Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Payment For Eggs

Tunell Polk
Eng 122
Prof. B. Kern


A May 10th New York Times article titled "Payment Offers to Egg Donors Prompt Scrutiny", discusses the business of collecting eggs from fertile women for stem cell research and couples who are unable to conceive. The article states that women are sometimes offered up to 50,000 dollars for donating eggs. There are guidelines set for the payment of eggs, and anything above 5,000 dollars is considered questionable. According to the article, some Ivy League schools have advertised high payments to their intelligent students for donations. These students are considered the "cream of the crop" of donors because of the universities they attend. Some think women should be paid closer to the amount men get for sperm donation, if at all. The reason for the high payments could be because "A typical payment for sperm donation is under $100, and providing the sample is quick. The egg donation process, in contrast, takes weeks." The article also cites symptoms women often get after giving donations. Those opposed to stem cell research have a problem with the high payments especially, because it obviously will bring more donors.

I don't have a problem with women being paid large amounts of money because it is a more serious process, but I do think men should get paid more. I think the law should be respected, but payment is, and should be at the discretion of whomever is paying. If someone wants to pay someone 50,000 dollars for an egg because she graduated in the top 1% of her class, then so be it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Neanderthals said to have mated with humans

Tunell Polk
Eng. 122
Prof. Kern


Nicholas Wade of the New York Times reports, "
Neanderthals mated with some modern humans after all and left their imprint in the human genome, a team of biologists has reported in the first detailed analysis of the Neanderthal genetic sequence." Scientist have been examining Neanderthal bones in hopes to recover the entire Neanderthal genome, of which they have recovered 60 percent. They want to find how humans evolved after the two species split 600,000 years ago. Wade states, "So far, the team has identified only about 100 genes — surprisingly few — that have contributed to the evolution of modern humans since the split. The nature of the genes in humans that differ from those of Neanderthals is of particular interest because they bear on what it means to be human, or at least not Neanderthal. Some of the genes seem to be involved in cognitive function and others in bone structure." According to the article the Neanderthal genome had little effect on human evolution. However, it's interesting that "about 1 percent to 4 percent of the genome of non-Africans today is derived from Neanderthals."

This is interesting to me because from what I've learned, very little is known about Neanderthals and if I'm not mistaken, they were thought to have virtually disappeared around the time homo-sapiens (you and me) became prominent. Reading that they may have mixed genes with early humans makes me rethink what I've learned.

Mosque to be built near Ground Zero

Tunell Polk
Eng. 122
Prof. Kern


A May 7th article by Nicole Bliman of the New York Times, reports that a "...15-story community center including a mosque, performance art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces", is planning to be built two blocks away from Ground Zero. The article states, "The project is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, both of which work to improve relations with followers of the religion." The hope is that the building of the building will promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in the city. There are mixed emotions about this building plan. the article quotes individuals on both sides, for and against. Some think its a good idea, and a good step in the right direction towards understanding. Some think although it is meant to be respectful, it isn't right to place a shrine to the faith at that exact place.

I believe the society has the right to build wherever they like as long as they own the land, but I don't think that so close to epicenter of the tragedy of 9/11 is the right location. It is difficult enough for families and loved ones of victims to cope with their loss, but to have a mosque near the place where those victims lost their lives is a bit too much. I do believe that the area's surrounding the WTC should be used for memorials and such, but it's nobody's call but the owners of the land. I just hope everything remains peaceful at the site.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

No Fooling Mother Nature


While everyone is making a big deal out of the oil spill in the gulf of mexico, Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times thinks our focus should lie in a different direction. He says that the best way to make sure things like this dont happen again is to stop relying on oil in the first place. He says this is the time to seize the moment and start making our future cleaner.

The situation in the gulf is just the stepping off stone we need to make American great again. By getting away from oil, situations like this will not arise again. if america had put more importance on going green earlier, we could have avoided this whole sticky mess.

Facebook Glitch Brings New Privacy Worries


Facebook's latest mess up has users worried that their private info won't be so private much longer. this coming along at a time when many users are reportedly unhappy with the site could end up being detrimental to its success. The security hole briefly allowed users to see their friends' private information, things that users apparently don't want other people to see.

if you don't want someone to see something, don't put it up on facebook! no security hole in the world could reveal information you haven't put up on the site. so for everyone who is griping about this and that, suck it up and don't be stupid.

Another Accused Rape in the NFL

Pro Football Hall of Fame Linebacker Lawrence Taylor was arrested early thursday after being accused of raping a 15 year old girl. Taylor is being charged with third degree rape which involves having intercourse with a minor. Taylor has had a history of drug related charges and other law breaking acts. The victim, who has yet to be named, was also supposedly beaten at the hotel where the rape took place.

Once again, another rape charge against a well known football player. Even though this time it's a former player, it's still a huge deal seeing as how he is a hall of fame player and the girl was only 15 years old. Lawrence Taylor is 51 years old. How can you seriously have the urge to do this to a 15 year old girl. It's really a shock because you would think that if you're 51 you would know better than to do these stupid acts. Some people just don't learn.


Arizona Immagration Law Sparks National Uproar

Arizona passed a new immagration law that allows the polices to stop anyone who they might think is in the country illigally. Govener Jan Brewer signed the law. many peopel feel this is descrinimation. This also means that people who are here legally will have to carry documentation or records on them at all times. Boycotts of Arizona products and services have also been proposed.
I think that the law is a little out of hand. This will add to problems of descrimination. police officers will now be able to just stop anyone they see based on the color of their skin. I don't think that the law will last very long due to all the bad publicity it's getting.