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CULTURAL IDENTITY: Cultural identity is a form of collective identity which is focusing on culture. Whereas in a nation state, most of the citizens are having a sense of belonging (collective identity) resulting from a shared faith as a people, a common central government, constitutioal rights and some basic societal values, they can have various cultural identities (for instance, as Native Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, and so on). (BP)

CULTURAL PLURALISM: The presence of multiple value systems within or among societies.(DM)

CULTURAL RELATIVISM: The idea that there are no absolute rights or wrongs, but what is right and wrong depends upon what is accepted in one's culture. It would follow from this doctrine that female infanticide is perfectly alright, just so long as one's culture accepts it. (FL)

CULTURE – [Social meaning]: The way people live in identified areas, times and settings (HT. Odum)* sum total of cumulative processes and products of societal achievement. Includes: Folk - Customary attitudes and social norms and customs believed and practiced traditionally, e.g. Eastern practice of eating with hands; Technological - changes in customary attitudes and social customs due to advances in science and technology, e.g. Eastern practice of eating with fork and spoon.

Cultural lag: both folk and technological cultures do not keep pace with each other, a term proposed by F. Ogburn in 1922 to indicate the difference between the two. Education and regulatory norms/practices are necessary to bridge the gap. (JA)

CULTURE – [Scientific meaning]: technique of growing cells/tissues/plants/microorganisms in sterilized liquid/agar gel media containing nutrients. Tissue culture - growth of plant/animal tissue in liquid medium, first practiced by the German botanist Gottleib Haberlandt during 1902. Meristem: Extension of plant tissue culture, in liquid culture medium containing auxin and cytokinin, produces many new shoots from a single plant shoot apex. Anther: a recent technique, mature anthers are grown in tissue culture medium with vitamins and plant growth regulators, in dividing haploid pollen tube cells yields proembryos, with the rupture of pollen grain about 40 haploid embryos are released. (JA)

CULTURE: Everyone has a culture because culture is about people, how they live and interact with one another. There is also no indigenous culture without its spiritual traditions, social practices, beliefs and laws of behavior - whether it be the rite of passage into adulthood involving greater responsibility, or initiation rituals conferring the status of "wise elder" commanding a deeper service to the community. For our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the only means of passing on knowledge was by example, demonstration or word of mouth, and elders of a tribe were given special status as an acknowledgment of knowledge and experience. The Australian Aboriginal culture, for example, is contained within the Dreaming stories (see DREAMTIME or DREAMING). (IP)

CULTURE JAMMING: Strategic media manipulation and the re-application of advertising techniques and mass-media channels for activist, subversive or culturally reflective purposes. Culture jamming is social activism in the information age. Culture-jammers see themselves as communication strategists supplying sensitive information suppressed by mainstream media, spreading memes or media viruses towards the emergence of an alternative paradigm. Early examples might include Australia’s BUGA-UP graffiti network, America’s Hip-Hop culture, community radio and "pirate" broadcasters, and Greenpeace-style media tactics. Culture jamming may also refer to strategic blockage of information; the jamming of internet sites and media channels with alternately-focused material. Corporate relations may also be symbiotic, advertising often wanting to incorporate the fringes of culture. Current forms of culture jamming range from mild political satire to the electronic civil disobedience of internet hacktivism. Subtlety of good information is the most effective way to expose the prejudice or illogic of entrenched paradigms. Culture jammers are true to their own ethical codes, and can avoid being scoffed, silenced or sued by avoiding rhetoric, media-hype, messy information, cosmic jargon, bad image, biased reportage, premature strategy, direct criticism, defamation or any obvious confrontation which may provide impetus to counter-actions. (See HACKTIVISM, MEDIA VIRUS, PROPAGANDA,) (MP)




CURIE: Unit of radioactivity defined as the quantity of any radioactive nuclide which undergoes 3.7x1010 disintegrations per second. (See CURIE, MARIE, CURIE, PIERRE, RADIATION, RADIOACTIVITY). (IP)

CURIE, MARIE: (1867-1934). Polish-French physicist, chemist. Co-discoverer with Pierre Curie of radium and polonium. Mari Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903 for physics jointly with her husband Pierre and Antoine Becquerel (discoverer of radioactivity in uranium) for their work on radioactivity; and the first person to win a second Nobel Prize in 1911 in chemistry for her discovery of radium and polonium. In her pursuit to demonstrate that two uranium minerals - pitchblende and chalcolite - were more radioactive than uranium, she discovered the existence of two new highly radioactive elements, radium and polonium. At the time the harmful effects of radiation were not recognized, thus, no precautions were taken and it has been said that Marie's notebooks of this period are still too dangerous to handle. However, a quote from the preface of Pierre Curie's 'Collected Works' may give the reader a flavor of the excitement that cutting-edge research may bestow 'I remember the delight we experienced when we happened to enter our domain at night and saw on all sides the palely luminescent silhouette of the products of our work.' Marie Curie's major published work was the two-volume 'Treatise on Radioactivity' (1910). Marie Curie died of leukemia. (See CURIE, CURIE, PIERRE, RADIATION, RADIOACTIVITY). (IP)

CURIE, PIERRE: (1859-1906). French physicist. With Marie Curie he subjected pitchblende (a uranium ore) to fractionation hoping to reveal a substance more radioactive than uranium. This research resulted in the discovery of radium and one of its transformations products polonium. In 1903 the Curies received the Nobel Prize for physics, it being shared with Antoine Becquerel who, in 1896, discovered radioactivity in uranium (Becquerel rays). Pierre Curie tragically died in a street accident. (See CURIE, CURIE, MARIE, RADIATION, RADIOACTIVITY). (IP)


C-VALUE PARADOX: The lack of correlation between the amount of DNA in a haploid genome and the biological complexity of the organism. (C-value refers to haploid genome size.) (DM)

CYANOBACTERIA: Photosynthetic bacteria formerly referred to as blue-green algae (Greek: kuanos blue), belonging to the kingdom Eubacteria and potentially the symbiotic progenitor to the chloroplasts of plants. (See ALGAE, BACTERIA, CHLOROPLAST, LICHENS). (MP)

CYBER CRIME: Crimes committed primarily through Internet contact include: credit card fraud, identity theft, child pornography, indecent chat-room behavior, software and media piracy, web-site vandalism, release of viruses and worms, spam marketing, invasion of privacy, cyber-spying and most forms of hacking and cyber warfare. The cyberian legal system has a hard job keeping up along the technology trail of software designers and hackers. (See CYBER WARFARE, HACKER, INTERNET PRIVACY, MEDIA PIRACY) (MP)

CYBERCULTURE: The culture developing around computer technologies and within the cyberspace environment. Cyberculture is often characterized as a reflection of a fractured technocentric existence; individualistic, egalitarian, anti-authority, technologically enabled, chemically enhanced, postmodern, multimodal and multidimensional. The inhabitants of cyberia tend to be young and/or professional, sometimes internet addicts, activist hackers, pioneering cybernauts and nerd geniuses whose life revolves around access to information and technology. (See CYBERIA, CYBERPUNK, CYBERSEX, HACKER, INTERNET ADDICTION) (MP)

CYBERIA: The civilization developing in the online world of cyberspace. To some extent cyberia parallels and interacts with outside social reality, containing structures for business, education and entertainment. Its limitations are however not the physical environment and political authority, but the rather the capacities of technology and human imagination itself. The future nature of cyberia will be engineered by cyberians themselves. Increased computer power and improvements in virtual reality technology will make it a much grander and easier empire for many to spend larger amounts of time. Cyberian social organization has both democratic and anarchic elements. Its unruly networks include temporary autonomous zones and encrypted communities able to act as independent informational and political structures, whether they be cultural expressions, terrorist networks or sanctioned military science. (See CYBERCULTURE, CYBERSPACE, VIRTUAL REALITY) (MP)

CYBERNETICS: (Greek: kubernetes "steersman" or "self-regulation") The branch of science concerned with communication and control systems in organisms and machines, and the common ground between biology and computation. Cybernetics incorporates the concepts of feedback, homeostasis and neural networks. A cybernetic system involves a series of operations in which information gained at one stage can be fed back to modify later stages of the process. Such feedback allows control systems to check and adjust behavior as required. For example, the body’s response to stress functions as a biological cybernetic system in which biofeedback from its subsystems act as a master-control to balance the energy needs of the whole organism. The term "cybernetics" was coined and developed by US mathematician Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), in his 1948 book of the same name. Another US mathematician John von Neumann (1903-1957) later applied the concept to cellular automata and artificial intelligence. (As an aside, these two geniuses - Wiener achieved his PhD by age 18 - are good examples that intelligence need not indicate bioethical reservation. Wiener used feedback mechanisms to develop automatic anti-aircraft radar weapons and von Neumann worked on the development of the atomic bomb.) The cybernetic systems of the human brain/nervous system have provided great insight into the development of artificial intelligence, with neural networks the basis of the "bottom-up" approach to the field. Cybernetics is tending towards the combination and synthesis of biological cells with digital electronics and computer networks bionic and cyborg technology. For example, Tokyo University research created involuntary propulsion in a cockroach using cybernetic attachments to motor neurons, and recently others have been investigating whether living rat neurons can teach or control a robot arm. (See ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, BIONICS, BIOINFORMATICS, CYBORG, FEEDBACK, GAIA HYPOTHESIS, HOMEOSTASIS, MICROCHIP IMPLANTS, PSYCHOKINESIS, ROBOTICS, TELEPATHY) (MP & IP)

CYBERPUNK: The genre of science fiction dealing with cyberspace environments and social organization within the virtual worlds of integrated computer networks. Cyberpunk is characterized by dystopian visions of a bleak technocentric future and anarchic cyberian societies, the darker electronic by-ways of which are frequented by techno-enhanced freaks and rebellious hackers. The genre reflects the visions and fears of the young, and addresses bioethical issues of control and autonomy in a future of irreversible integration of technology into human bodies and minds. (See CYBERIA, DYSTOPIA, SCIENCE FICTION) (MP)

CYBERSEX: The most significant proportion of web traffic consists of pornography and other sex-related content. Anonymity and interactivity has made cyberspace a haven for those interested in sex, whether it be finding a partner through chat rooms, cyber sexual harassment, or explicit pornographic material. If the internet is any guide, the development of virtual reality technology may also be driven by the sex industry. Teledildonics is a term used in virtual reality discourse which describes simulated sexual intercourse in cyberspace. This online sex may be with a designed artificial partner, or sex at a distance with a real person, making use of tactile clothing, sensory equipment and real-time interactive telepresence. (See VIRTUAL REALITY). (MP)

CYBERSPACE: A term apparently first defined in William Gibson’s Neuromancer as "consensual hallucination", cyberspace is the hyperdimensional environment of the internet, virtual reality and the online experience. This digital turf is generated by integrated information networks and computer technology, but has the feel of a real but radical universe with its own laws, for example allowing dissociation from the body and identity. Cyberspace enables interpersonal exchanges without the limitations of time, place or race, through e-mail, videophone links, virtual conferences, translation software, voice recognition, multimedia, digital viruses, artificial environments, and even interactive touch and smell with recent virtual reality technology. It is a place characterized by freedom, vibrancy, individuality, intrusiveness, incongruent conjunctions of people and ideas and complex flows of information. Cyberspace is an artificial space divorced from biology and the surrounding environment but unlimited in its internal complexity. (See CYBERIA, CYBERCULTURE, CYBERWARFARE, INTERNET, WORLD WIDE WEB) (MP)


CYBERWARFARE: The use of communications and cyberspace environments to disrupt enemy command and control systems, infiltrate sensitive intelligence information, disseminate decoy intelligence, infect/disable software networks, persuade troop surrenders, distribute propaganda and other technological means, usually as an adjunct to more traditional means of warfare. (See HACKER, HACKTIVISM, SPACE WARFARE, VIRTUAL WARFARE) (MP)

CYBOFREE :  Cybofree is a term used to indicate the futility with which the mind tries to acheive perfection by using the body as a facilitator of pleasure.When a cyborg body is created solely for the purpose of self-gratification (ie) using the body as a facilitator of pleasure, the mind experiences a false sense of freedom called CYBOFREE.It is a term used to indicate the futility with which the mind tries to acheive perfection by using the body as a facilitator of pleasure. This term was coined by V.R.Manoj and Dr.Jayapaul Azariah in their paper "Cybofree - Cyborgs, Fantasy, Reality, Ethics and Education (FREE)" published in Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics, November 2001. (VRM & JA )

CYBORG: An organism or entity created by merging electronics with biology; for example a semi-robotic human. The term usually implies major integration of computer technology into living tissue such that biological limitations are transcended, rather than limited use of simple bionic technologies for the restoration of normal function. A recent example has been "remote controlled rats", directed by computer with the use of controlled stimulation of the brain centers which process the whiskers sense (to direct movement) and pleasure response (to control motivation). These semi-robotic rats may have uses for example in earthquake rescue, but could also be considered subjects of animal rights abuse. Another recent step has been a vision chip able to partially combat blindness by sending digitally video-recorded images directly to cybernetic attachments in the cortex of the human brain. Such technology not only has the capability to restore normal vision, but is also a first step towards infra-red, telescopic, microscopic or remote vision. Robotics experts such as Marvin Minsky and Hans Moravec imagine that the cyborg is the next phase of human evolution, endowing post-humans with incredible mental capacities, physical strength and longevity. (See BIONICS, CYBERNETICS, MICROCHIP IMPLANTS, PSYCHOKINESIS, ROBOT, TELEPATHY) (MP)

CYCLOSPORINE: An immuno-suppressive drug. This drug is of great importance to organ transplantation, because by suppressing the immune system of the organ recipient, it prevents rejection of the transplanted organ. However, cyclosporine does have problematic side effects. Much research is being done to discover a drug that can produce the immuno-suppressive effect with less extreme side-effects. (AG)

CYSTIC FIBROSIS: Disease which affects the sweat and mucus-secreting glands, resulting in chronic lung disease, pancreatic insufficiency, abnormally salty sweat, and in some cases, liver disease. (+DR) Its inheritance is autosomal recessive, with several hundred mutations found so far in the CFTR gene in the patients. The most frequent mutation, DF508, is present almost in every patient group around the world with, nevertheless, big differences in its frequency. In Caucasian population from Europe and USA, the frequency of DF508 as a cause of cystic fibrosis in patients varies from 45-88%, and in Latin America it varies from 25-66%. (See EPIGENETIC, IN UTERO GENE THERAPY, MUCOVISCIDOSIS). (GK+DM)

CYTOGENETICS: Branch of biology uses cytological techniques as tool to study genetics. (JA)

CYTOKININ: A plant growth regulator. Hormone. Used in tissue culture, abundant in coconut milk. (JA)

CYTOLOGY: A branch of biology, study of cell system its structure and function. (JA)

CYTOLYSIS: Dissolution or disintegration of a cell (Lysis = to fractionate). (JA)

CYTOPLASM(IC): The substance within a cell external to the nuclear membrane; pertaining to or contained in the cytoplasm. Cytoplasm is the portion of the cell containing the nucleus and other cell organelles. (DM+JA)

CYTOPLASMIC TRANSFER new assisted reproductive technology aimed at increasing the older woman’s chances of bearing her own genetic child where the procedure effectively boosts the viability of the older egg, and thus chances of pregnancy. Technique involves either the addition of some donor egg cytoplasm into her own egg or the transfer of her egg’s nucleus to the vacant cytoplasm of a donor egg. (IP)
































DALIT: The lowest class in the Hindu social structure. The Dalit are also called the "untouchables" and are considered to be beneath all of the castes. It is not clear that caste is an originally Hindu idea. It may have been imposed quite late in history. The Dalit liberation movement, founded by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, has been working for the rights of the Dalit since the time of British rule. The Dalit Liberation Education trust, Chennai, has established various educational institutions, including a computer school, a catering school, and the Delta School of Nursing, to help advance the Dalit people. (FL)

DANGEROUSNESS: In law, the state of being likely to cause harm to oneself or to others. (DM)



DATA: (Latin: datum "giving") Data (singular datum) are raw facts (usually numerical but also may be names etc.) which by themselves have no meaning until they are organized into a pattern or logical collection. At this point the data becomes information, which can then be used to describe an object, idea, condition or situation in the analysis of a problem. In computing, data are the facts upon which operations are performed, as opposed to the instructions in the program. (See DATA BANKS, DATABASE, DATA PROCESSING, STATISTIC) (MP & IP)

DATA BANKS: Collections of medical, genetic, or other records. (See DATABASE). (DM)

DATABASE: A large collection of organized data or information typically suitable for the processing by computer. Examples of databases are the gene sequences held in Genbank, or the database maintained by the National Center for Biological Information which stores all determined protein structures as three-dimensional coordinates of the constituent atoms. (See DATA, DATA BANKS, DATA PROCESSING, STATISTIC). (IP)

DATA MINING: The process of knowledge discovery or retrieval of hidden information from data banks and collections of databases. Initial steps involve selection and pre-processing by an expert in the appropriate knowledge domain. Then patterns are identified using tools and techniques such as filtering, transformation, induction, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, fuzzy logic, computer algorithms, case-based reasoning, intelligent agents and artificial neural networks. Information gleaned from data mining may then be interpreted, evaluated, incorporated into the existing knowledge base and modeled. (See DATABASE, KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION) (MP).

DATA PROCESSING: The sequence of operations involved in the manipulation of information by a computer, or other manual manipulation, in order to extract information and to achieve some form of order. (See DATA, DATA BANKS, DATABASE, STATISTIC). (IP)

DDT: The abbreviation for the polychlorinated biphenyl pesticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane. Owing to their estrogenic potency and biological stability, DDT and its major metabolite DDE (dichlorophenyl-dichloroethane) are implicated in many reproductive dysfunctions, best publicized being faulty calcium mobilization in egg shell production resulting in extinction or endangerment of birds of prey; such the bald eagle and the osprey. It is also believed by some scientists that the PCBs, such as DDT and DDE, may be implicated in falling sperm counts, increasing testicular cancer, hypospadias (abnormal penile development) and cryptorchidism (mal-descent of the testes) in humans over the last 50 years (See BIOMAGNIFICATION, ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS, POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS). (IP)

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