Do not Wake up The Red Dragon, Communist China

Do Not Wake up The Red Dragon, communist CHINA.

The last US Ambassador in China before 1949 John Leighton Stuart, who had final wish, to bury his ash in his birth place Hangzhou, China. The Chinese government in Nov 2008 granted his wish. I mention this here, not because Ambassador Stuart had the deeply affection of China, he is the best person and Sino-US expert ever has the enough knowledge to understand China. In President Obama’s cabinet, Defense Secretary Robert Gates informed the Congress, US has the full military capacity to counter China. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner complained China to manipulate its currency and Secretary State, Lady Clinton stressed that we needed to open full diplomatic relationship with China. I knew China is on every Obama’s table now! However, I wonder how many his Cabinet members can understand China deeply as Ambassador Stuart did in 60 yrs ago! We lost once the Nationalist controlled China in 1949. We might lose the China again in 2009 if we do not understand China now. To my research, from the first day Mao seized China in 1949, he is typical not a Communist believer! Deng xiaoping, too. And thus the current leaders Premier Wen jiabao and President Hu jintao. Just ask the most smart and pragmatic wiseman, Lee Kwan yew of Singapore! He’ll tell you real Communism has ever exited in China in the past and today. Only Mao’s tyrannisim unraveled in China since 1949. If Communism does exist in China to day. We as Americans will be very happy. Which communist country can flourish under Karl Marx-oriented economy system? We do not afraid to-day’s China is Red China, we will be sacred China turns to the Singapore modeled China, the Central Planning Capitalistic China with the Confucius-minded Chinese people. It seems to me the present China leaders finally understand the best combination for political model in China is one party ruled, central planning Capitalism, and Confucius. Confucius provides the class harmony philosophy. The Confucius teaching of class establishment of emperior-servent, father-son, family, friend, education first, intellectuals, farmer, businessman, worker, and nation harmony has the best fit with the Capitalism. And today Chinese leader seem to believe the Singapore-modeled, Central planning Capitalism will be the best way to compete with the US – Milton Friedman-plus- Regan -deregulated capitalism. After the Tsunami economy disaster prevailed in US. I do believe the Central planning capitalism will be rooted in China for the coming years. If the Singaporean-modeled, central planning Capitalism work in Singapore, it might work well in China too. Tony Blair, the former Premier of British is right in this year

DAVOS’ speech: The free enterprise system has not failed, the financial system has failed! To improve the Western’s chaotic financial system and to re-define the global economy, Chinese and Russian leaders seem to believe that Central Planning Capitalism is a must. If China is still in Communism, we would be very happy and so not wake her up. If not, we need to take a deep look the DRAGON. Thus a new policy set toward the Central planning Capitalism China, is needed. Fully engage and not antagonize to China is the first step! *Reader want to know more what is the Singaporean modeled, central capitalism, post your question response in Bigthink., I WILL ANSWER.

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Yale scientists restore brain function to 32 clinically dead pigs

Researchers hope the technology will further our understanding of the brain, but lawmakers may not be ready for the ethical challenges.

Still from John Stephenson's 1999 rendition of Animal Farm.
Surprising Science
  • Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine successfully restored some functions to pig brains that had been dead for hours.
  • They hope the technology will advance our understanding of the brain, potentially developing new treatments for debilitating diseases and disorders.
  • The research raises many ethical questions and puts to the test our current understanding of death.

The image of an undead brain coming back to live again is the stuff of science fiction. Not just any science fiction, specifically B-grade sci fi. What instantly springs to mind is the black-and-white horrors of films like Fiend Without a Face. Bad acting. Plastic monstrosities. Visible strings. And a spinal cord that, for some reason, is also a tentacle?

But like any good science fiction, it's only a matter of time before some manner of it seeps into our reality. This week's Nature published the findings of researchers who managed to restore function to pigs' brains that were clinically dead. At least, what we once thought of as dead.

What's dead may never die, it seems

The researchers did not hail from House Greyjoy — "What is dead may never die" — but came largely from the Yale School of Medicine. They connected 32 pig brains to a system called BrainEx. BrainEx is an artificial perfusion system — that is, a system that takes over the functions normally regulated by the organ. The pigs had been killed four hours earlier at a U.S. Department of Agriculture slaughterhouse; their brains completely removed from the skulls.

BrainEx pumped an experiment solution into the brain that essentially mimic blood flow. It brought oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, giving brain cells the resources to begin many normal functions. The cells began consuming and metabolizing sugars. The brains' immune systems kicked in. Neuron samples could carry an electrical signal. Some brain cells even responded to drugs.

The researchers have managed to keep some brains alive for up to 36 hours, and currently do not know if BrainEx can have sustained the brains longer. "It is conceivable we are just preventing the inevitable, and the brain won't be able to recover," said Nenad Sestan, Yale neuroscientist and the lead researcher.

As a control, other brains received either a fake solution or no solution at all. None revived brain activity and deteriorated as normal.

The researchers hope the technology can enhance our ability to study the brain and its cellular functions. One of the main avenues of such studies would be brain disorders and diseases. This could point the way to developing new of treatments for the likes of brain injuries, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and neurodegenerative conditions.

"This is an extraordinary and very promising breakthrough for neuroscience. It immediately offers a much better model for studying the human brain, which is extraordinarily important, given the vast amount of human suffering from diseases of the mind [and] brain," Nita Farahany, the bioethicists at the Duke University School of Law who wrote the study's commentary, told National Geographic.

An ethical gray matter

Before anyone gets an Island of Dr. Moreau vibe, it's worth noting that the brains did not approach neural activity anywhere near consciousness.

The BrainEx solution contained chemicals that prevented neurons from firing. To be extra cautious, the researchers also monitored the brains for any such activity and were prepared to administer an anesthetic should they have seen signs of consciousness.

Even so, the research signals a massive debate to come regarding medical ethics and our definition of death.

Most countries define death, clinically speaking, as the irreversible loss of brain or circulatory function. This definition was already at odds with some folk- and value-centric understandings, but where do we go if it becomes possible to reverse clinical death with artificial perfusion?

"This is wild," Jonathan Moreno, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times. "If ever there was an issue that merited big public deliberation on the ethics of science and medicine, this is one."

One possible consequence involves organ donations. Some European countries require emergency responders to use a process that preserves organs when they cannot resuscitate a person. They continue to pump blood throughout the body, but use a "thoracic aortic occlusion balloon" to prevent that blood from reaching the brain.

The system is already controversial because it raises concerns about what caused the patient's death. But what happens when brain death becomes readily reversible? Stuart Younger, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University, told Nature that if BrainEx were to become widely available, it could shrink the pool of eligible donors.

"There's a potential conflict here between the interests of potential donors — who might not even be donors — and people who are waiting for organs," he said.

It will be a while before such experiments go anywhere near human subjects. A more immediate ethical question relates to how such experiments harm animal subjects.

Ethical review boards evaluate research protocols and can reject any that causes undue pain, suffering, or distress. Since dead animals feel no pain, suffer no trauma, they are typically approved as subjects. But how do such boards make a judgement regarding the suffering of a "cellularly active" brain? The distress of a partially alive brain?

The dilemma is unprecedented.

Setting new boundaries

Another science fiction story that comes to mind when discussing this story is, of course, Frankenstein. As Farahany told National Geographic: "It is definitely has [sic] a good science-fiction element to it, and it is restoring cellular function where we previously thought impossible. But to have Frankenstein, you need some degree of consciousness, some 'there' there. [The researchers] did not recover any form of consciousness in this study, and it is still unclear if we ever could. But we are one step closer to that possibility."

She's right. The researchers undertook their research for the betterment of humanity, and we may one day reap some unimaginable medical benefits from it. The ethical questions, however, remain as unsettling as the stories they remind us of.

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
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