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Scientists recant in ethics row over publishing DNA genome of research’s unwitting heroine
The astonishing story of Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer in 1951 but whose still living cells are now the basis for much medical research, has captivated America for the past two years – and there is no sign of the debate, or its controversies, abating.
As revealed in the bestselling 2011 book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is a tale of a poor black tobacco farmer who never consented to having her tissues taken but whose cancer cells have proved so important they have formed the foundation for work leading to two Nobel prizes.
Yet Lacks’s family never knew about it – even as the cells were used around the world in research, or when they themselves were asked for blood samples two decades later. The book described the indignity of the family’s ordeal even as giant corporations profited hugely from Lacks’s cells – known as HeLa in medical parlance. Her children, again without their knowledge, had their medical records studied and even published. It was a story of the complex intersection of medicine, race and profit that seemed to have a happy ending as the book, written by Rebecca Skloot, became a bestseller and Lacks’s contribution to medical science was recognised.
But now history seems to have repeated itself. A group of scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg recently published a paper in which they sequenced the entire genome of a HeLa cell – essentially putting Lacks’s DNA sequence up on the internet for all to see. Amazingly, they failed to alert anyone in the Lacks family about their intentions or ask their permission.
Skloot was outraged, arguing that scientists appeared to have learned little. “The publication of the HeLa genome without consent isn’t an example of a few researchers making a mistake. The whole system allowed it. Everyone involved followed standard practices. They presented their research at conferences and in a peer-reviewed journal. No one raised questions about consent,” she wrote in a column in the New York Times.
David Kroll, a science writer and board member of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, was furious that Lacks and her family had again apparently fallen into a scientific ethics blind spot. “I was pretty appalled. I could not believe this was happening all over again.”
The impact was rapid. Though the scientists at EMBL had insisted that the genome could not be used to make any sensitive medical conclusions about Lacks or her living family members – such as whether they had a predisposition to certain diseases – one researcher told Skloot they had done precisely that by downloading the genome and provided proof of their deductions confidentially to Skloot. Eventually the EMBL revised its publication, removing full details of the genome, and apologised.
The incident has added an unexpected last chapter to what was already a remarkable story. Lacks died quickly, aged 31, after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The cells taken from her have been used in experiments all over the world and even in space. HeLa cells have helped make hundred of millions of profits for companies all over the world and been used for medical breakthrough after breakthrough. They have been used to develop the polio vaccine and in vitro fertilisation and even cloning.
Yet, before Skloot’s book was published, her story was little known. Now, not only is Lacks honoured – she has had a school named after her – but her case is held up as a prime example of the abuse of medical ethics where getting consent from test subjects is now seen as a primary moral duty. “The scientific community can still be arrogant and have a disregard for people’s feelings,” Kroll said.
That seems to be particularly true of this latest incident involving the publication of the genome of the HeLa cells. As genetic technology and medicine becomes more common it is going to raise key issues of privacy. The human genome is becoming easier and cheaper to map in its entirety and the sort of breaches that just took place with the HeLa cell line are likely to become more frequent. That could open up many people to unscrupulous employers or health insurance companies trying to analyse DNA sequences for confidential information.
“It speaks very widely to genetic privacy,” Kroll said. After all, Kroll argued, if researchers were still blithe enough to publish a genome as well known as a HeLa cell, then they might be even less bothered by people whose identities are – now – less famous. “The whole Henrietta Lacks case has been a blessing in disguise. Often mistakes can lead to advances and correcting behaviour,” said Kroll.
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L-arginine Benefits Amino Acid Powder for Men
Men are supposed to be among other things, physically strong. One of the most disturbing things that can accost any man, is the inability to function sexually. It is estimated that over 31 percent of men are affected by this condition. It is manifested through what is broadly known as erectile dysfunction or impotence. The good news is that you can take control of it and regain libido. Our bodies require amino acids in order to metabolize proteins. In total, you need twenty of them. Your body is only able to provide 10 out of the 20. This means that the balance must come from the food you eat.
L-arginine is one of those crucial amino acids whose lack can cause you to have impotence problems. L-arginine benefits not only men. Women too suffer from low libido. However, that is a subject for another day. Why is L-arginine so important to men? It is the originator of Nitric Oxide or NO. This element is important in the process of blood circulation. In the event of low circulation of blood, a man would not be able to have an erection. That is where problems in manhood stem from. L-arginine improves the flow of blood to the male sexual organ enabling it to attain the ideal size for sexual activity.
Other reported L-arginine benefits include increased sexual desire, endurance and satisfaction. If your body is found to be deficient of this important amino acid, you can supplement it. The supplement is found in powder form. There is scientific proof that supplements containing L-arginine have led to improved fertility especially in men with a low sperm count. In a certain test, one scientific journal reported that out of 29 men who were put on L-arginine for a period of 6 weeks, 9 of them had recorded substantial sexual improvement. When the trials started, the nine had low levels of nitric oxide. At the time of winding up the study, they had registered double the amount of NO (nitric oxide).
However, you should know that there are other factors that cause erectile dysfunction. These are diabetes and advancement of age. L-arginine benefits men whose impotence results from their bodies not secreting enough nitric oxide. This amino acid supplement will ensure that your body is able to produce sufficient nitric acid and make you feel like a man again. There are other benefits of this supplement. Of course we had to start with male performance as that is one of the marks of a true man. Other roles played by the powder supplement include improving your body’s immune system, regulating blood pressure, increasing your muscles as well as the speed at which your wounds heal.
But there is more. It is reported that as much as 80 Million Americans have cardiovascular disease. That is 1 out of 3 adults. In recent years, cardiovascular risk in women has been increasing and has killed more women than breast cancer. L-Arginine converts to Nitric Oxide in the body which may possibly help in the fight against heart disease and stroke and high blood plressure
Other benefits are as listed below:
- Improves circulation of blood
- Improves bone formation
- Reduces body fat
- Improves production of sperms
- Reduces possibility of your blood clotting
- Lowers your chances of getting a stroke
- Can help you recover after a heart attack
- Minimizes the risk of cancer by hindering the growth of tumors
If you are keen on increasing your sexual ability, perform satisfactorily and improve your health, this is an ideal supplement. It is safe and natural in comparison to Viagra. In terms of cost, L-arginine is relatively cheaper. You can find out more about the scientific tests by reading different scientific journals that have been published online. Above everything, you now have an opportunity of getting back to your youthful self. This is important towards the sustenance and enjoyment of relationships such as marriage where sexual activity plays a big role. Talk to your doctor about this. All supplements should be taken under the instructions provided.
Hair Therapy for Thinning Hair – Laser Procedures vs Shampoos
Thinning hair can occur for various reasons among both men and women. While losing hair over a period of time is regarded as normal, excessive hair loss is a problem that needs to be addressed. A number of people notice that their hair thins as they grow older or genetic factors may be involved. Hair therapy for thinning hair is an effective way of helping to slow down hair loss and restore lost hair.
Thinning hair can be a source of frustration and distress for most people. The reality is that more and more people are facing the challenge of losing their hair in various parts of their scalps. This is why many people seek a solution that will not subject them to harsh or painful treatments. Hair therapy is available for the purpose of keeping hair in good condition and preventing the thinning process from taking place.
People can choose between laser procedures and shampoos as solutions for their thinning hair concerns. As people grow older, it is normal for them to experience some level of hair thinning. In cases where the hair loss causes bald patches, it becomes necessary to find a way to deal with the problem. Hair thinning can be a result of genetic factors, autoimmunity, and subjecting the hair to harsh treatments over a period of time. Hair can also be lost as a result of certain reactions to medication, stress, and poor diet.
Since most people lack the patience that it takes for hair to grow, treatments in the form of laser procedures and shampoos can be considered. When hair thins naturally, shampoo treatments can be used by applying them to the scalp so as to stimulate the follicles and cause hair to grow and fill out the bald spots. Another option that is worth considering is laser procedures that are typically used to promote hair growth and effectively treat thinning hair.
Hair therapy for thinning hair can be undertaken through non-surgical laser procedures to treat hair loss. When laser therapy is used as regularly as required it causes the roots of the hair to become stronger and regenerates them. This goes a long way towards halting the hair loss process. It is important to start the treatment as soon as possible before the damage to the roots occurs. Laser procedures efficiently cause hair to grow once again and become fuller as well as easier to manage.
Treatment causes blood to reach the scalp more efficiently and hair follicles are stimulated. People can rely on noninvasive treatments such as shampoos and laser therapy to prevent the effects of hair loss. The results of laser treatment are typically visible as soon as treatment begins. With shampoos, the results may take longer and one will need to exercise more patience and apply the product regularly.
The purpose of hair therapy for thinning hair is to enhance the volume of hair and improve the hair shaft. This serves to make the hair stronger and stop further hair loss from happening. People who struggle with baldness and those who experience thinning hair can all try out hair therapy for thinning hair and look forward to excellent results.
Noninvasive hair replacement therapy is ideal for people who are unhappy with their hair loss. This ensures that one is able to achieve fuller healthier hair without having to undergo a surgical procedure. Treatments last for varying periods of time depending on the extent of hair loss or thinning. The therapy needs to be maintained so that the hair can improve and remain healthy for many years to come.
Everyone will not have wash board abs but we all can improve what we do have. These are five exercises to help you get going!
The lower part of belly is the most common part people are fed up with and want to change.Often, when you have changed every muscle in your body, lower abs won’t cooperate. This is because there are not many exercises known that focus on that stub born part of abdomen. So Here on I Pack Six Pack we will show you which exercises to do and how to do them, Enjoy!
1. Double Leg Lifts: Lie down on your back, with your hands placed under your butt, with the palms facing the floor. Then, contracting your lower abdominal muscles, and tightening the muscles of your legs, lift them straight up vertically, and hold them there for a few seconds. Then lower them down until they are a few inches off the floor, and hold it there again for a few seconds. Repeat 5-8 times to begin with. Later, as you feel your abs getting stronger, increase the reps to 15-20 times. Then, as you get even stronger, you can lift your head and shoulders off the floor while performing the leg lifts.
2. Alternating Leg Walks: Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands under your butt, and take a few deep breaths. Then, contract the lower ab muscles and lift your right leg up slowly, until it is 90 degrees to your body. Then, equally slowly, lower it back down, until it is a few inches off the floor, while simultaneously raising your left leg. Keep lifting your legs alternatively about 8-10 times to begin with. Later, as your abs become stronger, you can increase the count to 15-20 times. And, as in the previous one, lift your head and shoulders off the floor while performing the exercise.
3. Double Leg Reverse Crunches: Lie down on your back, with your hands under your butt. Lift both your legs up until they are in a vertical position. Now bend your legs at the knees, so that the lower part is parallel to the floor. Then, contracting your lower abs, and maintaining your bent knees, gradually lower your legs until the soles of your feet are just a couple of inches off the floor. Keep your abs contracted and hold this position for a few seconds. Then increasing the contraction in your abs, lift your knees up again, bringing them towards your chest. This is a somewhat challenging exercise, so begin by doing just 3-5 reps. Later, as you feel yourself getting stronger, increase the reps gradually, until you can do 15-20 reps.
4. Scissors: Lying on your back, with your hands under your butt, contract your lower abs and tighten your leg muscles and lift both your legs up, until they are about two feet off the floor. Now, without bending the knees, get your right leg across your left leg, so that both legs are crossed. Then open your legs out, and close them again, reversing the positions of the legs. Keep repeating this scissoring action, keeping your lower abs contracted, about 8-10 times, to start with. Then, increase that to 15-20 reps as you get stronger.
5. Double Leg Circles: Lie down on your back, with your hands under your butt. Then, contracting your lower abs, lift both legs a few inches off the floor. Now, rotate both legs together in circles. Make 5 circles in a clockwise direction. Then lower the legs to the floor, and relax for a few seconds. Then repeat the exercise with 5 anticlockwise circles. You can increase the number of circles to 10-15 as you get stronger.
Also keep in mind to do these exercises slowly to keep them effective.
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