High Seas Yacht Service

If you live in or have visited the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, chances are pretty good that you have booked a cruise on the Jungle Queen Riverboat or at the very least seen her plying the New River. First launched in 1935, Jungle Queen Riverboat cruises have been delivering a laid-back, casual cruising experience to its customers for more than 80 years.

The old fashion sternwheeler was recently hauled at LMC and our team of running gear mechanics was called upon to overhaul her running gear from shafts to seals, props and rudders as part of routine maintenance.

After performing a full running gear inspection, we pulled the shafts, props and dropped the rudders. We also installed and aligned a new babbit bearing on her shaft. Babbit bearings are known for their resistance to galling and are often used in the marine applications for vessels of this type. As part of the overhaul, we will also remove and re-install the shaft and shaft muff couplings, supply a new Tides Marine shaft seal system and four new cutless bearings.

Our in-house machine shop, Straight Line Marine, will straighten both the port and starboard main shafts as well as the tailshafts. We will then lap the props back on the shafts as well as fit, face and lap the port and starboard couplers.

Work on the rudders required us to disconnect the tie bar and tiller arms. Once the rudders were out of the vessel, we replaced the rudder packing and stuffing box hardware. Our final step will be to do a full engine alignment to ensure smooth, vibration-free cruising.

Once the work is complete and the old gal is launched again, she will be ready to delight visitors to and residents of the Venice of America for years to come.

Optical Scope Alignment check for accuracy

When a 126 Oceanco Motor Yacht was hauled at LMC, we were hired to perform an extensive overhaul on the vessels running gear. Since it had been a while since the running gear was inspected, we first performed a laser deck target before she was pulled out of the water. This is a necessary step in order to ensure that the vessel is blocked correctly for future alignment work.

As part of the overhaul, we removed the shafts, props, stern tube and dropped the rudders. This particular yacht had an older Wartsila EL shaft seal system which was difficult and expensive to maintain. For this reason, we upgraded the shaft seal system to a Wartsila PSE model. Because of space constraints and the different dimension of the two systems, we needed to work with a local aluminum welding contractor to modify the stern tubes in order to accommodate the new shaft seal system. These seals also need to be installed on the centerline of the shafts so we performed an optical scope alignment from the main struts and transmission to the stern tube to ensure exact placement.

Because of excessive wear on the main strut Thordon bearings, we removed the bearings so our in-house machine shop, Straight Line Marine, could cleaned them up before re-installing back into the vessel. Our machine shop also straightened the shafts, lapped the propellers and fit, faced & lapped the port and starboard couplers.

Once all the prep work was completed, we re-installed the propellers and propeller shafts along with the rudders, aligned the engines and performed a final laser deck targeting procedure to ensure that the vessel would not experience any vibrations under way.

Upgrading a Wartsila shaft seal system takes an experienced team, the right tools and precise coordination with outside contractors to make sure the job is done right.

While at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, we were approached by the Captain of a new 164 yacht whose vessel was on display at the show. After a brief sea trial before the show, the vessel had reason to believe that the shafts were bent and Thordon bearings were damaged. While this was an unfortunate turn of events, the problem was magnified by the fact that the yacht was scheduled for a charter in the Caribbean only a week and a half after the show ended.

As you can imagine, most of the boat yards in South Florida were booked for the days following the boat show leaving this Captain with little options of getting the work done quickly. And forgoing the work for a long trip south was not an option. Get it done or cancel charters. We worked with Lauderdale Marine Center to squeeze the yacht into the haul out schedule a couple of days after the show ended.

Once hauled, our team sprang into action. While still in the blocking process, the High Seas team started pulling the props. The next day the shafts were out of the vessel and on the way to the machine shop. Fortunately, our machine shop, Straight Line Marine, is located on site at Lauderdale Marine Center. No loss of time calling for a truck to load and transport to an outside facility. Within a short period of time, the machine shop went to work on straightening. With a little overtime, the shafts were ready to install a day later.

We also found Thordon bearings that were damaged and needed to be replaced. Since this was suspected during our first meeting at the boat show, we ordered Thordon material and it was on-hand before the vessel hauled. Thordon bearings require custom machining to fit the vessel. Our machine shop got it done while the shafts were being straightened.

We then re-installed the shafts and props, did an optical scope alignment and sea trial and sent the yacht on her way in a matter of days so she could make her charter.

This Captain found himself in a tight spot but working with Lauderdale Marine Center to fit this 164-footer into the schedule, hard work on the part of the High Seas and Straight Line Marine teams, a machine shop on-site and ready to go and the dedication to customer service that is the foundation of our company, this yacht is on her way to making a charter guests dream vacation come true.

And we will be there with Lauderdale Marine Center in Booth #640. Stop by and visit with us, November 1-5 at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center. We will have our experienced technicians and mechanics in the booth from both High Seas Hydraulics and High Seas Yacht Service to answer any questions you may have on running gear or hydraulic systems. Hope to see you at the Show!

Optical Scope Alignment check for accuracy

We recently had the opportunity to work on the worlds largest sport fishing boat, a 144 Trinity. The yacht was recently sold and her new owner had her hauled at Lauderdale Marine Center for a complete refit including new engines (repower). The vessel originally had old Paxman engines that were removed by cutting a large hole in the side of the boat and replaced with new MTU engines.

A job of this size requires precision coordination with other contractors at LMC who handle engine rigging and removal, welding, plumbing, painting and full MTU service commissioning.

For our part, we first performed a laser deck targeting procedure to block the vessel properly for hull work and future alignments. We then removed the running gear from the boat so our machine shop could straighten the shafts, lap fit face couplers and propellers and ABS crack test the shafts.

Next, we performed an optical scope alignment of the remote transmissions to the shaft line and used Chockfast to hold the transmissions in place. Working closely with the aluminum fabricators and MTU engine plans, our team made sure that the new engine beds and stringers were in the right position and the right height for the new engines and engine mounts. The next step was to install the new engine mounts on the engines and rough align the engines with the transmissions using lasers for final engine room fabrication.

Our machine shop, Straight Line Marine, then machined the new sole plates for the engine mounts. We also installed Gieslinger torsional couplings between the engines and transmissions and provided all new bearings and shaft seals.

Once the vessel was launched, we did a final laser alignment of the engines to the transmissions and used Chockfast to place all engine mounts into position.

The vessel is now ready to take her owners far and wide in search of big game fish.

As discussed in a previous post, we were commissioned to perform a strut alignment on a 120 Ferretti after she ran aground. This vessel had cardan shafts. Marine cardan shafts, while fundamentally the same as u-joint shafts in cars and trucks, are unique because of the large flanges they have for higher horse power capabilities. They are commonly used with remote transmissions where the transmission (gearbox) are separate from the main engine.

Once we removed the cardan shafts from the boat, we sent them to a company in the Mid-West where they inspected and replaced where needed the needle bearings in the universal joints (U-joint) and balanced the shafts. Balancing cardan shafts takes a highly-specialized piece of equipment.

It is very important to balance the cardan shaft to eliminate the possibility of torsional vibrations. Torsional vibrations are caused by two things: the u-joint operating angle at the drive end of the drive shaft and the orientation (phasing) of the yokes at each end of the drive shaft. A torsional vibration is a twice per revolution vibration. It will cause the drive shaft, downstream of the front U-joint, to speed up and slow down twice per revolution. That means that the engine producing a constant speed of 3,000 RPM can actually be attached to the drive shaft that is changing speed 6,000 times per minute. The amount of that change in speed, called the magnitude, or size of the change, is proportional to the size of the angle at the drive end of the drive shaft, or the amount of misalignment between the yokes at the drive and driven end of your drive shaft. Torsional vibrations are serious vibrations that can cause the shaft to bend and potentially break.

When a drive shaft is assembled, its inner components usually consist of a slip yoke on one end and a tube yoke on the other end, and they are usually assembled in relation to each other. This is called PHASING. Most drive shafts are assembled with their yokes in line, or IN PHASE. A drive shaft that is in phase and has the correct operating angles at the drive end of the shaft does not create a torsional vibration. Drive shafts that are NOT in phase will vibrate with the same twice per revolution vibration as a drive shaft with incorrect operating angles.

Understanding the intricacies of the various components found in many mega-yachts ensures that the job gets done and gets done right.

When a 120 Ferretti was hauled at Lauderdale Marine Center, the captain hired us to perform shaft straightening in our machine shop, Straight Line Marineand a strut alignment on the yacht as a result of a recent grounding. The ship had significant vibration issues that needed to be addressed.

Once the struts were removed, cleaned and straightened, the re-installation began with prepping the surface to remountthe struts. Upon completion, we used a forklift and ratchet straps to reinstall the struts in the boat. To ensure exact alignment, we used an optical scope.Optical Scope Alignmentsor Scoping for short; is the most advanced method for obtaining a perfect marine shaft alignment with struts, shaft logs, engines or v-drives. Scoping is the latest generation of alignment technology and far more advanced than the old piano wire system and even laser alignments. The Optical Scope Alignment allowed our mechanics to make exact adjustments to ensure that the struts were perfectly seated to the haul.

To finish the re-installation of the struts, we use CHOCKFAST ORANGE to fill the gaps between the strut installation and the hull of the boat. CHOCKFAST is an engineered epoxy chocking material that is used to cast-in-place permanent machinery supports for all sizes and types of main engines and marine auxiliary equipment. Because it conforms precisely to any surface profile, CHOCKFAST eliminates the machining of foundation and mounting surfaces as well as the fitting of the old-style steel chocks.

CHOCKFAST Orangeisaconveniently pourable, two-component, structural epoxy chock that replaces tediously fitted steel shims (or steel chocks) assuring exact contact with machined or un-machined equipment bed plates. This is the only method to gain an accurate alignment without complicated line boring or other machining processes.

This yacht is now ready to get back on the open seas for new adventures and smooth sailing.

A 106 Westport yacht was recently hauled at Lauderdale Marine Center for a variety routine maintenance projects including shaft work, bearing replacements and an overhaul on several hydraulic systems. To streamline the process and help the captain and crew better manage the project, they contracted with both High Seas Yacht Service for the running gear portion and High Seas Hydraulics to handle the hydraulics work.

Our running gear mechanics inspected the shafts to ensure they were straight and aligned and replaced the bearings and seals. Normal wear and tear associated with running the vessel and prolonged exposure to salt water makes this task a necessary evil for properly maintaining the boat. As seen in the adjacent photo, there was a visible gap where the cutlass bearing adjoined to the shaft.

We were also commissioned to replace the seals on the lower stabilizer fins. ABT Trac, one of the more popular brands, recommends changing the lower stabilizer fin seals every couple of years but at least every six years depending on use. The components on the stabilizer are constantly working except is absolute calm seas, so the wear and tear can be considerable. After dropping the fins, we proceeded to change out the old lower stabilizer fin seals with new ones, check the hoses and cylinders, then reassembling the units.

In addition to the routine maintenance on the stabilizer systems, we flushed the entire hydraulic system using the simple drain, filter, fill approach commonly referred to in our shop as a DFF. This type of flush is more of an oil change and is part of routine maintenance. It is not appropriate where a more serious condition such as water, metal particles or other contaminants are found in the oil. The process calls for draining the hydraulic tank, changing out the filters and refilling the tank with hydraulic fluid.

To round out the work on this Westport, we did an overhaul on the bow thruster, single Maxwell windlass, the boats heat exchangers and the hydraulic steering system which was slow to respond.

From running gear to hydraulics, our teams at High Seas Yacht Service and High Seas Hydraulics, make easy work of maintaining the systems that make your vessel safe and operating smoothly.

We recently worked on a 96-foot Ferretti yacht that had run aground and was experiencing considerable engine vibrations. Our field technicians with High Seas Yacht Service inspected the boat and found that the shafts were bent and one of the struts was bent and out of alignment. After pulling the props and shafts, we sent the shafts off to our machine shop, Straight Line Marine for straightening. Once the shafts were back in true, we sent them back to the vessel for re-installation after performing a full strut alignment on the vessel.

Strut alignment is often overlooked when trying to determine the cause of vibrations in a boat. All too often the first or second course of actions are shaft straightening or engine alignment when the root of the problem may lie in the struts. Struts can be out of alignment due to poor factory set-up or a hard grounding causing a bent or twisted strut.

Strut alignments are complex and require special tools and experienced mechanics. Once a strut is removed from the boat it is a major repair and should only be done by specialist in this field.

We begin the process with an optical scope alignment for precision measurements of the misalignment. In order to align the strut, it must be removed or dropped from the bottom of the boat. All strut bolts are removed and a considerable force is applied to break the bond between the strut and the hull. Proper equipment and safety are a major concern since some struts can weigh hundreds of pounds.

Once removed, the strut pad and hull pockets must be ground clean in preparation for installation. Extra jacking holes are drilled and tapped in the four corners of the strut pads to help with fine tuning adjustments. Once preparation is complete, the strut is hung back in its original place and the optical scope is once again used for precision alignment of the strut cutlass bearing.

When the strut is properly aligned, we use ChockFast to inject into the gap between the hull and strut to form a perfect fit with the bottom of the hull.

A strut alignment is typically a one-time project for any vessel unless it is driven hard aground. A properly aligned strut will free-up an engine to provide a smooth ride for comfort and higher speed with lower fuel consumption. For more details on performing a full strut alignment, click here.

When a 112-foot Westport yacht returned to Lauderdale Marine Center, our running gear team dropped in on the vessel for a courtesy visit and health check. The ship was in the yard last year and we did a full running gear job including shaft work and alignment.

Checking Tolerances

Since the yacht was back on the hard, our team checked the cutlass bearing clearance on the shafts to ensure that the shafts were properly aligned. The tool we used to perform this task is called a feelers gauge which are an assortment of fine thickened strips with marked thickness which are used to measure gap width or clearance between the shaft and the cutlass bearings. We also visually inspected the bearing seals.

Feelers Gauge

We were happy to report back to the captain that everything checked out properly and the running gear work that we performed last year was holding true. When you engage High Seas Yacht Service, you can rest assured that we will stand by our work and go that extra mile to keep our valued customers sailing smoothly.

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High Seas Yacht Service

MH-Hannover: MD/PhD Program "Molecular Medicine"

Fully accreditated in 2009 as the first PhD program in Germany according to European standards (ECTS), the Hannover Biomedical Research School features an interdisciplinary curriculum leading to a PhD thesis after 3 years.

The program is a joint venture between thefollowing institutions:# Hannover Medical School# TheUniversity of Veterinary Medicine Hannover# The Leibniz UniversittHannover# TheFraunhofer Institute ITEM Hannover# The FriedrichLffler Institute Mariensee# The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) Braunschweig # TwinCore (Hannover)

PhD topicscover abroad spectrum, including the following areas:# Immunology & Infection# Molecular & Cell Biology# Hematology & Oncology# Biochemistry & Structural Biology# Genetics# Stem Cell Research

Potential PhD students: Holders of an M.Sc. or equivalent degree in Medicine,Veterinary Medicine, Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnologyor Molecular Biology.

Medical students/graduates are invited to check MD/PhD education for more clinical training options. Please note that we only award a PhD title (not an “MD/PhD”)

What we offer: In-depth basic science seminars for the first two years. And all are welcome to attend lectures of the Biomedicine or Biochemistry Master programmes.

Next application deadline: April 1st, 2018. Online application from December1st 2017 at http://www.hbrs-application.de

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MH-Hannover: MD/PhD Program "Molecular Medicine"

Principality of Sealand – Official Site

Locatedin international waters, on themilitary fortress ofRoughsTower, Sealand is the smallest country in the world. The countrys national motto is E Mare, Libertas (From the Sea, Freedom), reflecting itsenduringstruggle for liberty through the years. Sealand has been an independent sovereignStatesince 1967. The Bates family governs the smallStateas hereditary royal rulers, each member with his, or her,own royal title. Sealandupholdsits own constitution, composed of a preamble and seven articles. Upon thedeclarationofindependence, the founding Bates family raised the Sealand flag,pledgingfreedom and justiceto all that lived under it.

Following this, Sealand issued passports to its nationals, minted official currency and commissioned its own stamps.

Show your support for Sealandindependence for the years to come,by registering for aNoble Title and becoming a Lord or a Lady. Sealand also offersID cards,and the chance to owna piece ofourterritory. Other official Sealand products are also available for sale on this website. See shop

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Principality of Sealand – Official Site

Bitcoin Price Index – Real-time Bitcoin Price Charts

Litecoin Cash Has Forked But It’s Hardly Trading

Feb 22, 2018 at 14:30 | Omkar Godbole

A scheduled plan to launch a new cryptocurrency by forking the litecoin blockchain is finding little love from major data aggregators and exchanges.

Feb 22, 2018 at 13:00 | Omkar Godbole

The wider cryptocurrency market may be feeling the heat of a decline in bitcoin prices today.

Feb 22, 2018 at 10:00 | Omkar Godbole

Bitcoin bulls need a convincing break above $11,250 to revive the recent price rally after prices dip once more.

Feb 21, 2018 at 12:05 | Omkar Godbole

The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is gyrating around the $500 billion mark and possibly building a base for a step higher.

Feb 21, 2018 at 11:10 | Daniel Palmer

A system error at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange saw a user attempt to make off with a huge amount of bitcoin, according to reports.

Feb 21, 2018 at 10:00 | Omkar Godbole

Bitcoin bulls remain in control, despite a sell-off overnight, and thus look set to test the long-term inflection point over $12,000.

Feb 20, 2018 at 19:45 | Daniel Palmer

A group of Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges is reportedly uniting to form a new self-regulatory body in the wake of the recent Coincheck hack.

Feb 20, 2018 at 14:00 | Brady Dale

A month after ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin proposed a new twist on the ICO funding model, a Russian video game firm is putting it into practice.

Feb 20, 2018 at 13:00 | Daniel Palmer

Bitcoin prices passed $11,600 in the morning’s session, seemingly buoyed by enthusiastic trading in South Korea.

Feb 19, 2018 at 13:45 | Omkar Godbole

A prominent alternative to the ethereum blockchain is showing signs of building a higher base amid a period of strong market activity.

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Bitcoin Price Index – Real-time Bitcoin Price Charts

Golden Rule – Wikipedia

The Golden Rule (which can be considered a law of reciprocity in some religions) is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. It is a maxim of altruism that is found in many religions and cultures.[1][2] The maxim may appear as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:

The Golden Rule differs from the maxim of reciprocity captured in do ut des”I give so that you will give in return”and is rather a unilateral moral commitment to the well-being of the other without the expectation of anything in return.[3]

The concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion[4][5] and ethical tradition.[6] It can also be explained from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, sociology, human evolution, and economics. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor also as “I” or “self”.[7] Sociologically, “love your neighbor as yourself” is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. In evolution, “reciprocal altruism” is seen as a distinctive advance in the capacity of human groups to survive and reproduce, as their exceptional brains demanded exceptionally long childhoods and ongoing provision and protection even beyond that of the immediate family.[8] In economics, Richard Swift, referring to ideas from David Graeber, suggests that “without some kind of reciprocity society would no longer be able to exist.”[9]

The term “Golden Rule”, or “Golden law”, began to be used widely in the early 17th century in Britain by Anglican theologians and preachers;[10] the earliest known usage is that of Anglicans Charles Gibbon and Thomas Jackson in 1604.[1][11]

Possibly the earliest affirmation of the maxim of reciprocity, reflecting the ancient Egyptian goddess Ma’at, appears in the story of The Eloquent Peasant, which dates to the Middle Kingdom (c. 20401650 BC): “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to make him do.”[12][13] This proverb embodies the do ut des principle.[14] A Late Period (c. 664323 BC) papyrus contains an early negative affirmation of the Golden Rule: “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.”[15]

In Mahbhrata, the ancient epic of India, there is a discourse in which the wise minister Vidura advises the King Yuddhihhira

Listening to wise scriptures, austerity, sacrifice, respectful faith, social welfare, forgiveness, purity of intent, compassion, truth and self-controlare the ten wealth of character (self). O king aim for these, may you be steadfast in these qualities. These are the basis of prosperity and rightful living. These are highest attainable things. All worlds are balanced on dharma, dharma encompasses ways to prosperity as well. O King, dharma is the best quality to have, wealth the medium and desire (kma) the lowest. Hence, (keeping these in mind), by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself.

Mahbhrata Shnti-Parva 167:9

In the Section on Virtue, and Chapter 32 of the Tirukkua (c. 200 BC c. 500 AD), Tiruvalluvar says: “Do not do to others what you know has hurt yourself” (K. 316.); “Why does one hurt others knowing what it is to be hurt?” (K. 318). He furthermore opined that it is the determination of the spotless (virtuous) not to do evil, even in return, to those who have cherished enmity and done them evil. (K. 312) The (proper) punishment to those who have done evil (to you), is to put them to shame by showing them kindness, in return and to forget both the evil and the good done on both sides (K. 314)

The Golden Rule in its prohibitive (negative) form was a common principle in ancient Greek philosophy. Examples of the general concept include:

The Pahlavi Texts of Zoroastrianism (c. 300 BC1000 AD) were an early source for the Golden Rule: “That nature alone is good which refrains from doing to another whatsoever is not good for itself.” Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5, and “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.” Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29[20]

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC65 AD), a practitioner of Stoicism (c. 300 BC200 AD) expressed the Golden Rule in his essay regarding the treatment of slaves: “Treat your inferior as you would wish your superior to treat you.”[21]

According to Simon Blackburn, the Golden Rule “can be found in some form in almost every ethical tradition”.[22]

A rule of altruistic reciprocity was first stated positively in a well-known Torah verse (Hebrew: ):

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Hillel the Elder (c. 110 BC 10 AD),[23] used this verse as a most important message of the Torah for his teachings. Once, he was challenged by a gentile who asked to be converted under the condition that the Torah be explained to him while he stood on one foot. Hillel accepted him as a candidate for conversion to Judaism but, drawing on Leviticus 19:18, briefed the man:

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.

Hillel recognized brotherly love as the fundamental principle of Jewish ethics. Rabbi Akiva agreed and suggested that the principle of love must have its foundation in Genesis chapter 1, which teaches that all men are the offspring of Adam, who was made in the image of God (Sifra, edoshim, iv.; Yer. Ned. ix. 41c; Genesis Rabba 24).[24] According to Jewish rabbinic literature, the first man Adam represents the unity of mankind. This is echoed in the modern preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[25][26] And it is also taught, that Adam is last in order according to the evolutionary character of God’s creation:[24]

Why was only a single specimen of man created first? To teach us that he who destroys a single soul destroys a whole world and that he who saves a single soul saves a whole world; furthermore, so no race or class may claim a nobler ancestry, saying, ‘Our father was born first’; and, finally, to give testimony to the greatness of the Lord, who caused the wonderful diversity of mankind to emanate from one type. And why was Adam created last of all beings? To teach him humility; for if he be overbearing, let him remember that the little fly preceded him in the order of creation.[24]

The Jewish Publication Society’s edition of Leviticus states:

Thou shalt not hate thy brother. in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbour, and not bear sin because of him. 18 Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.[27]

This Torah verse represents one of several versions of the Golden Rule, which itself appears in various forms, positive and negative. It is the earliest written version of that concept in a positive form.[28]

At the turn of the eras, the Jewish rabbis were discussing the scope of the meaning of Leviticus 19:18 and 19:34 extensively:

The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the LORD am your God.

Commentators summed up foreigners (= Samaritans), proselytes (= ‘strangers who resides with you’) (Rabbi Akiva, bQuid 75b) or Jews (Rabbi Gamaliel, yKet 3, 1; 27a) to the scope of the meaning.

On the verse, “Love your fellow as yourself,” the classic commentator Rashi quotes from Torat Kohanim, an early Midrashic text regarding the famous dictum of Rabbi Akiva: “Love your fellow as yourself Rabbi Akiva says this is a great principle of the Torah.”[29]

Israel’s postal service quoted from the previous Leviticus verse when it commemorated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on a 1958 postage stamp.[30]

The “Golden Rule” was given by Jesus of Nazareth, who used it to summarize the Torah: “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” and “This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets”[31] (Matthew 7:12 NCV, see also Luke 6:31). The common English phrasing is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. A similar form of the phrase appeared in a Catholic catechism around 1567 (certainly in the reprint of 1583).[32] The Golden Rule is stated positively numerous times in the Hebrew Pentateuch as well as the Prophets and Writings. Leviticus 19:18 (“Forget about the wrong things people do to you, and do not try to get even. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”; see also Great Commandment) and Leviticus 19:34 (“But treat them just as you treat your own citizens. Love foreigners as you love yourselves, because you were foreigners one time in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”).

The Old Testament Deuterocanonical books of Tobit and Sirach, accepted as part of the Scriptural canon by Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, express a negative form of the golden rule:

“Do to no one what you yourself dislike.”

Tobit 4:15

“Recognize that your neighbor feels as you do, and keep in mind your own dislikes.”

Sirach 31:15

Two passages in the New Testament quote Jesus of Nazareth espousing the positive form of the Golden rule:

Matthew 7:12

Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.

Luke 6:31

Do to others what you would want them to do to you.

A similar passage, a parallel to the Great Commandment, is Luke 10:25-28

25And one day an authority on the law stood up to put Jesus to the test. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?”

26What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?” 27He answered, ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.(Deuteronomy 6:5) And, Love your neighbor as you love yourself. ” 28″You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do that, and you will live.”.

The passage in the book of Luke then continues with Jesus answering the question, “Who is my neighbor?”, by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan, indicating that “your neighbor” is anyone in need.[33] This extends to all, including those who are generally considered hostile.

Jesus’ teaching goes beyond the negative formulation of not doing what one would not like done to themselves, to the positive formulation of actively doing good to another that, if the situations were reversed, one would desire that the other would do for them. This formulation, as indicated in the parable of the Good Samaritan, emphasizes the needs for positive action that brings benefit to another, not simply restraining oneself from negative activities that hurt another. Taken as a rule of judgment, both formulations of the golden rule, the negative and positive, are equally applicable.[34]

In one passage of the New Testament, Paul the Apostle refers to the golden rule:

Galatians 5:14

14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The Arabian peninsula was know to not practice the golden rule prior to the advent of Islam. “Pre-Islamic Arabs regarded the survival of the tribe, as most essential and to be ensured by the ancient rite of blood vengeance” [35]

However, this all changed when Muhammad came on the scene: “Fakir al-Din al-Razi and several other Qur’anic commentators have pointed out that Qur’an 83:1-6 is an implicit statement of the Golden Rule, which is explicitly stated in the tradition, “Pay, Oh Children of Adam, as you would love to be paid, and be just as you would love to have justice!” [36]

“Similar examples of the golden rule are found in the hadith of the prophet Muhammad. The hadith recount is believed to have said and done, and traditionally Muslims regard the hadith as second to only the Qur’an as a guide to correct belief and action.” [37]

From the hadith, the collected oral and written accounts of Muhammad and his teachings during his lifetime:

“A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go!” [This maxim is enough for you; go and act in accordance with it!]”

“None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

“Seek for mankind that of which you are desirous for yourself, that you may be a believer.”

“That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.”[39]

“The most righteous person is the one who consents for other people what he consents for himself, and who dislikes for them what he dislikes for himself.”[39]

Ali ibn Abi Talib (4th Caliph in Sunni Islam, and first Imam in Shia Islam) says:

“O’ my child, make yourself the measure (for dealings) between you and others. Thus, you should desire for others what you desire for yourself and hate for others what you hate for yourself. Do not oppress as you do not like to be oppressed. Do good to others as you would like good to be done to you. Regard bad for yourself whatever you regard bad for others. Accept that (treatment) from others which you would like others to accept from you… Do not say to others what you do not like to be said to you.”

The Writings of the Bah’ Faith encourages everyone to treat others as they would treat themselves and even prefer others over oneself:

O SON OF MAN! Deny not My servant should he ask anything from thee, for his face is My face; be then abashed before Me.

Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.

And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself.

Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.

One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to ones own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires.

By making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself[50]

Also,

Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, c. 623543 BC)[51][52] made this principle one of the cornerstones of his ethics in the 6th century BC. It occurs in many places and in many forms throughout the Tripitaka.

Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I,” he should neither kill nor cause others to kill.

One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.[53]

The Golden Rule is paramount in the Jainist philosophy and can be seen in the doctrines of Ahimsa and Karma. As part of the prohibition of causing any living beings to suffer, Jainism forbids inflicting upon others what is harmful to oneself.

The following quotation from the Acaranga Sutra sums up the philosophy of Jainism:

Nothing which breathes, which exists, which lives, or which has essence or potential of life, should be destroyed or ruled over, or subjugated, or harmed, or denied of its essence or potential.

In support of this Truth, I ask you a question “Is sorrow or pain desirable to you?” If you say “yes it is”, it would be a lie. If you say, “No, It is not” you will be expressing the truth. Just as sorrow or pain is not desirable to you, so it is to all which breathe, exist, live or have any essence of life. To you and all, it is undesirable, and painful, and repugnant.[54]

A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.

Sutrakritanga, 1.11.33

In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.

Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara

Saman Suttam of Jinendra Varni[55] gives further insight into this precept:-

Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of equality treat other with respect and compassion.

Suman Suttam, verse 150

Killing a living being is killing one’s own self; showing compassion to a living being is showing compassion to oneself. He who desires his own good, should avoid causing any harm to a living being.

Suman Suttam, verse 151

Precious like jewels are the minds of all. To hurt them is not at all good. If thou desirest thy Beloved, then hurt thou not anyone’s heart.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji 259, Guru Granth Sahib

The same idea is also presented in V.12 and VI.30 of the Analects (c. 500 BC), which can be found in the online Chinese Text Project. The phraseology differs from the Christian version of the Golden Rule. It does not presume to do anything unto others, but merely to avoid doing what would be harmful. It does not preclude doing good deeds and taking moral positions, but there is slim possibility for a Confucian missionary outlook, such as one can justify with the Christian Golden Rule.

The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.

If people regarded other peoples states in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own state to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself. If people regarded other peoples cities in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own city to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself. If people regarded other peoples families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself. And so if states and cities do not attack one another and families do not wreak havoc upon and steal from one another, would this be a harm to the world or a benefit? Of course one must say it is a benefit to the world.

[57]

Mozi regarded the golden rule as a corollary to the cardinal virtue of impartiality, and encouraged egalitarianism and selflessness in relationships.

Here ye these words and heed them well, the words of Dea, thy Mother Goddess, “I command thee thus, O children of the Earth, that that which ye deem harmful unto thyself, the very same shall ye be forbidden from doing unto another, for violence and hatred give rise to the same. My command is thus, that ye shall return all violence and hatred with peacefulness and love, for my Law is love unto all things. Only through love shall ye have peace; yea and verily, only peace and love will cure the world, and subdue all evil.”

The Way to Happiness expresses the Golden Rule both in its negative/prohibitive form and in its positive form. The negative/prohibitive form is expressed in Precept 19 as:

19. Try not to do things to others that you would not like them to do to you.

The positive form is expressed in Precept 20 as:

20. Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you.

The “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic”[62] from the Parliament of the Worlds Religions[63][64] (1993) proclaimed the Golden Rule (“We must treat others as we wish others to treat us”) as the common principle for many religions.[65] The Initial Declaration was signed by 143 leaders from all of the world’s major faiths, including Baha’i Faith, Brahmanism, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous, Interfaith, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American, Neo-Pagan, Sikhism, Taoism, Theosophist, Unitarian Universalist and Zoroastrian.[65][66] In the folklore of several cultures the Golden Rule is depicted by the allegory of the long spoons.

Many different sources claim the Golden Rule as a humanist principle:[67][68]

Trying to live according to the Golden Rule means trying to empathise with other people, including those who may be very different from us. Empathy is at the root of kindness, compassion, understanding and respect qualities that we all appreciate being shown, whoever we are, whatever we think and wherever we come from. And although it isnt possible to know what it really feels like to be a different person or live in different circumstances and have different life experiences, it isnt difficult for most of us to imagine what would cause us suffering and to try to avoid causing suffering to others. For this reason many people find the Golden Rules corollary “do not treat people in a way you would not wish to be treated yourself” more pragmatic.[67]

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Golden Rule – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the lifelong voluntary choice to not have children. This includes avoiding having biological, step, or adopted children.

The usage of the term “childfree” to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1]

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The meaning of the term “childfree” extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term “childless”, which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term ‘child free’ has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of “No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children”) cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman’s education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children (or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have). Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[9]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[10][11] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[12] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[13] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[14] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[15] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[16] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[16]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[17]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor’s degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[18][19]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being “individualistic” people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[20] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes lauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the ‘best’ way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of “maternal desire” and pleasure in motherhood.[21] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming “girlie” culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[22]

On the other hand, in “The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order”[23] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In “Motherhood Lite,” she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[24] Nonetheless, in 2010, Brown gave birth to a son.

However as the point of feminism is for women to make their own choices, child freedom is considered one of those choices.

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[25] Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[26]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[27]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat “only babies count”and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[28]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[25]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[29] Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply,” is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people’s motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one’s time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[30] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should. Furthermore, in two different places in the Bible, Luke as well as Matthew, Jesus himself warns against having children in the end times. Also, Jesus as well as Paul, to name a few of several men as well as women, are childless.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[31]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one’s life in service to one’s self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today’s children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[32]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[33] As philosopher David Benatar[34] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents’ own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one’s legacy/genes), rather than the potential person’s interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[35]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term “childfree” was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[36] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[37]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.’s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents’ Day.Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as “lifestyle subsidies,” others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d’tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

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Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Childfree And Loving It!

This is an experience that has personally buggedme a great deal relatively recently. I’ve not been “Bingoed” or dismissed about my decision to be childfree since middle school. So, it was an extreme shock when I was suddenly bingoed at university by someone who was supposed to be my friend. After I mentioned I would Continue reading Dont Tell Me Im Going To Change MyMind

Just a few rules to remember when approaching a strange dog. Whilst these rules are targeted at parents with young children, many of the advice here should be remembered and used by people of all ages and lifestyles. There’s also some advice aimed at dog owners too.

Though it might be a touchy subject for some people, there’s usuallynot much of a problem with asking a person if they are interested in having kids in the future. If you’re getting to know someone, or maybe notice that they haven’t talked about their future plans in the same way that others have, naturally Continue reading Stop Asking Us When Were Going To HaveKids.

Quite simply put, someone who is childfree is a person who doesn’t ever want children. This cansometimesbe confused with someone who is childless; which is a person who wants children and either doesn’t have anyyet or can’t have them. We’re often seen as careless, selfish, child-hating, crazy cat people, and whilst there’s probably at least Continue reading What Does It Mean To BeChildfree?

I have a lot of sympathy for people who have to give up much loved pets through no fault of their own. Maybe they were forced to move and weren’t able to find a place that allows pets; maybe they lost their job and couldn’t afford to keep the pet; maybe they became too unwell Continue reading Pets Arent A ThrowAway

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Childfree And Loving It!

Childfree In Ireland

Welcome to Childfree in Ireland, a web-based resource for people who are without children and living in Ireland.

This site contains information on resources, including books, articles and other websites which you may find helpful.

If you have questions / comments or ideas on resources which may be useful for putting on this site, Id be interested to hear them. I am also really interested in hearing from older women without children who have found ways of creating meaning and purpose in their lives with a view to sharing this on the site. You can contact me at childfreeinireland@gmail.com

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Childfree In Ireland

Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Whole brain emulation (WBE), mind upload or brain upload (sometimes called “mind copying” or “mind transfer”) is the hypothetical futuristic process of scanning mental state (including long-term memory and “self”) of a particular brain substrate and copying it to a computer. The computer could then run a simulation model of the brain’s information processing, such that it responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

Mind uploading may potentially be accomplished by either of two methods: Copy-and-Transfer or gradual replacement of neurons. In the case of the former method, mind uploading would be achieved by scanning and mapping the salient features of a biological brain, and then by copying, transferring, and storing that information state into a computer system or another computational device. The simulated mind could be within a virtual reality or simulated world, supported by an anatomic 3D body simulation model. Alternatively the simulated mind could reside in a computer that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body in real life.[4]

Among some futurists and within the transhumanist movement, mind uploading is treated as an important proposed life extension technology. Some believe mind uploading is humanity’s current best option for preserving the identity of the species, as opposed to cryonics. Another aim of mind uploading is to provide a permanent backup to our “mind-file”, and a means for functional copies of human minds to survive a global disaster or interstellar space travels. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a “logical endpoint”[4] of the topical computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics fields, both about brain simulation for medical research purposes. It is discussed in artificial intelligence research publications as an approach to strong AI. Computer-based intelligence such as an upload could think much faster than a biological human even if it were no more intelligent. A large-scale society of uploads might, according to futurists, give rise to a technological singularity, meaning a sudden time constant decrease in the exponential development of technology.[5] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

Substantial mainstream research in related areas is being conducted in animal brain mapping and simulation, development of faster supercomputers, virtual reality, braincomputer interfaces, connectomics and information extraction from dynamically functioning brains.[6] According to supporters, many of the tools and ideas needed to achieve mind uploading already exist or are currently under active development; however, they will admit that others are, as yet, very speculative, but still in the realm of engineering possibility. Neuroscientist Randal Koene has formed a nonprofit organization called Carbon Copies to promote mind uploading research.

The human brain contains, on average, about 86 billion nerve cells called neurons, each individually linked to other neurons by way of connectors called axons and dendrites. Signals at the junctures (synapses) of these connections are transmitted by the release and detection of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. The established neuroscientific consensus is that the human mind is largely an emergent property of the information processing of this neural network.[citation needed]

Neuroscientists have stated that important functions performed by the mind, such as learning, memory, and consciousness, are due to purely physical and electrochemical processes in the brain and are governed by applicable laws. For example, Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi wrote in IEEE Spectrum:

“Consciousness is part of the natural world. It depends, we believe, only on mathematics and logic and on the imperfectly known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not arise from some magical or otherworldly quality.”[7]

The concept of mind uploading is based on this mechanistic view of the mind, and denies the vitalist view of human life and consciousness.[citation needed]

Eminent computer scientists and neuroscientists have predicted that specially programmed computers will be capable of thought and even attain consciousness, including Koch and Tononi,[7] Douglas Hofstadter,[8] Jeff Hawkins,[8] Marvin Minsky,[9] Randal A. Koene, and Rodolfo Llinas.[10]

Such an artificial intelligence capability might provide a computational substrate necessary for uploading.

However, even though uploading is dependent upon such a general capability, it is conceptually distinct from general forms of AI in that it results from dynamic reanimation of information derived from a specific human mind so that the mind retains a sense of historical identity (other forms are possible but would compromise or eliminate the life-extension feature generally associated with uploading). The transferred and reanimated information would become a form of artificial intelligence, sometimes called an infomorph or “nomorph”.[citation needed]

Many theorists have presented models of the brain and have established a range of estimates of the amount of computing power needed for partial and complete simulations.[4][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore’s law continue.[11]

In theory, if the information and processes of the mind can be disassociated from the biological body, they are no longer tied to the individual limits and lifespan of that body. Furthermore, information within a brain could be partly or wholly copied or transferred to one or more other substrates (including digital storage or another brain), thereby from a purely mechanistic perspective reducing or eliminating “mortality risk” of such information. This general proposal was discussed in 1971 by biogerontologist George M. Martin of the University of Washington.[12]

An uploaded astronaut would be the application of mind uploading to human spaceflight. This would eliminate the harms caused by a zero gravity environment, the vacuum of space, and cosmic radiation to the human body. It would allow for the use of smaller spacecraft, such as the proposed StarChip, and it would enable virtually unlimited interstellar travel distances.[13][14]

The focus of mind uploading, in the case of copy-and-transfer, is on data acquisition, rather than data maintenance of the brain. A set of approaches known as loosely coupled off-loading (LCOL) may be used in the attempt to characterize and copy the mental contents of a brain.[15] The LCOL approach may take advantage of self-reports, life-logs and video recordings that can be analyzed by artificial intelligence. A bottom-up approach may focus on the specific resolution and morphology of neurons, the spike times of neurons, the times at which neurons produce action potential responses.

Advocates of mind uploading point to Moore’s law to support the notion that the necessary computing power is expected to become available within a few decades. However, the actual computational requirements for running an uploaded human mind are very difficult to quantify, potentially rendering such an argument specious.

Regardless of the techniques used to capture or recreate the function of a human mind, the processing demands are likely to be immense, due to the large number of neurons in the human brain along with the considerable complexity of each neuron.

In 2004, Henry Markram, lead researcher of the “Blue Brain Project”, stated that “it is not [their] goal to build an intelligent neural network”, based solely on the computational demands such a project would have.[17]

It will be very difficult because, in the brain, every molecule is a powerful computer and we would need to simulate the structure and function of trillions upon trillions of molecules as well as all the rules that govern how they interact. You would literally need computers that are trillions of times bigger and faster than anything existing today.[18]

Five years later, after successful simulation of part of a rat brain, Markram was much more bold and optimistic. In 2009, as director of the Blue Brain Project, he claimed that A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years.[19]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[4]

Since the function of the human mind and how it might arise from the working of the brain’s neural network, are poorly understood issues, mind uploading relies on the idea of neural network emulation. Rather than having to understand the high-level psychological processes and large-scale structures of the brain, and model them using classical artificial intelligence methods and cognitive psychology models, the low-level structure of the underlying neural network is captured, mapped and emulated with a computer system. In computer science terminology,[dubious discuss] rather than analyzing and reverse engineering the behavior of the algorithms and data structures that resides in the brain, a blueprint of its source code is translated to another programming language. The human mind and the personal identity then, theoretically, is generated by the emulated neural network in an identical fashion to it being generated by the biological neural network.

On the other hand, a molecule-scale simulation of the brain is not expected to be required, provided that the functioning of the neurons is not affected by quantum mechanical processes. The neural network emulation approach only requires that the functioning and interaction of neurons and synapses are understood. It is expected that it is sufficient with a black-box signal processing model of how the neurons respond to nerve impulses (electrical as well as chemical synaptic transmission).

A sufficiently complex and accurate model of the neurons is required. A traditional artificial neural network model, for example multi-layer perceptron network model, is not considered as sufficient. A dynamic spiking neural network model is required, which reflects that the neuron fires only when a membrane potential reaches a certain level. It is likely that the model must include delays, non-linear functions and differential equations describing the relation between electrophysical parameters such as electrical currents, voltages, membrane states (ion channel states) and neuromodulators.

Since learning and long-term memory are believed to result from strengthening or weakening the synapses via a mechanism known as synaptic plasticity or synaptic adaptation, the model should include this mechanism. The response of sensory receptors to various stimuli must also be modelled.

Furthermore, the model may have to include metabolism, i.e. how the neurons are affected by hormones and other chemical substances that may cross the bloodbrain barrier. It is considered likely that the model must include currently unknown neuromodulators, neurotransmitters and ion channels. It is considered unlikely that the simulation model has to include protein interaction, which would make it computationally complex.[4]

A digital computer simulation model of an analog system such as the brain is an approximation that introduces random quantization errors and distortion. However, the biological neurons also suffer from randomness and limited precision, for example due to background noise. The errors of the discrete model can be made smaller than the randomness of the biological brain by choosing a sufficiently high variable resolution and sample rate, and sufficiently accurate models of non-linearities. The computational power and computer memory must however be sufficient to run such large simulations, preferably in real time.

When modelling and simulating the brain of a specific individual, a brain map or connectivity database showing the connections between the neurons must be extracted from an anatomic model of the brain. For whole brain simulation, this network map should show the connectivity of the whole nervous system, including the spinal cord, sensory receptors, and muscle cells. Destructive scanning of a small sample of tissue from a mouse brain including synaptic details is possible as of 2010.[20]

However, if short-term memory and working memory include prolonged or repeated firing of neurons, as well as intra-neural dynamic processes, the electrical and chemical signal state of the synapses and neurons may be hard to extract. The uploaded mind may then perceive a memory loss of the events and mental processes immediately before the time of brain scanning.[4]

A full brain map has been estimated to occupy less than 2 x 1016 bytes (20,000 TB) and would store the addresses of the connected neurons, the synapse type and the synapse “weight” for each of the brains’ 1015 synapses.[4][not in citation given] However, the biological complexities of true brain function (e.g. the epigenetic states of neurons, protein components with multiple functional states, etc.) may preclude an accurate prediction of the volume of binary data required to faithfully represent a functioning human mind.

A possible method for mind uploading is serial sectioning, in which the brain tissue and perhaps other parts of the nervous system are frozen and then scanned and analyzed layer by layer, which for frozen samples at nano-scale requires a cryo-ultramicrotome, thus capturing the structure of the neurons and their interconnections.[21] The exposed surface of frozen nerve tissue would be scanned and recorded, and then the surface layer of tissue removed. While this would be a very slow and labor-intensive process, research is currently underway to automate the collection and microscopy of serial sections.[22] The scans would then be analyzed, and a model of the neural net recreated in the system that the mind was being uploaded into.

There are uncertainties with this approach using current microscopy techniques. If it is possible to replicate neuron function from its visible structure alone, then the resolution afforded by a scanning electron microscope would suffice for such a technique.[22] However, as the function of brain tissue is partially determined by molecular events (particularly at synapses, but also at other places on the neuron’s cell membrane), this may not suffice for capturing and simulating neuron functions. It may be possible to extend the techniques of serial sectioning and to capture the internal molecular makeup of neurons, through the use of sophisticated immunohistochemistry staining methods that could then be read via confocal laser scanning microscopy. However, as the physiological genesis of ‘mind’ is not currently known, this method may not be able to access all of the necessary biochemical information to recreate a human brain with sufficient fidelity.

It may be possible to create functional 3D maps of the brain activity, using advanced neuroimaging technology, such as functional MRI (fMRI, for mapping change in blood flow), magnetoencephalography (MEG, for mapping of electrical currents), or combinations of multiple methods, to build a detailed three-dimensional model of the brain using non-invasive and non-destructive methods. Today, fMRI is often combined with MEG for creating functional maps of human cortex during more complex cognitive tasks, as the methods complement each other. Even though current imaging technology lacks the spatial resolution needed to gather the information needed for such a scan, important recent and future developments are predicted to substantially improve both spatial and temporal resolutions of existing technologies.[24]

There is ongoing work in the field of brain simulation, including partial and whole simulations of some animals. For example, the C. elegans roundworm, Drosophila fruit fly, and mouse have all been simulated to various degrees.[citation needed]

The Blue Brain Project by the Brain and Mind Institute of the cole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne, Switzerland is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering mammalian brain circuitry.

Underlying the concept of “mind uploading” (more accurately “mind transferring”) is the broad philosophy that consciousness lies within the brain’s information processing and is in essence an emergent feature that arises from large neural network high-level patterns of organization, and that the same patterns of organization can be realized in other processing devices. Mind uploading also relies on the idea that the human mind (the “self” and the long-term memory), just like non-human minds, is represented by the current neural network paths and the weights of the brain synapses rather than by a dualistic and mystic soul and spirit. The mind or “soul” can be defined as the information state of the brain, and is immaterial only in the same sense as the information content of a data file or the state of a computer software currently residing in the work-space memory of the computer. Data specifying the information state of the neural network can be captured and copied as a “computer file” from the brain and re-implemented into a different physical form.[25] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[26] An analogy to the idea of mind uploading is to copy the temporary information state (the variable values) of a computer program from the computer memory to another computer and continue its execution. The other computer may perhaps have different hardware architecture but emulates the hardware of the first computer.

These issues have a long history. In 1775 Thomas Reid wrote:[27] I would be glad to know… whether when my brain has lost its original structure, and when some hundred years after the same materials are fabricated so curiously as to become an intelligent being, whether, I say that being will be me; or, if, two or three such beings should be formed out of my brain; whether they will all be me, and consequently one and the same intelligent being.

A considerable portion of transhumanists and singularitarians place great hope into the belief that they may become immortal, by creating one or many non-biological functional copies of their brains, thereby leaving their “biological shell”. However, the philosopher and transhumanist Susan Schneider claims that at best, uploading would create a copy of the original person’s mind.[28] Susan Schneider agrees that consciousness has a computational basis, but this does not mean we can upload and survive. According to her views, “uploading” would probably result in the death of the original person’s brain, while only outside observers can maintain the illusion of the original person still being alive. For it is implausible to think that one’s consciousness would leave one’s brain and travel to a remote location; ordinary physical objects do not behave this way. Ordinary objects (rocks, tables, etc.) are not simultaneously here, and somewhere else. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[28] Others have argued against such conclusions. For example, Buddhist transhumanist James Hughes has pointed out that this consideration only goes so far: if one believes the self is an illusion, worries about survival are not reasons to avoid uploading,[29] and Keith Wiley has presented an argument wherein all resulting minds of an uploading procedure are granted equal primacy in their claim to the original identity, such that survival of the self is determined retroactively from a strictly subjective position.[30][31]

Another potential consequence of mind uploading is that the decision to “upload” may then create a mindless symbol manipulator instead of a conscious mind (see philosophical zombie).[32][33] Are we to assume that an upload is conscious if it displays behaviors that are highly indicative of consciousness? Are we to assume that an upload is conscious if it verbally insists that it is conscious?[34] Could there be an absolute upper limit in processing speed above which consciousness cannot be sustained? The mystery of consciousness precludes a definitive answer to this question.[35] Numerous scientists, including Kurzweil, strongly believe that determining whether a separate entity is conscious (with 100% confidence) is fundamentally unknowable, since consciousness is inherently subjective (see solipsism). Regardless, some scientists strongly believe consciousness is the consequence of computational processes which are substrate-neutral. On the contrary, numerous scientists believe consciousness may be the result of some form of quantum computation dependent on substrate (see quantum mind).[36][37][38]

In light of uncertainty on whether to regard uploads as conscious, Sandberg proposes a cautious approach:[39]

Principle of assuming the most (PAM): Assume that any emulated system could have the same mental properties as the original system and treat it correspondingly.

It is argued that if a computational copy of one’s mind did exist, it would be impossible for one to recognize it as their own mind.[40] The argument for this stance is the following: for a computational mind to recognize an emulation of itself, it must be capable of deciding whether two Turing machines (namely, itself and the proposed emulation) are functionally equivalent. This task is uncomputable due to the undecidability of equivalence, thus there cannot exist a computational procedure in the mind that is capable of recognizing an emulation of itself.

The process of developing emulation technology raises ethical issues related to animal welfare and artificial consciousness.[39] The neuroscience required to develop brain emulation would require animal experimentation, first on invertebrates and then on small mammals before moving on to humans. Sometimes the animals would just need to be euthanized in order to extract, slice, and scan their brains, but sometimes behavioral and in vivo measures would be required, which might cause pain to living animals.[39]

In addition, the resulting animal emulations themselves might suffer, depending on one’s views about consciousness.[39] Bancroft argues for the plausibility of consciousness in brain simulations on the basis of the “fading qualia” thought experiment of David Chalmers. He then concludes:[41] If, as I argue above, a sufficiently detailed computational simulation of the brain is potentially operationally equivalent to an organic brain, it follows that we must consider extending protections against suffering to simulations.

It might help reduce emulation suffering to develop virtual equivalents of anaesthesia, as well as to omit processing related to pain and/or consciousness. However, some experiments might require a fully functioning and suffering animal emulation. Animals might also suffer by accident due to flaws and lack of insight into what parts of their brains are suffering.[39] Questions also arise regarding the moral status of partial brain emulations, as well as creating neuromorphic emulations that draw inspiration from biological brains but are built somewhat differently.[41]

Brain emulations could be erased by computer viruses or malware, without need to destroy the underlying hardware. This may make assassination easier than for physical humans. The attacker might take the computing power for its own use.[42]

Many questions arise regarding the legal personhood of emulations.[43] Would they be given the rights of biological humans? If a person makes an emulated copy of himself and then dies, does the emulation inherit his property and official positions? Could the emulation ask to “pull the plug” when its biological version was terminally ill or in a coma? Would it help to treat emulations as adolescents for a few years so that the biological creator would maintain temporary control? Would criminal emulations receive the death penalty, or would they be given forced data modification as a form of “rehabilitation”? Could an upload have marriage and child-care rights?[43]

If simulated minds would come true and if they were assigned rights of their own, it may be difficult to ensure the protection of “digital human rights”. For example, social science researchers might be tempted to secretly expose simulated minds, or whole isolated societies of simulated minds, to controlled experiments in which many copies of the same minds are exposed (serially or simultaneously) to different test conditions.[citation needed]

Emulations could create a number of conditions that might increase risk of war, including inequality, changes of power dynamics, a possible technological arms race to build emulations first, first-strike advantages, strong loyalty and willingness to “die” among emulations, and triggers for racist, xenophobic, and religious prejudice.[42] If emulations run much faster than humans, there might not be enough time for human leaders to make wise decisions or negotiate. It is possible that humans would react violently against growing power of emulations, especially if they depress human wages. Emulations may not trust each other, and even well-intentioned defensive measures might be interpreted as offense.[42]

There are very few feasible technologies that humans have refrained from developing. The neuroscience and computer-hardware technologies that may make brain emulation possible are widely desired for other reasons, and logically their development will continue into the future. Assuming that emulation technology will arrive, a question becomes whether we should accelerate or slow its advance.[42]

Arguments for speeding up brain-emulation research:

Arguments for slowing down brain-emulation research:

Emulation research would also speed up neuroscience as a whole, which might accelerate medical advances, cognitive enhancement, lie detectors, and capability for psychological manipulation.[48]

Emulations might be easier to control than de novo AI because

As counterpoint to these considerations, Bostrom notes some downsides:

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, claims to know and foresee that people will be able to “upload” their entire brains to computers and become “digitally immortal” by 2045. Kurzweil made this claim for many years, e.g. during his speech in 2013 at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York, which claims to subscribe to a similar set of beliefs.[49] Mind uploading is also advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] while he was still alive. In 1993, Joe Strout created a small web site called the Mind Uploading Home Page, and began advocating the idea in cryonics circles and elsewhere on the net. That site has not been actively updated in recent years, but it has spawned other sites including MindUploading.org, run by Randal A. Koene, who also moderates a mailing list on the topic. These advocates see mind uploading as a medical procedure which could eventually save countless lives.

Many transhumanists look forward to the development and deployment of mind uploading technology, with transhumanists such as Nick Bostrom predicting that it will become possible within the 21st century due to technological trends such as Moore’s law.[4]

Michio Kaku, in collaboration with Science, hosted a documentary, Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible, based on his book Physics of the Impossible. Episode four, titled “How to Teleport”, mentions that mind uploading via techniques such as quantum entanglement and whole brain emulation using an advanced MRI machine may enable people to be transported to vast distances at near light-speed.

The book Beyond Humanity: CyberEvolution and Future Minds by Gregory S. Paul & Earl D. Cox, is about the eventual (and, to the authors, almost inevitable) evolution of computers into sentient beings, but also deals with human mind transfer. Richard Doyle’s Wetwares: Experiments in PostVital Living deals extensively with uploading from the perspective of distributed embodiment, arguing for example that humans are currently part of the “artificial life phenotype”. Doyle’s vision reverses the polarity on uploading, with artificial life forms such as uploads actively seeking out biological embodiment as part of their reproductive strategy.

Kenneth D. Miller, a professor of neuroscience at Columbia and a co-director of the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, raised doubts about the practicality of mind uploading. His major argument is that reconstructing neurons and their connections is in itself is a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of brain depends on the dynamics of electrical and biochemical signal exchange between neurons. Therefore capturing them in a single “frozen” state may prove insufficient. In addition, the nature of these signals may require modeling down to molecular level and beyond. Therefore, while not rejecting the idea in principle, Miller believes that the complexity of the “absolute” duplication of an individual mind is insurmountable for the nearest hundreds of years.[50]

Read more:

Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Ron Paul – Wikipedia

Ron PaulMember of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Texas’s 14th districtIn officeJanuary 3, 1997 January 3, 2013Preceded byGreg LaughlinSucceeded byRandy WeberMember of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Texas’s 22nd districtIn officeJanuary 3, 1979 January 3, 1985Preceded byBob GammageSucceeded byTom DeLayIn officeApril 3, 1976 January 3, 1977Preceded byBob CaseySucceeded byBob GammagePersonal detailsBornRonald Ernest Paul(1935-08-20) August 20, 1935 (age82)Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.Political partyLibertarian (19871996, 2015present)Other politicalaffiliationsRepublican (Before 1987, 19962015)Spouse(s)Carolyn Wells (m.1957)Children5, including RandEducationGettysburg College (BS)Duke University (MD)SignatureWebsiteOfficial websiteMilitary serviceAllegianceUnited StatesService/branchUnited States Air ForceYears of service1963196519651968Rank Captain[1]UnitAir National Guard Texas Air National Guard

Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American author, physician, and former politician. He was the U.S. Representative for Texas’ 14th and 22nd congressional districts. He represented the 22nd congressional district from 1976 to 1977 and from 1979 to 1985, and then represented the 14th congressional district, which included Galveston, from 1997 to 2013. On three occasions, he sought the presidency of the United States: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012. Paul is a critic of the federal government’s fiscal policies, especially the existence of the Federal Reserve and the tax policy, as well as the militaryindustrial complex, and the War on Drugs. Paul has also been a vocal critic of mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance programs. Paul was the first chairman of the conservative PAC Citizens for a Sound Economy[2] and has been characterized as the “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party movement.[3][4]

A native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree, Pennsylvania, Paul is a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1968. He worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist from the 1960s to the 1980s.[5] He became the first Representative in history to serve concurrently with a son or daughter in the Senate when his son, Rand Paul, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.[6]

Paul is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute,[7] and has been an active writer, publishing on the topics of political and economic theory, as well as publicizing the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns. Paul has written many books on Austrian economics and classical liberal philosophy, beginning with The Case for Gold (1982) and including A Foreign Policy of Freedom (2007), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), End the Fed (2009) and Liberty Defined (2011).

On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would forgo seeking another term in Congress in order to focus on his presidential bid.[8] On May 14, 2012, Paul announced that he would not be competing in any other presidential primaries but that he would still compete for delegates in states where the primary elections have already been held.[9] At the 2012 Republican National Convention, Paul received 190 delegate votes. In January 2013, Paul retired from Congress but still remains active on college campuses, giving speeches promoting his libertarian vision.[10][11] Paul received one electoral vote from a Texas faithless elector in the 2016 presidential election, making him the oldest person to receive an electoral vote, as well as the second registered Libertarian Presidential candidate in history to receive an Electoral College vote after John Hospers.

Ronald Ernest Paul was born on August 20, 1935, in Pittsburgh,[12] the son of Howard Caspar Paul (19041997), who ran a small dairy company, and Margaret Paul (ne Dumont; 19082001). His paternal grandfather emigrated from Germany,[13] and his paternal grandmother, a devout Christian, was a first-generation German American.[14]

As a junior at suburban Dormont High School, he was the 200 meter dash state champion.[15] Paul went to Gettysburg College, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.[16] He graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology in 1957.[15]

Paul earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Duke University’s School of Medicine in 1961, and completed his medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh.[17][18] Paul served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Paul and his wife then relocated to Texas, where he began a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology.[18]

While a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which caused him to read other publications by Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics.[19]

When President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window” by ending American participation in the Bretton Woods System, thus ending the U.S. dollar’s loose association with gold[19] on August 15, 1971, Paul decided to enter politics[20] and became a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.[21]

In 1974, incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him for the 22nd district.[18] President Gerald Ford later appointed Casey to direct the Federal Maritime Commission, and Paul won an April 1976 special election to the vacant office after a runoff.[22][23][24] Paul lost the next regular election to Democrat Robert Gammage by fewer than 300votes (0.2%), but defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch, and was reelected in 1980 and 1982.[25][26][27] Gammage underestimated Paul’s popularity among local mothers: “I had real difficulty down in Brazoria County, where he practiced, because he’d delivered half the babies in the county. There were only two obstetricians in the county, and the other one was his partner.”[28]

Paul served in Congress three different periods: first from 1976 to 1977, after he won a special election, then from 1979 to 1985, and finally from 1997 to 2013.[29]

In his early years, Paul served on the House Banking Committee, where he blamed the Federal Reserve for inflation and spoke against the banking mismanagement that resulted in the savings and loan crisis.[13][30] Paul argued for a return to the gold standard maintained by the US from 18731933, and with Senator Jesse Helms convinced the Congress to study the issue.[19] He spoke against the reinstatement of registration for the military draft in 1980, in opposition to President Jimmy Carter and the majority of his fellow Republican members of Congress.[31]

During his first term, Paul founded the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE), a non-profit think tank dedicated to promoting principles of limited government and free-market economics.[32][33] In 1984, Paul became the first chairman of the Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE),[2] a conservative political group founded by Charles and David Koch “to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation.” CSE started a Tea Party protest against high taxes in 2002.[34] In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound Economy being renamed as FreedomWorks, and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation becoming Americans for Prosperity. The two organizations would become key players in the Tea Party movement from 2009 onward.

Paul proposed term-limit legislation multiple times, while himself serving four terms in the House of Representatives.[31] In 1984, he decided to retire from the House in order to run for the U.S. Senate, complaining in his House farewell address that “Special interests have replaced the concern that the Founders had for general welfare… It’s difficult for one who loves true liberty and utterly detests the power of the state to come to Washington for a period of time and not leave a true cynic.”[35][36] Paul lost the Republican primary to Phil Gramm, who had switched parties the previous year from Democrat to Republican. Another candidate of the senatorial primary was Henry Grover, a conservative former state legislator who had lost the 1972 gubernatorial general election to the Democrat Dolph Briscoe, Jr.[37][38]

On Paul’s departure from the House, his seat was assumed by former state representative Tom DeLay, who would later become House Majority Leader.[39]

Following the loss of the 1984 senate race, Paul returned to his obstetrics practice and took part in a number of other business ventures.[13][40] Along with his former congressional chief of staff, Lew Rockwell, Paul founded a for-profit enterprise, Ron Paul & Associates, Inc. (RP&A) in 1984, with Paul serving as president, Rockwell as vice president, Paul’s wife Carol as secretary, and daughter Lori Pyeatt as treasurer. The company published a variety of political and investment-oriented newsletters, including Ron Paul Freedom Report and Ron Paul Survival Report, and by 1993 was generating revenues in excess of $900,000.[41][42]

Paul also co-owned a mail-order coin dealership, Ron Paul Coins, for twelve years with Burt Blumert, who continued to operate the dealership after Paul resumed office in 1996.[43][44] Paul spoke multiple times at the American Numismatic Association’s 1988 convention.[43] He worked with his Foundation for Rational Economics and Education on such projects as establishing the National Endowment for Liberty, producing the At Issue public policy series that was broadcast on the Discovery Channel and CNBC,[32] and continuing publication of newsletters.

Paul left the Republican Party in 1987 and launched a bid for the presidency running on the Libertarian Party ticket. His candidacy was seen as problematic because of the party’s long support for freedom of choice on abortions. Native American activist Russell Means, Paul’s rival for the nomination, emphasized that he was pro-choice on the abortion issue.[45] In a forum held prior to the nomination, Means dismissed the greater funds raised by Paul’s campaign, commenting that Means was receiving “10 times more press” than the former Congressman and was therefore “100 times more effective”.[46]

In the 1988 presidential election, Paul was on the ballot in 46 states,[47] scoring third in the popular vote with 432,179votes (0.5%).[48] Paul was kept off the ballot in Missouri, due to what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch termed a “technicality,” and received votes there only when written in,[49] just as he did in North Carolina.[50]

According to Paul, his presidential campaign was about more than obtaining office; he sought to promote his libertarian ideas, often to school and university groups regardless of vote eligibility. He said, “We’re just as interested in the future generation as this election. These kids will vote eventually, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll go home and talk to their parents.”[47]

Paul considered campaigning for President in 1992,[51] but instead chose to endorse Pat Buchanan that year, and served as an adviser to Buchanan’s Republican presidential primary campaign against incumbent President George H. W. Bush.[52]

During 1996, Paul was re-elected to Congress after a difficult campaign. The Republican National Committee endorsed incumbent Greg Laughlin in the primary; Paul won with assistance from baseball pitcher, constituent, and friend Nolan Ryan, tax activist and publisher Steve Forbes[13] and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan (the latter two of whom had had presidential campaigns that year). Paul narrowly defeated Democratic attorney Charles “Lefty” Morris in the fall election, despite Morris’ criticism over controversial statements in several newsletters that Paul published.

In 1998 and 2000, Paul defeated Loy Sneary, a Democratic Bay City, Texas, rice farmer and former Matagorda County judge.[20] In the 2008 Republican primary,[53] he defeated Friendswood city councilman Chris Peden,[54] with over 70 percent of the vote[55] and ran unopposed in the general election.[56] In the 2010Republican primary, Paul defeated three opponents with 80percent of the vote.[57]

On July 12, 2011, Paul announced that he would not seek re-election to the House in order to pursue the 2012 presidential election.[58][59]

Of the 620 bills that Paul had sponsored through December 2011, over a period of more than 22 years in Congress, only one had been signed into law a lifetime success rate of less than 0.3%.[60] The sole measure authored by Paul that was ultimately enacted allowed for a federal customhouse to be sold to a local historic preservation society (H.R. 2121 in 2009).[60]

By amending other legislation, he has helped prohibit funding for national identification numbers, funding for federal teacher certification,[20] International Criminal Court jurisdiction over the U.S. military, American participation with any U.N. global tax, and surveillance of peaceful First Amendment activities by citizens.[61]

Paul was honorary chairman of, and is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a political action committee that describes its goal as electing “liberty-minded, limited-government individuals”.[62] He is an initiating member of the Congressional Rural Caucus, which deals with agricultural and rural issues, and the 140-member Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.[63]

Paul served on the following committees and subcommittees.[64]

With the election of the 112th Congress, and a resulting GOP majority in the House, Paul became the chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology starting in January 2011.[65]

Paul’s congressional career ended on January 3, 2013 with the swearing in of the 113th Congress.

Paul formally declared his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination on March 12, 2007, on C-SPAN.[66] Few major politicians endorsed him, and his campaign was largely ignored by traditional media.[67] However, he attracted an intensely loyal grassroots following, in large part energized by “iconoclastic white men”[68] interacting through internet social media.[69][70][71] In May 2007, shortly after the first televised primary debates, the blogs search engine site Technorati.com listed Paul’s name as the term most frequently searched for;[69] and Paul’s campaign claimed that Paul had more YouTube channel subscribers than Barack Obama or any other candidate for president.[72] For a candidate who had had relatively low national name recognition prior to entering the race, Paul did surprisingly well in fundraising, taking in more money than any other Republican candidate in the fourth quarter of 2007, as the primary season headed into the Iowa caucuses.[73][74]

Despite benefiting from large numbers of campaign contributions from individual donors,[75] and the efforts of tech-savvy supporters determined to keep his name a frequent topic of discussion on the internet,[69] over the course of the campaign Paul was unable to translate the enthusiasm of his core supporters into large enough numbers of actual primary votes to unseat his rivals.

Paul came in 5th place in both the January 4 Iowa caucuses (10% of votes cast)[76] and the January 8 New Hampshire primary (8%).[77] With the exception of the Nevada caucuses January 19, where he came in 2nd (14%) behind Romney (51%), he did little better through the rest of January: Michigan 4th (6%), South Carolina 5th (4%), Florida 5th (3%). On SuperTuesday, February 5, he placed 4th in almost every state, generally taking in a mere 36% of the votes although he did better in the northern states of North Dakota (21%, 3rd place) and Montana (25%, 2nd place).[78][79]

By March, front-runner John McCain had secured enough pledged delegates to guarantee that he would win the nomination, and Romney and Huckabee had both formally withdrawn from the race. Paul, who had won no state primaries, knew that it was now mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination, as he had captured only 20[80] 40 pledged delegates compared to more than 1,191 for McCain, yet he refused to concede the race and said that it was unlikely that he would ultimately endorse McCain.[81][82][83] Over the next few weeks, Paul’s supporters clashed with establishment Republicans at several county and state party conventions over state party rules, the party platforms, and selection of delegates for the national convention.[84][85][86] In one of the more dramatic moments, Nevada’s state party leaders, outmaneuvered by Paul supporters at the state nominating convention, resorted to the highly unusual measure of prematurely and abruptly shutting down the convention before selecting national delegates, with a plan to reconvene at a later date.[87][88]

On June 12, 2008, Paul finally withdrew his bid for the Republican nomination. He later said that one of the reasons he did not run in the general election as a third-party candidate, after losing the primaries, was that, as a concession to gain ballot access in certain states, he had signed legally binding agreements to not run a third-party campaign if he lost the primary.[89] Some of the $4 million remaining campaign contributions was invested into the new political action and advocacy group called Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty.[90]

At a September 10, 2008, press conference, Paul announced his general support of four third-party candidates: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party); Bob Barr (Libertarian Party); Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party); and Ralph Nader (independent). He said that each of them had pledged to adhere to a policy of balancing budgets, bringing the troops home, defending privacy and personal liberties, and investigating the Federal Reserve. Paul also said that under no circumstances would he be endorsing either of the two main parties’ candidates (McCain Republican Party, or Obama Democratic Party) because there were no real differences between them, and because neither of them, if elected, would seek to make the fundamental changes in governance that were necessary. He urged instead that, rather than contribute to the charade that the two-party election system had become, the voters support the third-party candidates as a protest vote, to force change in the election process.[91][92] Later that same day, Paul gave a televised interview with Nader saying much the same again.[93]

Two weeks later, “shocked and disappointed” that Bob Barr (the Libertarian nominee) had pulled out of attending the press conference at the last minute and had admonished Paul for remaining neutral and failing to say which specific candidate Paul would vote for in the general election, Paul released a statement saying that he had decided to endorse Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate, for president.[94]

Paul withdrew from active campaigning in the last weeks of the primary election period. He received 42,426 votes, or 0.03% of the total cast, in the general election.[95]

Paul won several early straw polls for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination[96] and in late April 2011, he formed an official exploratory committee.[97][98] He participated in the first Republican presidential debate on May 5, 2011[99] and on May 13, 2011, Paul formally announced his candidacy in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.[100] He placed second in the 2011 Ames Straw Poll, missing first by 0.9%.[101]

In December 2011, with Paul’s increased support, the controversy over racist and homophobic statements in several Ron Paul newsletters in the 1980s and early 1990s once again gained media attention.[102] During this time Paul supporters asserted that he was continually ignored by the media despite his significant support, citing examples of where television news shows would fail to mention Paul in discussions of the Republican presidential hopefuls even when he was polling second.[103][104][105]

Ron Pauls presidential campaign paid former Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson $73,000 to switch his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann to Paul. In court papers filed in August 2014, Sorenson said that he had been paid by both presidential campaigns for his endorsement and plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from the incident.[106]

Paul came in third in the Iowa Republican Caucus held on January 3, 2012. Out of a turnout of 121,503 votes, Paul took 26,036 (21%) of the certified votes. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney finished in a virtual tie for first place with 25% each,[107] although Ron Paul had ultimately won Iowa at the Republican National Convention gathering 22 delegates to Mitt Romney’s 5. In the New Hampshire Primary held on January 10, 2012, Paul received 23% of the votes and came in second after Romney’s 39%.[108]

Paul’s results then declined, despite the withdrawal of candidates Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry. He had fourth-place finishes in the next two primaries, on January 21 in South Carolina (with 13% of the vote[109]) and on January 31 in Florida (where he received 7% of the vote[110][111][112]).

On February 4, Paul finished third in Nevada with 18.8% of the vote.[113] Three non-binding primaries were held on February 7; Paul took 3rd place in Colorado[114] and Missouri[115] with 13% and 12% of the vote respectively. He fared better in Minnesota[116] with 27%, finishing second to Rick Santorum.

On May 14, Paul’s campaign announced that due to lack of funds (though despite financial backing from financiers Peter Thiel and Mark Spitznagel[117]) he would no longer actively campaign for votes in the 11 remaining primary states, including Texas and California, that had not yet voted.[9][118] He would, however, continue to seek to win delegates for the national party convention in the states that had already voted.

In June, a group of 132 supporters of Paul, demanding the freedom as delegates to the upcoming Republican party national convention to cast votes for Paul, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Republican National Committee and 55 state and territorial Republican party organizations for allegedly coercing delegates to choose Mitt Romney as the partys presidential nominee.[119] The suit alleged that there had been a systematic campaign of election fraud at state conventions, employing rigging of voting machines, ballot stuffing, and falsification of ballot totals. The suit further pointed to incidents at state conventions, including acts of violence and changes in procedural rules, allegedly intended to deny participation of Paul supporters in the party decision-making and to prevent votes from being cast for Paul. An attorney representing the complainants said that Paul campaign advisor Doug Wead had voiced support for the legal action.[119] Paul himself told CNN that although the lawsuit was not a part of his campaigns strategy and that he had not been advising his supporters to sue, he was not going to tell his supporters not to sue, if they had a legitimate argument. If theyre not following the rules, you have a right to stand up for the rules. I think for the most part these winning caucuses that we’ve been involved in we have followed the rules. And the other side has at times not followed the rules.[120]

Paul declined to speak at the Republican National Convention as a matter of principle, saying that the convention planners had demanded that his remarks be vetted by the Romney campaign and that he make an unqualified endorsement of Romney.[121] Paul had felt that “It wouldnt be my speech… That would undo everything Ive done in the last 30 years. I dont fully endorse him for president.[121] Many of Paul’s supporters and delegates walked out of the convention in protest over rules adopted by the convention that reduced their delegate count and that would make it harder for non-establishment candidates to win the party’s nomination in future elections.[122] Supporters and media commentators had noted that the delegations from states where Paul had had the most support were given the worst seats in the convention hall, while delegations from regions with no electoral votes, such as the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico, were given prime seats at the front.[123][124]

As in 2008, in 2012 Paul ultimately refused to endorse the ticket selected by the Republican Party. He said that there was no essential difference between Romney and his Democratic opponent, President Obama, on the most critical policies: “I’ve been in this business a long time and believe me there is essentially no difference from one administration to another no matter what the platforms… The foreign policy stays the same, the monetary policy stays the same, theres no proposal for any real cuts and both parties support it.”[125] Paul received 26,204 write-in votes, or 0.02% of the total cast in the election.[126]

Throughout his entire tenure in Congress, Paul has represented his district as a member of the Republican Party. However, he has frequently taken positions in direct opposition to the other members and the leadership of the party, and he has sometimes publicly questioned whether he really belonged in the party.

Paul voted for Dwight Eisenhower for president in 1956 when he was 21 years old.[127] He had been a lifelong supporter of the Republican Party by the time he entered politics in the mid-1970s.[127] He was one of the first elected officials in the nation to support Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign,[128] and he actively campaigned for Reagan in 1976 and 1980.[129] After Reagan’s election in 1980, Paul quickly became disillusioned with the Reagan administration’s policies. He later recalled being the only Republican to vote against Reagan budget proposals in 1981,[130][131] aghast that “in 1977, Jimmy Carter proposed a budget with a $38 billion deficit, and every Republican in the House voted against it. In 1981, Reagan proposed a budget with a $45 billion deficit which turned out to be $113 billion and Republicans were cheering his great victory. They were living in a storybook land.”[128] He expressed his disgust with the political culture of both major parties in a speech delivered in 1984 upon resigning from the House of Representatives to prepare for a (failed) run for the Senate, and he eventually apologized to his libertarian friends for having supported Reagan.[130]

By 1987, Paul was ready to sever all ties to the Republican Party, as he explained in a blistering resignation letter: “Since [1981] Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together? There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government. That is the message of the Reagan years.”[127][129] A month later he announced he would seek the 1988 Libertarian Party nomination for president.

During the 1988 campaign, Paul called Reagan “a dramatic failure”[129] and complained that “Reagan’s record is disgraceful. He starts wars, breaks the law, supplies terrorists with guns made at taxpayers’ expense and lies about it to the American people.”[132] Paul predicted that “the Republicans are on their way out as a major party,”[130] and he said that, although registered as a Republican, he had always been a libertarian at heart.[130][131]

Paul returned to his private medical practice and managing several business ventures after losing the 1988 election; but by 1996, he was ready to return to politics, this time running on the Republican Party ticket again. He said that he had never read the entire Libertarian platform when he ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988, and that “I worked for the Libertarians on my terms, not theirs.”[133] He added that in terms of a political label he preferred to call himself “a constitutionalist. In Congress I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the (Republican) platform.”[133]

When he lost the Republican Party presidential primary election in 2008, Paul criticized the two major political parties, saying that there was no real difference between the parties and that neither of them truly intended to challenge the status quo. He refused to endorse the Republican Party’s nominee for president, John McCain, and lent his support to third-party candidates instead.[134][135]

In the 2012 presidential campaign, during which he acknowledged it was unlikely that he would win the Republican Party nomination,[136] Paul again asserted that he was participating in the Republican Party on his own terms, trying to persuade the rest of the party to move toward his positions rather than joining in with theirs.[137] He expressed doubt that he would support any of his rivals should they win the nomination, warning that, If the policies of the Republican Party are the same as the Democrat Party and they don’t want to change anything on foreign policy, they don’t want to cut anything, they don’t want to audit the Fed and find out about monetary policy, they don’t want to have actual change in government, that is a problem for me.”[138] On that same theme he said in another interview, “I would be reluctant to jump on board and tell all of the supporters that have given me trust and money that all of a sudden, I’d say, [all] we’ve done is for naught. So, let’s support anybody at all even if they disagree with everything that we do.”[139]

Paul has been described as conservative and libertarian.[13] According to University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress from 1937 to 2002,[140][141] and is the most conservative of the candidates that had sought the 2012 Republican nomination for president,[142] on a scale primarily measuring positions on the role of government in managing the economy not positions on social issues or foreign policy matters.[143] Other analyses, in which key votes on domestic social issues and foreign policy factor more heavily, have judged Paul much more moderate. The National Journal, for instance, rated Paul only the 145th most conservative member of the House of Representatives (out of 435) based on votes cast in 2010.[144][145]

The foundation of Paul’s political philosophy is the conviction that “the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.”[146] He has been nicknamed “Dr. No,”[20] reflecting both his medical degree and his insistence that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”[30]

Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention[147] made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty.[148]

He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11 attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting specific terrorists. An opponent of the Iraq War and potential war with Iran, he has also criticized neoconservatism and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, arguing that both inadvertently cause terrorist reprisals against Americans, such as the 9/11 attacks. Paul has stated that “Israel is our close friend” and that it is not the place of the United States to “dictate how Israel runs her affairs”.[149]

Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees. He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft. Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”[150]

Sometime within the same month but much after the event of authorities executing a lock-down in sequence to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Paul commented on the tactics used by governing forces into a harsh criticism that he has written as a “military-style occupation of an American city”.[11]

Paul is a proponent of Austrian School economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian School economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of President Grover Cleveland and Chicago School economist Milton Friedman)[151] on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes;[152] he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during a 19951997 period.[20]

He has pledged never to raise taxes[153] and states he has never voted to approve a budget deficit. Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels;[154][155] financing government operations would be primarily by excise taxes and non-protectionist tariffs. He endorses eliminating most federal government agencies, terming them unnecessary bureaucracies.

On April 15, 2011, Paul was one of four Republican members of Congress to vote against Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, known as “The Path to Prosperity.”[156]

Paul has consistently warned of hyperinflation as far back as 1981.[157] While Paul believes the longterm decrease of the U.S. dollar’s purchasing power by inflation is attributable to its lack of any commodity backing, he does not endorse a “return” to a gold standard as the U.S. government has established during the past but instead prefers to eliminate legal tender laws and to remove the sales tax on gold and silver, so that the market may freely decide what type of monetary standard(s) there shall be.[158] Since 1999, he has introduced bills into each Congress seeking to eliminate the Federal Reserve System in a single year.[159][160][161]

He endorses free trade, rejecting membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization as “managed trade”.

As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention.[162] He called global warming a hoax in a 2009 Fox Business interview, saying, “You know, the greatest hoax I think that has been around in many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming.”[163] He acknowledges there is clear evidence of rising temperatures in some parts of the globe, but says that temperatures are cooling in other parts.[164]

Paul has stated that “The government shouldn’t be in the medical business.” He pushes to eliminate federal involvement with and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to decrease due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market.[165] He also opposes federal government influenza inoculation programs.[166]

Paul endorses increased border security and opposes welfare for illegal immigrants, birthright citizenship and amnesty;[167] he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

He is an outspoken proponent of increased ballot access for third-party candidates.[168] He has sought to repeal the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter law.[169]

Paul has stated that secession from the United States “is a deeply American principle” and that “If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.”[170] Paul wrote the remarks in a post on his Congressional website in one of his final public statements as a member of Congress, noting that many petitions had been submitted to the White House calling for secession in the wake of the November 2012 election.[171]

He terms himself “strongly pro-life”,[172] “an unshakable foe of abortion”,[173] and believes regulation or ban[174] on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”.[175][176] His abortion-related legislation, such as the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get “the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters.”[177] Paul says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception.[178]

Paul opposes the federal War on Drugs,[179] and believes the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana.[180]

Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states’ rights to decide how to regulate social matters not cited directly by the Constitution. He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty[175] (although he opposes capital punishment),[181] of education,[182] and of marriage, and endorsed revising the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to concern mainly disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual).[183]

Paul was critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arguing that it sanctioned federal interference in the labor market and did not improve race relations. He once remarked: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society”.[184] Paul opposes affirmative action.[185]

Beginning in 1978, for more than two decades Paul and his associates published a number of political and investment-oriented newsletters bearing his name (Dr. Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, the Ron Paul Investment Letter, and the Ron Paul Political Report).[186] By 1993, a business through which Paul was publishing the newsletters was earning in excess of $900,000 per year.[186]

A number of the newsletters, particularly in the period between 1988 and 1994 when Paul was no longer in Congress, contained material that later proved controversial. Topics included conspiracy theories, anti-government militia movements, and race wars.[186][187] During Paul’s 1996 congressional election campaign, and his 2008 and 2012 presidential primary campaigns, critics charged that some of the passages reflected racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic bigotry.[20][188][189][190] In a 1996 interview, Paul did not deny writing the newsletters and defended some of their contents, but specified that he opposes racism.[191][192][193] In March 2001, Paul said he did not write the commentaries, but stopped short of denying authorship in 1996 because his campaign advisers had thought it would be too confusing and that he had to live with the material published under his name.[194][195] In 2011, Paul’s spokesperson Jesse Benton said Paul had “taken moral responsibility because they appeared under his name and slipped through under his watch.”[196]

In April 2013, Paul founded the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a foreign policy think tank that seeks to promote his non-interventionist views.[197] The institute is part of his larger foundation Foundation for Rational Economics and Education.

In the same month, he began to offer the Ron Paul Curriculum, a homeschool online curriculum developed by Gary North and taught from a “free market and Christian” perspective; it is free from grades kindergarten5 and available to paid members from 612.[198]

In June 2013, Paul criticized the NSA surveillance program and praised Edward Snowden for having performed a “great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret”.[199]

On March 28, 2017, Paul predicted the markets would lower during the year and said President Trump had taken a risk with crediting himself for the postelection market surge, reasoning Washington was still predominantly unchanged.[200]

In 2013, Paul established the “Ron Paul Channel”, an Internet broadcast. Its slogan is “Turn Off Your TV. Turn On the Truth.”[201] Speaking about the channel, Paul said, “I was at a debate one time a couple years ago, where I didn’t think I got a fair shake. In a two-hour debate, I had 89 seconds. I thought, maybe there’s something wrong with the media. Maybe they’re not covering us fairly. I’m just using it as a pun, but theres a bit of truth to this. We don’t get a fair shake. The people who believe in liberty and limited government don’t expect it from the ordinary media.” Speaking about his youth appeal, he noted, “They dont sit and watch TV and turn the programs on at seven o’clock to watch us like that so I thought the technology was there. The country is ripe for the continuation of this revolution.”[202]

In May 2015, Ron Paul ended all relationships with the Voices of Liberty and the Ron Paul Channel to start a new internet broadcast called the Ron Paul Liberty Report. According to Paul himself, it will not cost a thing, unlike the previous Ron Paul Channel. In the announcement of the ended relationship, Paul said, “But the message I have always tried to deliver over the years has always been the same, and that is spreading the message of liberty. Right now I am very much engaged in doing that through the internet. But, I believe we can do better. Right now, the program has changed to the Ron Paul Liberty Report, and that is what we do, we report on liberty in context of what is going on in daily activity and what is going on in the news.” Paul went on to say that it will be more locally controlled, unlike the previous Ron Paul Channel. Paul continued to say it will be produced out of Texas, instead of California.[203]

In April 2015, Paul began appearing in infomercials warning about an upcoming financial meltdown as a result of the imminent crash of the worlds currencies.[204][205] He urges listeners to read America 2020: The Survival Blueprint, a book written by Porter Stansberry.[206][not in citation given]

Paul endorsed his son, Senator Rand Paul, in the Republican primary and campaigned for him in Iowa.[207] After his son dropped out, Paul had said that Bernie Sanders may be the most pro-liberty candidate, because of his opposition to cronyism with Wall Street and wars.[208] Paul was disappointed in the Libertarian Party for nominating Gary Johnson for President of the United States and told independent voters that Jill Stein was a better candidate for those who “lean towards progressivism and liberalism”.[209]

Paul received one electoral vote from a Texas faithless elector, South Texas College political science professor William Greene (who had been pledged to Donald Trump),[210] in the 2016 presidential election,[211][212] making Paul the oldest person ever to receive an electoral vote.

Paul has been married to Carol (Carolyn) Wells since 1957.[213] They met in 1952 when Wells asked Paul to be her escort to her 16th birthday party.[214][215] They have five children, who were baptized Episcopalian:[13] Ronald, Lori, Randal, Robert, and Joy. Paul’s son Randal is the junior United States senator from the state of Kentucky. Raised a Lutheran, Paul later became a Baptist.[216] Since 1995, Carol Paul has published the Ron Paul Family Cookbook, a collection of recipes she and her friends contributed, and which was sold in part to support Ron Paul’s political campaigns.[217] His life and career is the subject of the 2012 film Ron Paul Uprising.[218]

Paul and his wife currently reside in Lake Jackson, Texas.[219]

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Fourth Amendment

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by John Wesley Hall Criminal Defense Lawyer and Search and seizure law consultant Little Rock, Arkansas Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book http://www.johnwesleyhall.com

2003-18,online since Feb. 24, 2003

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fourth Amendment cases, citations, and links

Latest Slip Opinions: U.S. Supreme Court (Home) Federal Appellate Courts Opinions First Circuit Second Circuit Third Circuit Fourth Circuit Fifth Circuit Sixth Circuit Seventh Circuit Eighth Circuit Ninth Circuit Tenth Circuit Eleventh Circuit D.C. CircuitFederal CircuitForeign Intell.Surv.Ct.FDsys, many district courts, other federal courts, otherMilitary Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG State courts (and some USDC opinions)

Google Scholar Advanced Google Scholar Google search tips LexisWeb LII State Appellate Courts LexisONE free caselaw Findlaw Free Opinions To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $

Research Links: Supreme Court: SCOTUSBlog S. Ct. Docket Solicitor General’s site SCOTUSreport Briefs online (but no amicus briefs) Oyez Project (NWU) “On the Docket”Medill S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com S.Ct. Com’t’ry: Law.com

General (many free): LexisWeb Google Scholar | Google LexisOne Legal Website Directory Crimelynx Lexis.com $ Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $ Findlaw.com Findlaw.com (4th Amd) Westlaw.com $ F.R.Crim.P. 41 http://www.fd.org Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Resources FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf) DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download) DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf)Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)

Congressional Research Service: –Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012) ACLU on privacy Privacy FoundationElectronic Frontier Foundation NACDLs Domestic Drone Information Center Electronic Privacy Information Center Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.) Section 1983 Blog

“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn’t, and they don’t.” Me

I am still learning.Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500’s)).

“Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government.” Shemaya, in the Thalmud

“A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one’s attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced.” Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev’d Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).

“The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.”Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).

“Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment.”Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).

“There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today.” Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).

“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property.” Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)

“It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment.” United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)

“The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has notto put it mildlyrun smooth.” Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

“A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.” Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)

“For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. … But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)

Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Governments purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)

Libertythe freedom from unwarranted intrusion by governmentis as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark. United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)

“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need.” Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for meand by that time there was nobody left to speak up.” Martin Niemller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]

You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!—Pep Le Pew

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Fourth Amendment

Seychelles Resort – Praslin Luxury Hotel – Raffles Seychelles

One of the worlds most far flung destinations, nestled in the Indian Ocean, the island of Praslin is the launch point for a myriad of activities and home to natural wonders such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valle de Mai, and Anse Lazio. Rated as one of the best beaches in the world, Anze Lazio is located just minutes from Raffles Seychelles.

Raffles Seychelles features eighty-six villas, some of the most spacious in the Seychelles. Each villa offers a private plunge pool and outdoor pavilion to soak up breathtaking views of the opal-hued ocean, white sandy beach and lush green hills. This is the perfect destination for couples to celebrate their one-of-a-kind moment, be it an oceanfront wedding or an anniversary celebration.

Dining at Raffles Seychelles combines the best of Seychellois culture and cuisine with dishes from around the world, and Raffles Spa, located steps away from the coastline of Anse Takamaka, offers ocean views from its treatment pavilions.

With a warm tropical climate, Praslin and its nearby islands enjoy a microclimate all of their very own, with temperatures between a consistent 24-32C (74 -90 Fahrenheit) year round.

Soar over the stunning islands and touch down on Praslin in true aviator style with a scenic 15-minute plane ride, departing every hour from the main island of Mah, or take a catamaran ferry across the turquoise blue waters for a more leisurely pace.

An oasis of laidback luxury, Raffles Seychelles instills a sense of wellbeing and creates an atmosphere of blissful relaxation, ideal for the paradise seeker.

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Seychelles Resort – Praslin Luxury Hotel – Raffles Seychelles

New Utopia – Wikipedia

Principality of New UtopiaMicronationStatusIn ConstructionOfficiallanguagesEnglishOrganizational structureConstitutional monarchy

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Websitewww.newutopia.org

New Utopia, officially the Principality Of New Utopia, is a micro nation claiming the Misteriosa Bank, an unclaimed plot of land in the Caribbean Sea off the Cayman islands. It was first proclaimed on 13 April 1999 by American businessman Howard Turney (“Prince Lazarus”); the project has recently been revived (in early 2017).

The project was founded in 1995 when Lazarus Long, the founder of New Utopia, came across an unclaimed plot of land in the Caribbean Sea. He then filed a claim with the United Nations, and New Utopia was born.

Long raised up to $100 million from investors from all over the world, with a majority coming from the United States. Then, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) termed New Utopia a “fraudulent nationwide Internet scheme”,[1] and complained that Long had made “material misrepresentations and omissions concerning, among other things, the status of construction of the project, the companies associated with the project, the safety of the investment, and the status of the Commission’s investigation into his activities.”[2] The SEC’s case against Long (SEC v. Lazarus Long) ruled for Long. Lazarus Long died in April 2012 at age 88, having raised up to $500 million for the New Utopian project. [3]

New Utopia’s project was restarted in early 2017 by Lazarus Long’s daughter Elizabeth Henderson, who promises to have the Project completed by 2021.[4]

The social model and trade system would have been hyper-capitalistic, modeled after the writings of Ayn Rand, Napoleon Hill, Robert Heinlein, Dale Carnegie, and Adam Smith.[5] Long also promised that the tiny nation would have a clinic better than the Mayo Clinic, a casino modelled after the Monte Carlo Casino, and “the ultimate luxury spa”.[5] Residents would live in one of the 642 apartments and condominiums that would be built.[6] It would have been a tax haven, with all services paid for by a 20% tax on imported consumable goods.[6]

Before creating New Utopia, Howard Turney had been introduced to the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) by an anti-aging doctor. He was so impressed with the results that he became an advocate of the hormone and in February 1993 he created a longevity spa called El Dorado Clinic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In 1995 he changed his name to Lazarus Long, a recurrent character in Heinlein’s novels who goes through several rejuvenation treatments in order to live hundreds of years and eventually become immortal. Also around 1995 he stopped injecting HGH in the El Dorado clinic because of the corruption of local officers, and he moved to the US. A few years later he had to stop injecting HGH also in the US when doctors stopped prescribing it due to illegal doping in sport. Then he tried to fund New Utopia, a place where the government couldn’t tell him what he could do and what he couldn’t. But in 1999 the SEC closed his bond offering because the bonds were not registered with them.[7] He dedicated the rest of his life to the creation of New Utopia.

Lazarus Long,[8] died on 26 April 2012 at the age of 80. After that the project was taken over by Elizabeth Henderson, the daughter of Lazarus Long.

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New Utopia – Wikipedia

Oceania – New World Encyclopedia

Oceania is a geographical (and geopolitical) region consisting of numerous countries and territoriesmostly islandsin the Pacific Ocean. The exact scope of Oceania variessome descriptions include East Timor, Australia, and New Zealand; other versions exclude them. The primary use of the term “Oceania” is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. The name “Oceania” is used, rather than “Australia,” because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean rather than the continent that links the nations together.

Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.

Oceania was divided into Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia by the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville in 1831. This subdivision is no longer recognized as correct by most geographers and scientists, who prefer to divide Oceania into Near Oceania and Remote Oceania; it is still the most popular subdivision, though.

Most of Oceania consists of small island nations. Australia is the only continental country, and Papua New Guinea and East Timor are the only countries with land borders, both with Indonesia.

The nations of Oceania have varying degrees of independence from their colonial powers and have negotiated a wide range of constitutional arrangements to suit their circumstances. The following list contains the countries and territories that are classified as part of Oceania by UNESCO; other countries are sometimes considered part of Oceania (see Other Interpretations below).

Australia

Melanesia

Micronesia

Polynesia

Australia is sometimes not included in Oceania, although a term like the “Pacific Islands” would normally be used to describe Oceania without Australia. Hawaii and the United States territories with no indigenous population in the North Pacific are sometimes included, but are normally grouped with the United States in North America. Hawaiians are a Polynesian race. Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the eastern Pacific Ocean, part of the territory of Chile, and is sometimes included in Oceania. On rare occasions, the term may be stretched even further to include other Pacific Ocean island groups such as the Aleutian Islands.

Oceania is one of eight terrestrial ecozones, which constitute the major ecological regions of the planet. The Oceania ecozone includes all of Micronesia, Fiji, and all of Polynesia except New Zealand. New Zealand, along with New Guinea and nearby islands, Australia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia constitute the separate Australasia ecozone.

Oceania is the smallest in area of any of the ecozones, and the youngest, geologically. Other ecozones include old continental land masses or fragments of continents, but Oceania is composed mostly of island groups that arose from the sea, as a result of hotspot volcanism, or as island arcs pushed upward by the collision and subduction of tectonic plates. The islands range from tiny coral atolls to large mountainous islands, like Hawaii and Fiji.

The climate of Oceania’s islands is tropical or subtropical, and ranges from humid to seasonally dry. Wetter parts of the islands are covered by tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, while the drier parts of the islands, including the leeward sides of the islands and many of the low coral islands, are covered by tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests and tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands. Hawaii’s high volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, are home to some rare tropical montane grasslands and shrublands.

Since the islands of Oceania were never connected by land to a continent, the flora and fauna of the islands originally reached them from across the ocean. Once they reached the islands, the ancestors of Oceania’s present flora and fauna adapted to life on the islands. Larger islands with diverse ecological niches encouraged floral and faunal adaptive radiation, whereby multiple species evolved from a common ancestor, each species adapted to a different ecological niche; the various species of Hawaiian honeycreepers (family Drepanididae) are a classic example. Other adaptations to island ecologies include giantism, dwarfism, and, among birds, loss of flight. Oceania has a number of endemic species; Hawaii, in particular, is considered a global center of endemism, with its forest ecoregions having one of the highest percentages of endemic plants in the world.

Land plants dispersed by several different means. Many plants, mostly ferns and mosses but also some flowering plants, disperse on the wind, relying on tiny spores or feathery seeds that can remain airborne over long distances. Other plants, notably coconut palms and mangroves, produce seeds that can float in saltwater over long distances, eventually washing up on distant beaches. Birds are also an important means of dispersal; some plants produce sticky seeds that are carried on the feet or feathers of birds, and many plants produce fruits filled with seeds that can pass through the digestive tracts of birds. Botanists generally agree that much of the flora of Oceania is derived from the Malesian Flora of the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea, with some plants from Australasia and a few from the Americas, particularly in Hawaii. Metrosideros, Pandanus, and Coco are tree genera with a fairly ubiquitous distribution across Oceania.

Dispersal across the ocean is difficult for most land animals, and Oceania has relatively few indigenous land animals compared to other ecozones. Certain types of animals that are ecologically important on the continental ecozones, like large land predators and grazing mammals, were entirely absent from the islands of Oceania until humans brought them. Birds are relatively common, including many sea birds and some species of land birds whose ancestors may have been blown out to sea by storms. Some birds evolved into flightless species after their ancestors arrived, including several species of rails. A number of islands have indigenous lizards, including geckoes and skinks, whose ancestors probably arrived on floating rafts of vegetation washed out to sea by storms. With the exception of bats, which live on most of the island groups, there are few if any indigenous mammal species in Oceania. Several species, however, have been introduced by humans: the first Malayo-Polynesian settlers brought pigs, dogs, and, inadvertently, rats to the islands. European settlers brought other animals, including cats, mongooses, sheep, goats, and the Norway rat.

These and other introduced species, in addition to overhunting and deforestation, have dramatically altered the ecology of many of Oceania’s islands, pushing many species to extinction or near-extinction. The absence of predator species caused many bird species to become nave, losing the instinct to flee from predators, and to lay their eggs on the ground, which makes them vulnerable to introduced predators like cats, dogs, mongooses, and rats. The arrival of humans on these island groups often resulted in disruption of the indigenous ecosystems and waves of species extinctions. Easter Island, the easternmost island in Polynesia, shows evidence of a human-caused ecosystem collapse several hundred years ago, which then caused the human population to implode. The island, once lushly forested, is now mostly windswept grasslands. More recently, Guam’s native bird and lizard species were decimated by the introduction of the brown snake, Boiga irregularis, in the 1940s.

The economy of Oceania is comprised of more than 14 separate countries and their associated economies. The region has approximately 35,834,670 inhabitants who are spread among 30,000 islands in the South Pacific bordered by Asia and the Americas. Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia (1st) and New Zealand (2nd), boasting parity with much of Western Europe, to the much less developed economies that belong to many of their island neighbors.

Many of the smaller Pacific nations rely on trade with Australia, New Zealand, and the United States for exporting goods and for accessing other products.

Australia and New Zealand’s trading arrangements are known as Closer Economic Relations. Australia and New Zealand, along with other countries, are members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS), which may become trade blocs in the future, particularly the EAS.

The overwhelming majority of people in the Pacific (not including Australia and New Zealand) work in the primary sector. Many nations are still quintessentially agricultural; for example, 80 percent of the population of Vanuatu and 70 percent of the population of Fiji work in agriculture. The main produce from the Pacific is copra or coconut, but timber, beef, palm oil, cocoa, sugar, and ginger are also commonly grown across the tropics of the Pacific. Old growth logging is exploited on larger islands, including the Solomons and Papua New Guinea.

Fishing provides a major industry for many of the smaller nations in the Pacific, and the sale of fishing licenses can bring considerable income. However, many fishing areas are exploited by other larger countries, namely Japan.

Natural resources, such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold, are mined across the west of the region, in the Solomon Islands and Australia. The manufacturing of clothing is a major industry in some parts of the Pacific, especially Fiji, although this is decreasing. Very little of the economy is in the area of investing and banking, save in the larger countries of Australia and New Zealand.

Recently, tourism has become a large source of income for many in the Pacific; tourists come from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Fiji currently draws almost half a million tourists each year; more than a quarter from Australia. This contributes US$300 million to Fiji’s economy.

Aside from tourism, many places in the Pacific still rely on foreign aid for development. In the Solomon Islands, 50 percent of government spending is paid for by international donors; namely Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Japan, and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

As the world’s regions become increasingly interlinked to form trade blocs, Oceania’s future could entail either increased unity or separatism. The outcome or resolutions to issues such as global warming, the Kyoto Agreement, and the subsequent potential of carbon trading could increase the region’s viability and lead it to become more centralized. Greater unity, and therefore sustained prosperity, among Oceanian countries could be achieved through increased cooperation between the nation states economically, politically, and socially. The implementation of these factors could provide the region with a similar framework to the European Union in its most fundamental form. The formation of a common currency in the South Pacific, similar to that in Europe, may be the first step in this direction.

The demographic table below shows the subregions and countries of geopolitical Oceania, categorized according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations.[1]

All links retrieved February 11, 2015.

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Oceania – New World Encyclopedia

Oceania – Wikitravel

Oceania

Oceania is a vast, arbitrarily defined expanse of the world where the Pacific Ocean rather than land borders connects the nations. It is home to glistening white beaches, coconut palms swaying in the breeze, beautiful coral reefs, and rugged volcanic islands rising out of the blue ocean. Its diverse nations have both some of the world’s most cosmopolitan and internationalised cities such as Melbourne, and some of its most remote and culturally isolated villages.

Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are by far the largest countries on these lands that comprise southern Oceania, with the first two the most visited. Within Oceania are the vast island nation groupings of Polynesia to the far east, Melanesia to the west and Micronesia to the north.

Australia and New Zealand are both former British colonies. At one time it was envisaged that the two colonies would become a single country. In the past, Papua New Guinea was a United Nations trusteeship, administered by Australia. Various islands have been annexed by Britain, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Australia and the United States.

The presence of all of these cultures has created an influence on aspects of culture norms and development. In many areas at least one, often more indigenous languages, and the languages of one or more of the colonial powers, are spoken by the majority as people have coexisted or joined with the influx of other cultures. This mix has influenced cuisine, architecture and other facets of culture.

Ecologically, Oceania also includes the eastern parts of Indonesia as far as Lombok and Sulawesi.

See the country articles for detailed information on how to Get in.

The major countries of Australia and New Zealand do of course offer connections from all continents, although there are few direct flights from South America. There are some other gateways offering other opportunities to get in to Oceania, and for interesting itineraries. Air France connects New Caledonia direct with Tokyo and Paris and also flies to Tahiti. Onward connections to Sydney and Auckland are possible. Fiji Airways connects Fiji with Los Angeles with connections through to Sydney, Auckland and Tahiti. Tahiti is connected to Los Angeles, and you can fly to the Cook Islands direct from there. Air New Zealand provides a service to Tonga and Samoa from Los Angeles and Auckland. The Los Angeles service is subsidized by the New Zealand government as a form of aid to the two countries. Manila, Guam and Honolulu offer a gateway to the many countries of Micronesia, mainly on Continental Airlines.

The smallest islands with less tourism present travel challenges. Many are entirely deserted, and some have restrictions on access. Others require specialized services you may hire.

A South Pacific cruise.

Without a yacht, or a lot of time, the only way for travellers to get around between the main destinations of Oceania is by plane. Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, and Los Angeles have good connectivity to the region. It is usually possible to fly from the west coast of the United States through to Sydney or Auckland via Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji or even the Cook Islands.

However, air routes tend to come and go depending on whether the airlines find them profitable or not. Much of Micronesia, having been under US Administration, is serviced by Continental Airlines. Much of English-speaking Polynesia receives regular flights from Air New Zealand. Melanesia is mainly serviced by national and Australian airlines. Don’t expect daily flights. Patience is required.

Flying between Micronesia and the other two areas is problematic and may involve flying all the way to Honolulu or a complicated route through Manila, Sydney and Auckland. Continental Airlines has a weekly flight from Guam to Nadi in Fiji. United Airlines offers flights also.Aircalin has flights from Japan direct to New Caledonia

Some flight options within Oceania, amongst others, are:

There are some options for boats, cruise ships, private yachts, adventure cruises, and even cargo ships.

Consult the guide for the destination you are visiting.

All island groups are fascinating and with time and money you can spend months just travelling around. There are some stunningly beautiful islands (Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia), some fascinating cultures and festivals, some wonderful diving and totally deserted beaches. Check the individual country sections for details.

Skiing and snow sports. New Zealand has reliable winter snowfalls, mostly on the South Island in winter. The Snowy Mountains in New South Wales have the largest ski resorts in the southern hemisphere.

Although staple foods from outside the region, such as rice and flour, now have a firm foothold, the traditional staples of roots and tubers remain very important. The cheapest is usually cassava, which can be left in the ground for a long time. Sweet potato is a very important crop and is found in most parts of Oceania with the major producing area being the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Taro and yam are also widespread. The latter is the most valuable of the roots and tubers and there are many customs associated with its cultivation. In the Sepik area of Papua New Guinea, for example, relations between married couples are traditionally forbidden while the yams are growing. On the other hand, in the Trobriand Islands the yam harvest traditionally is a period of active relations within couples, and of sexual freedom in general.

Kava is a drink produced from the roots of a plant related to the pepper plant and found mainly in Polynesia as well as Fiji and Vanuatu. It has a mildly narcotic effect. Other names include ‘awa (Hawai’i), ‘ava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), and sakau (Pohnpei). Traditionally it is prepared by chewing, grinding or pounding the roots of the kava plant. In Tonga, chewing traditionally had to be done by female virgins. Pounding is done in a large stone with a small log. The product is then added to cold water and consumed as quickly as possible, invariably as part of a group of people sitting around and sharing the cup. Check before taking any out of the country, however, as importing or exporting kava can be illegal for travelers.

Usual travel precautions re: any socializing or involvement with local people apply, always, and take special care in remote areas and on remote islands. Prepare thoroughly for trips into remote areas. Do your research, be prepared, understand that wilderness areas are true wilderness.

Fiji, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands, Samoa and all other islands except those listed next are usually malaria free.

Vanuatu has no reported cases of malaria currently although it has existed. Islanders are recuperating from flood losses (2014), and attendant human and infrastructure damage in the Solomon Islands, with some people who have contracted malaria. The malaria risk has lessened in Papua New Guinea this decade. All mentioned have a regimen of larval control practices.

Check with the WHO for the latest statistics.

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Oceania – Wikitravel

Gene therapy – About – Mayo Clinic

Overview

Gene therapy involves altering the genes inside your body’s cells in an effort to treat or stop disease.

Genes contain your DNA the code that controls much of your body’s form and function, from making you grow taller to regulating your body systems. Genes that don’t work properly can cause disease.

Gene therapy replaces a faulty gene or adds a new gene in an attempt to cure disease or improve your body’s ability to fight disease. Gene therapy holds promise for treating a wide range of diseases, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, diabetes, hemophilia and AIDS.

Researchers are still studying how and when to use gene therapy. Currently, in the United States, gene therapy is available only as part of a clinical trial.

Gene therapy is used to correct defective genes in order to cure a disease or help your body better fight disease.

Researchers are investigating several ways to do this, including:

Gene therapy has some potential risks. A gene can’t easily be inserted directly into your cells. Rather, it usually has to be delivered using a carrier, called a vector.

The most common gene therapy vectors are viruses because they can recognize certain cells and carry genetic material into the cells’ genes. Researchers remove the original disease-causing genes from the viruses, replacing them with the genes needed to stop disease.

This technique presents the following risks:

The gene therapy clinical trials underway in the U.S. are closely monitored by the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to ensure that patient safety issues are a top priority during research.

Currently, the only way for you to receive gene therapy is to participate in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors determine whether a gene therapy approach is safe for people. They also help doctors understand the effects of gene therapy on the body.

Your specific procedure will depend on the disease you have and the type of gene therapy being used.

For example, in one type of gene therapy:

Viruses aren’t the only vectors that can be used to carry altered genes into your body’s cells. Other vectors being studied in clinical trials include:

The possibilities of gene therapy hold much promise. Clinical trials of gene therapy in people have shown some success in treating certain diseases, such as:

But several significant barriers stand in the way of gene therapy becoming a reliable form of treatment, including:

Gene therapy continues to be a very important and active area of research aimed at developing new, effective treatments for a variety of diseases.

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Dec. 29, 2017

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Gene therapy – About – Mayo Clinic

Gene therapy | medicine | Britannica.com

Gene therapy, also called gene transfer therapy, introduction of a normal gene into an individuals genome in order to repair a mutation that causes a genetic disease. When a normal gene is inserted into the nucleus of a mutant cell, the gene most likely will integrate into a chromosomal site different from the defective allele; although that may repair the mutation, a new mutation may result if the normal gene integrates into another functional gene. If the normal gene replaces the mutant allele, there is a chance that the transformed cells will proliferate and produce enough normal gene product for the entire body to be restored to the undiseased phenotype.

Human gene therapy has been attempted on somatic (body) cells for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, adenosine deaminase deficiency, familial hypercholesterolemia, cancer, and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) syndrome. Somatic cells cured by gene therapy may reverse the symptoms of disease in the treated individual, but the modification is not passed on to the next generation. Germline gene therapy aims to place corrected cells inside the germ line (e.g., cells of the ovary or testis). If that is achieved, those cells will undergo meiosis and provide a normal gametic contribution to the next generation. Germline gene therapy has been achieved experimentally in animals but not in humans.

Scientists have also explored the possibility of combining gene therapy with stem cell therapy. In a preliminary test of that approach, scientists collected skin cells from a patient with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (an inherited disorder associated with certain types of lung and liver disease), reprogrammed the cells into stem cells, corrected the causative gene mutation, and then stimulated the cells to mature into liver cells. The reprogrammed, genetically corrected cells functioned normally.

Prerequisites for gene therapy include finding the best delivery system (often a virus, typically referred to as a viral vector) for the gene, demonstrating that the transferred gene can express itself in the host cell, and establishing that the procedure is safe. Few clinical trials of gene therapy in humans have satisfied all those conditions, often because the delivery system fails to reach cells or the genes are not expressed by cells. Improved gene therapy systems are being developed by using nanotechnology. A promising application of that research involves packaging genes into nanoparticles that are targeted to cancer cells, thereby killing cancer cells specifically and leaving healthy cells unharmed.

Some aspects of gene therapy, including genetic manipulation and selection, research on embryonic tissue, and experimentation on human subjects, have aroused ethical controversy and safety concerns. Some objections to gene therapy are based on the view that humans should not play God and interfere in the natural order. On the other hand, others have argued that genetic engineering may be justified where it is consistent with the purposes of God as creator. Some critics are particularly concerned about the safety of germline gene therapy, because any harm caused by such treatment could be passed to successive generations. Benefits, however, would also be passed on indefinitely. There also has been concern that the use of somatic gene therapy may affect germ cells.

Although the successful use of somatic gene therapy has been reported, clinical trials have revealed risks. In 1999 American teenager Jesse Gelsinger died after having taken part in a gene therapy trial. In 2000 researchers in France announced that they had successfully used gene therapy to treat infants who suffered from X-linked SCID (XSCID; an inherited disorder that affects males). The researchers treated 11 patients, two of whom later developed a leukemia-like illness. Those outcomes highlight the difficulties foreseen in the use of viral vectors in somatic gene therapy. Although the viruses that are used as vectors are disabled so that they cannot replicate, patients may suffer an immune response.

Another concern associated with gene therapy is that it represents a form of eugenics, which aims to improve future generations through the selection of desired traits. Some have argued that gene therapy is eugenic but that it is a treatment that can be adopted to avoid disability. To others, such a view of gene therapy legitimates the so-called medical model of disability (in which disability is seen as an individual problem to be fixed with medicine) and raises peoples hopes for new treatments that may never materialize.

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Gene therapy | medicine | Britannica.com

Gene therapy – Wikipedia

In medicine, gene therapy (also called human gene transfer) is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient’s cells as a drug to treat disease.[1] The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful nuclear gene transfer in humans, approved by the National Institutes of Health, was performed in May 1989.[2] The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990.

Between 1989 and February 2016, over 2,300 clinical trials had been conducted, more than half of them in phase I.[3]

Not all medical procedures that introduce alterations to a patient’s genetic makeup can be considered gene therapy. Bone marrow transplantation and organ transplants in general have been found to introduce foreign DNA into patients.[4] Gene therapy is defined by the precision of the procedure and the intention of direct therapeutic effects.

Gene therapy was conceptualized in 1972, by authors who urged caution before commencing human gene therapy studies.

The first attempt, an unsuccessful one, at gene therapy (as well as the first case of medical transfer of foreign genes into humans not counting organ transplantation) was performed by Martin Cline on 10 July 1980.[5][6] Cline claimed that one of the genes in his patients was active six months later, though he never published this data or had it verified[7] and even if he is correct, it’s unlikely it produced any significant beneficial effects treating beta-thalassemia.

After extensive research on animals throughout the 1980s and a 1989 bacterial gene tagging trial on humans, the first gene therapy widely accepted as a success was demonstrated in a trial that started on 14 September 1990, when Ashi DeSilva was treated for ADA-SCID.[8]

The first somatic treatment that produced a permanent genetic change was performed in 1993.[citation needed]

This procedure was referred to sensationally and somewhat inaccurately in the media as a “three parent baby”, though mtDNA is not the primary human genome and has little effect on an organism’s individual characteristics beyond powering their cells.

Gene therapy is a way to fix a genetic problem at its source. The polymers are either translated into proteins, interfere with target gene expression, or possibly correct genetic mutations.

The most common form uses DNA that encodes a functional, therapeutic gene to replace a mutated gene. The polymer molecule is packaged within a “vector”, which carries the molecule inside cells.

Early clinical failures led to dismissals of gene therapy. Clinical successes since 2006 regained researchers’ attention, although as of 2014, it was still largely an experimental technique.[9] These include treatment of retinal diseases Leber’s congenital amaurosis[10][11][12][13] and choroideremia,[14] X-linked SCID,[15] ADA-SCID,[16][17] adrenoleukodystrophy,[18] chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL),[19] acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),[20] multiple myeloma,[21] haemophilia,[17] and Parkinson’s disease.[22] Between 2013 and April 2014, US companies invested over $600 million in the field.[23]

The first commercial gene therapy, Gendicine, was approved in China in 2003 for the treatment of certain cancers.[24] In 2011 Neovasculgen was registered in Russia as the first-in-class gene-therapy drug for treatment of peripheral artery disease, including critical limb ischemia.[25] In 2012 Glybera, a treatment for a rare inherited disorder, became the first treatment to be approved for clinical use in either Europe or the United States after its endorsement by the European Commission.[9][26]

Following early advances in genetic engineering of bacteria, cells, and small animals, scientists started considering how to apply it to medicine. Two main approaches were considered replacing or disrupting defective genes.[27] Scientists focused on diseases caused by single-gene defects, such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, thalassemia, and sickle cell anemia. Glybera treats one such disease, caused by a defect in lipoprotein lipase.[26]

DNA must be administered, reach the damaged cells, enter the cell and either express or disrupt a protein.[28] Multiple delivery techniques have been explored. The initial approach incorporated DNA into an engineered virus to deliver the DNA into a chromosome.[29][30] Naked DNA approaches have also been explored, especially in the context of vaccine development.[31]

Generally, efforts focused on administering a gene that causes a needed protein to be expressed. More recently, increased understanding of nuclease function has led to more direct DNA editing, using techniques such as zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR. The vector incorporates genes into chromosomes. The expressed nucleases then knock out and replace genes in the chromosome. As of 2014 these approaches involve removing cells from patients, editing a chromosome and returning the transformed cells to patients.[32]

Gene editing is a potential approach to alter the human genome to treat genetic diseases,[33] viral diseases,[34] and cancer.[35] As of 2016 these approaches were still years from being medicine.[36][37]

Gene therapy may be classified into two types:

In somatic cell gene therapy (SCGT), the therapeutic genes are transferred into any cell other than a gamete, germ cell, gametocyte, or undifferentiated stem cell. Any such modifications affect the individual patient only, and are not inherited by offspring. Somatic gene therapy represents mainstream basic and clinical research, in which therapeutic DNA (either integrated in the genome or as an external episome or plasmid) is used to treat disease.

Over 600 clinical trials utilizing SCGT are underway in the US. Most focus on severe genetic disorders, including immunodeficiencies, haemophilia, thalassaemia, and cystic fibrosis. Such single gene disorders are good candidates for somatic cell therapy. The complete correction of a genetic disorder or the replacement of multiple genes is not yet possible. Only a few of the trials are in the advanced stages.[38]

In germline gene therapy (GGT), germ cells (sperm or egg cells) are modified by the introduction of functional genes into their genomes. Modifying a germ cell causes all the organism’s cells to contain the modified gene. The change is therefore heritable and passed on to later generations. Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, and the Netherlands[39] prohibit GGT for application in human beings, for technical and ethical reasons, including insufficient knowledge about possible risks to future generations[39] and higher risks versus SCGT.[40] The US has no federal controls specifically addressing human genetic modification (beyond FDA regulations for therapies in general).[39][41][42][43]

The delivery of DNA into cells can be accomplished by multiple methods. The two major classes are recombinant viruses (sometimes called biological nanoparticles or viral vectors) and naked DNA or DNA complexes (non-viral methods).

In order to replicate, viruses introduce their genetic material into the host cell, tricking the host’s cellular machinery into using it as blueprints for viral proteins. Retroviruses go a stage further by having their genetic material copied into the genome of the host cell. Scientists exploit this by substituting a virus’s genetic material with therapeutic DNA. (The term ‘DNA’ may be an oversimplification, as some viruses contain RNA, and gene therapy could take this form as well.) A number of viruses have been used for human gene therapy, including retroviruses, adenoviruses, herpes simplex, vaccinia, and adeno-associated virus.[3] Like the genetic material (DNA or RNA) in viruses, therapeutic DNA can be designed to simply serve as a temporary blueprint that is degraded naturally or (at least theoretically) to enter the host’s genome, becoming a permanent part of the host’s DNA in infected cells.

Non-viral methods present certain advantages over viral methods, such as large scale production and low host immunogenicity. However, non-viral methods initially produced lower levels of transfection and gene expression, and thus lower therapeutic efficacy. Later technology remedied this deficiency[citation needed].

Methods for non-viral gene therapy include the injection of naked DNA, electroporation, the gene gun, sonoporation, magnetofection, the use of oligonucleotides, lipoplexes, dendrimers, and inorganic nanoparticles.

Some of the unsolved problems include:

Three patients’ deaths have been reported in gene therapy trials, putting the field under close scrutiny. The first was that of Jesse Gelsinger in 1999. Jesse Gelsinger died because of immune rejection response.[50] One X-SCID patient died of leukemia in 2003.[8] In 2007, a rheumatoid arthritis patient died from an infection; the subsequent investigation concluded that the death was not related to gene therapy.[51]

In 1972 Friedmann and Roblin authored a paper in Science titled “Gene therapy for human genetic disease?”[52] Rogers (1970) was cited for proposing that exogenous good DNA be used to replace the defective DNA in those who suffer from genetic defects.[53]

In 1984 a retrovirus vector system was designed that could efficiently insert foreign genes into mammalian chromosomes.[54]

The first approved gene therapy clinical research in the US took place on 14 September 1990, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the direction of William French Anderson.[55] Four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva received treatment for a genetic defect that left her with ADA-SCID, a severe immune system deficiency. The effects were temporary, but successful.[56]

Cancer gene therapy was introduced in 1992/93 (Trojan et al. 1993).[57] The treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, the malignant brain tumor whose outcome is always fatal, was done using a vector expressing antisense IGF-I RNA (clinical trial approved by NIH protocolno.1602 November 24, 1993,[58] and by the FDA in 1994). This therapy also represents the beginning of cancer immunogene therapy, a treatment which proves to be effective due to the anti-tumor mechanism of IGF-I antisense, which is related to strong immune and apoptotic phenomena.

In 1992 Claudio Bordignon, working at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, performed the first gene therapy procedure using hematopoietic stem cells as vectors to deliver genes intended to correct hereditary diseases.[59] In 2002 this work led to the publication of the first successful gene therapy treatment for adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID). The success of a multi-center trial for treating children with SCID (severe combined immune deficiency or “bubble boy” disease) from 2000 and 2002, was questioned when two of the ten children treated at the trial’s Paris center developed a leukemia-like condition. Clinical trials were halted temporarily in 2002, but resumed after regulatory review of the protocol in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.[60]

In 1993 Andrew Gobea was born with SCID following prenatal genetic screening. Blood was removed from his mother’s placenta and umbilical cord immediately after birth, to acquire stem cells. The allele that codes for adenosine deaminase (ADA) was obtained and inserted into a retrovirus. Retroviruses and stem cells were mixed, after which the viruses inserted the gene into the stem cell chromosomes. Stem cells containing the working ADA gene were injected into Andrew’s blood. Injections of the ADA enzyme were also given weekly. For four years T cells (white blood cells), produced by stem cells, made ADA enzymes using the ADA gene. After four years more treatment was needed.[61]

Jesse Gelsinger’s death in 1999 impeded gene therapy research in the US.[62][63] As a result, the FDA suspended several clinical trials pending the reevaluation of ethical and procedural practices.[64]

The modified cancer gene therapy strategy of antisense IGF-I RNA (NIH n 1602)[58] using antisense / triple helix anti IGF-I approach was registered in 2002 by Wiley gene therapy clinical trial – n 635 and 636. The approach has shown promising results in the treatment of six different malignant tumors: glioblastoma, cancers of liver, colon, prostate, uterus, and ovary (Collaborative NATO Science Programme on Gene Therapy USA, France, Poland n LST 980517 conducted by J. Trojan) (Trojan et al., 2012). This antigene antisense/triple helix therapy has proven to be efficient, due to the mechanism stopping simultaneously IGF-I expression on translation and transcription levels, strengthening anti-tumor immune and apoptotic phenomena.

Sickle-cell disease can be treated in mice.[65] The mice which have essentially the same defect that causes human cases used a viral vector to induce production of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), which normally ceases to be produced shortly after birth. In humans, the use of hydroxyurea to stimulate the production of HbF temporarily alleviates sickle cell symptoms. The researchers demonstrated this treatment to be a more permanent means to increase therapeutic HbF production.[66]

A new gene therapy approach repaired errors in messenger RNA derived from defective genes. This technique has the potential to treat thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis and some cancers.[67]

Researchers created liposomes 25 nanometers across that can carry therapeutic DNA through pores in the nuclear membrane.[68]

In 2003 a research team inserted genes into the brain for the first time. They used liposomes coated in a polymer called polyethylene glycol, which, unlike viral vectors, are small enough to cross the bloodbrain barrier.[69]

Short pieces of double-stranded RNA (short, interfering RNAs or siRNAs) are used by cells to degrade RNA of a particular sequence. If a siRNA is designed to match the RNA copied from a faulty gene, then the abnormal protein product of that gene will not be produced.[70]

Gendicine is a cancer gene therapy that delivers the tumor suppressor gene p53 using an engineered adenovirus. In 2003, it was approved in China for the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.[24]

In March researchers announced the successful use of gene therapy to treat two adult patients for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease, a disease which affects myeloid cells and damages the immune system. The study is the first to show that gene therapy can treat the myeloid system.[71]

In May a team reported a way to prevent the immune system from rejecting a newly delivered gene.[72] Similar to organ transplantation, gene therapy has been plagued by this problem. The immune system normally recognizes the new gene as foreign and rejects the cells carrying it. The research utilized a newly uncovered network of genes regulated by molecules known as microRNAs. This natural function selectively obscured their therapeutic gene in immune system cells and protected it from discovery. Mice infected with the gene containing an immune-cell microRNA target sequence did not reject the gene.

In August scientists successfully treated metastatic melanoma in two patients using killer T cells genetically retargeted to attack the cancer cells.[73]

In November researchers reported on the use of VRX496, a gene-based immunotherapy for the treatment of HIV that uses a lentiviral vector to deliver an antisense gene against the HIV envelope. In a phase I clinical trial, five subjects with chronic HIV infection who had failed to respond to at least two antiretroviral regimens were treated. A single intravenous infusion of autologous CD4 T cells genetically modified with VRX496 was well tolerated. All patients had stable or decreased viral load; four of the five patients had stable or increased CD4 T cell counts. All five patients had stable or increased immune response to HIV antigens and other pathogens. This was the first evaluation of a lentiviral vector administered in a US human clinical trial.[74][75]

In May researchers announced the first gene therapy trial for inherited retinal disease. The first operation was carried out on a 23-year-old British male, Robert Johnson, in early 2007.[76]

Leber’s congenital amaurosis is an inherited blinding disease caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. The results of a small clinical trial in children were published in April.[10] Delivery of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying RPE65 yielded positive results. In May two more groups reported positive results in independent clinical trials using gene therapy to treat the condition. In all three clinical trials, patients recovered functional vision without apparent side-effects.[10][11][12][13]

In September researchers were able to give trichromatic vision to squirrel monkeys.[77] In November 2009, researchers halted a fatal genetic disorder called adrenoleukodystrophy in two children using a lentivirus vector to deliver a functioning version of ABCD1, the gene that is mutated in the disorder.[78]

An April paper reported that gene therapy addressed achromatopsia (color blindness) in dogs by targeting cone photoreceptors. Cone function and day vision were restored for at least 33 months in two young specimens. The therapy was less efficient for older dogs.[79]

In September it was announced that an 18-year-old male patient in France with beta-thalassemia major had been successfully treated.[80] Beta-thalassemia major is an inherited blood disease in which beta haemoglobin is missing and patients are dependent on regular lifelong blood transfusions.[81] The technique used a lentiviral vector to transduce the human -globin gene into purified blood and marrow cells obtained from the patient in June 2007.[82] The patient’s haemoglobin levels were stable at 9 to 10 g/dL. About a third of the hemoglobin contained the form introduced by the viral vector and blood transfusions were not needed.[82][83] Further clinical trials were planned.[84] Bone marrow transplants are the only cure for thalassemia, but 75% of patients do not find a matching donor.[83]

Cancer immunogene therapy using modified anti gene, antisense / triple helix approach was introduced in South America in 2010/11 in La Sabana University, Bogota (Ethical Committee 14 December 2010, no P-004-10). Considering the ethical aspect of gene diagnostic and gene therapy targeting IGF-I, the IGF-I expressing tumors i.e. lung and epidermis cancers, were treated (Trojan et al. 2016).[85][86]

In 2007 and 2008, a man (Timothy Ray Brown) was cured of HIV by repeated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (see also allogeneic stem cell transplantation, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, allotransplantation) with double-delta-32 mutation which disables the CCR5 receptor. This cure was accepted by the medical community in 2011.[87] It required complete ablation of existing bone marrow, which is very debilitating.

In August two of three subjects of a pilot study were confirmed to have been cured from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The therapy used genetically modified T cells to attack cells that expressed the CD19 protein to fight the disease.[19] In 2013, the researchers announced that 26 of 59 patients had achieved complete remission and the original patient had remained tumor-free.[88]

Human HGF plasmid DNA therapy of cardiomyocytes is being examined as a potential treatment for coronary artery disease as well as treatment for the damage that occurs to the heart after myocardial infarction.[89][90]

In 2011 Neovasculgen was registered in Russia as the first-in-class gene-therapy drug for treatment of peripheral artery disease, including critical limb ischemia; it delivers the gene encoding for VEGF.[91][25] Neovasculogen is a plasmid encoding the CMV promoter and the 165 amino acid form of VEGF.[92][93]

The FDA approved Phase 1 clinical trials on thalassemia major patients in the US for 10 participants in July.[94] The study was expected to continue until 2015.[84]

In July 2012, the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of a gene therapy treatment for the first time in either Europe or the United States. The treatment used Alipogene tiparvovec (Glybera) to compensate for lipoprotein lipase deficiency, which can cause severe pancreatitis.[95] The recommendation was endorsed by the European Commission in November 2012[9][26][96][97] and commercial rollout began in late 2014.[98] Alipogene tiparvovec was expected to cost around $1.6 million per treatment in 2012,[99] revised to $1 million in 2015,[100] making it the most expensive medicine in the world at the time.[101] As of 2016, only one person had been treated with drug.[102]

In December 2012, it was reported that 10 of 13 patients with multiple myeloma were in remission “or very close to it” three months after being injected with a treatment involving genetically engineered T cells to target proteins NY-ESO-1 and LAGE-1, which exist only on cancerous myeloma cells.[21]

In March researchers reported that three of five adult subjects who had acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) had been in remission for five months to two years after being treated with genetically modified T cells which attacked cells with CD19 genes on their surface, i.e. all B-cells, cancerous or not. The researchers believed that the patients’ immune systems would make normal T-cells and B-cells after a couple of months. They were also given bone marrow. One patient relapsed and died and one died of a blood clot unrelated to the disease.[20]

Following encouraging Phase 1 trials, in April, researchers announced they were starting Phase 2 clinical trials (called CUPID2 and SERCA-LVAD) on 250 patients[103] at several hospitals to combat heart disease. The therapy was designed to increase the levels of SERCA2, a protein in heart muscles, improving muscle function.[104] The FDA granted this a Breakthrough Therapy Designation to accelerate the trial and approval process.[105] In 2016 it was reported that no improvement was found from the CUPID 2 trial.[106]

In July researchers reported promising results for six children with two severe hereditary diseases had been treated with a partially deactivated lentivirus to replace a faulty gene and after 732 months. Three of the children had metachromatic leukodystrophy, which causes children to lose cognitive and motor skills.[107] The other children had Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, which leaves them to open to infection, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.[108] Follow up trials with gene therapy on another six children with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome were also reported as promising.[109][110]

In October researchers reported that two children born with adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency disease (ADA-SCID) had been treated with genetically engineered stem cells 18 months previously and that their immune systems were showing signs of full recovery. Another three children were making progress.[17] In 2014 a further 18 children with ADA-SCID were cured by gene therapy.[111] ADA-SCID children have no functioning immune system and are sometimes known as “bubble children.”[17]

Also in October researchers reported that they had treated six haemophilia sufferers in early 2011 using an adeno-associated virus. Over two years later all six were producing clotting factor.[17][112]

In January researchers reported that six choroideremia patients had been treated with adeno-associated virus with a copy of REP1. Over a six-month to two-year period all had improved their sight.[113][114] By 2016, 32 patients had been treated with positive results and researchers were hopeful the treatment would be long-lasting.[14] Choroideremia is an inherited genetic eye disease with no approved treatment, leading to loss of sight.

In March researchers reported that 12 HIV patients had been treated since 2009 in a trial with a genetically engineered virus with a rare mutation (CCR5 deficiency) known to protect against HIV with promising results.[115][116]

Clinical trials of gene therapy for sickle cell disease were started in 2014.[117][118] There is a need for high quality randomised controlled trials assessing the risks and benefits involved with gene therapy for people with sickle cell disease.[119]

In February LentiGlobin BB305, a gene therapy treatment undergoing clinical trials for treatment of beta thalassemia gained FDA “breakthrough” status after several patients were able to forgo the frequent blood transfusions usually required to treat the disease.[120]

In March researchers delivered a recombinant gene encoding a broadly neutralizing antibody into monkeys infected with simian HIV; the monkeys’ cells produced the antibody, which cleared them of HIV. The technique is named immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer (IGT). Animal tests for antibodies to ebola, malaria, influenza, and hepatitis were underway.[121][122]

In March, scientists, including an inventor of CRISPR, Jennifer Doudna, urged a worldwide moratorium on germline gene therapy, writing “scientists should avoid even attempting, in lax jurisdictions, germline genome modification for clinical application in humans” until the full implications “are discussed among scientific and governmental organizations”.[123][124][125][126]

In October, researchers announced that they had treated a baby girl, Layla Richards, with an experimental treatment using donor T-cells genetically engineered using TALEN to attack cancer cells. One year after the treatment she was still free of her cancer (a highly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia [ALL]).[127] Children with highly aggressive ALL normally have a very poor prognosis and Layla’s disease had been regarded as terminal before the treatment.[128]

In December, scientists of major world academies called for a moratorium on inheritable human genome edits, including those related to CRISPR-Cas9 technologies[129] but that basic research including embryo gene editing should continue.[130]

In April the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency endorsed a gene therapy treatment called Strimvelis[131][132] and the European Commission approved it in June.[133] This treats children born with adenosine deaminase deficiency and who have no functioning immune system. This was the second gene therapy treatment to be approved in Europe.[134]

In October, Chinese scientists reported they had started a trial to genetically modify T-cells from 10 adult patients with lung cancer and reinject the modified T-cells back into their bodies to attack the cancer cells. The T-cells had the PD-1 protein (which stops or slows the immune response) removed using CRISPR-Cas9.[135][136]

A 2016 Cochrane systematic review looking at data from four trials on topical cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene therapy does not support its clinical use as a mist inhaled into the lungs to treat cystic fibrosis patients with lung infections. One of the four trials did find weak evidence that liposome-based CFTR gene transfer therapy may lead to a small respiratory improvement for people with CF. This weak evidence is not enough to make a clinical recommendation for routine CFTR gene therapy.[137]

In February Kite Pharma announced results from a clinical trial of CAR-T cells in around a hundred people with advanced Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[138]

In March, French scientists reported on clinical research of gene therapy to treat sickle-cell disease.[139]

In August, the FDA approved tisagenlecleucel for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.[140] Tisagenlecleucel is an adoptive cell transfer therapy for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; T cells from a person with cancer are removed, genetically engineered to make a specific T-cell receptor (a chimeric T cell receptor, or “CAR-T”) that reacts to the cancer, and are administered back to the person. The T cells are engineered to target a protein called CD19 that is common on B cells. This is the first form of gene therapy to be approved in the United States. In October, a similar therapy called axicabtagene ciloleucel was approved for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[141]

In December the results of using an adeno-associated virus with blood clotting factor VIII to treat nine haemophilia A patients were published. Six of the seven patients on the high dose regime increased the level of the blood clotting VIII to normal levels. The low and medium dose regimes had no effect on the patient’s blood clotting levels.[142][143]

In December, the FDA approved Luxturna, the first in vivo gene therapy, for the treatment of blindness due to Leber’s congenital amaurosis.[144] The price of this treatment was 850,000 US dollars for both eyes.[145][146] CRISPR gene editing technology has also been used on mice to treat deafness due to the DFNA36 mutation, which also affects humans.[147]

Speculated uses for gene therapy include:

Gene Therapy techniques have the potential to provide alternative treatments for those with infertility. Recently, successful experimentation on mice has proven that fertility can be restored by using the gene therapy method, CRISPR.[148] Spermatogenical stem cells from another organism were transplanted into the testes of an infertile male mouse. The stem cells re-established spermatogenesis and fertility.[149]

Athletes might adopt gene therapy technologies to improve their performance.[150] Gene doping is not known to occur, but multiple gene therapies may have such effects. Kayser et al. argue that gene doping could level the playing field if all athletes receive equal access. Critics claim that any therapeutic intervention for non-therapeutic/enhancement purposes compromises the ethical foundations of medicine and sports.[151]

Genetic engineering could be used to cure diseases, but also to change physical appearance, metabolism, and even improve physical capabilities and mental faculties such as memory and intelligence. Ethical claims about germline engineering include beliefs that every fetus has a right to remain genetically unmodified, that parents hold the right to genetically modify their offspring, and that every child has the right to be born free of preventable diseases.[152][153][154] For parents, genetic engineering could be seen as another child enhancement technique to add to diet, exercise, education, training, cosmetics, and plastic surgery.[155][156] Another theorist claims that moral concerns limit but do not prohibit germline engineering.[157]

Possible regulatory schemes include a complete ban, provision to everyone, or professional self-regulation. The American Medical Associations Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs stated that “genetic interventions to enhance traits should be considered permissible only in severely restricted situations: (1) clear and meaningful benefits to the fetus or child; (2) no trade-off with other characteristics or traits; and (3) equal access to the genetic technology, irrespective of income or other socioeconomic characteristics.”[158]

As early in the history of biotechnology as 1990, there have been scientists opposed to attempts to modify the human germline using these new tools,[159] and such concerns have continued as technology progressed.[160][161] With the advent of new techniques like CRISPR, in March 2015 a group of scientists urged a worldwide moratorium on clinical use of gene editing technologies to edit the human genome in a way that can be inherited.[123][124][125][126] In April 2015, researchers sparked controversy when they reported results of basic research to edit the DNA of non-viable human embryos using CRISPR.[148][162] A committee of the American National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine gave qualified support to human genome editing in 2017[163][164] once answers have been found to safety and efficiency problems “but only for serious conditions under stringent oversight.”[165]

Regulations covering genetic modification are part of general guidelines about human-involved biomedical research. There are no international treaties which are legally binding in this area, but there are recommendations for national laws from various bodies.

The Helsinki Declaration (Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects) was amended by the World Medical Association’s General Assembly in 2008. This document provides principles physicians and researchers must consider when involving humans as research subjects. The Statement on Gene Therapy Research initiated by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) in 2001 provides a legal baseline for all countries. HUGOs document emphasizes human freedom and adherence to human rights, and offers recommendations for somatic gene therapy, including the importance of recognizing public concerns about such research.[166]

No federal legislation lays out protocols or restrictions about human genetic engineering. This subject is governed by overlapping regulations from local and federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA and NIH’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. Researchers seeking federal funds for an investigational new drug application, (commonly the case for somatic human genetic engineering,) must obey international and federal guidelines for the protection of human subjects.[167]

NIH serves as the main gene therapy regulator for federally funded research. Privately funded research is advised to follow these regulations. NIH provides funding for research that develops or enhances genetic engineering techniques and to evaluate the ethics and quality in current research. The NIH maintains a mandatory registry of human genetic engineering research protocols that includes all federally funded projects.

An NIH advisory committee published a set of guidelines on gene manipulation.[168] The guidelines discuss lab safety as well as human test subjects and various experimental types that involve genetic changes. Several sections specifically pertain to human genetic engineering, including Section III-C-1. This section describes required review processes and other aspects when seeking approval to begin clinical research involving genetic transfer into a human patient.[169] The protocol for a gene therapy clinical trial must be approved by the NIH’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee prior to any clinical trial beginning; this is different from any other kind of clinical trial.[168]

As with other kinds of drugs, the FDA regulates the quality and safety of gene therapy products and supervises how these products are used clinically. Therapeutic alteration of the human genome falls under the same regulatory requirements as any other medical treatment. Research involving human subjects, such as clinical trials, must be reviewed and approved by the FDA and an Institutional Review Board.[170][171]

Gene therapy is the basis for the plotline of the film I Am Legend[172] and the TV show Will Gene Therapy Change the Human Race?.[173] It is also used in Stargate as a means of allowing humans to use Ancient technology.[174]

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Gene therapy – Wikipedia

Human Gene Therapy

Editor-in-Chief: Terence R. Flotte, MDDeputy Editors, Europe: Nathalie Cartier, MD and Thierry VandenDriessche, PhDDeputy Editors, U.S.: Barry J. Byrne, MD, PhD and Mark A. Kay, MD, PhDHuman Gene Therapy Editor: Guangping Gao, PhDMethods Editor: Hildegard Bning, PhDClinical Development Editor: James M. Wilson, MD, PhD

Latest Impact Factor* is 4.187 *2016 Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics, 2017)

Human Gene Therapy is the premier, multidisciplinary journal covering all aspects of gene therapy. The Journal publishes in-depth coverage of DNA, RNA, and cell therapies by delivering the latest breakthroughs in research and technologies. Human Gene Therapy provides a central forum for scientific and clinical information, including ethical, legal, regulatory, social, and commercial issues, which enables the advancement and progress of therapeutic procedures leading to improved patient outcomes, and ultimately, to curing diseases.

The Journal is divided into three parts. Human Gene Therapy, the flagship, is published 12 times per year. HGT Methods, a bimonthly journal, focuses on the applications of gene therapy to product testing and development. HGT Clinical Development, a quarterly journal, serves as a venue for publishing data relevant to the regulatory review and commercial development of cell and gene therapy products.

Human Gene Therapy was voted one of the most influential journals in Biology and Medicine over the last 100 years by the Biomedical & Life Sciences Division of the Special Libraries Association.

Human Gene Therapy, HGT Methods, and HGT Clinical Development are under the editorial leadership of Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Deput Editors Europe Nathalie Cartier, MD, INSERM, andThierry VandenDriessche, PhD, Free University of Brussels (VUB); Deputy Editors U.S. Barry J. Byrne, MD, PhD,Powell Gene Therapy Center, University of Florida, College of Medicine and Mark A. Kay, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine; Human Gene Therapy Editor Guangping Gao, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Methods Editor Hildegard Bning, PhD, University of Cologne; Clinical Development Editor James M. Wilson, MD, PhD,University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Gene Therapy Program; and other leading investigators. View the entire editorial board.

Audience: Geneticists, medical geneticists, molecular biologists, virologists, experimental researchers, and experimental medicine specialists, among others.

Human Gene Therapy and HGT Methods provide Instant Online publication 72 hours after acceptance

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The views, opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations set forth in any Journal article are solely those of the authors of those articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy or position of the Journal, its Publisher, its editorial staff or any affiliated Societies and should not be attributed to any of them.

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Human Gene Therapy