Beyond Human: Engineering Our Future Evolution

Springer
Free sample

Beyond Human is an informative and accessible guide for all those interested in the developing sciences of genetic engineering, bio printing and human cloning. Illustrating the ideas with reference to well-known science fiction films and novels, the author provides a unique insight into and understanding of how genetic manipulation, cloning, and other novel bio-technologies will one day allow us to redesign our species. It also addresses the legitimate concerns about “playing God”, while at the same time embracing the positive aspects of the scientific trajectory that will lead to our transhuman future.
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About the author

Erik Seedhouse is a suborbital astronaut whose life-long ambition is to work in space. He works as a spaceflight consultant, triathlon coach and author and is the Training Director for Astronauts for Hire. Between 2008 and 2013 he was director of Canada’s manned centrifuge operations. Erik’s previous books include Ocean Outpost (2010), Trailblazing Medicine (2011), Interplanetary Outpost (2011), and Pulling G. (2012).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Aug 1, 2014
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Pages
153
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ISBN
9783662435267
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Language
English
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Genres
Health & Fitness / General
Medical / Ethics
Medical / General
Philosophy / General
Science / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
Technology & Engineering / Biomedical
Technology & Engineering / Engineering (General)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Advances in genetics research, largely, though not entirely, spawned by the Human Genome Project, have led to a broad array of new technologies that promise to revolutionize life as we have known it. Medicine and agriculture are already starting to utilize new technologies to greatly improve disease prevention and treatment and food production. Yet, these improvements often raise ethical questions that are not easy to untangle. Some have gone as far to as to argue that certain applications, such as embryonic stem cell research, threaten the very fiber of our moral compass. While the application of scientific advances to better humankind has always raised thorny ethical issues, the ethical impact of genetic advances arguably reaches a new height because the applicability of advances is exceptionally broad, deep, and potentially irreversible. To utilize such technologies could mean saving thousands of lives, but where and how do we draw the line?

Here, Barash sheds light on the actual ethical concerns surrounding various types of genetic technologies, introducing readers to the competing issues at stake in the arguments about the scientific application of the new technologies available and those on the horizon. She begins by illustrating the history of genetic advances, their societal applications, and the ethical issues that have arisen from those applications. Using case studies and examples throughout, she walks readers through the various considerations involved in a variety of areas related to the application of genetic technologies currently available and possible in the future. Covering topics ranging from stem cell research to genetically modified food, genetic mapping to cloning, this book offers a thoughtful approach to the complex issues at play in the various fields of genetic technologies.

Recently, the first "zoopharming" product has reached market approval: it is a recombinant human protein for medical use that is produced in the milk of transgenic goats. In addition, other transgenic animals, including faster-growing salmon and „environmentally friendly" pigs with reduced levels of phosphate in their faeces are awaiting regulatory approval. These are only some examples of upcoming applications of genetic engineering in farm animals. Other potential applications include traditional breeding goals such as higher milk or meat yields, leaner meat, and disease resistance. While genetic engineering in livestock opens a huge range of possibilities, it also brings about concerns of safety and justification: does genetic engineering affect animal welfare? Is it safe and morally acceptable to apply genetic engineering to farm animals for the various purposes that are envisaged?

It is against this background that the Europäische Akademie GmbH and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften addressed the topic of transgenic farm animals in an interdisciplinary symposium in 2007. In these proceedings the following topics are covered: an analysis of the state of the art of the technology and its applications, an introduction to the specific application zoopharming (including its historical industrial development and the market for biopharmaceuticals), an assessment of ethical aspects, and considerations regarding the investigation of animal welfare implications of livestock biotechnology. The proceedings address science, industry, politics and the general public interested in the chances and risks of this upcoming field of biotechnology.

Now more than ever, doctors are being targeted by government prosecutors and whistleblowers challenging the legality of their relationships with drug and device companies. With reputations at stake and the risk of civil and criminal liability, it is incumbent upon doctors to protect themselves.

Managing Relationships with Industry: A Physician’s Compliance Manual is an indispensable resource for doctors, professional societies, academic medical centers, community hospitals, and group practices struggling to understand the ever changing law and ethical standards on interactions with pharmaceutical and device companies. It is the first comprehensive summary of the law and ethics on physician relationships with industry written for the physician. Authored by a former state Attorney General, Harvard Medical School Professor, health care lawyer and professor of ethics, Managing Relationships approaches the topic from a balanced and reasoned perspective adding to the on-going national dialogue and debate on the proper limits to medicine’s relationship with industry.

The first complete and up-to-date summary and analysis of the law and ethics on physician-industry relationshipsFocuses on major enforcement actions and whistleblower lawsuits and the lessons learned for physiciansProvides options and guidance for maintaining compliant relationships and avoiding traps for the unwaryCovers both drug and device company relationshipsSummarizes the types of industry relationships that are necessary and productive and those that are harmful and abusiveDetails the law and ethics for each type of relationship including gifts, off-label uses and marketing, CME, speaker’s bureaus, free samples, grants, consulting arrangements, etc.Includes sample contracts for permissible consulting and CME speaker engagements
Martian Outpost provides a detailed insight into the various technologies, mission architectures, medical requirements, and training needed to send humans to Mars. It focuses on mission objectives and benefits, and the risks and complexities that are compounded when linked to an overall planet exploration program involving several expeditions and setting up a permanent presence on the surface.

The first section provides the background to sending a human mission to Mars. Analogies are made with early polar exploration and the expeditions of Shackleton, Amundsen, and Mawson. The interplanetary plans of the European Space Agency, NASA, and Russia are examined, including the possibility of one or more nations joining forces to send humans to Mars. Current mission architectures, such as NASA’s Constellation, ESA’s Aurora, and Ross Tierney’s DIRECT, are described and evaluated.

The next section looks at how humans will get to the Red Planet, beginning with the preparation of the crew. The author examines the various analogues to understand the problems Mars-bound astronauts will face. Additional chapters describe the transportation hardware necessary to launch 4-6 astronauts on an interplanetary trajectory to Mars, including the cutting edge engineering and design of life support systems required to protect crews for more than a year from the lethal radiation encountered in deep space. NASA’s current plan is to use standard chemical propulsion technology, but eventually Mars crews will take advantage of advanced propulsion concepts, such as the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, ion drives and nuclear propulsion.

The interplanetary options for reaching Mars, as well as the major propulsive maneuvers required and the trajectories and energy requirements for manned and unmanned payloads, are reviewed . Another chapter addresses the daunting medical problems and available countermeasures for humans embarking on a mission to Mars: the insidious effects of radiation on the human body and the deleterious consequences of bone and muscle deconditioning. Crew selection will be considered, bearing in mind the strong possibility that they may not be able to return to Earth. Still another chapter describes the guidance, navigation, and control system architecture, as well as the lander design requirements and crew tasks and responsibilities required to touch down on the Red Planet.

Section 3 looks at the surface mission architectures. Seedhouse describes such problems as radiation, extreme temperatures, and construction challenges that will be encountered by colonists. He examines proposed concepts for transporting cargo and astronauts long distances across the Martian surface using magnetic levitation systems, permanent rail systems, and flying vehicles. In the penultimate chapter of the book, the author explains an adaptable and mobile exploration architecture that will enable long-term human exploration of Mars, perhaps making it the next space-based tourist location.

From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.
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