Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 18 July 2013

USDA Grants $149,074 to Study Food Shopping Patterns with GPS -

USDA Grants $149,074 to Study Food Shopping Patterns with GPS - 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $149,074 grant to study food shopping patterns that may form the basis of future shopping “interventions.”
The USDA award went to the University of Kentucky in April for the study titled, “Adolescent and Parent Food Activity Patterns as Drivers of Food Choice and Behaviors.”
According to the grant abstract, “There is limited research understanding how adolescents and their parents move within their daily lives which may influence their food choices and ultimately diet behavior.”
The project will examine the influences on food shopping patterns, or as the proposal put it: “The overall goal of the proposed project is to examine the drivers of food shopping patterns, behaviors and food purchasing choices within the food activity space among adolescents and their parents.”

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Steam Rising Again From Fukushima Reactor -

Steam Rising Again From Fukushima Reactor - 

As Japan’s infatuation with the great nominal stock market experiment continues, the government wishes nothing more than to put the Fukushima nuclear disaster in the past, so it can restart its nuclear power plants: the critical, decisive factor if Abenomics has any chance of succeeding, as the country’s economy will never recover if it has to rely on foreign sources of energy. Alas, for the time being this looks improbable and following the latest news out of Fukushima, it may be downright impossible. According to the BBC, the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been emitting steam from its destroyed reactor, confirming that while one can bury radioactive garbage under the rug, it continues to emit gamma rays and is likely to get much worse before it gets better.
From BBC:
 Steam has been seen rising from a reactor building at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator says. It says it is investigating what is causing the steam at the damaged No 3 reactor building. The plant, crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, has seen a series of water leaks and power failures.
Water is being pumped into the reactors to cool them, but that has left Tepco with the problem of storing the contaminated waste water. A worker first noticed the steam after reviewing camera footage taken of the building, Tepco said.
The operator said in a statement there was a “steam-like gas wafting through the air near the central part of the fifth floor [equipment storage pool side]” of the No 3 reactor building.
The reactor water injection and the cooling of the spent fuel pool were “continuing stably”, Tepco said. There were also no significant change in the temperature of the reactor. “We will continue to monitor the status closely,” the statement added.
Tepco, naturally, despite admitting it is not sure what is going on, had a prepared “all is well” statement:
Tokyo Electric Power Company said there was no emergency situation and there were no signs of increased radiation in the area.
“We do not believe an emergency situation is breaking out although we are still investigating what caused this,” a spokesman told Agence-France Presse news agency. Mayumi Yoshida, another Tepco spokesperson, told Reuters news agency: “We think it’s possible that rain made its way through the reactor building and having fallen on the primary containment vessel, which is hot, evaporated creating steam.”
This is the latest in a series of problems that the Fukushima power plant has faced in recent months. Last week, a sharp increase in radioactive cesium was detected in groundwater 25m (82ft) from the sea. In June, radioactive water was also found to be leaking from a storage tank.
NYT has more:
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stood ready Thursday to inject boric acid into one of its most heavily damaged reactors after it found steam emanating from the reactor building. The preventive measure would stave off sustained nuclear reactions in the reactor’s damaged core, though officials stressed that such reactions were a remote possibility.
The incident has brought the Fukushima plant’s vulnerable state into sharp relief, more than two years after its reactors suffered multiple meltdowns when its cooling systems were overwhelmed by a powerful earthquake and tsunami. A recent jump in levels of radioactive cesium and tritium in the groundwater at the coastal plant, along with suggestions that the groundwater is leaking into the Pacific, has also raised alarms over the continued environmental threat posed by the plant.
Remote camera footage Thursday showed steam escaping from the top of the No. 3 reactor’s primary containment structure, which houses its fuel vessel, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco. A worker who checked the footage Thursday morning noticed the steam, said Hiroki Kawamata, a spokesman for the operator.

Mr. Kawamata said officials were unsure what was generating the steam, and hypothesized that rainwater seeping into the containment vessel may have turned to vapor because of elevated temperatures there. Extremely high levels of radiation in the now roofless upper sections of the No. 3 reactor building — destroyed in a hydrogen explosion that rocked the reactor during the early days of the 2011 disaster — make it too dangerous for workers to approach. Debris removal work is carried out by remotely-operated cranes.
Video footage seemed to show less steam Thursday evening, and after sundown it became too dark to accurately check for any vapor, Masayuki Ono, acting general manager of Tepco’s nuclear power and plant siting division, later told an emergency news conference.
Still, workers were ready to inject water containing boric acid into the reactor from the outside at any signs of further trouble, such as a rapid rise in temperature or radiation parameters, the company said in an e-mailed statement.
Such spikes would raise the chilling possibility of criticality in the reactor’s damaged fuel, most which is thought to have melted and slumped to the bottom of its containment structure after the hydrogen explosion, one of several at the site in 2011. Boric acid would slow that rate of fission, preventing the worst-case scenario of uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions in the core.
As is well known, however, all those ongoing radioactive events are purely “due to the weather” and nothing to do with the most glaring disaster coverup in recent history.


Human-Animal Hybrids: Sick And Twisted Chimeras Are Being Created In Labs All Over The Planet -

Human-Animal Hybrids: Sick And Twisted Chimeras Are Being Created In Labs All Over The Planet - 

Did you know that scientists all over the globe are creating extremely bizarre human-animal chimeras?  Over the past decade, there have been some absolutely stunning advances in the field of genetic modification.  Today, it is literally possible for college students to create new lifeforms in their basements.  Unfortunately, laws have not kept pace with these advancements, and in many countries there are very few limits on what scientists are allowed to do.  As you will read about below, extremely creepy human-animal hybrids are now being created in laboratories all over the planet.  And this is just the stuff that is publicly admitted.  Can you imagine what kind of sick and twisted experiments are taking place in the dark corners of secret labs that nobody knows about?  And what happens if these creatures get out into the wild and starting mating?  At that point, it would be nearly impossible to “put the genie back into the bottle”.  Scientists seem very eager to test the limits of what is possible, but what they are unleashing may have consequences that none of us ever dreamed possible.

Just the other day, we learned that scientists have created mice that have an artificial human chromosome “in every cell of their bodies”. 

So what should we call such creatures?  They are definitely not fully mice anymore.

Scientists are hailing this as a “breakthrough” which could lead to all sorts of new treatments for disease.  The following is from an article entitled “Mice with human chromosomes – the genetic breakthrough that could revolutionise medicine“…

Scientists have created genetically-engineered mice with artificial human chromosomes in every cell of their bodies, as part of a series of studies showing that it may be possible to treat genetic diseases with a radically new form of gene therapy.

In one of the unpublished studies, researchers made a human artificial chromosome in the laboratory from chemical building blocks rather than chipping away at an existing human chromosome, indicating the increasingly powerful technology behind the new field of synthetic biology.

This is quite bizarre.

But creating mice with artificial human chromosomes is one thing.

Creating mice with partly human brains is a whole different ball of wax.

According to LifeNews.com, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have successfully transferred cells from human embryos into the brains of mice.  Those cells began to grow and develop, and they actually made the mice smarter…

Yet experiments like these are going forward just the same. In just the past few months, scientists at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Rochester have published data on their human-animal neural chimeras. For the Wisconsin study, researchers injected mice with an immunotoxin to destroy a part of their brains–the hippocampus–that’s associated with learning, memory, and spatial reasoning. Then the researchers replaced those damaged cells with cells derived from human embryos. The cells proliferated and the lab chimeras recovered their ability to navigate a water maze.

For the Rochester study, researchers implanted newborn mice with nascent human glial cells, which help support and nourish neurons in the brain. Six months later, the human parts had elbowed out the mouse equivalents, and the animals had enhanced ability to solve a simple maze and learn conditioned cues. These protocols might run afoul of the anti-hybrid laws, and perhaps they should arouse some questions. These chimeric mice may not be human, or even really human, but they’re certainly one step further down the path to Algernon. It may not be so long before we’re faced with some hairy bioethics: What rights should we assign to mice with human brains?

Is this really a good idea?

Do we really want to start creating entities that are part-human?

Apparently, it is now even possible to grow entire human organs inside animals.  In fact, scientists in Japan plan to start systematically growing human organs inside of pigs within 12 months.  The goal is to increase the number of organs available for medical transplants as a recent Infowars.com article explained…

A panel of scientists and legal experts appointed by the Japanese government will be gathering together to begin drafting guidelines governing Japan’s historic embryonic research. If all goes according to plan, scientists hope to begin growing human organs in animals within the next 12 months.
The research sounds like something out of a science fiction novel. Scientists place a human stem cell into the embryo of an animal to create a “chimeric embryo” that can be implanted into the animal’s womb. According to the Telegraph, the animal in question will most likely be a pig.
Once the embryo is implanted it will grow into a perfect human organ – a heart, a kidney, a pancreas, and so on. Then, when the adult pig is slaughtered, the organ will be harvested and transplanted into someone who needs a new one.
But once a human organ is grown inside a pig, that pig is no longer fully a pig.

And without a doubt, that organ will no longer be a fully human organ after it is grown inside the pig.  Those receiving those organs will be allowing human-animal hybrid organs to be implanted into them.

One can only imagine what the consequences of doing such a thing would be.

You would think that there should be strict limits on this kind of a thing.  And in a few areas around the globe, there are some limits.  But most of the time the ethical decisions are left up to the scientists…

Two years ago, the UK Academy of Medical Sciences released a groundbreaking report on “animals containing human material”. It concluded that most research on chimeras is permitted by existing UK laws. But it also identified some experiments that should not (yet) be done because of strong ethical objections. One is to breed an animal that has human sperm or eggs. Another is to create a non-human primate with a humanised brain.

Most people would be absolutely shocked to learn some of the things that are currently being done in the name of science.

For example, did you know that rice that contains actual human genes is being grown right now in Kansas?…

Unless the rice you buy is certified organic, or comes specifically from a farm that tests its rice crops for genetically modified (GM) traits, you could be eating rice tainted with actual human genes. The only known GMO with inbred human traits in cultivation today, a GM rice product made by biotechnology company Ventria Bioscience is currently being grown on 3,200 acres in Junction City, Kansas — and possibly elsewhere — and most people have no idea about it.

Since about 2006,Ventria has been quietly cultivating rice that has been genetically modified (GM) with genes from the human liver for the purpose of taking the artificial proteins produced by this “Frankenrice” and using them in pharmaceuticals.

We are corrupting nature, and yet very few people seem alarmed.  When the Daily Mail reported back in 2011 that scientists in the UK had created “more than 150″ human-animal hybrid embryos, hardly anyone got upset about it…

Last night a campaigner against the excesses of medical research said he was disgusted that scientists were ‘dabbling in the grotesque’.

Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155 ‘admixed’ embryos, containing both human and animal genetic material, have been created since the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology Act.

This legalised the creation of a variety of hybrids, including an animal egg fertilised by a human sperm; ‘cybrids’, in which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell; and ‘chimeras’, in which human cells are mixed with animal embryos.

Sadly, this kind of thing is being done all over the planet.  Just check out some of the truly bizarre human-animal hybrid experiments that have been taking place all over the globe according to a recent Slate article…

Not long ago, Chinese scientists embedded genes for human milk proteins into a mouse’s genome and have since created herds of humanized-milk-producing goats. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Michigan have a method for putting a human anal sphincter into a mouse as a means of finding better treatments for fecal incontinence, and doctors are building animals with humanized immune systems to serve as subjects for new HIV vaccines.

Are you disgusted by those examples?

You should be.

Here are some other ways that humans and animals are being combined…

-Rabbit Eggs with Human Cells

-Pigs with Human Blood

-Sheep with Human Livers

-Cow Eggs with Human Cells

-Cat-Human Hybrid Proteins

And these are just the things that we know about.

What kind of sick and twisted experiments are going on around the globe that we don’t know about?

Like I mentioned at the top, we live at a time when the possibilities in the field of genetic modification seem endless.

But just because we can do something does not mean that we should actually do it.

The movie “Splice” demonstrated the danger of creating an entirely new lifeform that is only partially human.  When we create something that is neither fully human or fully animal, what kind of spirit enters that being?  What would the consequences be if such beings started mating with other animals?  Could we end up creating creatures that are far beyond our capacity to control?

Unfortunately, Pandora’s box has already been opened and it is going to be extremely difficult to control the creation of human-animal hybrids.  This technology is racing ahead all over the planet, and at this point even college students can create new lifeforms in their own basements.

We are entering a strange new world, and nobody is quite sure what comes next.

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