earth-observing satellites, instruments aboard the International Space Station, and sensitive ground-based networks. The global maps are searchable by several categories of observable change, including economic indicators, such as shipping and construction activity, and environmental factors, such as water quality and climate variations. Investigate the data layers yourself or take a guided tour of how NASA Earth scientists are studying – and learning about – the pandemic’s effects on the Earth system.

NASA scientists use many different tools, datasets, and methods to investigate COVID-related changes in the Earth system. Comparing complementary datasets on the dashboard helps reveal a deeper story of how the environment is changing due to COVID-related shutdowns.

satellite data of air pollution over California airport

Thermal data from the joint NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellite show decreases in the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon where urban areas are significantly warmer than adjacent rural areas, during the pandemic. The left image shows temperatures over San Francisco in April 2018, while the right image shows temperatures over San Francisco in April 2020. Scientists found that large parking lots, highway corridors, and commercial rooftops were on average 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit (5-8 degrees Celsius) cooler from March to May 2020, compared to previous years. Credit: NASA COVID-19 Dashboard.
Source: NASA
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

For example, scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center discovered that emptier parking lots near closed, non-essential businesses, in combination with cleaner air from less surface transportation, meant that heat from the sun radiating off dark asphalt and cement surfaces did not stay trapped near the ground as long. Instead, heat dissipated quickly, cooling the urban environment. Comparing the data to pre-pandemic years, scientists found that large parking lots, highway corridors, and commercial rooftops were, on average, 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit (about 5-8 degrees Celsius) cooler from March to May 2020.

The NASA COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated with more data and discoveries throughout the pandemic and beyond.

What does this information from NASA tell us about the impact of human activity on global warming? How can you help improve the environment? Do you ride a bike or recycle? Are you a Community Champion…read more about the environment below.

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

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Environmental Impacts of Solar Power

PHOTO: PIOTR ZAJDA/SHUTTERSTOCK
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: Union of Concerned Scientist

The sun provides a tremendous resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity without toxic pollution or global warming emissions.

The potential environmental impacts associated with solar power—land use and habitat loss, water use, and the use of hazardous materials in manufacturing—can vary greatly depending on the technology, which includes two broad categories: photovoltaic (PV) solar cells or concentrating solar thermal plants (CSP).

The scale of the system—ranging from small, distributed rooftop PV arrays to large utility-scale PV and CSP projects—also plays a significant role in the level of environmental impact.

Land use

Depending on their location, larger utility-scale solar facilities can raise concerns about land degradation and habitat loss. Total land area requirements varies depending on the technology, the topography of the site, and the intensity of the solar resource. Estimates for utility-scale PV systems range from 3.5 to 10 acres per megawatt, while estimates for CSP facilities are between 4 and 16.5 acres per megawatt.

Unlike wind facilities, there is less opportunity for solar projects to share land with agricultural uses. However, land impacts from utility-scale solar systems can be minimized by siting them at lower-quality locations such as brownfields, abandoned mining land, or existing transportation and transmission corridors [12]. Smaller scale solar PV arrays, which can be built on homes or commercial buildings, also have minimal land use impact.

Water use

Solar PV cells do not use water for generating electricity. However, as in all manufacturing processes, some water is used to manufacture solar PV components.

Concentrating solar thermal plants (CSP), like all thermal electric plants, require water for cooling. Water use depends on the plant design, plant location, and the type of cooling system.

CSP plants that use wet-recirculating technology with cooling towers withdraw between 600 and 650 gallons of water per megawatt-hour of electricity produced. CSP plants with once-through cooling technology have higher levels of water withdrawal, but lower total water consumption (because water is not lost as steam). Dry-cooling technology can reduce water use at CSP plants by approximately 90 percent [3]. However, the tradeoffs to these water savings are higher costs and lower efficiencies. In addition, dry-cooling technology is significantly less effective at temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many of the regions in the United States that have the highest potential for solar energy also tend to be those with the driest climates, so careful consideration of these water tradeoffs is essential. (For more information, see How it Works: Water for Power Plant Cooling.)

Hazardous materials

The PV cell manufacturing process includes a number of hazardous materials, most of which are used to clean and purify the semiconductor surface. These chemicals, similar to those used in the general semiconductor industry, include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and acetone. The amount and type of chemicals used depends on the type of cell, the amount of cleaning that is needed, and the size of silicon wafer [4].  Workers also face risks associated with inhaling silicon dust. Thus, PV manufactures must follow U.S. laws to ensure that workers are not harmed by exposure to these chemicals and that manufacturing waste products are disposed of properly.

Thin-film PV cells contain a number of more toxic materials than those used in traditional silicon photovoltaic cells, including gallium arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride[5]. If not handled and disposed of properly, these materials could pose serious environmental or public health threats. However, manufacturers have a strong financial incentive to ensure that these highly valuable and often rare materials are recycled rather than thrown away.

Life-cycle global warming emissions

While there are no global warming emissions associated with generating electricity from solar energy, there are emissions associated with other stages of the solar life-cycle, including manufacturing, materials transportation, installation, maintenance, and decommissioning and dismantlement. Most estimates of life-cycle emissions for photovoltaic systems are between 0.07 and 0.18 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour.

Most estimates for concentrating solar power range from 0.08 to 0.2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. In both cases, this is far less than the lifecycle emission rates for natural gas (0.6-2 lbs of CO2E/kWh) and coal (1.4-3.6 lbs of CO2E/kWh) [6]. 

References:

[1] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Renewable Energy at Mining Sites

[2, 3, 4] National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). 2012. Renewable Electricity Futures Study. Hand, M.M.; Baldwin, S.; DeMeo, E.; Reilly, J.M.; Mai, T.; Arent, D.; Porro, G.; Meshek, M.; Sandor, D. eds. 4 vols. NREL/TP-6A20-52409. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

[5] National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Best Research-Cell Efficiencies.

[6] IPCC, 2011: IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Prepared by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, K. Seyboth, P. Matschoss, S. Kadner, T. Zwickel, P. Eickemeier, G. Hansen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow (eds)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1075 pp. (Chapter 7 & 9).

What are the commercial implications of the solar panel industry? Why? Why not?

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China jails ‘gene-edited babies’ scientist for three years

Published 30 December 2019
Source: BBC

He Jiankui
Source: BBC
He Jiankui sparked an international backlash with his experiment last year
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

A scientist in China who said he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies has been jailed for three years.

He Jiankui was convicted of violating a government ban by carrying out his own experiments on human embryos, to try to give them protection against HIV.

He was globally condemned when he announced his experiments, and the birth of twin babies, last November.

Xinhua news agency said a third baby was also born at the same time, which had not previously been confirmed.

The local government in Guangdong province said it was keeping the babies under medical observation.

As well as the prison sentence, He was fined three million yuan ($430,000; £328,000).

The court also handed lower sentences to two men, Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou, for conspiring with He to carry out the experiments.

A court in Shenzhen said the men had acted “in the pursuit of personal fame and gain”, and had seriously “disrupted medical order”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“They’ve crossed the bottom line of ethics in scientific research and medical ethics,” the court added.

What happened last year?

He announced the birth of gene-edited twins called Lula and Nana in a video, filmed by Associated Press, in November 2018.

Describing his experiments, He said: “I understand my work will be controversial – but I believe families need this technology and I’m willing to take the criticism for them.”

After the video was released, the backlash from the science community both in China and around the world was swift and forceful.

The Chinese government placed He under police investigation and ordered his research work be stopped.

He was also fired by the university where he was an associate professor, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen.

The Chinese Academy of Science released a statement about He, saying it “firmly opposed” gene editing on humans.

“Under current circumstances, gene editing in human embryos still involves various unresolved technical issues, might lead to unforeseen risks, and violates the consensus of the international scientific community,” the statement added.

How did the experiment work?

He was targeting a gene called CCR5.

This is a set of genetic instructions that are important for a functioning immune system – but they are also the doorway that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) walks through to infect cells.

Mutations to CCR5 essentially lock the door and give people resistance to HIV. Fergus Walsh: “CRISPR gene editing …. uses molecular scissors to cut both strands of DNA”

According to South China Morning Post, He recruited seven heterosexual couples who wanted children to take part in the study. The men were all living with HIV, while the women were not.

The professor made embryos in an IVF clinic, and used gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to change the CCR5 gene.

He then forged documents in order to pass a mandatory ethics review, and fabricated information so that medical doctors would unknowingly implant the gene-edited embryos into two women.

What are the repercussions?

The full consequences of gene-editing babies are unclear, but the effects could be permanent.

If the babies grow up to have children of their own, any genetic modifications could be passed down through the generations. This could potentially introduce a lasting change to the human race.

This is even more complicated in the case of He’s experiment.

Earlier this month, when He’s original research was published for the first time, scientists said the results did not show what He had said they did.

While He had targeted the correct gene, they said, he had not created the exact mutation associated with resistance to HIV.

Instead, He created previously-unseen genetic edits – the effects of which are currently unknown.

Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, from the UK-based Francis Crick Institute, told BBC News that they “just can’t tell” what the effects of these edits will be.

“There have never been any studies on these specific mutations because they haven’t existed before,” he said.

“He was very foolish. He thought he knew better, but the techniques are just not there yet to do [genome editing] safely and efficiently.”

The long-term effects remain to be seen – but, Prof Lovell-Badge added, the main concern is “whether the three babies born are going to be healthy and looked after well”.

We previously shared the news of China’s gene editing scientist. As one can see he has since been jailed. Do you think this is the correct response? What does malpractice look like? What do you think of the current malpractice laws?

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Medications & Substance Abuse

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There is nothing more sensational than a star and their story of substance abuse. The questions is how do they get there. Indeed COVID 19 has highlighted the pharmaceutical industry as the world waits on the edge of its seat for a cure. In the mist of the pandemic many companies have gone under; others have faced tough times and decisions and yet others have re-invited themselves: namely Kodak. Kodak, famous for photo production, has now decided to get into the pharmaceutical business. Indeed there are many medicines, typically derived from nature, that have made a world of difference. There is no denying that the pharmaceutical industry makes several millions annually and often repackage a drug already on the market so they can circumvent clinical trails. The purpose of clinical trails is to confirm the medicine works and does what it claims to do.

Several times we have been offered medicines or a procedure that could be avoided by making changes in our diet, i.e. dialysis in place of increasing iron intake and taking a dietary supplement. In fact the medicines can add up quickly during one hospital visit. In some cases the symptoms produced by one medicine lead to the prescription of another medicine to address conditions one would not have if they did not take the medicine. In fact many doctors report that their patience soon suffer substance abuse. But many medicines are some type of drug. Its easy to see how multiple drug prescriptions can lead to substance abuse if one is not careful.

How many medicines do you take? What are they for? What are their sources in nature? Share your posts below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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How to buy food

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The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman has been essential to us in understanding how to buy food. It also helped us understand what our food should look, how it should be produced, processed and labeled. It also left us with concerns regarding transparency in the food industry and how our foods are labeled. In this day in age where scientists seem to be making more contributions to food production and processing than farmers, Eliot’s book reminds us that the growth, not production, of food is a biological process that begins in the soil not a scientific process that begins in a lab. When we look at many of our foods and the additives as well as preservatives in them, we can see there is a reason to be concerned about the things we are knowingly or unknowingly consuming. Eliot’s book is the beginning of understanding and knowledge of food and how science has taken food production away from this biological process.

To understand how to buy food appropriately we must first begin by reading our food labels and asking questions regarding the foods we buy. How were they grown and processed? Where do they come from? How far do they come? Coleman helps us understand what organically grown food means, looks like and how it is processed. It was one of our most helpful reads and can be found below. Where do you buy your foods? Are they organic? Are they locally grown? Share your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Organic Vegetables Edge

When to Buy Organic: A Produce Cheat Sheet | Consumer Reports

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Buying Organic
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Source: Consumer Reports

Making informed choices about the foods we eat also helps us partner well with health professionals regarding our over all health. Do you know the difference between Organic and Non Organic Foods? Do you think buying organic is like buying gourmet food? What is different about food today than food 40 years ago? What has changed and how do pesticides and GMOs effect your health? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.