Archive for December 19th, 2012

December 19, 2012

Edgewood Arsenal

Project 112

The Edgewood Arsenal experiments (also known as Project 112) are said to be related to or part of CIA mind-control programs after World War II, such as MKULTRA. Journalist Linda Hunt, citing records from the U.S. National Archives, revealed that eight German scientists worked at Edgewood, under Project Paperclip (the US program recruiting Nazi scientists after the war).

The experiments were performed at the Edgewood Arsenal, northeast of Baltimore, Maryland, and involved hallucinogens such LSD, THC, and BZ, in addition to biological and chemical agents. Experiments on human subjects utilizing such agents goes back to at least World War I. In the mid-1970s, in the wake of many health claims made from exposure to such agents, including psychotropic drugs administered in later experiments, the U.S. Congress began investigations of misuse of such experiments, and inadequate informed consent given by the soldiers and civilians involved.

December 19, 2012

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

Auditory-tactile synesthesia

The term ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’ (ASMR) is a neologism for a claimed biological phenomenon, characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation often felt in the head, scalp or peripheral regions of the body in response to various visual and auditory stimuli.

The phenomenon was first noted through internet culture such as blogs and online videos. Tom Stafford, a professor at the University of Sheffield, says ‘It might well be a real thing, but it’s inherently difficult to research.’

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December 19, 2012

Epigenetics of Autism

Pervasive developmental disorder

Epigenetics [ep-uh-juh-net-iks] refers to non-genetic, heritable characteristics: information other than that found in DNA that can be transmitted from parent to offspring, such as in the form of methylation of DNA (molecular markers attached at several points on a strand of DNA) or histone modification (histones are protein structures that tightly pack and unpack DNA, exposing and ‘expressing’ desired genes).

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) includes autism, Asperger disorder (high-functioning autism), childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.

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December 19, 2012

Epigenetics

DNA methylation

Epigenetics [ep-uh-juh-net-iks] is the study of changes in gene activity which are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. More specifically, epigenetics is the study of gene expression, the way genes bring about their phenotypic effects (observable characteristics or traits).

Gene expression is the process by which the heritable information in a gene, the sequence of DNA base pairs, is made into a functional gene product, such as protein or RNA. The basic idea is that DNA is ‘transcribed’ into RNA, which is then ‘translated’ into proteins (which make many of the structures and all the enzymes in a cell or organism).

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December 19, 2012

Autism Friendly

Autism friendly means awareness of social engagement and environmental factors affecting people on the autism spectrum, with modifications to communication methods and physical space to better suit individual’s unique and special needs. Individuals on the autism spectrum take in information from their five senses as do neurotypical people, but they are not able to process it as quickly and can become overwhelmed by the amount of information that they are receiving and withdraw as a coping mechanism.

They may experience difficulty in public settings due to inhibited communication, social interaction or flexibility of thought development. Knowing about these differences and how to react effectively helps to create a more inclusive society. It also better suits the needs of the growing number of individuals with autism, Asperger syndrome (high functioning autism), or other disorders on the autism spectrum.

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December 19, 2012

Autism

Autism [aw-tiz-uhm] is a neurological disorder characterized by a profound withdrawal from contact with people, repetitive behavior, and fear of change in the environment. The emotional disorder affects the brain’s ability to receive and process information.

People who have autism find it difficult to act in a way that other people think is ‘normal,’ and they find it difficult to talk to other people, to look at other people, and often do not like being touched by other people. A person who has autism seems to be turned inwards. They may talk only to themselves, rock themselves backwards and forwards, and laugh at their own thoughts. They do not like any type of change and may find it very difficult to learn a new behavior like using a toilet or going to school.

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