Study "Genetics / DNA / Genes / Heredity" Essays 276-291

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How a Systems View Helps the Environment Research Paper

… Oberlin Project and the Systems View of Life

Mind-Map of Frijtof's Talk

As Fritjof (2014) points out, there are four dimensions of life -- the biological, cognitive, social and ecological dimensions. This vision of life, moreover, results in specific philosophical, social and political repercussions in the world. These repercussions or implications are evident in the focuses of the current modern era, such as projects like sustainable communities, which do not focus on "economic" growth or capitalistic advantage, but rather on "the very web of life on which our long-term survival depends" (Fritjof, 2014). This shows that by working together in mutual respect and appreciation in a communal way with nature (rather than in an effort to exploit nature for one's own profit) actually helps to reinforce the systems view of life and recognize the planet is not an infinite source of raw materials.

Sustainable communities should be designed in a manner that ensure that the community's technology, institutions, etc., do not interfere with nature's ability to sustain life. The implication is that nature is the guiding hand and ultimate support that people should depend upon, and when they attempt to control rather than be supported by nature, the trouble begins -- and can be seen in issues such as global warming, pollution, de-forestation, the eradication of species, soil erosion, water levels rising, ice caps melting, smog, carcinogens in the air, toxic streams, and genetically-modified food organisms that have been shown to be cancer-causing.

Thus the main point of the talk by Fritjof is that people should respect nature and work with it rather than against it. Nature is a strong force that has been sustaining life on the planet for thousands of years and that can continue to do so if people stop attempting to confine their view of life in a materialistic box, or in a philosophical system that puts the elevation of self above the rightful place of the world of nature. As Fritjof and Luisi note in their book on the same subject, it is vital that the world stop calling that growth which is actually waste: "Let's define growth as that which enhances life -- as generation and regeneration -- and declare that our planet needs more of it."

In the light of this main thesis of Fritjof, the Oberlin Project and the sustainable practices of Istanbul and Oberlin cities can be compared and discussed more… [read more]


How a City May Lower Energy Costs With Windmills Grant Proposal

… Wind Farm Proposal

There is ample empirical scientific evidence that the world's climate is changing, and notwithstanding those in positions of authority that deny the climate is warming, the facts are clear. Seas are rising, temperatures are rising on land and in the oceans, ice sheets are shrinking, glaciers are shrinking, the ocean is becoming acidified, and there is strong evidence that the use of fossil fuels -- in particular, coal -- is contributing to the climate change. So, the need to introduce renewable energy sources -- that do not contribute to carbon to the atmosphere, is seen as a positive way to slow down the warming of the earth.

Among the renewable energy sources being installed and instituted is wind power. There are many advantages to wind energy (it's green; space-efficient; renewable; protects homeowners from power outages; the cost of wind energy has been reduced by 80% since 1980; and wind power (stirred by the sun) has enormous potential because though winds do subside on occasion, there will always be wind).

Proposal for two 100 kW Wind Turbines

A small town in northern Colorado is considering installing two 100 kW Wind Turbines to produce a significant portion of the needed electricity. Wellington, Colorado, is a town of 6,725 (according to the 2010 U.S. Census) north of Fort Collins. Available wind information from www.city-data.com shows that Fort Collins has wind speeds on average of 12.8 MPH.

The town's fiscal administrator proposed to the city council that the community invest in a pair of 100 kW turbines, which will power all or nearly all the city's infrastructure, representing an annual savings of $19,000 to $26,000. The engineering department researched the cost of the turbines, the expected cost of installation, the tax credits available and the federal dollars available through grants. And the fiscal administrator followed up with the data provided through the engineering research and made a proposal to the mayor and the city council.

The report to the mayor and city council --… [read more]


Article Review on Greenhouse Gases Article Critique

… Greenhouse gases have become a topic of discussion in recent times. Local governments have been planting trees in the last decade to offset carbon emissions. In "Urban Tree Planting and Greenhouse Gas Reductions" by Greg McPherson, the author argues that tree planting fights global warming by cooling the air temperature of the areas the trees are planted in and absorbing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Some proponents against tree planting say that the dark non-reflective leaves of trees contribute to global warming by making the surface area from tree canopies abler to absorb heat from sunlight. The author makes some excellent points as to why such assumptions are invalid and why tree planting can and has contributed to reducing global warming.

The first point he makes is that tree planting is not an exclusive way to end global warming. If anything, it is complementary. It adds to the many ways to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and carbon emissions. How tree planting can contribute to reducing global warming is through the tree's ability to absorb carbon dioxide and cool the air where its planted. In urban areas where additional trees were planted, during the summer months, the overall temperature was less compared to before the planting of additional trees. A good example of this is New York City and its tree planting initiative.

Several years after the initiative finished, the overall air temperature during the summer months changed, providing relief from the heat and enabled less use of air conditioners, leading to less energy used overall. Carbon emissions come from energy usage and energy creation. As McPherson stated, "Lowering summertime temperatures by planting trees in cities is one way to reduce energy use and thereby reduce carbon dioxide emissions. And planting trees is an immediate solution." (McPherson) It makes sense that trees could and do and contribute to reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through both absorbing the carbon dioxide and reducing usage of electricity/fuel.

Another point McPherson made was that while tree planting may be temporary due to any number of factors, contracts, ordinances and so forth may help provide a more long-lasting solution to tree planting. Sure development of alternative energy sources can be helpful in the long run for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, cars for example produce a greenhouse gases and contribute greatly to global warming. If every car on the road used an alternative fuel source that did not produce greenhouse gases or if less cars were on the road, it would significantly contribute to alleviating global warming for years to come. However, as the author suggests, this idea plus an immediate solution like tree planting can be used together along with other ways to reduce carbon-dioxide emission like using less energy to cool or heat homes, riding bicycles, recycling, and… [read more]


Energy Utilization in Wireless Sensor Networks Term Paper

… Energy Utilization in Wireless Sensor Network

The wireless sensor network is considered to be one of the most significant technologies in this epoch, and has been receiving a great deal of emphasis not only from the industries, but also from… [read more]


Acas X Technology and the Next Generation of Flying Research Paper

… ¶ … Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS/ACAS)

The collision avoidance systems TCAS/ACAS used by large craft are essential in avoiding midair collisions. Over time they have been developed in such a way that they can now supply pilots with advisories… [read more]


Ethics Birth Essay

… Ethics

Couples should not be encouraged to have preimplantation genetic determination (PGD). PGD is a technique that involves "removing cells from the early embryo to test for genetic mutations, which can cause disease" (Morris, 2008). Ethically, there is nothing wrong with using PGD, as it is essentially a diagnostic tool, and does not cause harm to the mother or the child (Morris, 2008). However, it is also not a medically-necessary procedure. PGD can be used for a number of purposes, but one of the most important is to evaluate for genetic mutations such as those that might cause disease or conditions like Down's Syndrome. While it is beneficial for parents to know about the potential for these things, in many cases PGD is not a 100% accurate predictor of conditions, so is not necessarily going to be used to make decisions about the pregnancy. Arguably, such diagnoses can be made after birth more easily and accurately, so for most patients that is probably the best course of action. Again, while there is benefit to PGD is not a medical necessity, and while there is limited risk associated with it, there is no reason to claim that it is necessary to recommend PGD. It can be recommended, but it is not necessary to do so.

There are exceptions, however, and certainly so for patients with specific risk factors. Sherbahn (2013) notes that mothers with advanced age of 38 years or more are at greater risk from their pregnancies; that mothers with repeated in vitro fertilization failure are at greater risk; those with inherited genetic conditions or are carriers of chromosomal translocations and those with recurrent miscarriages are all patients for whom PGD might be medically necessary or beneficial. These patients would represent an exception, and in such cases it could be argued that mothers with these characteristics should receive PGD testing, as it could reduce the risk to the mother or avoid passing… [read more]


Blastoderm Fate Mapping and Chick Cardia Bifida Experiments Essay

… Chicken Lab

Chicken Embryo Lab Report

A fate map can be used to track the progression of cell movements during chick embryo development. There are several potential uses for the information gathered and recorded on fate maps; the movement of cells and organs during development can yield a great deal of information regarding specifics of the species or genetic line as well as more general evolutionary information. In this technique, pioneered by N. Spratt and H. Haas (Journal of Experimental Zoology 103: 259-304 1946; 144: 139-158, 1960), the fate map is created by placing carbon markers in the blastoderm after it has been transferred to a petri dish. It is expected that significant movement of the carbon markers will occur during the experiment.

Materials and Methods

A chick blastoderm was explanted into an agar-containing petri dish following an incubation period. Glass needles were created y melting and stretching the ends of pipettes, and these needles were used to place very small amounts of carbon (charcoal) at three different spots near he primitive streak of the blastoderm. The embryo was at an early stage when it was marked, and after marking retained the faint "V" of the primitive streak with three clumps of carbon of varying size ranged in a perpendicular line to the point of the "V." The petri dish was returned to the incubator wth damp paper towels and was retrieved for further observation two days after the initial markings with charcoal were made.

Results

Following two days of continuing incubation, the blastoderm appeared… [read more]


Bioethical Concerns Term Paper

… A., Pedersen, D., Clepper, D., Nelson, M.., Sanger, W., Gokhale, S., Wolf, D. & Mitalipov, S. (2007). Producing primate embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Nature, 450 (7169), 497 -- 502.

Chung, L., Klimanskaya, I., Becker, S., Marh, J. et al. (2006). Embryonic and extraembryonic stem cell lines derived from single mouse blastomeres. Nature, 439(7073), 216 -- 219.

Cohen, C.B. (2007). Renewing the stuff of life: Stem cells, ethics, and public policy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hyun, I. & Jung, K.W. (2006). Human research cloning, embryos, and embryo-like artifacts. Hastings Center Report, 36(5), 34 -- 41.

ISSCR. (2008). ISSCR task force for the clinical translation of Stem Cells. In Guidelines for the clinical translation of stem cells. Retrieved June 25, 2011, from http://isscr.org/clinical_trans/pdfs/ISSCRGLClinicalTrans.pdf.

Takahashi, K. & Yamanaka, S. (2006). Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors. Cell, 126(4), 663 -- 676.

Meissner, A. & Jaenisch, R. (2006). Generation of nuclear transfer-derived pluripotent ES cells from cloned Cdx2-deficient blastocysts. Nature, 439(7073), 212 -- 215.

National Research Council. (2005). Guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Nisbet, M.C. (2004). Public opinion about stem cell research and human cloning. Public Opinion Quarterly,… [read more]


Human Cloning and Genetic Engineering Annotated Bibliography

… Human Cloning and Genetic Engineering

The subject of human cloning is one of the most controversial subjects being debated today. It is also one of the most scientifically fascinating subjects, because it is the first to bring science and God… [read more]


Human Beings and Primates Term Paper

… The genetic difference between humans and chimps means that that the less goal-directed chimpanzees live in the wilderness. It takes planning to build houses and make tools but chimps do not make use of tools, because the four percent genetic difference limits their physical and mental capacity to do so. Instead, chimpanzees make use of their entire bodies more than humans to survive. Even chimpanzees in the zoo engage in more physical contact regarding survival. Chimps establish dominance by fighting in against other chimps, while humans make use of verbal communication as well as physical communication.

Chimpanzees are also, because they live in the wild and do not have tools, more dependent on one another. Even though chimpanzees live in groups, while humans can live alone. This is because of the four percent of genetic differences between the two species. Thus chimps do not have the support system of a civilization that provides them with ready access to food at the supermarket, or protects them from the elements in the form of ready-made clothing. Human beings were able to evolve to create more sophisticated tools and commodities, so they did not have to constantly cope with the demands of heat, cold, and the threat of starvation.

Humans are able to forego immediate goals in society, with an eye upon long-term goals because their brains are more developed than chimpanzees, one of the results of the seemingly few but very important genetic differences. Sometimes these goals are impressive, such as the achievements of the space program, modern medicine, and the physical understanding of the universe, while other human social power plays might make us long for the simpler, seemingly more honest physical fighting of chimpanzees! Chimpanzees only have goals such as feeding themselves, or winning a fight, but they do not plot and plan, or make scientific discoveries because the four percent difference limits their mental focus to the moment, and this affects chimp civilizations' ability to create long-term goals… [read more]


Against Human Cloning Term Paper

… ¶ … Against Human Cloning

For many decades, the scientific idea for human cloning has, for the most part, only been discussed in the realm of science fiction, but in today's highly technical world, human cloning has almost become a reality which has to be discussed and examined with much caution and the use of hard facts. In essence, the arguments for and against human cloning vary widely; some scientist and researchers claim that human cloning will lead to great advances in medicine and how diseases are treated, and while this may be true, human cloning itself is a major violation against our embodied and engendered selves as human beings and has the potential to destroy the social relations as designed by nature.

First of all, human cloning has the potential to completely alter the future of a human being, especially in relation to the unborn, and violates the right to choose how a person lives his/her own life and the right to be a unique human being, both mentally and physically. Also, it is a violation on the part of the clone itself, meaning that he/she will be deprived of the opportunity to live within a viable future, not to mention that all the important aspects of a person will be known beforehand, such as physical appearance and abilities which will place a huge burden on the person as to the expectations of others.

Robert Wachbroit adds to this argument by stating that cloned individuals "would be wronged in morally significant ways... being "the right to an open future." For example, "a child might be constantly compared to the adult from whom he/she was cloned and thereby burdened with oppressive expectations... Finally... A child might be burdened with the thought that he/she is a copy and not an original, (affecting) the child's sense of self-worth or individuality or dignity... " (Internet, 1999).

Second, it is quite obvious that human cloning is a repugnant activity when compared to the normal method of human reproduction. According to Glenn McGee, "those who oppose human cloning point to the repugnance of a style of reproduction with such profound potential for vanity, arguing that the freedom of children and (the) nature of the family are in danger" (Internet, 2001). Basically, human cloning is an asexual process, meaning that it involves no type of sexual activity between two consenting persons. This makes the process comparable to many lower forms of life, such as bacteria, algae, fungi and a number of lower invertebrates. In the scope of human sexuality, life is generally begun by two individuals through love and nurturing; however, with human cloning, this process is voided because love and nurturing play no role whatsoever. Thus, human cloning goes completely against human nature and allows any… [read more]


Embryonic Stem Cell Research in November 1998 Term Paper

… Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In November 1998, two research groups independently announced that they had isolated human stem cells from embryonic tissues, had cultivated the cells, and shown these cells could develop into all three basic layers of cells in… [read more]


Cloning Is Among the Feats Term Paper

… If this is what is going to occur, cloning therefore is a threat on every aspect of living. It endangers the existence of naturally born human beings and on the peace of society because cloning can present different kinds crimes such as falsification of identity.

Aside from the social problems that cloning presents, it can also bring more problems in the health of humans. Any mistake in genetic engineering can present new kinds of diseases because genetic engineering is considered as a process of "trial and error," without any assurance of success. Such problem can be inherited by future generations and can bring more problems to the already existing ones. A cycle of solving medical problems through genetic engineering and enhancements would only mean a continuous danger to human health.

Bibliography

Bailey, Ronald. Cloning is Ethical. Ethics.

Brenda Stalcup, Ed Current Controversies Series.

Greenhaven Press.

Edwords, Fred. Genetic Engineering Can Be Ethical. The Ethics of Genetic Engineering.

Lisa Yount Ed. At Issue Series. Greenhaven Press.

Gert, Bernard. Genetic Engineering of Humans is Largely Unethical.

Genetic Engineering. 2001. James D. Torr, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints Series.

Greenhaven Press.

Kass, Leon R. Cloning Humans Is Not Ethical. Genetic Engineering.

2002. Lisa Yount Ed. At Issue Series. Greenhaven Press.

Minerd, Jeff T. Genetic Engineering Will Benefit Human Health and the Environment.

Genetic Engineering.

2002. Lisa Yount Ed. Current Controversies Series.

Greenhaven Press.

Silver,… [read more]


Clarkia Unguiculata: Onagraceae Evolutionary (Pollination Term Paper

… The main finding of the research is that it is the nature of genotype rather than the type of pollination that directly affects the reproductive success of C. unguiculata. It is also inferred that the rate of metabolism affects reproductive success as reflected in the form of speedy pollen tube development in the case of CC allele. However the positive effects of the increased metabolic rate can be offset by the negative effects as in the case of reduced ovule fertilization time. (Leading to fewer seeds). In short the counterbalancing effects of the rate of metabolism on the male and female reproductive systems creates a kind of equilibrium.

Similarly we can discern from the study is that the BB maternal genotypes accounted for higher number of viable seeds while recipients homozygous for the CC alleles accounted for more aborted seeds indicating a decreased female fertility rate. However increased seed viability in BB allele does not in any way increase the total seed mass for a fruit. This makes it clear that allelic variations have a contrasting effect on male and female fertility in C. unguiculata. This also leads us to the conclusion that Allozyme genotypes have a direct influence on the reproductive success of CLARKIA UNGUICULATA. In this way the reproductive ability or the efficiency is maintained in Clarkia. Unguiculata. The plant Clarkia.Unguiculata is an ideal example for the branch of evolutionary pollination ecology.

Bibliography

The following article was used as the source.

1) Steven E. Travers, a, 1 and Susan J. Mazera, Department of Ecology and Marine Biology, University of California, "TRADE-OFFS BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE REPRODUCTION ASSOCIATED WITH ALLOZYME VARIATION IN PHOSPHOGLUCOISOMERASE IN AN ANNUAL PLANT (CLARKIA

UNGUICULATA: ONAGRACEAE)" [read more]


Congressional Ban on 'Cloning Term Paper

… (Boston Globe)"

The fate of cloning is at a crossroads now as the GOP readies to reintroduce the bill to ban cloning. Recently the Boston Globe wrote "Therapeutic cloning will achieve the same unassailable status [as In Vitro fertilization] if it ever leads to successful treatments of Parkinson's disease, heart failure, or other serious conditions. But it will be deprived of the chance to prove itself, at least in this country, if the anticloning bill of GOP Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas is passed. (A12)"

Throughout history people have been afraid of things they do not understand. The medical field has seen itself face prosecution to improve the services it would provide to make people healthier and well. From the Middle Ages to the present, doctors have found themselves under constant public scrutiny and struggling to research new methods and practices. Cloning is the beginning of new medical sciences that will contribute to the well being and improved health conditions of people around the world, including those in the poorer Third World countries.

The British Medical Association said, "Public hostility to human reproductive cloning may be based on an illogical and transient fear of a new technology (humancloning.org)." I believe this is true, and it is important for Congress to allow for medical science to research cloning and the advances in health care that will stem from it.

Bibliography

Boston Globe Editorial A Cloud Over Cloning. Boston Globe (A12), 25 November 2002.

The Human Cloning Foundation http://www.humancloning.orgOnline. 8 December, 2002.

Westphal, Sylvia Pagan. Cloned Stem Cells May Give New Lease on Life.

New Scientist… [read more]


In-Vitro Fertilization Term Paper

… e., that the process should be used as a last resort for infertile couples. Next, using in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis could open the floodgates to couples wanting "designer" babies, i.e., babies who possess those traits which are perceived as being the most genetically desirable.

Third, using in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is permitting human life to be created as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Although proponents of such treatment argue that it is being created to help another sibling, once it has been conceded that human life may be created for purposes other than those originally intended, it is very difficult to see where one should draw the line. Lastly, using in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to create a baby which is free of genetic disorders violates the notion that childbirth is the result of an act of God, one which sometimes produces babies which suffer from genetic disorders. Permitting doctors to assist individuals in creating "designer" babies is comparable to giving doctors a license to play God.

CONCLUSION

In-vitro fertilization was originally intended to assist couples who were infertile in having a baby. However, in recent years, the use of in-vitro fertilization and especially pre-implantation genetic diagnosis has been vastly expanded beyond its original intent. It is now possible for individuals to utilize such procedures and tests to create "designer" (i.e., babies without any genetic disorders) babies. Likewise, it is now possible for individuals to utilize in-vitro fertilization in order to create a baby whose umbilical cord blood will be able to cure or treat a genetic disorder in another child.

While proponents of in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis argue that such treatments were only created and are only being utilized to help save lives, the use of such procedures and tests is an extremely slippery slope which is riddled with potentially dangerous ethical and medical implications. For once it has been conceded that human life may be created for other purposes than those which were originally intended (i.e., to help deal with the issue of infertility), then it is very difficult to see where one should draw the line. In addition, while proponents of in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis argue that such treatments have only been and will only be approved in extremely rare circumstances and under strict controls, the mere fact that such treatment is being utilized at all leaves the door open to abuse by individuals seeking to create "perfect" babies. [read more]


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