Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby Project, Day 3

My life card said that i might be miscarrying.  Some of the reasons i could be miscarrying is because of a problem in the way my genetic material combined when my egg and my partner's sperm joined during fertilization. Also another reason could be imbalances in my pregnancy hormones, problems with my immune system, and some infections such as listeriosis and malaria that are thought to make miscarriages more likely. A few more reasons i could possibly be miscarrying is that when you get older, your chance of having a miscarriage increases because egg qualtiy decreases as you get older. Also if you drink alcohol while your pregnant your chances of miscarrying increases too. My feelings about this have been all over the place, i have felt so many different things, i feel sad, guilty, angry, and i don't understand how to handle this awful situation. I just don't understand what happened and i how to get through this but hopefully with the help of my spouse, family, and friends i can. Some concerns and fears i have is if i have a miscarriage, is it likely that i will have more? or will i not be able to carry a child if i get pregnant again?

Because i miscarryed some of my options include fertility treatment so i have a less likely chance that i will miscarry again and also i could try to get pregnant again and maybe the baby will be fine and i won't miscarry.  Also i could always adopt and not risk having another miscarriage. These options also could be used by a person who thought they were pregnant....but are not.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Project, Day 2

1) At five weeks is the mark of embryonic period. This is when the baby's brain, spinal cord, heart, and other organs begin to form. The embryo is now made up of three layers: the top layer-the ectoderm which gives rise to the baby's skin, nervous system, eyes, inner ear, and many connective tissues. The middle layer is called the mesoderm which is where the baby's heart and circulartory system will form and this layer also gives foundation to the baby's bones, muscles, kidneys, and much of the reproductive system. The inner layer of cells- the endoderm will become a simple tube lined with mucous memebranes. The baby's lungs, intestines, and bladder will develop here. By this week. the baby should be about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long. At week six, your baby's heart is pumping blood. Basic facial features will begin to appear, including passageways that will make up the inner ear and arches that will contribute to the jaw. The baby should be about 1/6 to 1/4 inch long. At week seven, the baby's brain and face are rapidly developing. Tiny nostrils become visible and the eye lenses begin to form. The baby should be about 1/4 to 1/3 inch long. At week eight, the baby's arms and legs are growing longer, and fingers have begun to form. The baby's ears are forming and its eyes and nipples are visible. The upper lip and nose have formed and the trunk of the baby's body is beginning to straighten. Also the baby might begin to move but the mother will not be able to feel it. The baby should be about 1/2 inch long.

2)The mothers body is changing in many ways, blemishes or spots start to appear on the face, waist and hips get bulkier, thighs put on more flesh, abdomen becomes bulky, loose, and spots may start to appear along with stretch marks, and the size of breats enlarge and milk starts being produced. In certain cases the naval may protrude.

3)There are many contributing factors for a mother to possible have twins or triplets which is fertility treatment which some mothers do. Another is age, an older women is more likely to have twins or triplets than a women in her twenties. Also heredity is a factor because twins or triplets are said to run in families. The last factor is size, researches say maternal height and weight can play a role in whether you have twins/triplets or not.

4)In choosing a doctor or midwife you must first decide on what you want from them. Are you a person who wants to be lead by the hand through the pregnancy? Do you see your role as a partner with the care provider? Do you only want basic information or all of the information available? Should you be told what to do or be given the ability to make your own decisions? Do you want to be a patient or a client? After you decide on what you want, make a list of providers that you think qualify, then interview each one of them until you find one that meets your criteria. Do not just choose a care provider solely from referal from friends and family, choose one you think is the best for yourself.  It is possible to give birth at home and some women prefer it because it is a relaxing environment in which you are comfortable in. But with giving birth at home, there are risks like if something goes wrong you will not have the advanteges of the technology of a hospital.

5) Some tips for a healthy pregnancy include :
  1. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day.
  2. Take a prenatal vitamin each day as directed by your obstetrician.
  3. Drink plenty of fluids, at least eight to ten glasses a day, avoiding caffeine and artificial coloring.
  4. Don't drink alcohol.
  5. Don't smoke or allow yourself to be exposed to second-hand smoke.
  6. Exercise--it's important for your general health, and also to reduce stress. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least 15 to 20 minutes every day at a moderate pace. Walk in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.
  7. Get adequate sleep--at least eight hours a night. If you're suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day and see your physician for advice.
  8. Wear comfortable, non-restricting shoes and put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.
  9. Continue to wear a safety belt while riding in motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone. The lap portion should be placed under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also, pregnant women should sit as far from the air bag as possible.
  10. Don't take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby Project, Day 1

1) About three days after conception the zygote now consists of 16 cells and has normally reached the junction of the fallopian tube and uterus. About five days after conception a cavity appears in the center of the zygote and the grouping of cells are called a blastocyst. The blastocyst has started to travel down the fallopian tubes and has started to attach itself to the endometrium. The cells inside the blastocyst start forming an embryo. The outer cells of the blastocyst start forming the placenta. Nine to ten days after the conception, the blastocyst has fully attached itself to the endometrium and primitive placental blood circulation begins. Twelve days after conception, the blastocyst has started to produce hormones that can be detected in a women's urine. Thirteen days after conception a primitive streak appears and will later develop into the fetus' central nervous system. Three weeks after conception, the embryo is about 1/12" long, the size of a pencil point and its heart begins to beat about 18 to 21 days after conception. At four weeks, the embryo is about 1/5" long and the structure that will develop into a head is visible, as with a noticeable tail. The embryo has structure like the gills of a fish in the area that will later develop into the throat.

2)The physical changes that might be going on with the mother would be that she begins to produce a hormone called HCG which is critical for healthy development of the embryo and fetus. Also the mother experiences swelling of her breasts and have nausea and changes in their appetites. Also as the pregnancy continues, the placenta, amniotic sac,and umbilical cord are formed. As the pregnency continues the mothers uterus and abdomen grow and her hips begin to widen. As the baby grows rapidly, the mother's uterus expands and sometimes the mother can get stretch mark on her skin and can experience idigestion problems, as well as heartburn. As the time for delivery gets closer, the mother can have an early form of milk called colostrum leak from her breasts. Some of the emotional changes that the mother and/or father might go through would be they would feel anxious about becoming new parents along with being nervous, excited, scared, happy, and every emotion you could have, the mother and father will experience before their baby is born.

3)Some steps that both mothers and fathers should take would be to see their doctor regularly with check-ups, to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise, stay positive, try to breathe clean air, and be careful when traveling. Mothers should not eat junk food, fast food, certian types of fish, and extra vitamin supplements. Also mothers and fathers should not smoke. Mothers should not drink, take drugs, and they should try to aviod smelling paint fumes, household cleaners, or anything that has to do with pesticicdes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Position paper, Question 2

There are many reasons why there should be government regulations to protect the environment from genetically engineered crops. One reason is there are many environmental risk factors, one being the unintended harm to other organisms. Another environmental risk factor is the reduced effectiveness of pesticides because some crops have been genetically engineered to produce their own pesticides. Another environmental risk is gene transfer to non-target species. Another risk would be that biotechnology companies claim that their manipulations are similar to natural genetic changes or traditional breeding techniques. But the cross-species transfers would not happen in nature and may create new toxins, diseases, and weaknesses. Another risk is the increased pollution of food and water supply because more then 50% of the crops developed by biotechnology companies have been resistant to herbicides, resulting in greater pollution of our food and water with toxic agrochemicals. Another reason is that existing species can be displaced from the ecosystem with disastrous effects. One last reason is that crops are now being engineered to produce their own pesticides, which will promote the rapid appearance to resistant insects and lead to the destruction of useful insects and soil organisms. These are only a few of the many reasons why there should be government regulations to protect the environment from genetically engineered crops.

Position Paper, Question 1

There are many reasons why there should be government regulations requiring genetically engineered foods to be labeled. One reason is because people have a right to know what they are buying and what is being put in their food. Everything is labeled nowadays, why not add genetically engineered foods to the list. Another reason is because there are ricks of genetically engineered foods and people deserve to know what these risks are, which include modified plants or animals that may have genetic changes that are unexpected and harmful and another is plants may be less resistant to some pests and more susceptible to others. Another reason is because people should be allowed to decide if they want genetically engineered foods or non-genetically engineered foods. Another reason is that the genetically engineered foods are not labeled then the person who ate the food and had a health problem because of eating the foods could sue the government for not labeling the product or the store from where the person bought the food. Also, a huge reason these foods should be labeled is because there are many religious concerns. Some of these concerns include the religious vegetarians, such as the Buddhists, want to avoid fruits and vegetables with inscect, animal, or human genes in them. Also, Jews who keep kosher food laws want to be able to make sure that genetically engineered foods do not violate their restrictions. One last reason why genetically engineered foods should be labeled is that many people have many ethnical objections to the genetic engineering research and development that is going on and want to avoid it, however they can't, unless the genetically engineered foods are labeled. These are only a few reasons why there should be government regulations requiring genetically engineered foods to be labeled, but there are many, many more as well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Task 2

1)Yes genetically engineered food should be labeled and the labels should say that this product has been genetically engineered and the label should say how the product has been genetically altered in what ways.

2)Yes they should only be allowed under strict regulations and these regulations must include that the consumer must know the product has been genetically engineered along with a system to make sure the genetically engineered products are not hazardous.

Background Questions

1)Food biotechnology is any technique which uses living organisms to make products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microbes for specific uses.

2) Genetically engineered foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineered techniques.

3) The benefits of genetically engineered foods are
  • Reduced use of pesticides

  • Reduced use of herbicides

  • Reduced use of fertilizers

  • Enhanced nutrition

  • Drought resistance

  • Better appearance

  • Longer shelf-life

  • Better flavor

  • Temperature resistance

  • Disease resistance

  • Increase in food supply.  Decrease in world hunger.

  • 4) The risks of genetically engineered foods are
    • Lack of long term studies on food safety.
    • Lack of long term studies on environmental impact.
    • Diminished opportunity for organic/sustainable agriculture
    • Potential risk of rendering Bacillius thuringiensis (Bt), a natural biological pesticide, useless due to widespread use of Bt-engineered crops.
    • Potential life threatening danger for individuals with food allergies or sensitivities who might unknowingly ingest altered foods to which they are allergic, sensitive, or intolerant.
    • New genetic structure of foods might result in new allergens.
    • Toxicity levels of naturally occurring food toxins might result in new allergens.
    • Toxicity levels of naturally occurring food toxins might inadvertently be altered.
    • Cruelty to animals.
    • Unacceptability of creating novel organisms that would not occur through traditional means of reproduction (crossing plants and animals or unrelated species of animals).
    • Environmental damage due to cross pollination and disturbed ecosystems.
    • Pesticide tolerance.
    • Herbicide tolerance
    • Ethical and spiritual concerns.

    Topic 1

    As a scientist, we all agree that the benefits of genetically engineered food outweigh the risks because even though the risks are harmful, the benefits can lead to stopping male nutrition, a healthier food supply, and can help to prevent diseases.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Scientist Questions

    1) The benefits of genetically engineered foods:
    -more nutritious food.
    -tastier food.
    -disease and drought resistant plants that require fewer enviromental resources.
    -decreased use of pesticides.
    -increased supply of food with reduced cost and longer shelf life.
    -faster growing plants and animals.
    -food with more desirable traits.
    -medicinal foods that could be used as vaccines or other medications.

    2) The risks of genetically engineered foods:
    -modified plants or animals may have genetic changes that are unexpected and harmful.
    -modified organisms may interbreed with natural organisms and out-compete them, leading to extinction of the original organism or to other unpredictable environmental effects.
    -plants may be less resistant to some pests and more susceptible to others.

    3)There are always going to be risks with anything and I think the benefits do outweigh the risks becasue we could have more food for less which could go to people who do not have a lot of money and need the food to survive. Also food could grow faster to meet the demand for food.