Subject: The Italian job: Thieves steal Bruegel masterpiece only to learn it was a copy planted by police
This checklist is from my book, How to Ask the SMART QUESTIONS for Winning the Games of Career and Life
Checklist: Spotting the important judges
- Who are the important judges of how well I’m doing my job? Why are they the key judges, and not others?
- What criteria are they using to judge me and my contribution?
- Are these the most appropriate measures? If not, what should be the criteria be, and how can I “educate” them to recognize and judge by the criteria that are truly important?
- Are the apparent judges the truly important judges? For instance, is my outside client a more important judge than my supervisor? If not, what should I do about it?
- If I am locked in with inappropriate judges, is there a way to bypass them and get the attention of ones who are more appropriate—or more open to me?
- Overall, what are the practical implications for me?
These days, we’re familiar with heart transplants from brain-dead patients into others needing a new, healthy heart.
But in a new experimental breakthrough, successes have been achieved in transplanting the hearts of those not brain dead. Yes, there are procedural and ethical issues involved.
Mind you, this involves actual human hearts, not 3-D printed replacements, or bits of heart tissue grown in labs from human stem cells.
But the possibility raises some issues of medical ethics to be explored: if the donor is not brain dead, when and by what criteria can the heart be removed?
Rather than dig in deeply here, I’ll refer you to the article itself. You’ll see a “reanimated” donated heart actually beating outside the bodies of both donor and recipient. Here’s the link.
It’s a variation of a question that I raise early-on in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH. In REMEDY, a researcher tries to implant brain cells from a human fetus into a young chimp. (Not a plot-spoiler: that is only a small part of the story.)
In the Aeon article, the focus is on the pigs that may be used to grow replacement human organs.
“In this case, the scientists take a skin cell from a human and from this make stem cells capable of producing any cell or tissue in the body, known as ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’. They then inject these into a pig embryo to make a human-pig chimera. In order to create the desired organ, they use gene editing, or CRISPR, to knock out the embryo’s pig’s genes that produce, for example, the pancreas. The human stem cells for the pancreas then make an almost entirely human pancreas in the resulting human-pig chimera, with just the blood vessels remaining porcine. Using this controversial technology, a human skin cell, pre-treated and injected into a genetically edited pig embryo, could grow a new liver, heart, pancreas or lung as required.”
So now suppose the human patient has a fresh new pancreas grown in the pig. But, once that pancreas is taken out, what about the pig? Off to the pork-chop shop? No! It’s not so simple. “It is not a pig with a human pancreas inserted into it—it is a human-animal chimera . . . This could affect the chimera’s brain.”
In short, maybe, just maybe, that chimera—whether pig or chimp—may have something approaching human brain function or other “characteristics that we usually think of as having moral relevance.”
Seems far-fetched that a pig or a chimp might begin developing human-like brains, but a whole lot of far-fetched stuff is fast becoming reality in today’s world.
FOR MORE on human-animal chimeras and related topics including organ harvesting, growing human body parts, human stem-cells, mice given human brain cells, what is a human?, and others I invite you to check out my blog for A REMEDY FOR DEATH. http://www.a-remedy-for-death.com/