Which UK govt department (ultimately) oversees the use of non-human animals in scientific research?

The Home Office, asserts a paper that I am reading. That cannot possibly be true, was my first thought. But which one it is, then? Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, maybe? Because DEFRA is part of it and often holds public consultations on the use of almost anything to do with genes in plants and non-human animals.

No.

The Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) is indeed part of the Home Office. Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/animals-in-science-regulation-unit

“Do not minimize the extent of my having been changed from a vivacious, sensual, happy, loving, athletic, healthy, wealthy, bright, articulate, fairly socially adept human to being melded and moulded to accommodate an autistic adult into exactly the opposite of who I am for the sake of a one-sided relationship.” (works both ways, I bet)

This is from this web page:

https://www.theneurotypical.com/how-to-spot-aspergers.html

Just in case the above-listed web page disappears – such things happens; nothing to do with hacking – I have copied its contents below.

Continue reading

What’s wrong with England (and Spectrum 10k)

I just heard about what I think may be a brilliant example of what’s wrong with English thinking and why I feel England is really backward. I purposefully haven’t looked into it yet, and will only in a moment, but it strikes me as perhaps pretty typically English (and class/power-driven if you get what I mean).

I may be wrong. We’ll see.

Spectrum 10K.

It caused so much upheaval that the Wellcome Trust paused the project.

If I summarize it correctly, and I’ll find out in a moment, scientists in England – the birth country of eugenics where Francis Galton (who I think was a cousin of Darwin, you know, the guy who talked about survival of the fittest) came up with it – decided to start collecting the genomes of 10,000 autistic people WITHOUT ANY PRIOR COMMUNICATION WITH THE AUTISTIC COMMUNITY.

These bumbling researchers first need to go talk with the community, said the Wellcome Trust.

(Let me also guess that none of the researchers are autistic themselves. There’s a bigger chance that I am wrong about that – by which I actually mean that there may be a lab tech or lower-level researcher who is autistic, likely not one of the PIs – than that I am wrong about this having something to do with the research project being English.)


Here we go.

There is a Wikipedia page about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_10K

Where was I wrong? There was involvement from UCLA, but it’s UK-wide and led by Simon Baron-Cohen. Apparently, the project was criticized from the start.

(It would be typically English to then decide to forego communication and consultation with the “lowly” folks it concerns, wouldn’t it? Yes, I hate England and its stupid hateful abusive culture. Sorry. I am way beyond being able to still be objective about it, most of the time. Academically, it’s often more about beating itself on the chest, and pissing as many people off as possible than about actually achieving anything, communicating with the public and doing something well. Doing something well is so utterly un-English. It’s often seen as foolish and naive – “daft” – to do something well. No, that’s not just me who says this. The English work ethic sucks, and has sucked for a long time, with exceptional individuals and organizations as always acknowledged and appreciated.) (But I am glad that a lot of groups are currently striking here, with teachers now joining too. How can you have a good work ethic when you’re treated like dirt? When incompetence is rife? When people only get well-paying jobs because of who their dad is or how much money they put in someone’s pockets, not because of whether they are capable. All of that has gotta be part of it.)

This is what the National Autistic Society has written about the project:

https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/news/spectrum-10k

This is what the NHS has written about it:

https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/governance/feedback-raising-concerns/spectrum-10k-update-19-may-2022/

When I started searching, I initially had the impression that I had been wrong and that the study had first gotten approval, was then paused and later got approval again.

But no, IT IS INDEED CURRENTLY PAUSED FOR COMMUNITY CONSULTATION and this does come after a great deal of upheaval in the community.

In the country that invented eugenics…

That is a despicable, thoroughly unprofessional approach, is it not?

This is also a big failure on the part of the granting organization (the way its grant applications are formulated needs an update too), but as they’re directly involved, perhaps that is no surprise.

https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/people-and-projects/grants-awarded/common-variant-genetics-autism-and-autistic-traits

From https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/people-and-projects/grants-awarded/common-variant-genetics-autism-and-autistic-traits

https://www.stemcells.cam.ac.uk/people/pi/rowitch

https://www.sanger.ac.uk/person/hurles-matthew/

https://geschwindlab.dgsom.ucla.edu/pages/

Yes, I am angry.

No, I am not autistic.

Yes, England is the pits.

Yes, this is a BACKWARD, almost 19th-century, scientific approach. Exploitative.

But, as an attempt to be a little more objective, let me add that, yes, you sometimes see contemptuous attitudes in other academic research too, not just in England.

Yes, I hate England’s horrible abusiveness.

(Oh, and yes, I turned down a paid PhD position at the University of Southampton, albeit years ago. So you see that I am not quite writing this out of spite. I really hate England’s abusiveness and sad work ethic. I prefer working with the victims of this abusive culture, it seems.)

Yes, I’m known for often being highly critical. But I LOVE it when things are done well and/or brilliantly. And that, sadly, is so utterly un-English. I hate what having been stuck here for so long has done to me, in terms of the inevitable deterioration of my own work standard, for example. I hate it. I hate it.

Oh, humans are so smart!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-64387401

Tell you what. PIGEONS seem to get a lot of this too.

I’ve been utterly baffled by the fact that pigeons are able to understand human “come here” gestures. How do they know what it means?

Likely answer: The human species has only been around for a second, whereas many other species have been on the planet much longer and have done a lot of learning.

Air pollution and pesticides not only affecting men’s fertility but their brain cells as well? Or is it syphilis?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64333002

Let’s face it, this NOT the result of men thinking that Emily Atack is “easy access” and “up for it”. This comes from men who are seriously unwell.

Yesterday, I read about a man who sent a female friend a photo of his bare behind, with whip tracks on it. She’s struggling financially and the friend thought that she would be up for getting paid in return for doing SM stuff to him. Instead of ASKING HER, he sent her a photo of his bare BUM? That’s nuts and exploitative.

Steekje los.

SM has been around for a long time, on the other hand, but sending a complete stranger – Emily Atack – naked photos of you, that’s seriously unhinged.

It’s a sign of a problem. This is not proper mature adult behaviour. It’s unhinged behaviour. It’s problematic behaviour. It’s got nothing to do with low IQ or learning disabilities. It’s as nuts at jumping off a church tower “just because”. It’s as nuts as teenage TikTok dares that cost some of these teenagers their lives.

Maybe these men all have syphilis and have mistaken Ms Atack for a doctor and want her professional opinion on how serious the situation is.

That’s actually the only explanation that would still make some sense.

This, sadly, is only half “tongue in cheek”. Sending nudes to a stranger IS unhinged behaviour, let’s face it.

The difference between sending Ms Attack nudes and beating her to death is a difference of degree, not in kind.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/24/spain-second-emergency-meeting-murders-women

The month isn’t even over yet.

In addition, we’ve also already had far more shootings in the US this year than there have been days. How many of those shootings came from women?

Research from 2020 found 76% of girls aged 12-18 had been sent unsolicited nude images of boys or men, commonly known as “dick pics”.”

That’s very worrisome.

I see such things as implicit rape threats, threats of violence. (Rape = violence) Because why else would anyone do something like this?

PS
Syphilis can affect the brain. So maybe all these men who pester Ms Atack do indeed have syphilis.


The rise in hate against women seems to be rampant in the western world. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/23/sexism-in-france-is-alarming-and-getting-worse-says-report


For men who’ve seriously lost the plot and thought they were being cute, here is a simple test to help you.

  • Would you send the photo to your grandmother? No? Then don’t send them to any other woman or girl either. Simples.

CNN on why the NHS is falling apart

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/23/uk/uk-nhs-crisis-falling-apart-gbr-intl/index.html

A few points

  • In December, 54,000 people in England had to wait more than 12 hours for an emergency admission. The figure was virtually zero before the pandemic, according to data from NHS England.
  • The average wait time for an ambulance to attend a “category 2” condition – like a stroke or heart attack – exceeded 90 minutes. The target is 18 minutes.
  • There were 1,474 (20%) more excess deaths in the week ending December 30 than the 5-year average.
  • Data from November showed there were more than 7 million people on a hospital waiting list in England.
  • According to an IFS report, even after adjusting for staff sickness absences, there are 9% more consultants, 15% more junior doctors and 8% more nurses than in 2019.
  • Yet the NHS is treating fewer patients than before the pandemic.
  • According to analysis by health charity the Health Foundation, average day-to-day health spending in the UK between 2010 and 2019 was £3,005 ($3,715) per person per year – 18% below the EU14 [countries that joined the EU before 2004] average of £3,655 ($4,518).
  • During this period, capital expenditure – the amount spent on buildings and equipment – was especially low, according to the Health Foundation analysis. The UK has far fewer MRI and CT scanners per person than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, meaning staff often have to wait for equipment to become available.
  • Hospital beds are particularly scarce. Over the past 30 years the number of beds in England has more than halved, from around 299,000 in 1987 to 141,000 in 2019, according to analysis by the King’s Fund, an independent think tank.
  • Neville, a consultant in a hospital, judges 2008 the “best” he has seen the NHS in more than 30 years of working in it. By that time, the NHS had enjoyed nearly a decade of hugely increased investment. Waiting lists fell substantially.

Algorithms and job applications

Algorithms not only help some online traders trade, wrongly or rightly identify people are likely to commit fraud or tax evasion and identify – correctly or incorrectly – health risks and so forth, they can also determine whether you will be invited to an interview when you apply for a job.

Did you know that?

So if you are for example like me, highly educated but living in what may be one of the poorest parts of the country, it can be useful to ask a friend with a better address if you can use theirs for your job applications.

There are all sorts of databases in which addresses are linked to fraud risk etc. Councils use them too.

Also, leave your DOB (and marital status) off your CV. It was already considered irrelevant when I was living in the US in the 1990s.

My home country was still running behind on this, last time I checked. Five or six years ago, it was often impossible to apply without DOB, which was against Dutch law, but I don’t expect much to have changed since.

Including your DOB can lead to discrimination. Having a foreign-sounding name, of course, can too.

If you want a way around that, BYOB.

How to look after care-leavers and young homeless people

This morning, I spotted this video in my Dutch news app (NOS News).

Daphne (22) used to live with her mother and brother and sometimes with her dad. After her brother moved out, it was soon time for her to leave too.

Now she’s living with Peter and Wietske, who’ve given her a room in their house in The Hague. Daphne rents this room. No other housing options were available to her.

Peter and Wietske have been taking care of children for a long time and say that they always manage to find a click with their young “charges”. They thought it was odd that the organization that arranges these matches asked them if they had a problem with tattoos. “That’s about the exterior, it says nothing about the child.”

Daphne feels free, confident and welcome.

This screenshot below shows Daphne (right) and Wietske (left), the woman in whose house she’s living.


https://nos.nl/video/2460386-daphne-22-was-thuisloos-nu-woont-ze-bij-peter-en-wietske

Save Windermere (Britain’s largest lake, in the Lake District)

Watch the video below.

The reason why the birds were panicked when they saw all the dead fishes was also concern for their own safety. Birds are damn smart and if you, as a fish-eating bird, see loads of dead fishes, you know that there is something wrong that is likely to impact you too if you’re not very careful.

The likely problem? The probable cause? The United Utilities sewage works, apparently. United Utilities, however, refuses to release data. Instead, it targets or threatens campaigners with legal action. Why?


I received this update because I signed the petition: https://www.change.org/p/save-windermere-lake-from-sewage-and-an-environmental-catastrophe

For the breakdown of evidence that has been collected so far please visit: https://www.savewindermere.com

“Met Police officer David Carrick admits to being serial rapist”

“Oh my God. Oh my God!” That’s what I exclaimed when I saw this headline.

It turns out to be another policing horror story that is chilling to read. (Trigger warning for those with a trauma history.)

As if Wayne Couzens wasn’t enough yet.

In case you don’t know that, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens abducted, raped and killed Sarah Everard in 2021.

David Carrick
Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-64289461

He was suspended and arrested in October 2021.

David Carrick ended up in the same unit as Wayne Couzens, namely the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, guarding embassies, Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament.

“Wayne Couzens, 48, worked in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command and finished a shift guarding the US embassy hours before he carried out a false arrest of Everard on 3 March and abducted her.” (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/03/sarah-everard-killer-wayne-couzens-worked-as-parliamentary-guard)

“Alarm bells also failed to ring within the force, which promoted Carrick in 2009 from patrolling the streets to being a member of an elite armed unit, the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, guarding embassies, Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament.” (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/16/metropolitan-police-officer-david-carrick-revealed-as-serial-rapist)

A quote from within the CPS: “scale of the degradation Carrick subjected his victims to is unlike anything I’ve encountered in my 34 years with the Crown Prosecution Service”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-64289461


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/16/metropolitan-police-officer-david-carrick-revealed-as-serial-rapist

“The scale of offending by Carrick, 48, spanning 17 years, makes him one of the worst sexual offenders in modern criminal history”

Now imagine that you’re a woman in London and you’re being stalked or have been raped. Would you still report this to the Met, already knowing that the police in England have admitted that they fail stalking victims as a rule and that police officers also often give rape victims a hard time?

Narrated by Eddie Marsan

I first saw Eddie Marsan on “Ray Donovan”. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.

In a 2018 interview with The Scotsman, he said: “I thought, the Americans think I can do anything, and the British see me as a thief with two lines. So that’s why I don’t work much in the UK.”

He’s now narrated this two-part documentary about Broadmoor for ITV, though.

It, too, is about diversity and inclusivity, about the need to create a more compassionate world, in which children don’t suffer. That’s not the whole story. I know. But do watch it, please.

Part 1: https://www.itv.com/watch/broadmoor/2a2965/2a2965a0001

Part 2: https://www.itv.com/watch/broadmoor/2a2965/2a2965a0002


ITV also got Eddie Marsan to play John Darwin in its four-part series “The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe” (2022). The story is a little depressing, but this series is brimming with brilliant acting, from everyone involved.

Health disparities: Black and Hispanic Americans are less likely to receive CPR in public spaces



https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2200798

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Bystander CPR for Witnessed Cardiac Arrest

List of authors.

  • R. Angel Garcia, M.D.,
  • John A. Spertus, M.D., M.P.H.,
  • Saket Girotra, M.D.,
  • Brahmajee K. Nallamothu, M.D., M.P.H.,
  • Kevin F. Kennedy, B.S.,
  • Bryan F. McNally, M.D., M.P.H.,
  • Khadijah Breathett, M.D.,
  • Marina Del Rios, M.D.,
  • Comilla Sasson, M.D., Ph.D.,
  • and Paul S. Chan, M.D.