We Can Still Learn From Aristotle
Question: What can\r\nAristotle teach us about ethics?\r\n\r\n
Nancy Sherman:\r\nAristotle is one of my heroes, as you say, so who’s a lifetime companion\r\n for\r\nyou? Sure, it’s my husband and my son\r\nand daughter, but it’s also Aristotle, he’s with me all the time. And we have kind of imbibed his\r\nlessons, as you say, but we’ve also—he sort of teaches us that, well one\r\nthing he teaches us is in contrast to the Stoics. I’ve\r\n also written—the last book was called "The Stoic\r\nWarriors," about the Stoic ethos of the military. And\r\n they say no place for anger, no place for grief, no\r\nplace for the kinds of feelings that make you vulnerable; detached, \r\ndetached,\r\ndetach so that you can become strong and self-sufficient. \r\n And so you know what’s in your power\r\nand if those things are not in your power, let them go, leave them \r\nalone.\r\n\r\n
And that’s great news for a soldier because there’s\r\n so much\r\nthat is not in your power. When\r\nyou’re coming home, when are you going to redeploy, will your wife still\r\n love\r\nyou? Will your boyfriend be there\r\nwhen you come home? All of those\r\nare so risky. So being in charge\r\nis an amazing thing. Suck it up,\r\nsuck it up, suck it up was the mantra of the Naval Academy when I was \r\nthere,\r\nand always is. But Aristotle is\r\nthe counter-voice and he’ll say, “It’s important to grieve because you \r\nare, by\r\nnature, a social creature, and you’re attached to other people and you \r\nare... you know, virtue is in your capacity... in the matter of your \r\neffort and in the\r\nmatter of your resolve, but a lot of whether you’re going to do well in \r\nthis\r\nworld has to do with luck and has to do with people that are outside \r\nyou. So, Aristotle reminds us of that. He reminds us also that anger is a good\r\nthing because... the right kind of anger. \r\nBecause if you never felt righteous indignation, you would never \r\nrecord\r\nthe injuries and indignities that people suffer. You\r\n would be indifferent to them. So, you should \r\nfeel some anger, the right anger, the right\r\ntime, toward the right people.\r\n\r\n
Similarly, don’t feel anger so much that it makes \r\nyou\r\nservile that you are a slave to your own anger, but in a right way. So he’s very sensitive to the role of\r\nemotions in the good life. And\r\ncertainly I think and have been arguing in the past 10, 15 years through\r\n my work that\r\nthe role of emotions in a soldier’s life can’t be emphasized enough. They need to grieve; they need to\r\nrecognize that they may feel betrayal, and that they have to reconnect \r\nwith\r\ntheir families when they come home. \r\nOne of my soldiers said, “No one ever told me how hard the war \r\nafter the\r\nwar would be.” Meaning, the inner\r\nbattles he has to face.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
So, accepting and owning and working through the \r\npositive\r\nand negative emotions of war I think it an Aristotelian kind of lesson. \r\nAnd I’m\r\nvery sympathetic to the Stoics, and the Stoic warriors. I\r\n felt myself talking to them the whole\r\ntime and I’d interviewed Admiral Stockdale, who was a Senior POW along \r\nwith\r\nMcCain, John McCain, in the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam, North Vietnam. And he had memorized Epictetus, the\r\nStoic philosopher, in order to get through—he resonated with it and it\r\nbecame his consolation in 7 ½ years of prison, 2 ½ in solitary. And I think that’s an important voice,\r\nthe idea that you will never be a "slave to your passions," let’s say, \r\nEpictetus, or "Only those things\r\nwithin your willpower can you really claim as your own." \r\n But it does have a downside of thinking\r\nthat you can really be unaffected, that you can be invulnerable. And I think that’s a real, real\r\nhazard. It’s a moral hazard. A\r\n real moral risk. So, Aristotle would correct us \r\non that one.
What the philosopher can still teach us about grief versus stoicism and "the role of emotions in the good life."
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"Nothing but naked people: fat ones, thin ones, old, young…"
"The Yellow Sands", 1888, John Reinhard Weguelin; source: Wikimedia Commons<h3>Naked revolution</h3><p>Yet long before anyone knew about beach fashion, naturism was trendy. Bathing naked in the sea was going on in England as early as 1840. However, during the reign of Queen Victoria, this pleasure was outlawed. But it popped up again among the conservative Germans. In 1898, the first Naturist Club was founded in Essen and in 1900 the Wandering Birds group (<em>Wandervögel</em>) was scouring the country for uninhabited places and naked sunbathing. In the same year, Heinrich Pudor wrote <em>The C</em><em>ult of </em><em>the </em><em>Nud</em><em>e</em>, winning the hearts of contemporary supporters of naturism.</p><p>In the 1920s, on the back of this, members of the Movement for Natural Healing (<em>Naturheilbewegung</em>) organized naked sunbathing for the improvement of health. Persuaded by Pudor's theory of the healing properties of the sun and wind, which could be absorbed through the skin, they launched the naked revolution.</p><p>Pudor's book became the naturists' manifesto and soon after, not far from Hamburg, the Free Body Culture (<em>Freikörperkultur</em>, or FKK) movement was founded. This spread through other German centres and brought together thousands of people. The FKK still operates under the same name today.</p><p>The cult of the naked body even wrote itself into the ideology of fascist Germany, which advocated a pure, Aryan race. But in 1933, Hermann Göring issued an order that defined nudity as "the greatest threat to the German soul" and, with that, criminalized naturist organizations. But this wasn't the end of the movement. The naturists went underground, continuing their activities under the guise of improving physical fitness.</p><p>In 1936, the idea was even floated of having a naturist display to open the Berlin Olympic Games. It was quickly dropped. Despite this, in 1939 the naturists managed to organize their own Games in the Swiss village of Thielle.</p>
A strange weakness in the Earth's protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
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Is the Magnetic Field Reversing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e3e0b16dac3b05dab808a4ddf04d198b"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/51usJ74pPP8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Techshot's 3D BioFabrication Facility successfully printed human heart tissue aboard the International Space Station.
All that's fit to bioprint<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MTc4OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjUyMTkxN30.c02tUlYJLxdekTGR5ExOagL2Sh-5rmWN6pYkqger920/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C210%2C0%2C2&height=700" id="c20c0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="681571f2317ce5f65b105b6fb5aabd51" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Dr. Eugene Boland" />
Dr. Eugene Boland, Techshot's chief scientist, presents the 3D BioFabrication Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A heart from your new BFF<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1fa24e6ada521bcdac46de275c37f2da"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/p_hauPqouH8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>In partnership with <a href="https://www.nscrypt.com/about-us/" target="_blank">nScrypt</a>, Techshot developed the BFF to manufacture human tissue in space. In July 2019, they launched the bioprinter aboard the SpaceX CRS-18 cargo mission to be delivered to the International Space Station. There, it was loaded up with nerve, muscle, and vascular bioinks. As the BFF pinned the cells together in a culturing cassette, generating layers several times thinner than a human hair, the microgravity environment ensured the low-viscosity structure kept together. That's courtesy of the same surface tension property that allows for those <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_qPWZbxFl8" target="_blank">moving water spheres astronauts love to play with</a>.</p><p>"So, now you can have a vascular cell where you want a blood vessel to be, the nerve cell where you want the nerve to pass through, and muscle cells where you need a muscle bundle to be," Boland said. "All of those will stay where you put them in three-dimensions and then grow and mature where you want them."</p><p>A non-cellular ink was added to the mix to provide a bit of framework and prevent cells from sliding around during the printing process. But because Earth's gravity had less pull, this framework didn't need to be as ridged as terrestrial scaffolding. This non-cellular ink was water-soluble, meaning it could be washed away after the printing was complete. The end result, a more natural fabrication of human tissue.</p><p>Once 25 percent of the cells needed for the mature tissue were in place, the cell-culturing cassette was moved to another payload, the Advanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP). There, the cells lived and grew as they would naturally. Fully differentiated cells signaled to the adult stems cells that they should be heart cells. The stem cells grew and multiplied, supported by the nutrients provided in the ink. A few weeks later and the cassette was home to human heart tissue.</p><p>This January, <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/success-3d-bioprinter-in-space-prints-with-human-heart-cells-300982759.html" target="_blank">Techshot announced</a> the BFF had cultured successful test prints aboard the ISS. These heart prints measured 30 mm long by 20 mm wide by 12.6mm high. In a follow-up experiment, the BFF also manufactured <a href="https://techshot.com/techshot-successfully-completes-knee-cartilage-test-prints-in-space/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">test prints of a partial human knee meniscus</a>, the soft cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone.</p>
The future of medicine is in space?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MTc5MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MjQwODUxOH0.VAg1FIZkGz_IOCaGUAHxylX1h44qA2-tk-9odXPoLT0/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C118%2C0%2C94&height=700" id="2176b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="932d3caca0897797883d941a6255885e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir prepares Techshot's cell-culturing cassettes for their return trip to Earth.
Credit: NASA Johnson/Flickr<p>For its next run, Techshot wants to improve the cell-culturing cassette, refining conditions and more effectively flushing out trapped air. Its researchers are also looking into making cells in orbit. Then there is the process of scaling up from test prints to functioning tissue pieces (say, heart patches) to fully operational organs. Then there are the challenges of space flight and <a href="https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/3d-printing-body-parts" target="_self">the long road of regulation</a>.</p><p>"We're dedicated to the long haul here," Boiling said during our interview. "We have agreements with NASA that permit us to iterate and fly-and-try to continue and improve. We brought the BFF and ADSEP back from the space station late summer to make those improvements based on what we have learned so we can send it back up."</p><p>Yet, the windfall goes well beyond shoring up our stock of donor organs. Bioprinting has the potential to dramatically advance the field of personalized medicine. For example, one danger of transplants is rejection by the host body. This happens when a recipient's immune system views the life-saving tissue as a foreign invader and attacks it. <a href="https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2010/09/researchers-find-faster-less-intrusive-way-to-identify-transplant-recipients-organ-rejection.html#:~:text=If%20organ%20function%20drops%2C%20doctors,the%20first%20year%20after%20transplant." target="_blank">About 40 percent of heart recipients</a> experience acute rejection in the first year, requiring doctors to prescribe immunosuppressant drugs.</p><p>Crafting an organ from a patient's personal stem-cell stock has the potential to reduce this risk. Replacement parts, such as heart patches, could also be patient-specific. Test prints could be constructed to analyze how a patient's system responds to specific drugs and treatments, taking <em>in vitro</em> experiments out of the Petri dish and into a microenvironment more representative of the natural human body.</p><p>"Instead of the trial-and-error medicine of the 20th century, you'll have the personalized medicine that has always been just around the corner. [This technology] may be an answer to that," Boland said.</p><p>And we could take bioprinting farther into space. Boiling foresees a future where the technology could <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/artemisprogram" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">travel with us to the Moon</a> or beyond. There it could serve personalized pharmaceutical needs for stationed astronauts, or if paired with a Cell Factory, it could print meats made from bovine or pig cells. Ethical, yet potentially indistinguishable from its farm-raised counterpart.</p><p>We've come a long way since the 1950s. Many people are alive today thanks to what that first kidney transplant showed medical science. True, Techshot's test prints are small compared to an entire human organ, with its complex and interconnected network of epithelial, connective, muscle, and nervous tissue. But if printing an organ is equivalent to urban planning a cellular city, then Techshot's accomplishment is certainly the first of many skyscrapers toward that goal. That goal could be the proof on concept that saves many more.</p>