US approves 13 embryonic stem cell lines for research

In health care on December 3, 2009 at 2:47 am
“I have to applaud the US government for throwing away the shackles of the ignorant righteous and allowing a process to begin that may save thousands of lives and hopefully will not just support the wealthy, but the real people in need as well. – Aj. Aaron.

Stem cell cultures, University of California, 2006

Many scientists believe stem cells hold great promise for new treatments

US regulators have approved 13 new lines of human embryonic stem cells for use in scientific research.

They are the first batches of embryonic stem cells – the building blocks of the body – that have been made available to US researchers in almost a decade.

The move comes after President Barack Obama eased restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research.

Another 96 lines could soon be approved if they meet the ethical guidelines unveiled in July, US scientists said.

Scientists hope to harness the cells to treat a variety of diseases, including injuries, cancer and diabetes.

Ethical tests

“I am happy to say that we now have human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for use by our research community under our new stem cell policy,” said Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health.

Embryonic stem cells come from days-old embryos and can morph into any type of cell in the body.

Each embryo yields one stem cell line – a family of cells which can be replicated indefinitely in a laboratory.

But their use in scientific research is controversial. Opponents say culling the cells is unethical, as it destroys the human embryo.

Under former President George W Bush, federal funding was limited to about 60 stem cell lines created from embryos destroyed prior to August 2001.

Scientists say the new lines were created in ways that made them far better candidates for successful research.

The US government unveiled ethical guidelines for the research in July, requiring full parental consent and limiting scientists to using existing embryos that would otherwise be destroyed.

In keeping with the guidelines, the 13 newly-approved lines were created using private money from leftover embryos at fertility clinics.


Zeitgeist – The Movie

In Abuse of Power, Capitalism, Movie, Religion on December 3, 2009 at 2:31 am

If you have ever had a problem with religion, governments, and capitalism, this is a must see movie. Everybody should see this at least once. If only a third of it is true it is disturbing enough. – Aj. Aaron


Extremely controversial documentary split into three parts, first producing information discrediting religion, particularly Christainity through showing the simmilarities of major religious figures. Part 2 describes the problems with what was told to us about the events surrounding Sept. 11 and and provides evidence to show who the writers believe really was responsible for the attacks. The third part deals with banks and resulting theories of World leaders plans to create one world bank. Also touches on the people responsible for the Great Deppression. Written by Anonymous

A documentary that calls for vigilance and the search for truth, using a rigged comparison against Christianity it proves its point to all who are influenced by the message it sends forth. It goes on by putting forth a view that totalitarianism will be the demand of the uncritical majority. Claiming that religion, state, media and more all work towards this end. Written by RBP

This film gathers information from many sources and puts it together in a way that shows it is possible for people to be manipulated by large institutions, governments and economic powers. It is divided into 3 parts. 1. Religion: Pagan astrological beliefs compared to modern and ancient religions. (9:35-35:53) 2. 9/11: An overview of the numerous questionable aspects of this immensely important event. (35:54-1:09:16) 3. The Federal Reserve Bank: A history of its formation and ability to control the economy. (1:09:17-1:56:23) With many news clips from tragic events in history, audio excerpts from those who believe people are being misled about the level of freedom they have, this riveting documentary will anger those who agree with it as well as those who do not. A very timely and important piece of work that all free thinking people should see. Viewer Content Warning: This film contains stock photos and film of war and September 11th scenes that may not be suitable for all viewers. (18 or older) Written by Jeff1961

This documentary is not for the faint-hearted. it dissects the origins of the christian religion and gives an interesting view on how a few american banks (and thus a few very powerful people) have seized worldpower at the beginning of the 20th century. it also related these topics to the big wars that have been fought in the 20th century and are still being fought today! Written by Anonymous

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The White Tiger (E-Book)

In E-Book, India on December 1, 2009 at 1:50 am

“Here is an excellent e-book written by Aravind Adiga that shows the great divide in class and wealth that exists in India. – Aj. Aaron”


Aravind Adiga’s extraordinary and brilliant first novel takes the form of a series of letters to Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, from Balram Halwai, the Bangalore businessman who is the self-styled “White Tiger” of the title. Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of the subcontinent, and on the eve of a state visit by Jiabao, our entrepreneur Halwai wishes to impart something of the new India to the Chinese premier – “out of respect for the love of liberty shown by the Chinese people, and also in the belief that the future of the world lies with the yellow man and the brown man now that our erstwhile master, the white-skinned man, has wasted himself through buggery, mobile phone usage and drug abuse”.

Halwai’s lesson about the new India is drawn from the rags-to-riches story of his own life. For Halwai, the son of a rural rickshaw-puller, is from the “Darkness”: “Please understand, Your Excellency, that India is two countries in one: an India of Light, and an India of Darkness. The ocean brings light to my country. Every place on the map of India near the ocean is well-off. But the river brings darkness to India – the black river.”

The black river is the Ganges, beloved of the sari-and-spices tourist image of India. (“No! – Mr Jiabao, I urge you not to dip in the Ganga, unless you want your mouth full of faeces, straw, soggy parts of human bodies, buffalo carrion, and seven different kinds of industrial acids.”)

At first, this novel seems like a straightforward pulled-up-by-your-bootstraps tale, albeit given a dazzling twist by the narrator’s sharp and satirical eye for the realities of life for India’s poor. (“In the old days there were 1,000 castes…in India. These days, there are just two castes: Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies.”) But as the narrative draws the reader further in, and darkens, it becomes clear that Adiga is playing a bigger game. For The White Tiger stands at the opposite end of the spectrum of representations of poverty from those images of doe-eyed children that dominate our electronic media – that sentimentalise poverty and even suggest that there may be something ennobling in it. Halwai’s lesson in The White Tiger is that poverty creates monsters, and he himself is just such a monster.

Talk of “lessons” should not be taken to suggest that The White Tiger is a didactic exercise in “issues”, like a newspaper column. For Adiga is a real writer – that is to say, someone who forges an original voice and vision. There is the voice of Halwai – witty, pithy, ultimately psychopathic. And there is imagery, with which the author brings the themes into focus. How about this for high definition, as Halwai at last arrives in the city and lands a job as a driver: “With their tinted windows up, the cars of the rich go like dark eggs down the roads of Delhi. Every now and then, an egg will crack open – a woman’s hand, dazzling with gold bangles, stretches out of an open window, flings an empty mineral water bottle onto the road – and then the window goes up, and the egg is resealed.”

The life of the poor, however, is very different: “Go to Old Delhi …and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundreds of pale hens and brightly coloured roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages…They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they’re next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop. The very same thing is done with human beings in this country.”

I will not spoil the effect of this remarkable novel by giving away exactly how the White Tiger breaks out of the coop – what form his act of blood-stained entrepreneurship takes. Suffice to say that I was reminded of abook that is totally different in tone and style, Richard Wright’s Native Son, a tale of the murderous career of a black kid from the Chicago ghetto that awakened 1940s America to the reality of the racial divide.

Whether The White Tiger will do the equivalent for today’s India – we shall see.

The White Tiger

Part 1

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