The Future of Body Modification

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Near field communication, often abbreviated as “NFC” is the ability for wireless devices to communicate with eachother and has now made its way into the bodies of human beings with some opting to implant small subdermal microchips using a large gauge hypodermic syringe (e.g. 14 – 18 gauge) which is preloaded so that these individuals gain the ability to start their vehicle(s), open their home door locks, send contact information to another persons smartphone etc., wirelessly and without any intervention or effort upon the end user. This adaptation is referred to as “transhuman” as it goes beyond what the biological human body can do by introducing technology which cannot be evolved into existence. Devices have been developed for a number of different purposes (e.g. vibrating when pointed towards magnetic north turning the body into a compass or implanting a small chip containing tritium gas which glows beneath the skin but is radioactive and therefore not battery powered lasting indefinitely as tritium gas has a 12 year half-life etc.). In 2018, at the University of Colorado, Dr. Carson Bruns and his team developed a technology which allows for smart tattooing in that newly and highly specialized tattoo inks will be able to deliver new functions to the artistic medium of tattooing. The first design invented was a tattoo ink which is sensitive to ultraviolet light which allows it to lay invisible under typical lighting conditions and only appear as a blue hue once outside in the presense of sunlight or an artificial ultraviolet light source. This technology would be practical as well as esthetic as it would allow a person to know when they’ve had too much sun exposure while outside. Bruns’ team has also developed tattoo ink which changes color as the temperature of the body changes which again would be functional as well as artistic, acting as a thermometer to indicate when a person has had too much or too little exposure to cold or heat. Nanotechnology is used to engineer and design tattoo particles which have specialized properties and characteristics (e.g. thermal battery and/or storage mechanism). Real world applications could be spurred by this advent like the ability to keep the entire body at a comfortable temperature at all times, regardless of the environment, if the entire body was tattooed, either visibly with color or invisibly with translucent ink. Specially engineered tattooing can also have medical applications such as that of the distribution of a pharmacological medication or hormone which helps regulate biochemistry (e.g. insulin or neural catecholamines to control mood etc.). World militaries may find use with specially engineered tattoos as well, allowing skin to become more resilient to abrasions or epidermal damage. Specialized tattoo pigments are also tactile sensitive in that when touched, they have the ability to turn on or off as well as perform other functions (e.g. manipulate an options menu upon a screen or act as a controller for a game or software etc.). In 2018, billionaire futuristic Elon Musk unveiled Neuralink, a technology which he states provides the ability of “self-directed evolution”. Neuralink will be installed within the human body by using a specialized, robotic hypodermic syringe to inject an ultra thin mesh, referred to as “neuro lace”, into the neurocortex of the brain, to form a body of electrodes which are able to monitor and influence brain function. These microelectrodes will be able read and write onto neurons; a bi-directional information exchange. This will allow for the downloading and uploading of information to and from the internet, wirelessly. This technology will allow for thoughts to be sent between users in the same format that data is shared online during the modern day using peer to peer networking. This technology will also allow for the control of devices, remotely; in principle, telekinesis. Nanotechnology now provides scientists with the technology required to manufacture electronics small enough to become tattooed, which means that in the future, Neuralink will only require a small, cranial tattoo instead of a cranial implant

A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Oncology Treatment

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Cancer kills 9,000,000 (9 million) people each year and despite having searched for centuries, a cure has yet to be discovered by scientists. At the center of the immune system is the T cell, a type of leukocyte which respond against bacterial and viral infections alike in an effort to keep their host healthy and alive. T cells determine between threatening and non-threatening foreign and non-foreign bodies within a host by leveraging a molecule upon the surface of all cells referred to as the “T cell receptor”. Jim Allison was the first person to successfully isolate and purify the molecule which recognizes this lock and key model for infectious disease, auto-immune disease, and other innocuous substances within the body be they foreign or internally created. In 1987, French scientist Pierre Golstein and his team discovered a new protein upon the surface of T cells which he named “CTLA-4”. To study CTLA-4 in laboratory rats, Allison had to build and design a rat antibody, a Y shaped protein which would trigger a reaction by CTLA-4. Cancers are mutations and should in theory be visible to the immune system, which is why the scientific community has struggled with the paradox of why tumors go undetected by the immune system for decades. There is no discernible reason as to why the immune system can recognize and resist influenza or any other foreign or domestic body but not cancer. Allison theorized that tumors have evolved an ability to fool the immune system, engaging CTLA-4 which turns on the T cells response to halt its search and destroy measures. Allison hypothesized that if he inserted a Y shaped antibody to block the gap in between the tumor and T cells, the tumor would no longer have its ability to hide, a trait which has been evolved by tumor cells over hundreds of millions of years. This would allow the T cell to infiltrate, attack from within the tumor, shrink, and ultimately kill the growth. Allison spent the next decade trying to turn this revolutionary breakthrough discovery into a medication which could be provided to cancer patients. Allison found Alan Korman, a scientist creating medications for auto-immune disease which provided him with the expert he required to turn this idea into a reality. Korman was tasked with taking the CTLA-4 antibody which Allison and partner Max Krummell developed for laboratory rats, and turn it into a medication which could safely work within human beings with this medication subsequently being named “Ipilimumab” (pronounced “ipi-lim-ooh-mab”). Korman ended up collaborating with a friend from graduate school, Nils Lonberg to accomplish this task. Ipilimumab consists of an intramuscular injection into the leg and a 90 minute intravenous medication drip in comparison to chemotherapy and radiation therapy which take months of treatment to complete and have devastating effects upon overall health as both bad and good tissue are destroyed in an effort to eradicate all tumor cells. Allison’s work with laboratory rats demonstrated that with the help of this newly developed antibody, T cells gained the ability enter into tumors and expand their size in an effort to destroy them from the inside out. This means that the fact that tumors grow initially upon administration is a positive marker and indicative of the medication working as it demonstrates successful infiltration of the tumor cells themselves. Patients often report feeling better after a few treatment sessions, sometimes even a single session, despite computer tomography scans demonstrating that their tumors are growing larger, which under normal circumstances would make a patient feel worse. Some patients even noted increased improvement after having stopped the Ipilimumab treatment, with no further therapy required. On March 25, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released approval for Ipilimumab. Ipilimumab and its successors have treated nearly 1,000,000 (1 million) patients worldwide with many of these patients achieving permanent remission which is essentially the definition of having been cured of cancer. Although these medications do not work in every single case, they have definitively demonstrated to be a miracle medication for hundreds of thousands of people thus far. After completing this revolutionary discovery, Allison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2018 for his series of discoveries related to T cells and their ability to halt cancer in its progression in perpetuity

Scientific Explanation of the Abortion Procedure

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Abortions can be carried out in 2 ways, either surgically or pharmacologically by taking medication. Pharmacologically speaking, the secondary option is indicative of an induced miscarriage. Women can choose this option until 10 weeks into their pregnancy. The medication Mifepristone RU486 (pronounced “miff-eh-priss-stone”) was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2000, and allows women to undergo the abortion procedure within the privacy of their own home. Mifepristone is taken first which causes the process of an abortion to start by halting the growth process and detaching the infant from the womb. 24 hours later, Misoprostol (pronounced “miso-prah-stull”) helps to induce the cramping and bleeding which will help the body push the developing fetus out of the uterus. Most physicians offer intravenous sedation to help comfort those who undergo an uncomfortable and sometimes painful procedure with social stigma attached. Most patients prefer surgical abortion as it allows them to psychologically leave the abortion behind them, in the clinic. The procedure itself is incredibly safe and requires that a woman be placed into stirrups after which a physician performs a bimanual examination to feel the positioning of the uterus, a speculum is placed into position and the cervix is cleaned, a small clip is placed upon the top of the cervix so that the uterine canal is straight, after which the cervix is then dilated and the pregnancy is removed via suction. The entire process takes 2 – 5 minutes and complications are incredibly rare. One of the most important components of safety in terms of procedure is to ensure that all pregnancy tissue has been removed from the uterus. Physicians take any tissue removed, usually to a specialized room within the clinic, so that it can be rinsed off and examined in a dish with a backlight which allows for confirmation of all the tissue which should be present in respect to the length of gestation prior to the abortion procedure. This helps physicians monitor for possible complications which may arise in the future. Prior to 10 weeks, a fetus is a small sack of tissue with nothing recognizable as human, but after the 10 week mark, various bits of tissue become recognizable as human parts

Whilst I rarely if ever will submit an opinion upon this blog, I feel that it is necessary to state that it is imperative that we remember, women are not simply vessels for the carrying of multiple pregnancies, rather they are human beings who deserve the right to have control over their own lives, and it is crucial that world law uphold this basic human right, despite the anti-abortion collective which appears unmoved by rational arguments brought forth by qualified healthcare professionals, those who have spent their entire academic and professional careers training to specialize in the highly complicated and ever changing field of medicine and healthcare

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Death Row In the United States of America

death-row

In the United States of America, an incarcerated person cannot be executed before they are deemed fit to do so by medical personnel. An inmate can be deemed unfit for any number of reasons (e.g. being identified as insane, bleeding from a gunshot wound, unconscious due to head trauma etc.). Inmates are allowed to shower before the execution and they are permitted to wear clothing of their own choosing, doing away with prison attire if they so desire. Inmates are allowed to ask for additional food and drink during their last meal if they consume what was provided to them and reasonable requests for anything else are usually granted. It takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete an execution from the time the inmate is brought from their holding cell to the execution chamber to the time they take their last breath. Strapping the inmate down takes approximately 2 minutes and the intravenous medication used for the execution takes approximately 15 minutes to take full effect. The lethal combination of medications are given in two steps, the first taking approximately 5 minutes before the secondary lethal dose is provided which also takes approximately 5 minutes after which time the inmate continues to live until the medication takes their life which takes approximately another 5 minutes