Darwin Plagiarized Paley?

first_imgNatural selection didn’t begin with Darwin, William L. Abler (Geologist, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago) claims in a letter to the editor of Nature1 Dec. 18th.  According to Abler, Darwin probably got the idea from a theologian he once admired, only later to ridicule:Darwin was educated not as a biologist, but as a country vicar.  Although he may have read Hutton’s book, it is equally likely that Darwin read one of the standard religious works of his day (now perhaps the most ridiculed book in biology), William Paley’s Natural Theology (1803), which presents Paley’s proof of the existence of God, as well as of Divine creation.  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)He quotes Paley as stating the principle of natural selection, only to refute it as a possible objection against design: “There is another answer which has the same effect as the resolving of things into chance,” Paley writes in Chapter 5 of Natural Theology.  He explains it as the proposition that…the eye, the animal to which it belongs, every plant, indeed every organized body which we can see, are only so many out of the possible varieties and combinations of being which the lapse of infinite ages has brought into existence; that the present world is the relict of that variety; millions of other bodily forms and other species having perished, being by the defect of their constitution incapable of preservation, or of continuance by generation.2Abler thinks even Darwin could not have stated the principle of natural selection better.  He notes that even Stephen Jay Gould also pointed out Paley’s priority, but believes natural selection (by other names) was a common heresy in Darwin’s day.William L. Abler, correspondence, “What Darwin Knew,” Nature 426, 759 (18 December 2003); doi:10.1038/426759b.William Paley, Archdeacon of Carlisle, Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature, 1803, ch. 5, pp. 46-48 (click title for online edition).Charlie, a plagiarist?  This was interesting, so I looked up Paley’s refutation in his once-honorable, classic treatise that Abler calls “now perhaps the most ridiculed book in biology.”  The venerable theologian offered three rebuttals to the principle now known as natural selection.  (1) His first might be characterized as a straw man argument today; Paley rhetorically asks that if all possible creatures had existed, why do we not see unicorns, centaurs, etc.  Darwinists might reply with their standard common-ancestry claim that natural selection would only build on patterns established early on, rather than from an infinite pool of possible forms.    (2) The second argument is more interesting and still carries weight today.  It’s the argument from classification.  If nature could produce infinite gradations between forms, why do we find all living things grouped into nested hierarchies of taxa, Paley asks:But, moreover, the division of organized substances into animals and vegetables, and the distribution and sub-distribution of each into genera and species, which distribution is not an arbitrary act of the mind, but is founded in the order which prevails in external nature, appear to me to contradict the supposition of the present world being the remains of an indefinite variety of existences; of a variety which rejects all plan.  The hypothesis [i.e., natural selection] teaches, that every possible variety of being hath, at one time or other, found its way into existence (by what cause or what manner is not said), and that those which were badly formed, perished: but how or why those which survived should be cast, into regular classes, the hypothesis does not explain; or rather the hypothesis is inconsistent with this phenomenon.  Ibid.,, p. 48.In other words, why are their large gaps between major kinds?  The problem of gaps between living and extinct phyla was clearly understood long before Darwin.  For an elaboration of this “nested hierarchy” objection to common descent, read The Biotic Message by Walter Remine.    (3) The third rebuttal is an argument from analogy with machines.  Paley says that no man seeing a variety of machines would think that, out of an assortment of all possible machines that might have arisen from a pool of metal, the remaining forms were “what were left from the accident, as best worth preserving….”  Paley sees no difference between this and inferring natural selection instead of design in living things.  Although this argument from analogy might have been rebuffed in the past, with the retort that living things are not like artificial machines, the discovery of molecular machines in the cell gives the point renewed force today (see Dec. 4 headline and embedded links in the commentary).  Biologists know that protein machines are selected from a near-infinite configuration space, being determined by the sequence of amino acids of which they are composed (see 09/06/2001 headline).  Yet we find these machines already functional in the most primitive life forms and highly conserved throughout the living world.  Natural selection cannot be invoked before the machines of replication existed.  It is time, therefore, to resurrect Paley’s third argument against natural selection and speak it into 21st century terms.    So two out of three objections Paley raised to selection have not been satisfactorily refuted by Darwinists, without first assuming evolution to be true (circular reasoning).  It looks like Paley anticipated Darwin’s case and ably refuted it in advance.  So if Charlie cannot claim priority for the “discovery” of natural selection (according to popular misconception), maybe it is time to distribute the credit and blame where it is due.  Thanks, Dr. Abler, for enabling us to set the record straight.(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More »

LinkedIn’s New iPhone App: The 3 Worst Things About It

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#mobile#social networks#web There’s No Push NotificationsThis is a professional application that people use on the iPhone – shouldn’t it include push notifications? LinkedIn is used by tons of sales people, for example – you know they’d like to get some of these updates pushed to them. As a writer, I would too. Look at it this way. Last month my LinkedIn contact Tara Hunt changed her profile to show that she’s founded a new company called Shwowp. I want to know that, preferably right away. But I don’t know about it until a month later because I didn’t want to fish through a bunch of cross-posted Twitter updates inside LinkedIn to catch Tara’s news, and I didn’t want to click through three screens starting with the bland “Tara Hunt has updated her profile” in order to see if she’s happened to change jobs or just noted a new personal interest on her profile page.When someone who has accepted my contact request changes jobs, I want a push notification about what the new job is and the option to call them on the phone immediately to discuss it. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, and that’s when I’ll know that LinkedIn is really serving my professional life. Update: LinkedIn’s Adam Nash, author of the company’s announcement blog post, responded on Twitter saying: “we’ve discussed all three of these enhancements internally. Some are harder than others. All in the queue…Rest assured, we wouldn’t have broken out profile updates into its own module if we didn’t have big plans for it. :)” The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos What’s The Most Important Kind of LinkedIn Update? People Getting New Jobs!For some reason LinkedIn will not deliver you a simple feed of the new jobs that contacts of yours have taken – not by email, not by RSS, not through its fancy new API and not on this new iPhone app. Update feeds are cluttered with imported ephemera from Twitter and all too often job changes are obscured behind the phrase “contact X has updated their profile.” They have? How did they update it? It’s maddening.LinkedIn says it’s working on solving this problem, but it doesn’t seem to be a very high priority. Prompting users to click more and engage with a wider variety of message types seem more in line with LinkedIn’s strategy. The company clearly wants to be Facebook and Twitter for the business world – not just a place where we all go to find out essential work information that we use while doing other forms of social networking on other sites better suited for things like short, trivial messages.Importing Contacts to Your Phone is RudimentaryPerhaps LinkedIn isn’t to blame for this, but the ability to import LinkedIn contacts’ info onto your phone is rendered a whole lot less useful by the inability to merge that info with existing contacts. Say you’ve got someone’s name and phone number on your phone already – it’s a headache to pull in a person’s LinkedIn profile info and then merge the two manually. Of course your phone number isn’t an optional field you can fill out on LinkedIn, so all those imported contacts will be people you’re unable to call. You won’t even be able to look them up on LinkedIn again from your phone’s contact list – peoples’ LinkedIn profile page URLs aren’t included in the contact info that gets imported. Related Posts center_img marshall kirkpatrick Business social network LinkedIn made a major upgrade to its iPhone app tonight but coming from a service with such incredible potential, there remain some major disappointments.The new app looks a lot like a less elegant, less customizable version of the Facebook iPhone app. There are a variety of useful new features, from faster invite sending to importing contact info to your phone, but the app remains based on the company’s mistaken desire of late to be your all-in-one social-media-messaging platform. It also fails to deliver the features that would make it most useful. If you’re looking for good news about new features, you can find it in the self-flattering company blog post. Here are the three things that disappoint me most about this new app; hopefully it’s a work in progress and will improve soon. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Read More »

Weekly Case Study: A Heritage City Turns To Virtualization

first_imgConcello de Santiago in northwest Spain is the government body for the city of Santiago de Compostela. The city is renowned for its medieval architecture. It’s a world heritage city.But the city had a problem. Its servers were showing the signs of old age. It was time to turn to virtualization and new hardware to modernize a technology infrastructure that at times did not work at all.The results: better uptime, less maintenance and consolidation of its servers. Download White Paper PDFA Medieval City Turns to Virtualization Related Posts Tags:#cloud#RWCloudSponsored Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market alex williamslast_img read more

Read More »

Arsene Wenger regrets staying at Arsenal for 22 years

first_imgArsene Wenger admitted that he was obsessed with ensuring that Arsenal achieved success on the pitch and said that his stay at the club for nearly 22 years may have been the biggest mistake of his career.Wenger quit as Arsenal manager by the end of the 2017-18 season and an era ended at the club. Unai Emery was appointed their new coach and he has been working with the players ahead of the new season.The 68-year-old Frenchman, who was appointed in October 1996, left Arsenal after winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.Wenger, who has not yet taken up any other managerial role, said he regretted sacrificing “everything” for the Arsenal job.In an interview with French outlet RTL, Wenger said he will make a decision on his future “in the next few months”.Also read – Done with sleepless nights, Wenger contemplates life as Arsenal fanWhen asked what was the biggest mistake of his career, Wenger said: “Perhaps staying at the same club for 22 years.”I’m someone who likes new things, likes change. But I also like challenges. I was a little bit of a prisoner to my challenge each time.”He admitted that he neglected his family and lot of his close ones in his obsession over Arsenal and that is his regret.Also read – Arsenal hammer Burnley to give Wenger perfect send off at Emirates”I regret having sacrificed everything I did because I realise I’ve hurt a lot of people around me,” Wenger told.advertisement”I’ve neglected a lot of people. I’ve neglected my family, I’ve neglected many close ones. Deep down though, the obsessed man is selfish in his pursuit of what he loves. He ignores a lot of other things. But it’s a bone to chase at the same time.”Wenger was also confident that former Arsenal players Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, who are now pursuing coaching careers, have the qualities to succeed at the top level.Also read – Arsene Wenger mourns sad farewell in final European matchVieira recently became Nice coach, while Henry, assistant to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez at the World Cup, has quit his Sky Sports punditry role to focus on becoming a manager.However, Wenger warned the French pair of the sacrifices involved in following a coaching career.”Often, I’m asked if Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira will be good managers and I always answer yes,” he said.”They have all the qualities; they are intelligent, they know football, they have excellent skill sets, but do they want to sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed to do only that? It’s an obsession which bounces around your head day and night.”(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Read More »

Drama at GST council meet: Congress, Opposition parties were against lowering tax rates

first_imgCongress president Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Gabbar Singh’ barb at the Modi government for its Goods and Services Tax (GST) may backfire.Rahul has been accusing the Centre of implementing a flawed GST that has inconvenienced small traders and common people alike. However, when the central government moved a proposal to move several items from the 28 per cent GST slab to a lower tax slab, the Opposition objected the move.Government sources present in the meeting said the Congress and Opposition parties resisted the proposal to lower GST rates on several items during the 31st GST council meet on Saturday.A BJP leader, who is member of the GST council, said, “We want to know who the Gabbar Singh is now. This is doublespeak by the Congress and other Opposition parties. In public, they have been demanding that the high tax slab of 28 per cent must be abolished and all commodities should be moved to lower tax slabs. But in the GST council meet, Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the CPI(M) and the Aam Aadmi Party opposed the Centre’s move.”The council eventually moved six items from the 28 per cent tax bracket to lower tax brackets.Earlier, there were 34 items in the 28 per cent tax slab. This included both luxury and sin goods.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said, “The GST rate reduction will have an overall impact on revenue of Rs 5,500 crore.”The items that were brought down from the 28 per cent tax slab include parts for carriages for disabled persons, power banks of Lithium ion batteries, video games and small sports related items.advertisementHigh drama in GST Council meetBut the final decision of the council was not without drama. When officials moved the tax reduction proposals made by the fitment committee that has been studying which commodity should be placed in which tax bracket, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac was the first one to protest, sources said.He reportedly said that there must be no reduction in taxes on any commodity and that the “time was not right for reduction in GST tax slabs”.Isaac was backed by Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy, who also holds the finance portfolio.Sources said Karnataka Finance Minister too supported the stand taken by Isaac. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra also opposed the government’s move to cut tax slabs. He said this was an “inappropriate moment” to do it.Sources present in the meeting said the Aam Aadmi Party also supported this demand. Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, a Congress leader, is said to have maintained a neutral stand.The three newly formed Congress governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgrah did not send their finance ministers to the GST council meet. Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh sent officials while MP did not send anyone.A finance minister of a BJP-ruled state told India Today TV: “The demand for withholding the tax cut by Congress and other Opposition parties in the GST council meet completely flies against the stand taken by them in public.”Irked over the opposition for reduction in tax slabs, the NDA leaders accused them of doublespeak. Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi and his counterpart in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said the stand taken by these states in the GST council meet must be recorded and included in the minutes of the meeting.The Opposition parties, however, agreed to rate cut at the end without going for a vote, something which hasn’t happened till now in the council meets.Speaking to India Today TV, a finance minister of an Opposition-ruled state said the central government was bringing down items to lower tax slabs only with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.”The BJP hopes this move will bring political dividend. High tax slabs for several commodities and compliance issues faced by traders have created a negative sentiment against the BJP and the GST,” he said.ALSO READ | GST Council Meet: Relief for common man as rates slashed for several goodsALSO READ | GST rate cut move towards 2-3 tax slabs structure: Top industry leadersALSO WATCH | Bonanza for common man: 6 items moved out from 28 per cent GST tax slablast_img read more

Read More »

8 days agoNapoli owner De Laurentiis: Insigne must change his attitude

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Napoli owner De Laurentiis: Insigne must change his attitudeby Carlos Volcano8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis insists there’s no issues with coach Carlo Ancelotti.And he says Lorenzo Insigne must change his attitude.“In recent days I’ve seen it all in important newspapers, even if no-one reads newspapers anymore,” De Laurentiis told Sky Sport Italia.“I didn’t fight with Ancelotti, he can stay here for another 10 years. In cinema, my relationships, like my one with [director Carlo] Verdone, last a long time.“I’m all for the exclusives, when you want everything right away but get it all wrong.“Insigne’s an excellent sportsman, but he must stay calm, change his attitude and lay off certain things.“He’s always had an attitude of discomfort in Naples. I understand him, I protect him and I like him a lot, but he’s always found his situation in Naples to be uncomfortable.“Therefore, I just want to say that he needs to calm down and become a more peaceful person, but that’s his problem. Neither Raiola nor Ancelotti can resolve that.“He’s a great player and he can be in good form or bad form. If he’s less so, it’s up to the Coach not to play him.“Insigne can’t come out cracking jokes or with an ‘almost’ defiant attitude. The Coach is a family man, 60 years old, and won’t tell you to get lost because he’s three times your age.” last_img read more

Read More »

State House approves Nesbitt bill helping Michigan drivers to avoid tickets fines

first_img Categories: News 26Mar State House approves Nesbitt bill helping Michigan drivers to avoid tickets, fines Michigan residents who are pulled over while driving will have a chance at avoiding tickets and resulting fines, thanks to a bill authored by Rep. Aric Nesbitt and approved today in the state House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.HB 4193 will allow motorists to provide proof of insurance electronically during traffic stops. More than half of states currently allow this practice, and Michigan is the only state in the Midwest that does not.“With modern technology in our hands, we should use it as much as possible to make life easier for Michigan residents,” said Rep. Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “This common-sense change allows drivers to use their phone to demonstrate proof of insurance coverage during a traffic stop, avoiding an unnecessary trip to the local police station to show a paper proof of insurance that may have been misplaced.”The bill now goes to the Senate for further action.last_img read more

Read More »

The term diagnostics for some probably conjure

first_imgThe term “diagnostics,” for some, probably conjures images of the character Dr. Gregory House from the popular Fox television show, House. But diagnostics is actually a multibillion-dollar-a-year business that has until recently lagged other medical innovations, costing billions of dollars and countless lives in the process. That is all changing rapidly now. If you’ve never seen the show, House invariably saves his patients’ lives by diagnosing some obscure ailment based on a controversial insight that only a genius of his caliber (and lovable, curmudgeonly demeanor) could have spotted, and gets the patient on the correct treatment regimen just in time. It makes for good TV. But the real world of medical diagnostics is not so reliant on the whims of madmen. House’s portrayal of diagnostics was true to life in one regard: doctors need better tools to diagnose disease, lest they be left with what amounts to a guessing game. Think about it. How much can a stethoscope really tell you about the health of a heart, never mind the miles of arteries and veins that meander throughout the body? That’s not to say that advancements like MRI machines and CT scans are not big diagnostic improvements. They are. Nevertheless, as Alex Daley wrote in a recent issue of Casey Extraordinary Technology: “[T]he vast majority of what happens inside our bodies happens at a subcellular level, even an atomic one. The complex interactions between proteins, amino acids, lipids, and all the other things that make us biological have been, until now, a virtually impossible puzzle to understand. Simply put, doctors don’t really know what’s going on inside of you. We are macroscopic beings trying to conjure up cures for what happens in a molecular world.” Thankfully, this is changing for the better. And today, we stand at the threshold of an exciting leap forward in medical care, one that is poised to change the way doctors work in fundamental and compelling ways. It’s called molecular diagnostics, or MDx for short. Molecular diagnostics is the term used for a new class of tests that identify nucleic acids or proteins that belong to the patients themselves or foreign organisms, in order properly to diagnose disease and get the right treatment to the patient at the right time. It’s basically augmenting the physician’s decision-making process through the analysis of genetic content for disease information. And it’s only possible thanks to technologies like polymerase chain reaction (a process of selectively amplifying and replicating DNA to look for disease-causing organisms) and advancements in DNA sequencing. Molecular diagnostics has applications in infectious disease, cancer, genetic ailments, and pharmacogenomics (which analyzes how one’s genetic makeup affects one’s response to certain drugs), to name just a few areas. Because of all these applications and the advantages of the tests discussed below, MDx is the fastest-growing segment in the $50 billion/year in-vitro diagnostic space. Estimates of the size of the global MDx market vary, but a 2012 report from Frost & Sullivan pegged it at $4.1 billion in 2010. That same report forecast global sales to exceed $6.2 billion in 2014, with double-digit growth rates baked into the cake for the foreseeable future. Other sources are projecting even higher growth rates, with one industry source predicting the market will reach $15 billion by 2015. Regardless of the source or the accuracy of a given figure, it’s safe to say that growth in this market will be robust for many years to come. There are hundreds of companies with many different tests operating in the molecular diagnostic space. In the interest of time, let’s use one company and one test to highlight some of the advantages of MDx over traditional methods. First, some background on a condition known as sepsis, which may be the deadliest medical condition you’ve barely heard of. Septicemia is the technical term for an infection in the bloodstream, usually bacterial. Left unchecked, such an infection (which usually begins with a common, local infection that goes untreated and which the immune system struggles to control) often leads to sepsis, a deadly condition that sends the whole body into a dangerous inflammatory state. Think of sepsis as your immune system gone mad. It occurs in response to a bloodstream infection and destroys your body from within. In the words of Dr. Kevin J. Tracy, a neurosurgeon and immunologist who wrote a book on sepsis titled Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within, once it starts, every white blood cell in the body is activated, “turning them into uncontrolled roving gangs of street fighters.” This frightening infectious attack is also one of the most expensive reasons for hospitalization in the US. According to the Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality (AHRQ), septicemia cost hospitals an aggregate $15.4 billion in 2009 and was responsible for a total of 1.7 million inpatient hospital stays. That’s nearly one out of every 23 patients in the hospital. Septicemia isn’t just prevalent, it also advances quickly and carries an extremely high in-hospital mortality rate, at about 16% overall in 2009 – more than eight times higher than the average for other reasons, according to the AHRQ. Because septicemia is such a pervasive problem, carries a high mortality rate, and kills quickly, doctors must act quickly and decisively – first to determine what bacteria caused the underlying infection in the first place, and then to identify and eliminate any drugs to which that bacterial strain may be resistant. But all too often, they can’t. The traditional test for septicemia is called a “gram-positive blood culture,” and has barely changed over the past half-century. And, although the test works, it takes a long time to deliver useful results. To perform the test, they start by drawing large volumes of blood from the patient. Then the blood is shipped to a lab, where it’s put in an incubator and allowed to slowly grow into a culture, which can take anywhere from six hours to five days. Explains Dr. Nathan Ledeboer, who oversees the clinical microbiology and molecular diagnostics laboratories at the Medical College of Wisconsin: “When the blood culture signals positive, and in most cases those blood cultures will signal positive within 6 to 24 hours of initial incubation, the laboratory technologist is going to perform a gram stain which is basically taking a sample of that positive blood culture, smearing it out onto a slide and looking for the presence of bacteria.” If the lab tech sees bacteria and they are stained dark blue or violet from the gram stain, he or she will alert the doctor to the presence of gram-positive bacteria, which account for 50% to 65% of bloodstream infections. If the test is negative, they begin again and start looking for the other side of the spectrum, gram-negative bacteria, which cannot retain the crystal violet dye used in the gram-staining protocol, by administering a counterstain coloring all gram-negative bacteria with a red or pink color. Once the gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria have been detected, the doctor will start “empiric therapy,” which is medical lingo for a shotgun approach: administering the antibiotic he or she thinks, based mostly on intuition, is mostly likely to work, or just dosing the patient with several different antibiotics at once. Scientific, huh? It’s not the doctor’s preferred treatment method, of course. The doctor would rather know for sure, but sepsis moves so fast and the test so slowly that a physician has no other choice today. While the doctor is busy shooting at rough shadows, the laboratory continues to work up the results by subculturing the organism they found in the blood, trying to grow enough to get colonies that can be identified. This adds anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to the overall identification process, according to Dr. Ledeboer – meaning it’s now been up to 48 hours since the blood was drawn. For every hour that the patient is not on appropriate therapy, mortality increases. But the lab work is still not over. Even once you know what organism you are dealing with, you have to start resistance testing to see what therapies it might be immune to. The sad reality is that bacteria are adapting to our cures, in part because of our overuse, partly as cited in the previous “shotgun” treatment approach. In the end, a full 48 to 72 hours will have passed from the original blood draw to the moment the lab is finally able to tell the physician, “This is what you’re dealing with, and this is how to treat it.” What if we could cut off those last two steps of subculturing and resistance testing, and alert doctors to both what bacteria they are dealing with and what it’s resistant to in as few as 10 hours? The benefits would be huge. Hospitals could potentially save billions by considerably cutting the duration of stay for patients with septicemia; it would promote responsible antibiotic use in an era of increasing drug resistance; and most important, diagnoses would be more prompt, and lives would be saved. That’s where MDx come in. Specifically, in this case, a company called Nanosphere (NSPH). Nanosphere has developed a test for sepsis called the Gram-Positive Blood Culture assay (BC-GP) to run on its Verigene molecular diagnostic platform. The test is capable of providing results just 2.5 hours after a positive blood culture and requires only five minutes of simple, hands-on technician time. This is not some test that’s still in the early stages of development, either. The BC-GP assay was cleared for sale and marketing by the FDA in June of 2012 and is the first and only one of its kind. It detects 13 of the most common bacterial targets – which account for 90% of the gram-positive bloodstream infections – along with three common antibiotic resistance determinants, all with greater than 95% accuracy. The value of a test like this is profound. Studies have demonstrated a drop in mortality in the ICU from 50% to 10%, as well as a 6.2-day reduction in length of stay, saving over $21,000 per patient. And Nanosphere’s customers have already documented numerous cases where the test has provided critical information that doctors couldn’t have known or acted on without the speedy new test. In one such instance, the test identified a deadly Enterococcus faecium infection that was resistant to vancomycin, the usual first-line therapy given to sepsis patients. The doctor immediately escalated therapy to restricted, last-line linezolid, which worked. The hospital estimates that the rapid diagnosis saved up to eight days of hospital stay, if not the life of the patient. For us as investors, the prospects of MDx are exciting – it’s a technology that patients, hospitals, insurance companies, and everyone else involved can get behind because it saves money as well as lives. Early-stage companies with new tests and technologies are popping up all over the place. Sure, there is risk in these early-stage companies. But there is also immense opportunity to buy in to future game-changers early on, amplifying your potential return. In Casey Extraordinary Technology, we are following this emerging sector closely, and have already made a few key investments that we believe hold enormous potential for our subscribers. One returned over 96% for subscribers in a few short months, and we’ve just added another to our portfolio that we think holds as much or more promise. Of course, we invite you to judge for yourself – take CET for one of our risk-free, 90-day test drives and we’re confident you’ll see for yourself the great opportunity in this sector and how a subscription to CET will easily pay for itself many times over. For us as human beings, the prospects of MDx are even more exciting – with the promise to provide doctors with the right information at the right time to improve patient outcomes and save lives. Bits & Bytes 3D-Printed Gun Fires First Shot (Discovery) Late last week, the “Liberator” became the first known 3D-printed gun to fire a shot. That’s right; someone has printed a plastic firearm that actually works. You can watch the Liberator unload a .38 caliber bullet in this video. Coming Soon: Your Personal Flying Car (Mashable) Has the age-old promise of flying cars finally come to fruition? Massachusetts-based Terrafugia has announced its Transition design, which is part sedan, part private jet with two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. Tesla CEO Talking with Google About “Autopilot” Systems (Bloomberg) Two of the world’s most innovative companies may soon join hands. According to Bloomberg, Tesla Motors is interested in self-driving cars and is in talks with Google on how to bring that technology to Tesla’s electric vehicles. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that self-driving cars are the next step in car technology.last_img read more

Read More »

This is a story about a fussy babyBut dont worry

first_imgThis is a story about a fussy baby.But don’t worry, it has a happy ending.On April 29, Mahjabeen Sheran of Balochistan, Pakistan, faced a problem familiar to every working mom.She had a child care crisis.The family member who usually watches her 8-month-old son wasn’t able to come to Sheran’s home. And Sheran had a pressing work obligation. In 2018, she was elected to the parliament in Balochistan, the poorest province in Pakistan with the worst statistics for maternal and child health.There was an assembly meeting on the 29th. Sheran, who serves as the secretary for law and parliamentary affairs and women’s development, did not want to miss the session.So she brought her baby with her and left him in the care of a staff person in a room reserved for female members of parliament to conduct private business.Only her son was a little cranky. So Sheran brought him into the assembly. He wasn’t crying, she says. But when she sat with her child in her assigned seat, there was an outcry.One assemblyman joked, “There will now be baby feeders in the assembly.” Another taunted, “There will be babies wailing in the assembly.”The secretary of the assembly said it was against the rules to bring in a child and instructed a member of parliament to tell Sheran to take her baby out of the room.”I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable that I picked up my baby and left,” she says. “I could expect this from male members, but I was so disappointed when I saw no female member stood up for me. They should have understood a mother’s situation and boycotted the session.” The breakdown in the assembly is 54 men and 11 women.Sheran says that even if she broke a rule, there are lots of parliamentary rules that male members break. Eating and drinking in the assembly are prohibited, she says, “but it’s normal that members are eating chocolate, chewing gum and drinking water.”She asks: “So rules can be broken if you are a man?”After the experience, Sheran heard from many working moms who shared their stories about a lack of child care options. “One woman told me that a few times she brought her child to the office when she had no one to babysit the child at home,” Sheran says. “She hid the baby under the desk when the boss came.”Indeed, the incident with Sheran illustrates the need for “gender-friendly workplaces” in Pakistan, says Farzana Bari, director of the gender studies center at Quaid-e-Azam University. “What happened with Mahjabeen was absolutely shameful. It would be a good step if day care centers will be established in the parliaments. This will not only be helpful for women, but men members should also utilize this facility to give their wives a relief and share equal responsibility.””If parliaments have these standards, this will set an example,” she says. Better options for child care might help Pakistan meet its “Vision 2025” goal, calling for an increase of women in the labor force from its current 22 percent to 45 percent.And better child care might help Pakistan climb from its second-to-the-last spot on the Global Gender Gap Index.Yusra Qadir, a young engagement and social inclusion specialist with UNDP, tweeted: “Gender parity can’t be addressed if women are seen as sole custodians of homes and kids. With no public facilities for child care and such barrings [as in Sheran’s case], how can women contribute equally …. Has some notice been taken?”In fact, notice was taken.Sheran now reports that the assembly members had a change of heart. “Everyone is showing sympathies, and they realized they were wrong.” Shakeela Naveed, a member of the Balochistan assembly who was not present on April 29, said that what happened wasn’t an insult of a member but “an affront to motherhood.”What’s more, on June 13, the chief minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan, pledged to establish a day care center in the assembly for the representatives as well as employees.It will be the first provincial assembly in Pakistan to have a day care facility. The fact that it’s in the deeply patriarchal province of Balochistan is all the more remarkable.”I feel very proud of this achievement,” says Sheran. “This will serve as a blessing for other mothers who will become a part of this parliament in the future.”And she says she is working on a bill to “advocate for this facility in all government offices, universities and other institutions so that women can work with undivided focus and perform well in their professional lives.”The determined mom and assemblywoman promises: “I will not stop here.” As she tweeted: “Day care centers aren’t a luxury, they are a necessity!”Benazir Samad is a journalist from Pakistan currently in the U.S. as part of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a Fulbright program that is sponsored by the U.S. State Department. She tweets @benazirmirsamad. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Read More »

A newlyelected disabled MP has accused the Conser

first_imgA newly-elected disabled MP has accused the Conservative government of introducing policies inspired by “eugenics” in the hope that disabled people will “suffer and die”.Labour’s Jared O’Mara spoke out just weeks after beating former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to win the Sheffield Hallam seat and become one of just a handful of disabled MPs in the House of Commons.Speaking to Disability News Service (DNS) for the first time, O’Mara (pictured, centre) said he knew that his comments on eugenics* and the government would be controversial.But he said he firmly believed that Tory ministers had “completely torn up the welfare system” which had previously supported disabled people, particularly through cuts and reforms to disability benefits, the decision to close the Independent Living Fund, and cuts to social care.He said: “A lot of people say you can’t use that word, but I will do: it’s eugenics.“They want disabled people to suffer and die. That’s literally what’s happening.“Disabled people are out there suffering and dying because they have not got the financial means and financial support and nor have they got the legal means to lead an equal life, or even to lead a satisfactory life.”Among the evidence he points to are reports of people with mental health conditions who have been asked by personal independence payment assessors why they have not taken their own lives.He said: “How is that not eugenics? Putting thoughts of suicide into a disabled person’s head. It’s literally eugenics.“I’m not going to shy away from it, people might say I am taking it too far, but as far as I am concerned, what I have seen and what has happened across the board, it’s been eugenics.”He promised that he would be “taking no prisoners” as an MP, and would “call them out on this”.He said: “There are people just like me and people who have got conditions that make things even worse for them than mine does, and they are dying and they are suffering.“I am in it to shine a light where the mainstream [media] do not shine a light and where the Tories are turning their backs.”He pointed also to Iain Duncan Smith, who in 2010, shortly after becoming work and pensions secretary, appeared to echo the phrase “arbeit macht frei” – which was written over the entrance gates of Auschwitz – by telling a BBC journalist: “Look, work actually helps free people**.”O’Mara said: “He’s literally lifting, paraphrasing Nazi soundbites.”He said he “absolutely” endorses efforts by user-led anti-cuts groups such as Black Triangle to secure a criminal prosecution of Duncan Smith and fellow former work and pensions minister Chris Grayling.In December, Scottish criminal justice agencies rejected pleas to investigate the refusal of the two ministers to improve the safety of the government’s “fitness for work” test, despite evidence that that refusal caused the deaths of at least three benefit claimants with mental health conditions, and probably many more.Police Scotland had been asked to investigate allegations of “wilful neglect of duty” by Duncan Smith and Grayling, after it was passed a dossier containing details of the deaths of three claimants with experience of mental distress by Black Triangle.The three claimants took their own lives in 2011, 2013 and 2015 as a result of grave flaws in the work capability assessment (WCA).These flaws mirrored those uncovered by a coroner in January 2010, following an earlier suicide, and passed to DWP just a few weeks before Duncan Smith and Grayling took up their new posts following the May 2010 general election.Duncan Smith and Grayling failed to act on the coroner’s warning, which campaigners and families of some of those who died believe led to further deaths.O’Mara said: “The legal system is ‘innocent until proven guilty’. We need to ascertain that with what Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling did.“If they’ve not done anything wrong then they can walk free. If they have done wrong then they can be punished.“I believe there is a case to answer and they should go there. I support that campaign without reservation.”Another issue he was keen to raise with DNS was the importance of ensuring that disabled people – and their families – are included in the decision-making process on new policies.He said: “I don’t want any decisions to be taken about disabled people without disabled people being included in that decision-making process.“Families need to be included in that process. They have a lot of experience and acumen in that field.”Decisions, he said, should not be taken solely by politicians who “have never had to face these barriers and these problems”.He added: “Anything that comes up to do with disabled people, disabled people should be at the epicentre of that decision-making process and that policy and legislative process.”O’Mara has also spoken out this week on the access barriers he has already faced in his first weeks as an MP, and has told DNS that might have to be “in the vanguard for this” and “grin and bear the fact that it’s not perfect for me, and try and make it perfect for future disabled MPs” (see separate story).He said: “I want to get more of us here. I’ve got to make it a better place for them.”The first early day motion he signed as an MP was one calling on the government to reopen the Access to Elected Office Fund, which helped disabled people with the extra disability-related costs of seeking elected office, but has been closed since the 2015 election (see separate story).But although he is keen to highlight disability issues as an MP, O’Mara insists that it will not be his only interest.His previous career in promoting live music and working in the pub trade has given him an interest in “ensuring we have a vibrant night-time economy”, and in supporting arts and culture, and not just music.He said: “I will support any cause I believe in, whether it’s to do with disability arts and culture or whatever. If it’s good for the country and I believe it’s moral, I will support it.”And he said that he will ensure that he maintains a “healthy work-private life balance”, despite the pressures of his new life.He said: “I have managed to go to the pub several times [since the election] and I will keep going to the pub.“I’m really passionate about pubs and clubs and nightlife and I always will be.”Despite having worked for nearly a year earlier in his career as a press, parliamentary and campaigns officer for the British Council of Disabled People, his views on another key rights issue could lead to disagreements with the disability movement.O’Mara, who himself has cerebral palsy (cp), is a long-standing trustee of Paces, a specialist centre in Sheffield for children with cp which specialises in conductive education*** and also runs a special school, of which he is a governor.And he told DNS that – although the UN disability convention demands an “inclusive education system at all levels” – he believes that mainstream schools are “horrible environments for disabled kids”.He was educated in a mainstream school throughout his education, and he said: “All I had was misunderstandings and mistreatment and bullying about having a disability.“So yes, in an ideal world, we would have all disabled kids in a mainstream school being educated alongside [non-disabled children], with their education tailored to suit them, but we don’t live in an ideal world and mainstream schools are horrible environments for disabled kids.”He said that schools like Paces “provide a really good standard of education for kids with severe cerebral palsy, and often with learning difficulties”.He said: “There’s a place for them and I’m passionate about it because they help kids get a better standard of education and a better life and alleviate the symptoms of cerebral palsy as well.”He added: “I’ve known a lot of people that have been in mainstream schools and it’s always the same.“I have never heard of anyone with a disability coming out of a school without being bullied, and I was bullied by one of my teachers for my disability as well.”He said mainstream education would not be an “ideal and happy environment” for disabled children “until they get disability equality and disability awareness right in mainstream schools”, with disability rights a statutory part of the national curriculum.O’Mara said he was aware that these comments were likely to prove controversial, but he said: “I can only talk from my own experience and from other people I have known.“If there are disabled people who have been to mainstream schools and want to come out and say that all of the kids were so sensitive and understanding and knew everything [about disability], and all the teachers were great and they got all the adjustments they needed, then I would be happy to hear that, [but] I haven’t heard about it yet, I haven’t even heard one story.”*The idea that society can be improved by selecting those who are allowed to survive and breed (definitions of eugenics vary) **The words can be translated as “work makes free”, “work makes you free” or “work brings you freedom”. The writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi thought the Nazis meant these words ironically***The disability charity Scope, an advocate of conductive education, describes it as a system of learning that “teaches those with movement difficulties to learn actively to achieve purposeful movement which can then be applied throughout daily life and learning”.last_img read more

Read More »