Bioethics

The Freak Olympics? Ctd

The Atlantic

Forget performance enhancing drugs, how about genetically modified athletes? Forget the pretence…let’s have the Freak Olympics with no restrictions at all…it would be freakin’ awesome:

After Ye Shiwen shocked the Olympics with her performance in the 400 meter individual medley, swimming the last 50 meters faster than Ryan Lochte, the men’s champion in the event, a long-time American coach ominously hinted that perhaps a new kind of performance enhancement had arrived on the athletic scene.

“If there is something unusual going on in terms of genetic manipulation or something else, I would suspect over eight years science will move fast enough to catch it,” John Leonard, the American executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said.

It’s important to note that there is no evidence that Ye engaged in any doping practice, let alone something as new and high-tech as genetic manipulation.

But, the fact that genetic manipulation was even on the table or in the ether as the example Leonard gave in his accusation is remarkable. So I set out to find out how scientifically plausible it might be for Ye — or any athlete — to enhance his or her performance with current gene doping technology.

Moral Authority?

NZ Herald

What a shame the Catholic Church lost its moral authority by covering up its pedophile priests…otherwise this statement might mean something. Watch them to also come out against Marriage Equality.

The Bishop of Dunedin has urged local Catholics to oppose a new abortion clinic in Southland, which he says is part of a spreading “culture of death”.

The Invercargill abortion clinic, due to open this month, has been strongly opposed by anti-abortion activists including local group Southlanders for Life.

In an letter to be read and published in all Catholic churches in the Dunedin diocese this weekend, Bishop Colin Campbell said the pleas of many concerned people had gone unheeded.

He said Catholic opposition to “the evil of abortion” was well-known and the church saw its as the greatest human rights issue confronting New Zealand today.

“As a Family of Faith we are opposed to all abortion and we must do all we can to prevent this culture of death spreading in our country,” he said.

“Let us continue to pray and raise our voices in the private and public arena and in our wider community.”

Wee Do Ping and Yah Wewon

Sydney Morning Herald

It is no surprise that Chinese athletes are yet again caught up on doping scandals. On the eve of the Olympics a former team doctors has broken her silence on doping:

CHINESE Olympians were subjected to a state-sponsored doping regime which was modelled on eastern Europe, says a retired Chinese Olympic doctor.

Steroids and human growth hormones were officially treated as part of ”scientific training” as China emerged as a sporting power through the 1980s and into the 1990s, she says.

Athletes often did not know what they were being injected with and medical staff who refused to participate were marginalised, she says.

”It was rampant in the 1980s,” Xue Yinxian told Fairfax, in her home in Beijing’s eastern suburbs. ”One had to accept it.”

The testimony of Dr Xue, whose elite roles included chief medical supervisor for the Chinese gymnastic team as it vied with the former Soviet Union for gold medals in the 1980s, will not surprise many veterans of Olympic sports.

She does not allege that all successful Chinese athletes used drugs and has refrained, at this stage, from publicising names.

But it is the first time anyone in the system has publicly contradicted Beijing’s line that a slew of embarrassing doping busts, particularly among the Chinese swimming team in the 1990s, was merely the result of ambitious individual athletes and ignorant provincial coaches. Her allegation comes as most of China’s 394-strong Olympic team arrives in London for the opening ceremony tonight, London time.

Curing people of being pinkos

Scientists have discovered a gene that is linked to Left-wing behaviour.

True! They have….now that the gene has been discovered perhaps we will be able to find a cure.

How a pinko's brain works

Scientists have given mankind many blessings, but the discovery of the gene for Left-wing behaviour must be foremost among them. For now there is a diagnosis, there can be a cure. Just think of it – a quick screening of the unborn infant, a mild course of gene therapy, and hey presto! The disease can be eradicated within a generation.

Perhaps we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. But even if science falls short of an outright cure, it should still be possible to ameliorate the symptoms. The gene does not automatically make the carrier a Lefty; rather, it triggers the adolescent brain’s reward mechanism in the presence of novel experiences and viewpoints. The treatment is simple: lock teenage sufferers in a drab room, furnished with the works of Hayek and Friedman. True, their social skills will be somewhat stunted. But the benefits will last a lifetime.