One of the more controversial uses of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) involves selecting embryos with a specific tissue type so that the child to be born can act as a donor to an existing sibling who requires a haematopoietic stem cell transplant. PGD with HLA tissue typing is used to select embryos that are free of a familial genetic disease and that are also a tissue match for an existing sibling who requires a transplant. Preimplantation HLA tissue typing occurs when (...) parents select embryos that are not at risk of a familial genetic disease to be a match for an existing sibling who requires a transplant. In Victoria, Australia, applications to use PGD with HLA tissue typing are reviewed by the Infertility Treatment Authority on a case by case basis. Preimplantation HLA tissue typing is prohibited prima facie because the embryo to be tested would not be at risk for a genetic abnormality or disease. Arguments for or against the use of PGD/HLA tissue typing are based on several key issues including the commodification and welfare of the donor child. This essay aims to show that that the same arguments apply to both PGD with HLA tissue typing and Preimplantation HLA tissue typing, and that the policy distinction between the two procedures is therefore ethically inconsistent. (shrink)
The paper discusses the Tangut translation of the famous Entry into Two Truths. This composition by Atiśa was important in the formation of the doctrinal system of the Tangut Buddhism. The paper examines the possible variations of the source text of the Tangut translation, its relationship with the texts on valid cognition. The paper discusses the possible division of the text and provides the translation of the Tangut version and compares it with the Tibetan original.
Reorienting the Political examines the reception of two controversial German philosophers, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss, in the Chinese-speaking world. This volume explores the powerful resonance of both thinkers in Chinese political thought from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective.
The scientific study of consciousness emerged as an organized field of research only a few decades ago. As empirical results have begun to enhance our understanding of consciousness, it is important to find out whether other factors, such as funding for consciousness research and status of consciousness scientists, provide a suitable environment for the field to grow and develop sustainably. We conducted an online survey on people’s views regarding various aspects of the scientific study of consciousness as a field of (...) research. 249 participants completed the survey, among which 80% were in academia, and around 40% were experts in consciousness research. Topics covered include the progress made by the field, funding for consciousness research, job opportunities for consciousness researchers, and the scientific rigor of the work done by researchers in the field. The majority of respondents (78%) indicated that scientific research on consciousness has been making progress. However, most participants perceived obtaining funding and getting a job in the field of consciousness research as more difficult than in other subfields of neuroscience. Overall, work done in consciousness research was perceived to be less rigorous than other neuroscience subfields, but this perceived lack of rigor was not related to the perceived difficulty in finding jobs and obtaining funding. Lastly, we found that, overall, the global workspace theory was perceived to be the most promising (around 28%), while most non-expert researchers (around 22% of non-experts) found the integrated information theory (IIT) most promising. We believe the survey results provide an interesting picture of current opinions from scientists and researchers about the progresses made and the challenges faced by consciousness research as an independent field. They will inspire collective reflection on the future directions regarding funding and job opportunities for the field. (shrink)
This paper presents an oral history of farming in the Southern Yangtze Valley in China, covering the period from pre-liberation to recent market liberalization. Using the stories and observations of 31 elderly residents of a small water town, the paper describes the hard labor of traditional farming practices and the acquiescence of many when, post-liberation, they could leave farming for better-paid factory work. However, in a departure from conventional analyses, these oral histories suggest that the co-dependency culture of traditional farming (...) has broken down, and farmers are unwilling to return to the land and continue farming. The changes in knowledge cultures of local farmers in recent decades are not likely to lead to pathways to working with incoming modern “outsider farmers,” nor able to be blended with potential new “urbanite” knowledges of those who might wish to increase organic farming. The current knowledge cultures of these farmers has shifted as needed to the optimization of family unit needs, naturally leading them to urbanization and the relinquishing of their ties to the land. For cultural rather than economic reasons, these farmers see themselves as the last peasant farmers of Tianshanzhuang. (shrink)
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of p25, an activator of cdk5, led to increased levels of BACE1 mRNA and protein in vitro and in vivo. A p25/cdk5 responsive region containing multiple sites for signal transducer and activator of transcription was identified in the BACE1 promoter. STAT3 interacts with the BACE1 promoter, and p25-overexpressing mice had elevated levels of pSTAT3 and BACE1, whereas cdk5-deficient mice had reduced levels. Furthermore, mice with a (...) targeted mutation in the STAT3 cdk5 responsive site had lower levels of BACE1. Increased BACE levels in p25 overexpressing mice correlated with enhanced amyloidogenic processing that could be reversed by a cdk5 inhibitor. These data demonstrate a pathway by which p25/cdk5 increases the amyloidogenic processing of APP through STAT3-mediated transcriptional control of BACE1 that could have implications for AD pathogenesis. (shrink)
Out of 288 Hong Kong cancer patients, 92.3% include themselves in decision-making, 71% prefer joint decision-making: with family, with doctor, with doctor plus family, with family minus doctor, and with doctor minus family. <5% want decision-making by “doctor-alone” and <1% desire decision-making by “family-alone”. Harmony, communication and responsibility are reasons for family participation. Most patients prefer “specialist” for information, followed by “family”, “friends”, and “GP”. Trust in doctors and prospects for controlling/curing disease are important factors in decision-making. Patients want to (...) participate and be listened to rather than make decisions. Doctors should not disclose information to family without patients’ permission, nor withhold information from patient [End Page 109] on family’s request. Only 25% of patients have discussed post-competent treatment with others and 7% have heard of Advance Directive ; 24% refuse to discuss it. After AD has been explained to them, 66% remain reluctant to sign one, preferring to leave oral instructions or appoint family as proxy decision-makers. The family’s decision-making role increases when patients become incompetent. The top reason for signing AD is to receive preferred post-competent treatments, and for not signing it, difficulty with making a prospective decision. The implications of these findings will be discussed. (shrink)
Despite the new ideas were inspired in medical treatment by the rapid advancement of three-dimensional printing technology, there is still rare research work reported on 3D printing of coronary arteries being documented in the literature. In this work, the application value of 3D printing technology in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases has been explored via comparison study between the 3D printed vascular solid model and the computer aided design model. In this paper, a new framework is proposed to achieve a (...) 3D printing vascular model with high simulation. The patient-specific 3D reconstruction of the coronary arteries is performed by the detailed morphological information abstracted from the contour of the vessel lumen. In the process of reconstruction which has 5 steps, the morphological details of the contour view of the vessel lumen are merged along with the curvature and length information provided by the coronary angiography. After comparing with the diameter of the narrow section and the diameter of the normal section in CAD models and 3D printing model, it can be concluded that there is a high correlation between the diameter of vascular stenosis measured in 3D printing models and computer aided design models. The 3D printing model has high-modeling ability and high precision, which can represent the original coronary artery appearance accurately. It can be adapted for prevascularization planning to support doctors in determining the surgical procedures. (shrink)
Division of labour is a marked feature of multicellular organisms. Margulis proposed that the ancestors of metazoans had only one microtubule organizing center (MTOC), so they could not move and divide simultaneously. Selection for simultaneous movement and cell division had driven the division of labour between cells. However, no evidence or explanation for this assumption was provided. Why could the unicellular ancetors not have multiple MTOCs? The gain and loss of three possible strategies are discussed. It was found that the (...) advantage of one or two MTOC per cell is environment-dependent. Unicellular organisms with only one MTOC per cell are favored only in resource-limited environments without strong predatory pressure. If division of labour occurring in a bicellular organism just makes simultaneous movement and cell division possible, the possibility of its fixation by natural selection is very low because a somatic cell performing the function of an MTOC is obviously wasting resources. Evolutionary biologists should search for other selective forces for division of labour in cells. (shrink)