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Austin, TX, United States

St. Edward's University is a private, liberal arts Roman Catholic university in the Holy Cross tradition with approximately 5,000 students Wikipedia.

Cherry M.J.,St. Edwards University
European Journal of Science and Theology

Richard Rorty, Gianni Vattimo, and H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. are correct in their assessment of our contemporary culture; namely, that a rupture has occurred separating the contemporary dominant secular culture's understanding of morality from that of Kant's Enlightenment. It is not just that the contemporary culture is moving towards affirming rights to physician-assisted suicide and voluntary active euthanasia, but, more significantly, the new morality and Bioethics that are emerging accepts physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia because they have demoralized choices in these matters to issues of death-style decision making. Killing with consent and assistance in self-killing have been demoralized in their significance, thus deflating as well the significance of end-of-life care, which is the primary focus of palliative care. Palliative care is regarded in merely immanent terms as a cost-effective approach to treating the morbidity of patients in the last months of their lives, rather than to regard such care as a support in the preparation through repentance for death. Rorty and Vattimo in different ways recognize that the contemporary culture prohibits such transcendent concerns. Engelhardt recognizes that Rorty and Vattimo are right in their diagnosis, but that this state of affairs constitutes the cardinal danger from the now dominant secular culture: there has been an all-encompassing, immanent displacement of transcendent concerns. Source

Kenney A.M.,University of Georgia | Kenney A.M.,St. Edwards University | Sweigart A.L.,University of Georgia
Molecular Ecology

Incompletely isolated species provide an opportunity to investigate the genetic mechanisms and evolutionary forces that maintain distinct species in the face of ongoing gene flow. Here, we use field surveys and reduced representation sequencing to characterize the patterns of reproductive isolation, admixture and genomic divergence between populations of the outcrossing wildflower Mimulus guttatus and selfing M. nasutus. Focusing on a single site where these two species have come into secondary contact, we find that phenological isolation is strong, although incomplete, and is likely driven by divergence in response to photoperiod. In contrast to previous field studies, which have suggested that F1-hybrid formation might be rare, we discover patterns of genomic variation consistent with ongoing introgression. Strikingly, admixed individuals vary continuously from highly admixed to nearly pure M. guttatus, demonstrating ongoing hybridization and asymmetric introgression from M. nasutus into M. guttatus. Patterns of admixture and divergence across the genome show that levels of introgression are more variable than expected by chance. Some genomic regions show a reduced introgression, including one region that overlaps a critical photoperiod QTL, whereas other regions show elevated levels of interspecific gene flow. In addition, we observe a genome-wide negative relationship between absolute divergence and the local recombination rate, potentially indicating natural selection against M. nasutus ancestry in M. guttatus genetic backgrounds. Together, our results suggest that Mimulus speciation is both ongoing and dynamic and that a combination of divergence in phenology and mating system, as well as selection against interspecific alleles, likely maintains these sympatric species. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Source

Healy E.F.,St. Edwards University
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

Small heat shock proteins (sHsp) are widely distributed molecular chaperones that bind to misfolded proteins to prevent irreversible aggregation and aid in refolding to a competent state. The sHsps characterized thus far all contain a conserved α-crystallin, and variable N- and C-termini critical for chaperone activity and oligomerization. The Escherichia coli sHsps IbpA and IbpB share 48% sequence homology, are induced by heat shock and oxidative stress, and each requires the presence of the other to effect protein protection. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations of homology-modeled monomers and heterooligomers of these sHsps identify a possible mechanism for cooperation between IbpA and IbpB. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

In this essay, I argue that Western bioethics is after God. There has been a nearly wholesale rejection of traditionally religious, especially Christian, accounts of moral obligations. A rationalism has been embraced that seeks to produce a morality justified through discursive human reason. Faith in moral philosophy has taken the place of God. Even among many purportedly Christian scholars, philosophical analysis has come to be seen as more important for bioethics than a mystical encounter with the living God. Such scholarship, however, is shortsighted. It fails to take seriously God's real presence in the world. Christian bioethics, I argue, must challenge the substance and content of secular bioethics. It must underscore core differences between Orthodox and heterodox, between Christian and non-Christian, while providing forthrightly traditional Christian guidance for the practice of medicine. In short, Christian bioethics must be openly framed within the theological commitments of Orthodox Christianity so as to provide proper orientation toward God. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of The Journal of Christian Bioethics, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Cherry M.J.,St. Edwards University
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (United Kingdom)

In Roper v. Simmons (2005) the United States Supreme Court announced a paradigm shift in jurisprudence. Drawing specifically on mounting scientific evidence that adolescents are qualitatively different from adults in their decision-making capacities, the Supreme Court recognized that adolescents are not adults in all but age. The Court concluded that the overwhelming weight of the psychological and neurophysiological data regarding brain maturation supports the conclusion that adolescents are qualitatively different types of agents than adult persons. The Supreme Court further solidified its position regarding adolescents as less than fully mature and responsible decisionmakers in Graham v. Florida (2010) and Miller v. Alabama (2012). In each case, the Court concluded that the scientific evidence does not support the conclusion that children under 18 years of age possess adult capacities for personal agency, rationality, and mature choice. This study explores the implications of the Supreme Court decisions in Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, and Miller v. Alabama for the "mature minor" standard for medical decision making. It argues that the Supreme Court's holdings in Roper, Graham, and Miller require no less than a radical reassessment of how healthcare institutions, courts of law, and public policy are obliged to regard minors as medical decisionmakers. The "mature minor" standard for medical decision making must be abandoned. © 2013 The Author. Source

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