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HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE CLONING: production of a human fetus from a single cell (somatic or fertilized egg at two cell stage) by asexual reproduction. (JA)


HUMAN RIGHTS: A right is a freedom. Sometimes by "rights" we mean the freedoms which we actually have. Sometimes we mean the freedoms which we ought to have (ethical rights). In JOHN LOCKE's (q.v.)philosophy - of which much was similar to ideas found earlier in JOHN MILTON's (q.v.) political essays -- ethical rights are freedoms to exercise duties. So for Locke the right to private property is a freedom needed to perform the God-ordained duty to live and settle the Earth. And the right to religious toleration is a freedom to exercise the duty to achieve religious belief. (FL)



HUMAN SUBJECT: A living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (I) data through intervention or inter action with the individual or identifiable private information. (JA)

HUMAN WASTE: Human wastes are biologically degradable components of sewage such as urine and feces which can affect the nutrient loading, dissolved oxygen, water quality and pathogen load of waterways. The term may occasionally be used more broadly to all human waste including industrial pollution and domestic rubbish. (See POLLUTION, SEWAGE, WASTE) (MP)

HUMANISM: An ethical system that emphasizes the welfare of human beings and the personal worth of each individual. Devotion to human interests and not concerned with religion. (DM)

HUMANITARIAN: One who professes humanism.

HUME, DAVID (1711-1776): Scottish historian and philosopher. In his philosophy of science he rejected mystical ideas of "power", "force" and "causal necessity" and replaced them with laws of regularities in experience. His laws of causal regularity anticipated Koch's postulates and much of the logic of epidemiology. But mystical powers are now returning to health and bioethical thinking through the East Asian ideas of "ki" and "chi". In ethics he said that reason is and by right ought to be the slave of the passions and can pretend to no other office but to serve and obey them. Good and evil are nothing but positive or negative feelings which we have when we contemplate objects or actions. Although an atheist and a hedonistic lover of the good life, Hume's last days before his death of an extremely painful illness are a model of good cheer and positive thinking, as described in memoirs by his friends James Boswell and Adam Smith. They can be read with profit by those interested in end-of-life, palliative and hospice care. (FL)

HUMOR: Basic bodily liquid. In the Greek medical tradition, there are four humors in the body: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The first to suggest this system of humors was apparently Empedocles (died after 444 bce). The four humors must be in balance for the person to be healthy. If an imbalance develops, this produces sickness, and the remedy is produced by "balancing out" the imbalance. That is, the treatment is designed so as to emphasize the humor opposite to the one which is in excess, thus returning the body to a state of balance. The four humors are also said to correspond to the four elements of ancient Greek belief (water, fire, air, and earth). According to this system, people are also said to be born with a tendency towards a particular humor. These birth types are: sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholy. The four humor theory is central to the Unani medical system (see UNANI). (AG)

HUXLEY, ALDOUS: (1894-1963) Author of the novel "Brave New World". In this novel, Huxley expresses his concerns about a future society which is over-automated, and people are produced in factories according to the type of work they will be trained to do. The situation is shown to be extreme when factory-produced people show their disgust towards those who were born in a non-mechanical way, with words such as "father" and "mother" being considered swearwords. In addition, Huxley expresses concern in "Brave New World" over the use of drugs as a method of escape from reality. The ideas found in "Brave New World" are relevant to discussions on cloning, genetic engineering, automation of society, and many other topics of Bioethics. (AG)

HYBRID VEHICLE: The "hybrid" car uses the range and strength of petrol combined with the low emissions and fuel-efficiency of electric power. (MP)

HYBRIDS: The offspring of parents belonging to different species, varieties, or genotypes. (See CHIMERA, TRANSGENIC ANIMALS) (DM)

HYBRIDIZATION: The process of joining two complementary strands of DNA, or of DNA and RNA, together to form a double-stranded molecule. (DM)

HYBRIDOMA: A new cell resulting from the fusion of a particular type of immortal type of immortal tumor cell line, a myeloma, with an antibody-producing B lymphocyte. Cultures of such cells are capable of continuous growth and specific (i.e. monoclonal) antibody production. (DM)

HYDATIDIFORM MOLE: A placental abnormality composed of grape-like clusters of chorionic villi that occurs in approximately 1 in 1500 pregnancies in the United States and eight times more frequently in some Asian countries and being more common in older and younger women than in those between 20 and 40 years of age. Molar pregnancies are diagnosed when abortion is threatened or in progress and are commonly the product of an abnormal fertilization, usually the fertilization of one ovum by 2 sperm which union results in an aggressive invasion of a potentially malignant placental tissue into the uterine endometrium. It is important that pregnancy be avoided for at least 1 year during which time assays for chorionic gonadotrophin be performed to monitor for the risk of developing malignant gestational trophoblastic disease. (DM+IP)


HYDROELECTRIC POWER: Hydro power is electricity generated from the potential energy of hydrological systems. The force of flowing water from a river or existing dam is used to drive an electricity generator. Although hydroelectric energy is renewable and produces no greenhouse gases, there may be ecological and even social problems arising from the construction of new large dams. (See RENEWABLE ENERGY) (MP)

HYDROGEN: Hydrogen is the lightest element, has atomic number one, and consists of one proton and one electron. The hydrogen gas molecule is highly flammable and consists of two covalently bonded hydrogen atoms. Isotopes of hydrogen are deuterium and tritium, with one and two neutrons respectively. Water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Hydrogen can be a source of power, ranging from the hydrogen fusion bomb to automobile fuel. (See ELEMENT, HYDROGEN BOMB) (MP)

HYDROGEN BOMB: Uses the nuclear fusion process to release vast amounts of energy. As extremely high temperatures are required for the process to occur, these temperatures are obtained by an atomic bomb around which the fusion material is arranged to initiate the process involving hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium (see ATOM BOMB, NUCLEAR FISSION, NUCLEAR FUSION). (IP)


HYPERACTIVITY: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral syndrome characterized by inattention and distractibility, restlessness, inability to sit still, and difficulty concentrating on one thing for any period of time. ADHD is most common in children, and is three times more common in males than in females ,and occurs in approximately 3 to 6 percent of all children. Although behaviours characteristic of the syndrome are evident in all cultures, they have garnered the most attention in the United States, where ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed childhood psychiatric disorder. It was not until the mid-1950s that American physicians began to classify as “mentally deficient” individuals who had difficulty paying attention on demand. Various terms were coined to describe this behaviour, among them minimal brain damage and hyperkinesis. In 1980 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) replaced these terms with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Then in 1987 the APA linked ADD with hyperactivity, a condition that sometimes accompanies attention disorders but may exist independently. The new syndrome was named ADHD. (DM)

HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA: is an inherited abnormality resulting in sustained high blood-cholesterol levels, leading to premature death from heart diseases. (JA).

HYDROSPHERE refers to the layer of water which nearly envelopes the Earth, in the form of oceans and inland seas (see BIOSPHERE, LITHOSPHERE). (IP)

HYPERTHERMIA: Excessive high body temperature accompanied by quickening of the pulse and disturbance of other bodily functions. Maybe caused by physical environmental conditions or fever inducing pathogens. (See ANAEROBIC EXERCISE). (IP)

HYPNOSIS: (Greek hypnos 'sleep') an altered state of mind or consciousness likened to daydreaming, yoga, zen and transcendental meditation but also apart from these owing to the hypnotic trance's 'anesthetic' powers where it becomes possible for doctors to perform surgery on their patients without the use of other analgesics. The remarkable powers of hypnosis were recognized and used to treat illness, disease and pain removal for over 3,000 years until the early Christians drove it into oblivion because they feared its force and misunderstood its source; thus, attributed the practice to the work of supernatural beings. Today hypnosis is recognized as a safe, albeit strange, aid in the practice of medicine, dentistry and psychology. (See HYPNOTHERAPY). (IP)

HYPNOTHERAPY: (Greek hypnos 'sleep' + therapiea 'treatment') the treatment of disorders with the aid of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy takes advantage of the unique characteristic of the unconscious mind in which suggestions are not only more readily accepted than in the waking state but are also acted on much more powerfully than would be possible under normal conditions. Hypnotherapy, when practiced by doctors specifically trained in its use, has been approved by the principal medical associations of many western countries including Britain, Australia and the United States, and also in many eastern bloc countries, particularly the former Soviet Union where it has been traditionally an integral part of the health care system. While the hypnotherapist guides the patient into their trance, it's the patient's own thoughts and unconscious mind that undertakes the healing process. Given the overall success rates of hypnotherapy, one has to compare this with the adverse side-effects and possible dangers of many prescribed pharmaceuticals, particularly when taken over extended periods of time. Unfortunately, however, pronounced drug addiction does not respond perfectly to hypnotherapy - perhaps due to the process of addiction itself which affects the unconscious mind so profoundly. (See HYPNOSIS). (IP)

HYPOCHONDRIA: From the Greek for abdomen (thought to be the seat of melancholy), hypochondria is an obsessive preoccupation with one’s health and morbid false sensation and expectation of disease. (See MEDICAL INFORMATION DIRECTORIES, SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY) (MP)

HYPOCRISY: Hypocrisy is the promotion of moral values which are contrary to the real character, standards and behaviors of the hypocrite. For a long time a cause of public disillusionment, hypocrisy has commonly been alleged against commercial, political and religious institutions. Hypocrisy on the part of the advocator or deliverer of moral advice cannot be used as a valid argument against the advice itself. Nevertheless, the person who practices what they preach is more likely to be heard than is the hypocrite. (See HYPOCRITE) (MP)

HYPOCRITE: The hypocrite promotes and pretends certain values and behaviors but is unwilling or unable to live up to these standards. (See HYPOCRISY) (MP)

HYPOTHESIS: Supposition open to refutation. Knowledge, especially in SCIENCE (q.v.) largely accumulates by the testing of hypotheses which leads to some being rejected and others accepted. (MR)

HYPOXIA: (Greek hypo 'deficient' + oxys 'sharp' + genein 'to produce'). Inadequate oxygen supply at the cellular level. If the supply of oxygen is inadequate for aerobic cellular metabolism energy is provided by less efficient anaerobic pathways that produce toxic metabolites. The tissues most sensitive to hypoxia are the brain, heart, pulmonary vessels, and liver. Despite the evolution of adaptive mechanisms for the effective transport of oxygen, the fetus is still at risk when the oxygen level in the uterine environment falls. It has been suggested that oxygen deprivation may be responsible for more than 30% of the deaths of all stillborn infants and a major cause of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). (ASPHYXIATION, INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RETARDATION). (IP)
































IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency.

IATROGENIC: (Greek: iatros 'physician' + genein 'to produce') Caused by medical treatment, diagnostic procedure or exposure to the environment of a health care facility (Greek iatros physician + genein to produce). (IP)

IBN SINNA: (known in Latin as Avicenna) (980-1037 ce) Scholar, philosopher and physician. Ibn Sinna was the author of "al-Qanun" (Canon of Medicine), a comprehensive text on a wide range of medical topics. This text is central to the Unani system of medicine. (AG)

ICBM: The Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a land-launched missile able to carry conventional or nuclear warheads, usually with a range between 5500 and 20,000 kilometers, for example Russian 'SS-18' and US 'Peacekeeper' missiles. (See CRUISE MISSILE, MIRV, MISSILES, SLBM) (MP)

ICC: International Criminal Court

ICE-MINUS (ICE-): A bacterium lacking a functional gene coding for a protein that promotes the formation of ice crystals by providing a physical nucleus around which ice crystallizes. The gene has been deleted from strains of Pseudomonas syringae Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Erwinia herbicola. (DM)

ICE-PLUS (ICE+): A bacterium with an intact, functional ice-nucleating gene. (DM)

ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, first used in 1993, has become the most powerful tool available to the reproductive andrologist for the treatment of severe male infertility. By means of ICSI, fertilization and pregnancies can be obtained with sperm recovered either from the ejaculate, or from the epididymis, or from the seminiferous tubules, irrespective of whether spermatogenesis is normal or deficient and irrespective of whether the underlying pathophysiology is understood or not. Biologically selected barriers which prevent abnormal gametes from penetrating the zona pellucida of the oocyte are low density, poor structure, abnormal or weak motility, immotility and dysfunctions at the level of binding with the zona. Some of these factors are now circumvented by sperm micromanipulation in conjunction with IVF technology. The technique involves injecting one sperm directly into the ooplasm of the ovum. Because ICSI needs only one sperm in order to fertilize an oocyte, most subfertile and infertile men; that is, men with either no spermatozoa in their ejaculate (azoospermia) or very few spermatozoa in their ejaculate (extreme oligozoospermia) can now father a child. However, the safety of micromanipulation and assisted fertilization technologies is of concern. So far the majority of babies conceived as a result of ICSI seem healthy, but it is too early to determine the long-term consequences; particularly in relation to the potential reproductive capacity in the sons of sub- and infertile men. (See ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES). (IP)

ICHTHYOLOGY: (Greek: ichthyo-
"fish" + logos "reason") The scientific study of fish. Ichthyologists examine the physiology, ecology, behavior and classification of fish life. (MP)

ICZM: Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

IDEA: 1. A unit of information that represents an experience, feeling, or memory of perception of things physical or abstract, sensed or intuited, real or imagined. 2. A result of processing such units of information, alone or in combination with others. (RW) (See BEHAVIOUROME)

IDEALISM: The belief that ideals can be achieved, even if this does not seem likely to others. The belief in philosophy that objects in the world are ideas which only exist in the mind of God or people who see them. (DM)

IDEAS PRODUCTION: New ideas are often the combination of existing ideas or concepts, residing for example in the regions between established definitions or disciplines. New properties and possibilities emerge when actions, tools or memes are analyzed, merged or extended. Methods for the production of ideas include concept comparisons/combinations, conjunction of words, metaphor/metonymy, brainstorming sessions, stream of consciousness, lateral thinking, meta-analysis, recognition of patterns, deductive reasoning and creative inspiration. (See BRAINSTORMING, LATERAL THINKING, METAPHOR) (MP)

Identical Twins: See Twins/Twinning.

IDENTITY: On the individual level: The feeling of being one self. Although identity is multi-dimensional and often heterogenous, it is characterized as a feeling of being “one”, an inseparable entity. The way we lead our daily lives, the way we establish truth about ourselves (by thinking about who we are, by talking to others, by taking actions), are means to establish our identities. Identity is very much about the picture we are having of ourselves, and about how we make ourselves appear to our fellow human beings. While our identity is established partly by what we think we are, it also emerges from drawing a boundary from what we are NOT, or what we do not WANT to be. On the collective level (“collective identity”), identity is a sense of belonging to a group of people, may it be a religious faith, a country, or a family. In addition to that, collective identity is the common consensus about the core values that are the raison d´etre of the group. (BP)

IDENTITY CRISIS: An identity crisis arises when our feeling of being one inseparable entity is challenged or even being overthrown. This can manifest in not knowing who we are, where we belong to, or what we are not. In regard to collective identity, a crisis can emerge if the common grounds that hold a group of people (a family, a congregation, a nation) together are unclear, challenged, changing at a rapid pace. (BP)

IDEOLOGY: The term ideology was first used during 18th century Enlightenment, referring to a philosophical pursuit more closely related to its literal meaning - the ‘study of ideas’. Ideology today refers to a dominant system of beliefs which reflect a certain sociopolitical worldview. One particular idea or viewpoint may be pushed uppermost in the mind to the exclusion of other ideas (which may also have some validity). Ideologies often end with an “ism”; for example capitalism, rationalism, liberalism, socialism, communism, anarchism. (See PARADIGM, WORLDVIEW) (MP)

IGNORANCE: Ignorance implies total lack of knowledge or understanding of the system or process under consideration, or even the very existence of the relevant element. We can’t study or understand what we don’t know about. Widespread individual ignorance and apathy are enormous hindrances to the spread of positive community action and ethical value systems. (See APATHY, INDETERMINACY, UNCERTAINTY, UNKNOWABLE) (MP)

IIED: International Institute for Environment & Development.

IISD: International Institute for Sustainable Development.

IISS: International Institute for Strategic Studies.

ILLUSION: An idea or belief which is not true, or something that is not really what it seems to be. (DM)

ILO: International Labor Organization.


IMMORTAL: Living for ever. (MR)

IMMUNE SYSTEM: An extensive system that protects the body against pathogenic organisms and other foreign bodies. Lymphocytes which develop from stem cells in the bone marrow are associated with the protection of the body against foreign materials or antigens. There are two types of lymphocytes - the T-lymphocytes activated by the thymus gland and the  -lymphocytes activated in the main in lymphoid tissues. When an activated T-lymphocyte encounters antigens they develop specific protective capabilities - effector cells that promote the destruction (in conjunction with phagocytes) of the specific antigen, and memory cells that multiply and remain in the lymphoid tissue passing on their specific properties to subsequent generations of cells. The latter is called cell-mediated immunity.  -lymphocytes are activated by microbes and their toxins to produce antibodies (immunoglobins) which promote the phagocytosis of the foreign particles and neutralize toxins. This is the primary response while the memory cells confer humoral immunity via the secondary response; that is, they react to subsequent encounters with the same antigen by stimulating a marked increased production of effector cells and antibodies. In summary, therefore, the immune system consists of the humoral immune response, which produces antibodies against specific antigens, and the cell-mediated response, which uses T cells to mobilize tissue macrophages in the presence of a foreign body. (See AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, DEPRESSED IMMUNE RESPONSE, IMMUNITY, JENNER. (IP)

IMMUNITY: (Latin immunis 'free'). The state of being protected against contagious agents. Immunity may be acquired naturally or artificially and both forms may be active or passive. Active immunity means that the individual has responded to an antigen and produced suitable antibodies. In passive immunity the individual has been given antibodies produced by someone else.

Active artificially acquired immunity develops in response to the administration of dead or artificially attenuated (weakened) microbes (vaccine) or detoxicated toxins (toxoids) which retain the antigenic properties to stimulate the development of immunity but they cannot cause the disease. Many bacterial infections are preventable by immunization like cholera, diphtheria, measles, mumps, poliomyelitis, smallpox, tetanus, tuberculosis, whooping cough. Active immunization against some infections confers life-long immunity; for example, diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps while in other infections the immunity may last for a number of year or for only a few weeks before revaccination is necessary. Age and nutrition are important in establishing and maintaining good immunity. In the elderly and when nutrition is poor the production of lymphocytes, especially  -lymphocytes, is reduced resulting in an inadequate immune response.

Passive naturally acquired immunity is acquired before birth by the passage of maternal antibodies across the placenta to the fetus. The variety of different antibodies provided depends on the mother's active immunity. Passive immunity is reinforced after birth by antibody-rich collostrum in beast milk. Passive immunity is short-lived but acts as a good protection during the neonatal period when the infant is most vulnerable.

Passive artificially acquired immunity is acquired when ready-made antibodies in human or animal serum are injected into the recipient. The source of the antibodies may be from an individual who has recovered from the infection, or animals, commonly horses, that have been artificially actively immunized. Antiserum is administered prophylactically to prevent the development of disease in people who have been exposed to the specific infection, or therapeutically after the disease has developed. (See AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, DEPRESSED IMMUNE RESPONSE, IMMUNE SYSTEM, JENNER. (IP)

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