Thursday, June 22, 2006

[september_eleven_vreeland] Digest Number 1394

Messages In This Digest (3 Messages)



Health-care chips could get under your skin

Posted by: "norgesen"   norgesen

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:07 pm (PST)

Health-care chips could get under your skin

It seems like something out of an X Files script - a person's health-care information encoded into a tiny chip and implanted beneath the skin - but it's no script, says one health ethicist.

"No, it's not conspiracy theorist. This is a proposal that hospitals have put forward. There's a company that supplies implantable chips that would be used for a patient if they were unconscious, which would link to their medical record in a way that would allow them to be treated without anyone being there to tell the doctors what was wrong," said Dr. Ian Kerr. "It's like a MedicAlert bracelet on steroids."

Kerr, a University of Alberta alumnus who is now the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, spoke to delegates at the Access and Privacy Conference 2006: Sharing New Perspectives. The conference, which was sponsored by the U of A Faculty of Extension and ran June 7-9, is an annual international event bringing together Canada's foremost information rights experts. The Information Commissioner of Canada, Hon. John M. Reid, and privacy commissioner of Alberta, Frank Work, spoke at the conference, as well as Mexican commissioner Juan-Pablo Guerrero from the Instituto Federal Acceso a la Informaci�n P�blica, and senior lecturer Rick Snell from the University of Tasmania.

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved VeriChip as a medical device in October of 2004, 232 doctors in 80 hospitals have elected to use the implantable VeriMed Patient Identification system as a means of linking patients to electronic health care records, said Kerr. Although Canada's Therapeutic Products Directorate has not yet approved the implantable Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for use in Canada, the VeriChip corporation has recently opened offices in Vancouver and Ottawa.

"Without question, there will always be legitimate and convenient uses for this kind of technology," said Kerr. "But what we have to worry about are the same kind of problems we're currently having on the Internet, with credit card and identity theft. A chip could be sending information about my heart rate to my physician, but it could be intercepted by the police."

The current technology isn't exactly secure, either, said Kerr.

"What's useful to know about the VeriChip is that it's not encrypted, it's not secure. It can be cloned," he said. "And yet, there are people who are voluntarily signing up for these things and they don't really have a sense of what kind of information they're allowing to leak out. Leave the futuristic stuff aside, when you start talking about all this information on the database that's accessible through a cloned VeriChip, which is very easy to do, it becomes a really important question whether to regulate these in Canada."

A cloned chip could give criminals access to your health insurance or your medical files, said Kerr. A changed medical record could mean someone no longer qualifies for health insurance or put someone's health at risk. "For example if someone got into my health- care record they could take out the fact that I am deathly allergic to peanuts."

Kerr's main concern with the VeriChip, however, is that no one seems quite sure who should be in charge of regulating it. While some hospitals in the U.S. have implanted the chips, some people in Canada seem to be looking at the device like an extreme form of body piercing.

"My concern, first of all, is whether or not the chip is even playing the role of a medical device," he said, comparing it again to a MedicAlert bracelet. "That bracelet might save somebody's life, but it's not a medical device. It's something which is an identifier that can be applied in a way that has a good medical outcome, but it's not like a scalpel."

Without knowing who regulates these high-tech medical records, there's no way to determine who has the key to the filing cabinet, said Kerr.

"So, the preliminary questions are about who really should be regulating this anyway? We're at a very interesting stage because what we're starting to see is a merger between the health field and the information technology field," he said. "So, is this something that a doctor does or has access to or something that the IT person has access to?"

Kerr said he doesn't necessarily have any answers, but he'd like to see governments searching for some before giving new technology the go-ahead.

"It's not that I have any particular prescriptions, but what I want to do here is say let's not rush into this without recognizing the broad range of issues."

Source: By Ileiren Byles, University of Alberta

I�ve found God, says man who cracked the genome

Posted by: "norgesen"   norgesen

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:13 pm (PST)

Genome Scientist Finds God

from the June 20, 2006 eNews issue


It has been just over fifty years since the discovery of DNA - a discovery which has radically transformed modern science and changed how many look at the origin of life. The Human Genome Project has mapped our entire genetic code, which consists of a sequence of over 3 billion chemical nucleotide bases. DNA research has lead to the discovery of genetic cures for diseases. It has also resulted in faster and more accurate diagnosis of diseases, and assisted doctors in developing customized treatment plans for patients.

Although scientists have learned a great deal about the human genome, the overwhelming majority of DNA remains a complete mystery. For all the new advances made in genetics, we are constantly discovering how complex the DNA really is and how much more we have to learn. According to Dr. Jerry Bergman, a professor of science at Northwest College, �At the moment of conception, a fertilized human egg is about the size of a pinhead. Yet it contains information equivalent to about six billion chemical letters. This is enough information to fill 1000 books, 500 pages thick with print so small you would need a microscope to read it! If all the chemical letters in the human body were printed in books, it is estimated they would fill the Grand Canyon fifty times!�

Scientists still do not know the exact number of genes, their exact locations, or their functions. Nor do they know much about gene regulation, DNA sequence regulation, Chromosomal structure and organization, or non-coding DNA. The list of things we have yet to learn about DNA goes on and on. What we do know about DNA is that it is a digital, error-correcting, and self-replicating code. Furthermore, within its complicated and elegant structure is held the blueprints of every living thing on the planet.

Francis S. Collins is has long been on the cutting edge of DNA research. He is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and oversaw the Human Genome Project - which some have called the most significant scientific undertaking of our time. What most people don't know about Francis Collins is that he used to be an atheist, but that his experiences have lead him to believe in the existence of God.

When Collins was practicing medicine he saw the faith displayed by some of his patients. Their strength in dire circumstances caused him to begin to ask questions. It was then, that a Methodist minister gave him a copy of the C.S. Lewis book titled Mere Christianity. The book opened his eyes to new possibilities, however the turning point in his life came while hiking in the mountains. It was the beauty of God's creation that finally broke his resistance. Today, Collins sees his research as a "glimpse at the workings of God". Although his beliefs are not without controversy, his story testifies to the fact that science and faith can co-exist.

According to Collins, "One of the great tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war. I don�t see that as necessary at all and I think it is deeply disappointing that the shrill voices that occupy the extremes of this spectrum have dominated the stage for the past 20 years." Collins plans to share his experiences in a book, due out this summer, titled The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

Random chance cannot account for the complex design of DNA. It is statistically and mathematically impossible. In the last 30 years, a number of prominent scientists have attempted to calculate the odds that a free-living, single-celled organism, such as a bacterium, might result by the chance combining of preexistent building blocks. Harold Morowitz calculated the odds as one chance in 10100,000,000,000 (ten to the one hundred billionth power). Sir Fred Hoyle calculated the odds that just the proteins of an amoebae arising by chance as one chance in 1040,000 (ten to the forty thousandth power). The odds calculated by Morowitz and Hoyle are staggering. Think of it this way, the chances of winning the state lottery every week of your life from the age of 18 to 99 are better than the odds of a single-celled organism being formed by random chance. The probability of spontaneous generation is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard could assemble a 747 from the contents therein. It is impossible. The evidence all points to the unavoidable conclusion that we not the product of chance or evolution, but the result of intelligent design.

Related Links:

� I've found God, Says Man Who Cracked the Genome - The Sunday Times
� Francis Collins - Wikipedia
� Evolution and Creation Studies - Koinonia House


I�ve found God, says man who cracked the genome
Steven Swinford

The Sunday Times June 11, 2006

THE scientist who led the team that cracked the human genome is to publish a book explaining why he now believes in the existence of God and is convinced that miracles are real.
Francis Collins, the director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, claims there is a rational basis for a creator and that scientific discoveries bring man �closer to God�.

His book, The Language of God, to be published in September, will reopen the age-old debate about the relationship between science and faith. �One of the great tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war,� said Collins, 56.

�I don�t see that as necessary at all and I think it is deeply disappointing that the shrill voices that occupy the extremes of this spectrum have dominated the stage for the past 20 years.�

For Collins, unravelling the human genome did not create a conflict in his mind. Instead, it allowed him to �glimpse at the workings of God�.

�When you make a breakthrough it is a moment of scientific exhilaration because you have been on this search and seem to have found it,� he said. �But it is also a moment where I at least feel closeness to the creator in the sense of having now perceived something that no human knew before but God knew all along.

�When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can�t survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can�t help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God�s mind.�

Collins joins a line of scientists whose research deepened their belief in God. Isaac Newton, whose discovery of the laws of gravity reshaped our understanding of the universe, said: �This most beautiful system could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.�

Although Einstein revolutionised our thinking about time, gravity and the conversion of matter to energy, he believed the universe had a creator. �I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details,� he said. However Galileo was famously questioned by the inquisition and put on trial in 1633 for the �heresy� of claiming that the earth moved around the sun.

Among Collins�s most controversial beliefs is that of �theistic evolution�, which claims natural selection is the tool that God chose to create man. In his version of the theory, he argues that man will not evolve further.

�I see God�s hand at work through the mechanism of evolution. If God chose to create human beings in his image and decided that the mechanism of evolution was an elegant way to accomplish that goal, who are we to say that is not the way,� he says.

�Scientifically, the forces of evolution by natural selection have been profoundly affected for humankind by the changes in culture and environment and the expansion of the human species to 6 billion members. So what you see is pretty much what you get.�

Collins was an atheist until the age of 27, when as a young doctor he was impressed by the strength that faith gave to some of his most critical patients.

�They had terrible diseases from which they were probably not going to escape, and yet instead of railing at God they seemed to lean on their faith as a source of great comfort and reassurance,� he said. �That was interesting, puzzling and unsettling.�

He decided to visit a Methodist minister and was given a copy of C S Lewis�s Mere Christianity, which argues that God is a rational possibility. The book transformed his life. �It was an argument I was not prepared to hear,� he said. �I was very happy with the idea that God didn�t exist, and had no interest in me. And yet at the same time, I could not turn away.�

His epiphany came when he went hiking through the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. He said: �It was a beautiful afternoon and suddenly the remarkable beauty of creation around me was so overwhelming, I felt, �I cannot resist this another moment�.�

Collins believes that science cannot be used to refute the existence of God because it is confined to the �natural� world. In this light he believes miracles are a real possibility. �If one is willing to accept the existence of God or some supernatural force outside nature then it is not a logical problem to admit that, occasionally, a supernatural force might stage an invasion,� he says.,,2087-2220484,00.html


Francis Collins
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francis Collins
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, and his leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP). He is director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

As head of NHGRI, Collins has overseen the HGP, the multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, international effort to map and sequence all of the human DNA and then determine aspects of its function. Many consider this project to be the most significant scientific undertaking of our time. The ultimate goal is to improve human health.

With Collins at the helm, the HGP has attained historic milestones, while running ahead of schedule and under budget. A working draft of the human genome was announced in June 2000, and an initial analysis was published in February 2001. HGP scientists continued to work toward finishing the sequence of all three billion base pairs by 2003, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's seminal publication of the structure of DNA.

Collins's commitment to free, rapid access to genomic information made all data immediately available to the worldwide scientific community. With these data sets of DNA sequence and variation in hand, researchers around the globe work on the process of understanding the connection between genes and disease. Collins envisions as a new era of individualized, prevention-oriented medicine.

Raised on a small farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Collins was home-schooled until the sixth grade. Throughout most of his high school and college years, the aspiring chemist had little interest in what he then considered the "messy" field of biology. What he refers to as his "formative education" was received at the University of Virginia, where he earned a B.S. in Chemistry in 1970. He went on to attain a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Yale University in 1974. While at Yale, however, a course in biochemistry sparked his interest in the molecules that hold the blueprint for life: DNA and RNA. Collins recognized that a revolution was on the horizon in molecular biology and genetics. After consulting with his old mentor from the University of Virginia, Carl Trindle, he changed fields and enrolled in medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning there an M.D. in 1977.

From 1978 to 1981, Collins served a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. He then returned to Yale, where he was named a Fellow in Human Genetics at the medical school from 1981 to1984. During that time, he developed innovative methods of crossing large stretches of DNA to identify disease genes.

After joining the University of Michigan in 1984 in a position that would eventually lead to a Professorship of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics, Collins heightened his reputation as a relentless gene hunter. That gene-hunting approach, which he named "positional cloning," has developed into a powerful component of modern molecular genetics.

In contrast to previous methods for finding genes, positional cloning enabled scientists to identify disease genes without knowing in advance what the functional abnormality underlying the disease might be. Collins' team, together with collaborators, applied the new approach in 1989 in their successful quest for the long-sought gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Other major discoveries soon followed, including isolation of the genes for Huntington's disease, neurofibromatosis, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, and the M4 type of adult acute leukemia.

Leadership at NHGRI
Tapped to take on the leadership of the HGP, Collins accepted an invitation in 1993 to succeed James Watson and become director of the National Center for Human Genome Research, which became NHGRI in 1997. As director, he oversees the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium and many other aspects of what he has called "an adventure that beats going to the moon or splitting the atom."

In 1994, Collins founded NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research (DIR), an intramural program of genome research that has developed into one of the nation's premier research centers in human genetics.

With new tools arising from the human genome project, Collins is optimistic about the chances of uncovering hereditary contributors to common diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and mental illness. In the overall research agenda of NHGRI, this interest is reflected in the highly ambitious effort to construct a haplotype map of the human genome. The "hap map" will serve as a catalog of genetic variations - called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - and will help with discovering how these variations correlate with disease risk. Collins's work in his highly active lab demonstrates that research emphasis, which is devoted to finding the genes that contribute to adult-onset, Type II diabetes.

In addition to his long list of contributions to basic genetic research and scientific leadership, Collins is known for his close attention to ethical and legal issues in genetics. He has been a strong advocate for protecting the privacy of genetic information and has served as a national leader in efforts to prohibit gene-based insurance discrimination. Building on his own experiences as a physician volunteer in a rural missionary hospital in Nigeria, Collins is also very interested in opening avenues for genome research to benefit the health of people living in developing nations.

Collins' accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

He was the youngest child having three older brothers. He is married and has two daughters from a previous marriage. His parents were "only nominally Christian" and by graduate school he was an "obnoxious atheist." However, dealing with dying patients led him to question his religious views, and he investigated various faiths. He became a Christian after reading Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, and he now delivers lectures at churches concerning Lewis. He considers scientific discoveries an "opportunity to worship". He has a book coming out this summer on science and faith, entitled The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

External links
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Francis Collins
a.. Information from
b.. Francis S. Collins interview
c.. Commencement Address, University of Virginia, May 20, 2001
d.. Article on how he found God

TIM WHITE,live on TVNEWSLIES.ORG,internet radio(Evergreen Air and th

Posted by: "Tim White"   phantom469366

Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:08 pm (PST)

--- Jesse <> wrote:

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 09:54:30 -0400
From: Jesse <>
To: Tim White <>
Subject: Re: TIM WHITE,live on
radio(Evergreen Air and the 9/11
inside op)


You will be on TV News Lies Radio on the Revere
Radio Network.

You can listen by clicking into the Revere Radio
link on this page:

I'll call you earlier in the day and we will
the program.
The show is live Thursday at 8PM Eastern Time,a 2
hour program.
People will be able to email questions or use the
AOL instant messenger
to chime in.

Thanks again.

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