Tag Archives | Experiment

Hungry Canadian Aboriginal Children Were Used in Government Experiments During 1940s

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Temporary ration card. Click for more info.

It appears that Candian natives, including children,  were starved on purpose by researchers back in the 1940s and 50s.

via The Star

Aboriginal children were deliberately starved in the 1940s and ’50s by government researchers in the name of science.

Milk rations were halved for years at residential schools across the country.

Essential vitamins were kept from people who needed them.

Dental services were withheld because gum health was a measuring tool for scientists and dental care would distort research.

For over a decade, aboriginal children and adults were unknowingly subjected to nutritional experiments by Canadian government bureaucrats.

This disturbing look into government policy toward aboriginals after World War II comes to light in recently published historical research.

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Study Suggests Thinking About Money Causes Immoral Behavior

thinking about moneyEven thinking about money causes immoral behavior? A reminder to keep your thoughts clean via MarketWatch:

People are more likely to lie or make immoral decisions after being exposed to money-related words, according to researchers from Harvard and the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business who published a report last month.

The findings show that “even if we are well intentioned, even if we think we know right from wrong, there may be factors influencing our decisions and behaviors that we’re not aware of.”

The study asked college students studying business to make sentences out of various word clusters before answering questions and playing several games. Some of the phrases contained a financial focus such as “She spends money liberally,” and others that were neutral, such as “She walked on grass.” Researchers found that people who were exposed to the financial phrases lied more often in subsequent activities.

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Groupthink And The Elevator Experiment

Want to see how people will change to fit in? In 1962, groundbreaking social psychologist Solomon Asch teamed up with the television show Candid Camera to demonstrate how quickly a basic social norm (how people stand in an elevator) could be reversed using group conformity. Just imagine all the behaviors and beliefs you could get tricked into following, via the power of social pressure. (The elevator experiment was still effective when replicated in the present day on the University of South Florida campus.)
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U.S. Reviews Syphilis Experiment In Guatemala: Researchers Knew It Was Unethical

Tuskeegee_studyAll too often groups of people are unknowingly infected with disease as a means of isolated experimentation. Earlier this week the Commision for the Study of Bioethical Issues reviewed the 1940s incident  where the U.S. government infected Guatemalan prisoners and patients with syphilis. Via Reuters:

U.S. government researchers must have known they were violating ethical standards by deliberately infecting Guatemalan prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis for an experiment in the 1940s, according to a U.S. presidential commission.

The U.S.-funded research in Guatemala did not treat participants as human beings, failing to even inform them they were taking part in research, as was the case for a similar study in the United States, the commission said on Monday.

The United States apologized last year for the experiment, which was meant to test the drug penicillin, after it was uncovered decades later by a college professor.

President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues investigated the syphilis experiment and discussed its key findings in Washington on Monday.

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Scientists Seek To Turn Chickens Into Mini-Dinosaurs

Chicks_hatching_USDA95c1973

Didn’t we learn anything from Jurassic Park? Scientists have created embryo’s with ‘alligator-like snouts’ and are hoping to be able to further ‘undo’ evolution with future trials. The New Zealand Herald reports:

Harvard scientists are hoping to turn chickens into mini-dinosaurs, according to the Daily Mail.

Scientists at the Ivy League university have ‘rewound’ evolution with chicken DNA to create embryos with alligator-like snouts instead of beaks.

By altering the DNA of chicken embryos in the early stage of their development, the team were able to ‘undo’ evolutionary progress and give the creatures snouts which are thought to have been lost in the cretaceous period millions of years ago.

Evolutionary biologist Arkhat Abzhanov developed the chickens with snouts by cutting a square hole in the shell of a chicken egg and dropping in a small gelatinous protein bead, before watching the embryo develop – stifling the development of certain molecules and preventing the birds from growing certain features.

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First Synthetic Organ Transplant

trachea

Could the success of synthetic organ transplants lead to the donor’s list becoming obsolete? While it’s still too early to tell, the first trial of a synthetic trachea transplant leaves surgeons hopeful. Via BBC News:

I’ve held a few strange body parts in my hands over the years – all I should stress, in the line of work. They have ranged from mechanical heart pumps to hi-etch prosthetic limbs.

But none more life-like than the synthetic trachea manufactured by scientists from University College London. The team, lead by Professor Alex Seifalian, have patented a nanocomposite material which was used to create the first completely synthetic windpipe.

It was transplanted into a patient whose own windpipe was damaged by cancer. The operation was done in Sweden at the Karolinska University Hospital in conjunction with the Karolinska Institute. You can read the background to the story by my colleague Michelle Roberts, who interviewed the patient and the surgeon in Stockholm.

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Obama To Appear On Mythbusters For A ‘Viewer’s Challenge’

President Obama discussing his appearance on the upcoming episode of Mythbusters with co-hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Sawage

President Obama discussing his appearance on the upcoming episode of "Mythbusters" with co-hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Sawage

President Barack Obama has never been shy about his use of television and social media to reach his younger audience. Tonight, Obama will be appearing on Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters,” for a ‘viewers challenge’ special about Archimedes’ legendary solar ray, an experiment that has been attempted and failed two previous times on the show. The Los Angeles Times reports:

On Wednesday, Barack Obama, the president of the United States, will appear on “Mythbusters,” the long-running Discovery Channel series that tests the truth of common wisdom, received notions, popular legends and stuff you see in the movies. On a more basic level, it is a show about building and blowing things up, and that, as the president himself will say here, “is always cool.”

Obama has been criticized at times for the seeming alacrity with which he will go on television, any old television, but his trip to a comical basic-cable series is not without presidential precedent.

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