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The Cystic Fibrosis Gene
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Introduction Cystic fibrosis is an inherited autosomal recessive disease that exerts its main effects on the digestive system and the lungs. This disease is the most common genetic disorder amongst Caucasians. Cystic fibrosis affects about one in 2,500 people, with one in twenty five being a heterozygote. With the use of antibiotics, the life span of a person afflicted with CF can be extended up to thirty years however, most die before the age of thirteen.1 Since so many people are affected by this disease, it"s no wonder that CF was the first human genetic disease to be cloned by...
mutation of one channel or even a partial mutation of a channel, that causes a decrease in the percentage of channel openings, can exert a major effect. Even the mildest of cures altering the Cystic Fibrosis Conductance Regulator in CF afflicted people would lead to significant improvements in that individuals health. Since cystic fibrosis is the most common genetic disorder, particularly amongst Caucasians, in today"s society, intense research efforts towards its cure would be invaluable. When will cystic fibrosis be completely cured? No one can say for sure but, strong steps have already been taken towards reaching this goal.
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As I walked into my younger...As I walked into my younger brother's elementary school one day to pick him up, I was confronted with a flurry of sounds; it was nothing new, this was just the first time that I noticed it. All I heard was the buzzing of computers, the ringing or phones and the humming of printers. The same at my school, my parents' workplaces, and nearly every other public place, as well as some private places. Then I began to wonder if all of these technological advances really help, or rather hinder, how we gather information from the world around us. Do these smaller and faster computers, these increasingly tiny cellular phones, or any of these other recent technological inventions really expand the acquisition of knowledge? Or are we just moving backwards? First of all, I think that we need to define technology. My definition, as well as the definition that I will use to determine whether something is technology, is any device that makes life easier for the people who possess and use it. One of the most obvious ways is that now it is a lot easier to access knowledge. You can research any topic and access statistics and primary documents. You have got the world at your fingertips. I, as an International Baccalaureate student, cannot imagine writing papers or researching any issue without access to the Internet. Another example of technology that helps most people is the calculator. I cannot even imagine trying to do Calculus homework without its help. With the aid of the calculator, you need not look up or calculate by hand values such as logarithm, sine or cosine"¦it is just beyond me how they did complicated math like that before everyone had calculators. Another advantage is that, if you have Internet access at home, you have access to seemingly endless information twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week; anytime you want to learn something about any theme, you can. Even devices such as overhead projectors and loudspeakers make access to knowledge easier. Also, as technology progresses, computers get more affordable, along with other learning tools, thus they become available to more people. There is also more information. Examples include movies, photos, audio devices and other entertainment that was not available before. There is also more scientific equipment that allows us to collect more information about the world such as the transition electron microscope, which allows us to examine the inside of cells, and the technology that allows us to carbon date fossils and such. Technology also makes learning a lot more fun. Computer programs such as 'Word Muncher' and 'Number Muncher' help children with vocabulary and math skills, telling them a certain kind or word to 'eat' or gives them a word such as 'prime' and they must find and 'eat' all prime numbers before they get eaten by these little monsters. I learned a lot from these programs, and I see my little brother, who is in second grade, doing the same. He also likes to play a game called 'Pre-Kindergarten' which gives him a colorful certificate if he does well. A program provides visually stimulating colors and rousing sounds that flashcards and textbooks cannot. They allow children to learn things about a variety to topics while captivating them, which can be hard to do. I, personally, have seen my brother greatly benefit from these programs. He also loves to watch movies and television programs that show Barney and Thomas the Train solving the math problem or inserting the missing letter into words. He plays those games and watches those programs for hours on end. I way I know these effects through perception and emotion. I perceive the way that my brother has benefited from using technology; he is learning without knowing it and while having fun. I am pleased that I have access to computers and other technological devices that have helped me through school and through life. However, on the other hand, technology can sometimes limit the acquisition of knowledge. Einstein once said, "It has become increasingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Because of technology there is, for example, more distortion in information, especially with information on the Internet. In Debate, we must dismiss half of the evidence that we attain because it does not come from a reliable source such as Time Magazine or the New York Post. Whereas we would not have to do this as much if we relied on books because, to write a book that is respected in the literary world, an author must do huge amounts of research and devote large amounts of time, conversely, almost anyone with a computer can feign information on the Internet. Another thing to consider is that before this technology there was more actually synthesis of thought and less mimicking of information. Before computers, people used to have to really interpret the information that they got and make valid conclusions on it, but now, chances are, that conclusion has already been drawn and is readily available on the Internet. There is less synthesis of true, personal thoughts and more repetition of information. Finally, the acquisition of knowledge is a lot less personal. Why talk to a teacher or mentor when all the information and counseling you need is at your fingertips? Some examples of technology that seems to do this include online college and high school classes, Palm Pilotsâ„¢ and Email. I know these things also through perception and emotion. I see the people around me using technology to do things that they should be doing themselves. I see people not socializing as much and their 'people-skills' diminishing. I am also depressed because I have not actually talked to or seen my grandmother for a couple of months because we Email each other and that is now considered 'a healthy relationship.' To see what other people thought about this I asked people "Do you thing computers and phones and other kinds of technology actually help us learn? Why or why not? How?" My thirty-nine year old mother answered, "Yes, because"¦. there is such a broad amount of information on any subject or object in the world" as she clicked away on her computer. My seven year old brother said "Yeah, because"¦computers help us learn because you can go online and get stuff and talk to people and check the weather and you can learn more stuff"¦[At school we have] computer programs with subtract and times and other stuff like that to help with math." "Yes"¦. by using a computer you can learn things about anything you want," ways a fifteen year old. Finally, a seventeen year old female answers, "I believe that the phones, computers, and other pieces of technology assist in enabling communication, providing information, resources and education"¦today technology is dependent on old, original resources like newspapers, books, and even television and radio which are rapidly declining since information can be obtained on the Internet"¦" Therefore, in general, others feel that technology helps the acquisition of knowledge. Some Problems of Knowledge associated with this question include the there has never been, and probably never will be, a 'test' of how technology affects us because you cannot isolate people or even one person from technology completely. Which leads me into my second problem, when you think; nearly everything at one time would be considered technology by the definition given earlier. So even the textbook compared with the computer program described before was technology compared to speech-based knowledge which was an improvement on cave paintings, et cetera. Another problem is that you cannot quantitatively measure the effects technology has on people; it is even hard to measure qualitatively. Also, just like all social sciences, everyone responds to technology in different ways. Some people still research only using books and some only using the Internet. Another problem to consider is that the word 'knowledge' is subjectively defined depending on the person and/or the dictionary. In conclusion, when asked to investigate and answer the question "In what ways has technology expanded or limited the acquisition of knowledge?" I examined the ways in which technology expands and then the ways, in which it limits the acquisition, then I researched how others would answer the questions or a variation or the question and then I reflected on the Problems of Knowledge. Summarily, I believe that technology, as a while, expands the acquisition of knowledge, in that, it makes unlimited information accessible. Others say that information is so distorted now that it is hard to decipher true knowledge from opinion and fabricated information; to that I say that you must just be able to do this if you want to use the Internet and other types of technology. Anther thing that opponents will say, is that as the technology is increased the level of professionalism and personal attention is decreased. To this argument, I say that it is up the individual person to decide whether the acquisition of knowledge is to be this way, if is really others he or she, they could call or stop by the relative, coworker or friends house instead of Emailing them or go to an actual college lecture instead or 'attending' the online lecture, or watch the news on the television instead of on the computer, et cetera. There are countless ways to undermine the ways that technology limits our knowledge; you just have use your information"¦   

As I walked into my younger brother's elementary school one day to pick him up, I was confronted with a flurry of sounds; it was nothing new, this was just the first time that I noticed it. All I heard was the buzzing of computers, the ringing or phones and...

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