Category Archives: Science & technology

Creation: Graphene

diamond

Carbon (from Latin: carbo “coal”) is one of the few chemical elements known since antiquity and the 6th most common element on Earth. Its symbol is C, and its atomic number is 6. (Atomic number is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom of that element.)

Carbon has several allotropes or forms, with varying physical properties, including:

  • Diamond: highly transparent; has a very low electrical conductivity; and the hardest naturally-occurring material known.
  • Graphite: opaque and black; a very good conductor; and soft enough to form a streak on paper (hence its name, from the Greek word “γράφω” which means “to write”).

Graphene is a very thin, one-atom thick, nearly transparent sheet of graphite. It is stronger than diamond, more conductive than copper, and more flexible than rubber.

Get used to the word “graphene” because it will revolutionize our world!

H/t Shireen

~Eowyn

5M Gmail accounts hacked. Change your password *now*!

 

Fidel Martinez for Fusion.net, Sept. 10, 2014:

Time to change your password again. A database containing nearly 5 million Gmail user accounts and passwords was leaked on Bitcoin Security, a popular Russian website devoted to the cryptocurrency.

The text file was published on Tuesday night by user tvskit, according to CNews, the Russian news outlet that first broke the story. The leaker claimed that the majority of the accounts belong to users who speak English, Russian, or Spanish, and that approximately 60 percent are active. The passwords not only give access to Gmail, but a slew of other Google services such as Drive and the mobile payment system Google Wallet.

Svetlana Anurova, a Google representative, told CNews that the tech giant is aware of the breach and encouraged users to select a stronger password and enable two-step verification, a security measure where users are required to provide a passcode sent to their mobile devices before any changes can be made to their account.

The Gmail leak comes on the heels of two other major security breaches leaked on the same Bitcoin forum, which targeted Russian email service prodiver Mail.ru and search engine Yandex. Those two breaches affected nearly 6 million Internet users.

Find out if your account was compromised

You can verify whether your account was affected by clicking here and entering your gmail address. It’s that simple. You can also enable Google’s 2-step verification by following the company’s easy steps.

UPDATE 3:01 PM Google issued the following statement to Fusion:

“The security of our users’ information is a top priority for us. We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that accounts may have been, we take steps to help those users secure their accounts.”

If Global Warming is true, why would they have to cheat yet again

This time folks it seems like they have caught the Australian Bureau of Meteorology cheating. Hmm, would that mean the whole Gov was in on it?         ~Steve~

PS, but that’s not stopping Skippy. This is a link from Drudge.

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

———————————————————————————————

25 Aug 2014

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been caught red-handed manipulating temperature data to show “global warming” where none actually exists.

At Amberley, Queensland, for example, the data at a weather station showing 1 degree Celsius cooling per century was “homogenized” (adjusted) by the Bureau so that it instead showed a 2.5 degrees warming per century.

At Rutherglen, Victoria, a cooling trend of -0.35 degrees C per century was magically transformed at the stroke of an Australian meteorologist’s pen into a warming trend of 1.73 degrees C per century.

Last year, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology made headlines in the liberal media by claiming that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record. This prompted Australia’s alarmist-in-chief Tim Flannery – an English literature graduate who later went on to earn his scientific credentials with a PhD in palaeontology, digging up ancient kangaroo bones – to observe that global warming in Australia was “like climate change on steroids.”

But we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and lies.

Though the Bureau of Meteorology has insisted its data adjustments are “robust”, it has been unable to come up with a credible explanation as to why it translated real-world data showing a cooling trend into homogenized data showing a warming trend.

She wrote:

“Repetition is a propaganda technique. The deletion of information from records, and the use of exaggeration and half-truths, are �others. The Bureau of Meteorology uses all these techniques, while wilfully ignoring evidence that contradicts its own propaganda.’’

This is a global problem. Earlier this year, Breitbart reported that similarly dishonest adjustments had been made to temperature records by NASA and NOAA. Similarly implicated are the UK temperature records of the Met Office Hadley Centre and at Phil “Climategate” Jones’s disgraced Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Rest of Breitbart Story Here

 

~Steve~

 

Why pro-lifers shouldn’t do the ice bucket challenge

I should have known that if Hollyweirdos climb over each other to do something, even when the supposed cause is good, it is for ill.

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the countless tiresome pics and videos of feel-good “celebrities” taking the Ice Bucket Challenge by dousing themselves with a bucket of cold water. Those challenged are supposed either to dump an ice bucket of cold water over their head, or donate to ALS research. The “celebrities” do both, while posting a video of their icy bath.

It’s all about publicity.

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a.k.a. “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) is a fatal, progressive neurological disease.  It attacks the nerves that control voluntary muscles, so it is sometimes termed “motor neuron disease”.  As the nerves die, muscles weaken and atrophy, including the muscles for breathing; most people suffering from ALS die of respiratory failure.  The cause is unknown and at this point there is no cure, and very little that can even slow disease progression.

So, raising awareness about ALS and increasing support for ALS research is a good thing, right?

Sadly, not so.

Writing for LifeNews.com, Dr. David Prentice warns:

So far, most of the attention and millions of dollars in donation have gone to the ALS Association (ALSA).  However, the ALSA has admitted that it gives some of its money to embryonic stem cell research and has no qualms about doing so in the future…. 

As Rebecca Taylor has pointed out, ALSA also has given money to an affiliate, NEALS, that has given money to a trial that uses stem cells derived from the spinal cord of an aborted fetus

That trial is being run by the University of Michigan and Emory University, and sponsored by a company called Neuralstem which uses aborted fetus cells for research (“from the donated spinal cord tissue of an 8-week-old aborted fetus.”)  All of the Neuralstem trials use cells derived from abortion.

Project ALS, another charity for ALS research, also funds embryonic stem cell research.

APersonsAPerson

The plain truth is there is no reason for scientists or doctors to use EMBRYONIC stem cells, typically harvested from aborted babies, because study after study show that ADULT,  not embrysonic, stem cells are effective in treating diseases. As an example, please see my post on attorney Mattaniah Eytan, whose terminal leukemia was cured by receiving an ADULT stem cell transplantation at the International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) in Tel Aviv.

In fact, scientists have found that therapy using embryonic stem cells is prone to immune rejection and the growth of cancerous tumors, some containing hair, teeth, and other body parts. (Read more here.)

If you do want to donate to a good ALS cause, Dr. Prentice suggests the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He writes that MSCTC does not do any embryonic or aborted fetal stem cell research, only ADULT and NON-EMBRYONIC stem cell research and clinical trials. The center is planning a potential future trial using adult stem cells for ALS.

~Eowyn

Scientists now admit many vaccines were made with cells from aborted babies

This is a follow-up on a post I did in 2011, “Aborted Human Fetal Cells in Your Food, Vaccines & Cosmetics.”

After decades of ignoring the issue, scientists finally are acknowledging that many vaccines were made with cells from aborted fetuses babies.

We must ask ourselves about the morality of vaccines — whether the end justifies the means.

When we treat human beings, albeit very small human beings, as things — as mere means to our ends — we’ll soon discover that all human life is cheapened and objectified, including our own.

8-week-aborted-fetus

The dark story of immortality

Michael Cook | MercatorNet | 22 August 2013

After decades of ignoring the issue, Nature, the world’s leading science journal, has finally acknowledged that creating life-saving vaccines from tissue from aborted foetuses is a deeply controversial ethical issue.

In 1964, an American researcher obtained cells from a Swedish foetus aborted because her mother already had enough children. He coaxed them into multiplying into a cell line which he called WI-38. Since they were normal and healthy, they were ideal for creating vaccines. Two years later, scientists in the UK obtained cells from a 14-week male fetus aborted for “psychiatric reasons” from a 27-year-old British woman. This cell line is called MRC-5.

It is undeniable that the vaccines made from WI-38 and MRC-5 cells have saved millions of lives. Scientists have made vaccines against rubella, rabies, adenovirus, polio, measles, chickenpox and shingles, as well as smallpox, chicken pox and hepatitis A.

But protests by opponents of abortion have been largely ignored by the scientific community. If you Google “vaccines” and “abortion”, only Catholic groups, right-to-life organisations and sites warning about the dangers of vaccinations mention the topic. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention barely alludes to it even though it has abundant information on vaccines. A website called Vaccine Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics fails to mention it.

The reason is clear: vaccines save lives and the abortions happened a long time ago. Get over it. Who cares? “At the time [the fetus] was obtained there was no issue in using discarded material. Retrospective ethics is easy but presumptuous,” says Stanley Plotkin, the American scientist who developed the rubella vaccine. “I am fond of saying that rubella vaccine has prevented thousands more abortions than have ever been prevented by Catholic religionists.”

But now even Nature – which supports abortion rights and reproductive technology – has expressed its misgivings. “More than 50 years after the WI-38 cell line was derived from a fetus, science and society [have] still to get to grips with the ethical issues of using human tissue in research,” its editorial declared in June.

What has changed?

If you could single out a reason, it would be the intensely moving 2010 best-seller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. This book has nothing to do with abortion, but it highlights the deep respect, almost sacredness, that the body of a human person must command, even something as insignificant as discarded tissue.

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman who was 31 when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Cells from her tumour became the first human cells cultured continuously for use in research. HeLa cells have helped to make possible some of the most important medical advances of the past 60 years, including modern vaccines, cancer treatments, and IVF techniques. They are the most widely used human cell lines in existence. More than 300 scientific papers are published every month using HeLa cells.

There is no question about their usefulness – but were they obtained ethically? Is it ethical to continue using them?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks raises disturbing questions which transcend “usefulness”. Henrietta Lacks was poor and black. Her children, it seems, are even poorer. A doctor at Johns Hopkins removed her cells without asking her. He cultivated the cells without informing her. He distributed the cells without asking permission of her family. Companies became rich by using her cells without paying royalties. Her family only learned that their mother’s cells had been scattered around the world in 1973. Their complaints were ignored for many years – after all, they were only poor, uneducated black folks.

No one cared about the woman called Henrietta Lacks who was overdosed with radium, who died leaving five children behind, one of them an epileptic housed in a filthy, chaotic institution called The Hospital for the Negro Insane. Some people even thought that HeLa cells originated with a woman named Helen Lane. Her daughter wrote in a diary, “When that day came, and my mother died, she was Robbed of her cells and John Hopkins Hospital learned of those cells and kept it to themselfs, and gave them to who they wanted and even changed the name to HeLa cell and kept it from us for 20+ years. They say Donated. No No No Robbed Self.”

It was only earlier this year that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) negotiated an agreement with the family. All researchers who use or generate full genomic data from HeLa cells must now include in their publications an acknowledgement and expression of gratitude to the Lacks family.

Incredibly, despite all the publicity, scientists continued to ignore the concerns of the Lacks family. Just a few months ago, German researchers published the first sequence of the full HeLa genome. This compromised not only Henrietta Lacks’s genetic privacy but also her family’s. (The researchers have removed the sequence from public view.)

The story of HeLa cells, in short, is twofold: a story of towering scientific achievement and a story of exploitation by ambitious and callous scientists.

Less famous, but even more important, says Nature, have been WI-38 cells [from an aborted Swedish fetus baby]. HeLa cells multiply prolifically, but they are cancerous. WI-38 cells are healthy and normal and have been used to develop vaccines against rubella, rabies, adenovirus, polio, measles, chickenpox and shingles. Their origin is even more controversial than the dark story of Henrietta Lacks.

In 1962 a Swedish woman who was four months pregnant had a legal abortion because she did not want another child. The lungs of the foetus were removed and sent to Philadelphia. At the Wistar Institute for Anatomy and Biology they were minced up, processed and cultured by Leonard Hayflick. He had been culturing cells from aborted foetuses for years, even though abortion was technically illegal in Pennsylvania at the time, except for medical emergencies.

Leonard Hayflick examines WI-38 cells which were derived from an aborted Swedish girl.

After he successfully multiplied the WI-38 cells, Hayflick created more than 800 batches and distributed them freely around the world to drug companies and researchers. He eventually quarrelled with Wistar authorities because he thought that his contribution was being ignored. Without permission, he took all the remaining batches to California and his new job at Stanford. This led to years of bitter legal battles over who owned the cells. No one worried about where they had come from.

The abortion connection is beyond dispute, although, as Nature points out, “until now, that story has failed to reach the broad audience it deserves.” As in the Henrietta Lacks case, no informed consent was given by the Swedish mother. Her identity is known but she refuses to talk about the case. The doctors involved are all dead. A Swedish medical historian told Nature that in Sweden, “research material like tissues from aborted fetuses were available and used for research without consent or the knowledge of patients for a long time”, both before and after consent rules were tightened later in the 1960s.

The drug companies and institutions which have used WI-38 deny that there are serious ethical concerns either with the use of cells from aborted foetuses or with the lack of consent.

The institution which has examined this issue most closely is the Vatican. In 2005 it released a meticulously researched study of the ethical issues involved in using vaccines which had been developed with tissue from aborted foetuses. Even though it contended that parents could have their children vaccinated with a clear conscience, it did not dismiss the question as irrelevant or absurd. On the contrary, it concluded that “there is a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines and to make a conscientious objection with regard to those which have moral problems.”

And it said that the existing situation was completely unjust. “Parents… are forced to choose to act against their conscience or otherwise, to put the health of their children and of the population as a whole at risk. This is an unjust alternative choice, which must be eliminated as soon as possible.”

What is the way forward?

I am writing from suburban Sydney which long ago lost its connection to the Aboriginal tribes who once lived here. Yet at every civic ceremony we acknowledge the memory of the Cammeraygal and Wallumedegal peoples. It is a form of reparation for the dispossession, disease and death which carried them away, leaving neither names nor descendants.

Doesn’t the story of Henrietta Lacks suggest that drug companies should do something similar with their vaccine products? From now on, the NIH says, scientists who use HeLa cells must include “an acknowledgment and expression of gratitude to the Lacks family for their contributions”.

Why shouldn’t drug companies and researchers who use the WI-38 (or the MRC-5 cells) do the same? “This vaccine was developed with the cells of a Swedish child who was aborted in 1964. We are grateful for her contribution and grieve at her absence.”

H/t California Catholic Daily

To find which vaccines are morally acceptable go to Children Of God For Life.

See also:

~Eowyn

Remarkable cancer cure story using ADULT stem cells

Mattaniah Eytan

Mattaniah Eytan is the founding director of a distinguished law firm in the S. F. Bay Area.

In 2007 when he was 67 years old, much to his surprise because he was feeling well, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells which usually begins in the bone marrow and results in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells. These white blood cells are not fully developed and are cancerous, immature white blood cells called lymphoblasts. Symptoms may include bleeding and bruising problems, feeling very tired, and an increased risk of infections — which are all due to a lack of normal blood cells. Diagnosis is typically by blood tests or bone marrow biopsy.

He was advised by expert oncologists that there was no cure. In fact, all treatment alternatives were strictly palliative and sometimes worse than the symptoms of the disease.

After extensive review of medical literature and relying on a strong gut feeling, Eytan underwent outpatient allogeneic nonmyeloablative stem cell transplantation (NST) at the International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) in Tel Aviv.

Remarkably, the treatment was a complete success, with no remaining evidence of disease and no residual side effects. Eytan has since returned to manage his office and enjoys routine life in California.

This is one example of leukemia treated at an early stage of the disease, where cure was accomplished without a single overnight hospital stay. (While receiving treatment, Eytan stayed in a hotel near the Tel Aviv beach.)

Thankfully, the stem cells used were not fetal stem cells, but adult stem cells donated by Eytan’s brother.

~Eowyn

Russian hackers stole 1+ billion user names and passwords

hacker

Here we go again.

Once again, hackers have stolen our Internet passwords and user names.

This time, it’s a ring of Russian hackers who have stolen more than a billion online user names and passwords, including more than 500 million email addresses. They are believed to be using that data to spam Internet users.

It’s unclear which websites the Russian hackers hit, but with so much stolen data, there’s a chance you may have been affected. If you think you are a victim of this attack here are steps you can take (h/t Los Angeles Times):

1. Change your passwords

  • Go to your most important online accounts (your email, bank, credit card, etc.) and change the passwords.
  • Ideally, your password should consist of lower and uppercase letters, several numbers and no words that can be found in the dictionary.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts.

2. Monitor your debit and credit card activity

Make sure all the purchases listed are ones you made. If they aren’t, you might be a victim of identity theft.

3. If you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft

  • Create an identity theft report: Go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website to create an Identity Theft Affidavit. Use that affidavit to also file a police report.
  • Freeze your credit report: Notify the three credit reporting agencies to put a freeze on your credit report to block anyone, including yourself, from getting more credit using your identity. You’ll still be able to use your credit cards, but you won’t be able to get new ones while the freeze is in effect. To do this, head to the websites of Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You will be charged a fee of up to $5 if you are not a victim of identity theft.
  • Get a copy of your credit report: After freezing your credit report, ask the three credit reporting agencies for a copy of it. You should read the reports to make sure you recognize all of the transactions and accounts listed.
  • Dispute errors: If you find erroneous transactions or accounts, you will have to contact the fraud departments of the credit reporting agencies as well as the businesses involved explaining the error and your situation.
  • For more detailed information on what to do if you are a victim of identity theft, here’s a helpful guide from the FTC.

UPDATE:

My bud Mark S. McGrew, who is way less naive than I am, thinks that this is a hoax, perpetrated to (a) trash Russians; and (b) to scam us by frightening us into purchasing online protection against security breaches.

Lending credence to McGrew are:

  1. The company that supposedly “discovered” this latest hacking is offering an “alert service” to let you know if someone is using your data, for a fee of $120. The MSM obligingly report on this “hacking” to generate business for that company. See

    http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1792.htm.

  2. There has been no — ZERO — reports of any actual breach of online security as a result of this “Russian hacking.”

Whatever is the case, it doesn’t hurt to change your passwords, which we are advised to do regardless of hackers.

~Eowyn