Bioengineering: Big Potential in Tiny 3D Heart Chambers

Originally posted on NIH Director's Blog:

iPS human heartCaption: Heart microchamber generated from human iPS cells; cardiomyocytes (red), myofibroblasts (green), cell nuclei (blue) 
Credit: Zhen Ma, University of California, Berkeley

The adult human heart is about the size of a large fist, divided into four chambers that beat in precise harmony about 100,000 times a day to circulate blood throughout the body. That’s a very dynamic system, and also a very challenging one to study in real-time in the lab. Understanding how the heart forms within developing human embryos is another formidable challenge. So, you can see why researchers are excited by the creation of tiny, 3D heart chambers with the ability to exist (see image above) and even beat (see video below) in a lab dish, or as scientists  say “in vitro.”

iPS heart cells videoCredit: Zhen Ma et al., Nature Communications

To achieve this feat, an NIH-funded team from University of California, Berkeley, and Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease…

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Is Europe The New Palestine?

Originally posted on Jewish Media Agency (JMA):

EUPAL

By David Semple

When we think of Palestine, what is the first image that comes to our mind? An Arab in army dungarees, wrapped in a checkered scarf? A little boy in bare feet throwing stones at old ladies? Today’s Europe, with its Arab Cafes and mass prayer demos on the streets of London? Is Europe the New Palestine?

First Greece, then Europe, then the West. Sound familiar? European, or Western, civilisation, was the merger of our Greek-Roman inheritance with Jewish ethics through the rise of Christianity. This resulted in Britain changing the modern world for the better. The 19th Century was the most peaceful century of the Modern Age and saw the climax of European world supremacy.

One hundred years ago, the Europeans embarked on a World War between the great powers to see which great colonial power was destined to inherit the Earth.

By 1918, continental Europe was utterly destroyed. The German…

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Harold Meyerson: Germany has learned from its history, but not from all of it

Originally posted on National Post:

As the minutes tick down before Sunday’s deadline for Greece to reach an agreement with its creditors or else face bankruptcy, the Greeks and their supporters are accusing Germany, their main creditor, of hypocrisy. After all, in 1953, Germany’s creditors forgave half that nation’s debt so that the fledgling republic could recover from the war Germany had inflicted on those creditors, and thrive economically.

But Germany, which now adamantly declares that adherence to the rules of debt repayment must trump all other considerations, can rightly claim that in at least one crucial instance, it was anything but a hypocrite. As the Great Depression descended on Germany in 1930, its government — a coalition of centrist parties headed by Chancellor Heinrich Brüning — insisted on balancing its budget in order to convince its creditors (the nations to whom it was paying economically ruinous reparations as compensation for World War I) that…

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BBC censors ‘Jewish’ from IS affiliate’s claim of missile attacks

Originally posted on BBC Watch:

Despite its defined purpose of building “understanding of international issues”, the BBC has to date done little to inform its audiences on the topic of the approach to Israel prevalent among the Middle East’s rising force of Islamist Jihadists. Hence, one feature of an article which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on July 4th under the headline “IS affiliate in Egypt claims rocket attack on Israel” is particularly notable.Sinai attacks

Readers were told that:

“A group affiliated with Islamic State has said it fired three rockets into Israel from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

The affiliate, which calls itself Sinai Province, said it had acted in retaliation for what it says is Israeli support for the Egyptian army.

Israel said two rockets landed in the south of the country, causing no casualties or material damage.”

Although the third missile was also found in Israeli territory on July…

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Translators to Arabic and Korean

Originally posted on The Temple Mount Sifting Project:

In about two weeks we are going to launch a new crowd funding website to support the research and publication of the more than half a million archaeological finds from the Temple Mount that we have uncovered so far. In addition to the funding goal; this website will also tell the world the story of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. So far we have translated this website into 13 languages! We are now searching for translators into Arabic and Korean. If you know any suitable translators for this task we’ll appreciate references to tmsifting@gmail.com

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I was indoctrinated to obey the Nazis and did not register daily atrocities, ‘Accountant of Auschwitz’ testifies

Originally posted on National Post:

[np_storybar title=”Auschwitz ‘bookkeeper’ may be last Nazi tried in Germany for war crimes” link=”http://news.nationalpost.com/news/auschwitz-bookkeeper-may-be-last-nazi-tried-in-germany-for-war-crimes”]
[/np_storybar]

BERLIN — A 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served in Auschwitz testified Wednesday he helped the death camp function in his role sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews after they arrived in cattle-cars.

Oskar Groening told the Lueneburg state court in a statement read by his attorney that it was hard today to understand the blind obedience he had to the Nazi system even when witnessing the terrible atrocities perpetrated at the death camp in German-occupied Poland.

Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

“There was a self-denial in me that today I find impossible to explain,” Groening said, the dpa news agency reported. “Perhaps it was also the convenience of obedience with which we were brought up, which allowed no contradiction. This indoctrinated obedience prevented registering the daily atrocities as such and rebelling against them.”

Groening is accused…

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The Brit in the Golani Special Forces

Originally posted on Jewish Media Agency (JMA):

josh
By Jeremiah Belsky

‘Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of, that do the things that no one else can imagine,’
Alan Turing

Part One (of three)

At twenty-four Jeremiah Belsky was at least four years older than the other soldiers, wanting to get into a top military unit of the IDF. He was neither Israeli nor spoke much Hebrew, and was up against guys that had long family histories in the Special Forces and who had been training both mentally and physically since they were old enough to understand that they would have to join the army. Yet he was determined to become a part of the Golani Brigade. “I was going to have to prove I was worthy,” he said.

Before Belsky enlisted he had to have a medical exam at an Israeli army base and be interviewed by the base commander. The commander told him he wouldn’t make it into…

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BBC WS radio’s ‘balanced’ account of the Six Day War excludes Israelis

Originally posted on BBC Watch:

Listeners to the June 14th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘The History Hour’ were told by presenter Max Pearson that the next broadcast would include “the Israeli view” of the Six Day War.

“…we’re going to take a close look at one of the twentieth century’s defining events in the Middle East. In 1967 what quickly became known as the Six Day War broke out between Israel and the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. It resulted in a rapid redrawing of the region’s de facto borders and a significant humiliation for the Arab powers. Of course this is a deeply controversial topic with highly charged views on both sides. So, for obvious reasons, we’re going to hear from both sides – next week: the Israeli view. But right now Louise Hidalgo hears from two Palestinians about their memories of that time.”

However, by the time “next…

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How Complicated is Too Complicated?

Originally posted on Eric Linus Kaplan:

7)If it’s too simple it’s boring

6)If it’s too complicated it’s chaotic

5)If it’s the right degree of complicated you see the simple rules behind the complexity but your mind is overwhelmed by multiple ways those simple rules generate forms.

4)Like life itself

3)Wallace Stevens says the poem must resist the intelligence almost successfuly.  This experience of the mind’s power on the brink of being overwhelmed is the only experience of transcendence we ever have.  So we should be happy with it.

2)Like life itself

1)How can you tell the difference between being overwhelmed by complexity and just being confused?

0)If you find that the effort to overcome the complexity outside yourself and reduce it to simple rules creates a functional harmony within yourself, you’re good.

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