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HIGH POWER MICROWAVES: A recently developed military technology which involves a sudden massive pulse of microwave energy designed to fry electronic circuitry. Weaponized by incorporation onto Tomahawk cruise missiles, high power microwaves act in a similar way to a lightning strike by disabling the computer or communications devices necessary for the deployment of enemy technology. (See NON-LETHAL WEAPONRY) (MP)

HIPPIES: At many times, there have been rebels against the established social and economic systems. Often they may have gone unnoticed. But sometimes they have attracted much attention and even made an impact on history. At the time of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and in particular the revolt of Cromwell and the Parliamentaery sect against the monarchy and the established Church in 17th century England, the Seekers and the Diggers were influential radical sects. The Seekers wandered the British Isles, seeking after truth. The Diggers, believing that land was given by God for the benefit of all humans, and that the accumulation of land in the hands of the nobility and the church was a form of theft from the people, went out and simply cultivated and grew foodstuffs on unused land which supposedly "belonged" to the Church and to the nobility. Not long thereafter in North America, there were various communes. Some, like the Shakers, were religiously oriented. Others, like the Oneida Community were more free. In the East, too, there have been wandering religious pilgrims in India, as well as ashrams where a simple communal life is lived in renunciation of the materialism, greed and competition of society. The Taoists in China are an other example.

The Beatniks in 1950's America, and the Hippies in the 1960's and 70's, were simply a development of this old tradition. What was unique to the Hippies was the opposition to the war in Vietnam, to capitalist exploitation, and to environmental pollution. There were movements to stop war by putting flowers into the riflebarrels. This "Flower Power" was beautiful if naive. There was also much Nudism (q.v) both as a form of social protest, and as an attempt to break free of social convention and to start afresh as if in a metaphorical New Garden of Eden. Free Love was also encouraged, and was much easier to practice in those days before HIV became a major epidemic. And there was a movement of serious, hardworking "back to the landers", who left the military-industrial society to start an alternative society on homesteads and communes, often in clearings within heavily forested areas. Their ideas of organic agriculture were then considered radical, but are recognized today by many people as being environmentally and nutritionally sound.

People tend to forget history, and the Hippies were quite unaware of their roots in the radical thinking of the Protestant Reformation and among the American Colonists. They were not aware that many of their ideas of freedom were almost identical to those which contributed to the American Revolution against the British. If the hippies had used Thomas Jefferson as their figurehead, rather than Mao Tse Tung and Ho Chi Mihn, they might have won their revolution. (FL)

HIPPOCRATES c460-377 BC Greek physician and philosopher.

HIPPOCRATIC OATH: An oath of ethical professional behavior sworn by new physicians, attributed to Hippocrates, but thought to be written by followers of Pythagoras. (DM)


HISTOCOMPATIBLE: The condition in which tissues will not react to produce a rejection during transplantation. (DM)

HISTOCOMPATIBILITY ANTIGENS. Proteins on the cell surface of virtually any nucleated cell, that can behave as antigens when organs or tissues are transplanted from a donor to a host. The immune system from the host might recognize these proteins as foreign, and mount an immune response against the cell surface proteins from the donor. (See HLA GENES, MAJOR HISTOCOMPATIBILITY COMPLEX). (GK)

HISTOGRAM: A statistical graph that represents, by the height of a rectangular column, the number of times that each class of result occurred in a sample or experiment. The weather chart as shown on TV is typically in histogram form. (See BAR CHART, GRAPH). (IP)

HLA LOCUS CLASS I , CLASS II & CLASS III GENES: Immune response genes from the Major Histocompatibility Complex. Class I (HLA-A, B and C genes) encode cell surface proteins expressed on nucleated cells. The protein forms a heterodimer with another protein,  2-microglobulin, encoded on chromosome 15. Class II genes (HLA-DR, DQ, DP) encode membrane proteins found mainly on B lymphocytes. The two polypeptides ( and  ) form heterodimers, each coded by a specific set of genes (DRA and DRB, DQA and DQB, DPA and DPB). Class III genes encode soluble proteins from the complement system (C2, C4 and BF), effector of the humoral response. (GK)

HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus, a causative agent in the disease AIDS. (DM)

HIV SEROPOSITIVITY: Development of neutralizing antibodies in persons who have been exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/HTLV-III/LAV); linked to development of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related complex. (DM)

HOLISTIC MEDICINE is based on the belief that good health is a result of the integration of the physical, spiritual, social and emotional components of life. The aim of holistic medicine is the promotion of optimal health. Holistic medical systems may encompass religion, health education and complementary therapies, and do not exclude use of conventional or orthodox treatments. However it should be noted that within some groups holistic medicine is used interchangeable with both complementary and alternative medicine. Holistic medical systems may include such practices as naturopathy, herbal medicine, massage and other physical therapies, acupuncture, homeopathy and meditation and well as spiritual belief systems (see COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE, HERBAL MEDICINE). (JW)


HOME CARE: Care of a patient at home, by family members and/or health personnel. (See AGED, HOSPICE). (DM)


HOMO NEANDERTHALENSIS: The biological name for Neaderthals.

HOMO SAPIENS: The biological name for the human species.


HOMOEOPATHY is a therapy developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700. This treatment is based on the Law of Similiars, a law that states "like cures like" ie. a disease or symptoms caused by a particular substance can be cured by minute doses of the same substance. Homeopaths claim that "potentization" (a combination of dilution and vigorous shaking of the substance) are critical to the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. The higher the dilution of the substance the more potent it is said to be. Homeopathy dilutions are usually indicated by either a D or X (1:10), or a C (1:100) - hence a potency of 6X results in a final dilution of 1 in 106 (1:1,000,000). Considerable debate has occurred in the scientific and medical community as to whether there is any scientific basis for homeopathy and results of clinical trials and other studies have proven inconclusive (see AYURVEDIC MEDICINE, HOLISTIC MEDICINE). (JW)

HOMEOSTASIS: 1. a system that maintains a dynamically stable state by internal regulation similar to a thermostat governing the temperature of a room. 2. the ability of the body to support life by keeping the internal chemical environment constant within a normal range of values. Physical harmony and mental balance are based on adaptive resilience to change - especially significant in complicated social animals such as ourselves. (See ALLOSTASIS, GAIA HYPOTHESIS, GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME). (IP)

HOMOGENOUS: Of the same kind of nature, or consisting of the same parts. (BP)


HOMOLOGOUS RECOMBINATION: A process of DNA exchange where introduced DNA is substituted for native DNA containing identical or very similar (homologous) nucleotide base sequences at the edges of the exchanged regions. (DM)

HOMOLOGOUS SEQUENCE: Nucleic acid segments having an identical or nearly identical linear order of nucleotide base pairs. (DM)

HOMOLOGY: Degree of relatedness in appearance, function, or structure. (DM+GK)

HOMOZYGOTE: Homo= same. All the cells of an organism have two copies of the same gene. When both the genes are different then this condition is known as homozygous condition. (JA)

HOMOZYGOUS: Having identical alleles at the same point on a pair of chromosomes. (DM)

HOMEO BOX: A short stretch of nucleotides whose sequence is virtually identical in all the genes that contain it. It has been found in many organisms, from fruit flies to human beings. It appears to determine when particular groups of genes are expressed in the development of the fruit fly. (DM)

HOMOPHOBIA: The irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals and homosexual behavior. It may also indicate a fear of being gay. Prejudices toward lesbians and gay men may often operate with societal and religious sanction in order to keep in place heterosexism and its procreative potential. Feminists insist that homosexual oppression must be understood within the broader framework of patriarchal sexism. Alternatively, many of these hostile attitudes are erroneously embedded in beliefs and assumptions of how nature operates and what is ‘natural’ human behavior. Individuals committed to equality and justice have a duty to familiarize themselves about the science of human nature and help correct false claims and assumptions. (See BIOSCIENCE ETHICS, SEXISM, SEXUAL IDENTITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION). (IP)

HOMOSEXUAL: A disposition to feeling love, to have sexual relations with, persons of the same sex, worldly concern for justice since dualism in the understanding of moral and natural law; e.g., historically Judaism, Christianity, Islam condemn homosexual acts conflicts with liberal view [Greek homos same]. (See HOMOSEXUALITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION). (IP)

HOMOSEXUALITY: A disposition to feeling carnal love for, or having sex with, persons of the same gender. Sexual orientation has generated ethical concern where a failure to reconcile the domains separating human-made (moral) law and evolutionary (biological) understanding perpetuates a cycle of violence and discrimination. Historically Judaism, Christianity and Islam condemn homosexual acts, however, opinions on "pederasty between males" conflicts with ancient and modern liberal points of view. For example, from the 6th to the 4th century BC the term "pederasty" [Greek paidos boy + erastes lover]described a kind of friendship where an adolescent male youth received an education from an assigned older companion. The adult gave advice and all knowledge he possessed from his education and experience to the adolescent and was reimbursed, in turn, by the enjoyment of the adolescent’s beauty and grace - but not completely devoid of erotic expression or tender caress; that is, Eros without the accompaniment of Aphrodite, the latter being characterized by bodily penetration. From the ethical perspective, homosexuality had its own special character strictly maintained on an aesthetic, religious and educational basis and its original purpose was the maintenance of institutions and the elevation of social and personal values [Greek homos same] (see APHRODITE, EROS, LESBIAN/ISM, QUEER THEORY). (IP)

HOPE: look forward with expectation for a particular desire or outcome to happen. The notion of hope is dominant in human nature where it is expressed in our thoughts, behavior and everyday speech - "hope that you're well", "here's hoping" - and so on. Much has been written about the nature of hope which can also be found in myths such as the Greek story of Pandora's box. Pandora, a beautiful woman fashioned by the gods out of clay and water, was sent down by Zeus in order to punish the mortals for Prometheus's act of stealing fire. She came with a vase (sometimes represented as a box) but was warned on no account to open it which, out of curiosity, she did. As she opened the container all the terrible afflictions that blight human beings - famine, physical sickness, insanity, old age, vice, lust etc - spilled out before she could quickly closed it leaving only hope trapped inside. Why was hope left in the vase? One meaning of this myth may be that hope is always embedded within disasters because the benevolent side of the gods saw that humanity needed to hold onto hope. Our task is to turn hope into realistic plans for the future that will alleviate our troubles and 'hopefully' prevent their recurrence. Hope, if outward looking, creates new possibilities and contributes to psychological maturation but when it turns away from reality favoring illusion and indulgence, it remains immature and cannot enhance adaptive survival (see ALLOSTASIS, LEARNED HELPLESSNESS, WELLBEING). (IP)

HORIZONTAL TRANSFER: The passage of genetic material from one organism to another via nonsexual mechanisms. (DM)

HORMONE: Chemical substances produced in one part of the body that affect an organ or group of cells in another area of the body. (DM)


HORTICULTURE: A branch of agriculture, the scientific cultivation of commercially important fruits, vegetables, ornamental plans, spices and herbs. (JA)

HOSPICE: Facilities and/or services that provide palliative and supportive care for terminally ill patients and their families. A multidisciplinary system of family-centered supervision designed to assist the terminally ill person through the phases of dying. Hospice care includes home visits, professional health care, education, emotional support for the family, physical care of the patient, and may be provided in the center or at home. A major landmark in society’s increasing perceptiveness of the true nature of death was the publication of the book On Death and Dying by Elisabeth KŸ bler-Ross, M.D. Following her lead, a general awareness, including our bioethical responsibility to the dying has matured - prior to that time death was the sole province of the priest and doctors were expected to concentrate on the living. (Latin hospes host). (IP)

HOTSPOTS: is the most ecologically sensitive area requiring high preservation priorities, with high species richness with rare species, e.g. tropical rain forest, such areas are prone to species loss. - 25 identified hot spots worldwide, India has two, The Eastern Himalayas covering a length of 3,500 Kms and the Western Ghats with a length of 1,600 Kms. (JA)

HUBBLE TELESCOPE: Orbiting satellite telescope launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, the discoverer of galactic recession. (See COBE, SATELLITE) (MP)

HUGO: Human Genome Organization, an international body to coordinate efforts to sequence the human genome (see HUMAN GENOME PROJECT). (DM)

HUMAN: To a biologist, a member of the species Homo sapiens. Also used as a near synonym for a person, i.e. a moral agent. (MR)

HUMAN BODY CELL TYPES: A collection of similar types of cells forms an organ and a collection of different organ systems constitute a body. In human body there are about 260 different cell types like the nerve cell, skin cell, kidney cell and heart cell. All different cell types work together to make the human body a functional whole – which is a best example of “systems approach”. (JA).

HUMAN BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY: the branch of evolutionary ecology concerned with tracing the link between ecological factors and adaptive behavior. This anthropological approach to the evolutionary analysis of human behavior crystallized during the 1970s with E.O. Wilson Sociobiology (1975) and Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene (1976) (see DUAL INHERITANCE THEORY, EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIOBIOLOGY). (IP)

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX: An indicator of expected quality of life which combines four statistical indices: annual economic output, average life expectancy, adult literacy rate, and education enrolment. The HDI is published annually by the United Nations Development Programme, and enables rough national comparisons of social development with an emphasis on education. Variations on the index can differentiate between regions, genders and classes. (See GENUINE PROGRESS INDICATOR, GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, INDEX OF SOCIAL HEALTH) (MP)

HUMAN DIGNITY: Substantially, the concept of human dignity bases on the teaching of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who ascribed “dignity” to any entity that does not have a price. This did not only include human beings (a kitten, for a person who loves her, does not have a price). “Human dignity” is the particular dignity that only human beings posses. The concept of “human dignity” also has its roots in religious dogmas which conceptualize human beings as having been created in the image of G-d. Therefore, they are something “worthy”, and should be respected by fellow human beings. Following Kant, a human being should never be treated as a means, but only as an end.

In most parts of the world, there is a wide consensus that every human being possesses dignity and should be treated with due respect and consideration. Nevertheless, critics are concerned with the diffuseness of the concept. The content of the term of “human dignity” is itself a field of constant ethical negotiation. Human dignity can be used to justify or object to almost anything (whereas for pro-lifers it is against human dignity to conduct research on human embryos, for people in favour of advancing with medical research it is against human dignity not to use embryos for research that could lead to cures for fatal diseases). (BP)

HUMAN ECOLOGY: The branch of study which integrates the theories of sociology and ecology in order to explain human location, function and behavior in interaction with the environment. Such research elucidates human impacts on the environment as well as our reverse susceptibilities for example environmental pollutants created by us also return to impact the health of human populations. (See ECOLOGY, HUMAN BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY) (MP)



HUMAN EXTINCTION: It is amazing how little emphasis is placed on discussion and planning for the future survival of our own species. It seems as if, like an adolescent, we have not yet come to terms with our own mortality. In the long term, it is almost inevitable that our species will go extinct or be otherwise transformed by evolution or technology. Human populations have undergone massive expansion in a very short period of time from only 2 billion people in 1930 to currently well over 6 billion people, and the associated increase in human activity and consumption has precipitated the sixth Mass Extinction of global biodiversity. In ecology, unregulated increases in population size beyond the capacity of the environment to sustain them result in catastrophic decline. Habitat destruction and other ecological disturbances such as global warming have undermined the living systems upon which the health of the globe and our existence depend. Rapid changes to the composition of the atmosphere have caused global disruption before in the history of the Earth. Major epidemics are increasingly likely, due to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant or other new strains of disease and the ease by which microbes can travel across our international transport network. With the accelerating pace of change, future developments in technology and warfare may pose an even more immediate danger to the human species. Three technologies in particular have the potential power to devastate the Earth Genetics, Nanotechnology and Robotics. Each of these new technologies have a dangerous combination of characteristics, in particular the ability to self-replicate in a chain reaction with no upper limit, which place them in a league of destructiveness which may be on a scale larger than that of the Earth itself. Genetically engineered or nanotechnology weapons have the potential to be selectively destructive to certain regions or genetically distinct populations. Dangerously, the advent of the internet and the declining power of government regulation have placed these technologies within the reach of individuals and small groups rather than just nation states. The development of new technology often seems to move faster than our philosophical understanding of its consequences. Human survival may now depend upon globalising the culture of ethics to control the development and spread of dangerous information and technology. (MP)

HUMAN FREEDOM INDEX: An index proposed by the United Nations Development Programme to measure human rights and freedoms in different nations. The index indicates the presence or absence of 40 equally weighted rights and freedoms, including for example gender equality, homosexual rights, independent courts and freedom from torture. (See HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX) (MP)

HUMAN GENE THERAPY: Insertion of normal DNA directly into cells to correct a genetic defect. An important biotechnological application for the treatment and prevention of genetic diseases. The first human gene therapy protocol began in September 1990 that successfully treated adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA) disease. If gene therapy is adequately successful, it will revolutionize the medicine of the future and will have a profound impact on our moral and ethical outlook. (DM, IP)

HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: Collective name for several projects begun in the mid 1980's in several countries, following the USA Department of Energy decision to 1) create an ordered set of DNA segments from known chromosomal locations, 2) develop new computational methods for analyzing genetic map and DNA sequence data, and 3) develop new techniques and instruments for detecting and analyzing DNA. (DM)



HUMAN PARTHENOTE: It is a human egg which is artificially activated and it has been generated by ACT in USA. Human egg when artificially activated beings to develop with only one set of chromosomes derived from the mother. In a regular human embryo, the pronuclei of both the sperm and the egg unite at conception to form the zygote. In this respect the egg developed by parthenogenesis differs from a human embryo. Parthenote is also called parthenogenote or parthenogenone. (See PARTHENOGENESIS).

Since in a parthenote there is no conception and fertilization and zygote formation as in a regular human embryo a parthenote has no equal status with a human embryo. This ethical issue is debatable. Other bioethicist compare the human parthenote to a human gamete which is just a sex cell. The human stem cell under this condition still remains as a cell and not as a human organism As a result a difference it its “kind” can be perceived. Hence it is arguable that experiments using ACT s human parthenote is justifiable and its destruction at the end of an experiment is permissible. (JA).

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