Tuesday, January 11

Human Embryo Alert

click on the icon to visit an intersting website on public ethics.

Adult stem cells research rather than human embryos.

The issues of stem cells and embryonic cloning remain a confusing aspect for many of us including our parliamentary leaders.
Stem cells are cells, which can become any tissue. They can become liver, nerve, skin and eye or anything else. They are seen as tools of the future to cure the difficult diseases. Sickness like MS, Parkinsonism, or heart and liver disease are seen to be possibly curable with stem cells which are found in embryonic tissue, cord blood and virtually every tissue investigated. An example is bone marrow transplants where the stem cells present in the marrow recolonise to cure leukemia. The debate today is about which tissue to use as a source of stem cells.

Embryonic cells
Embryonic cells are prepared from embryos left over from a IVF program (currently 70,000 are frozen in storage in Australia alone) favoured by some scientists to be used for research into methods to enable these to grow into the desired tissues. It seems our politicians may have become mesmerised by the proposition of a mass market for stem cell products using embryonic cells, without understanding the alternatives and the ethical questions arising from this type of research. Are we using the left over embryos because there is no other use for them? There is very little known about their properties and research will take at least 5 or even 10 years to yield useable results. It is known however that embryo stem cells in their current state can cause cancerous growths and our immune system will reject them. Research will take us down a dangerous path, which will almost certainly, ultimately lead towards human cloning.

Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells come from any other tissue, and also have the property of becoming almost any other tissue under the right conditions. They are the basis of all natural healing processes.
Bone marrow transplants have already been mentioned, but there are reports of eye repair, heart damage repair and many animal instances of repair processes, which can easily be translated into human results reasonably soon. Adult stem cells have already produced promising results without cancer growths or rejection from our immune systems.

Our Choice
Embryonic cell stem research represents a highly theoretical exciting but dangerous research effort for the few in comparison to a developing ethically sound promising source of cures arising from the use of adult stem cells. What are we choosing, the dangerous pathway, which uses human embryos for experimentation or the morally right path using adult stem cells.

click on the icon on the left hand side of the heading to visit and view an interesting website on public ethics.

Friday, January 7

Emotional Inteligence

Todays buzzword is emotional inteligence but Dr Cynthia Davis has really got to the heart of the matter in her latest mindwise bulletin. Scientifically it has been shown the heart is the largest source of bio electricity found in the body and 40/60 times the electricity found in the brain.

What is even less well known is the heart sends messages back to the brain providing a 2 way communication effecting perception, reaction speeds and decision making ability.

Below is her latest bulletin

Dear Colleague

It has been some time since my last correspondence but I'm told I have been forgiven because in recent months the following has occurred: I have married; have gained 4 step-children; moved house; had a family re-union and filmed a pilot program for a television program. I am told I should be stressed and I probably am!

The following is some research on ‘emotion’ which I reconsidered in recent months as I experienced a multiplicity of emotions. You may find it relevant to your own life.

First, can we measure emotion and its effect on the body?

In Positive Health, January 1997 Issue, Dr Alan Watkins talks about ways of harnessing the electrical energy generated by the heart. He says, “This may sound unusual, but the energy generated by the heart is the largest source of bio-electricity found in the body and 40 to 60 times greater than the electricity produced by the brain. The energy produced by the power station of the heart reaches every cell in the body and can be measured up to 18 inches away from the body with sophisticated modern electronic instruments called magnetometers. Our light really does shine and it can be measured scientifically!”

Dr Watkins describes the heart rhythm associated with two feelings, frustration and appreciation, and shows two graphs; one where the rhythm is jagged and chaotic and the other smooth and undulating. The quality of the energy produced by the heart of an athlete at peak performance looks very similar to the quality of energy of a person who is experiencing sincere appreciation. He uses a process called ‘Freeze-Frame’ to help people clean up the energy output from their heart.

So, how much frustration or appreciation do you experience in life? Are you seeking confidence or trying to break some obsessive behaviour like overworking or smoking, or perhaps you are in a loveless relationship?

All of these can be affecting your health. Dr Watkins goes on to say, “It is well known that the brain sends messages via the autonomic nervous system and hormonal and immune systems. What is not well known is that the heart sends messages back to the brain, providing a two-way communication system that directly affects perception, reaction speeds and decision making ability.” No wonder that a bullying or sarcastic boss or teacher can so quickly take us to that feeling of being paralysed by fear.

But does a negative emotional experience have a lasting effect?

Candace Pert, in her ground breaking book "The Molecules of Emotion", has made the connection between molecules, chemistry and emotion. Her search started as a graduate student looking for receptor sites, the little keyholes where drugs like morphine, heroin and opium fit. The sites were hypothetical until she found them and initiated an explosive search for the brain’s own morphine. The University of Aberdeen found the clue, a peptide which is a relatively simple chemical. This was the beginning of the peptide revolution, because endorphins (endogenous morphines) are found not just in the brain but throughout the entire body, in the immune system, the digestive system and others.

In an interview with the journal of the Scientific and Medical Network last December, Candace said, “I was interested in studying the brain because I thought that’s where the mind and consciousness was located." So, if our body is our subconscious mind, then do the emotions that we experienced in the past stay in the body and affect our behaviour and our health? You answer the question!

But what of those in the world who do not make the connection between emotional health and physical health. We work in commerce helping people to become leaders, and elsewhere, helping professionals and performers to excel. Many of them have been looking outside themselves for techniques to improve performance. We call this ‘Performance Excellence’. The problem with this is that they can learn to perform excellently as measured by material success, but can cover over insecurities, inner conflict and suppressed emotions, and in this case, perform means to ‘act’ or ‘pretend’.

You may know someone like this in your life.

In a recent edition of the Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman explored ‘What Makes a Leader’ and based his article on studies of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ in 188 global companies, including British Airways. These show that for those who rise fast to senior positions in the business, qualities such as empathy, self-awareness, motivation and social skills are 90% more important than hard analytical skills such as financial management or marketing. He goes on to describe people without emotional intelligence who need coaching, constant feedback and guidance in order to access or make habitual the soft skills that lead to feeling empathy or love for others.

So, while my Emotional Intelligence skills have been sorely tested in recent months, I hope yours are intact!
Dr Cynthia DavisB.Ed, Grad. Dip. App. Psych., M.Sc., Dip. Clin. Hyp., M.A.Ps.S., F.C.C.Ps., Ph.D.
Clinical and Corporate PsychologistAccredited Professional Speaker (APS)
Email: e-mailto:cyndav@ozemail.com.au

Thursday, January 6

New Zealand Ice Bergs

As the debate rages over the interpretation of the available data predicting the likely dire consequences of global warming (perhaps to a point of no retrn in the next 30/ 40years) the insurance industry has been making its own interpretations. The analysis showing increases in large claim natural loss disasters shows a remarkable degree of correlation with the increased temperatures over the past several decades. Its sending shivers down the spine of a the actuarial calculators.

For evidence of global warming down under in Australia and NZ Look no further to recent reports of icebergs spotted off NZ for the first time since 1948.

It was reported in Fairfax NZ that the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said the cluster of icebergs had been seen on the Southern Ocean east of Campbell Island. 700 Km southeast of the South Island . NAWB scientist Dr Lionel Carter had said 15 icebergs , some up to 3K wide were recorded in a single sighting before Christmas .

Although it may be too soon to blame this flotilla of ice on global warming the co incidence of large collapse of the Antarctic Ice shelves with rapidly changing climate could not be dismissed, and it seems we are ultimately tied to Antarctica.