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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sperm grown in laboratory raise hopes of male infertility treatments

Daniel 12:4 (New King James Version)

4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” 

Human egg surrounded by sperm

Mouse sperm were grown using a technique that could also help preserve the fertility of boys undergoing cancer treatment

Scientists have grown sperm in the laboratory in a landmark study that could help preserve the fertility of cancer patients and shed fresh light on male reproductive problems.
Fertility experts called the work a "crucial experimental advance" towards the use of lab-grown sperm in the clinic and a stepping stone to the routine creation of human sperm for men who cannot make the cells normally.
Though the procedure would be illegal in Britain under current legislation, sperm grown in the laboratory, if proven safe, could be used to help infertile men have children through standard IVF treatments.
The procedure could also benefit boys with cancer who are too young to produce sperm but are at risk of being made infertile by radio- or chemotherapy.
While men can have their sperm frozen before cancer treatment, the latest research suggests boys could have testicular tissue removed and kept in cold storage for use in later life.
Japanese researchers cultivated small pieces of tissue from the testes of baby mice on a gel bathed in nutrients. After several weeks they collected viable sperm from the tissue.
The sperm appeared to be completely healthy and were used in IVF treatments to produce 12 live mouse pups that went on to have young of their own. Seven of the mice were born after sperm heads were transferred into 23 eggs using a technique called round spermatid injection, and another five were born after 35 eggs were fertilised using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Icsi), a common IVF procedure.
Importantly, the scientists retrieved healthy sperm from tissue that was cultivated after being frozen for up to 25 days, suggesting that cold storage did not harm the cells. The work, reported in the journal, Nature, is the most successful attempt yet to grow mammalian sperm from testicular tissue in the laboratory.
"One of the problems I face, as a urologist, is that we do not have any effective ways to treat patients suffering from male infertility due to defective or insufficient sperm production," said Takehiko Ogawa, who led the study at Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine. "Most of these problems are for unknown reasons."
Using the technique, he said, scientists will be able to study the process of sperm production in detail and help elucidate the glitches that cause infertility.
In an accompanying article, Marco Seandel and Shahin Rafii at the Weil Cornell Medical College in New York said the work was "a crucial experimental advance along the thorny path to the clinical use of sperm" grown in the lab. They warn, however, that the fertility of mouse pups born from the lab-grown sperm was a "crude indicator" of their health, and that subtle genetic changes in the sperm "could be pivotal for the wellbeing of subsequent generations".
Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at Sheffield University, said: "It is not totally clear how sperm are formed and why in some men it doesn't work properly. This could help discover new drugs or treatments to stimulate infertile men to produce more or better sperm. It also may help preserve the fertility of some males."
The study, he said, was "a small but important step in understanding how sperm are formed which may, in time, lead to us being able to routinely grow human sperm in the laboratory."
"It is clearly important to make sure that any sperm produced are safe and give rise to healthy offspring when used, and that they in turn have healthy offspring. We need to be cautious with this kind of work," he added.

The guardian

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Massive earthquake hits Burma near Thailand border


AT least 75 people were killed when a strong earthquake struck Burma, officials said today, with fears that the toll would rise as news filtered through from remote areas still cut off.
Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, almost 800km from the epicentre, Hanoi and parts of China when the earthquake hit late yesterday, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8.
A Burma official said 74 people were killed and 110 were injured in five areas close to the epicentre. More than 240 buildings had collapsed.
"We are trying to reach the remote areas," the official said.
"The military, police and local authorities are trying to find some people injured in those affected areas but the roads are still closed."
Terrified residents fled their homes, tall buildings swayed and hospitals and schools were evacuated.
The epicentre was close to the borders with Thailand and Laos and was just 10km deep
The Australian

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Doomsday bunkers sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%.

See the world know that the time has come but the keep on telling it´s not true

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A devastating earthquake strikes Japan. A massive tsunami kills thousands. Fears of a nuclear meltdown run rampant. Bloodshed and violence escalate in Libya.

And U.S. companies selling doomsday bunkers are seeing sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%.

Northwest Shelter Systems, which offers shelters ranging in price from $200,000 to $20 million, has seen sales surge 70% since the uprisings in the Middle East, with the Japanese earthquake only spurring further interest. In hard numbers, that's 12 shelters already booked when the company normally sells four shelters per year.

"Sales have gone through the roof, to the point where we are having trouble keeping up," said Northwest Shelter Systems owner Kevin Thompson.

UndergroundBombShelter.com, which sells portable shelters, bomb shelters and underground bunkers, has seen inquiries soar 400% since the Japanese earthquake. So far sales of its $9,500 nuclear biological chemical shelter tents are at an all-time high -- with four sold in California last week, compared to about one a month normally.

Hardened Structures said inquiries have shot up about 20% since the earthquake -- particularly for its apocalyptic 2012 shelters, radiation-protection tents, and nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) air filters.

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FBI Announces Creation of Biometric MEGA Database, revelation 13:16-17

Revelation 13:16-17 (King James Version)

 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

All they have to do is merge the bank data base with this one, and DONE.

The FBI announced last week that its new identification system has reached its initial operating capacity. Known as Next Generation Identification (NGI), the Lockheed Martin-built program serves as an incremental upgrade of the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS — which will revolutionize law enforcement’s ability to process fingerprints.
NGI provides automated fingerprint and latent search capabilities, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints to more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice partners 24/7. Upon completion, the system will have the ability to process fingerprint transactions much more effectively and accurately.
“The implementation announced today represents a tremendous achievement in enhancing our identification services. Already, we’re seeing how the NGI system is revolutionizing fingerprint identification in support of our mission,” said Louis E. Grever, executive assistant director of the FBI Science and Technology Branch.
“Lockheed Martin was there supporting the FBI when IAFIS went live in 1999, and we’re thrilled to be here for NGI today,” affirmed Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions. “Technology like this is a powerful tool when it comes to protecting America’s citizens, and we’re proud to serve as a partner in that mission.”
Lockheed Martin, the nation’s largest recipient of defense industry contracts, and a leader in the field of biometrics, says that the new technology enhances the FBI’s background-check programs by giving investigators expanded and more timely access to fingerprints. They also note that they see the FBI contract as a means by which biometric surveillance can be increased: a press release from the defense contractor states that “[W]hile this meets the challenges of today, tomorrow holds the possibility of developing iris scanners, genetic scanners, and other advanced biometric solutions.“
The biometrics company was awarded the $1 billion contract to develop the new, enhanced identification system in February 2008. According to Leslie Holoweiko, a Lockheed representative, the company has also received government contracts to open the Biometric Experimentation and Advanced Concepts (BEACON™) center in White Hall, W.Va., to serve as a collaborative center in the development of integrated biometrics solutions for both current and future initiatives. She also indicates that the company is the lead systems integrator for the Registered Traveler program led by Verified Identity Pass, Inc. Lockheed is also the lead contractor for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, a TSA initiative to protect ports by issuing a biometrically-based credential to vetted workers requiring unescorted access to the ports.
The Washington Post also says that the NGI database relies heavily upon real-time (or very nearly real-time) comparisons. This could include general face recognition, specific feature comparison (notable scars, shape of the earlobe, etc.), walking stride, speech patterns, and iris comparisons. To date, facial-recognition technology hasn't exactly reshaped the face of law enforcement.
The increasing use of biometrics for identification is raising questions about the increasing inability of Americans to avoid unwanted scrutiny. It is drawing criticism from those who worry that people's bodies will become de facto national identification cards. Critics say that such government initiatives should not proceed without proof that the technology really can pick a criminal out of a crowd.
The Department of Homeland Security has been using iris scans at some airports to verify the identity of travelers who have passed background checks and who want to move through lines quickly. The department is also looking to apply iris- and face-recognition techniques to other programs. The DHS already has a database of millions of sets of fingerprints, which includes records collected from U.S. and foreign travelers stopped at borders for criminal violations, from U.S. citizens adopting children overseas, and from visa applicants abroad. Therefore, there could be multiple records of one person's prints.
"It's going to be an essential component of tracking," warned Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's enabling the Always On Surveillance Society."
Advocates of civil liberties (inspired by John Locke’s belief that one’s natural rights to life, liberty, and property entail a fundamental right to be free from government intrusions into bodily autonomy) also are concerned that the creation of this biometric database can unconstitutionally infringe on the Fourth Amendment rights of the American people. (The New American discussed many of these concerns in aprevious analysis of the DHS's creation of a genetic scanning program, which could easily metastasize into a government DNA database.)
By 2013, the FBI says that it hopes to expand the NGI system to “fuse” fingerprint-, face-, iris-, and palm-matching capabilities into one mega-database, according to Kimberly Del Greco, the FBI's biometric services section chief. In addition, Lawrence Hornak, director of the West Virginia University Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), indicated that the government’s goal is “ubiquitous use of biometrics.” A traveler may walk down an airport corridor and allow his face and iris images to be captured without ever stepping up to a kiosk and looking into a camera, he said.

Colorado Senate gives initial OK to civil-unions bill

Jude 1:6-10 (New King James Version)

6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

After nearly two hours of emotional debate, the Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a civil-unions bill that gives same-sex couples many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

Senate Bill 172, by Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, is expected to easily pass the Democratic-controlled Senate today, but it faces a tougher battle in the Republican-controlled House. Hard-right members of the party already have accused the House speaker and majority leader of not being conservative enough, and failure to assign the measure to a so-called "kill" committee will only further their anger.

Senate supporters argued that the issue is about justice and equality, and they noted earlier civil-rights struggles, from giving women the vote to allowing interracial couples to marry.

Steadman, who is gay, choked back tears at times.

He stood in front of a stack of eight volumes of Colorado's revised statutes and said his bill simply allows gay couples access to laws already on the books.

"I can assure you if this were to become law and couples were to form civil unions, the sun will still rise over this great state of Colorado," he said.

"This will not cause the family or society to crumble. This will only make the families in our society and state stronger."

Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, reminded his colleagues that voters in 2006 rejected domestic partnerships and approved a constitutional amendment basically outlawing gay marriage.

Read more:Colorado Senate gives initial OK to civil-unions bill - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17687133?source=rss#ixzz1Hctgn2yJ
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

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Drug-Resistant ‘Super Bug’ Hits LA County Hospitals, Nursing Homes

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A deadly drug-resistant bacteria is spreading to more patients in nursing and long-term care facilities in Los Angeles County, according to local health officials.

Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease expert at Harbor UCLA Medical Center says there is no current teatment for CRKP bacteria — and there might not be any in the future either.
“There’s been a complete collapse in the development of new antibiotics over the last decade…and in the next decade there isn’t going to be anything that becomes available that’s going to be able to treat these bacteria,” said Spellberg.
Medical expert Dr. David Baron of Primary Caring in Malibu cautions hospital visitors that there’s no need to panic, but advises people visiting their loved ones to examine the standards of the intensive care units.

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URGENT: Radiation Alert: Black smoke at Fukushima, contamination fears in Tokyo

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EU prepares to help banks amid worries on Ireland

(Reuters) - European Union leaders will agree this week to prepare to recapitalise banks that fail upcoming stress tests, according to a draft statement obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
Thursday's EU leaders' summit is supposed to sign off on a programme of better economic governance. But urgent issues such as whether a crisis in Irish banks is worse than believed are likely to dominate discussions on the sidelines.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the summit, with concerns growing that Ireland may need more than the 35 billion euros already set aside under an EU/IMF bailout to prop up its banks.
But with Irish bank stress tests still under way and any preliminary findings under wraps, Kenny is unlikely to be able to sooth such worries.
"There is almost certainly not going to be a resolution of the Irish issues tomorrow or Friday," said one European diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"The feeling is that the outstanding issues for Ireland, which is not just the interest rate (on EU-IMF loans) but the banking question, are better dealt with as a package," he added, saying countries may have to meet again to tackle the matter.
In a draft statement due to be published after the March 24/25 summit, the leaders will outline only their broad ambition to agree on a plan to restructure troubled banks and decide how governments can help them.
"Member states will prepare, ahead of the publication of the results, specific and ambitious strategies for the restructuring of vulnerable institutions, including private sector solutions (direct financing from the market or asset sales)," the draft says.
The announcement will be a direct response to demands from the top EU regulator, the European Banking Authority, for backstops to be in place before it publishes pan-EU stress test results of 90 banks in June.

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US Approaching Insolvency, Fix To Be 'Painful': Fisher

The United States is on a fiscal path towards insolvency and policymakers are at a "tipping point," a Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday.
The President of the Federal Bank of Dallas, Richard W. Fisher
Jean Ayissi | AFP | Getty Images

"If we continue down on the path on which the fiscal authorities put us, we will become insolvent, the question is when," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said in a question and answer session after delivering a speech at the University of Frankfurt. "The short-term negotiations are very important, I look at this as a tipping point."
But he added he was confident in the Americans' ability to take the right decisions and said the country would avoid insolvency.
"I think we are at the beginning of the process and it's going to be very painful," he added.
Fisher earlier said the US economic recovery is gathering momentum, adding that he personally was extremely vigilant on inflation pressures.
"We are all mindful of this phenomenon. Speaking personally, I am concerned and I am going to be extremely vigilant on that front," Fisher said in an interview with CNBC.

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