The pinnacle of the physician's clinical skills is his ability to develop the autonomy of his patients in the management of their health affairs. To do this requires the forging of a relationship in which patients' attitudes toward their health and illness are products of the doctor-patient relationship rather than unilateral behavior by either one. Modern medicine is beset with problems that make it difficult for physicians to develop and exercise the skills that lead to patient autonomy. An erosion of (...) public confidence in physicians is being caused by several mojar forces that include: (1) the power of science over life; (2) medical technology's dehumanizing effect; (3) legalization of medical ethics; and (4) industrialization and commercialization of medical care. To restore the kind of confidence that makes the physician an effective proponent of his patient's autonomy will require a major emphasis upon all aspects of medical ethics in the medical curriculum and in medical practice. Clinical investigation of this subject is highly appropriate. Clinical faculties should be developed in greater numbers who are authorities in the humanities as well as in science. Our medical schools need also to develop and to utilize models of health care in which relations with patients are personalized, continuous, and comprehensive so that ethical ideals such as patient autonomy can be demonstrated by precept and example, and can also be researched. (shrink)
In a reply to Marga Vicedo the philosophical inconsistency of Morgan is emphasized. It is argued that even if a strict classification of scientists according to their philosophical position is not possible, their science may still be influenced by their philosophical ideas. Finally it is suggested that philosophical ideas influence science less by a direct effect on the scientists than indirectly through science policy and administration.
In 2011, Peterson suggested that the main reason why C.H. Waddington was essentially ignored by the framers of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1950s was because they were Cartesian reductionists and mathematical population geneticists while he was a Whiteheadian organicist and experimental geneticist who worked with Drosophila. This paper suggests a further reason that can only be seen now. The former defined genes and their alleles by their selectable phenotypes, essentially the Mendelian view, while Waddington defined a gene (...) through its functional role as determined by genetic analysis, a view that foresaw the modern view that a gene is a DNA sequence with some function. The former were interested in selection, while Waddington focused on variation. The differences between the two views of a gene are briefly considered in the context of systems biology. (shrink)
The larval arms of echinoid plutei are used for locomotion and feeding. They are composed of internal calcite skeletal rods covered by an ectoderm layer bearing a ciliary band. Skeletogenesis includes an autonomous molecular differentiation program in primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs), initiated when PMCs leave the vegetal plate for the blastocoel, and a patterning of the differentiated skeletal units that requires molecular cues from the overlaying ectoderm. The arms represent a larval feature that arose in the echinoid lineage during the (...) Paleozoic and offers a subject for the study of gene co-option in the evolution of novel larval features. We isolated new molecular markers in two closely related but differently developing species, Heliocidaris tuberculata and Heliocidaris erythrogramma. We report the expression of a larval arm-associated ectoderm gene tetraspanin, as well as two new PMC markers, advillin and carbonic anhydrase. Tetraspanin localizes to the animal half of blastula stage H. tuberculata and then undergoes a restriction into the putative oral ectoderm and future location of the postoral arms, where it continues to be expressed at the leading edge of both the postoral and anterolateral arms. In H. erythrogramma, its expression initiates in the animal half of blastulae and expands over the entire ectoderm from gastrulation onward. Advillin and carbonic anhydrase are upregulated in the PMCs postgastrulation and localized to the leading edge of the growing larval arms of H. tuberculata but do not exhibit coordinated expression in H. erythrogramma larvae. The tight spatiotemporal regulation of these genes in H. tuberculata along with other ontogenetic and phylogenetic evidence suggest that pluteus arms are novel larval organs, distinguishable from the processes of skeletogenesis per se. The dissociation of expression control in H. erythrogramma suggest that coordinate gene expression in H. tuberculata evolved as part of the evolution of pluteus arms, and is not required for larval or adult development. (shrink)
We agree that much of language evolution is likely to be adaptation of languages to properties of the brain. However, the attempt to rule out the existence of language-specific adaptations a priori is misguided. In particular, the claim that adaptation to cannot occur is false. Instead, the details of gene-culture coevolution in language are an empirical matter.
Major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease include brain deposition of the amyloid-beta peptide , which is proteolytically cleaved from a large Abeta precursor protein by beta and gamma- secretases. A transmembrane aspartyl protease, beta-APP cleaving enzyme , has been recognized as the beta-secretase. We review the structure and function of the BACE1 protein, and of 4129 bp of the 5'-flanking region sequence of the BACE1 gene and its interaction with various transcription factors involved in cell signaling. The promoter region and (...) 5'-untranslated region contain multiple transcription factor binding sites, such as AP-1, CREB and MEF2. A 91 bp fragment is the shortest region with significant reporter gene activity and constitutes the minimal promoter element for BACE1. The BACE1 promoter contains six unique functional domains and three structural domains of increasing sequence complexity as the "ATG" start codon is approached. Notably, the BACE1 gene promoter contains basal regulatory elements, inducible features and sites for regulation by various important transcription factors. Herein, we also discuss and speculate how the interaction of these transcription factors with the BACE1 promoter can modulate synaptic plasticity, neuronal apoptosis and oxidative stress, which are pertinent to the pathogenesis and progression of AD. (shrink)
In Evangelium vitae, Pope St. John Paul II recognized that scientific progress would bring about new attacks on the dignity of the human person. Since that time, remarkable expansion in our knowledge and understanding of the human genome has brought forth questions of ownership rights via patents on human genes and related technology. This article argues that patenting human genes is incompatible with human dignity as it commodifies that which is priceless. In contrast, granting patents to manipulations of human genes (...) does not violate human dignity so long as it is utilized toward the common good. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 15.2 : 265–285. (shrink)