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Tokiodarling21
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21 Feb 2011, 8:09 pm

I am an animal lover, I eat my share of vegan food once in a while (but not always) I volunteer at animal shelters whenever I can, My mom's in the vetrinary field of work And my family has two dogs.
But I read something today that just made me want to email the folks at PETA (i actually don't like PETA but they were a last resort to this situation since the ASPCA would probably have sent these animals I'm going to talk about to another facility where it wouldn't be happy.)
Anyway, I read an article today (written in 2010 but recent enough) about how Autism Speaks has teamed up with a lab in Florida called Sage Labs Sigma to find the cause and cure for autism.
What Sage Labs does is specialize in neurobiotechnological (phew! although i'm unsure if this is a real word)science and they use what are called "Knockout rat models" for these tests.
A knockout mouse is a genetically engineered mouse in which one or more genes have been turned off through a targeted mutation.

Knockout mice are important animal models for studying the role of genes which have been sequenced but whose functions have not been determined. By causing a specific gene to be inactive in the mouse, and observing any differences from normal behaviour or condition, researchers can infer its probable function.

Mice are currently the most closely related laboratory animal species to humans for which the knockout technique can easily be applied. They are widely used in knockout experiments, especially those investigating genetic questions that relate to human physiology. Gene knockout in rats is much harder and has only been possible since 2003.[1][2]

The first knockout mouse was created by Mario R. Capecchi, Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies in 1989, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2007. Aspects of the technology for generating knockout mice, and the mice themselves have been patented in many countries by private companies

There are several variations to the procedure of producing knockout mice; the following is a typical example.

1.The gene to be knocked out is isolated from a mouse gene library. Then a new DNA sequence is engineered which is very similar to the original gene and its immediate neighbour sequence, except that it is changed sufficiently to make it inoperable. Usually, the new sequence is also given a marker gene, a gene that normal mice don't have and that confers resistance to a certain toxic agent or that produces an observable change (e.g. colour or fluorescence). The chances of a successful recombination event are relatively low, so the majority of altered cells will have the gene changed for only one of the two relevant chromosomes - they are said to be heterozygous.
2.From a mouse blastocyst (a very young embryo consisting of a ball of undifferentiated cells with surrounding extra-embryonic cells), stem cells are isolated; these can be grown in vitro. For this example, we will take a stem cell from a white mouse.
3.The stem cells from step 2 are combined with the new sequence from step 1. This is done via electroporation (using electricity to transfer the DNA across the cell membrane). Some of the electroporated stem cells will incorporate the new sequence into their chromosomes in place of the old gene; this is called homologous recombination. The reason for this process is that the new and the old sequences are very similar. Using the marker gene from step 1, those stem cells that actually did incorporate the new sequence can be quickly isolated from those that did not.
4.The stem cells from step 3 are inserted into a mouse blastocyst. For this example, we use blastocysts from a grey mouse. These blastocysts are then implanted into the uterus of female mice, to complete the pregnancy. The blastocysts contain two types of stem cells: the original ones (grey mouse), and the newly engineered ones (white mouse). The newborn mice will therefore be chimeras: parts of their bodies result from the original stem cells, other parts result from the engineered stem cells. Their furs will show patches of white and grey.
5.Newborn mice are only useful if the newly engineered sequence was incorporated into the germ cells (egg or sperm cells). These new mice are crossed with others of the white type for offspring that are all white. These mice still contain one functional copy of the gene and must be further inbred to produce mice that carry no functional copy of the original gene (i.e. are homozygous for that allele).

The National Institutes of Health discusses some important limitations of this technique.[5]

While knockout mouse technology represents a valuable research tool, some important limitations exist. About 15 percent of gene knockouts are developmentally lethal, which means that the genetically altered embryos cannot grow into adult mice. This problem is often overcome through the use of conditional mutations. The lack of adult mice limits studies to embryonic development and often makes it more difficult to determine a gene's function in relation to human health. In some instances, the gene may serve a different function in adults than in developing embryos.

Knocking out a gene also may fail to produce an observable change in a mouse or may even produce different characteristics from those observed in humans in which the same gene is inactivated. For example, mutations in the p53 gene are associated with more than half of human cancers and often lead to tumours in a particular set of tissues. However, when the p53 gene is knocked out in mice, the animals develop tumours in a different array of tissues.

There is variability in the whole procedure depending largely on the strain from which the stem cells have been derived. Generally cells derived from strain 129 are used. This specific strain is not suitable for many experiments (e.g., behavioural), so it is very common to backcross the offspring to other strains. Some genomic loci have been proven very difficult to knock out. Reasons might be the presence of repetitive sequences, extensive DNA methylation, or heterochromatin. The confounding presence of neighbouring 129 genes on the knockout segment of genetic material has been dubbed the "flanking-gene effect".[6] Methods and guidelines to deal with this problem have been proposed.[7][8]

Another limitation is that conventional (i.e. non-conditional) knockout mice develop in the absence of the gene being investigated. At times, loss of activity during development may mask the role of the gene in the adult state, especially if the gene is involved in numerous processes spanning development. Conditional/inducible mutation approaches are then required that first allow the mouse to develop and mature normally prior to ablation of the gene of interest.

Another reason is because these mice are used for breeding purposes too and if too many embryos are inside a mouse's tiny body at once it can die.

here's an article that talks about this:
Knockout mouse dies in mid gestation

I really am not amused by this news nor should mice have to go through all this stuff just so Autism Speaks can get what they've been searching almost six years for and failed so hard to find.
I hope PETA answers my email then steps in to do some sort of investigation.



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21 Feb 2011, 8:31 pm

I am sad to say that, while this news revolts me, it does not surprise me. Autism Speaks has displayed many other similarities to the Third Reich, and it is in keeping with their intolerance, bigotry, lack of compassion, and focus on a dubious and perhaps unattainable goal that they would turn to abusive experiments using animals in an effort to advance their agenda. I am only grateful that there are restrictions on human experimentation, otherwise, who can say what they might do with human beings they seem happy to stigmatise as "objects"?


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21 Feb 2011, 9:13 pm

theWanderer wrote:
I am sad to say that, while this news revolts me, it does not surprise me. Autism Speaks has displayed many other similarities to the Third Reich, and it is in keeping with their intolerance, bigotry, lack of compassion, and focus on a dubious and perhaps unattainable goal that they would turn to abusive experiments using animals in an effort to advance their agenda. I am only grateful that there are restrictions on human experimentation, otherwise, who can say what they might do with human beings they seem happy to stigmatise as "objects"?


Congratulations, you just Godwinned the thread!


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21 Feb 2011, 9:26 pm

Delirium wrote:
Congratulations, you just Godwinned the thread!


There are legitimate occasions to point out the parallels, and with their extremely negative and dehumanising propaganda - worthy of Goebbels - and the extreme likelihood that, if they are not actively involved in a eugenic effort to eliminate all autism spectrum individuals, they are the pawns of those who are, Autism Speaks is a legitimate target. These experiments only broaden the parallels.

As someone who would have been on the Nazis' list to be eliminated quite apart from how they might have reacted to Aspergers if they had paid attention to its existence, I actually take such comparisons more seriously than most. But the eugenics movement "inspired" the Nazis, and they are also their philosophical inheritors. Read War Against the Weak, by Edwin Black, for a clearer picture of how forces, many of which are still active today, originally encouraged and supported the Nazis, only to go underground once the public learned of the horrors of the camps.


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21 Feb 2011, 9:30 pm

theWanderer wrote:
Delirium wrote:
Congratulations, you just Godwinned the thread!


There are legitimate occasions to point out the parallels, and with their extremely negative and dehumanising propaganda - worthy of Goebbels - and the extreme likelihood that, if they are not actively involved in a eugenic effort to eliminate all autism spectrum individuals, they are the pawns of those who are, Autism Speaks is a legitimate target. These experiments only broaden the parallels.

As someone who would have been on the Nazis' list to be eliminated quite apart from how they might have reacted to Aspergers if they had paid attention to its existence, I actually take such comparisons more seriously than most. But the eugenics movement "inspired" the Nazis, and they are also their philosophical inheritors. Read War Against the Weak, by Edwin Black, for a clearer picture of how forces, many of which are still active today, originally encouraged and supported the Nazis, only to go underground once the public learned of the horrors of the camps.


As someone who also would have been killed by the Nazis, I also take those comparisons seriously. I don't like Autism Speaks either, but comparing a terrible organization to a regime that killed 12+ million people is really beyond the pale. Autism Speaks hasn't killed anybody.


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21 Feb 2011, 9:40 pm

Delirium wrote:
As someone who also would have been killed by the Nazis, I also take those comparisons seriously. Autism Speaks may be a sh***y organization, but they are not committing genocide.


And what precisely do you think they'll do if they manage to use these experiments to identify the gene(s) responsible for causing autism spectrum disorders?

The medical profession was much more heavily involved in eugenics than the general population - and it is no coincidence that various medical associations formally recommend advising abortions in cases of mothers who would otherwise give birth to individuals the eugenicists would categorise as "unfit".

Whether this is the plan of those running Autism Speaks, or whether they are just unwitting pawns for others, they're aiming to get rid of us. And their dehumanising propaganda is a good first step. Note that the Nazis didn't begin with genocide, either. They began with propaganda which, much like Austim Speaks' videos, was designed to convince the general public that the objects of that propaganda were less than human. One phrase from the mouth of a parent in an Austim Speaks video was that her child was "more like an object than a person" or words very much to that effect.

So do you seriously suggest that we should wait until the genocide begins to point out the troubling resemblances?


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21 Feb 2011, 9:48 pm

theWanderer wrote:
Delirium wrote:
As someone who also would have been killed by the Nazis, I also take those comparisons seriously. Autism Speaks may be a sh***y organization, but they are not committing genocide.


And what precisely do you think they'll do if they manage to use these experiments to identify the gene(s) responsible for causing autism spectrum disorders?

The medical profession was much more heavily involved in eugenics than the general population - and it is no coincidence that various medical associations formally recommend advising abortions in cases of mothers who would otherwise give birth to individuals the eugenicists would categorise as "unfit".

Whether this is the plan of those running Autism Speaks, or whether they are just unwitting pawns for others, they're aiming to get rid of us. And their dehumanising propaganda is a good first step. Note that the Nazis didn't begin with genocide, either. They began with propaganda which, much like Austim Speaks' videos, was designed to convince the general public that the objects of that propaganda were less than human. One phrase from the mouth of a parent in an Austim Speaks video was that her child was "more like an object than a person" or words very much to that effect.

So do you seriously suggest that we should wait until the genocide begins to point out the troubling resemblances?


Let's see:
Abortion - Voluntary medical procedure
Prenatal testing - Voluntary medical procedure
Nazis - Killed 12+ million people against their will

Nope, not seeing the resemblance.


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21 Feb 2011, 10:03 pm

Delirium wrote:
Autism Speaks hasn't killed anybody.


Depends on how you look at it. Their previous support for anti-vaccine rhetoric may have contributed to a few deaths from measles.


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21 Feb 2011, 10:07 pm

Delirium wrote:
Let's see:
Abortion - Voluntary medical procedure
Prenatal testing - Voluntary medical procedure
Nazis - Killed 12+ million people against their will

Nope, not seeing the resemblance.


1: Margaret Sanger and her eugenicist friends actively promoted the propaganda which causes us to think of abortion as a voluntary medical procedure. If not for the efforts of the eugenicists to change society's attitudes on that issue, it would not be seen that way at all. And their propaganda deliberately shifted the definition of personhood to exclude "fetuses" - again, a tactic the Nazis used, labeling their victims in such a way as to define them as something other than persons so they could then do away with them without too many objections.

2: Medical doctors actively advise their patients to have this "voluntary" medical procedure, lending the weight of their "professional" "expertise" to persuade them to have this "voluntary" procedure. Again, these recommendations can be traced directly back to the early and extensive involvement of the medical profession in the eugenics movement. And many women who are uncertain are undoubtedly swayed by such advice.

3: There are accounts of women who are carrying children with Downs who have been pressured - by their doctors and by others - to have an abortion. One woman who successfully resisted that pressure wrote* of how she was pressured by her doctors and by her husband's faculty advisor, among others, urging her to make this "voluntary" decision. Such pressure is not formally co-ordinated, of course - but it is a result of the dehumanising propaganda spread by the eugenicists, which has been horribly effective in shifting society's attitudes towards those with Downs and other conditions. My own niece was pressured to have an abortion - and was almost involuntarily given one at Boston City Hospital before her mother managed to intervene - because tests showed she was carrying a Downs baby. In fact, her son is now almost eighteen, and perfectly normal, in fact of above average intelligence. He is black - a group which disproportionately shows false positives in tests for Downs - another result the proponents of eugenics including Margaret Sanger would not have minded at all.

4: "Against their will" - so you are suggesting that the babies who would have been born otherwise consented to their own abortion? Their lives are ended against their will - there are accounts of aborted "fetuses" who have survived outside the womb and who have struggled to live to such an extent that they had to be killed - using methods which would unquestionably be murder under any other circumstances. The Nazis killed people against their will using precisely the rationale advanced for abortions - other, "responsible" people chose to end the lives of the victims because the "harm" of allowing them to live would be too great.

* See Expecting Adam


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Last edited by theWanderer on 21 Feb 2011, 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ci
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21 Feb 2011, 10:14 pm

MidlifeAspie wrote:
Delirium wrote:
Autism Speaks hasn't killed anybody.


Depends on how you look at it. Their previous support for anti-vaccine rhetoric may have contributed to a few deaths from measles.


If these such causal principles can be used then for every anti-cure advocate it might be induced in ethical terms when applicable that not taking autism seriously resulting in a publics lack of concern for autism and the relating ethical obligations to fund social service programs then some advocates may now or may eventually be responsible for isolation, deprivation and general human rights violations. I am sure many folks will act like they don't know what I'm talking about but if you need further explanation please entice me. The warped world of autism politics will be unraveled as time passes.


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21 Feb 2011, 10:19 pm

ci wrote:
If these such causal principles can be used then for every anti-cure advocate it might be induced in ethical terms when applicable that not taking autism seriously resulting in a publics lack of concern for autism and the relating ethical obligations to fund social service programs then some advocates may now or may eventually be responsible for isolation, deprivation and general human rights violations. I am sure many folks will act like they don't know what I'm talking about but if you need further explanation please entice me. The warped world of autism politics will be unraveled as time passes.


On the other hand, I'm sure the public will be more than willing to fund programs to help those they have been taught to consider as "more an object than a person".


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ci
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21 Feb 2011, 10:20 pm

theWanderer wrote:
ci wrote:
If these such causal principles can be used then for every anti-cure advocate it might be induced in ethical terms when applicable that not taking autism seriously resulting in a publics lack of concern for autism and the relating ethical obligations to fund social service programs then some advocates may now or may eventually be responsible for isolation, deprivation and general human rights violations. I am sure many folks will act like they don't know what I'm talking about but if you need further explanation please entice me. The warped world of autism politics will be unraveled as time passes.


On the other hand, I'm sure the public will be more than willing to fund programs to help those they have been taught to consider as "more an object than a person".


Honestly a person is an object.


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21 Feb 2011, 10:21 pm

Disgusting. Mouse torturing (&5$S*%$s


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21 Feb 2011, 10:25 pm

theWanderer wrote:
1: Margaret Sanger and her eugenicist friends actively promoted the propaganda which causes us to think of abortion as a voluntary medical procedure. If not for the efforts of the eugenicists to change society's attitudes on that issue, it would not be seen that way at all. And their propaganda deliberately shifted the definition of personhood to exclude "fetuses" - again, a tactic the Nazis used, labeling their victims in such a way as to define them as something other than persons so they could then do away with them without too many objections.


http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/secu ... ation.html

Quote:
2: Medical doctors actively advise their patients to have this "voluntary" medical procedure, lending the weight of their "professional" "expertise" to persuade them to have this "voluntary" procedure. Again, these recommendations can be traced directly back to the early and extensive involvement of the medical profession in the eugenics movement. And many women who are uncertain are undoubtedly swayed by such advice.

3: There are accounts of women who are carrying children with Downs who have been pressured - by their doctors and by others - to have an abortion. One woman who successfully resisted that pressure wrote* of how she was pressured by her doctors and by her husband's faculty advisor, among others, urging her to make this "voluntary" decision. Such pressure is not formally co-ordinated, of course - but it is a result of the dehumanising propaganda spread by the eugenicists, which has been horribly effective in shifting society's attitudes towards those with Downs and other conditions. My own niece was pressured to have an abortion - and was almost involuntarily given one at Boston City Hospital before her mother managed to intervene - because tests showed she was carrying a Downs baby. In fact, her son is now almost eighteen, and perfectly normal, in fact of above average intelligence. He is black - a group which disproportionately shows false positives in tests for Downs - another result the proponents of eugenics including Margaret Sanger would not have minded at all.


Pressuring someone is not the same as outright forcing them to have an abortion.

Quote:
4: "Against their will" - so you are suggesting that the babies who would have been born otherwise consented to their own abortion? Their lives are ended against their will - there are accounts of aborted "fetuses" who have survived outside the womb and who have struggled to live to such an extent that they had to be killed - using methods which would unquestionably be murder under any other circumstances. The Nazis killed people against their will using precisely the rationale advanced for abortions - other, "responsible" people chose to end the lives of the victims because the "harm" of allowing them to live would be too great.


Fetuses are not conscious, viable human beings. I'm sure you have no trouble with killing insects or eating meat.


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21 Feb 2011, 10:26 pm

ci wrote:
Honestly a person is an object.


You may consider this so - but the general public is not at all likely to want to spend money on programs for those they consider "objects". They want lower taxes, they want to keep more of their own money, and they object even to paying "too much" to help individuals they consider fellow humans. Defining someone as an object - or in any way lesser - in their minds only increases their resistance to pay anything to help those people.


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ci
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21 Feb 2011, 10:27 pm

Well.. An object that is aware that is different from objects that are not aware. What value does an aware object put on an object that is not aware. When an object that is no longer aware or is alive ceases to be of life then it is called dead. An animal to is an object just as a shoe is but the animal is aware. There are different kinds of objects (entities, matter manifestations and or differentials) that are defined by objects that are aware. This concept of object cannot be separated simply because of the superiority assumption of awareness because an object just seems to be an object with different configurations / manifestations and relating functions.

This is philosophy.


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