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The multivariate evolution of female body shape in an artificial digital ecosystem

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.02.001Get rights and content

Abstract

Human bodies exemplify complex phenotypes, likely to be subject to complex evolutionary forces. Despite the importance of body shape to health, social interactions and self-esteem, our understanding of body evolution and integration remains simplistically focused on simple ratios like waist–hip ratio (WHR), and body mass index (BMI), or manipulations of one or a few traits. Evolutionary selection analyses give a multivariate perspective, but highly correlated body measures create multicollinearity problems. Here we develop an original approach mimicking Darwinian selection to study how clonal lines of bodies, allowed to vary in 24 attributes via a mutation-like process, evolve in a digital ecosystem over 8 generations. Ten of 24 traits changed by more than one |S.D.| over seven generations of selection. Analyses of selection within generations, change in population mean, and change within clonal family lines all implicate slenderness, particularly narrow waists and long legs as the most important dimension of body attractiveness. WHR did not offer any improvement on waist girth as a predictor of attractiveness. Within the most successful clonal lineages, selection favored greater shapeliness, including larger busts, in addition to slenderness. Our results reveal the complex, multivariate nature of attractiveness, and that the success of simple ratios like WHR and BMI in previous studies is probably incidental to the importance of waist girth and general slenderness. Our results also suggest that the integration of the entire body phenotype is at least as important as any one trait, and that more than one way exists to make an attractive body.

Keywords

Sexual selection

Body shape

Waist–hip ratio

Body mass index

Multivariate selection

Experimental evolution

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Artificial Insemination & IUI in Humans: Purpose, Procedure, Benefits

When you and your partner talk to a doctor about getting help for infertility, they may suggest a technique called “artificial insemination.” It’s a simple procedure with few side effects, and it can help some couples who haven’t been able to get pregnant.

In artificial insemination, a doctor inserts sperm directly into a woman’s cervix, fallopian tubes, or uterus. The most common method is called “intrauterine insemination (IUI),” when a doctor places the sperm in the uterus.

Why is this helpful? It makes the trip shorter for the sperm and gets around any obstructions. Your doctor may suggest this method first as a treatment for infertility.

What Type of Infertility Can Artificial Insemination Treat?

The procedure can be used for many kinds of fertility problems. In cases involving male infertility, it’s often used when there’s a very low sperm count or when sperm aren’t strong enough to swim through the cervix and up into the fallopian tubes.

When the issue is female infertility, it’s sometimes done if you have a condition called endometriosis or you have anything that’s abnormal in your reproductive organs.

This method might also be right for you if you have something called an “unreceptive cervical mucus.” That means the mucus that surrounds the cervix prevents sperm from getting into your uterus and fallopian tubes. Artificial insemination lets the sperm skip the cervical mucus entirely.

Doctors also often suggest artificial insemination when they can’t figure out the reason a couple is infertile.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Your doctor will use ovulation kits, ultrasound, or blood tests to make sure you’re ovulating when you get artificial insemination. Then, your partner will need to provide a sample of their semen. The doctor will suggest that your partner avoid sex for 2 to 5 days before the procedure to help make sure their sperm count is high.  

If you live close to the clinic, your partner may be able to collect a semen sample at home. If not, they’ll do this in a private room. The reason it helps if you live close to the doctor’s office is that the sperm must be “washed” in a laboratory within 1 hour of ejaculation.

The process of “washing” the sperm in a lab removes chemicals in the semen that may cause discomfort for a woman, and raises the chances of getting pregnant. Technicians liquefy the sperm at room temperature for 30 minutes and add a harmless chemical to separate out the most active sperm. They use a centrifuge to collect the best sperm.

Those are placed in a thin tube called a catheter and put through your vagina and cervix into the uterus.

Artificial insemination is short and relatively painless. Many women describe it as similar to a Pap smear. You may have cramping during the procedure and light bleeding afterward. Your doctor will probably have you lie down for about 15 to 45 minutes to give the sperm a chance to get to work. After that, you can get back to your usual activities.

In some cases, before you have the procedure, your doctor will place you on fertility drugs, such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid). This helps your body ovulate multiple eggs.

Success rates for artificial insemination vary. Some reasons why the chances might be lower that it will work are:

  • Older age of the woman
  • Poor egg or sperm quality
  • Severe case of endometriosis
  • A lot of damage to fallopian tubes, usually from long-term infection

Other Issues With Artificial Insemination

The procedure won’t work for everyone. Some couples try it several times before they get pregnant, while others may not have any success at all.

Your doctor may suggest trying it at least three to six times with injectable hormones before moving on to another treatment. If artificial insemination doesn’t help you, there are other approaches you can try, such as in vitro fertilization with your own eggs or with donor eggs or donor sperm.

Be sure to compare costs before you choose a clinic for artificial insemination. Prices vary greatly from one to another. Make sure the estimate includes the costs of hormones and any other drugs you’ll need, as well as the fee for sperm washing. If you’re using sperm from a donor, remember that there will be an extra fee for each dose you use. Ask the clinic in advance which costs could be covered by your insurance.

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Behavior (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.02.001

Importance to have a Physical Body for Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been making massive advances rapidly. It has turned into the critical technology behind automatic translation systems, self-driving cars, voice and textual analysis, image processing, and all kinds of recognition systems. It can exceed the best human performance levels at specific tasks.

We can see the emergence of a new commercial industry with intense activity, tremendous potential, and vast financial investment. It looks like there are no areas that are beyond AI’s improvement. There’re no operations that an AI application cannot automate, no problems that it cannot help. But is this true?

Theoretical studies of computation show that there are a few things which are not computable. Mathematician and code breaker, Alan Turing proves that some computations might never finish while others would take years or even decades.

For instance, we can efficiently compute a few moves ahead in a game of chess, but to scrutinize all the moves to the end of a typical 80-move chess game is entirely impractical. Even using the fastest supercomputer and running it at over one hundred thousand trillion operations per second, it would take more than a year to get just a small portion of the chess space explored. It is also called as the scaling-up problem.

Early research on AI often brought satisfying results on small number of combinations of a problem such as noughts and crosses, known as toy problems. These can compete with the world’s best human players by looking a lot further than the human mind can manage. It can do this by applying methods involving approximations, possibility estimates, large neural networks and other machine-learning tools.

However, these are issues of computer science, not artificial intelligence. A severe problem becomes clear if we consider human-computer interaction. We broadly expect that the future AI systems will communicate with and assist humans in a friendly and interactive manner and effectively socialise.

So, why does AI require a physical body to connect with humans emotionally?

 

Mind’s Theory

Although we already possess primitive versions of these systems, audio command systems and call-centre script-processing pretend to be conversations. What is required are proper social interactions associating free-flowing conversations for the long term during which AI systems recall the humans and their past conversations. AI has to understand intentions and beliefs and the meaning of what people are saying.

In psychology, this needs a theory of mind – an understanding that the individual you are interacting with has a way of thinking and roughly sees the world in the same way as you do. So when someone shares their experiences, you can recognise and appreciate what they describe and how it is relatable to you, making it meaningful.

We also notice that individual’s actions can figure out their intentions and preferences from gestures and signals. For example, when Jack says, “I think that David likes Zoe but thinks that Zoe finds him unsuitable,” we know that Jack has a first-order model of himself, a second-order model of David’s thoughts, and a third-order model of what David thinks Zoe thinks. We need to have similar experiences of life to understand this completely.

 

Physical learning

It is distinct that all this social interaction only makes sense to the gatherings and parties involved if they have a ‘sense of self‘ and can maintain a similar model of the self of another agent. People should know themselves first in order to understand someone else. An AI ‘self-model’ must contain a subjective perspective, involving how its body operates, including a detailed map of its own space and a repertoire of well-understood skills and actions. Also, how its visual viewpoint depends on the physical location of its eyes.

It indicates a physical body is required to ground the sense of self in factual data and experience. When one agent observes another agent’s action, they can understand mutually through the shared components of the experience. AI needs to be realized in robots with physical bodies. A software box cannot have a subjective viewpoint in the physical world where humans inhabit. Our conversational systems must not be only embedded but embodied.

Research on developmental robotics is now exploring how robots can learn from scratch. Initial stages involve discovering the properties of passive objects and the ‘physics’ of the robot’s world. Though disembodied AI has a fundamental limitation, future research with robot bodies may help create lasting, social interactions between AI and humans with empathy.

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Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes

Confused by the variety of sugar substitutes nowadays? Understand the pros and cons to make an informed choice.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you’re trying to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. You aren’t alone.

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages marketed as “sugar-free” or “diet,” including soft drinks and baked goods. Just what are all these sweeteners? And what’s their role in your diet?

Understanding artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes

Sugar substitutes are sweeteners that you use instead of regular table sugar (sucrose). Artificial sweeteners are just one type of sugar substitute.

The topic of sugar substitutes can be confusing. One problem is that the terminology is often open to interpretation.

Some manufacturers call their sweeteners “natural” even though they’re processed or refined. Stevia preparations are one example. And some artificial sweeteners are derived from naturally occurring substances — sucralose comes from sugar.

Natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are often promoted as healthier options than sugar or other sugar substitutes. But even these “natural sweeteners” often undergo processing and refining.

Natural sweeteners that the FDA recognizes as generally safe include:

  • Fruit juices and nectars
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes. But they may be derived from naturally occurring substances, such as herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners because they are many times sweeter than sugar.

Artificial sweeteners can be attractive alternatives to sugar because they add virtually no calories to your diet. Also, you need only a fraction of artificial sweetener compared with the amount of sugar you would normally use for sweetness.

Uses for artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are widely used in processed foods, including:

  • Soft drinks, powdered drink mixes and other beverages
  • Baked goods
  • Candy
  • Puddings
  • Canned foods
  • Jams and jellies
  • Dairy products

Artificial sweeteners are also popular for home use. Some can even be used in baking or cooking.

Certain recipes may need modification because unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners provide no bulk or volume. Check the labels on artificial sweeteners for appropriate home use.

Some artificial sweeteners may leave an aftertaste. A different artificial sweetener or a combination may be more appealing.

Possible health benefits of artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners don’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities. Artificial sweeteners may also help with:

  • Weight control. Artificial sweeteners have virtually no calories. In contrast, a teaspoon of sugar has about 16 calories — so a can of sweetened cola with 10 teaspoons of added sugar has about 160 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, products sweetened with artificial sweeteners may be an attractive option, although their effectiveness for long-term weight loss isn’t clear.
  • Diabetes. Artificial sweeteners aren’t carbohydrates. So unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners generally don’t raise blood sugar levels. Ask your doctor or dietitian before using any sugar substitutes if you have diabetes.

Possible health concerns with artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners have been scrutinized intensely for decades.

Critics of artificial sweeteners say that they cause a variety of health problems, including cancer. That’s largely because of studies dating to the 1970s that linked the artificial sweetener saccharin to bladder cancer in laboratory rats. Because of those studies, saccharin once carried a label warning that it may be hazardous to your health.

But according to the National Cancer Institute and other health agencies, there’s no sound scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the United States cause cancer or other serious health problems. Numerous studies confirm that artificial sweeteners are generally safe in limited quantities, even for pregnant women. As a result, the warning label for saccharin was dropped.

Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as food additives. They must be reviewed and approved by the FDA before being made available for sale.

Sometimes the FDA declares a substance “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Substances receive this designation if they meet either of these criteria:

  • Qualified professionals deem the substance safe for its intended use on the basis of scientific data. Stevia preparations are an example of this type of GRAS designation.
  • The substances have such a lengthy history of common use in food that they’re considered generally safe.

The FDA has established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each artificial sweetener. ADI is the maximum amount considered safe to consume each day over the course of a lifetime. ADIs are set at very conservative levels.

Novel sweeteners

Novel sweeteners are hard to fit into a particular category because of what they’re made from and how they’re made. Stevia is an example. The FDA has approved highly refined stevia preparations as novel sweeteners but hasn’t approved whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extracts for this use.

Tagatose is also considered a novel sweetener because of its chemical structure. Tagatose is a low-carbohydrate sweetener similar to fructose that occurs naturally but is manufactured from the lactose in dairy products. The FDA categorizes tagatose as a GRAS substance.

Sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols (polyols) are carbohydrates that occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables — although they can also be manufactured. Despite their name, sugar alcohols aren’t alcoholic because they don’t contain ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages.

Sugar alcohols aren’t considered intense sweeteners because they aren’t sweeter than sugar. In fact, some are less sweet than sugar. As with artificial sweeteners, the FDA regulates the use of sugar alcohols.

Sugar alcohols contain calories. But they’re lower in calories than sugar, making them an attractive alternative.

Uses for sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols generally aren’t used when you prepare food at home. But they’re in many processed foods and other products, including chocolate, chewing gum and toothpaste. Sugar alcohols add sweetness, bulk and texture to food, as well as helping food to stay moist.

Sugar alcohols are often combined with artificial sweeteners to enhance sweetness. Food labels may use the general term “sugar alcohol” or list the specific name, such as sorbitol.

Possible health benefits of sugar alcohols

Like artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols don’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities, and may also help with:

  • Weight control. Sugar alcohols contribute calories to your diet — but fewer calories than regular sugar. Sugar alcohols may help weight-control efforts.
  • Diabetes. Unlike artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols are carbohydrates and can raise blood sugar levels. But your body doesn’t completely absorb sugar alcohols, so their effect on blood sugar is smaller than that of other sugars. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for guidance because sugar alcohols vary in their effects on blood sugar.

Possible health concerns with sugar alcohols

When eaten in large amounts, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, intestinal gas and diarrhea. Product labels may carry a warning about this potential laxative effect.

Uses for natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners have a variety of uses both at home and in processed foods. They’re sometimes known as “added sugars” because they’re added to foods during processing.

Possible health benefits of natural sweeteners

Natural sugar substitutes may seem healthier than sugar. But their vitamin and mineral content isn’t significantly different. For example, honey and sugar are nutritionally similar, and your body processes both into glucose and fructose.

It’s OK to choose a natural sweetener based on how it tastes rather than on its health claims. Just try to use any added sweetener sparingly.

Possible health concerns with natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners are generally safe. But there’s no health advantage to consuming any particular type of added sugar.

Consuming too much added sugar, even natural sweeteners, can lead to health problems, such as tooth decay, weight gain, poor nutrition and increased triglycerides. Honey can contain small amounts of bacterial spores that can produce botulism toxin. Honey shouldn’t be given to children younger than than 1 year old.

Moderation is key

When choosing sugar substitutes, it pays to be a savvy consumer. Artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can help with weight management. But they aren’t a magic bullet and should be used only in moderation.

Food marketed as sugar-free isn’t calorie-free, so it can still cause weight gain. Keep in mind that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don’t offer the same health benefits as whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

 

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Show references

  1. How sweet it is: All about sugar substitutes. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm397711.htm. Accessed July 6, 2018.
  2. Artificial sweeteners and cancer. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/artificial-sweeteners-fact-sheet. Accessed July 6, 2018.
  3. Duyff RL. Sugars, starches, and fiber. In: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017.
  4. Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 11, 2018.
  5. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Accessed July 10, 2018.
  6. Azad MB, et al. Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. CMAJ. 2017;189:e929.
  7. Karalexi MA, et al. Non-nutritive sweeteners and metabolic health outcomes in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Pediatrics. 2018;197:128.
  8. Garner CD. Nutrition in pregnancy. https://uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 6, 2018.
  9. Non-nutritive sweeteners (artificial sweeteners). American Heart Association. AHA: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Non-Nutritive-Sweeteners-Artificial-Sweeteners_UCM_305880_Article.jsp#.Wz_a8dhKi9Y. Accessed July 10, 2018.

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Artificial Intelligence & Embodiment: does Alexa have a body? | by George Zarkadakis

When I think about “embodiment” I understand it as a continuum of possibilities. Somewhere in the middle of this continuum is the human form, in all its diversity and variety, the level-setter of everything. The continuum’s edges are defined by the possibilities of shapeless, indistinguishable and nameless no-body — on one side — all the way to the other side of endless, infinite possibilities of super-bodies. That’s the definition of embodiment that I suggested at a recent workshop on AI narratives at the Royal Society in London, organised by the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.

Is Erica (depicted) the great grand-mother of Blade Runner’s Rachel?

I do not need to see something instantiated in physical form in order to ascribe to it a certain degree of embodiment. For example, I can speak to my friend on the phone and imagine her body — she’s embodied in a full human form. Indeed I do not need to know the other person on a phone call at all, they can be a complete unknown and still be able to imagine them in some human body as I speak to them. Memory and imagination are of course subjective; but there is on objective mechanism that generates those images in my mind, which is part and parcel of my cognitive system as a human being, and that is of course “theory of mind” (ToM). Theory of mind describes the automatic mental projection of “mind”, similar to ours, on other people, but also on animals and inanimate objects (e.g. rock, rivers, icons, cars, etc.). In my book In Our Own Image I explored theory of mind and how it has played a critical role in stories of robots and artificial beings, but also of gods and demigods.

So let’s take an example of an AI and see how my definition of embodiment plays out: what happens to my mind when I speak with Alexa (or any other virtual assistant)?

At the present state of technology Alexa does not evoke any images of embodiment in my mind. When I speak to her I imagine her as a shapeless, no-body entity, a clever trick generated by an algorithm. My emotional reaction to her voice is very low indeed. Alexa is a disembodied machine that instead of humming it speaks. But I can easily extrapolate that, as Alexa becomes more interactive, my theory of mind will start kicking in and compel me to imagine her with some kind of a (female) body — and, once embodied, as a friend with whom I m having a conversation with. Curiously, the evolution of digital assistants is a replay of Turing’s imitation game. There will come a day when they will be able to imitate us so well to be virtually indistinguishable from us. It will be hard to tell if they are not. So I agree with the premise of the film Her that explored this embodiment issue all they way to its logical conclusion, which is of course the forging of human relationships with AIs, of friendship, yearning and lust.

When I look at the future coexistence of humans and AIs I see this relationship evolving further. But where will it end? Will it end with AIs becoming fully embodied, like androids in Blade Runner? Will the future of humanity be constant paranoia, of no one ever knowing for sure if the person with whom they speak with was born or made? Or will AIs evolve further to become like living gods, embodied and disembodied at the same time, omnipresent and omniscient as distributed minds over the web and at the same time instantiated in some kind of physical, or ethereal/ virtual form — responding to our call, or prayer? And if they become gods, will we worship them, or hate them? Will we rise against them, in a Butlerian Jihad?

Perhaps we do not need to wait for those questions to answer themselves in the future. Indeed, it may not be necessary to answer those questions at all. The present does not need the future to happen in order to define it; by virtue of posing those questions today and reacting to them we influence the evolution that AI and robotics technology. And that’s exactly the tremendous power of scientific and technology narratives.

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Biosack or artificial uterus: will technology replace the female body

Will children be artificially reared outside the woman’s body? How far has reproductive technology gone? Will sex robots replace our partners? Can innovation change our lives by reversing the traditional way of life? Jenny Kleeman is looking for answers to these and other questions in her book “Sex without people, meat without animals.Who designs the world of the future. ” The journalist conducted dozens of interviews with scientists, programmers, doctors and other experts to understand what the future holds for us tomorrow. The translation of the book is being published by Individual Publishing House and will go on sale this week. Forbes Woman publishes an excerpt on the ethical boundaries of ectogenesis.

An infamous case in 2012 was when a pregnant Italian woman flew to England for a two-week Ryanair course in Stansted. At the hotel she started a panic attack, she called the police, they contacted her mother by phone. She explained that her daughter most likely did not take her bipolar medication. The police placed the girl in a mental hospital under the mental health law. Five weeks later, by order of a guardianship court received by the Mid Essex branch of the National Health Service, the woman was forcibly sedated and given a caesarean section without permission. Essex Social Services immediately took the daughter away, and the mother was sent back to Italy without the child.

When a year later the details that could be made public by law became known to the public, Essex Social Services justified themselves by acting in the best interests of the child.Even in supposedly liberal and enlightened Norway, the government’s desire to protect babies may outweigh the importance of caring for those who carry them. Between 2008 and 2014, the number of newborns collected from their mothers by the Norwegian Child Welfare Service immediately after birth tripled. The most common reason for “urgent care orders” – by a wide margin – is not drug or alcohol abuse, but “lack of parenting skills”: a vague term that includes mothers from countries where physical punishment of children, mothers with mental illness and mothers is acceptable with episodes of hectic life in the past.

Advertising on Forbes

If some mothers cannot be trusted with their newborn, will they be trusted with pregnancy when an alternative method of gestation becomes available? Can a mother who is unfit to raise her own child be considered a responsible incubator? If the future of childbearing means a choice between ectogenesis and natural pregnancy, our attitude towards what is “natural” will change forever. It is easy to imagine a future where the “help” that employers in Silicon Valley and beyond are already offering, when staff can freeze their eggs and focus on work in the most productive years of their careers, will include raising a baby in an artificial uterus so as not to interrupted during pregnancy and childbirth.The use of a real uterus in a human body can ultimately become a sign of low status, poverty, dysfunctional life, unplanned pregnancy or the stigma of a potentially dangerous supporter of natural childbirth – just as today we treat adherents of “free birth” who decide to have a child without any medical attention during or after pregnancy.

“Natural” childbirth itself can be an irresponsible and frivolous choice.Today, the greatest existential threat to unborn babies does not come from drugs, alcohol, or women “unfit” for pregnancy, but from mothers who do not want children. Ectogenesis will be able to “save” an aborted fetus: it can be transplanted into an artificial uterus and passed on to willing parents. 90 020 90 011 In the UK, abortion boundaries are tied to survivability outside the womb – which is why in 1990 they dropped from 28 to 24 weeks. Full ectogenesis means that any fetus will be viable, even embryos, and any unborn child may have the right to life.Even partial ectogenesis will turn the abortion debate upside down. We think of abortion as one choice – a decision to get rid of the fetus, but in reality there are two: the decision not to carry the baby and the decision to end his life. Ectogenesis will dilute and accentuate them for the first time. If a woman’s body ceases to be an incubator, abortion will meet the requirements of both the protection of freedom and the protection of life. States will allow women to choose what happens to their bodies, while at the same time prohibiting interrupting the life of the fetus.

Why should a mother decide on her own whether a child should die when technology can save him? Feminist activist and writer Soraya Chemali thought about this five years before the lambs from the sacks took to the world stage safe and sound.In a 2012 essay for Rewire.News, she wrote that “… an inherent tension in the current debate — between women’s rights and the state’s interest in the fetus — will disappear once the woman and the fetus can become instantly and safely independent of each other. Men and women will become equal in reproductive choices, and women will lose the primacy that they are now endowed with thanks to pregnancy. ”

Her text ends with a grim blow to that right of choice: “A real dystopian future will come when we look back with nostalgia for the short period in which the Roe v. Wade case (the historic 1973 US Supreme Court decision on the legality of abortion before Week 28 pregnancy) was relevant and was the peak of reproductive freedom for women.

Soraya is in Washington now, and we are on the phone. I start by asking what she thought when she first heard about the bio-bag, but in response I hear a long, dark laugh. “I am quite cynical and downright pessimistic about any technology that promises to be truly disruptive or revolutionary. I always laugh when futurist technologists – still mostly men, mostly white, mostly from the elite – declare that their idea is progressive and subversive, because it is they who so actively support the patriarchy.They give rise to so many latent inequalities in society. It’s like explaining to a fish what water is. ”

Despite Matt Kemp’s successes at WIRF and the biosack team, Soraya is cautious that she believes full ectogenesis will only become a viable and widespread reproductive technology in a few generations.

“It’s incredibly difficult and I still think ectogenesis will take longer than some people think,” she says. “But I agree that this is inevitable.”This is just another step in the fragmentation of motherhood. Artificial womb technology – developed mostly by men – will allow women to become little more than suppliers of germ cells, as detached from their maturing babies as men. Soraya says ultrasound shows how much female bodies are already considered byproducts in reproductive medicine.

“I’ve been saying for years: don’t show pictures of fucking developing fetuses if you don’t show a woman’s entire body.I understand that during pregnancy you lose your head, but I am such a terrible feminist-high-rollers. I say, “Oh, how cute, why not take a bigger picture.” Ultrasound was deliberately designed to show a fetus in the form of a planet in an abyss, in a vacuum, in a container, in a jar. Against the background of black wallpaper. By completely erasing the woman whose body gives life. ”

It’s hard for me to imagine that full-length ultrasound would take root in our country, but I understand where Soraya is leading. Flake said that one of the big selling points of the biosack is that it will allow both parents to see their child in real time, since it is outside the mother’s body. And as soon as mothers and fathers become equally distant from babies, they will receive equal rights to them – and this equality will be based on the fact that women will be deprived of their reproductive power. Soraya agrees that ectogenesis has the potential to free women from the burden of motherhood. “I am bursting with this dilemma,” she says. – I think: “Well, finally, you can already put an end to the cultural oppression of thinking, as if it is inherent in our nature, as if it is an inevitable primary role for all women?” And this thought liberates. “But Soraya is “a die-hard fan of literary dystopias, especially feminist ones,” so he sees the technology’s dark potential to disenfranchise women. Even in the most misogynistic societies, she says, women are valued for their ability to bear children, “at least as long as there is a chance that a son is born.” By making reproduction equal, ectogenesis will take away the universal power, which is indisputable in all women and not in any man. 90,020 90,000 Impact of abortion on women’s health

Abortion is the termination of pregnancy at any stage.This operation, even when performed ideally, has many different consequences.

Abortion is distinguished between spontaneous (miscarriage) and artificial (surgical and other interventions). Induced abortion can be performed early (up to twelve weeks) and late (over twelve weeks of pregnancy).

Abortion is not just about removing the embryo or embryo by means of medication (medical abortion) or by means of scraping instruments (suction with a vacuum aspirator), but abortion is an effect on the entire female body.

With medical abortion, there is no external intervention and damage to the uterus is excluded, but the absence of injury to the uterus does not exclude the development of complications associated with abrupt termination of pregnancy.

In some cases, medical abortion does not occur to the end and the remains of the ovum must be removed by the instrumental method.

Therefore, reproductive system disorders after medical abortion occur no less frequently than after instrumental abortion.

The most dangerous for the body is the instrumental method of abortion.

With both the instrumental and the vacuum method, initially there is an “artificial” expansion of the cervical canal with the help of special metal instruments.

The main difference is that with the instrumental method, a special, sharp iron instrument “curette” is used, with the help of which the walls of the uterine cavity are scraped out or a plastic tube is inserted into the uterine cavity, through which the contents are sucked off using a vacuum suction (ovum with membranes) …

Termination of pregnancy has a negative impact on a woman’s health and condition.

During pregnancy, a serious restructuring begins in a woman’s body at all levels. Artificial interruption of these physiological processes lead to disruptions in the body, and, above all, of a hormonal nature. Violation of the coordination in the work of the central nervous and endocrine systems leads to disruptions in the normal functioning of the endocrine glands (ovaries, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pituitary gland), contributing to the appearance of various nervous disorders.

Complications of abortion.

Inflammatory diseases.

Inflammatory processes in some women can appear immediately after this procedure, in others after a while. As a result of the inflammatory process, not only the uterus and fallopian tubes, ovaries, but also peritoneal tissue, peritoneum, bladder, rectum can be affected.

During the artificial termination of pregnancy, the cervix is ​​injured, as a result of which an “open gate” is formed for the infection to penetrate into the tissues presenting, into the blood and lymph vessels.

Chronic inflammatory processes of the internal organs of the female genital area with frequent exacerbations stimulate the development of irreversible changes (scars, adhesions), which worsen health and contribute to the manifestation of the long-term consequences of abortion (violation of sexual, menstrual, reproductive functions). Inflammatory processes contribute to the occurrence of ectopic pregnancy, as well as the appearance of secondary infertility.

Mechanical damage to the cervix and body of the uterus.

Such injuries are caused mainly during surgical abortion.

Damage to the cervix during abortion in the future can lead to its inability to “hold” the pregnancy, against the background of which does not develop pregnancy, miscarriages, disruption of normal labor activity.

Regardless of the experience and qualifications of the doctor, no one will ever give you a guarantee that during an abortion, the remnants of the placenta and embryo will not remain in the uterus, will not be able to guarantee the absence of a penetrating wound of the cervix or the body of the uterus with surgical instruments or their perforation (perforation) …

Bleeding.

Any attempts to penetrate the uterus during pregnancy in order to interrupt it inevitably lead to a violation of the integrity of the vessels (they increase in length during pregnancy, expand, while the blood flow increases) and, as a consequence, the occurrence of bleeding. Bleeding as a complication of abortion is also observed in cases of leaving during the operation in the uterine cavity particles of the embryo or fetal bladder with the placenta. In this case, bleeding does not occur immediately after removal, but after a few days or hours.Basically, a second examination is carried out, followed by curettage of the uterine cavity.

Infertility.

Induced abortion is the most common culprit in infertility, especially when the first pregnancy ends. It is the chronic inflammatory processes of the genital organs (fallopian tubes, cervix, her body, ovaries) after an abortion that contribute to the development of infertility.

Ectopic pregnancy.

In an ectopic pregnancy, implantation of a fertilized egg is carried out in a narrow fallopian tube, which subsequently ruptures and causes internal bleeding.

Hormonal disorders.

Hormonal disorders are considered to be one of the long-term consequences of abortion: diseases of the thyroid gland (dysfunction of the adrenal glands), disorders of the pituitary gland, which is the central regulator of the endocrine system.

Cancer diseases.

Artificial termination of pregnancy increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

Endometriosis.

In case of injury to the walls of the uterus during surgery, the endometrial particles begin to “germinate” (infiltratively) into the muscle layer.Endometrial cells with blood can enter any organs, and during menstruation begin to become inflamed. Endometrial attachment and growth can be observed in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum. At the signal of ovarian hormones, fragments of the endometrium begin to grow and swell with blood, as a result of which inflammation begins.

Complications of anesthesia.

There may be headache, nausea, temporary disturbances of consciousness, allergic reactions. Those who have liver problems, anesthesia causes exacerbation of hepatitis, deterioration of blood counts.

Post-abortion syndrome (suffering of the soul).

It is expressed in a combination of mental symptoms or diseases, manifested against the background of experiences and regrets after an abortion, even with an absolutely healthy psyche of a woman.

Every woman has the right to decide for herself to have an abortion or not. The harm of abortion to a woman’s body is inevitable.

Artificial insemination in Ryazan | Moscow

Artificial insemination is a complex of methods for conceiving a child.

Depending on the causes of infertility, the doctor may recommend the use of one or another method of artificial insemination. There are several of these methods:

  • Intrauterine insemination. This method of fertilization is used when the reproductive system of a woman is preserved, but decreases the ability of a man’s sperm to conceive . For its implementation, both the spouse’s sperm and donor sperm can be used, if the spouse’s sperm is of poor quality and there is an incompatibility barrier . The method consists in the artificial introduction of sperm into the uterus, the procedure itself can be carried out 2-3 times during the menstrual cycle.
  • GIFT method (GIFT – gamete intrafallopian transfer). This method involves the transfer of an egg taken earlier from a woman and a partner’s sperm into the fallopian tube. The introduction of sperm and oocyte occurs using laparoscopy through the abdominal cavity. This method is shown in for male infertility of unknown etiology, for endometriosis of the pelvic organs , etc.
  • ZIFT method (ZIFT – zigote intrafallopian transfer). This is a method of transplanting an already fertilized egg into the fallopian tube – a zygote. The introduction of the zygote is carried out through the cervix. This method is similar to the GIFT method, and it is also used once a month during a woman’s ovulation.
  • Introplasmic sperm injection method (ISKI). This method is used by in the male factor of infertility and consists in the artificial placement of a sperm cell into an ovum.This is done under a microscope using the finest needle, and then the fertilized egg is transferred into the woman’s body.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) . This method is used by in violation of the reproductive system of a woman , such as obstruction of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, hormonal disorders, etc. Eco consists in the so-called artificial conception, when the sperm of a man and a woman’s eggs are placed in a special solution and, after fertilization, the most viable embryos are transferred into the uterine cavity.This method also allows the use of an egg donor if the woman’s eggs do not mature.

It should be noted that the choice of a specific fertilization method depends on the condition of both partners and can be recommended by the attending physician . Also, the choice of the method depends on the capabilities of the clinic in which the couple is being treated. At the Semeynaya clinic in Ryazan, gynecologists are ready to offer options for artificial insemination and solutions to the problem of infertility based on its cause, well-being and the wishes of the patient.

Be attentive to your health, come to the gastroenterology department of the Semeynaya clinic in Ryazan! Modern equipment and qualified personnel will help you cope with any problem!

To clarify the prices for an appointment with a specialist or other questions, follow the links below

11 strange things that only a woman’s body can do / AdMe

They say that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus.And there is something in this, because even their bodies are significantly different from those of men.

Bright Side collected a dozen more than a few proofs of why every woman has abilities that men never dreamed of.

11. Women are more flexible

10. Women live longer

Why: Women’s immune system is better able to cope with any external and internal threats to the body, and its cells age more slowly, which makes it work more efficiently.Therefore, women often live to a ripe old age and get sick less often than men.

9. There are always more single women than men

8. Women feel happier from the smell of male sweat

7. A woman is able to give birth to 40 children and more

Why: Due to genetic characteristics some women are capable of giving birth and raising several dozen children. The record holder is a resident of the city of Shuya, who gave birth to 69 children at the beginning of the 18th century.She gave birth 27 times: 16 twins, 7 triplets and 4 quadruplets. Today, on average, there are 1-2 children per family.

6. Women’s fingerprints are 99% different

Why: Women’s skin secretes 2 times more amino acids than men’s, and distributes them differently over the surface of the finger. Thanks to this, scientists with a probability of 99% can find out the sex of a person with just one fingerprint.

5. Breastfeeding gives superpower

Why: Hormones, which have a significant effect on the functioning of the brain and body, begin to be produced in an unusual volume.Women are less likely to experience anxiety, become braver, get more pleasure from familiar things, turn into empaths who can almost read the thoughts and moods of other people, better distinguish sounds and colors.

information.The constant changes in estrogen levels associated with the menstrual cycle are also important. Verbal and associative memory works best in women.

2. A new organ grows in pregnant women

1. A woman’s brain is constantly rebuilt due to hormones and even changes her personality

What the label “hides” – the most popular fabrics and fibers

Are you good at fabrics? Do you read the composition on the labels? To get a better idea of ​​what is in front of you – a natural product or a high-tech artificial creation – see the selection of the most popular fabrics and fibers from the Fashion blog. An educational program for fashionable and advanced people will definitely simplify the choice of branded clothing in online stores.

Neither denim uniform: types of fabrics, depending on the weave

It is hardly possible to list all existing fabrics and variations on them. Therefore, we offer the most popular weaves.

  • Openwork – fabric with a see-through ornament. It is made from cotton, wool or silk yarn. Romantic dresses and sophisticated blouses are often diluted with inserts from this material.
  • Velor is the general name for fleecy materials (wool, leather, felt, corduroy, velvet, cotton). Outerwear, shoes, bags are made of velor.
  • Guipure – lace fabric, it is created from silk or cotton threads. “Intersperses” from this material make dresses and blouses more delicate.
  • Denim is a well-known jeans. Heavy-duty, heavy-duty cotton fabric. At first, workwear was sewn from it, and today the most fashionable and famous flaunt in branded jeans and denim dresses.
  • Knitwear is a broad name for fabrics. The difference from other materials in the weaving method. If in ordinary canvases it is cross (there is a warp and transverse threads that penetrate the warp through one), then in knitwear the fabric, as if knitted, consists of loops.
  • Jersey is a machine knitted fabric with a fine stitching. This fabric is made from cotton, silk, wool and man-made fibers. T-shirts, jumpers and other casual clothes are sewn from it.It practically does not wrinkle, light, soft, stretches more in length, in width remains practically unchanged. Have you seen loose, slightly curled edges on T-shirts and jumpers? This is 100% jersey.
  • Drap – felted woolen fabric. The surface of the fabric is smooth, the weaves are visually covered with a soft covering made of felt. Most often, drape is used in outerwear.
  • Organza is a rigid transparent fabric. It is made from silk or synthetic fibers. Used to decorate festive and evening wear.
  • Brocade is a difficult to manufacture, expensive fabric. A distinctive feature is the patterns of gold or silver threads. It is used in clothing for special occasions.
  • Reps – dense textured natural fabric. It is made from cotton, silk or wool. They are used in places where buttons are sewn, as inserts on outerwear, as a decoration.
  • Tweed is a coarse woolen fabric with a twill weave. Used in the manufacture of outerwear.
  • Chiffon is a translucent fabric.It can be natural (silk, cotton) or artificial (viscose).
  • Melange is a yarn of multi-colored fibers (or multi-tone of the same color). Can be natural or artificial. Used in the production of jumpers, coats. Visually, it looks like a material with two-color even blotches over the entire surface.
  • Stretch is a kind of knitwear with elastane added. It is the same on the front and seamy side, stretches well and at the same time retains its original shape. Cuffs, collars, leggings and other tight-fitting things are made from it.
  • Fleece is a knitted polyester fabric. This is that barely noticeable fleece from the seamy side of sports trousers and home clothes, hats and jackets. Often used in the manufacture of children’s clothes and specialized clothing for “winter” athletes. Easy to care for, elastic, dries quickly, keeps you warm.
  • Jacquard is a material with a rough surface. The special weaving of the threads creates a relief pattern.Typically, this fabric is made from cotton, wool or silk, to which polyester is added.

“Natural” fibers – the most popular natural threads

Many people still choose things exclusively from natural fibers. They are environmentally friendly, safe, and most importantly – pleasant to the body. Read on for a selection of the most popular natural fibers.

  • Cotton (cotton, baumwolle, cotone) is the most popular natural fiber. It is made from cotton (plant). They are used both in pure form and with the addition of synthetics.
  • Silk (silk, seta, seide) is an expensive thin lightweight natural fabric made from silkworm cocoons.
  • Flax (lino, linen-flax, flachs, linen, lin) natural material from the stems of the plant of the same name. Ideal for summer. Light trousers, tunic dresses and other clothes are made of it. It perfectly permeates air and even cools the body. The only drawback is that it crumples a lot.
  • Wool (English wool, Italian lana, German wolle, wollstoff) and its varieties. Regular sheep wool is the most popular and readily available. Cashmere (cashmere, German kaschmir) yarn from wool of the Himalayan goat. Alpaca (alpaca) – valuable llama wool. It is light, soft, thin, and dearly appreciated. Angora (angora) – fabric from the down of angora rabbit (named after a long-haired goat). It is soft and pleasant to the touch. Jumpers and dresses for the cool season are the most common use of the material. Mohair – wool of angora goat. Mohair is also called a fabric made entirely from the fibers of such yarn or with its addition.

“The threads of the future” – the most advanced man-made fibers

Designers have long been using fabrics with artificial fibers in their collections. And no wonder. After all, this is no longer “stuffy synthetics”, these are light, soft fabrics that allow the body to feel comfortable. And combinations of artificial and natural fabrics create canvases that are worn for a very long time.Some groups of fabrics made of artificial fibers are called “technical”. The upper part of jackets and down jackets is sewn from them.

  • Polyamide, nylon (nylon, polyamide) – fabric that does not stretch at all, very wear-resistant. Often, the tops of padded jackets and branded down jackets are made from nylon.
  • Polyester (poliestere) is a fairly soft fabric that allows air to pass through well, it is easy to clean, and dries quickly. Sometimes they are used in fabrics on their own, sometimes – in a composition with natural fibers.
  • Viscose is a synthetic fiber made from cellulose. Soft and pleasant to the touch. It is rarely used in its pure form. Mostly combined with other threads.
  • Modal is a modernized viscose. It is more durable, absorbs moisture well, and is lightweight. Modal threads are usually combined with other fibers in fabrics. Applied in outerwear.
  • Lyocell, lyocell, tencel, orcel (lyocell, tencel) – a fiber from eucalyptus, which is obtained by chemical means.Thread characteristics: strong, pleasant to the touch, hygroscopic, elastic.
  • Acrylic (acrylic, acryl) – made from oil. Acrylic fabric is similar to wool, so they are often combined. A great advantage over wool is that the moth is indifferent to it. Among other positive qualities: long color retention, keeps its shape, dries quickly. Disadvantages: the formation of pellets, electrifying, poor air permeability.
  • Acetate is a light, smooth synthetic fabric with a silk-like sheen.It dries quickly, is easy to clean, keeps its shape well (therefore, it is used for fluffy skirts, a la new look)
  • Polyurethane (polyurethan) – the fiber is combined with different yarns. In particular, it is used in the manufacture of eco-leather – the highest quality leather substitute today.
  • Lurex (lurex) – fabric with shiny metallic thread. It gives the material its characteristic shine. Be careful, lurex fabrics are not for everyone. Especially careful should be used by adult ladies.Such clothes can age.
  • Lycra, other names – elastane, dorlastan, spandex (lycra, elastane, elasthan, dorlastan, spandex) – an artificial thread that stretches 5-7 times. It is elastic, wear-resistant, durable. Used in the manufacture of swimwear, tights, underwear, tight-fitting trousers. To make the product stretch well, it is enough to add only 2% lycra to the fabric.

P. S. Now you will feel confident when you read the composition of the fabric on the label or in the product description.Stay tuned for updates on the Fashion blog. In the near future we will tell you how to take care of fabrics so that things are with you as long as possible.

90,000 Speaks, learns and never refuses: what a sex robot with artificial intelligence looks like

The

Harmony is a robotic version of Abyss Creations’ ultra-realistic silicone sex toy called RealDoll. The founder of Abyss Creations Matt McMullen took 20 years to create Harmony, of which five years were spent in research in the field of robotics.McMullen invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the project.

Harmony can smile, blink and frown. She is able to move, but not walk – according to McMullen, it is too expensive and energy-intensive. The entrepreneur recalled the famous Honda P2, which was introduced in 1996 as the world’s first walking robot. It discharged a jet-pack-sized battery in just 15 minutes. McMullen does not deny that walking will make the Harmony more realistic, but believes that the investment will not pay off for now.

He notes that he designed Harmony to be the perfect companion for a certain type of person: she is obedient and submissive, has the figure of a porn star and is always sexually available.

“I want to make people happy in a very simple way. Many people find it difficult to build traditional relationships for one reason or another, and my goal is to give them at least some kind of communication or the illusion of communication, ”says McMullen.

Harmony is being developed by Abyss Creations’ Realbotix division, which consists of five people living in different states and even countries – for the project they meet every few months at the headquarters of Abyss Creations in San Marcos, California.The team includes an engineer, two AI programmers, an application developer who turns code into a user-friendly interface, and a virtual reality expert. Realbotix is ​​working on the technical component of Harmony, and McMullen himself is working on its appearance.

According to him, future Harmony models will have a fully movable body and internal sensors, so they will be able to simulate an orgasm by activating the right points in a certain time.

McMullen has no doubts that his invention will be a breakthrough in robotics.He says that manufacturers from Japan and China are trying to compete with him, but they are inferior in quality of material, and their robots are more like remote-controlled toys than Harmony, which has artificial intelligence.

Abyss Creations opened 20 years ago. The headquarters employs 17 people, but this is not enough to meet demand: sometimes customers have to wait more than three months for an order to be delivered.

RealDolls have different shapes: some have unrealistically large breasts, others are more toned, but they all have the same tiny waists. The skin, made from a special blend of medical grade silicone, even has veins. RealDoll is completely customizable with 14 different labia and 42 nipple options. Artists paint eyebrows, freckles and make-up on the faces of dolls. Abyss Creations says most clients submit photos of the desired result. With the written permission of the person, they can even make a copy of it.

Photo: Tom Silverstone / The Guardian

According to company estimates, the share of female customers does not even reach 5% – none of the male dolls are successful.Now Abyss Creations is busy updating the male line.

It is possible to sell up to 600 RealDoll silicone dolls per year, their price ranges from $ 4400 to $ 50 thousand and more, if the client has special requests. Harmony will cost $ 15,000, and sales are scheduled to begin by the end of this year. The first batch will have a thousand robots.

Of course, this technology faces criticism. For example, Dr. Kathleen Richardson of De Montfort University, an anthropologist and specialist in the field of robotics, is convinced that owning a sex robot is comparable to owning a slave: people will have the right to take care of only themselves, human empathy will be undermined, and women’s bodies will be objectified.Sex with robots is not a mutual experience, she says, but “part of the rape culture.”

When asked about the ethical dubiousness of Harmony, McMullen immediately replied, “She’s not human. She’s a car. I could just as easily ask you if it is ethically dubious to get a toaster to make me toast. ” Of course, the entrepreneur understands that ethical disputes are not related to the rights of sex robots, but to the consequences of their appearance for people. But this is a more difficult question.

Source.

Cover photo: Screenshot of The Guardian

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