Page 11234..10..»

Archive for the ‘Female Genetics’ Category

Natural Connections: Oxymorons on the river | Free – Ashland Daily Press

I need a mental break, my friend Jamie told me. Shes an essential worker in a small city. Living in an apartment, feeling nervous to visit crowded city parks, dealing with rude customers, and being an extrovert in isolation, have all taken a toll on her mental health. Ive been realizing how privileged I am to have abundant access to uncrowded nature.

So, we hatched a plan for a socially distanced canoe trip on the Namekagon River.

The urge to give Jamie a hug as I pulled into the river landing was overwhelming, but our masks provided a constant reminder not to get too close. Unloading boats and organizing gear all took place as kind of an orbital dance. When we finally pushed off from shore, we got some odd looks.

Jamie, in my yellow kayak, looked as normal as she can ever look (yes, thats a poke at my veryuniquefriend). But then there was me, with my 16 foot canoe turned backwards so I could sit closer to the middle on what usually is the bow seat. This is a pretty common way for people to solo paddle a two person canoe. All of our camping gear nestled not touching in among the thwarts, with plenty of weight toward the front to balance me. At the last minute, Id thought to grab the paddle from my sea kayak, so I used its wooden blades to maneuver my loaded beast. It felt like I was paddling a tankor perhaps it could be better described as a party barge.

Hooting and hollering with joy, we swung out to the middle of the river and headed downstream.

Social distancing can seem like a pretty ludicrous oxymoron. Being social didnt used to mean keeping our distance. Its odd to feel anxious about getting together. Its odd to leave so much space between friends when we have conversations outdoors. Its odd to talk through a mask and leave half of our facial expressions covered when we (rarely) talk indoors at the office, coffee shop, or grocery store. Despite the incongruity, keeping our distance and wearing a mask are now the most caring ways we can be social.

Paddling side by side, instead of having Jamie breathing clouds of aerosols ahead of me in the canoe, is better for talking anyway. And for some reason, she was better at spotting wildlife from the kayak. Turtle! she shouted, and pointed across my bow (or was it my stern?) to a sunny rock. There, basking in the sun, was a very odd-looking reptile.

The tiny head, with a super pointy nose, faced upstream. The corners of the turtles wide mouth turned down at the corners like a grumpy Muppet. Her golden eye with a horizontal pupil gave the appearance of a perpetual squint. I could tell this turtle was female because of her large size and blotchy shell. Males are smaller, with spots. Her wide, flat body, like a lumpy old pillow with legs, was covered by an almost flat, brown shell, as if last Sundays burned pancake had been commandeered for use as a blanket.

And still, as you all knew I would, I squealed with delight, dug in my paddle to aim my course, and searched furiously for my camera. If only Jamie HAD been in the bow of my canoe to keep paddling while I photographed

Spiny softshell turtles are another foray into oxymorons. Who ever heard of a turtle having a soft shell? Isnt a hard shell kind of the point? And yet, there it was. Unlike the domed shelters of snapping turtles and painted turtles with their grid of protective, bony scutes softshell turtles have a leathery carapace. The flexible shell offers added maneuverability in open water, muddy lake bottoms, and on land, where they can move much faster than most turtles.

That pointy nose? Its a built-in snorkel on the end of a disproportionately long neck. It allows the turtles to breathe while the rest of their body is submerged in mud, sand, or water, a foot or more below the surface. In fact, they can exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide through many parts of their body, more than most turtles. That comes in handy as they lie in wait for prey like fish, frogs, and invertebrates to swim past. The same quick reflexes and powerful bite that help them catch prey can turn defensive in an instant so watch your fingers!

In a move thats odd for turtles, but common in other vertebrates, softshell turtles dont leave the sex of their babies up to the variation in nest temperature during egg development. Instead, males and females are determined by genetics.

As my canoe floated by and I snapped as many photos as I could, I finally saw the source of spiny softshells name. A fringe of pointy spines lined the edge of her carapace, just behind her head. From the other side of the river, Jamie admired her, too. I guess a softshell turtle can be spiny. And being social can be done from a distance. So much for oxymorons on the river. Our canoe trip was weirdly normal as we tried to act naturally and face the bittersweet new reality of traveling alone together.

See the original post:
Natural Connections: Oxymorons on the river | Free - Ashland Daily Press

Psychology Around the Net: August 1, 2020 –

This weeks Psychology Around the Net takes a look at expert opinions on reopening schools for students mental health, new research on the impact of text messaging intervention as an add-on to existing mental health treatment plans, the differences in how female narcissists and male narcissists display narcissistic personality traits, and more.

Be well, friends!

Should Schools Reopen for Students Mental Health? Experts Weigh In: Mental health experts offer arguments for the importance of school for kids developmental health, with CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield stressing, It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall. However, others point out that while reopening schools might have some children feeling excited, it could have others feeling anxious and afraid and returning to school in person or virtually should be individualized. Says Dr. Avanti Bergquist, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and school board member: Whether we are sending students back for in-person school or not, we need to put emphasis on providing mental health support.

8 Women of Color on What Self-Care Looks Like in a Racist Society: 31-year-old Jasmine Purdie: As a Black photographer, I wanted to remind myself and my community that there is room for joy, peace, and rest in this workespecially in the middle of a global pandemic. I took a few road trips to visit, photograph, and interview (safely, of course!) some of the most important women in my life on how they are caring for themselves during this time. I hope these photos and anecdotes help us remember that while we are fighting and looking out for everyone, we also have to take time to care for ourselves.

Seven Secrets to Success: Patience, Purpose, Perseverance, Pain, Planning, Pep and Positivity: Find out how one woman used patience, purpose, perseverance, pain, planning, pep, and positivity to overcome obstacles and setbacks and make it to and through her first year of medical school.

Are Female Narcissists Different? Psychologists Weigh In: Narcissism doesnt have a favorite gender, but studies do show that men tend to display narcissistic personality traits more than women. Key word here: display. So, how can you spot a narcissistic behavior in women?

Text Messaging: The Next Gen of Therapy in Mental Health: Because of reasons like cost, difficulty accessing care, and limited hours, clinic-based services for mental health may fall short of meeting many patients needs. Researchers out of Dartmouth College studied what kind of impact a texting intervention as an add-on to a mental health treatment program would have compared to a program without a texting intervention and found that a texting intervention service can be a clinically promising, feasible tool for people with serious mental illness. This is the first randomized controlled trial of its kind.

What to Expect from Your Adopted Child: Insights from Behavioral Genetics: Professor Kay Trimberger explains why she found her studies of behavioral genetics so useful when writing Creole Son: An Adoptive Mother Untangles Nature and Nurture.

Image by from Pixabay.

Related Articles

Original post:
Psychology Around the Net: August 1, 2020 -

The NBA bubble is a grand experiment in epidemiology – The Undefeated

The NBA bubble is maybe the greatest public demonstration of a space where the science of epidemiology is as central to operations as the financial office.

As the United States continues to deal with the consequences of the largest pandemic in a century with roughly 4.25 million cases and nearly 150,000 deaths as of July 28, the NBA bubble is an important moment in modern epidemiology. It is a grand experiment in how technology, policy and human behavior influence an epidemic. And what we can do to stop it.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles the ball during practice as part of the NBA restart on July 27 in Orlando, Florida.

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

COVID-19 strikes as a protean disease, continuing to surprise and amaze even the most seasoned clinicians by its varied manifestations, said Dr. Andre Matthews, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. A consensus taken amongst medical practitioners may very well declare COVID-19 the greatest masquerader that medicine has ever seen.

The science of epidemiology has done wonders for society, greatly improved the quality of life for billions of people and saved countless numbers of lives. For example, epidemiologists helped limit the spread of the 2014 Ebola epidemic, and have informed practices that contributed to declining rates of malaria around the world. Epidemiologists can track an outbreak of cholera, a contaminated water supply, or help to understand the spread of the mumps virus on a United States warship.

The NBA bubble refers to the tightly controlled setting where players live, practice and play in order to conclude the 2019-20 season. The players have been confined to a space resembling a luxury boarding school, with proctors and chaperones and rules. It contains quirky details: The teams with the eight best records stay at the newest of the hotels, the Gran Destino Tower in Orlando, Florida, while other teams stay at older hotels. Players are discouraged from spitting and licking their hands. Biometric devices are being used to monitor vital signs. No guests are allowed inside a players hotel room.

There are lots of rules. The policies governing the entry into and exit from the bubble are strictly enforced. Anyone entering the bubble (players, personnel or staff) is required to quarantine for up to 48 hours until they register two negative COVID-19 tests. Anyone who leaves the bubble must quarantine upon their return (for as long as 10 days) and will need to register two negative tests, as well as an antibody test. Face masks are a requirement in any common settings.

Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers might be one of the most famous athletes in the world, but in the bubble, he better not leave without proper notice.

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The policies were developed as a collaborative endeavor between a range of experts, including epidemiologists who understand the latest science behind the spread of the coronavirus. These experts helped to create a set of policies that are based on interventions the wearing of masks, social distancing, frequent testing that have demonstrated their effectiveness in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus in many settings. But the NBA is constantly reevaluating and keeping up with the latest information on COVID-19 epidemiology so that the league can implement changes to the policy if necessary.

What makes epidemiology challenging in practice is the types of data that it often requires: Large data sets containing information on collections of people, their disease status and other information about them (e.g., age, sex, ethnicity, residence, etc.). And because epidemics happen in the real world and not in the laboratory, ideal experiments can be hard to come by.

Epidemiology can thrive on well-organized large experiments in existence, situations where groups of people are carefully studied for periods of time so we can understand how a disease happens and why it occurs in some populations. Famous examples include the Framingham Heart Study that has monitored cardiovascular health for several generations, and the Nurses Health Study, which has focused on factors contributing to chronic disease in women.

The NBA bubble carries several features of a great epidemiology experiment that may facilitate a better understanding of how the coronavirus is spread:

Testing every day. One of the great barriers to a sophisticated understanding of COVID-19 has been the fact that tests have not been readily available. Early in the United States outbreak, individuals suspected of having the disease struggled to receive diagnoses. As testing will occur daily in the bubble, the NBA will be in the unique position of knowing the COVID-19 status of everyone who lives in the bubble. This will allow for rapid intervention, starting with quarantine.

Knowledge of all subjects. The NBA bubble is a rare setting where one can know a lot about the individuals in a physical space. This level of surveillance is uncomfortable to some, but in the case of an outbreak, detailed information on the individuals can be crucial. For example, some have begun to speculate that the widespread differences in the experience of disease between individuals may have a genetic component. That is, some individuals may carry a mutation that may make them more likely to experience a serious disease. Because the NBA bubble isnt inhabited by random individuals, it may be an opportunity to learn more about why some people have mild cases of the disease. This may include host genetics, or diet, preexisting conditions, or past medical history. While the NBA bubble will be dominated by high-performing athletes between the ages of 20 and 35, it still contains a diversity of players, coaches and staff that also span the age spectrum. Variation is an important feature, as it may help experts identify patterns.

Ideal data for contact tracing. Contact tracing has emerged as one of the buzz phrases surrounding COVID-19. It refers to a public health practice of informing the close contacts of an individual who tests positive that they might have been exposed to the disease, and should enter quarantine or undergo immediate testing. It is a tried and true method that has been used for decades to track epidemics ranging from Ebola to outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases. It works best when it is widely adopted, and when professional contact tracers have detailed information on everyone that an individual who tested positive was close to. The NBA bubble offers a tremendous opportunity for accurate contact tracing, as many contact events will be televised. For example, not only would experts have access to where a player who tests positive in the bubble is residing (e.g., which hotel, and which room), theyd be able to study their physical contact patterns with players on another team.

With all of these features, what might we learn? The hypotheticals are too many to consider: Perhaps some teams will have cases, which will allow us to understand when they were infected, whom they infected, where they were when they were infected, how much time individuals spent with each other that caused an infection.

Social justice messages each NBA player is wearing on his jerseyRead nowGolf keeps Raptors Kyle Lowry in the swing of thingsRead nowBucks president Peter Feigin refuses to stick to sportsRead now

We may learn that the ventilation in some hotels might be superior, which explains why there were fewer transmission events in that hotel, relative to the others. Will guarding another player in the paint be associated with a higher probability of transmission than with guarding on the perimeter? Questions like this might be answerable in the NBA bubble.

The hope is that there are no outbreaks, and that the NBA season goes on without a hitch, unlike in Major League Baseball. While this outcome would be the least eventful, and the one that offered the fewest opportunities to learn about the spread of the coronavirus, it may also be the most telling: No events would tell us that the bubble was a success, affirming the practices implemented by the league to promote safety.

And in many ways, this lesson would be the greatest of them all: In a dark summer, when COVID-19 cases continue to climb around the country, maybe the NBA will remind us that the pandemic is conquerable when we follow the science.

C. Brandon Ogbunu, a New York City native, is a computational biologist at Yale University. His popular writing takes place at the intersection between sports, data science, and culture.

See original here:
The NBA bubble is a grand experiment in epidemiology - The Undefeated

Everything You Need to Know About PCOS – FLARE

Chances are that if youre a person with ovaries, youve heard about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; more commonly known as PCOS. Maybe it was from your BFF, whod gone for a check up only to find that she had cysts on her ovaries, maybe it was in the newslike when Dutch model Romee Strijd shared in a May 28 Instagram post that shes expecting a baby,two years after she was first diagnosed with PCOS. Or maybe its a condition that you personally have been diagnosed with. Regardless, there are likely very few degrees of separation between yourself and PCOSbecause its a pretty common disorder.

[PCOS] affects one in 10 reproductive-age girls, women or people with ovaries, and its across all ethnicities, says Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an OBGYN and adolescent gynaecologist.So, its fairly common. And, Kirkham says, the numbers are actually rising. (More on that later.) But, as scary as it may sound, PCOS is actually a very treatable disorder. So, before you head down that Web MD rabbit hole, read up on what the experts we spoke to have to say about your reproductive and ovarian health.

First of all, although polycystic ovary syndrome sounds daunting, Kirkham stresses that people with ovaries shouldnt be too stressed about the name itself, especially that PCOS is classified as a syndrome.The syndrome just means certain things or certain symptoms that we see together as a group, Kirkham explains. So women shouldnt feel they have a disease, its just that they have this grouping thats associated with certain factors.

While doctors dont know *exactly* what causes PCOS (its a multifactoral condition, meaning there are many symptoms that can contribute to someones diagnosis with PCOS), according to Womens Healthmost experts think several contributorsincluding geneticsplay a role. Some of thesefactors include an imbalance in the reproductive and metabolic hormones. Per Womens Health, individuals with PCOS may have higher than normal levels of androgens (AKA male hormones). While all women have levels of androgens, people with higher levels can face complications. For example, these imbalances can create problems in theovaries; and with PCOS a persons eggs may not develop as they should or may not be released duringovulation. We have thousands of hormones in our body, but its in particular the ones that can affect how often we get our periodsas periods are also based on the fluctuations of our hormonesthat can cause issues, Kirkham says. As higher than normal androgen levels can cause missed periods, this can lead to subfertility or the abnormal development of cysts (small, fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries.

Read this next: Black Women Are More Likely to Suffer From Fibroids

In addition to high androgen levels, people with PCOS may have insulin resistancemeaning that their bodies are unable to break down sugar effectively. This can also lead to downstream consequences for people with PCOS, like diabetes, high cholesterol and uterine cancer.And, it seems to be increasing as instances of obesity increase, Kirkham says.

While PCOS and endometriosis are often conflated and mistaken for one another, they are *not* the same thing. Per a a report by John Hopkins Medicine, endometriosis refers to a medical condition in which people have irregular development of the tissue that typically lines their uterus (called endometrium). During an individuals regular menstrual cycle, endometrium tissue builds up inside the uterus and is then shed if the person does not get pregnant. But per the report by John Hopkins, women with endometriosis develop this outside of the uterus, on other reproductive organs inside the persons pelvis or abdominal cavity. Because the tissue follows the same menstrual cycle of building up and breaking down, but in a misplaced area, this results in small bleeding inside of the pelvis. This bleeding then leads to inflammation, swelling and scarring of the regular tissue in the abdominal cavity. Endometriosis can be incredibly painful and is considered one of the three major influences of female infertility, with symptoms running the gamut from pain during sex to excessive menstrual flow and extreme menstrual cramps.

According to Bustle, the misdiagnosis of endometriosis as other medical issues (including PCOS) is due in large part to the fact that many of the symptoms of endometriosis are also present in other conditions. And the conflation of the two conditions can even be made by health professionals, which can lead to misdiagnosis when doctors see cysts on a womens ovary (something all women havemore on this later) and surmise that the pain theyre experiencing must be a byproduct of PCOS. Women might show up [in the emergency room] because they have extreme pain and they might have endometriosis, but you cant see that on an ultrasound, Kirkham says. But they happen to have an ovarian cyst at that time because theyre about to release an egg, and then they get diagnosed, [with a Dr. saying] Well you have an ovarian cyst, theres the problem and thats why you have pain, but it isnt.

When it comes to determining whether or not you have PCOS, Kirkham says doctors look to the Rotterdam criteria for diagnosis. This criteria mandates two of the three symptoms be present.The first one would be infrequent or missing periods, Kirkham says of one possible PCOS indicator (this means fewer than eight periods in a year). This is probably what usually would bring a woman or a person with ovaries to a doctors office, is that they start skipping their periods or they may be a teenager who is 15 or 16 and has never had a period, or anybody of reproductive age who starts missing three periods in a row. The second symptom is acne or unwanted hair (otherwise known as hyperandrogenism or high male hormones); meaning that you may have unusual hair on your chin, side of the face, chest, back or stomach. And the third [symptom], Kirkham says, is polycystic-looking ovaries on an ultrasound.

One common misconception associated with PCOS is that *anyone* who has cysts on their ovaries has PCOS. Which isnt true, because, in fact, everyone has cysts on their ovaries and they arent always cause for concern. This is why I dont like the terminology of PCOS. Kirkham says. As she explains it, anyone who has ovaries stores their eggs in cysts (a little fluid filled ballon). So we have cysts every month and then they pop or ovulate and then two weeks later we have a period if were not pregnant. Sometimes, these cysts can rupturewhich can be very painful and may take someone to the emergency room, she saysbut this popping happens every month and is not indicative of PCOS.

When it comes to PCOS, Kirkham says the main gynaecological basis for the period problems is due to an-ovulation, meaning people stop ovulating and cysts dont pop. And so thats why you end up with a lot of cysts on the ovary, she says (a.k.a polycystic). As opposed to your typical ovaries, when they do an ultrasound, it almost looks like a pearl necklace, where all of the little cysts are around the edge of the ovary.

Read this next: Everything to Know About STIs and the Pap Smear Test

One thing to be aware of is the fact that a lot of teens can have polycystic-looking ovaries and not suffer from PCOS. Theyre very hormonally active at that time, Kirkham says, so their ovaries are really ramped up and theres a lot of eggs there. Which is why its important to refer to the Rotterdam criteria, and not base assumptions or diagnoses of PCOS off of one symptom alone.

While doctors havent identified any specific genes that would indicate PCOS is hereditary (ie: passed along through familial lines), there are PCOS-specific susceptibility genes that are being investigated, Kirkham says.

If youve heard anyone talk about PCOS, chances are youve probably heard them talk about infertility. PCOS is often connected to infertility, because people with PCOS may have difficulty releasing eggs (thanks to an excess of androgen hormones). About25 to 30% of PCOS patients have fertility issues, Kirkham says. (In fact, she continues, some places say even up to 80% of individuals with PCOS can struggle with fertility). But, the good news is thatas opposed to other syndromes like untreated endometriosisthe rate for infertility is much lower and can be more easily corrected. Also, we definitely shouldnt refer to it as infertility.

I wish we would stop using the term infertility because it is usually subfertility, Kirkham says, meaning a lot of people with PCOS still get pregnant. In fact, Kirkham says, the type of subfertility with PCOS is probably the easiest one to treat, because its caused by an-ovulation. So usually all you need is a medication to trigger the release of the egg, she says. So people may not need IVF and all of the whole gamut and the expenses of fertility treatment. In fact, celebs who have PCOSlike model Romee Strijdhave spoken openly about their experiences with subfertility due to the syndrome. In a May 28 Instagram post, Strijd announced that two years after revealing her PCOS diagnosis, she was pregnant after making lifestyle changes. To the women trying to conceive, believe in yourself and be nice for yourself and your body and dont let those thoughts get to you too much, Strijd encouraged her followers in her post. (And FYI, according to Kirkham,70% of women with endometriosis do get pregnant).

While treatment for PCOS should be individualizedfor example, Kirkham says, for a teenager or a young person, they may be most affected by self esteem issues that they have with acne or unwanted hair; so in that case, that would be where we want to balance the higher androgens that cause those symptoms. So something as simple as a birth control pill that has female hormones in it will help balance out the antigen side effectsKirkham also says that lifestyle changes; eating well, exercising and weight loss is treatment number-one for PCOS. In fact, according to her, 10% weight loss has been shown to lead to spontaneous ovulation, which is why she advises that anyone looking to make lifestyle changes work in conjunction with a nutritionist.

Nutrition and lifestyle modifications are the primary treatment approaches for [people] with PCOS, says Trista Chan, a registered dietician and founder of The Good Life Dietician, who works with clients who have PCOS. While Chan says that theres nooptimal or gold-standard diet for PCOS treatment, and treatment varies greatly depending on the individual, she places a strong emphasison minimally processed, whole foods. This means whole grains, legumes, nuts, leafy greens, berries and fruit, seeds, fish and chicken, she says. As peoplewith PCOS typically have higher insulin and inflammatory markers, Chan advises incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods like fish, legumes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy, which she says have been shown to reduce inflammation and potentially regulate menstruation. All of these interventions also usually lead to weight loss and improvement in metabolic and reproductive health, Chan says. Another important note from Chan? Exercise!

Its important to emphasize that advocating for a healthy lifestyle and exercise doesnt mean that you need to become thinner or look a certain way. PCOS can affect anyone at any body size. Its about figuring out what works best and is healthiest for your body.

And while theres no foolproof way to ensure you wont be diagnosed with PCOS, the only thing that you can do to decrease the chance of being diagnosed with it is living a healthy lifestyle, Kirkham says. Making sure that you keep your weight stable (with the help and advice of a doctor) and then also knowing your family history, because if its in your family and there is some predisposition to it, you would want to track your periods and make sure theyre happening regularly.

Its not something you can prevent, per se, Kirkham continues. You may be predisposed to it just like some people are predisposed to other diseases.

Read this next: STI Rates Are on the Rise, So Why Arent Dental Dams a Thing?

While PCOS can never be 100% completely cured, nutrition andlifestyle modifications can be very effective in balancing hormones and relieving symptoms, Chan says. And, its important to get diagnosed early so that you can increase fertility for those looking to conceive and prevent more long-term effects likediabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, sleep apnea, depression and anxiety, and uterine cancer.

And for anyone looking to keep their ovaries healthy and in tip-top shape, whether or not you have PCOS, Chan has some recommendations: Filling your plate with inflammation-fighting foods is always a good idea, she advises. Berries are an antioxidant-rich, low-sugar fruit. (She recommends eating them three times a week.) In addition, low-fat yogurt, three to five times a week is also great source of calcium and probiotics to keep a healthy gut; fatty fishlike salmon or mackerelare rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which play large role in reducing inflammation, boosting heart health, and there is increasing research linking it to hormone balance.

Regardless of which route you take in treating PCOSor general reproductive healththe most important thing is to consult a doctor and do whats best for you and your body.

Original post:
Everything You Need to Know About PCOS - FLARE

How to identify and treat strange things that might be happening on your skin – Las Vegas Sun

By C. Moon Reed (contact)

Saturday, July 25, 2020 | 2 a.m.

Skin. Its our bodys biggest organ. Our protective envelope exists to keep the outside world out and the inside in. And yet its easy to ignore, up until the moment something goes wrong. Whats that weird rash? Who knows? Sure, you can use a phone filter to make your skin look great, but its better to address the problem and enjoy clear skin.

Weve rounded up info on some of the most common skin conditions that affect mankind, but this shouldnt replace professional medical advice. If you think something looks wrong, please consult a doctor.

Prevention is the best cure, so follow these simple steps to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Wash your hands.

Practice good hygiene.

Manage stress.

Eat a healthy diet.

Sleep enough.

Moisturize to prevent dry, cracked skin.

Dont share personal items like towels, razors and nail clippers.

Avoid touching your face.

Dont pick at, shave over, pop or scratch irritated skin, no matter how tempting.

Dont touch other peoples skin lesions.

Cover skin wounds, warts, etc. to speed healing and prevent cross-contamination.

Wear flip-flops around swimming pools and public showers.

Protect yourself from sun damage.


Its the bane of pubescence. But pimples can linger beyond the teenage years.

Who: Everybody. Its the most common skin issue in the United States.

Cause: Pores clogged by dead skin cells get infected by a common skin bacteria, P. acnes. Risk factors include genetics, hormones, being female.

Symptoms: From cysts to blackheads to pustules and whiteheads, these blemishes can plague the face, chest, back, arms and buttocksand lead to scarring and dark spots.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Start with over-the-counter topical treatments and see a dermatologist for prescription treatment if your acne is severe or not responding to other efforts. Do not pop pimples; it can make them worse and cause scarring.


A general term for the type of rash one gets when skin comes into contact with an irritant.

Who: Anybody, but allergies are a risk factor.

Cause: Seasonal allergies; allergies to cheap jewelry (generally with nickel), cosmetics, detergents, medications, tattoo pigments, etc.

Symptoms: Itching, redness, swelling.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Remove the irritant, and avoid future contact.


A type of dermatitis (seborrheic) that mainly affects the scalp.

Who: Mostly people with genetic predispositions, immune or nutrition issues.

Cause: Genetics, environmental factors, dry skin, stress.

Symptoms:Itching, flaking, discoloration of the skin.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Medicated dandruff shampoo; shampoo daily; eat a healthy diet; get some sun; apply tea tree oil. Seek prescription treatments if the above doesnt help.


Think of this chronic skin condition like asthma of the skin. Skin can be normal, and then suffer from outbreaks, like an allergic reaction.

Who: Anybody, but those with asthma or allergies are at higher risk.

Cause: Genetics, skin irritation or damage, immune issues.

Symptoms: Dryness, redness, itching, cracking, bleeding, infection.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Hydrocortisone, antihistamines, steroid creams, laser therapy, immunosuppressants.


An inherited skin condition that can make the upper arms, thighs, buttocks and/or cheeks appear to have goosebumps or whiteheads.

Cause: Genetics, worsened by dry environments.

Who: More common in children and young adults and generally resolves itself with age.

Symptoms: Painless, but can cause bumps and coarse skin.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Exfoliate and moisturize; salicylic acid, topical retinoids.


Mostly everybody has a mole somewhere or other. Generally, these pigmented skin growths are harmless, but some can be risk factors for melanoma (skin cancer).

Who: Almost everybody.

Cause: Irregular or clumpy growth of pigmented skin cells.

Symptoms: Beware of moles that are asymmetrical, oddly shaped, multicolored, larger than a pencil eraser and/or quickly changing, as these can be signs of melanoma.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: If your moles seem irregular, see a doctor immediately. Most moles dont require treatment, but if needed, they can be surgically removed by a dermatologist. In general, its a good idea to monitor your moles over time, just to make sure they dont turn against you.


This skin disease is caused by a poxvirus that lives in the upper layer of the skin.

Who: Anybody, but people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk.

Cause: Viral infection spread via physical contact (either skin-to-skin or via shared objects, such as towels or toys).

Symptoms: Itching, redness, small bumps with a pearly appearance.

Contagious? Yes, but your body can completely clear the infection.

Treatment: The disease typically clears on its own in six months to four years. A medical professional can help remove the lesions; do not attempt on your own.


Skin generally takes weeks to grow, but with this skin condition, it grows at hyperspeed, causing significant irritation.

Who: Genetics combined with triggering events such as stress, weather and/or medication.

Cause: An overactive immune system, generally.

Symptoms: Most people develop plaque psoriasis, which consists of scaly, raised patches that can look silver. They are very itchy, but scratching makes it worse. Other types of psoriasis include rashes and irritation on different parts of the body.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Prescription medication, including lotions, pills and injections.


Santa Claus is famous for his rosy cheeks. But what you took for Christmas cheer is most likely the skin condition rosacea.

Who: Older people, mostly women, with fair skin.

Cause: Genetics, acne is a risk factor, spicy foods, stress, sunlight.

Symptoms: Redness on the cheeks and nose, enlarged blood vessels, hot skin, irritated eyes, swollen nose.

Contagious? No.

Treatment: Antibiotics, laser therapy, surgery.


A skin growth caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Who: Anybody, but nail biting, hangnails, broken skin, shaving and weakened immune systems are risk factors.

Cause: Physical contact (skin-to-skin or with a contaminated object).

Symptoms: Depending on the type of wart, the growth can appear on the hands, fingers, feet, face, genitals and, really, anywhere.

Contagious? Yes.

Treatment: Can eventually resolve on its own; over-the-counter treatments available; dermatologist can treat with excision, electrosurgery, cryotherapy and more.

This story appeared in Las VegasWeekly.

Continued here:
How to identify and treat strange things that might be happening on your skin - Las Vegas Sun

A.O.C. and the Daughter Defense – The New York Times

Brett Kavanaugh invoked it. Mitch McConnell used it too. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have each talked about it, and this week, Representative Ted Yoho joined their ranks: he, too, is now a member of the having-a-daughter-makes-me-an-ally-to-women or at the very least, should-excuse-my-bad-behavior club.

Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, Im very cognizant of language, Representative Yoho said in a speech on the House floor this week, denying that he called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman Congresswoman from New York, a fucking bitch after a confrontation on the steps of the Capitol.

Mr. Yoho later expressed regret for the abrupt manner of the conversation, in which he told Ms. Ocasio-Cortez that her statements about poverty and crime in New York City were disgusting. But, he noted, I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family and my country.

On Thursday, in a speech on the House floor that has since gone viral in which she read the vulgarity into the Congressional record Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said, I am someones daughter too. She said shed planned to ignore the insults its just another day as a woman, she said but changed her mind after Mr. Yoho decided to bring his wife and daughters into the fray.

Our culture is full of platitudes about fathers and daughters: the Hallmark card, the weeping dad at the wedding. But invoking daughters and wives to deflect criticism is a particular kind of political trope and one thats been used throughout history to excuse a host of bad behavior, said the historian Barbara Berg.

The love a man has for the female members of his family, particularly his offspring, is presumed to have special power to humanize the other half of the population, to allow him to imagine the world his daughter will inhabit. Sometimes, in fact, this happens. Other times, the Daughter Excuse comes across mostly as cynical ploy.

As if familial affiliation alone equals enlightened attitudes towards women, said Susan Douglas, a professor of communication and media at the University of Michigan. Its like claiming I have a Black friend as if that makes you anti-racist.

There is social science thats shown there is something to being the father of a daughter.

In a study called The First-Daughter Effect, Elizabeth Sharrow, an associate professor of public policy and history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her colleagues, determined that fathering daughters and firstborn daughters, in particular indeed played a role in making mens attitudes toward gender equality more progressive, particularly when it came to policies like equal pay or sexual harassment protocols. The researchers also determined that those dads of firstborn daughters were, in 2016, more likely to support Hillary Clinton or a fictional female congressional candidate delivering a similar pitch.

Our argument is not that it is genetics or biology, but that it is proximity, said Dr. Sharrow. In other words: The daughters help the fathers see the problems they may have previously dismissed.

Witness basketball star Stephen Curry, who has written about how the idea of womens equality has become a little more personal for me, lately, and a little more real, since having a daughter.

Or Dick Cheney, whose views on same-sex marriage shifted earlier than many might have expected because of his daughter, who is gay.

And yet.

Daughters influencing fathers views for the better is far different from fathers using their daughters as shields and excuses for poor behavior, as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez described Mr. Yoho in her speech.

Its also different from fathers using them as props, as Dr. Berg puts it, to emphasize their alignment with womens causes or, by contrast, their disgust over behaviors perceived to be in opposition to them.

Consider Justice Kavanaugh, who during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about allegations of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford spoke repeatedly of his daughters (as well as his wife and mother) and noted that coaching his daughters basketball team was what he loved more than anything Ive ever done in my whole life as if loving coaching and allegedly treating women badly as a teenager are mutually exclusive.

Men have often pointed to their relationships with and love for some women especially wives and daughters to combat claims that they have mistreated other women, said Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. We have seen this both inside and outside of politics, especially when men are subject to accusations of sexual harassment and assault.

In the wake of the 2016 reports on comments made by Donald Trump on the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape, a host of fathers-of-daughters came out to condemn the behavior. Mr. McConnell noted that as the father of three daughters he believed that Mr. Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, while Mitt Romney said that the comments demean our wives and daughters. (It is perhaps worth noting that Mr. Trump, too, has daughters.)

Similarly, in response to revelations of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein, both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who had worked with the disgraced Hollywood producer, expressed their disgust on behalf of their female offspring. We need to do better at protecting our friends, sisters, co-workers and daughters, Mr. Affleck said on Twitter, while Mr. Damon explained that as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night.

Women, too, have at times invoked mens daughters and other female relatives in trying to appeal to some men. When asked about Mr. Yohos behavior, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: Whats so funny is, youd say to them, Do you not have a daughter? Do you not have a mother? Do you not have a sister? Do you not have a wife? What makes you think that you can be so and this is the word I use for them condescending, in addition to being disrespectful?

The caveat, of course, is the qualification. Qualifying your outrage against misogyny as due to your role as a father or husband implies that, absent those roles, you would be either unaware of or unconcerned, said Dr. Dittmar.

Or as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez put it: Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. Why should daughters still have to be a prerequisite to respect?

Jessica Bennett is a Times editor at large covering gender and culture. She is the author of Feminist Fight Club and This Is 18.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Wed like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And heres our email:

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

See the article here:
A.O.C. and the Daughter Defense - The New York Times

Female hair loss common and women shouldn’t be embarrassed to seek treatment, dermatologist says – ABC News

For most people, hair is not just about keeping their head warm and for protection from the sun; it is a mark of youth, vitality and how we present to the world.

Losing hair at any age can be very confronting, and for many women it can be hard to simply shave it off and embrace the bald look.

Dermatologist Clare Tait told Jessica Strutt on ABC Radio Perth that she has been seeing many female patients seeking hair loss treatment.

"Our appearance, and how we present to our family and our friends in the community, is very important and the head of hair is one of the most visible aspects," she said.

"Ever since I've been a dermatologist there's been a constant demand for women seeking help for hair loss."

Dr Tait said more women than ever have been seeking treatment when they noticed they were losing their hair, but that may be because they are increasingly aware that help is available.

"I think it is partly an awareness that that there are things that we can do, and that it is a very legitimate concern," she said.

"I think it's also that there is a greater emphasis in our society today on how we look and how we appear youthfulness is highly prized and a youthful look is often equated with a full head of hair."

While a person's appearance may be seen as a trivial concern, or the domain of late-night TV ads, Dr Tait said no one should feel uncomfortable about seeking medical treatment for hair loss.

"I think that it's quite common and that sometimes people are embarrassed and almost feel ashamed to be seeking help for something that they perceive is a cosmetic issue only," she said.

"If it's causing anxiety, if you feel it impacting on your quality of life, then that is the time to seek help."

Androgenic alopecia, often better known as male or female pattern hair loss, is fairly common, Dr Tait said.

"It is an interesting condition because it's almost statistically normal for women to develop this condition, particularly after the menopause, with a generalised thinning of hair and sometimes some increased shedding as well," she said.

"Probably about 40 to 45 per cent of women by the age of 50 are noticing some thinning."

Many people believe stress is the cause, but Dr Tait says that while stress can exacerbate female pattern hair loss it is unlikely to be the root cause.

Female listeners anonymously texted their hair loss stories to ABC Radio Perth:

"I'm 46 and lost all my hair to alopecia 5 years ago. I feel like I have a handle on wigs, though they'll always be a pain to wear. I really miss being able to tie my hair out of the way in a ponytail. What I really struggle with is doing make up without eyelashes I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing."

"My hair fell out at menopause. My hair was thick so my doctor didn't take me seriously. I started keeping the fallen hair in a bag and presented it to the doctor he finally took me seriously. Hair loss is cyclical; [it] happens every eight years or so. [My] last fall [was] about a year ago another bag of hair. It never quite grows back as thick."

"I am female in my 60s and have long, thick hair; [it's] always thick and shiny. Eighteen months ago it started falling out more than normal. Testing revealed severely low iron levels. Two infusions of iron, along with [the] removal of all caffeine from [my] diet, [and] six months later it [my hair] was back to normal."

While many women may lose hair due to their genetics, an iron-related condition called telogen effluvium can also be a commonplace cause.

"It is absolutely correct that iron deficiency is one of the commonest causes of this condition," Dr Tait said.

"I would routinely test iron levels as well as a number of other things to make sure there's nothing that's easily reversible and that will help the hair grow back."

In cases where it's not just hair but eyebrows and eyelashes that are falling out, Dr Tait said it was more likely a condition called alopecia areata.

"That's a completely different condition that requires different treatment," she said.

Dr Tait said it was not uncommon for patients to stop washing their hair as they attributed the washing to their hair loss.

"A lot of people that I see who are losing their hair to tell me that they have stopped washing it, or wash it much less frequently, because they're concerned that washing their hair makes it fall out more," she said.

"When we wash our hair we do lose more hair on that day but overall it balances itself out.

"I can reassure people; how often you wash your hair will not have any long-term effect on how quickly you're thinning or how much hair you're losing."

When you get older your hair and nails change. Will diet or supplements make a difference?

Dr Tait said the same was true for using hair dryers, hair straighteners and dying hair.

"If you're over-drying hair you may find that the shaft becomes more brittle," she said.

"It may break off more easily but neither of those things will stop the hair growing.

"Providing you're not having any reaction from your hair dye, and you're not getting an itchy, irritable scalp, it's perfectly safe to dye your hair with these conditions."

Dr Tait said she hoped more women would realise that it was possible to seek treatment if their hair loss was bothering them.

"I think that's really very appropriate that people do come and ask what can be done about it and let us know how it's distressing them."

View original post here:
Female hair loss common and women shouldn't be embarrassed to seek treatment, dermatologist says - ABC News

Economic fallout from pandemic will hit women hardest – The Guardian

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, there were vast inequalities between men and women in the world of work. Despite chipping away at the glass ceiling over recent decades, in 2020 the gender pay gap still remains stubbornly high, while more men called Steve and Dave run FTSE 100 companies than women.

Four months from the launch of lockdown, and as Britain slips into the deepest recession for three centuries, it is increasingly clear the economic fallout from the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women.

Decades of progress although very much incomplete risk being unwound, in a crisis that has shone a light on a myriad of social and economic issues. Earlier this week the International Monetary Fund warned that if left unchecked, 30 years of gains for womens economic opportunities could be erased, and called for governments around the world to take immediate action to prevent longer-term damage.

Working mothers in particular are bearing the brunt. Centuries of structural social convention have ensured the tasks of childcare and homeschooling are more likely to fall on their shoulders, while the demographics of employment in the worst hit sectors of the economy such as hospitality and retail mean women are more likely to lose their jobs.

Given the scale of the economic shock, the governments economics forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), estimates that unemployment for both men and women will more than double by the end of this year to the highest levels since the 1980s.

The government is, however, preparing to scale back its emergency response to the economic shock from next month, as Boris Johnson attempts to secure a return to normality in time for Christmas, despite warnings over a second wave of Covid-19 infections and more job losses this winter.

To kickstart the recovery, billions of pounds in tax cuts and spending measures have been promised by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. But experts say much of the money will miss the mark. The Womens Budget Group argues much more investment in social infrastructure including childcare and social care is also required to stimulate growth.

Since the onset of the pandemic, as many as 9.5m jobs at 1.2m companies have been furloughed on the Treasurys furlough scheme, which pays 80% of workers wages, up to 2,500 per month. A further 2.7 million claims have been made by the self-employed. Both schemes will, however, be closed by the end of October, with at least 10% of furloughed jobs expected to be made redundant.

Official figures show men are more likely to be furloughed, in part because women have typically continued working through the crisis in education, health and social care jobs sectors where they are over represented. The TUC estimates that out of 9.8 million key workers putting their health at risk on the frontline, nearly two-thirds are women. However, as many as 2.6 million female key workers earn less than 10 an hour.

Before Covid-19, there were signs of progress towards a more balanced, modern workplace as the number of women in work surged to a record high, including record numbers of working mothers. Despite this, official figures show men still earn 17.8% more than women on average across the whole economy. The Fawcett Society estimates it would take 60 years to eradicate the gender pay gap on pre-crisis trends. But given the scale of the economic shock for women currently unfolding, it expects parity to be delayed by three decades until the year 2110.

As unemployment begins to rise, experts warn job losses are likely to be disproportionately felt by women, given their prominence in sectors hardest hit by the crisis such as hospitality, leisure and retail. Globally, the International Labour Organization estimates that almost 510 million, or 40% of all employed women, work in the four most affected sectors, compared to 36.6% of men.

In Britain, young women in particular are overrepresented in these sectors: 36% compared with 25% of young men. Overall, 17% of women compared with 13% of men work in hospitality, leisure and retail, at a time when barely a week goes by without a big high street name announcing redundancies.

Combining these workforce demographics with longstanding social norms, experts believe mothers are one-and-a-half times more likely than fathers to have either lost their job or quit since lockdown began.

Working mothers in traditional nuclear families have taken up a greater share of domestic work and childcare in the hours usually occupied by employment. What with juggling Zoom meetings, home-schooling and lunch times, mothers in two-parent households have been doing a third of the uninterrupted paid-work of fathers on average, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Mothers are doing two fewer hours of paid work each day than fathers, but two more hours of childcare and housework.

The closure of schools and nurseries further exacerbated the unequal distribution of unpaid care work before the pandemic. But experts warn these trends will persist when offices begin to reopen from 1 August, worsened by the anticipated closure of 10,000 childcare providers crushed by the coronavirus crisis.

This will inevitably create a two-tier recovery with men getting back in to the labour market at a faster rate than women, said Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of Womens Budget Group. If the government is committed to getting the workforce up and running, then care and women must be at the centre of any economic recovery plan.

Excerpt from:
Economic fallout from pandemic will hit women hardest - The Guardian

Berkeley Talks transcript: Why racial equity belongs in the study of economics – UC Berkeley

Suresh Naidu: Okay. Ill get us started. Thanks everyone for showing up. Thanks a lot to our panelists for agreeing to do this. Just as a few words of background, my name is Suresh Naidu, the co-organizer of Economist for Inclusive Prosperity, which is a project Gabriel Zucman and Dani Rodrik and I started kind of trying to explore what economics looks like after neo-liberalism and what kind of a more inclusive, more egalitarian kind of economics looks like.

And this is kind of our attempt to sort of help economics grapple with its current moment by acknowledging that economics doesnt necessarily already have all the answers and doesnt already have the necessary conceptual toolkit. So, theres lots to say about this, and lots of people here that have thought about it more than me, and so Im just going to hand it off to someone whos thought about it a lot, Sandy Darity, who is going to be moderating the panel. So, take it away, Sandy.

Sandy Darity: Thank you, and thank you to you Suresh and to Dani for organizing this event. I think its very, very important for us as economists to learn from the other disciplines. Weve had an imperializing tendency towards the other disciplines, and in the process I think we have failed to really recognize many of the important contributions that have been delivered from other disciplines using their perspective rather than the perspective that we normally bring to these issues.

In particular, Im struck by the fact that an important tool that Ive used in much of my research, the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, really I believe was preceded by the Blau and Duncan decomposition in sociology, but I think frequently we have not been aware of that.

And similarly, when we talk about unobserved heterogeneity, it sometimes becomes a blockade for really understanding the phenomenon of discrimination. Or when we talk about the identification problem, it constitutes a blockade to thinking about some factors as being fundamental causes of phenomena rather than interactive causes of phenomena.

So, as a consequence, I think its really going to be valuable for us to hear from the scholars who are going to join us today. We have four speakers after they make their respective presentations, we will take questions from the floor, so to speak, and have an opportunity for the speakers to respond to those questions as well as engage with one another.

And our first speaker is going to be Daina Ramey Berry, who is the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her superb book The Price for Their Pound of Flesh, recovers the humanity or persons, Black persons specifically, whose lives were comprehensively commodified.

There are two additional dimensions of her book that I think merit deep attention. First, the extended commodification of Black bodies after life ends into death; and second, the significance of the effects of markets, markets in human beings on U.S. economic development. Her most recent book is A Black Womens History of the United States, co-authored with Kali Nicole Gross.

And Im hopeful, time permitting, that shell have an opportunity to tell us what we can learn from that book also. Our second speaker is Arjumand Siddiqi, who is an epidemiologist at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She is also the Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity.

She has had brilliant insights about differences in social and policy structures across countries and how they affect not only health outcomes for the general population, but also the health disparities between ethnic and racial groups within those populations.

She also has recently published a critique of Case and Deatons perspective on deaths of despair, and in the interest of full disclosure, Im actually a co-author on that article. But she has a strong commitment to understanding the full play of what public health scholars refer to as the social determinants of health in contrast with genetic or behavioral or cultural factors.

Our third speaker is going to be Mario Luis Small, who is a deeply accomplished sociologist, urban sociologist at the interface between thinking about neighborhoods and communities as well as social networks. He is the Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology at Harvard.

And one of the things thats particularly impressive about his research productivity is that two of his books Villa Victoria and Unanticipated Gains both have received the C. Wright Mills Award. I think recently in some of his work, hes been most notably engaged in a nuanced reintroduction of cultural considerations in the analysis of race and sociology.

And then our final speaker is Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, one of my colleagues at Duke, also a deeply accomplished sociologist. Remarkably, he has recently served as president of the American Sociological Association and the Southern Sociological Society simultaneously. I think thats unprecedented.

He is the author of Racism Without Racists, among a number of books, but I want to mention Racism Without Racists because its now in its fourth edition. And it explores the difference between peoples attitudes about race thats expressed in short answer surveys versus in-depth interviews.

And what he demonstrates in that book is that if you rely upon short answer surveys to try to gauge variations in peoples attitudes on questions concerning race, youre going to miss the boat because theyre self-censored increasingly. And so, what you really want to do is engage them in long-term interviews, and in that environment you get much better information about what their beliefs really are. So, may we start. Daina Berry, please.

Daina Ramey Berry: All right, thank you so much for having me. Im going to start off my brief remarks to just talk a little bit about what the work looks like from an historians perspective. And as Dr. Darity said, my research is on enslaved people. And I was an economics major during undergrad, I dont know if Dr. Darity knew that, but I was a major in economics until my last year in undergrad, and I took an African American history class and decided thats what I wanted to change and do my work on.

But Ive always wanted to try to find a way to blend the work that I had done as an undergrad in economics. So, when I started doing this work on The Price for Their Pound of Flesh, my goal, maybe it was naive, but my goal was to allow the economists that are doing work on slavery, very big work on slavery, to have a more cohesive conversation with historians.

And one of the things that I was trying to do initially is I was trying to walk in the space that I thought economists do, and I was trying to find out whether or not I could show statistical significance in my findings. And as I was doing that and trying to search for that in the ways I was looking at how enslaved people are priced from the beginning, before theyre even conceived.

So, enslaved mothers were looked at for the fecundity to see what their value of their future laborers would cost, to see whether or not if they had given birth to children, did those children survive to age 5? Were they healthy? And if so, that particular woman received a higher valuation during pregnancy than other women. And so, I was doing research on that and trying to look at ways to bridge this gap between the two fields, and to make sure that my argument would be palatable in both spaces.

And what I learned in the process was that enslaved people spoke very loudly to me when I was looking at these records, and I was using datasets that Stanley Engerman and Robert Fogel created. Id also created my own dataset. Ive been doing research in Southern archives for about seven or eight years, and had this large data set of about 80,000 individuals enslaved peoples values, their prices, their monetary values and their appraised values.

But I realized as I was doing this work that enslaved people themselves had so much more to say about valuation and the values on their bodies. And that was really interesting to me, and I thought, Okay. Well, if I write this book that talks about it from the perspective, enslaved people participating in their thoughts about the value of their bodies, how will that change the way we talk about this in both economic and historical circles?

So, I dont know how its fully been received in economic circles. I have a very good economic historian friend who said to me, That is not the book I would have wrote, when I finished it, because theres a lot of testimony, theres a lot of stories of enslaved people saying, Oh, Im not worth $500, Im worth $200, or, Im not 40 years old, Im 20 years old.

So, this is an economic product thats put in a market space that has the ability to argue, to emote, to reject, to resist, and that is a very, very different product. And one of the things that Ive found, its a human product, right?

And when I was doing the research for the book, I saw that the work that Ive used from a number of economic historians did not acknowledge at all the humanity of enslaved people, and I thought, even if youre not writing about them as human beings, but youre putting them in formulas and they now become a person named John, now becomes an X with an exponential power and theres a formula to figure out how much that particular woman is worth or that particular man is worth, it doesnt take much.

And I think youll have more historians engaging this work if you acknowledge that this was a family, and this person lived on this particular plantation, and they were worth this much, and this is what they felt about their documentation or how they responded to that particular moment of sale. And that was really what the book, the purpose of the book for me. But what I found later, and I think Dr. Darity mentioned this, was that the valuation of enslaved bodies went beyond preconception, but also to the postmortem space.

And that there was an illegal trade in cadavers of enslaved people and whites and free Blacks, but I was mostly interested in the enslaved cadavers their bodies were sold to medical schools, and so they still made money off of their bodies after they had passed away. Some of them the values were much lower, anywhere from $5 to $30.

So, the market rate wasnt as much, theyre valued more when theyre living because theyre producing more, right? Theyre producing more and bringing more financial resources to the families that theyre enslaved by, but in the afterworld, Okay, Im going to dispose of this body. If I can make some money off of the disposal, Ill make $30, and thats it.

There were some cases where enslaved people were valued at the moment right before they were hanged, and then the surviving relatives of the plantar family or the enslavers would receive compensation for the valuation of that enslaved person. So, theres a lot of spaces where we talk about slavery and enslaved people, and we talk about them in monetary ways, but the humanity is often missing and theyre objectified theyre treated like a backpack or a book on a shelf.

And I just feel like if economists and historians can come together and have conversations about the deep meanings that you guys find when you create formulas, you can take us to places that we cant go, but we can also bring you to records that might inform what youre seeing and how you analyze this work and make it for a much deeper conversation.

So, I will leave it at that. I dont know if Ive done my five minutes, Im trying to stay on it. If I have a little more time, I could say a few more things. Im good? All right, thank you. Im looking forward to the conversation.

Sandy Darity: Thank you. Arjumand, youre on mute. Okay, youre off now.

Arjumand Siddiqi: Great. Thanks everyone. I feel like I should put out a disclaimer that says some of my best friends are economists before I start my talk. So, as Sandy mentioned, Im a social epidemiologist, and our discipline is really quite related to medicine and to the study of distributions of disease from a sort of clinical perspective.

And so, as social epidemiology kind of evolved, we were starting to find our empirical legs around how to use population surveys and different kinds of data than the clinical data our discipline tends to use, how to use different statistical methods.

And in the early 2000s when I was doing my Ph.D., I remember sort of looking enviously from Boston over to Cambridge at the economics department because it was considered so rigorous of all the disciplines related to our field.

And then, I had this moment of pretty big dissonance when in the mid 2000s, I encountered a paper by three economists whose main argument was that Black/white differences in hypertension could be attributed to genetic selection for genes associated with salt retention.

And the narrative was that this genetic selection occurred during this transatlantic slave because of the survival advantage conferred by salt retention, and that it occurred during cheap-looking tests for salty skin done by slave traders to further determine what Blacks would be able to the demands of plantation work.

And this economist team also suggested that this salt retention hypothesis was really the best way to explain the Black/white life-expectancy gap as well. Its been a lot of years, and I actually had trouble finding the paper online now, but I just remember thinking that the evolutionary geneticists just probably were passing out at the notion that genetic selection would occur at that pace.

Something that occurs over thousands of years was essentially being proposed to happen over one or 200. The human genome scientist who had carefully explained to us by then that race was not a genetic construct, there was no genetic basis for race, and just thinking to myself, Surely, there is a geneticist amongst the authors, or, Surely, some of the genetics work on race has been cited, and it hadnt, and it was just really difficult to understand how a hypothesis that had no premise could receive so much traction.

The paper also was a little bit alarming because it hadnt cited any of the work from social epidemiology on racial inequalities in hypertension. And Im not just sort of suggesting that my field is the field that should be cited, but we really are the central field on racial health inequalities. And there are people who have specialized their whole careers on racial disparities and hypertension, none of them were cited.

And if they had been, you might find a very different story about Black/white differences in hypertension and in life expectancy. So the body of literature in our field thats been built up is both based on what we know race is not, as well as what we know race is. And the idea is that weve built up sort of a conceptual and theoretical basis, but also a lot of empirical tests of the propositions that have been made.

And what the field has found is that racial inequalities in health manifest through processes of structural or institutional racism, as well as what is often called everyday discrimination. So Black people are systematically denied access to material resources and are subjected to chronically stressful experiences of daily life, and those things together put them at a higher risk of a wide range of illnesses and death.

So, social epidemiologists would and have told a very different story about Black/white inequalities and hypertension and life expectancy. Lately, my colleagues and I have been working on the noted rise in white mortality in the U.S., whats been called the deaths of despair phenomenon, the paper that Sandy mentioned earlier. There are a lot of teams working on this, including economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, and youd better believe we take their work very seriously.

We have carefully looked at their hypotheses, we have carefully cited them and so on. And in some ways I think I live in fear of making facile arguments simply because Ive been both careless or dismissive of work from other disciplines. And Im increasingly of the mind that maybe this fear is a good way to approach scientific inquiry, and Im increasingly weary when I read work that sort of doesnt cite anyone else outside their own discipline, especially when its topics that are not central to their discipline and their expertise.

So, back to that deaths of despair work. So, in that piece we propose that status threat, group status threat, the sense from whites that they are losing relative status compared to Black and brown people is accounting for the rise in white mortality. And we use, in this paper, both theoretical and empirical findings from social psychology and from political science to suggest that at the population level we can actually measure, or proxy status threat by measuring the rise in the vote share going to Republicans in any given county.

So, our model essentially tested whether rise in Republican vote share at the county level as a proxy of status threat could predict the rise in white mortality accounting for about 17 social and economic indicators, fixed effects and so on that might also be involved in the processes. So, we received quite a bit of pushback on this paper in two ways, and the first was that it was just a bridge too far to equate Republican vote share with status threat.

And the other was that because of our statistical model again, 18 variables, county time, et cetera, fixed effects because the model did not account for unobserved confounding, that we couldnt interpret the association as being causal.

So, the fundamental problem I see with this argument is not that it suggests there might be an alternative explanation, I totally concur that there might be, but its the idea that an unknown alternative explanation that no one is proposing, its just the idea that there might be an alternative explanation is given equal weight to a model that tests basically everything we know about how the world works. And so, I worry a lot that this notion of unobserved confounding is actually overtaking or being weighted equally with the preponderance of evidence that we have, and Im not sure that thats a great way to go.

You also see it, as Sandy mentioned, in models where there are residuals and accounting for race-based differences and the implication given the preponderance of the evidence would be that these are discrimination effects. And yet, theres a reticence to think about that or at least to weight it equally with the idea that theres some unobserved confounding, theres this sort of unobserved confounding boogeyman out there that we think live by too closely.

A final anecdote about our field, and I think what it says about economics. So, I had a graduate student who wanted to work on racial differences in the distribution of birth weight. And in fact, she wanted to look at whether Canada and the U.S. have different inequalities in the distribution of birth weight. And the idea was that if we compare countries in their inequalities, we might start to point to some of the societal factors that are modifying inequalities, that are mitigating them or exacerbating them.

And I spoke to an economist colleague of mine, whos a lovely person, and he said, Im a little worried that were not going to get very far in terms of a causal association if we pursue this line of questioning, that youll really only be able to say associational things. Why dont we look at how prenatal care affects racial inequalities in birth weight? Which is a fine question, Im not disparaging the role of prenatal care. But imagine the difference in the size of the question and the focus of the question between something that talks about how societies produce, fundamentally produce, inequalities down to something that deals with a fairly circumscribed issue.

And so, my worry is that this chase after causal inference precludes us from looking at a lot of really important questions. Im not suggesting we go down the road of looking at those questions and imply causality when it isnt there, but I do think that we can pursue those questions and say something about what the causal inference issues are and how to push ourselves, but not to completely ignore what I think are really, really important questions for society. And Ill leave it there.

Sandy Darity: Thank you. Mario, please.

Mario Luis Small: Thank you very much. This has been very interesting so far. So, Ill tell you that the main reason that Im here is probably because a couple of months ago I published a paper along with Devah Pager and the Journal of Economic Perspectives titled Sociological Perspectives on Race Discrimination, and the point of the paper was to make a case for six ideas in our field, sociology, that economists havent, but probably should, take seriously. So, what Im going to do is give you three of these ideas and then after of course the last talk just open it up.

So, everybody here knows better than I do that traditionally economics, kind of two standard models are the taste discrimination and the statistical discrimination model when people study race discrimination, and I dont have to tell you what those models are. But one thing I will say is that from our perspective, there are a couple of quite important problems with those models.

And I guess you could sum them up with the idea that a model or a set of models that studies discrimination by focusing on the potentially racially motivated actions of an actor making decisions today, will probably understate a lot of the ways discrimination actually happens and has consequences for even the things that economists care about.

And this is the case for at least three reasons, the first Ill say is that it ignores the possibility of institutional discrimination. And Im going to use that term in a very narrow sense to refer to differential treatment by race that is either perpetrated by an organization or qualified into law.

And I am not using the term structural racism or institutional racism, or a lot of stuff that other sociologists have used and a lot of people in the media have used because theres sort of ambiguity in some of these uses of the terms, and they dont always mean what we were meaning, what were referring to, but just very narrow the idea that differential treatment by race can be perpetrated by the organizations recorded according to law.

And so, to give you a very simple example, sort of take an organization in which nobody, as Becker would say, nobody wants to pay a price to not associate with people of a different race, so nobody has a taste for discrimination. And in addition, nobody is willing to make statistical inferences about the behavior or likely performance of an employee on the basis of the employees group, so nobody statistically discriminates.

Now, lets assume that that firm, as many do, hires new employees on the basis of referrals, that they have an incentive system. For example, depending on the level at which youre hired, for entry-level employees, youll get a hundred if you refer somebody and they get hired. Now, lets assume we also know sociologists have shown that theres racial homophily.

I think in economics, this is called a sort of mating-by-race and friendship formation, but basically the idea that people tend to have friends of the same race. Now, if this firm is racially homogeneous, whats going to happen is all of the people who come in applying for jobs are going to be other people of the same race because of the pattern in the world, and we could see the strong incentives made for people to be hired on the basis of the people you already have.

In this model, no employer has to have a taste for discrimination or to discriminate, and yet a highly qualified person of a different race from outside the firm is going to have a very small chance of getting a job there. Thats a form of discrimination that we believe deserves attention.

The second point Ill make is that, again, the reason its a bad idea to just focus, or yeah, just a bad idea to only limit the story of discrimination to only the actions of our contemporary actor is that a lot of forms of historical discrimination, particularly forms that have been codified into law or become institutional parts of how organizations operate, continue to have effects today.

And therefore, even if today everybody stopped being discriminatory either by race or statistically or whatever the case may be, wed still have a lot of reason to study historic discrimination to understand the present. I wont go too much into this other than to say that a very clear example of this is redlining that many of you are familiar with. There have really been quite a few papers, including a couple by economists in recent years, showing that redlining practices back in the 30s can be shown to have likely had a causal impact on long-term homeownership rates among African Americans and segregation detectable even today.

And so, there have been papers that, for example, have looked at the boundary line for redlining and units on either side of it, theyve looked at federal policies that had cutoffs for the size of the town and looked at towns slightly older and slightly bigger and smaller than that through multiple indication strategies, such as quite a bit of evidence that it matters.

The last point Ill make is that, again, a different reason to not limit the study of the discrimination to sort of statistical and taste-based discrimination is that perception of discrimination matters, a lot. And what Ill say when Im saying this is that I am not saying that perception is an effective substitute for actual discrimination, and Im also not saying that we should not continue having a healthy skepticism for what people say over what they do, but what I am saying is that there are many contexts in which the perception that an employer or a doctor or take your pick, has or will or has had discriminated, this can affect your behavior in ways that matter for where you apply for jobs, how far you go in school and sort of what your health outcomes are, that we can not capture, again, by focusing on the employer or the banker as a prototypical racial or potentially racially motivated actor.

So, Ill just leave it at that. And Ill say, if youre interested in more of this, Ill refer you to the JEP Paper. But the bottom line is I appreciate, actually, I find quite interesting a lot of what economists have done in this. I think the issue is expanding beyond whats been done as opposed to remaining tied to these two very traditional ways of looking at discrimination. Thank you.

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva: Okay, its my turn. So, economists begin with this notion of the free market invisible hand, and we need to be clear that the hand has a color its a white hand, let me say white male hand. I will not address the gender components of the market, Ill leave that to others, so I will only talk about the racialized aspects of the market. Yeah?

And like Daina, I also will say that I was a major in sociology and economics, and that was the main thing I ended up choosing sociology, in part because of the foundation of economics is assumptions about the rational actor making decisions on a cost benefit basis in something called efficient market. And we all know that the homo sapiens theyre a complex animal shaped by multiple social forces and group divisions.

I do believe, I mean that my masters and my old magazine remains with me, so economic factors account for a lot of what happens in life, but cannot explain everything because the material component of life cannot be defined in these narrow economics way in which many of you sort of structure your analysis. So, the white homo economicus, for example, as we have learned, cares about access to parks, control of neighborhoods and schools, and their culture.

They are willing to fight tooth and nail to keep certain status in place. They like to feel good about themselves because Blacks, as Mara will argue a long time ago, have served as the symbolic index for whites, they can always say, At least I am not Black. And that element of feeling good about yourself is important in life. So, whites are so invested in whiteness that many are willing to die for it as Jonathan Metzl outlined in his recent book.

So, this is the stuff of history. Yeah? We have modernity, and modernity was not just driven by capitalism because in capitalism, as Eric Williams, Cedric Robinson and many others have argued, you cannot undo the connection between slavery, genocide, land theft and the economic model production.

In the case of the U.S., we had slavery, we had genocide, we had land theft, we had and we still have colonialism. As a Puerto Rican, I know that this person doesnt represent my interests, and two days ago we learned he was wondering about selling Puerto Rico. And of course, workers of color have allowed capitalism or capitalist to extract separate super profits from us.

So, that means that the society structure and culture were racialized on the get go, and I suggest not only produce systemic racism, but that system remains. So what is systemic racism? It used to be so easy: Its the bad guys. Its the new bad guys, its the rotten apple theory of life. This people having a taste for discrimination.

The trick is understanding that systemic racism ultimately cannot exist without the actions and inactions of the green apples, that is most whites participate consciously or unconsciously in the systemic racism stuff. And lately, literally two months ago, everybody seems to be talking about systemic racism, but I think most folks talking about it dont know what theyre talking about.

So, for example they say, Police departments have systemic racism, I mean, merely with the caveat, but most police officers are not racist, therefore reversing or reverting to the theory of life of the bad apples. In truth, the way that we select officers, the training, the culture, all these things shape the actions and beliefs of the officer.

So, even the good ones, and I put that in quotation marks, carry out race-based policing. And I wanted to give you a liminal example. So, this is a young African American college student who was brutalized in Atlanta recently by six police officers, and you can see only one of the officers was white.

So some of you may be thinking, But can Black people enforce white supremacy? And since slavery, many Blacks have been selected to participate in the enforcement of white supremacy. And although, historically, the main people in charge of enforcing boundaries happen to wear the white uniform, and not only white police officers, but regular white folks, in truth, thats the way that the system works.

And thankfully, because we humans, our subjectivity is shaped by multiple factors, there is always a space, a possibility for change. So, what we need is a historically specific view of racism that allows us to also understand that the systems share basic features. Whether theyre wearing Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, or the U.S., all the systems share basic features.

But we need to be specific about how racism is structured in a particular society. In a society, you can have regional variations, if you think about the U.S., the South, North, West, and we need to be also time specific. Dont assume that there is one racism throughout history racism can change.

The rules and regulations of the slavery regime were different than Jim Crow, and they are different from what we have today that Ive called in my work, the new racism. Secondly, the systemic racism forms a structure. Systemic, collective practice, behaviors and culture that reproduce disadvantage for some and advantages for others.

And here comes the hardest part, which is understanding that this system, as material foundation, it remains in place like capitalism, patriarchy, because systemic racism, because folks benefit from it. Again, I already showed or suggested that there are fractures in the white communities of possibilities for change, but we need to understand the big implication which is that racial domination depends on nice, good white people who participate in various ways and to different degrees in maintaining the racial order of things.

Borrowing the work from Marx and Poulantzas, the whites are personifications of systemic racism. So, they receive mostly in passive or neutral ways what David Roediger called the wages of whiteness. They follow the dominant racial script. So, contemporary whites, they live in white neighborhoods, they have only white friends, white schools, white ideas, white everything. Yeah? They even eat white bread. Thats a joke.

And lastly, they keep trucking along as if racism was a prerogative of the races. They input signs in their yard saying, We believe black lives matter, but we live in a totally segregated neighborhood. So, final out words. If racism is systemic, then as Mario was articulating, it cannot be just a taste or a matter of statistical discrimination. Its not an individual phenomenon, but a collective practice.

And I think that you also need to understand that the actors, and thats the reason why I moved from economics sociology because economics focus on the individual actor, sociology is more likely to see sort of collective behavior. So, actors belong to groups and experience life in group-structured condition. So, many of our explanation, for example, for the status of people of color, and Im doing what William Ryan called eons ago, blaming the victims, and by doing so they ignore the system. For example, they claim that Blacks dont do well in life because of their culture.

So, Oscar Lewis wrote one of his first books on Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans, La Vida, claiming that the reason why poor Puerto Ricans here in the world, actually why Puerto Ricans here in the world, he defines us, the population, was because we have the culture of poverty.

And that argument, the culture of poverty, is like Freddy Krueger. You think you have killed the culture of poverty and it comes back with a new attire. Or the claim, Youre not doing well because of female-headed households, or, Its class, or as Daina was talking about, it is They have salt in their bodies.

And a lot of people were using that little graph as evidence because presumably it shows a slave master tasting a Black person to see if they are salty. Alternatively, and we dont know what this person had in mind, but weve got to think that person was a pervert. And theres a lot of work showing that slavery included the abuse, sexual and otherwise, of both women and men.

So, it is anything but racism. I think its time for us to take racism seriously analytically, politically and morally as many folks are doing right now in the mean streets, to cite Piti Thomas, of America. So, thats it for me.

Suresh Naidu: Thanks.

Sandy Darity: Suresh, its in your hands now.

Suresh Naidu: Yeah, so thanks to all of our panelists, that was really interesting. So, now wed like to take questions from everyone. So, if you want to raise your hand, and I will do my best to keep up, we dont have the questions function here so its going to be a bit of a So Im clear I wont see everyone, but if you want to use the raise hand function in the tab and I can take questions and call on you. Peter.

Peter: Yeah. I just want to say thank you all so much for these really excellent presentations. And Mario, my students and I read your paper, and I think that we as economists certainly have to broaden our perspective. My own view is that we tend to rely a lot on models, and so the call to action really is to think about new models of discrimination as a way of trying to instantiate some of these ideas into the profession.

And then the second piece, too, is whenever we write models, they need to be historically accurate, right? Like for some reason, its like we write models with really terrible assumptions that have no basis in history, for example, that discrimination happens on the margin, when in fact you had signs saying No Blacks, regardless of your socioeconomic status.

So, thank you all for organizing this panel, thank you for your work. I look forward to continuing to read and to engage with your work, and I certainly hope that the ideas here really permeate our profession in a foundational way.

Suresh Naidu: Great. Okay. Does anyone want to respond, or I can keep taking questions? Felix.

Felix: Hey, everybody. Thank you everybody who is participating for your thoughtful words and for organizing. I guess I wanted to ask a little bit Im a Ph.D. student who does research on race and my training is in economics, my degree is in public policy. I have, as I think some people have mentioned, Ive faced pushback, right?

I think when you think about who is in economics, Ive had the experience of people being in that room who think differently about these things and dont sort of take the standard economic view as given and are looking at these other disciplines, thinking about those things.

Those things are not received well, right, which is I think why you dont see them published or sort of like being sort of the output that you see off the field, and some things that are on their face ridiculous, end up being received better because of sort of power.

I guess my question is, number one, is economics just weird or particularly, say Im white and its power structure or some other thing that makes us very susceptible to things, are these kinds of things in ways that you guys might not be in the disciplines that you sit in or do you guys have strategies that have allowed you to do this kind of courageous work that challenges power in important ways and still sort of make it out on the other side?

Read this article:
Berkeley Talks transcript: Why racial equity belongs in the study of economics - UC Berkeley

Women answer town government’s call to serve in Shutesbury – The Recorder

Editors Note: This story was written prior to Shutesburys annual town election on June 27. During the election, Rita Farrell beat out Jeffrey Lacy for the seat on the Selectboard vacated by Elaine Puleo, who is interviewed here. With Farrells election, Shutesbury has maintained its status as the only town in Franklin County to have an all-female Selectboard. Additionally, Town Clerk Susie Mosher has since been replaced by newly elected Grace Bannasch.

Certainly, 44-year-old Melissa Makepeace-ONeils blonde hair and brown eyes are hereditary, but she has another trait that she believes is influenced by genetics: an eagerness to volunteer and serve her town.

Both Makepeace-ONeils mother and grandmother served on the Shutesbury Council on Aging, a role shed later fill herself, continuing the three-generation chain. Her grandmother also worked in the cafeteria at the town elementary school, and her grandfather was police chief.

Elaine Puleo, 68 (who was replaced by Rita Farrell in this years election), and Janet April Stein, 67, share similar backgrounds in which volunteerism has seemed as natural as breathing. Thats what brought the three women together to serve Shutesbury as Franklin Countys only all-female Selectboard.

Women are no strangers to Franklin County Selectboards. In fact, their involvement in the role dates back to 1932, when Monroe voters became the first in the county to elect a woman, Inga Koksvik, to their towns Board of Selectmen.

As of the end of May, of Franklin Countys 24 municipalities with a three-member Selectboard (not including the city of Greenfield, which is run by its City Council and mayor, and Orange, which has a five-member Selectboard), nine of them had one female member on their Selectboard and three had two. However, 11 boards still consisted entirely of men. These figures may change following the ongoing local elections.

The increase of women in government has led many towns to officially change their governing bodys name from Board of Selectmen to the more gender neutral Selectboard in recent years.

Still, only one town has an entirely female Selectboard, which also happens to be supported by a female town administrator, Rebecca Torres, and a female administrative secretary, Linda Avis Scott. Puleo, who decided not to seek re-election on June 27 after eight years on the board, believes this is just the beginning of a trend.

More and more women are stepping up and running things locally, said Puleo, who considered it a natural progression to run for Selectboard after serving on the Finance Committee and School Committee. I hope thatll trickle up.

We need more women involved in running government, said Stein, a self-proclaimed feminist since the age of 10. It will happen. It is happening.

The movement can also be demonstrated at the state level, with Makepeace-ONeil, Puleo and Stein pointing to the election of Rep. Natalie Blais to the 1st Franklin District seat in 2018, replacing Rep. Steve Kulik. Likewise, the same year, Sen. Jo Comerford was elected to replace Sen. Stan Rosenberg in the Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester District.

On the local level, Shutesbury has become the right place to test out an all-female governance model, Makepeace-ONeil believes, because of its highly educated population of roughly 1,800 residents who seek to be involved in the towns inner workings. Puleo believes the large number of women involved in government may relate to Town Hall and the Shutesbury Elementary School being the only gathering places in town outside of the Shutesbury Athletic Club.

If youre going to be connected in this town, you dont go to Starbucks, Puleo said.

Prior to Farrells recent election, the Shutesbury Selectboard had consisted of Makepeace-ONeil, Puleo and Stein for the past two years. For some, joining the Selectboard was a very deliberate decision.

For me, the idea of being on an all-women Selectboard was the driving factor, Stein said, recounting how she had previously served on the Personnel Board and Finance Committee.

Like Makepeace-ONeil, volunteerism seems to be in Steins blood, with her father having served on the Hingham Advisory Committee and school committee, and her mother leading a Girl Scout Troop and lending a hand at the library. Additionally, both of Steins grandmothers were suffragettes, with her maternal grandmother also being the first woman to teach while pregnant in the state of New Hampshire.

It was rather serendipitous that Stein first got involved in government by joining the Finance Committee in the 1990s, after then-Finance Committee member Jonathan Klate called Steins house to see if her husband might be interested in joining. When Stein answered the phone instead, Klate unexpectedly found his newest member.

In a similar thread, Makepeace-ONeil hadnt necessarily bargained on joining the Selectboard back in 2016. But, given her familys lengthy history in town, she had name recognition going for her when a friend asked if she could vote for Makepeace-ONeil as a write-in candidate during a time when no one was running for a vacant Selectboard seat.

I said, If you can spell my name right, you can write me in, recalled Makepeace-ONeil, who had served on the Council on Aging and Memorial Day Committee. With 56 write-in votes, she earned the vacant seat.

When considering why an all-female board has fallen into place now, Stein believes that perhaps the wheels were set in motion after Torres was hired for town administrator 10 years ago, acting as a sort of magnet to other women considering running for office.

Maybe weve been mentoring each other or women-toring each other, she said.

These two hold us together, Puleo said of Torres and Avis Scott. We could not do this job with as much fun and as much camaraderie without them.

The camaraderie between the five women running Shutesburys Selectboard meetings was tangible during a joint meeting with the Finance Committee and Personnel Board earlier this year. The 12 officials sat in a circle rather than in rows, and when the meeting ended, they chatted about potholes on the drive ahead of them and what theyd focus on in retirement. An abundant supply of bite-sized brownies and carrot sticks peppered the meeting tables.

The snacks are strategic, the five women explained, as they grew accustomed to arriving to meetings directly from their jobs without stopping home for dinner. Finding a way to balance their time between work, caring for their families and serving the town is something the Selectboard members believe inhibits other women from getting involved in town government.

But in the past three years, thats where the Women of Positive Presence come in. Puleo explained the ad-hoc group of Shutesbury residents delivers a hot meal to the three mothers who serve on the School Committee on nights when they have meetings, ensuring that they dont have to worry about feeding their families as well as serving their community.

It helps keep the juggling down and lets them know their volunteerism is appreciated, Puleo said. Its stressful for moms to do it all.

The Women of Positive Presence has also played a key role in ensuring that women feel comfortable in local government, explained Susie Mosher (town clerk prior to the election of Grace Bannasch), who originally connected the group of over 20 women. Their goal was to increase the number of women involved in town government and to disseminate information about available seats, while also providing community support during meetings by filling the audience.

Attending meetings was really our very first effort, Mosher explained. Having an audience of residents creates a positive presence.

In the beginning, the group would use a calendar to ensure participants could attend each of the towns board meetings, but now its efforts focus more on recruiting. Additionally, Mosher, who was largely responsible for the Selectboards snacks, said even residents who dont want to attend meetings can get involved by providing food.

Being on an all-female board, Puleo said, changes the dynamic between members in a way that she believes is often for the better.

In the past, when weve had mixed gender boards, we used to have some contentious meetings, she recalled. Its kind of petered out since weve had all women in the room.

The board members certainly face similar issues, Puleo said, but their interactions dont feel as charged when they disagree. The key, she believes, lies in listening.

Women tend to listen longer to issues on all sides. I have found that in all of our interactions, when you give a problem to a man, they want to fix it immediately, she said. We tend to mull. We dont tend to solve problems quickly.

While quick action may seem beneficial, Puleo and Makepeace-ONeil believe taking the time to look at a problem from all sides works better.

Men are very solution-focused, Makepeace-ONeil agreed. Maybe thats where the two balance out well.

Another benefit of their relationship, the women agree, is simply acknowledging that they will not always share the same opinion.

We dont always agree, but theres a level of mutual respect thats really strong, Stein said. Were able to listen to each other and not be rigid.

When differences do arise, Makepeace-ONeil said the three women are able to put them aside to come to decisions that are best for the town.

When we walk into this room, were not wearing a liberal or conservative hat, or a Democratic or Republican hat, Puleo said. Were wearing a Shutesbury hat.

Reach Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or

Go here to see the original:
Women answer town government's call to serve in Shutesbury - The Recorder

Are You COVID-19’s Type? – Erie Reader

By now, you've heard that COVID-19 does not discriminate it has claimed the lives of young and old, male and female, black and white, and everything in between. But as the body of research on the novel coronavirus expands, there's growing evidence that it takes to some individuals more readily than others. Yes, there are the observable risk factors such as age, behavior, preexisting conditions and comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, heart or kidney disease. But recent discoveries point to things on a more microscopic level down to specific genetic sequences that make infection more severe for some and milder for others.

Before founding Erie-based AcousticSheep, LLC and inventing SleepPhones with business partner Jason Wolfe, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai had her sights on becoming a CDC official after graduating with distinction with a B.S. in Cellular Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan and earning her M.D. from the University of Virginia Medical School. She ultimately took a different path toward entrepreneurship and sleep science, but she retains a strong and active interest in epidemiology. In a recent conversation, she highlighted two threads of research that may be especially eye-opening to those who may have held a more blas attitude toward the pandemic in the past.

Blood Type A vs. Blood Type O

The first major age-independent risk factor appears to be blood type, in particular type A versus type O individuals. Those with type A blood were nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization; conversely type O individuals were only two-thirds as likely to be as sick as the "baseline" COVID-19 patient.

This observation was drawn from a large-scale study out of Europe this month with roughly 4,000 participants (2,000 patients and 2,000 controls). The study screened all 700,000 currently mapped locations in the human genome for clues. Only two gene locations yielded any insights a location possibly dealing with the ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme) receptor on Chromosome 3 (which relates to how the virus infiltrates the cell), and another location definitely involving blood type on Chromosome 9.

This has nothing to do with red blood cells themselves, mind you as far as we know, SARS CoV-2 (the official name of the virus sponsoring the COVID-19 pandemic) does not target red blood cells. Rather it implicates gene sequences in the immediate vicinity of blood type relating to inflammation and coagulation (clotting).

Dr. Lai explains, "Genes tend to cluster together. People with light-colored hair tend to have blue eyes as opposed to brown eyes, and people with darker colored hair are (usually) going to have brown eyes." Likewise, blood types A and O have clear associations with certain inflammation and coagulation factors.

SARS CoV-2 has been shown to thicken the blood, increasing the likelihood of large and small blood clot formation. Even smaller blood clots can be damaging, inhibiting the ability for the lungs to exchange oxygen or presenting as spots or rashes on the extremities, such as the now-infamous "COVID toes." People with blood type A would seem to be more susceptible to these clots and inflammation, and thus more frequently experience more severe symptoms.

From the beginning, COVID-19 has proven to be bad but according to another study out of the prestigious Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, recent cases have generally been worse. The study identified two strains of novel coronavirus the original "China" strain that arrived in the U.S. through Washington State, and the mutated "Europe" strain that arrived in the U.S. through New York. "Unfortunately, the East Coast strain has kind of taken over; that's the one that's really spreading throughout the world right now," Dr. Lai laments.

The reason the mutated version is more infective is the relative stability of the spike protein "keys" it fits into the ACE2 receptor "locks" to invite itself into host cells. The China strain "didn't always have the right configuration to bind to the ACE protein," Dr. Lai explains. Compared to the "West Coast" strain, the "East Coast" strain binds to ACE2 receptors at a rate of about 60 percent vs. 30 percent. That is, it's about twice more likely to cause problems.

So, to recap so far: individuals may have a comparatively worse time with SARS CoV-2, independently of any observable demographic, depending on whether they:

Unlike Sam's Club or Costco, when it comes to novel coronavirus, we cannot discount volume. Exposure dose refers to the number of virus copies encountered simultaneously at a given point in time. If you're just briefly brushing past someone with COVID-19 on the street, your exposure dose will be small; if you're at a surprise birthday party in extended close quarters with friends and family members and someone coughs or sneezes (as happened in Texas), you'll be exposed to an exponentially higher dose of viruses.

In theory, your body should be better equipped to mount an immune response to a smattering of viruses on the skin than an all-out invasion you've directly inhaled. This is why healthcare workers who've contracted COVID-19 tend to feel much worse than someone who may have contracted it incidentally through community spread. The more viruses initially present for replication, the harder it is for the immune system to keep up (and ultimately catch up). Exposure doses tend to be much higher indoors than outdoors where there is more room to disperse and ultimately dissipate.

Wearing a mask or other personal protective equipment indoors limits the number of viral copies that ultimately reach you, but with reopenings of places like bars and restaurants places where people must necessarily have their mouth open a lot of time is spent with masks off. When in close proximity with others, this can be very dangerous. "That's why it's being banned. It's because it's very, very high-risk," says Dr. Lai, alluding to the re-closing of bars in areas such as Allegheny County, which last week experienced daily records in case counts.

Dr. Lai confirmed that warm weather does play a role in virus survival. For instance, a virus is likely to break down on a playground set baking in the hot summer sun, whereas it will ride out a winter intact (consistent with cold and flu season). But indoors where atmospheric conditions are moderated, the current season is essentially negligible. Floridian and Texan summers are notoriously oppressive, yet these states are experiencing the worst caseloads in the country. As long as people are too close and/or too careless, COVID-19 will continue to spread.

"I'm looking at the trends for the rest of the nation and it's just scary. Honestly, Texas?! At least in New York City, at the time [when case rates peaked] everyone was scared and because they were so scared, they actually listened," Dr. Lai postulates. "Now it seems like it's been so politicized that if you're on one end of the political spectrum, you're just not going to pay any attention at all. I predicted in April that people would wise up, but evidently I was too optimistic with that."

Dr. Lai is currently prognosticating that the pandemic will hang around at least another year, which is obviously going to try everybody's patience more than it already has. While we can't control things like our genetics and blood type, we can control our attitudes and behaviors. By presenting less favorable scenarios for the virus to spread and replicate, we can engineer a more favorable outcome.

Matt Swanseger can be reached at

Read the original here:
Are You COVID-19's Type? - Erie Reader

An Open Letter To All Feminists : Lets Bring In The Change Together – Youth Ki Awaaz

With all the talk on feminism recently, weve had some good coming out of the nascent conversations around the topic but weve also had even more misunderstanding on a very basic issue. So let me define it as google would, feminism is equality in political, social, and economic rights for people of all gender. Why feminism then? Why not simply humanism? So lets address the question that gets asked not because theres a valid argument behind it but to shun a valid movement.

Feminism because its the female gender that we are striving to bring at par with the male gender in terms of the opportunities at equality. Dont tell me its the 21st century, there isnt any disparity, because its there. Right from high-tech companies in America paying unequal wages to men and women for the same work to women in rural India dropping out of school when their menstrual cycle begins, gender equality is there, very much there.

So we have talked enough about the problem, lets for a change discuss solutions here. How you, as a man, can ensure you support a woman in bridging this gap and how you as a woman can make active efforts to progress on the path to equality.

I have read diverse literature but some of the new literature disgusts me. Its not new to see male writers portray a submissive devoted picture of a woman as the ideal heck; our mythologies have done it for the society but to see women actively carrying on the crusade is problematic. Im not like other girls, I dont wear make-up, Shes a bitch and a slut, no this isnt boys locker room talk. This is the basic plot of many of the stories floating around.

Feminism is about freedom and equality, its about putting on the boldest shade of lipstick for your happiness; about wearing whatever the heck you want to because surprise its your life. Its the freedom to choose to become a housewife if thats where your heart lies, to live a life on your own without getting attached to the stigma of being unmarried.

Its about making it okay to flaunt your legs unwaxed. Heck, why women undergo so much pain is beyond my understanding. Human hair is as natural as it gets, why the forced need, why the unrealistic standards of beauty? Its about picking your goddamn chair and not looking for a man to do it, not if you are capable enough to do it on your own. If we are to fight for equal rights, weve to learn to take equal responsibility too.

I unlearned a lot of stereotypes and prejudices as I grew up and one of them was a beauty. Ive realized Im not going to take being beautiful as an achievement simply because I never earned it. Genetics can take all the credit but I wont. So I dont tell a woman shes beautiful. I tell her shes strong and funny and caring, and fierce as a lioness when it comes to protecting her loved ones, and free as a dove when flying towards her dreams and an amazing friend great at what she does because thats what I would like to hear too.

So dont compliment me about my beauty, dont tell me my earrings look nice, do not praise me for what isnt mine and what I didnt create and what is but a temporary possession. But tell me that you read something of mine that ignited your soul, that when you heard my story, you realized mountains can be broken down too, tell me you look into my eyes and know theres a soul inside, beautiful alive and ready to set the fire because thats what I would search in you too.

So women, bring about the change. I am glad of the barriers we have broken, thank the feminists before us for we have the right to live but theres a long way ahead. So I hope the next time you dont settle for an unequal salary, the next time your relatives tell you short dresses are exactly what excites males, I hope you give them a piece of your mind. I know you are strong, and were stronger together. So be there for each other. Lets fight injustice anywhere and everywhere.

Its amazing to see your work for the cause and even better to see you creating conversations on the topic, we need it, the society needs it. And its okay if you misunderstand feminism right now, weve got you on the side of the movement, now the movement will guide you. Feminism is equality, really actually its that simple.

No, we feminists arent on a holy crusade to harass and suppress men. Believe me, thats exactly what weve been fighting against for centuries, we wont wish it on you because trust me it sucks. Were not here to put blames, we are here simply fighting for a change, and trust me its a beautiful change, one that is for the betterment of the whole of humanity and we all will benefit from it. So heres how you can contribute towards this change because it is sure as hell is on its way.

Fight for equal rights in your workplace. Do not settle for higher wages for the same work. Normalize menstruation.

Yes, women bleed once every month, yes the period blood is red well no surprise there, just thought some advertisements could take notes here. So do not freak out of your senses if you see a pad in a womans bag or you see a red stain on her clothes, its normal. Create an environment of equality in your home. No, its not your mothers job to slave in the kitchen all day, and no, just because its lockdown and youre at home, its not her duty to make you five snacks a day.

Help out in the kitchen, in the household works, it does not make you less of a man; if anything at all, it makes you a better one. Call out sexist conversations, no it isnt funny; no the casual remark passed in meetings intended to be taken lightly is against every professional ethics rulebook there is.

Bollywood, come on, Kabir Singh? No, women dont like oppressive men full of toxic masculinity, I dont think weve spoken loud enough for you to hear or maybe youre better at turning a deaf ear, so heres it, women like men who appreciate equality.

Yes, I would like a man to support me as he would expect me to in any relationship. Its equality and trust thats the foundation of any relationship not your romanticized cold obnoxious draining version of love. So come join in the change. Help us bring it about sooner, help us bring in a world where I can walk on a deserted street less afraid of being harassed than being robbed, where the most beautiful natural process that is the reason humanity sustains be normal, let periods not be a calamity anymore. Lets bring in this change together.

Read the original here:
An Open Letter To All Feminists : Lets Bring In The Change Together - Youth Ki Awaaz

Study by U of T researchers reveals how bacterial toxins evolve to cause new illnesses – India Education Diary

The coronavirus pandemic is a daily reminder of the far-reaching consequences of a pathogens successful invasion of human cells. And, as a new University of Toronto study on bacterial toxins shows, it does not take much for these encounters to turn deadly.

The research found that two almost identical bacterial toxins cause distinct illnesses diarrhea and fatal toxic shock syndrome by binding unrelated human receptors. It also highlights a mechanism by which pathogens have evolved distinct receptor preferences to infect different organs.

I always think of bacterial toxins as fascinating machines of death in how they find new ways to enter host tissue, says Mikko Taipale, an assistant professor of molecular genetics at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.

Taipale co-led the study, published recently in the journal Cell, with Roman Melnyk and Jean-Philippe Julien, both senior scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children and faculty members in U of Ts department of biochemistry.

Many are familiar with Clostridium difficile, a gut-dwelling bacterium that can cause diarrhea. Lesser known is its close relative, Paeniclostridium sordellii, which also lives in the gut and in the female reproductive tract. Infections are rare but fatal and can occur when the bacterial toxin escapes into the bloodstream, during birth for example, and spreads into the lungs and other organs.

Both species are thought to be part of the microbiome, the bodys resident bacteria, but its not clear why they harm some people and not others.

The toxin released by C. difficile acts through Frizzled receptor proteins, which play a role in tissue regeneration. Yet, while P. sordellii produces a similar toxin, it does not bind in the same way so the researchers set out to investigate.

They took an unbiased approach by systematically switching off every gene in human cells and exposing them to the P. sordellii toxin. Cells that survived turned out to lack genes encoding cell surface proteins called semaphorins, and other experiments confirmed that two members of this class, Semaphorin6A and Semaphorin6B, are indeed the receptors for the toxin. Both receptors are present in the lungs, as expected, though their role there remains unclear.

Knowing the receptor opens the door to finding treatment. The researchers were able to halt infection in mice by co-injecting the toxin with purified semaphorin fragments, which bound and neutralized the toxin before it could reach the real receptors.

But the finding led to more surprises.

Like Frizzled, semaphorins play important roles in the body most notably in developing the nervous system, where they help guide projecting nerve fibers. Even more surprising was that it binds a receptor with no structural resemblance to Frizzled.

Here we have two toxins that are so similar to each other, but they use completely different receptors, says Taipale. We did not expect to find that.

The reason is a tiny difference between C. difficile and P. sordellii in particular, the surface though which both toxins contact their receptors, as revealed by cryo electron microscopy. Each toxin protein is composed of about 2,500 amino-acids and the researchers were able to pinpoint those that directly engage with the receptor. Swapping a mere 15 of these amino acids between the two toxins was sufficient to switch receptor preference. In other words, they created a P. sordellii toxin that targeted Frizzled and vice versa.

We were floored when we saw that the toxins shared a surface that each evolved to uniquely interact with distinct cells, says Julien.

It appears that, while the rest of the toxin is under strong evolutionary pressure to remain unchanged, the receptor-binding surface is free from such constraints. This allows toxins to evolve into variants that bind new receptors to invade other tissues and hosts.

Receptor switching is not unique to bacteria, however. SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus strains that cause common cold use the same part of the now famous spike protein to bind to diverse receptors, which might explain differences in disease severity.

This is a nice example of how viruses and bacteria from completely different domains of life have found similar molecular tactics to change their receptor targets in human cells, says Taipale.

It also reminds us how much cool biology one can find in the microbial world.

The research was supported by the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar program, the Ontario Early Researcher Awards program and the Canada Research Chairs program.

See the rest here:
Study by U of T researchers reveals how bacterial toxins evolve to cause new illnesses - India Education Diary

Case 2: Term Female Newborn with Prenatal Diagnosis of Abdominal Distention and Ascites – AAP News

A 3,960-g female infant is born at 37 weeks of gestation to a 25-year-old gravida 2, para 1-0-0-1 woman via vaginal delivery. The pregnancy had been complicated by a history of depression not requiring pharmacologic treatment, a urinary tract infection treated successfully, fetal abdominal distention and ascites, and polyhydramnios requiring 3 procedures for amniotic fluid reduction. Noninvasive prenatal testing and -fetoprotein levels were normal.

Apgar scores are 6 and 8 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. The infant has decreased respiratory effort but improves with continuous positive airway pressure and is weaned to room air while in the delivery room with no further respiratory concerns. Because of the significant abdominal distention, the patient is transferred to the NICU where the physical examination findings are significant for abdominal distention, an abdominal circumference of 38 cm, palpable bowel loops, and absent bowel sounds. Other significant findings include bilateral webbing of the second and third toes and bilateral fusion of

Read more from the original source:
Case 2: Term Female Newborn with Prenatal Diagnosis of Abdominal Distention and Ascites - AAP News

Study by U of T researchers reveals how bacterial toxins evolve to cause new illnesses – News@UofT

The coronavirus pandemic is a daily reminder of the far-reachingconsequences of apathogens successful invasion of human cells. And, as a new University of Toronto study on bacterial toxins shows, it does not take much for these encounters to turn deadly.

The research found that two almost identical bacterial toxins cause distinct illnesses diarrhea and fatal toxic shock syndrome by binding unrelated human receptors. It also highlights a mechanism by which pathogens have evolved distinct receptor preferences to infect different organs.

I always think of bacterial toxins as fascinating machines of death in how they find new ways to enter host tissue, saysMikko Taipale, an assistant professor of molecular genetics at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.

Taipaleco-led the study,published recently in the journalCell, withRoman MelnykandJean-Philippe Julien, both senior scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children and faculty members in U of Ts department of biochemistry.

Many are familiar withClostridium difficile, a gut-dwelling bacterium that can cause diarrhea. Lesser known is its close relative,Paeniclostridium sordellii, which also lives in the gut and in the female reproductive tract. Infections are rare but fatal and can occur when the bacterial toxin escapes into the bloodstream, during birth for example, and spreads into the lungs and other organs.

Both species are thought to be part of the microbiome, the bodys resident bacteria, but its not clear why they harm some people and not others.

The toxin released byC. difficileacts through Frizzled receptor proteins, which play a role in tissue regeneration. Yet, whileP. sordelliiproduces a similar toxin, it does not bind in the same way so the researchers set out to investigate.

They took an unbiased approach by systematically switching off every gene in human cells and exposing them to theP. sordelliitoxin. Cells that survived turned out to lack genes encoding cell surface proteins called semaphorins, and other experiments confirmed that two members of this class, Semaphorin6A and Semaphorin6B, are indeed the receptors for the toxin. Both receptors are present in the lungs, as expected, though their role there remains unclear.

Knowing the receptor opens the door to finding treatment. The researchers were able to halt infection in mice by co-injecting the toxin with purified semaphorin fragments, which bound and neutralized the toxin before it could reach the real receptors.

But the finding led to more surprises.

Like Frizzled, semaphorins play important roles in the body most notably in developing the nervous system, where they help guide projecting nerve fibers. Even more surprising was that it binds a receptor with no structural resemblance to Frizzled.

Here we have two toxins that are so similar to each other, but they use completely different receptors, says Taipale. We did not expect to find that.

The reason is a tiny differencebetween C. difficileandP. sordellii in particular, the surface though which both toxins contact their receptors, as revealed by cryo electron microscopy. Each toxin protein is composed of about 2,500 amino-acids and the researchers were able to pinpoint those that directly engage with the receptor. Swapping a mere 15 of these amino acids between the two toxins was sufficient to switch receptor preference. In other words, they created a P. sordellii toxin that targeted Frizzled and vice versa.

We were floored when we saw that the toxins shared a surface that each evolved to uniquely interact with distinct cells, says Julien.

It appears that, while the rest of the toxin is under strong evolutionary pressure to remain unchanged, the receptor-binding surface is free from such constraints. This allows toxins to evolve into variants that bind new receptors to invade other tissues and hosts.

Receptor switching is not unique to bacteria, however. SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus strains that cause common cold use the same part of the now famous spike protein to bind to diverse receptors, which might explain differences in disease severity.

This is a nice example of how viruses and bacteria from completely different domains of life have found similar molecular tactics to change their receptor targets in human cells, says Taipale.

It also reminds us how much cool biology one can find in the microbial world.

The research was supported by the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar program, the Ontario Early Researcher Awards programand the Canada Research Chairs program.

Study by U of T researchers reveals how bacterial toxins evolve to cause new illnesses - News@UofT

Global Autoimmune Disease Diagnostics Market By Type, By Sex, By Age, By Factors, By Diagnosis, By Types of Treatment, By Product, By End-User, By…

NEW YORK, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This report is 80% complete and can be delivered within three working days post order confirmation and will include the latest impact analysis of Covid-19 in 2020 and forecast.

Read the full report:

Global Autoimmune Disease Diagnostics Market By Type (Systemic, Organ-Specific), By Sex (Male, Female), By Age (0-15, 15-44, 44+), By Factors (Diet, Genetics, Environmental agents), By Diagnosis (Antinuclear Antibody Test, Autoantibody Test, Others), By Types of Treatment (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Immune-Suppressing Drugs, Others), By Product (Kits and assays, Reagents), By End-User (Hospital, Clinics, Others), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2025

Global autoimmune disease diagnostics market size was valued at USD4 billion in 2019 and projected to grow at a formidable CAGR during the forecast period.The key factor driving the growth of autoimmune disease diagnostics market is surging investment in healthcare sector.

Additionally, growing cases of autoimmune diseases is further anticipated to bode well for the growth of autoimmune disease diagnostics market across the globe in the coming years.Moreover, increasing government support in terms of providing funds is projected to bolster the market growth through 2025.

Moreover, growing implementation of lab automation technologies in developing nations such as U.S. and Europe are further aiding the market growth. The global autoimmune disease diagnostics market is segmented based on type, sex, age, factors, diagnosis, types of treatment, product, end-user, region and company.Based on product, the market can be segmented into kits and assays, reagents and instruments.

Out of which, the kits and assays segment dominated the market in terms of largest market size until 2019 and is further anticipated to maintain its leading position during the forecast period as well.This growth can be accredited to increasing adoption of kits and assays in hospitals and clinical laboratories.

Moreover, increasing prevalence of autoimmune diseases coupled with growing requirement for fast results, is expected to boost the growth of the segment in the upcoming years. Major players operating in the autoimmune disease diagnostics market include Siemens, Abbott, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Grifols, Trinity Biotech, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inova Diagnostics, Hycor Biomedical, Euroimmun, Protagen, Roche, Quest Diagnostics, Hemagen Diagnostics, Aesku Diagnostics, Sanofi, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Eli Lilly, Bayer, etc. The companies operating in autoimmune disease diagnostics market across the globe are focussing more towards the expanding their share in the market. For instance, these key players are making organic strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, among others in order to survive the highly competitive industry.

Years considered for this report:

Historical Years: 2015-2018 Base Year: 2019 Estimated Year: 2020 Forecast Period: 20212025

Objective of the Study:

To analyse and forecast the market size of global autoimmune disease diagnostics market. To classify and forecast global autoimmune disease diagnostics market based on type, sex, age, factors, diagnosis, types of treatment, product, end-user, company and regional distribution. To identify drivers and challenges for global autoimmune disease diagnostics market. To examine competitive developments such as expansions, new product launches, mergers & acquisitions, etc., in global autoimmune disease diagnostics market. To conduct pricing analysis for global autoimmune disease diagnostics market. To identify and analyse the profile of leading players operating in global autoimmune disease diagnostics market. The analyst performed both primary as well as exhaustive secondary research for this study.Initially, the analyst sourced a list of companies across the globe.

Subsequently, the analyst conducted primary research surveys with the identified companies.While interviewing, the respondents were also enquired about their competitors.

Through this technique, the analyst could include the companies which could not be identified due to the limitations of secondary research. The analyst examined the new products, distribution channels and presence of all major players across the globe. The analyst calculated the market size of global autoimmune disease diagnostics market using a bottom-up approach, wherein data for various end-user segments was recorded and forecast for the future years. The analyst sourced these values from the industry experts and company representatives and externally validated through analyzing historical data of these product types and applications for getting an appropriate, overall market size.

Various secondary sources such as company websites, news articles, press releases, company annual reports, investor presentations and financial reports were also studied by the analyst.

Key Target Audience:

Autoimmune disease diagnostics companies and other stakeholders. Government bodies such as regulating authorities and policy makers Organizations, forums and alliances related to autoimmune disease diagnostics Market research and consulting firms The study is useful in providing answers to several critical questions that are important for the industry stakeholders such as companies and partners, end users, etc., besides allowing them in strategizing investments and capitalizing on market opportunities.

Report Scope:

In this report, global autoimmune disease diagnostics market has been segmented into following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below: Market, By Type: o Systemic o Organ-specific Market, By Sex: o Male o Female Market, By Age: o 0-15 o 15-44 o 44+ Market, By Factors: o Diet o Genetics o Environmental Agents Market, By Diagnosis: o Antinuclear Antibody Test o Autoantibody Test o CBC o Comprehensive Metabolic Panel o C-reactive Protein o Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate o Urinalysis o Imaging Test o Biopsy Market, By Types of Treatment: o Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs o Immune-Suppressing Drugs o Hormone Replacement Therapy o Physical Therapy o Blood Transfusion o Plasma Exchange o Others Market, By Product: o Kits and Assays o Reagents o Instruments Market, By End-User: o Hospital o Clinics o Diagnostic Laboratories o Others Market, By Region: o North America - United States - Mexico - Canada o Europe - Germany - France - United Kingdom - Italy - Spain o Asia-Pacific - China - India - Japan - South Korea - Australia - Singapore o Middle East and Africa - South Africa - Saudi Arabia - UAE o South America - Brazil - Argentina - Colombia

Competitive Landscape

Company Profiles: Detailed analysis of the major companies present in global autoimmune disease diagnostics market.

Available Customizations:

With the given market data, we offers customizations according to a company's specific needs. The following customization options are available for the report:

Company Information

Detailed analysis and profiling of additional market players (up to five).

Read the full report:

About Reportlinker ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need - instantly, in one place.

__________________________ Contact Clare: [emailprotected] US: (339)-368-6001 Intl: +1 339-368-6001

SOURCE Reportlinker

Go here to see the original:
Global Autoimmune Disease Diagnostics Market By Type, By Sex, By Age, By Factors, By Diagnosis, By Types of Treatment, By Product, By End-User, By...

Faith Were: A 91 Year Old Administrator With A Heart For Sports – New Vision

Faith at her hom during the interview

Faith Were Mukulu was a modern day sports woman trapped in a different generation as she dedicated 50 years to sports service.

Three months shy of her 91st birthday, the confident and energetic nonagenarian looks back at what her life in sports service was as she broke barriers to see to it that netball and athletics rose to the forefront.

Early LifeShe pioneered the growth of the Uganda Netball Association where she became the first female netball referee in Uganda and East Africa with a first class. Her knowledge of the game was head and shoulders above anyone's and for that reason alone, she traversed Uganda and East Africa teaching the sport.

"In our time, sports was not about money but more about love and passion. We were never paid for playing. I used to play netball and athletics which sometimes required me to run from one activity to the other," Were explained.

Born on October 5 1929, to Daudi and Abigail Were, she was raised in Mukono where her parents had moved from Busia before their marriage in 1918. She attended Misindye-Goma Primary School, Mukono Primary School and Nsangi Primary School where she completed her primary leaving certificate.

She later joined Ndejje Teachers Training College (TTC) where she got her grade one teaching certificate in 1948-1951. She upgraded to a grade two certificate between 1960-1963 at Busubuzi TTC, Ndejje TTC and finally Kibuli TTC.

Start of Sports serviceGetting started in sports was not easy because she grew up at a time when boys and girls were assigned sports based on their gender at the height of the British colonial rule in the 1930's and 1940's.

Boy's thanks largely to their genetics were expected to play the more gender appropriate and contact laden football while the girls could only apply their deft touch to netball. This left athletics as the only discipline that was gender neutral which gave many individuals a chance to double up wherever they could.

Perhaps it's because of these circumstances that Mukulu whose time at the Ndejje only managed to fuel her appetite for netball and athletics.

With her teaching certificate in hand she was posted to Kako Primary School as a games teacher in 1952. A year later she joined Namirembe Infant Primary School where she spent the next 31 years of her life teaching and imparting sports knowledge to the kids.

"I was a games mistress at Namirembe Infant School and because I did so well with my school I was chosen as a national team matron (athletics)," explained Were.

Her work with Namirembe was so good that she created one of the best netball and athletics teams in the country.

She broke bounds by becoming an administrative member of the Uganda Netball Association in 1954 which led to her greatest sports management roles of her life. Athletics

At only 25 years old she was asked by the National Council of Sports (NCS) to become national team matron for girls or what is in the modern day known as a team manager.

"At first I didn't want the role because I was still young and I thought it would mess with my faith but the head teacher at Namirembe advised me to take the opportunity," Were said.

For a young lady who gave her life to Christ in 1948, the role was a challenge but it was God's plan.

"As much as I had rejected the role three times, it worked wonders because the players respected me and even started calling me Mukulu which I started using officially as well," she said.

She found fulfilment in the Uganda Athletics team which was very good and was revered within East Africa where they dominated.

In that key role she was able oversee the national teams that travelled for games in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zambia. She travelled to New Zealand for the Commonwealth Games and oversaw the national teams for various global netball showpieces.

"I was in charge of ensuring team discipline and we had good players like the great John Aki-Bua who did so well in the Munich 1972.I never experienced a lot of hardship while in charge of the team because all Uganda's players where very engaged in doing well."

After she finally accepted her new role after a fourth appointment by the national council of sports, in 1966 she led the national athletics team to Kenya and Tanzania for various competitions. She then travelled with the national tem to the East and Central African Championships in Lusaka Zambia 1971, All Africa Games Nigeria 1973, and Commonwealth Games New Zealand 1974, World Netball Championships 1979, East and Central African Games 1985.

NetballWhile in Netball, she practically carried the sport on her shoulders as she took her role to grow the sport to another level. She went on to Open the Buganda Netball Association, she started the first women's netball team called Kampala City Council currently known as the Kampala Capital City Authority in 1965.

She also started the Nabbagereka Netball Cup which was a tournament geared towards taking netball to the masses.

"Growing up very few schools used to play netball because it was only a select few who took part in playing the sport like Gayaza, Nsube, Buddo but me and a few colleagues who included rev. Kakooza, Israel Kanankulya decided to start the Nabagereka Netball Cup to take the sports to other schools," she said.

In the same period she took on her role as team manager for the national athletics team. In 1968 she became the first female netball referee in Uganda and the rest of East Africa.

She was one of five referees selected to officiate in the 1979 World Netball Cup in Trinidad and Tobago . It was a rude awakening for her as she had to watch the national team lose badly but in essence they learnt from the experience.

"I officiated in the 1979 World Cup and the person who had earlier coached me nominated me to take part. Uganda had a torrid world cup that year because they were first timers and simply out of depth. The whites were on another level they would jump like monkeys and would pass the ball sometimes in the air which was nothing the team had ever seen," she recounts.

She credits former minister Bidandi Ssali as he helped the women's team to travel.

She led the national netball team to the East and Central African Netball Championships in Lusaka 1985 as head of delegation before seating as an executive member in the National Council of sports from 1988-1989.

She officially retired from active sports in 1990 but has tried her level best to keep tabs on the national teams for netball and athletics.

Reservations"My only disappointment is that Ugandan netball has gone quiet. Yes the team has been to the World Cup but so did we in 1979. I would like to hear more about the sport because during my time I would go on radio and educate the masses about the sport of netball," she said.

Her only regret is that the best athletes like Aki-Bua are no more but would have loved for the rest to see them at their best.

"John Aki-Bua was very good but he wasn't the only one. Our boys were very good here and within East Africa and so were the girls. If only you had seen Mary Musanyi, Christine Kabanda and Beatrice Ayaa at their best you would have been impressed."

She has advised girls to love what they do and also urged government to continue investing in sports like netball.

"I advise young girls to love netball so much because we also loved it. They should put emphasis on our sports as women," she concluded.

More here:
Faith Were: A 91 Year Old Administrator With A Heart For Sports - New Vision

Acharangenetics: Behavior Psychology As Gene Regulation Tool – Analysis – Eurasia Review

Behaviour is satellite responses to its environment generated by our social brain the system which we consider as mind. Mind endeavour over persuasion on which behaviour develops. Our characters are responses of some hormones produce in the cell of different gland. The shift in concentration of hormones leads to change in character.

This article reviews various effects of hormones on our physiological status and hence behavioural responses. All the body hormones produced by body cell are actually controlled and managed by the genes present in the cell. As the brain (hypothalamus) sense any character or any situation it sends the response to various hormone glands and the glands synthesis the protein as per the command of active gene.

Depending upon the circumstances behavioural response shifts vary wisely. As the behaviour is controlled by the hormones, the genes which are modulating hormones synthesis must be switching off and on as per response from brain. Specific hormone for the specific task of behaviour is produced under the command of brain. We have tried to establish a relationship between behaviour and genes so that a new study should carry out in the motive to control the gene activity by the mode of behaviour psychology. The word Acharangenetics can be used to express the relation of behaviour psychology and genes. The wordAcharangeneticsis a compound word, form by combination of two words Acharan Hindi origin word meaning behaviour and the second word is genetics the study of heredity.

The strength of any construction is understood by its pillars which are multidisciplinary in nature. To hold its existence one has to focus on its sub fundamental phenomenon, that is, behaviour. According to psychology, behaviour comprises of satellite responses to its environment generated by our social brain (Frith, C. D., 2007) the system which we consider as mind. The conscious exercise of faculty and thought are considered very important for development of mind. Mind endeavour over persuasion on which behaviour develops. Psychological practice is very commonly performed by psychologist in order to provide counselling to a person living life with some non-productive state of mind (Strong et al., 1992).

Hence, counselling can help a person to generate positive psychology, and stabilize the social life of a person with any social psychological disturbance (Harris et al., 2007). Our characters are responses of some hormones produce in the cell of different gland. The shift in concentration of hormones leads to change in character. This article reviews various effects of hormones on our physiological status and hence behavioural responses. Body hormones produced by body cell are actually controlled and managed by the genes present in the cell. As the brain (hypothalamus) sense any character or any situation it sends the response to various hormone glands (Knobil, et al., 1980; Schally, et al., 1973) and the glands synthesis the protein as per the command of active gene.

Depending upon the circumstances behavioural response shifts vary wisely. As the behaviour is controlled by the hormones, the genes which are modulating hormones synthesis must be switching off and on as per response from brain. Specific hormone for the specific task of behaviour is producd as per program under the command of brain. We have tried to establish a relationship between behaviour and genes so that a new study should carry out in the motive to control the gene activity by the mode of behaviour psychology.

Counselling psychology is very much practice in the field of academic, in the field of sports for motivating sportsman and for helping the one who is trying to come back after injury (Webster et al., 2008) or in the area of medical for strengthening the depress state of the patients suffering from chronic diseases like cancer (Watson et al.,1988; Sheard, T., & Maguire, P., 1999), diabetes (Snoek et al., 2002) or in any chronic diseases (Karademas et al., 2009) that has harassed the health as well as the mental stability of patients. Moreover, it is widely used in people who are handling life defeat mentality (Silbert et al., 1991). They are found to be very much effective in uplifting the level of psyche.

In psychology, human nature and motivation have been discussed very extensively. Freud believed that behind every human activity there is the instinctual drive that works as a motivating factor that bring upon types of human behaviour. Psychology is a science of behaviour that is observable. It also means an objective science that depends on the experimental and observable data. All human action and behaviour are the outcome of the physiological and neurological reaction in the human body. This fact also reveals that human behaviours are nothing more than the way man responses to stimuli that come from the environment.

Behaviourists accept determinism in their version of psychology. They deem that every human response can be predicted in relation to the type of stimulus that triggers mans responses. Some of our motives to act are biological, while others have personal and social origins. We are motivated to seek food, water, and sex, but our behaviour is also influenced by social approval, acceptance, the need to achieve, and the motivation to take or to avoid risks, to name a few (Morsella, Bargh, & Gollwitzer, 2009).

Furthermore, during motivation our body gene regulation work on activation of genes that is good in handling stress. And there are some genes that are responsible for the production of dopamine a motivation molecule, that provides the drive and focus you need to accomplish your tasks in the most productive way. This hormone is primarily involved with the attention span, focus and motivation. It is a neurohormone that is released by the hypothalamus. Lack of dopamine in the body is associated with symptoms like fatigue, lack of focus, difficulty in concentrating, forgetfulness, insomnia and lack of motivation.

When dopamine isnt regulated properly, it can contribute to a dysfunctional pursuit of good feelings, such as occurs in addictions, or lead to a hyperactive state like Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These conditions are generally associated with an increased risk of early death, rather than longevity, but the latest study suggests that risk genes for certain problems in some environments may be beneficial in other situations.

In humans, dopamine neurotransmission is influenced by functional polymorphisms in the dopamine transporter (DAT-1) and catechol-Omethyl transferase (COMT) genes. The COMT and DAT-1 genes was found in the ventral striatum and lateral prefrontal cortex during reward anticipation and in thelateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices as well as in the mid-brain at the time of reward delivery, with carriers of the DAT-1-9 repeat allele and COMT met/met allele exhibiting the highest activation, presumably reflecting functional change consequent to higher synaptic dopamine availability.

The origin of motivation can be felt as either internal as push motivation or external as pull motivation. Push motivation is depicted in terms of biological variables arising in a persons nervous system and mind psychological variables that represent attributes of a persons mind, such as psychological needs. A person has the capability to channelize its motivation and stress hormones concentration by the mode of imagination. And if a person thought is responsible for its hormone concentration, then the person thought or imagination may affect an individual gene regulation. And this gene regulation is a background of push motivation.

Pull motivation is understood in terms of environmental variables that describe external sources of motivation, like incentives or goals. Our internal sources of motivation interact with external sources to direct behaviour (Deckers, 2014). Moreover, it may happen that this external effort implants an idea in a person which allows creating a thought process rising to an imagination.

Furthermore, this imagination leads to affect the body serum metabolite concentration and signalling metabolite modulates the process of gene regulation and gene expression. Hence, it will lead to regulation to the activity of stress handling and risk handling genes (Yashin, et al., 2012). And this leads to the production of hormones such as dopamine, oxytocinetc that are responsible to manage the level of external motivation or push motivation. This system can be observed in the field of extensive sports like boxing and rugby, where coach try to motivate the energy and skills of the player by mentoring with either using sound modulation or by some moral thought related to winning or losing.

Our evolutionary history also explains aspects of motivated behaviour, and our individual personal histories shed light on how our lifelong experiences shape our motives and determine the utility of goals and incentives.

Physiological needs like hunger, thirst, sex or some desire on the basis needs are also the biological beginnings that eventually manifest themselves as a psychological drive in a persons subjective awareness. These biological events become psychological motives. It is important to distinguish the physiological need from the psychological drive it creates because only the later has motivational properties.

The drive theory of motivation tells us that physiological needs originate in our bodies. As our physiological system attempts to maintain health, it registers in our brain a psychological drive to satisfy a physiological craving and motivates us to bring the system from deficiency toward homeostasis (Reeve, 2018). Likewise, the person who motivates themselves for the personal fitness must be channelizing their serum hormones effect. This desire might be helping them to initiate a program of self-caring; a necessity in order to keep up with personal health. As people are not under control for good diet or healthy life style; personal motivation is necessary. The biological need turns into a psychological motive when the drive to satisfy it interferes with our normal functioning by increasing tension until the need is satisfied.

Behavioural feature in relation to social interaction has performed wonders in the field of medical science. Some aspects are visible through the lenses of science but some are the trades of invisible energy. Placebo effect is among that invisible behavioural energy which has stuns the eyes of many thinkers. As per the Stimulus substitution models posit that placebo responses are due to pairings of conditional and unconditional stimuli (Montgomery et al., 1997). This Condition is either created by people or may be a natural place. The placebo effect has a very vital consequence on the synthesis of metabolites in body and in functioning of hormonal glands. Placebo effect gives rise in endorphin release (Levine et al., 1978) and drop down the symptoms of anxiety (Sternbach et al., 1968.), classical conditioning (Wickramasekera et al., 1980), and response expectancy (Kirsch, et al., 1985; Kirsch et al., 1990.).

However, Montgomery and Kirsch (1996) described data that are hard to reconcile with the hypothesis that placebo responses are mediated by such global mechanisms as anxiety reduction or the release of endogenous opioids. It has been found that it can be used as a local anaesthetic.

Genetics states that, what we express as a character, whether its behaviour or phenotype it is just a pre-programmed stimulus of genes on its switching circumstances. And the circumstances could be behavioural or environmental. The change may arise sooner or later, depends on the degree of gene regulation.

On the other hand, the arising of any action or the way someone conduct them self in response to others action is judge during psychological practice. It has been observed that the change in mood, action and development of thought triggers the secretion of different metabolite, by different gland present in different parts of brain and body. The effect of any action could be seen all over the body, such as; at the time of anger the whole body share the heat arise from anger; at the stage of happiness we can feel comfort and energetic and at the stage of meditation we can feel peace. These kicks off of anger can take place by others behavioural activity but its onset initiates the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline cortisol, which anger are causing hormones. Similarly, the state of happiness is the result of production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Likewise, the action of meditation kicks off the production of all good hormones required by the body to be at peace.

The effect of these hormones on whole body can only be seen if these hormones are well distributed in the body cell. Whenever any hormone enters into cell it creates a signalling response which moves from cell cytoplasm to the nucleus. And nucleus is the place where the key genetic material which codes for the behaviour of cell the structural unit of organism.

Psychology and metabolism are mutually related to each other. Any change in psych will trigger the synthesis of different hormones or metabolite or its responsible for the alteration in concentration of metabolite or hormones. And in normal condition of outer environment, social environment and diet intake, the physiological status of a person is found to be normal. Hence, the metabolite concentration is also balanced. As soon as there is any change in the environment (social/environmental) of a person, metabolite and hormonal response changes. Hence there are vital changes in person behaviour or in its health status. There is certain situation where organism has to behave against their natural character. This situation is either created by the social environment or unpredictably. Table 1 listed some of the real life situation and various responses of body metabolism

Moreover, there are situation which are either created or present naturally and are responsible for generating some rare characters in organism. As in a situation for survival some people develop very high spirit to stay alive and start working against their nature. They are found to handle stress condition with an attitude of solving it and bring out anything good as per the things available. This can be the situation of specific activation of stress handling genes by the mode of gene regulation (Yashin, et al., 2012). This regulation tends to modulate behaviour in an organism as presented in Table 2. Hence, such people are found to be having great surviving skills and a behaviour of handling tough situation.

The character whichis in phenotype form or specific social behaviour is actually a command program of the genes present in our DNA. The happening of any behaviour and expression is basically the activity of genes. Hence, learning, expression or behaving could be on and off of genes activity. This on and off of genes is understand by the terminology of gene regulationLikewise, the metabolite or hormones are actually functional protein which produces bytaking the referencefrom the coded information, by various genes in DNA of an organism. Furthermore, the behaviour of person is more likely influenced by the metabolite and hormones. Hencehuman behaviour is more likely to be as concentration of different biochemical or its just based on switching on or switching off of different genes responsible for different character which are control by production of functional protein. Hence, whenever there is activation of any gene there is activation of a specific function which contributes in any biochemical reaction throughout the body. There arenumerous biochemical reactions going on in the bodyeachactually channelize by the metabolic protein produce by the activation of genes of an organism. Apparently, the origin of basic behaviour characteris trigger by genes infant we can observe some facial expression and actionInfants are not taught about behaviour, some of them are basically inherited by birthwhich are trigger by genes.

Moreover,if any human psychological disorder generated either by environmental or social stress are responsible for the alteration of functional protein such as hormones and metabolites. Functional protein is only produce by the activation of genes. In a nutshell genes are responsible for behaviour psychology butbehaviour psychology also holds the capacity to influence the activity of genes. Therefore, behaviour psychology at its best possible organised way may have the efficiency to govern and channelizes the activity of genes. Hence, after recognising the complete relation between psychology and genes by the connection of metabolism we can elaborate new area of study either in the field of genetic engineering or in the field of behaviour psychology.Acharangenetics(Acharan + genetics) word can be used to express the relation of behaviour psychology and genes. The wordAcharangeneticsis a compound word, form by combination of two words Acharan a Hindi origin word meaning behaviour and the second word is genetics which is the study of heredity.

Research Questions: The research questions are:

> Can we effect gene regulation by the mode of behaviour psychology?

> Can we use behaviour psychology as a genetic regulation tool?

> As genes activation affect the behaviour and create a person personality characters, can it happen that moulding someones character results in gene regulation?

Answers to the Question

The behaviour of a person is the expression of genes. The change in behaviour by the action of word may generate such hormones which leads to the expression of different genes in the individual which codes for such protein that either alter or generate new character in an individual. Hence, the transformation of human behaviour from a child to a mature person could be response of expression of genes by certain behavioural activities. A talk between two people regarding certain mutual adjustment in behaviour could be another example of gene expression of desired characters by using concept of mutual understanding of requirements. Hence, psychology can be used as a tool for expression of specific genetic traits. If social interaction and genes both affect metabolism, then they might be interacting each other. Metabolic pathway is a connective link in many biological processes therefore; it may happen that there might be a relation between genetics and behavioural psychology. If behaviour psychology can affect genes activity, then we can use it as a tool for expression of specific genetic traits. Any effect to a person during social interaction create certain level of change in its hormones or functional protein concentration lifting the mood or results in stress conditions.

*About the authors: Rajan Keshri, Harpreet Kaur and Dr Gursharan Singh Kainth, Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies


Table 1: Hormone Impact on Behaviour and Body at Different Stress Situation.

Table 2: Some Examples of Hormones and Their Effects on Human Body and Behaviour.

Visit link:
Acharangenetics: Behavior Psychology As Gene Regulation Tool - Analysis - Eurasia Review

18 Awesome Action Shots of the Icelandic Dottirs (and what makes them so good at CrossFit?) – BOXROX

The Dottirs are well renowned throughout the CrossFit world. With two female athletes that have won the Games twice (Annie and Katrin), and another athlete that has won the Worldwide Open three times (Sara Sigmundsdottir), they are a force to be reckoned with. Flick through the photos below for inspiration then read on to explore why they are so good.

Annie Thorisdottir, Katrin Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Thuridur Helgadottir: four Icelandic ladies dominating the biggest Crossfit stages of all. However, they are not the only dottirs to watch at major events of the discipline, as there is a constant flow of elite sportswomen coming to Crossfit fame from the land of volcanoes, geysersand impressive athletic success stories. To every fan of Strongman, Crossfit, handball, basketball, and, more recently, after the European Championship of 2016, football, the ability of a country with a population of just 323,000 to select and train athletes who go on to feature among the worlds best is a cause for awe and admiration.

The question comes naturally: what lies behind these unlikely accomplishments? In this article, while focusing on Crossfit and Strongman, we set out to explore the different possible factors which contribute to Icelands important place in the world of sport.

It is often believed that the genetic set-up of the Nordic people explains their physical strength and mental toughness, two key ingredients for achievements in sport. However, as few to no studies have been carried out regarding this matter, it is difficult to determine the extent to which genetics offer Icelandic sportsmen and sportswomen a physical or psychological advantage over their competitors. The aforementioned argument is based on the infamous force and brutality of the Icelanders ancestors, the Vikings, who settled on the island in the year 874. Vikings were a tough people, who enjoyed strength training in the form of outdoor sports such as competitive stone lifting. This pastime and its adapted versions seem to have remained popular in Iceland throughout the ages, and could be regarded as part of the Vikings cultural legacy.

With cold weather, long hours of darkness, frequent volcanic eruptions and a rough terrain, life in Iceland is not easy. Before the emergence of modern entertainment, the options of spending ones free time were limited, a fact which may also explain the popularity of indoor sports among the Icelandic population.

However, the environment is an adversary and an ally of the Icelanders at the same time, as it also provides them with clean water and a cuisine based on local fish, vegetables and dairy products. Fully powered by geothermal and hydroelectric energy, Iceland is one of the least polluted countries in the world, which positively influences the quality of water and crops. Given the importance of a sportspersons diet as a factor determining athletic performance, the healthy food products available in Iceland may also be contributing to the achievements of Icelands Crossfit dottirs.

Besides endurance and mental toughness, another psychological trait strongly influenced by geographical and historical factors and also believed to have been inherited from the Vikings is hard work. The efforts related to regularly coping with natural disasters and harsh living conditions shaped the personality of the Icelandic people, who have learned to overcome difficulties and thrive in an unfriendly environment. Icelanders start working at an early age, encouraged by the countrys government, which organizes summer jobs for teenagers aged 13-15. It is usual for students to work part-time during their studies, while many adults have more than one job.

A second trait displayed by Icelandic Crossfitters and other athletes is ambition. If we were to refer to the Viking ancestors again, it is fair to say that they were no cowards lacking self-confidence.

Sport is very popular in Iceland in both its amateur and professional forms. From a young age, pupils are encouraged to actively engage in exercise, among others with the help ofSklahreysti, a competition between schools. The fitness culture in particular is very well-developed, and Crossfit occupies a central position. Icelanders of all ages are active in the discipline at various levels, inspired by the success of the countrys Crossfit superstars.

Boxes face constant demand, with classes at the famous boxCrossfit Reykjavikstarting every 20 or 30 minutes. Furthermore, there is intense competition, but also collaboration, between Icelandic boxes, as Helga Gudmundsdottir, the owner of Crossfit Hafnarfjrur mentions in ourinterviewwith her:We have connections to most of the boxes in Iceland. Iceland is a very small country and we are all starting to know one another. It is like a one big family. We are all happy to lend out gear for competitions or events. So its a community and all boxes are connected somehow.

Another example which illustrates the importance of sport in Iceland is the context in which Junior Nordic champion in Olympic WeightliftingFreyja Mist Olafsdottirdecided to take up Crossfit:on Icelands National Holiday, various sports were being showcased downtown. The Crossfit Reykjavk Regional and Games competitors represented Crossfit and they were doing stuff like pull ups, handstand push-ups and muscle ups, and I thought it looked so cool to be able to do all of those things so I signed up right away.

Besides Crossfit, another popular discipline promoting Icelandic sport nationally and internationally is Strongman. The country gave the world two four-time Strongest Men, Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson, and is now home to Europes Strongest Man, Hafthor Julius Bjrnsson, also known in popular culture for his role in theGame of Thronesseries. Considering its ongoing popularity, Strongman seems to have established itself as a traditional Icelandic discipline. Furthermore, Strongmen and Crossfiters sometimes train together and assist one another in making progress, and it is likely that the renowned Strongman discipline plays a part in the achievements of Crossfit athletes from Iceland.

Now that we have looked at some possible answers to the question regarding Icelands achievements in international sport, it is time to turn our attention to a very visible pattern which has emerged in Crossfit, namely the domination of Icelandic ladies. While the sport is probably just as popular among the men of Iceland, also yielding significant results (Bjrgvin Karl Gumundsson came in 3rdat the 2015CrossFit Games), it is in the womens category that the country celebrates its biggest and most numerous successes. Why is it so?

To explain this, we must focus on the principle of gender equality, which has a long history in Iceland. Women are known to have enjoyed many rights and liberties in the times of the Vikings. Furthermore, female warriors known asshieldmaidensare often mentioned in Scandinavian folklore and mythology, leading to the assumption that Viking women accompanied the men on the battlefront. In 1980, Iceland was the first country to democratically elect a woman as its head of state, while in March 2017 it celebrated Womens Day by becoming the first to require gender pay equality. It is therefore no surprise that the island constantly tops the ranking in theGlobal Gender Gap Report.

When it comes to sport in general and Crossfit in particular, this is reflected in the general attitude of Icelanders towards what is generally considered appropriate or desirable for women to do or look like. There is nothing unusual about Icelandic women taking up Crossfit, and it may well be that they do so without fear of being judged or body-shamed. In turn, together with the previously mentioned physical and psychological attributes, a large number of active female Crossfitters leads to a higher chance for the country to produce top sportswomen. Of course, the example set by Annie Thorisdottir and the others plays an important role as well.

Combining sport with social, cultural and historical facts or even genetic backgrounds, the question of explaining a countrys domination in a certain discipline is fascinating and puzzling at the same time. Although it is impossible to determine the accuracy of the answers and despite the fact that the matter usually remains unresolved, the feats achieved by a nations athletes in a certain discipline, such as those of small but mighty Icelands dottirs in Crossfit, are sure to inspire and motivate current and future generations of sports enthusiasts worldwide.

Read the original:
18 Awesome Action Shots of the Icelandic Dottirs (and what makes them so good at CrossFit?) - BOXROX

What its like for a same-sex couple to have a baby through assisted reproductive technology – The Independent Florida Alligator

Adrianna and Ashley Tousignant celebrate their pregnancy in a field of sunflowers. Their baby boy was born June 19.

After an exhausting four hours of pushing, Adrianna Tousignant looked down. In her arms was a 9-pound, 1-ounce baby boyit was one of the greatest moments of her entire life, she said.

Even better, she said, was watching her wife, Ashley Tousignant, hold their son, Henry.

Adrianna, 31, and Ashley, 32, fell in love while bartending at Gators Dockside in Gainesville six years ago. Nearly two years later, they were married and immediately began working on having a child. It took them three years to get pregnant.

Same-sex couples have two options for having children: adoption or assisted reproductive technology, which includes methods of conception, like in vitro fertilization, traditionally used to treat infertility. This technology allows for same-sex couples to obtain either a sperm or egg donation and have a child that shares genetics with one parent. Two men would also need a surrogate, a woman who carries and births the child for the couple.

According to Marla Neufeld, a Florida surrogacy attorney, there are no laws in the state preventing same-sex couples from using assisted reproductive techonology to have a child. However, same-sex couples worry about potential future legal issues and social stereotypes when going through the process.

The non-biological parent had to second parent adopt to officially have parental rights prior to 2015, when the supreme court declared same-sex marriage legalin all 50 U.S. states, Neufeld said. Second-parent adoption is a two-month process that involves a petition, finger-printing, a background check and a home-study under Floridas adoption laws.

Now, parents can avoid this process, if married, because a married couple has presumed parentage under Florida law.

However, like many other LGBTQ+ couples, Adrianna and Ashley said they fear the same-sex marriage law will one day be reversed. On June 12, the Trump administration reversed Obama-era health care protections for transgender people and redefined sex discrimination as applying to females and males. The protections do not include discrimination based on sexual identity or sexual orientation.

For extra security, Ashley, who did not carry the baby, is considering adopting their child.

Neufeld said she recommends that the parents do a stepparent adoption after the baby is born in case laws change, even though they're both on the birth certificate. Over the course of a month, the couple would file an adoption petition, attend an adoption hearing and attain a stepparent judgment. A court order is a stronger protection than a birth certificate, which is only a presumption of parentage, Neufeld added.

Ashley and Adrianna said they first began their journey of having a child with intrauterine insemination, a treatment where a sperm is placed inside a woman's uterus to initiate fertilization. To fertilize, the sperm needs to reach the actual egg on its own.

This didnt work.

Adrianna, who volunteered to carry the baby, then tried to medically increase her chances of getting pregnant by having endometriosis surgery. Endometriosis is a complication with the tissue that normally grows on the inside lining of the uterus. In surgery, the doctor removes the tissue, which then increases a womans chance of getting pregnant.

The surgery also didnt lead to a pregnancy, so they decided to switch to IVF, a process where the egg is fertilized with sperm outside of the body and transferred to the uterus.

Finally, three years later, they were pregnant.

Without knowing if you have fertility issues, it's kind of a crapshoot, Adrianna said.

She said they carefully decided who would be the sperm donor because they wanted to make sure the baby also had Ashleys characteristicsher dark brown straight hair and average height.

Ashley said it's a different experience for the partner who is not the one giving birth. When going to doctors appointments, she said, staff would assume she was a family member and not the other parent. She even said a doctor completely ignored her once.

You still feel like you have to kind of fight for your rights, Ashley said. Especially from a female standpoint. Even though you're not the one that's actually doing the pushing and going through everything, you're still an important factor, and should be treated just the same as a dad.

Ashley said they had a great delivery experience together. However, dealing with paperwork after birth was tricky. When applying for their son for a social security number, the representative initially only took down Adriannas number and had to return to the hospital room for Ashleys after the representative realized their mistake.

Being the partner, it was a different experience, Ashley said. Probably not as pleasant I think as others might experience or a heterosexual couple.

Both Ashley and Adrianna said they worry about the current political climate and feel they have to continue fighting for their rights. In January, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill which allows adoption agencies to deny a couple the opportunity to adopt based on religious or moral objections. The couple said they worry something similar will happen in Florida in the future.

Its just like a tornado, that you don't know where it's going to hit, or how destructive it could potentially be, Adrianna said.

However, there are positives too, the couple said. The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace on June 15.

Adrianna said she believes times are changing. Hopefully for the better, she added. The couple plans to have more children and just bought a house in Fort White together. She said Henry was definitely worth the wait.

The couple wants Henry to grow up knowing it's OK to be whoever he wants to be. Adrianna said the most important thing a child needs is support and love.

Love makes a family, Adrianna said.

Contact Emma at [emailprotected] Follow her on Twitter @emma_V_bautista.

Visit link:
What its like for a same-sex couple to have a baby through assisted reproductive technology - The Independent Florida Alligator

Mummified Amazon warrior girl, 13, found buried with ax, bow and a wart still visible on face – New York Post

Ancient remains of a suspected Amazon warrior have been identified as a girl no older than 13 years old.

The 2,600-year-old teenager is also said to have a visible wart and a range of war-like grave goods.

The grave was first discovered in 1988 in Siberias modern-day Tuva republic.

However, the mummified remains were labeled as female.

A new study used modern techniques to reassess the discovery and found the body belonged to a young girl.

The researchers think this stunning discovery is further confirmation of a female warrior tribe, known as Amazons, living among the Scythians of central Asia.

The Amazons were a tribe mentioned in Greek mythology and numerous archaeologists have worked to try to prove they existed.

According to the Siberian Times, researcher Dr. Kilunovskaya said: It was so stunning when we just opened the lid and I saw the face there, with that wart, looking so impressive.

The girl is said to have a rough seam on the skin of her abdomen, implying that mummification was attempted.

She was buried in a leather cap and next to a complete set of weapons.

These included an ax, a bow and a selection of arrows made of bronze, bone and wood.

The remains were initially identified as a boy because no beads or grave goods usually associated with a girl were found.

Today we have modern technology that can look at genetics rather than just items.

Kilunovskaya said: We were recently offered the chance to undertake tests to determine the sex, age, and genetic affiliation of the buried warrior.

We agreed with pleasure and got such a stunning result.

These tests were conducted at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Kilunovskaya told the Siberian Times: The burial of the child with weapons introduces a new touch to the social structure of early nomadic society.

This discrepancy in the norms of the funeral rite received an unexpected explanation: Firstly, the young man turned out to be a girl, and this young Amazon had not yet reached the age of 14 years.

The results of genome-wide sequencing, which showed that a girl was buried in a wooden coffin, were unexpected.

This opens up a new aspect in the study of the social history of Scythian society and involuntarily returns us to the myth of the Amazons that survived thanks to Herodotus.

The researchers also think she was wearing a shirt and beige trousers or a skirt but a lot of evidence for this has decayed.

Her coffin was hollowed from a single piece of wood and she was only buried 3 feet underground.

Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about female warriors in his famous texts.

One example reads: Their women, so long as they are virgins, ride, shoot, throw the javelin while mounted, and fight with their enemies.

They do not lay aside their virginity until they have killed three of their enemies, and they do not marry before they have performed the traditional sacred rites.

A woman who takes to herself a husband no longer rides, unless she is compelled to do so by a general expedition.

Go here to see the original:
Mummified Amazon warrior girl, 13, found buried with ax, bow and a wart still visible on face - New York Post

The Return of the Platypuses – The New York Times

The platypus, liberated from the pillowcase in which it had been traveling, headed straight for water.

Sarah May, watching, marveled at its glossy coat and the smoothness of its movement. It was like a Slinky, she said: It almost poured over the ground. The platypus reached the still pond, slid in, and was gone. Dr. May had been anticipating this moment for months, but now that it had arrived, she found herself surprised at just how deeply moved she felt.

The glossy platypus, along with two others, arrived at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, a 45-minute drive from the Australian capital of Canberra, on April 30. They had been away for four months, sheltering at a zoo in Sydney. The cold, wet and windy day of their release could not have been more different from the day in late December when they had left the reserve.

Back then, Tidbinbilla was parched from extreme heat and drought and menaced by an approaching bush fire. Dr. May, the wildlife team leader for the reserve, and her crew were working long hours in thick smoke, trying to protect their lungs with face masks, their eyes red and burning. It was a grim and apocalyptic-feeling time, she said: Fires had taken over everybodys psyche. But the team worried most about their animal charges, the rare, endangered and iconic wildlife that make the reserve their home.

Tidbinbilla encompasses a eucalyptus forest, a broad valley full of emus and kangaroos, and a large wetland of ponds protected by a predator-proof fence. But in December the wetland, known as the Sanctuary, no longer resembled its name. Animals came to drink and forage from shrinking, muddy ponds, which were surrounded by large areas of dried, cracked earth. Dr. May watched as water birds tried to swim through mud but ended up walking: The ponds were shallower than their legs were long. She feared that only a few days or weeks of water remained.

The reserve contacted Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, asking if it had space to shelter its platypus population, aware that the animals would be unable to survive without their ponds. Taronga, which lists the platypus as one of the legacy species it considers crucial to protect, was fielding similar requests from other conservation agencies, as well as farmers and landowners who saw platypuses struggling in drying creeks and ponds. We were inundated, Phoebe Meagher, the zoos wildlife conservation officer, said but unfortunately, there was only so much space to house them.

The zoo agreed to send a rescue mission to Tidbinbilla. Because platypuses are active at dusk and at night, the team worked in darkness; the smoke was so thick that it was hard to breathe and the beams from flashlights looked like lightsabers. After hours of trapping, they had caught seven platypuses. The rest would have to take their chances, Dr. May said.

In the following weeks, as the fires moved toward Tidbinbilla, the reserve looked for other temporary refuges to which it could evacuate its animals. Eventually, it moved six koalas; nearly 1,000 endangered northern corroboree frogs; 22 especially precious brush-tailed rock wallabies, whose genetics are key to a breeding program meant to reestablish a population that is nearing extinction in the wild, and 26 endangered eastern bettongs, which already went extinct on the mainland but are being reintroduced. (In the end, the reserve did not burn). At Taronga Zoo, keepers were careful to keep the relocated platypuses wild: limiting their interactions with people, making sure they still had to burrow and catch their own food. The zoo also began to make plans for housing larger numbers of platypuses, should the need for evacuation arise again soon something that climate projections suggest is likely.

And then, at last, rains returned, although they came so heavily that flash floods tore through fencing at the top of the Sanctuary. The ponds of Tidbinbilla refilled. The reserve tested the quality of the water to make sure it was not contaminated with fire retardants, and did surveys to make sure the ponds still held enough food. Finally, it was time to release the first round of platypuses and watch how they fared.

The platypuses arrived in a van and were checked by a vet. Then the zoo keepers who had taken care of them for the months of their exile released them into full ponds, edged with greenery, that looked little like the ones they had left. Just before the release, the rain and wind stopped and the clouds parted to let sun shine on the water.

The returned platypuses were plumper, and different in another way as well: Theyd been implanted with tracking devices as part of an ongoing study to better understand how platypuses behave, how they respond to changes in their habitats, and how they are faring in Australia which is still a very open question, explained Gilad Bino, a researcher at the University of New South Wales who will be monitoring the Tidbinbilla platypuses. Everyone seems to assume that if its out of sight its probably doing OK, he said. But his research suggests that platypuses, thanks to unsustainable water use and climate-driven drought, are actually in considerable trouble: extinct in 40 percent of their historical range, with bigger losses coming as climate change intensifies.

Tahneal Hawke, another University of New South Wales researcher, recently analyzed nearly 26,000 records of interactions with platypuses, going back to 1760: newspaper articles, explorers journals, books of natural history. The results, for modern platypus researchers, make for surreal reading. Dr. Bino was struck to read about people seeing (or shooting) platypuses by the dozen, or using terms like mob or migration. I would never, in our years of studying platypuses, describe them that way, he said.

The final four platypuses returned to Tidbinbilla on June 5. Their receivers, Dr. Meagher reported, are tracking them happily moving about the ponds. People who saw the platypuses slip into their recovered habitats described doing so with a feeling of relief, even of magic, after a painful summer. But Dr. May cant shake the memory of those desperate days in December, when the air was orange and the bush crackled with dryness. And Dr. Bino warns that the story of happy news disguises a more alarming larger picture. Rescuing platypuses from drying ponds is not really a viable strategy for the survival of the species, he said. But the way things are going, he is sure that more rescues will be necessary.

Follow this link:
The Return of the Platypuses - The New York Times

Munira Mirza is the bigoted Left’s worst nightmare –

The new government commission on racial inequalities, set up by the Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, is coming under fire from progressive anti-racists who are interested in neither social progress nor fighting all forms of racism.

Mirza has previously criticised the politics of grievance, which acts as a barrier to meaningful policy change on issues of race and ethnicity. Radical leftist figures, in predictable fashion, have wasted little time in directing racially charged slurs towards her. Novara Medias Ash Sarkar has labelled Mirza as a racial gatekeeper a term used for non-white people who supposedly provide political cover for perceived injustices based on race.

Arguably one of the most toxic voices in Britains race relations debate, Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, has called Mirza a brown executioner of white supremacy. The acceptance and normalisation of the most egregious forms of racism from Left-wing social activists, reinforced by identitarian academics operating in Britains universities, is a worrying development to say the least.

Debates on race-related matters and ethnic inequalities are being infected by the virus of tribal identity politics. Radical Leftist figures in the spheres of politics, academic, media, and policy are intent on framing every single racial inequality as a direct outcome of structural racism. This includes the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UKs ethnic minorities, where myriad potential factors may be at play including lifestyle choices and genetics.

While there is a serious discussion to be had on enduring forms of racial discrimination in the UKs labour market, the creation of socio-economic ethnic inequalities is a complex phenomenon. Mirzas role has ruffled feathers because she will not shy away from delving into politically sensitive territory. This includes exploring the role of internal religio-cultural norms and social behaviours in the production of socio-economic disparities between British ethnic groups.

This is deeply unsettling for Leftist ideologues who refuse to acknowledge the possibility that family dynamics, lack of female empowerment, and a general failure to cultivate aspirational attitudes in the household may be holding back the progress of certain non-white communities in the UK.The debate on race relations and ethnic inequalities must not be hijacked by extreme-Left ideologues who are not only uninterested in holding level-headed discussions, but are directly complicit in one of the most dehumanising forms of racism: that an individual must think a certain way on a range of social, economic, and cultural issues, purely on the grounds of their racial identity.

A notable number of self-labelled anti-racists do not truly prioritise ethnic-minority advancement, nor the empowerment of marginalised sections within non-white communities. Unfortunately, a growing number on the Left are ultimately obsessed with framing British society as a white-supremacist superstructure, and locking non-white people under a perpetual state of victimhood. There really is no surprise that Mirza is being subjected to racially motivated attacks from this dangerous political cult. A successful working-class Northern woman of Pakistani Muslim origin, who refuses to tow the identitarian line, is the radical Lefts worst nightmare.

Dr Rakib Ehsan is a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. Twitter: @rakibehsan

Read the rest here:
Munira Mirza is the bigoted Left's worst nightmare -

Social Darwinism and the origins of scientific racism – Daily Times

The Origin of species by natural selection, Charles Darwins (1809-1882) masterpiece, was published in Nov 1859- all twelve hundred and fifty copies were sold out on the first day. Since then Darwins ideas have revolutionised the entire premise of evolutionary biology and superseded the concept of naturalism as an explanation of human evolution.

In this article, however, we will discuss the social, economic and cultural impact of Darwins theory. Social Darwinism, as it is called, has an impact in shaping the current geopolitical environment of the world. The current riots in the Unites States and the United Kingdom motivated by racial inequality have deep seated roots. There is no denying the fact that racism has existed since time immemorial, but in this article, we will review the history and impact of social Darwinism on modern day racism.

Thomas H Huxley (1825-1895) also known as Darwins bulldog, coined the phrase Social Darwinism in 1861. However, the first use of the term Social Darwinism in Europe is attributed to a French journalist called Emile Gautier (1853-1937). The concept of social Darwinism borrowed the idea of survival of the fittest and natural selection from Darwins biological theory of evolution and applied this to economics, sociology and politics. It is a mishmash of ideologies that was and still is used to justify colonisation, imperialism, racism, social inequality and eugenics.

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) was an English economist and an influential scholar. Malthusianism is atheoryof exponentialpopulationgrowth in comparison to the linear growth of food supply and other resources. In his book An essay on the Principle of population Malthus describes this apparent disparity between population growth and food supply. Malthusbelieved that through preventative and positive checks, thepopulation could be controlled to balance the food supply with thepopulationlevel. The Malthusian catastrophe is described as a population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty-five years, or increases in a geometrical ratio,so that population soon exceeds its food supply.

Darwin was familiar with Malthuss concepts and was influenced by his ideas. He made the Malthusian struggle for existence the basis of his natural selection. He saw a similarity between farmers picking the best stock inselective breeding, and a Malthusian philosophy. The very extended wording on the title page of his book, by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, are suggestive of his views on race superiority. In The Descent of Man, he wrote We civilised men. do our utmost to check the process of elimination, we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick. Thus, the weak members of society propagate their kind.

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) an English polymath and a sociologist was the first one to describe the term survival of the fittest. A very big proponent of utilitarian philosophy, Spenser believed that a social system that provides for the poor and needy is eventually detrimental to the overall growth of the society as it promotes the survival of the weak and the infirm leading to an overall retardation of growth. His concept of survival of the fittest implied that nature eliminates inefficiency- any efforts to slow this process will impair the overall benefits to the strong races. In his work,Social Statics (1850), he argued that imperialism had served civilization by clearing the inferior races off the earth.

Francis Galton (1822-1911) was an English polymath and Darwins half cousin, fascinated by Darwins work, he made it his lifes mission to study variations in human population and its implication. Galton published his book the Hereditary Genius in 1869- he extensively studied the physical traits of eminent men and the inheritance of physical as well as intellectual attributes. Galton wrote in this book: Let us do what we can to encourage the multiplication of the races best fitted to invent, and conform to, a high and generous civilisation, and not, out of mistaken instinct of giving support to the weak, prevent the incoming of strong and hearty individuals.

Eugenics promotes the exclusion or elimination of human races deemed to be inferior with the preservation of superior races eventually leading to the overall improvement in genetic quality

It was Galton who championed the concept of eugenics (meaning well born). Eugenics promotes the exclusion or elimination of human races deemed to be inferior with the preservation of superior races eventually leading to the overall improvement in genetic quality. Eugenics gained momentum in the early 1900s with the formation of British and American Eugenics societies. Winston Churchill supported the British Eugenics Society and was an honorary vice president for the organization. Churchill believed that eugenics could solve race deterioration and reduce crime and poverty. Eugenics promoted practices such as genetic screening, birth control, marriage restrictions, bothracial segregationand sequestering the mentally ill,compulsory sterilization,forced abortions and pregnancies. Theodore Roosevelt, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and many other prominent citizens were outspoken supporters. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) wrote: The only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man. He proposed that the state should issue colour-coded procreation tickets to prevent the gene pool of the elite being diluted by inferior human beings. Those who decided to have children with holders of a different-coloured ticket would be punished with a heavy fine.In the United States, scientific racism was used to justify African slavery. Samuel Cartwright (1793-1863) coined the term drapetomania which was descried as a mental disorder of slaves who had tried to run away from their captives- the condition was deemed treatable. Negroes, with their smaller brains and blood vessels, and their tendency toward indolence and barbarism, had only to be kept benevolently in the state of submission, awe and reverence that God had ordained. The Negro is [then] spellbound, and cannot run away, he said.

The ethos of eugenics was incorporated into Nazi Germanys racial policies. Hitler justified the policies of sterilization of defectives, involuntary euthanasia and the holocaust based on racial hygiene, a term that gained tremendous popularity in the Nazi Germany. After the second world war, due to Hitlers adaptation of eugenics, there has been a sharp decline in the popularity of this policy, at least at a state level.

The roots of the idea that the white races are superior, more intelligent, stronger and higher on the evolutionary ladder, are varied and multifactorial.

The age of European enlightenment, followed by imperialism compounded by social Darwinism, has reinforced the concept over centuries. In Sweden, the practice of forced sterilisation was continued till 1970. In the US, involuntary sterilisation of female prisoners occurred as late as 2010.

Modern day evolutionary scientists and molecular biologists dismiss the idea of race superiority based on hereditary genetics. The superiority of a human over another, based on race, colour, creed and sex are morally and ethically wrong. A better world would be world without prejudice and racism.

The writer is a surgeon with an interest in theology and history

Read more:
Social Darwinism and the origins of scientific racism - Daily Times

Hundreds of MSU professors, GEU call to remove VP of research Stephen Hsu – The State News

The Michigan State University Graduate Employees Union and its coalition partners in the STEM community are calling for MSU to remove Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation Stephen Hsu in a Twitter thread denouncing scientific racism, sexism, eugenicist research and conflicts of interest.

As of 9:00 a.m. Monday, a general petition has about 370 signatures and a separate petition of Michigan State professors has about 300 signatures.

Hsu was hired to lead the university's research enterprise, administering faculty and student research across the university as the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies under ex-MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon in 2012.

Scientific racism and sexism

Scientific racism is the belief that pseudoscientific evidence can support or justify racism, racial inferiority or racial superiority. The GEU compared Hsu's views to white supremacist Stefan Molyneux, including clips from a podcast between Hsu and Molyneux to support these claims.

"A video from a 2017 podcast interview with Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation Stephen Hsu has offended many people," MSU President Samuel L. Stanley said in a statement. "Regardless of his intent, the impact of his remarks was significant, insensitive and divisive.We areincredibly sorry to those who felt that impact."

Hsu responded to these accusations in a June 12 blog post, saying these clips were taken out of context and that Molyneux was, "not a controversial figure in 2017, although he has since become one."

"The attacks attempt to depict me as a racist and sexist, using short video clips out of context, and also by misrepresenting the content of some of my blog posts. A cursory inspection reveals bad faith in their presentation," he wrote. "The accusations are entirely false I am neither racist or sexist. The Twitter mobs want to suppress scientific work that they find objectionable. What is really at stake: academic freedom, open discussion of important ideas, scientific inquiry. All are imperiled and all must be defended."

The GEU's thread linked to other blog posts from Hsu that support "cognitive differences" between races such as a 2008 post about intelligence based on race, and a 2016 post about brain morphology based on race.

In wake of the national unrest to anti-Black police brutality, Hsu posted a blog entry about a 2019 study by psychology professor Joseph Cesario, concluding, "contrary to activist claims and media reports, there is no widespread racial bias in police shootings."

Hsu has also expressed his support for GRE & SAT testing concluding that they measure cognitive ability and that lack of Black and Hispanic representation in higher education reflects lower ability.

Addressing the sexism in his studies, the GEU linked a series of 2017 posts discussing hiring differences based on sex at Google and former Google employee James Damore, who dropped a lawsuit last month alleging discriminatory practices against conservative white men as part of the company's efforts to increase diversity.

In one post, Hsu argued that women were not incapable, but fewer of them were qualified to hire in the general population.

Hsu said in a different post that, "Damore is pointing out that pro-diversity objectives may incentivize managers to discriminate by gender or race in hiring and promotion.

Hsu's views on genetics do not reflect the views of the broader scientific community, according to multiple meta-analyses on the topic.

Comments under Hsu's blog posts acknowledge that the research, while showing biological differences between the sexes, was ignoring the social factors at play.

People in support of Damore stated that there were biological reasons why there were less women opting for the positions, and those against Damore claimed it was unjust for them to only focus on biological differences when there was clear societal bias.

Eugenics and conflicts of interest

The accusations tie back to Hsu's outspoken advocacy for eugenics or discouraging reproduction from those with genetic defects and disabilities with the intent of improving the quality of the human species.

In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Buck v. Bell case that forced the sterilization of female inmates did not violate the Due Process clause of theFourteenth Amendment, because the court argued that imbecility, epilepsy, and feeblemindedness are hereditary, and the inmates should be prevented from passing these defects to their children, according to The Embryo Project Encyclopedia.

This American eugenics movement helped facilitate the rise of the Nazism in the 1930's, according to The Guardian.

Nazis on trial after the war used the precedent of Buck v. Bell in their defense, according to Encyclopedia Virginia.

Supporters of the letters to remove him see Hsu as a modern eugenicistas he co-founded start-up business Genomic Prediction that aims to select embryos based on intelligence in 2007.

Maybe the bottom 1% embryo will grow up to be a great person even be a scientist, but the odds are against it, Hsu said in an article by The Guardian referenced in the thread. I honestly feel if we can calculate that score and find a real negative outlier theres an ethical responsibility for us to report that.

Additionally, he posted support of breeding super-intelligent humans, and embryo selection specifically to remove those with the possibility of developing an illness, disease or disability.

A 2019 paper on DNA trait predictions, "Genomic Prediction of 16 Complex Disease Risks Including Heart Attack, Diabetes, Breast and Prostate Cancer" had to be corrected to add Hsu's sharehold and position on board of directors for Genomic Prediction, Inc., a conflict of interest which he did not previously disclose.

Similarly, they added he did not disclose a conflict of interest in a paper on height predictions from DNA.

The administration's response

The GEU's thread, which can be read in full here, was met with support from members of the MSU community.

An open letter to the university urges Hsu's removal because he does not uphold the university mission or itscommitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The faculty led letter was sent to Stanley on June 11, and an updated letter was sent Saturday. The letter details that Hsu's views ignore social science research and that it is disturbing for someone to have those views in a role with authoritative input to allocate funding.

Hsu wrote in his blog post, "Regarding my work as Vice President for Research, thenumbers speakfor themselves. MSU went from roughly $500 million in annual research expenditures to about $700 million during my tenure. We have often been ranked #1 in the Big Ten for research growth. I participated in the recruitment of numerous prominent female and minority professors, in fields like Precision Medicine, Genomics, Chemistry, and many others."

"Until this Twitter attack there has beennot even a single allegation(over 8 years) of bias or discrimination on my part in promotion and tenure or faculty recruitment," he said. "These are two activities at the heart of the modern research university, involving hundreds of individuals each year. Academics and Scientists must not submit to mob rule."

Supporters of his removal continue to express that this is not an issue of academic freedom, rather, that MSU's promotion of diversity and inclusion is inconsistent with allowing power to be held by someone who does not believe in it.

Stanley added the importance of the mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training that will be implemented this fall following these claims and other incidents.

"The core mission of higher education is the advancement of knowledge, people and society including, at times, research on controversial topics," Stanley wrote. "This incident, and the many bias incidents that have negatively impactedour community, reinforce the needforall MSU faculty, staff and studentstoparticipate in education and professional development on diversity, equity and inclusion."

Michigan State also has an ongoing search for a new Chief Diversity Officer position within the administration.

The GEU finalized the thread with this statement:

"The GEU recognizes that academic freedom entitles a scholar to express ideas without professional disadvantage. However, the VP of Research and Graduate Studies has tremendous power in determining research budgets and therefore tremendous responsibility in doing so in agreement with University values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Hsu has been clear in his belief in innate group IQ differences & that systemic racism & sexism are not issues. He has demonstrated a lack of ethics by failing to disclose conflicts of interest & using his position as VP of Research to fund research that furthers systemic racism.

"Hsus belief that the lack of representation of Black and Hispanic students at universities is due to lower group ability will affect the ways the graduate school and MSU as a whole work to increase representation at the student and faculty level. Hsu's views minimize the true causes of the lack of Black students in higher education and instead lay the fault at group genetic differences. Given these views we believe it is not possible for Hsu to uphold university values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. When held by someone in charge of directing research funds and direction of graduate study, these racist beliefs deeply affect to the MSU community. MSUs credibility as a research institution is at risk if Hsu continues to influence research funding. For these reasons, we demand that @michiganstateu #FireStephenHsu."

Hsu's prior experience in academic administration was serving as director of the University of Oregons Institute for Theoretical Science, where he had been critiqued for his views.

Prior to MSU, his research and primary work had been in applications of quantum field theory, particularly to problems in quantum chromodynamics, dark energy, black holes, entropy bounds and particle physics. He also co-founded Silicon Valley companies SafeWeb and Robot Genius Inc.

The MSU Graduate Employees Union, or GEU, began this thread of Hsu's blog posts and statements in lieu of June 10's #ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM, created by Brian Nord and Chanda Prescod-Weinstein to shed light on how systemic racism has affected Black academic and STEM professionals and for non-Black allies to commit to eliminating anti-Black racism in these fields.


Share and discuss Hundreds of MSU professors, GEU call to remove VP of research Stephen Hsu on social media.

See the rest here:
Hundreds of MSU professors, GEU call to remove VP of research Stephen Hsu - The State News