Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Human Experimentation ( 1st Post Zach Nix)

All quiz questions are from short and simple article on human experimentation linked below -         

1.  How old was the child Edward Jenner infected with smallpox? 
2.  What was being tested in the Porton down Experiments?
3. (T/F) Research involving humans is intrinsically dubious.
4.  What year did a U.S government funded trail treat pregnant HIV patients with placebos?
5.  What does REC stand for and what is its purpose?
6.   Under what circumstances is it necessary to experiment on vulnerable subjects such as children, or the cognitively impaired.

Nowadays Americans and other 1st world citizens live in a world of doctors and drugs. Hundreds of years ago when one became sick they had to rely on the oral traditional medicines of their area or be lucky enough to have an elder or shaman who has dealt with the illness enough to be effective. Through the natural progression of knowledge we now can rely on very well trained physicians, and that's if we cannot identify the ailment ourselves and buy over the counter drugs to solve our ills. The question is, how do we know these medicines work the way they advertise? If this question is followed to its roots then the answer usually becomes human experimentation. In all of its various forms, from good and well to evil incarnate, human experimentation is the only way we can safely pursue medicine.
            Early hunter gatherers naturally saw similarities between the mammals they hunted and themselves, and indeed much can be learned from dissecting animals, but to solve the complex and varying ailments that face humanity requires a complex and varying knowledge of the human body. From animals society’s knowledge of the human body grew from the dismemberment and analysation of prisoners and criminals. From this grizzly work came the first anatomists whose, by modern standards, unethical actions allowed real medicine to be born and flourish.
From the early doctors who bled to heal and did not wash their hands we eventually moved on to discover things such as vaccinations and the cause of cancer. This leap as well was largely thanks to human experimentation. Doctors working with willing or unwilling patients allowed us to reach the wealth of knowledge that we have today.
Most people are of the mind that so long as the subjects are informed and consenting then the experimentation is ethical. And indeed most drugs are the product of a large number of informed and sometimes compensated subjects whose risks allow drugs to reach a very fortunate public. Yet not all issues surrounding human experimentation are so cut and dry. For instance, many debates center around experimentation on children or the cognitively impaired. In most cases the only way to discover ways to treat impairments or childhood exclusive conditions are to test the methods on those individuals, yet they cannot give the same kind of informed consent that most would want out of a human experiment. Issues surrounding consent, self experimentation, the use of immorally obtained data, for-profit experimentation, and the consent of terminal or otherwise disparate subjects are just some of the issues that make human experimentation a very real bioethical issue in modern times.
Modern clinical trials often face very fair critique on their actions thanks to the grim history of human experimentation. I do not ask that anyone ignore the actions of Dr. Mengele or the 731. However, i would suggest that anyone consider the lives of those who suffer from incurable ailments and attempt to search for a golden mean that will allow us to continue solving medical issues that face humanity without sliding down the slippery slope toward the compromisation of human rights.      

Effects of hormone injected meats

A big issue people talk a lot about today is hormone injected animals that are being raised for food. The farmers who raise these food-producing animals want them to get big, and fast, because this means they can make more money. Are these hormones affecting us as we eat the foods produced by these animals? Are the hormones affecting the environment or anything else?
A big question for me was: how are all these hormones regulated throughout the animals? After looking around I found out that only certain hormones are allowed, and even then, only certain amounts of those hormones. According to the FDA website, “The FDA approves these drugs only after information and/or studies have shown that the food from the treated animals is safe for people to eat, and that the drugs do not harm the treated animal or the environment. The drugs also have to work as intended.”
After reading this, I was a bit confused because of all the negative talk surrounding the subject. The FDA may regulate these hormones, but do we really know the long term effects they have on us? Here it shows that even the FDA approved drugs may have negative effects on humans who eat the food. According to the article I just linked, science has began to link exposure to these hormones to many illnesses, not limited to, but including, breast cancer, prostate cancer, obesity, diabetes, and Endometriosis.
The good news is, there are regulated labels and with just a little reading of this article it can help us realize what we are actually getting in the food we buy. If you read to the bottom of the website, there are 2 photos of 8 oz steaks.  One represents steak that comes from a cow that has been treated with added steroids and the other represents steak from a cow that has not been treated with added steroids. The steak that comes from a cow that has been treated with added hormones has almost twice as much estrogen in it than the other steak.
My initial reaction is to worry about all the extra estrogen and other hormones in the meat, but is it truly harmful? There are only speculations so far. How do we know that this is what is causing the cancer and other health issues? It is truly hard to know if there is a third variable causing these things to happen or not. How can we know for sure if we should stay away from meat with added hormones or not? If it is truly causing cancer and other health problems, isn't it then completely unethical to continue to give the animals added steroids? Another thought: Wouldn’t it be better to play it safe than sorry, and stop with the added hormones? In America, many things are banned now but what about other countries?
Do added hormones in meat and dairy affect human health? In order to address this problem, it is necessary to learn what are hormones and what are different hormones used in current meat and dairy industry.
Hormones are chemicals produced naturally for regulating sexuality in the bodies of all animals, including humans. There are six different kinds of hormones currently approved by FDA for being used in food production in the U.S.. Three of them are “all-natural.” Estradiol and progesterone are natural female sex hormones and testosterone is the natural male sex hormone; while other three are man-made chemicals: zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengesterol acetate.
It is realized that cows injected with material drawn from bovine pituitary glands (cow’s hormone secreting organ) producted more milk in 1930. In 2013, eighty percent of U.S. cows were injected with hormones to increase the meat production.
Indeed, it is reasonable for consumers to concern about hormones in foods due to previous hormones-related problem caused by synthetic estrogen drugs (estrogen is a significant hormone for the normal growth and development of the breast and tissues for reproduction). In 1960, diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen drugs, was found that it increased the risk of vaginal confer in daughters of treated women. Moreover, lifetime exposure to natural steroid hormone estrogen is associated with the increased risk of getting breast cancer.

Quiz Questions
  1. When does the FDA approve a particular hormone?
  2. Name an illness linked to the exposure of FDA approved hormones.
  3. T/F A steak from a cow treated with added hormones shows a negligible difference in the amount of estrogen in it compared to an organic steak.
  4. /5./6. Name 3 of the six different hormones currently approved by the FDA.
     7. What percent of cows in 2013 were injected with hormones to increase meat                         production?
     8. Lifetime exposure to which hormone is associated with increased risk of getting breast cancer?


Hey Guys,
I hope you all are doing well! Today, I will be discussing surrogacy and some ethical aspects of it. 
Please read this article to answer the quiz questions:

Quiz Questions:

1.     What is Surrogacy?
2.     What country is the world approaching for surrogate mothers?
3.     Where is surrogacy legal?
4.     Who earns the profits?
5.     How many children is the limit for a surrogate to carry for a couple?
6.     How many orphans live in India?

Discussion Questions:
1.     Would you/ have you ever thought of having a surrogate mother carry a baby for you?
2.     Do you think able bodied (able to have) couples should have surrogates carry a child for them?
3.     What could be done to ensure that the surrogate mothers in India are not being force to carry a child to make profits for their family?
4.     Instead of surrogacy should we focus more on adoption?

5.     Would you support surrogacy if it was up for a vote in Tennessee? If so why?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

To Tell or Not to Tell (Post 1 Clorissa Campbell)

Please read the article below and answer the following quiz questions.


1.What is Hippocrates known as?
2.What has the classical Hippocratic oath been summarized as a solemn promise of (only name two)?
3. What are the four domains of Good Medical Practice that is drafted by General Medical Council?
4. What is the seventh point under the domain "Communication, Partnership, and Teamwork"
5. What is the fifth point under the domain "Maintaining Trust"?

     Although different countries have different forms of the Hippocratic Oath, they are all built on the same foundation of doing what is in the best interest of your patients. Of course, in every case the patient must be addressed differently based on the situation and the patient's mental or physical capacity at the time. In reference to this, does it mean a physician can withhold influential information at the present time if the illness or condition of the patient is in an incredibly vulnerable state? More specifically, if the condition has a high probability of going away as time progresses. Could the action be considered discrimination if someone with the same condition was notified of the abnormality because they are considered to be in a "more accepting state?" I formed these questions when reading an article that expressed how some physicians felt that because of a significant age difference between two distinct types, some mothers should or shouldn't be told about markers that indicate Down Syndrome. The argument is that it could potentially cause more harm to the baby of a younger mother for her to receive the information that a soft marker for Down Syndrome was found on her baby than an older mother. With this, a lack of trust could be formed between doctors and patients especially in this scenario between mothers having babies later in life and their physicians. Although people who are older are sometimes considered wiser and more level headed, I think that any information that involves an abnormality in an unborn child could have a detrimental effect on a spectrum of levels. Additionally, to what extent is the unborn child a patient of the physician unto which the physician should do no harm?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Me Before Euthanasia by Kimi Warren

The book and movie, Me Before You, is not a typical chick flick or romantic movie. This story follows a girl who fills the role as a sitter for a rich family to care for their 28 year old son who is paralyzed from the neck down, a quadriplegic. The male character, Will Traynor, at first is extremely bitter, but the main character slowly melts away his brutish exterior. He gains purpose in his life by responding to the care given to him by Louisa; however, the physical therapist and nurse tech tells Louisa that she cannot fix his health problem and that he still wakes in the middle of the night screaming, hating his life situation. Will Traynor still plans on taking the route of euthanasia through a clinic in Switzerland to end his life suffering, as he is no longer the man he used to be. This saddens Louisa greatly, as she has become truly emotionally invested in the quadriplegic man. She takes him on an amazing adventure to a tropical island in an attempt to change his mind. Despite the two falling in love, this only solidifies his decision to commit euthanasia because he cannot be what he wants to be for Louisa. This story emotionally pulls on the hearts of the audience by presenting very deep questions: what would you do if you were Will, what if you were Louisa, what if he were your patient?

According to the US News Health, on average staying in a full care nursing home in a semi-private room costs $82,000 per year. This is an immense financial burden on the individual staying in the nursing home as well as the family care providers.

           What is the average cost of living in a rehabilitation facility?
           What did Will choose to do?
           What was the reason he made his decision?
           T/F The option for euthanasia is readily available in all countries.
-        T/F As a caretaker, it is your role to respect  the decisions of the patient.

Discussion Questions:
           What would you do if you were in Will’s shoes?
           What would you do if you were in Louisa’s shoes?
           Would you ever consider being a healthcare clinic provider for euthanasia?
           Would this situation be the same if occurring in a different society, other than 1st world countries?
           How would this situation be different if set in a different time period?
           Why do we feel the value of life is decreased so dramatically as soon as we become dependent? What does this say about our culture?

Autonomy vs Paternal(Parental)ism in Regards to Immunization by Alex Knight

This controversy calls into question the greater good of the community versus the personal endeavors of an individual’s beliefs and choices. New York law requiring vaccinations for child to attend school, college’s requiring vaccinations to attend or live in dorms. Do these actions violate autonomy? Without them how would our society differ?
According to the CDC and the National Institute of Health, the MMR vaccine has shown 99.9% decrease in the efficiency of preventing the diseases measles, mumps, and rubella. The cases that still occur today occur in isolated outbreaks of unvaccinated individuals. With this in mind, if more people do not vaccinate their children, if vaccinations were not mandated, how would these statistics be likely to change?
Referring to the book Bioethics the Basics, Utilitarian views would take the position of protecting the lives of the many over the beliefs of the few. This is a principle that when the greater safety comes into play, one individual cannot be valued more than the lives of all. Without vaccinations being properly administered, there is no hope for eradication of the deadly diseases that have previously plagued society. The paternalistic or parental nature of mandating vaccines is to protect society from the apathetic members who willingly disregard the dangers of the lack of vaccinations.

1.What percent decrease in measles, mumps, and rubella has occurred as a result of the MMR vaccine?

2. T/F Vaccinated individuals can still die from vaccines.

3.T/F Vaccines cause autism.
4. What would Kant likely say about mandated immunizations?
5. Following the MMR vaccine, measles outbreaks occur amongst whom?
6. What does MTSU require you provide in order to stay in their dorms?

Discussion Questions:
1.Should private and government organizations be allowed to mandate vaccinations?
2.If it is the role of the government to enforce protection of the citizens'  greater good, should more governments mandate vaccination?
3.Should schools have mandated vaccination and disease education?
4.Should there be fees for individuals who do not get vaccinated?
5.Should there be fees for individuals who do not vaccinate their children?
6.Are vaccinations optional for newborn individuals regardless of current mandated vaccinations?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Vincent Lehman
Installment 2

     After my presentation, there was some dispute over the answers to two of the questions on the quiz. I reviewed the questions, my wording and answers, and determined that I interpreted appropriately, and disseminated the correct answers to the class. To avoid any confusion, I'll repost the link, questions, and highlighted answers here:

Quiz on American Scientific Awareness: use this link if you’re in need of an answer source: https://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/content_files/NisbetMarkowitz_ScienceAttitudesReview_AAAS_Final_March10.pdf

1  1.)  T/F: In comparison to business, political or religious leaders, scientists are publicly regarded as having the greatest level of expertise?
2  2.)  T/F: 97% of climate scientists agree that human caused climate change is occurring?
3  3.)  T/F: The strongest public predictor of GMO health fears is uncertainty.
4  4.)  T/F: In 2014, the PEW research institutes conducted an analysis that determined only 37% of Americans thought GMO foods were safe, while 57% thought of them as unsafe
5  5.)  T/F: The general public is not at all skeptical of vaccines.
6  6.)  T/F: The herd immunity goal of the CDC in 2014 was met or exceeded, where the goal was 90%.
7  7.)  T/F: The flat earth hypothesis is reasonable, and well grounded in scientific fact, and mathematics.
8  8.)  T/F: Only 23% of parents said they had NO concerns about vaccinations
9  9.)  T/F: The idea that vaccination may lead to learning disabilities and/or autism is among the most prominent concerns of parents in terms of vaccination.

 10.) T/F: Dr. Wakefield’s study, published in “the Lancet” was completely legit, with minimal shady undertones.

     My presentation was about scientific awareness in America. I wanted to bring to light some trends in american public perception as per statistical analysis. My thinking was that as a class composed of about 50% science majors, it would interesting and important to think about public perception of the field as a whole. 
     Scientists are generally held in high regard, as opposed to other professional careers like pharmacy, and the medical field. This public regard is in no way permanent. It's important to remember that scientific dishonesty can and will detract from public perception if gross misconduct is a recurring theme. In light of some of the common predatory practices of scientific research, the most erosive in my opinion is also the most common, whereby businesses with a special interest pay a research team under the (unspoken) pretense that a desired outcome will be had, benefiting the payee's business in some way. Sometimes in these cases, the conclusions asserted by the research team are not the most scientifically viable. Something I could have done to better the presentation is discuss potential fixes to such a systemic problem in the research community. While no one fix rings true as a perfect option, I think a great option would be a system of checks and balances, whereby the scientific validity of a report was first assessed by a third party for falsification and/or malpractice before publication. The problem therein is expenses. Such a practice, as ideal as it may be, is not feasible because of the astronomical expenses it would generate. Every project would double in cost. This would be a crippling blow to a community that already struggles to generate the necessary revenue for research projects. Alas, we trust the scientist to be honest, and maintain some level of integrity. 
     I wanted to get some class feedback with this report, particularly with respect to some practices that we as future scientists can do to better public understanding of the hard sciences, and thereby increase public trust in the validity of scientific conclusions. The class gave some great feedback. One answer was to begin with young school children, building a foundation of understanding that would surely carry into the future. Another was to make alternative publications for the demographic of the general public, whereby scientific research would be published in more understandable terms. Both of these are awesome answers. I would insert one thing here that I think would benefit the scientific community, and bring many great minds over to science. We've got to make science cool!
    Some may perceive scientists as nerdy, bespectacled lab rats, cooped up in some dark lab looking at microscope slides. This sort of perception just isn't true. While some scientists may finish a hard days work in the lab, and then return to their mothers basement to paint figurines, and play world of warcraft, not all researchers are nerdy weirdos!
So what is science all about? I suppose such a subjective question depends on who you ask, but to me, science is about critical thinking! It's about applying said critical thinking in tandem with an understanding of biological and natural processes that is brought on by years of rigorous study of tough material. It doesn't come easy, and it doesn't come quickly. Science is hard, but anything that's worth doing is.