About Heather Zeiger

Heather is a freelance science writer with an MS in chemistry and an MA in bioethics.

Synthetic Biology and Making Morphine in the Lab

Prescription pain medicine addiction has become prevalent and widespread with several areas in the U.S. calling it a public health crisis. Opiates include prescription pain medicines, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, or fentanyl. The surge in opiate drug addiction can be traced to changes in the increase in prescriptions for opiate drugs beginning in the 1990s. Now headlines tout the possibility of a “home-brewed heroin.” If we unpack the headline, it turns out this “home-brewed” heroin is not exactly here yet. Scientists have replicated all of the metabolic processes that opium poppies use to turn glucose into morphine. nike air max 90 pas cher They have replicated parts of this process in yeast strains in an effort to make less addictive pain medicines as well as other analgesics. This synthesis of cellular processes is called synthetic biology. asics onitsuka tiger femme By way of a quick review, synthetic biology involves creating the digital DNA code to make proteins, the internal machinery of a cell, in the lab. Nike Chaussures Femme Yeast and e.coli are simple organisms and are often used to insert the DNA in a cell fitted with the necessary equipment to replicate and express the DNA. Craig Venter, in his book on synthetic biology, Life at the Speed of Light, calls DNA the software and yeast provides the hardware. Scientists want to tweak the software to make tailor-made drugs. Synthetic biology overlaps with genetic engineering, but where it differs is that synthetic biology allows scientists to replicate an entire cellular pathway within an organism, such as yeast, as opposed to inserting or deleting mutations in a DNA strand and then inserting it in a cell. Parajumpers Windbreaker Mary Todd The metabolic pathway reported in Nature (See the Nature News article) is the first part of the glucose-to-morphine pathway. Julio Jones Alabama Football Jerseys The second part of the pathway, as well as a reaction that links the two parts, was recently reported by other research groups. All of these parts have been demonstrated separately in various yeast strains. If scientists were to combine these parts in one yeast strain, then theoretically, they would be able to convert glucose to morphine. This has not been done yet, but will likely occur soon. AIR MAX 2016

The process for making morphine from glucose is complex (it’s approximately eighteen steps), and because scientists do not know the whole genome for the opium poppy, they have had difficulty identifying the enzymes that catalyze each step in the reaction pathway. To overcome this hurdle, scientists turned to enzymes in other organisms to that catalyze similar reactions. The most recent research that identifies the first half of the morphine pathway used an enzyme from sugar beets that scientists mutated to ensure that it produced the product they needed without unwanted byproducts. The question remains, are we at a point where people can brew their own synthetic morphine? The short answer is no, not yet. Adidas Zx 850 Heren First, all of the steps have not been combined into a yeast strain. While this may be the next step in making synthetic morphine in the lab, it will need to be tested, and it may not work at first. Once scientists succeed at creating a yeast strain that can accomplish all of the steps, the process will need to be refined and optimized. New Balance 530 femme Johnny Cueto Jersey Secondly, in order for someone to brew their own morphine, he would have to acquire the yeast strain containing the synthetic DNA. NIKE AIR FOOTSCAPE This would mean acquiring the yeast from someone who not only knows the DNA code, but also has a PCR machine or some way to make synthetic DNA and then incorporate it into yeast. adidas superstar 80s homme Lastly, even if someone did acquire the yeast strain, according to Christine Smolke of Stanford University whose lab has made a semi-synthetic opioid using yeast, in an interview with Wired, said that the fermentation process would require specialized equipment and conditions that would be difficult to do outside a laboratory. It would also not produce enough morphine to make it cost effective. Adidas Superstar Femme Portee Fjallraven Kanken 16L While we are not at the point of worrying about home-brewed liquid morphine, the authors of the study were concerned about future consequences of their research. Adidas Zx 850 Femme One of the motivations for designing the synthetic pathway is to tweak it to make less addictive pain medicine or to make medicines for other uses. asics gel kinsei 5 femme This same ability to tweak the morphine-producing pathway could also be used for nefarious purposes. Nike Air Max 95 Femme New Balance 577 mujer The authors of the study sought ethical guidance from biotechnology-policy specialists Kenneth Oye, of MIT and Tania Bubela, of the University of Alberta. They published an article in Nature with Chappell Lawson, also from MIT, that came out in tandem with the research article. Oye, Bubela, and Chappell delineate the ethical and legal considerations for such research and provide four broad areas that should be considered:

  • Engineering – The yeast strains could be engineered to make them less appealing to criminals and more difficult to cultivate outside of a laboratory setting, similar to biocontainment practices with e. nike air zoom pegasus 33 homme coli.
  • Screening – Since the DNA sequence would need to be ordered from a lab, there could be a screening process in place that flags orders of opiate-producing yeast strains
  • Security – They could employ biosecurity measures, such as watermarking yeast made from certain labs and background checks on people working with the strains.
  • Regulation – Opium is a globally controlled substance. The laws that apply to opium could be extended to cover opiate-producing yeast strains.

Overall, the headlines are a little misleading in that we are not yet on the cusp of people brewing their own morphine. However, the authors should be commended for considering the consequences of publishing their research and seeking ethical guidance. It is a good example of pre-emptively considering the hazards and consequences of technological advancement rather than responding to a crisis.

“Three-parent” IVF, it’s more than an organ donation

Britain’s House of Commons has approved, by an overwhelming majority, to allow a form of technology that involves replacing the nucleus of one woman’s egg with the nucleus of another to be used in so-called “three-parent IVF.” This vote has been wrought with controversy. Scarpe Air Jordan 3.5 nike air max pas cher Many people are hopeful that this technology will help those women with mitochondrial disease to have biological children without passing on their mitochondrial DNA. Nike Air Max Others are concerned about the long-term consequences that this procedure will have on the children born from it. Sac Kanken In November of 2013, I wrote an article about mitochondrial screening and three-parent IVF for bioethics.com that discusses the science and the bioethical issues behind these techniques. Nike Air Max 90 Fleur Homme It also provides a some background information on mitochondria. Mujer Air Jordan 7 The issues raised in this article remain relevant to today’s vote. Nike Air Force 1 Women

I do want to add a comment about something that has appeared in recent media reports. Maglia Stephen Curry NIKE AIR PEGASUS 92/16

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  • Julian Savulescu, ethicist at Oxford, said in a recent article in The Guardian that the technology used for “three-parent IVF” is akin to micro-organ, or organelle, donation. Robert Griffin III Baylor Jerseys Arthur Caplan, medical ethicist at NYU, in an article in Wired, also likened this technology to a kind of organ donation. However, replacing the nucleus of an egg with another is not analogous to organ donation, or stem cell donation, because this kind of procedure changes the germ line. Air Max 90 Floreale

    Bo Scarbrough Jersey Solde adidas In other words, the results from replacing the nucleus in an egg cell changes not only the child born from the subsequent IVF procedure, but the children that come from this child, and so on down the generational line. Todd Gurley College Jerseys With something like a kidney transplant or a stem cell transplant, the procedure does not introduce the donor’s DNA into the recipient’s gametes, and thus, does not incorporate new DNA into the germ line. Oklahoma State Cowboys If the recipient has children after receiving an organ or stem cell donation, he or she will not pass the donor’s DNA along to the child. Some would consider the multi-generational effect from this nuclear transfer procedure beneficial because it means that mitochondrial disease is not passed down to the next generation. Nike Air Force 180 Mid

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  • Others are concerned that any unforeseen problems that emerge later would be perpetuated down the generational line. Goedkope Nike Air Max schoenen New Balance 996 damskie Even though there have been studies with primates and human embryos, we cannot truly know if there will be long-term negative effects until it is done on a human embryo that is allowed to mature. However, if we assume, as Julian Savulescu and Arthur Caplan have said, that this technique is like organ (or micro-organ) donation, then should we be concerned with compatibility issues? While the mitochondrial DNA has its own replication and transcription processes and it codes for some of the proteins used in mitochondrial processes, it does not code for all of them. New Balance Pas Cher new balance grigie bambino Many of the genes necessary to code for proteins used in the mitochondria are made from the nuclear DNA. nike air max 90 oreo damskie The proteins are transported from the nucleus to the mitochondria through the cytosol. The assumption is that this interaction will be compatible even though the nucleus and the mitochondria have DNA from different people. Nike Roshe Run Homme Canotte Golden State Warriors Healthy primate offspring have been born from this technique, so this assumptions not unfounded, but, particularly in cases of reproductive technologies, there is a conceptual and biological leap when going from animal models to human subjects. Jordan Big Size Nike Air Max 2017 Dames zwart This technique has, apparently, been done in human embryos that have not been implanted in a womb, but there is a limit to what can be discerned from the laboratory setting because human embryological development is a complex process from beginning to end.

    Is Being Productive the Highest Good?

    Peter from Office Space (Picture from Rotten Tomatoes)

    What happens when all we live to work. Let’s take a look at two shows that poke fun at the white-collar office worker. In the movie, Office Space, the main character, Peter, is disillusioned with the “rat race” of office life. Nike Kyrie Irving Robert Griffin III Baylor Jerseys

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    Jim from The Office (Picture from http://theoffice.wikia.com/wiki/Jim_Halpert)

    In the television show, The Office (U.S. version), one of the characters, Jim, is apathetic about his job at a paper company, Dunder Mifflin. baskets new balance pas cher Calvin Ridley Jersey Nebraska Cornhuskers Jim has hobbies, like cycling and playing guitar, but we get the impression that he generally considers his job boring and one of those necessary evils of life (his views change as the series progresses). Dwight, on the other hand, approaches his job at Dunder Mifflin with enthusiasm, showing up early, leaving late, and always trying to be a team player. nike air max tn soldes He also happens to live and work on beet farm, of which he is equally enthusiastic. adidas superstar uomo miglior prezzo Both Office Space and The Office are written so that we relate to Peter and Jim. Parajumpers Femme Harraseeket They represent the angst that most white-collar workers feel, even if we cannot put our finger on exactly what that angst is. nike air force 1 high hombre Peter wants to be outside. Jim plays music. Zapatillas ROSHE RUN Asics Gel Lyte 5 Homme New Balance 247 mujer But are cubicles and paper-pushing really the problem? Perhaps the problem has to do with how we prioritize our lives. cheap wow gold Air VAPORMAX cheap nike trainers uk Our Western culture has bought into the idea that productivity is the highest good, and therefore work should be an end in itself. Productivity is certainly one of many signs of a good employee or a well-run business, but it is not an end in itself. Miami Heat Being productive should not be the end-all-be-all of life. To live for productivity is hollow and dehumanizing. Machines are fine-tuned to be optimally productive. Nike Lunartempo 3 femme Fjallraven Kanken Big People strive for something more, and productivity helps us get there. What is leisure? In pre-modern times, people whose lives were centered on work were called slaves or laborers. Asics Gel Lyte 5 Femme Rouge They put in twelve or fourteen-hour days and spent their non-working time resting and recuperating so that they can work the next day. Their value is in their productivity. This is contrasted to the aristocracy. Case Keenum – Houston Cougars They engaged in leisure activities, but these activities are not what we think of when we think of “leisure” today. The aristocracy considered leisure activities important for cultural enrichment. ffxiv gil cheap Those that used their freedom to engage in diversions or hedonism were considered slothful. nike internationalist adidas neo donna Leisure, in the classical sense of the term, is different from restful activities to help recuperate from a long day or mindless activities to cope with the mental tedium of repetitive, labor-intensive work. Air Jordan 31 Homme Leisure activities consisted of the higher pursuits, like education, art, music, and sport. It is no accident that the word we use for “school” comes from the Latin translation of the Greek word for leisure.

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  • Leisure activities often consisted of difficult things that required hard work to master, but these activities were personally enriching and culturally significant. They often involved creating or writing things that have aesthetic appeal and are good in and of themselves. adidas ultra boost uncaged uomo The Industrial Revolution This two class system was turned on its head with the advance of the Industrial Revolution. adidas nmd r1 uomo Industrialization, over the course of one hundred years, took menial, repetitive, undignified work and automated it. It also meant that people did not have to work as many hours, allowing all people to have a life that consisted of rest (including sleeping, eating, and bodily care), non-work, and work time. The non-work time was to be a time for leisure pursuits so that all men may cultivate a virtuous character and engage in culture-making. This resulted in more people getting an education and engage in the arts and sciences. nike air jordan 3 uomo But something happened that caused people to lose track of those priorities. Mortimer Adler, an early-twentieth century scholar, points out that while the Industrial Revolution did much to dignify work and rid of us a labor/aristocracy class system, it also skewed our understanding of work, leisure, and recreation. basket nike tn New Balance 993 m?skie

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    1. The Industrial Revolution eliminated the value of individual craftsmanship. Things that used to be made by artisans and craftsmen, like shoes, clothes, candles, or food, were easily produced in the factory setting, thus trivializing certain kinds of work.
    2. The Industrial Revolution changed our priorities such that producing more and more goods became the purpose of all of our efforts. Adidas Zx Flux Homme Noir Adler says that we ought to regard the increase in productivity only as a means and not as an end.
    3. As a result, people now think free time should be used only for recreation (or recuperation) in order to get back to work and produce more. cheap air jordans free shipping It is no longer a time to engage in those things that are edifying and that often bring people joy. Instead, it is spent engaging in diversions which are not ultimately fulfilling.
    4. Classical, or liberal, education was replaced with training for the job so that a person can become a productive member of society. nik shox homme Nike Air Max Thea Femme Grise This perpetuated a kind of empty meaning to education that goes something like this: “Go to school and make good grades, so you can go to a good college, so you can get a good job, so you can be a productive member of society.”

    Meaninglessness By placing an emphasis on productivity, people live to work, and therefore, their free time is spent on things that are not tiring, but also not particularly enriching. This leads to a kind of boredom that philosopher-types like to call hyper-boredom. Nike Dames San Antonio Spurs You get the sense of this hyper-boredom when you watch Peter in Office Space. Nike Air Max BW Femme Maglie New Orleans Pelicans However, hyper-boredom is more than “being in a funk” or not finding the right job. It is a malaise that is best described as operating as though everything was ultimately meaningless. Soldes Louboutin Purdue Boilermakers Why is a proper view of leisure important? Adler summarizes the classical concept of leisure as “consisting in all those activities by which the individual grows morally, intellectually, and spiritually, through which he attains personal excellence and also performs his moral and political duty.” Essentially, it is the things people love to do and would do whether they were paid or not. adidas gazelle femme Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost Leisure is not the same has having nothing to do or “killing time” and it is not a diversion to cope with life. Adler points out that, based on the classical concept of leisure, the good life depends on labor, but it consists of leisure. Air Jordan 3.5 Spizike Femme Fjallraven Kanken Sale Kids A couple of caveats are in order, though. Air Max 87 Pas Cher

    First, some people are blessed to be able to do the leisure activities that they love as their full-time job. Nike Pas Cher Adler, a college professor, considered his job both work and leisure. Adidas Homme But, as anyone who has ever been a full-time teacher, writer, or artist knows, there is still a labor aspect to their leisure activity. Most people do not consider grading papers, filling out tax forms, or making sales pitches leisure activities. These things tend to be compulsory, making them work rather than leisure. Second, this is not to say productivity is bad. Mario Manningham Jersey It is good to be productive as part of pursuing excellence in work. Adidas Yeezy 750 Homme However, orienting your life around productivity is to enslave yourself. Recall that in The Office, Jim was apathetic about work, but Dwight was not. Air Max 2017 Rosso Uomo

    Their characters are meant to be comic foils of each other, but as always, comedy is funny because it contains elements of truth. Dwight had a beet farm, a leisure activity, while Jim had diversions. Adidas Zx Flux Homme Rouge Jim’s character started to change when he engaged in a meaningful relationship. Nike buty We often think that our leisure, or non-work time, is unimportant, but in reality, it is very important.

    Can We Make an Embryo in a Dish?

    Induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells are functionally equivalent, but should we be concerned about making embryos in a dish? Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been hailed as the discovery of the decade, providing an ethical alternative to embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Both types of stem cells are pluripotent, which means they can potentially make all of the cells in they body. Adidas NMD Femme This is contrasted to totipotent cells, which can give rise to an entire organism. asics gel kinsei 5 homme Parajumpers Femme Masterpiece Long The very early embryo consists of totipotent cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells have technical advantages over ESCs because the patient’s cells can be used rather than donor cells, and they are easier to control compared to ESCs. nike internationalist homme However, one of the concerns with iPSCs was whether they are truly equivalent to ESCs because of the various transcription factors that need to be turned on or off to get the cells to regress back to their pluripotent state. nike air max 2016 uomo

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  • The techniques to make pluripotent stem cells undergo the self-assembly and morphogenesis required to form an organoid also causes these cells to have many of the properties of embryos at the gastrulation stage of development. Nike Air Force 1 Without delving too deeply into the complexities of embryonic development, the gastrulation stage is a key point when it comes to regulations for human embryo research. nike dynamo free td (See here for a simple summary of recent research about stem cells that have been dubbed “gastruloids”). kanken baratas The U.K. adidas xeno superstar italia

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  • First, while these are hallmarks of a particular point in embryonic development, it is not the case that this clump of cells is an embryo. The stem cells are self-organizing, but they are without the same kind of holistic directionality that an embryo has. final fantasy 14 gil nike free 5.0 uomo saldi So while these stem cells proliferate in a more “organized” way than, say, a tumor, they lack key embryonic features. Nike Air Foamposite Nike Air Max 2016 Heren However, the authors pose an important question that needs to be addressed because the technology could eventually make embryos in a dish. new balance 574

  • Consider two situations in which it is possible to make an embryo without two genetic contributors, a mother and a father. The first is cloning, or somatic cell nuclear transfer, and the second is making gametes using iPSCs. Women Air Jordan 9 Somatic cell nuclear transfer has been successfully done in both animals and humans, although only animal cloned embryos have been implanted and birthed. Cloned animals tend to be unhealthy and often die young.

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  • This continues to be an area of research, as evidenced by a recent article in Cell Stem Cell in which researchers from South Korea reported more efficient methods for cloning human embryos.* Gametogenesis is another active area of research. If induced pluripotent stem cells could be induced to differentiate into gametes (egg and sperm), then this would theoretically allow the creation of an embryo. Air More Uptempo Colorways This embryo may only have one parent if the egg and sperm were made from the same donor. nike air zoom pegasus 32 femme Or, it could be made from two parents who are the same gender. adidas gazelle soldes nike internationalist enfants Adidas Zx Flux Femme Blanche Nike TN Requin 2017 This is not yet possible because the oocyte is particularly tricky to form, but there is ongoing research attempting to produce both types of gametes from induced pluripotent stem cells. nike air max 1 og homme Maglia Patrick Ewing

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    Adidas Superstar Schoenen Dames As technology allows us to unravel the complex operations that go into meiosis and embryogenesis, we must carefully consider where moral lines are drawn. Nike Air Max Thea Homme Bleu Because making an embryo in a dish would be taking the technology too far, drawing ethical lines may require a nuanced approach to just what types of experiments are okay and where in the technical process the line must be drawn so that pluripotent stem cells remain at the pluripotent stage. air max homme pas cher Nike Air Max 2016 Dames Zwart * Technically, “clones” like Dolly the sheep are really chimeras, meaning there is a small amount of DNA from the oocyte donor that is different from the nuclear DNA. basket adidas zx flux Nike Air Max 2017 Heren blauw The clone would produce an embryo from one genetic source if both the original cell and the oocyte came from the same animal.

    NFL and Prescription Drugs

    The NFL is being sued by 1,300 former players for the way it distributed prescription pain medicines so players can get back in the game. The former players claim that they were not informed of the side effects of potent pain killers such as Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, and Toradol. Jackets soft shell Percodan, Percocet and Vicodin are all opioid painkillers and Toradol is a strong non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug. Many of the former NFL players involved in the lawsuit played during the 1980s and 1990s when practices for administering powerful painkillers, both opioids and NSAIDs, were cavalier. mu legend redzen online Today they are, in theory, more regulated. New Balance 577 hombre sac a dos kanken pas cher kobe 11 pas cher Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State Jerseys The players state that the “NFL medical staffs routinely violated federal and state laws in plying them with powerful narcotics to mask injuries on game days.” They also claim that medical staff was negligent by keeping important information on the players’ medical conditions from them, such as markers for kidney disease or broken bones.

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    Another former player said that envelopes with prescription pain medicine would be waiting in the seats on the airplane for the players. MU Legend Items Matthew Stafford UGA Jersey Player testimonies from the class action law suit website show that many players were given powerful pain medicine instead of being told that they needed rest and recovery or that the problem was actually much worse and required surgery. Several players said that NFL doctors knew of existing health issues, but did not inform the players. Cheap Nike shoes UK Two players’ testimonies state that NFL doctors knew that they had indicators of kidney problems but did not tell the players. Maglie Denver Nuggets Both former players now have renal failure. Asics Gel Lyte 3 Donna Beige

    Another former player, Rex Hadnot, said in a Washington Post interview that he was given Toradol pills and/or injections once-per-week for nine years. He was never told that Toradol should not be administered for more than five days due to risk of kidney damage, heart attack, and stroke. He said that sometimes he would receive both a shot and a pill on the same day, a much higher dosage than the FDA recommends. The Mountain Climber Problem Part of the problem with discerning the ethics of safety for football players is exemplified in what H. Air Jordan 4 Retro

  • Tristam Engelhardt calls “the mountain climber problem.” In general, climbing a mountain is more dangerous than not climbing a mountain, but we do not consider it unethical to allow a mountain climber to scale a mountain if he so desires. Similarly, playing sports is inherently more dangerous than not playing sports. Nike Air Jordan 4.5 Womens
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    The difference between the mountain climber and the football player is that collisions are part of the sport. asics tiger lyte jogger Pain is a given. The former players who are suing the NFL claim that their health was sacrificed in the name of sales. buy mu legend items nike air max 2016 goedkoop But, other players criticize the lawsuit as nothing more than a money grab on behalf of former players because they knew what they were risking by playing the sport. Utah State Aggies Despite whatever motivations are behind the lawsuit or the NFL’s medical decisions, it is unethical to de-humanize athletes, even if they willingly chose to engage in de-humanizing activities. Caps Nike Air Max 2017 Kopen Let’s take a non-football example: If a woman choses to trade sex for money, she is willingly commodifying herself and ultimately engaging in a de-humanizing activity. adidas outlet shop asics gel lyte 3 hombre azules While this may have been her free choice, it does not mean that if she goes to a doctor, the doctor is no longer ethically obligated to treat her with human dignity. Air Jordan XX8 Retro
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    The Language of Morality

    When it comes to making moral decisions, is it better to have emotional distance or to have compassion? An ethics professor once told me that ethics is not about choosing between right and wrong because you should always choose what’s right. Parajumpers Homme Ethics is typically about choosing between two wrongs. Certainly, if two people are approaching a decision from differing moral foundations, they may disagree on the “right” decision, but what the professor meant was that they are still trying to decide the “right” decision in a difficult situation in which there are “wrongs” that must be weighed on both sides of the issue. When people disagree, they are often prioritizing the wrongs differently. Let’s take a typical example from ethics class: if a train is running out of control, and one track has one person tied to it and another track with five people tied to it and you have control of the switch that will direct the train to either of these two tracks, which one do you pick? More than merely a macabre puzzle game, these improbable scenarios are meant to illuminate how one makes ethical decisions. Often, in the train example, people will kill the one person to save the five people. The next bit is to change the scenario slightly to see if the same kind of utilitarian calculation applies. For example, the one person on the train track is your father, and the five people on the other track are strangers. You still have control of the switch, what do you choose to do? Or, another way to change the scenario is to change the demographics of the victims. What if the one person is a child, while the five people are escaped prisoners? Or, the one person is a woman and the five people are men? Thankfully, we rarely find ourselves in such troubling situations. napapijri geographic wikipedia However, what influences our answer to these questions becomes much more important when we move out the realm of imaginary trains and into real situations. One example of this is in medicine. Bioethicists often debate how to determine who receives scarce medical resources. Take the train example, and whether your answers changed when we changed the demographic of the people tied to the rail. This is quite similar to the questions ethicists ask when it comes to deciding who should receive an organ from an organ donor. There are more people waiting for an organ transplant than there are available organs, so we have a situation in which the ethicist must decide how to choose the person who lives in a fair and just way. This is a case of weighing out the “wrongs” because no matter what the ethicist chooses, someone will likely die. People make decisions based on many factors, but an article in The Economist indicates one unforeseen factor. A study in which some participants were asked two variations of the train scenario in their native language while other participants were asked these scenarios in a different language showed a difference when asked in a different language. Participants were not fluent in the other language, and were tested to ensure they were able to understand the question. In one scenario, the train will hit five people who are lying on the track, and the only way to save them is to push a fat man onto the track in front of the train. You cannot jump in front of the train; the only way to save them is to shove the fat man in the path of the train. belts small accessories The other scenario is the switch and two tracks mentioned above. The switch scenario emotionally distances the person from the violent act. When given the switch scenario, most people opt to kill the one person in order to save five. This was the case whether the question was asked in a person’s native language or in a different language. However, when the person must push the fat man onto the track, about 20% of people would push the fat man onto the track when asked in their native language (This was also the same for people fluent in a particular language), but when asked in a different language, the percentage was 33%. After several tests and analyses to account for factors such as cultural mores and randomness, the study confirmed that when people are asked about the fat man scenario in a different language, they were more likely to push him onto the track compared to when they are asked in their native language or a language in which they have fluency. It seems that the different language provides emotional distance similar to the way the switch provided emotional distance. We live in a globalized world in which many people communicate and make decisions in a different language. Based on this study, it seems that language barriers also create emotional distance that is not necessarily there if the person is making the decision in his or her native language. In the area of medicine, this may have implications for patients who are asked to make a decision while living in a different country that does not speak his or her language. Additionally, this may have implications for patients who are unfamiliar with technical medical jargon, in which the use of jargon may be similar to hearing a problem in a different language.