Matching Items (36)

Three-Parent Babies or 2.001-parent Babies?: A Scientific and Bioethical Examination of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy

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This thesis critically examines the scientific and ethical dimensions of the novel and controversial technology of mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). The first portion provides a background on mitochondrial diseases and examines how these organelles (mitochondria) have left humans vulnerable to

This thesis critically examines the scientific and ethical dimensions of the novel and controversial technology of mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). The first portion provides a background on mitochondrial diseases and examines how these organelles (mitochondria) have left humans vulnerable to disease. The second portion of the thesis examines the technology of mitochondrial replacement therapy and what research contributed to the development of MRT. Finally, the third section responds to the ethical and legal concerns proposed and outlined by the Nuffield Council of Bioethics. After careful consideration of all legal and ethical concerns, it is concluded that the technology of MRT should be pursued under careful foresight with the idea that the technology is already happening and we must move forward in a way that provides the greatest information.

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2017-05

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Portrayal of HIV+ Characters in Entertainment: Effects on Stigma and Implications for Future Representation

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Since the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) crisis began in the early 1980s, there has been a significant amount of stigma attached to the disease and the virus that causes it, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). At the time, HIV/AIDS was

Since the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) crisis began in the early 1980s, there has been a significant amount of stigma attached to the disease and the virus that causes it, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). At the time, HIV/AIDS was viewed as a death sentence. A large part of the stigma came from the fact that in the early days of the crisis, AIDS patients were predominantly part of the LGBTQ+ community. With the discovery of effective antiretroviral therapies, today HIV can be thought of as a preventable, yet manageable, chronic illness, although it remains a huge public health concern (About HIV/AIDS, 2018). While the virus is now rarely viewed as a death sentence, there is still considerable stigma that surrounds people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Research shows that the shows and movies people watch can affect their attitudes on a variety of issues, and HIV is no exception. Because HIV is such a big threat to public health, and because people often adopt views they see in media, analyzing the ways shows and movies portray PLWHA is an important aspect in understanding where stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS comes from. The writers behind today's HIV+ characters on television and in movies all seemingly made an effort to decrease stigma, but they went about it in different ways, and with varying amounts of success. A common method to dispel stigma was to use the entertainment-education method (Singhal & Rogers, 1999), which in these cases means characters had discussions about topics like safe sex, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and the importance of getting tested. A few shows showed serodiscordant couples, which was also effective at fighting stigma. In contrast, by trying to be representative of PLWHA, some shows actually contributed to the stereotypes behind the stigma, or had characters be openly stigmatizing towards PLWHA. After analyzing what I found the shows and movies did well and what they did poorly, I'll analyze why it is important that shows maintained historical accuracy, and how doing so appeared to fight the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. I will also evaluate what's missing \u2014 such as which high-risk groups are not represented. Ultimately, this thesis will argue that shows and movies made in the last 12 years all aimed to decrease stigma, through a variety of techniques.

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2018-12

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Joseph Rotblat, the Physicist Who Left the Manhattan Project: a Biography of Scientific Responsibility

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Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957,

Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957, of the Pugwash conferences, which emerged as the leading global forum to advance limits on nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Rotblat's efforts, and the activities of Pugwash, resulted in both being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Rotblat is a central figure in the global history of resistance to the spread of nuclear weapons. He also was an important figure in the emergence, after World War II, of a counter-movement to introduce new social justifications for scientific research and new models for ethics and professionalism among scientists. Rotblat embodies the power of the individual scientist to say "no" and thus, at least individually, put limits of conscience on his or her scientific activity. This paper explores the political and ethical choices scientists make as part of their effort to behave responsibly and to influence the outcomes of their work. By analyzing three phases of Rotblat's life, I demonstrate how he pursued his ideal of beneficial science, or science that appears to benefit humanity. The three phases are: (1) his decision to leave the Manhattan Project in 1944, (2) his role in the creation of Pugwash in 1957 and his role in the rise of the organization into international prominence and (3) his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. These three phases of Rotblat's life provide a singular window of the history of nuclear weapons and the international movement for scientific responsibility in the 50 years since the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. While this paper does not provide a complete picture of Rotblat's life and times, I argue that his experiences shed important light on the difficult question of the individual responsibility of scientists.

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2015-05

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Personalized Medicine and the Concept of Empowerment

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With advances in biotechnology, personalized medicine has become an ever-expanding field. Even with so much growth, the critics equally match the proponents of personalized medicine. The source of their disagreement is rooted in the concept of empowerment. This analysis utilizes

With advances in biotechnology, personalized medicine has become an ever-expanding field. Even with so much growth, the critics equally match the proponents of personalized medicine. The source of their disagreement is rooted in the concept of empowerment. This analysis utilizes the personal genomics company 23andMe and their relationship with the Federal Food and Drug Administration to illustrate varying views of empowerment. Specifically, the case study focuses on the ability to provide direct-to-consumer health reports to patients independent of physicians. In doing this, larger issues of what is at stake in personalized medicine are uncovered. These include but are not limited to: who determines what individuals get empowered and what information is determined good versus bad.

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2015-05

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Reliability of Real-Time Video Smartphone for Assessing National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale in Stroke Patients: The Next Generation of Telestroke

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Telestroke networks reduce disparities in acute stroke care between metropolitan primary stroke centers and remote hospitals. Current technologies used to conduct remote patient assessments have very high start-up costs, yet they cannot consistently establish quality connection in a timely manner.

Telestroke networks reduce disparities in acute stroke care between metropolitan primary stroke centers and remote hospitals. Current technologies used to conduct remote patient assessments have very high start-up costs, yet they cannot consistently establish quality connection in a timely manner. Smartphgones can be used for high quality video teleconferencing (HQ-VTC). They are relatively inexpensive and widley used among healthcare providers. We aimed to study the reliability of HQ-VTC using smartphones for conducting the NIHSS. Two vascular neurologists (VNs) assessed 83 stroke patients with the NIHSS. The remote VN assessed patients using videoconferencing on a smartphone with the assistance of a bedside medical aide. The bedside VN rated patients ontemporaneously. Each VN was blinded to the other's NIHSS scores. We tested the inter-method agreement and physician satisfaction with the device. We demonstrated high total NIHSS score correlation between the methods (r=0.941, p<0.001). The mean total NIHSS scores for bedside and remote assessments were 7.3 plus or minus 7.9 and 6.7 plus or minus 7.6 with ranges of 0-30 and 0-37, respectively. Seven NIHSS categories had significantly high agreement beyond chance: LOC-questions, LOC-commands, visual fields, motor left arm, motor right arm, motor left leg, motor right leg; seven categories had moderate agreement: LOC-consciousness, best gaze, facial palsy, sensory, best language, dysarthria, extinction/inattention; one category had poor agreement: ataxia. There was high physician satisfaction with the device. The VNs rated 96% of the assessments as good or very good for "image quality," "sound quality," "ease of use," and "ability to assess subject using NIHSS," and 84% of the assesssments as good or very good for "reception in hospital." The smartphones with HQ-VTC is reliable, easy to use, and affordable for telestroke NIHSS administration. This device has high physician satisfaction. With the variety of smartphones and professional medical applications available today, the telestroke practitioner has all the tools necessary for fast clinical decision-makingby accessing electronic medial records, viewing images, and tracking patient vitals.

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2012-05

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Reproduction in Science Fiction

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Science fiction works can reflect the relationship between science and society by telling a story set in the future of ethical implications or social consequences of scientific advancement. This thesis investigated how the concept of reproduction is depicted in popular

Science fiction works can reflect the relationship between science and society by telling a story set in the future of ethical implications or social consequences of scientific advancement. This thesis investigated how the concept of reproduction is depicted in popular science fiction works. I reviewed and analyzed four popular science fiction works that all showed fear over the government controlling our choices in reproductive technology. The analysis of my thesis can be used as a way to understand how we view the ideas and the consequences of reproductive technology through concepts of reproduction. These perspectives and ideas as a reflection of society's concerns as we discuss the future of the ethics and politics of reproductive technology and reproductive issues.

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2016-05

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Understanding Bioethical Concerns of Laboratory Research: A Case Study On Discovering Programmed Necrosis Pathways

Description

The concept of “good” research is concrete in terms of technique, but complex in theory. As technology advances, the complexity of problems we must solve also grows. Research is facing an ethical dilemma—which projects, applied or basic, should be funded.

The concept of “good” research is concrete in terms of technique, but complex in theory. As technology advances, the complexity of problems we must solve also grows. Research is facing an ethical dilemma—which projects, applied or basic, should be funded. Research is no longer an isolated sector in society, and the decisions made inside of the laboratory are affecting the general public more directly than ever before. While there is no correct answer to what the future of research should be, it is clear that good research can no longer be only defined by the current classification system, which is rooted in antiquated, yet ingrained, social status distinctions.
Differences between basic and applied research were explored through a wet-lab case study. Vaccinia virus (VACV) infections are a prime model of the competition between a virus and its host. VACV contains a gene that is highly evasive of the host immune system, gene E3L. The protein encoded by E3L is E3, which contains two highly conserved regions, a C-terminus, and a N-terminus. While the C-terminus is well-understood, the mechanism by which the N-terminus grants IFN resistance was previously unknown. This project demonstrated that the N-terminus prevents the initiation of programmed necrosis through host-encoded cellular proteins RIP3 and DAI. These findings provide insight into the function of the N-terminus of E3, as well as the unique functions of induced programmed necrosis.
This project was an example of “basic” research. However, it highlights the interconnectivity of basic and applied research and the danger in isolating both projects and perspectives. It points to the difficult decisions that must be made in science, and the need for a better research classification system that considers what makes science “good” outside of antiquated social class ideologies that have shaped science since ancient Greece. While there are no easy answers to determine what makes research “good,” thinking critically about the types of research projects that will be pursued, and the effects that research has on both science and society, will raise awareness, initiate new conversations, and encourage more dialogue about science in the 21st century.

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2016-12

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Perceptions of Pharmaceuticals to Alter Consciousness in Popular Culture: How do College Students View the use of Cognitive Enhancers

Description

Popular Culture of today, particularly books and movies have begun to influence the way individ- uals and society as a whole, views specific concepts. In this case, the fairly recent phenomenon of the Sci- ence Fiction Drug Niche has produced

Popular Culture of today, particularly books and movies have begun to influence the way individ- uals and society as a whole, views specific concepts. In this case, the fairly recent phenomenon of the Sci- ence Fiction Drug Niche has produced significant thought among audiences as to both the benefits and costs of cognitive enhancers in our world. Through the use of both a thorough analysis of modern films and novels on the topic as well as focus groups of the average college students this study analyzes the influence that this niche has had on the perceptions that students have towards the use of such cognitive enhancements. Small groups of students were shown the same film: Limitless, and discussion after the film displayed the students thoughts and attitudes towards the ideas shown in the film. Limitless itself falls into this Science Fiction drug niche and discusses both benefits and harms of chemical cognitive enhancement. The study indicates that audiences have thought not only about the issues that may arise with the presence of cognitive enhancement in our world but also the possible benefits of this enhancement. The results go even further to preliminarily show that there are common thoughts that arise in such situations. These common ideas that arise show, at least on a very basic level, that the presence of these Science Fiction Drug-inspired works are influencing the way audiences perceive the use of cognitive enhancement as well as influencing what doubts, questions, hopes, and fears arise from these pharmaceuticals. This preliminary study could use further research to ana- lyze the effects of popular culture on perceptions of cognitive enhancement and pharmaceuticals to alter consciousness.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Governing Global Science: Pandemic Preparedness and H5N1 Research on the International Stage

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The thesis examines the Indonesian claim of H5N1 viral sovereignty in 2006, and the mutant H5N1 papers controversy in 2011, to analyze the notion of science transcending national boundaries and novel conflicts with science operating on the international stage, specifically

The thesis examines the Indonesian claim of H5N1 viral sovereignty in 2006, and the mutant H5N1 papers controversy in 2011, to analyze the notion of science transcending national boundaries and novel conflicts with science operating on the international stage, specifically for H5N1 preparedness. This thesis argues how the symmetries between the Indonesian sovereignty case and the H5N1 papers controversy illustrate the locus of contention and uncertainty present in the international scientific space, specifically related to the ownership and governance of influenza pandemic preparedness materials and research. To achieve this, the thesis comparatively analyzes the two controversies to reveal the unsettledness in dimensions of both pandemic preparedness and international and transnational governance of science. This symmetrical analysis clarifies the unresolved issues of ownership, control, and accountability, which exist in the scientific international space. The deliberations of both case studies were framed so that the primary goal of the resolutions developed into maintaining scientific openness for public health benefit. With this method of deliberation taken, the significant and unique issues raised by these cases, in addition to the ownership questions that were allowing these controversies to gain prominence, were commonly left unaddressed. In doing so, the potential of the reemergence for similar controversies remains high.

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2014-05

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Twilight Sleep and its Contributions in Shaping Perceptions of Childbirth

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Twilight Sleep was a technique originally developed by physicians in Germany in the early 20th century as a novel way to address parturient women’s fear and aversion to pain endured during labor and childbirth. Using a combination of amnestic and

Twilight Sleep was a technique originally developed by physicians in Germany in the early 20th century as a novel way to address parturient women’s fear and aversion to pain endured during labor and childbirth. Using a combination of amnestic and analgesic agents such as scopolamine and morphine to synergistically suppress pregnant women’s memories, physicians Carl Gauss and Bernhard Krönig enabled women to give birth free of pain, or more accurately any memories of pain.

Despite widespread use throughout Europe, Twilight Sleep initially experienced less popularity and more resistance in the United States where doctors were wary of the potential health risks that Twilight Sleep brought upon women and infants. Some adverse effects caused by incorrect doses of scopolamine and morphine included hallucinations and uncontrolled thrashing in women and depressed respiration in infants. Thus, Twilight Sleep’s status as a vogue topic in obstetrics during the first half of the 20th century came about due to the work of affluent and educated American women. While lacking formal medical training, a subset of women became experts in the matter of Twilight Sleep by traveling to Germany to experience and investigate Twilight Sleep firsthand then disseminating their findings through published books and articles.

This thesis explores the impact of Twilight Sleep on women and physicians and their perceptions of childbirth. Twilight Sleep empowered women to take on a more active role in shaping the medical care they received rather than accepting that childbirth as a natural event associated with physical and mental trauma and high risk of mortality. For doctors, the debate regarding Twilight Sleep’s safety and efficacy affirmed a ubiquitous notion that childbirth ought to be seen as a pathological rather than natural event. By considering childbirth a medical condition that necessitated treatment, physicians had to evaluate their duties to their patients. In empowering women to be involved in making medical decisions and forcing physicians to balance their medical training with their patients’ needs, Twilight Sleep helped to establishing more reciprocal doctor-patient relationships.

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2016-05