Posts in December 2016

  1. CRISPR: Saving Lives or Controlling the Type of Life That is Created? (by Malaika Swaminathan-Sipp)

    [ By on December 18, 2016 ]

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a genomic editing system that uses the Cas9 enzyme and RNA to cut the cell’s genome. Through CRISPR, genes can be removed or added, significantly altering the genome. Recently, CRISPR has received much excitement in the field of oncology because researchers are able to use CRISPR to knock-out a gene in a cell in order to simulate what it would be like for a patient who has a mutation in that gene. Normally when working with normal human cells in culture, researchers knock-out specific genes through lentiviruses, like HIV, which are programed with shRNA to remove the specific gene. This process can take up to 4 weeks and is

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  2. Should Sexual Education be in taught in school?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    A very controversial issue that I have seen and gone through myself is being taught about sexual education in school. Sexual education is something everyone needs to know because it is important for yourself to protect your body and make sure that you are safe. Sexual education is taught at an age where kids are hitting puberty and they are start having sexual feelings. Some parents feel that it should no to be taught in school. But where will Sexual education be taught then? Will parents teach their kids about this? A poll taken in 2011 says that 82% of parents taught their kids about sexual education but not everything that is important.   Will kids feel more comfortable hearing this information from ...

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  3. Are GMOs ethical?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, have been a part of the human diet for over a decade and have also long been a subject of ethical debate. Over 75% of the food that we consume today is genetically modified in some capacity. While many advantages and disadvantages have been outlined in this debate, it is clear that from a medical, environmental, and economic perspective, GMOs cause more harm than good in our society.

    According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Sates, genetically modified products threaten biodiversity by competing or breeding with natural species. Genetically modified products may also increase allergic reactions given that allergy producing genes can be produced in GMOs. Socioeconomically, the production

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  4. Hormones in Prison?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    Transgender people in prison have not always had access to the hormone therapy that they need, and even now, there is some controversy surrounding the issue. The hormones are very expensive and some believe that they are too expensive for prisoners, as they see them as a luxury, and prison is not for luxuries, but for punishment. They do not want taxpayers to have to pay for criminals to get a treatment that they do not see as crucial to their health. However, there has been pushback that those who are transgender are not seeking these hormones as a source of luxury, but rather, a way of becoming who they truly are. Supporters of this movement have said that it ...

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  5. Central Park Horse Carriage Rides: Animal Abuse or Beloved Tradition?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    There has recently been a spike in horse carriage protesters in Central Park, presumably due to the increased popularity of the rides at this time of year. This outburst of anti-horse carriage sentiment raises the question: are horse carriage rides ethical? The most commonly used arguments in favor of allowing horse drawn carriages in and around Central Park are that the horse carriages are part of New York City tradition, the horse carriage industry provide jobs for human beings, and the horses would receive worse treatment elsewhere. However, animal rights activists argue that horse carriages are inhumane, for the loud and crowded city streets place too much stress on the horses. Also, recent protesters have claimed that the horses are not being fed or hydrated properly. Following ...

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  6. To Smoke Pot or Not?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    The effects of marijuana and the question of its legalization have been hot button issues for some time now. Although marijuana has not been legalized under federal law in the U.S., marijuana is now legal for medical use in 28 states and D.C. and for recreational use for adults in 8 states and D.C. Recently, in the past election, voters in Massachusetts passed legislation to legalize marijuana that went into effect in November. This piqued my interest and resurfaced the issue of marijuana legalization. The arguments made on both sides of the issue raise interesting questions about science and scientific uncertainty. There has been promising scientific research about the medical benefits of marijuana for ...

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  7. Is it ethical to lie to a child (less than 10 years old) about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, etc?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    Parents are always trying to hold on to their child's innocence, and a way that society has taught us will do just that is by maintaining your child's trust in fictional people such as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. However, there is the question of whether or not it is right to lie to your child for years only for them to find out the truth and be heartbroken. I think that some parents would say that it is obviously ok to lie to their child if it brings them happiness, but others would say that it deceives the kid and sets up a fantasy and dream that will be too difficult to  shatter once they are older. Each family, of ...

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  8. Should parents be allowed to deny medication or medical attention when they believe in homeopathic treatments?

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    Everyone in this world has different beliefs. Some believe that it is ok to use anything possible to save their children, while others believe that homeopathic treatments are for the best. It is said that homeopathic treatments are not as effective as other treatments. I would like to consider the following: Is it okay for parents to deny medication for their children when it is not a homeopathic treatment? Is it ethical to risk someone's life in order to benefit your wants? There are several people in this world who have no idea what treatments and medications are best for their children. Parents want to believe that they know what is best for their family; however, in reality, they don't know half as ...

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  9. Why Kant’s Views on The Death Penalty Are Not Black and White

    [ By on December 14, 2016 ]

    Many wonder why the United States is the only Western country with the Death Penalty. Because other Western countries thrive both economically and socially, the argument for the Death Penalty cannot rest in maintaining order in society. Therefore, why do we kill those who have killed others? In his book entitled Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States, Daniel LaChance argues that the Death Penalty is revitalization of the American, western hero, and thus maintaining the Death Penalty is a means to maintaining the notion of American exceptionalism. Under this argument, it seems extreme for the United States to continue to illuminate their power by implementing and executing a system that is harsh and black ...

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  10. What’s the Deal With Conversion Therapy?

    [ By on December 12, 2016 ]

    Possibly the most interesting thing regarding the science behind conversion therapy, is... there is next to none! To this day there is still no sound proof that it is possible to alter ones sexual preference, and there is not enough evidence to prove that being homosexual is a choice (that you can then change) or if it is caused by ones genetics. Another thing to consider, is that there is an intense backlash against those who support claims suggesting that being LGBTQ+ is a choice. Even looking at current events, we can see that politicians such as Vice President elect Mike Pence support said claims. So why might there be this backlash? Most likely, this backlash stems from the stigma ...

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