2008-09 Wikipedia for Schools goes online

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday saw the latest edition of the vetted version of Wikipedia, which is aimed at educational use, go quietly online. The extensively revised version covers over five thousand topics, targeting the eight to seventeen years age group. Partnerships with the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Hole in the Wall project will see it distributed in South Africa and India as well as copies being available globally via the offices of SOS Children UK’s umbrella organisation, SOS Kinderdorf worldwide.

First launched in 2006 as a 4,000 article edition, the extract of Wikipedia has employed hi-tech distribution methods, as well as offering a website version which has steadily climbed up in ranking to above other reviewed Wikipedia rivals and copies; the 2007 version was available on the BitTorrent peer to peer network to keep distribution costs down and was equivalent to a fifteen-volume printed encyclopedia. Monday’s release is compared to a twenty-volume print edition.

Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen.

Key to the process for selecting articles is the English National Curriculum and similar educational standards around the world. The initial vision was to bring this wealth of knowledge to schools where access to the Internet was poor or unavailable, but copies of Wikipedia for Schools can be found on many first world school intranets and web servers. Among the compelling reasons to adopt the project are the vetting and additional study materials which overcome the oft-publicised concerns many educators have with the million article plus Wikipedia that anyone can edit.

In today’s press release announcing the launch, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner expressed delight at seeing the project bring out a new version, “Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen. Wikipedia is released under a free content license so that individuals and institutions can easily adapt, reuse and customize its content: we encourage others, like SOS Children, to do exactly that.”

Running 192 schools in the developing world, SOS Children sees Wikipedia for Schools as a key piece in fulfilling the educational aspect of their mission. SOS Children’s Chairwoman, Mary Cockcroft gave us an introduction and, a Wikipedia administrator himself, the charity’s CEO Andrew Cates spoke to Wikinews at length about the project.

You are part of SOS-Kinderdorf International, can you explain a little about how this works in terms of distributing funds raised in the UK and involving UK citizens in work outside the country?

Mary Cockcroft: SOS Children[‘s Villages] is a “club” of member charities in 130 countries helping orphans and vulnerable children. The club elects SOS-Kinderdorf International as secretary. SOS is a large organisation whose members in aggregate turned over $1bn in 2007, and whose projects include owning and running 192 schools and family-based care for 70,000 children. However much of these funds are raised locally, with for example the member charities in each of India, Pakistan and South Africa raise considerably more funds in their own country than SOS UK does from the UK. Nonetheless SOS Children UK principally raises funds to finance projects in the developing world, and has only financially small projects in the UK (such as the Schools Wikipedia, which is very low cost because of extensive use of volunteers). This year we expect about 80% of our UK income will leave the UK for overseas SOS associations, and some of the remaining 20% will pay for project oversight. We do not spend money in the UK on Direct Mail or TV advertising. Our UK office is involved in overseeing projects we finance and a small number of high-skilled volunteers from the UK help overseas. However around 98% of SOS staff worldwide are local nationals, as are most volunteers.

((WN)) How much work does the UK charity actually carry out within the home country? Are there failings within the government system for orphans and other needy children that you feel obliged to remedy?

MC: We are deeply unhappy about the situation of children in out-of-home care in the UK. However our care model of 168 hour-a-week resident mothers does not fit with the UK philosophy for children without parental care. Internationally SOS always has a policy of sharing best practice and we are working to improve understanding of our way of working, which appears to us to have far better outcomes than the existing one in the UK. Ultimately though the legal responsibility for these children lies with government and we cannot remedy anything without their invitation.

((WN)) Who first came up with the idea of doing a vetted Wikipedia extract? What was the impetus? Was it more for the developing world than first world?

Andrew Cates: I honestly cannot remember who first suggested it, but it came from somewhere in the Wikipedia community rather than from the charity. The original product was very much pitched at the developing world where the Internet is only available if at all over an expensive phone line. I worked in West Africa 1993-1996 and I know well at how thirsty for knowledge people are and how ingenious they will be in overcoming technical obstacles if the need for infrastructure is removed.

((WN)) In reading past year’s announcements there’s some pride in the project being picked up and used in the first world, was this expected or a pleasant surprise?

AC: It was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think we had realised what the barriers schools faced in using the main Wikipedia were. It isn’t just pupils posting material about teachers or meeting strangers: the “Random Article” button on every page could potentially deliver an article on hardcore porn. We had already started when discussion broke on banning Wikipedia from classrooms and I am sure we benefited from it.

((WN)) Can you give an outline of the selection and vetting process? Is it primarily Wikipedians working on this, or are people from the educational establishment brought in?

AC: It was a long and painful process, even with a really good database system. Articles were taken into the proposal funnel from three main sources: direct proposals for inclusion from Wikipedians, lists which came from the Release Version team and proposals drawn up from working through National Curriculum subjects by SOS volunteers. In a few cases where we felt articles were missing we asked the community to write them (e.g. Portal:Early Modern Britain, which is a curriculum subject, was kindly written just for us): These “proposals” were then looked at by mainly SOS volunteers (some onwiki, some offline). Our offices are in the middle of Cambridge and we get high quality volunteers, who skim read each article and then compared two versions from the article history by credible WP editors a significant period apart (this picks up most graffiti vandalism which runs at about 3% of articles). Once they had identified a “best” version they marked any sections or text strings for deletion (sections which were just a list of links to other articles not included, empty sections, sex scandals etc). A substantial sample of each volunteers work was then doubled checked for quality by one of two office staff (of whom I was one). We then have a script which does some automated removals and clean ups. Once we had a selection we posted it to relevant wikiprojects and a few “experts” and got any extra steers.

((WN)) Will you be making use of BitTorrent for distribution again this year? Was it a success in 2007?

AC: BitTorrent was a bit disappointing in that it got us the only substantial criticisms we received online. A lot of people find it too much effort to use. However for the period we offered a straight http: download we had huge problems with spiders eating vast bandwidth (the file is 3.5G: a few thousand rogue spider downloads and it starts to hurt). As per last year therefore our main two channels will be free download by BitTorrent and mailing the DVDs free all over the world. At a pinch we will (as before) put straight copies up for individuals who cannot get it any other way, and we have some copies on memory sticks for on distributors.

((WN)) Is it your opinion that the UK Government should be encouraging the adoption of projects like this as mainstream educational resources?

AC: Clearly yes. We have had a very enthusiastic reaction from schools and the teaching community. We think every school should have an intranet copy. We expect the Government to catch on in a few years. That is not to say that Wikipedia is as good as resources developed by teachers for teachers such as lesson plans etc. but it is a fantastic resource.

((WN)) You’re a Wikipedia administrator, all too often a thankless task. What prompted you to get involved in the first place? What are the most notable highs and lows of your involvement with the project?

AC: Funnily the thing I have found most amazing about Wikipedia is not widely discussed, which is the effect of Wikipedia policies on new editors. I have seen countless extreme POV new editors, who come in and try to get their opinions included slowly learn not only that there are other opinions to consider but that elements of their own opinion which are not well founded. Watching someone arrive often (on pages on religions for example) full of condemnation for others, gradually become understanding and diplomatic is one of the biggest buzzes there is. The downside though is where correcting things which are wrong is too painfully slow because you need to find sources. I was a post-doc at Cambridge University in combustion and I know the article on Bunsen burners has several really significant errors concerning the flame structure and flow structure. But sadly I cannot correct it because I am still looking around for a reliable source.

((WN)) Do you believe schools should encourage students to get involved contributing to the editable version of Wikipedia? Does SOS Children encourage those who are multilingual to work on non-English versions?

AC: I think older students have a lot to learn from becoming involved in editing Wikipedia.

((WN)) To close, is there anything you’d like to add to encourage use of Wikipedia for Schools, or to persuade educators to gain a better understanding of Wikipedia?

AC: I would encourage people to feed back to the project online or via the charity. The Wikipedia community set out to help educate the world and are broadly incredibly well motivated to help. As soon as we understand what can be done to improve things people are already on the task.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=2008-09_Wikipedia_for_Schools_goes_online&oldid=2583732”

Utah bill requiring divine design education withdrawn by Senator Chris Buttars

Monday, July 18, 2005

Utah Senator Chris Buttars has decided not to introduce a bill requiring the teaching of “divine design” in Utah schools, at least for this year. Buttars withdrew after State Board of Education director Patti Harrington assured him that Utah public school curriculum does not teach that man descended from apes.

Buttars had hoped his divine design proposal would escape the controversy of creationism or intelligent design. “The only people who will be upset about this are atheists,” he stated on June 6 when he announced his intention to run the bill.

Utah is home to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints also known as the Mormon Church. On the surface it would seem Utah would be a likely scene of intense religious pressure in public schools over the teaching of evolution. But unlike states with a strong Christian conservative presence, Utah’s LDS leaders have avoided some of the more contentious separation state and church battles.

On the topic of divine design, official LDS church spokesmen have been largely silent at least in public. But with more than 90% of the legislature made up of members of the LDS faith, few in Utah would deny the influence of the church on public policy.

Groups on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what many consider an inevitable fight. The ACLU of Utah has posted a paper on divine design on its web site (http://www.acluutah.org). The Eagle Forum which wields significant policital power in Utah has expressed its support for Buttars proposed legislation.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Utah_bill_requiring_divine_design_education_withdrawn_by_Senator_Chris_Buttars&oldid=756818”

Wikinews interviews Stephen Murphy about the upcoming by-election in the Higgins electorate of the Australian parliament

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

With two by-elections coming up in Australia, many minor parties and independents will be looking to gain a seat in the House of Representatives. Stephen Murphy is one of the independents.

Mr Murphy is a computer programmer from the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

“After growing up in South-East Melbourne I studied Science at Monash with first class Honours, worked in Europe for 10 years and have recently returned to Australia. I work in finance as a computer programmer and speak five languages,” Mr Murphy said.

Wikinews reporter Patrick Gillett held an exclusive email interview with Mr Murphy, candidate for the Division of Higgins.

((WN)) Why do you want to get into parliament?

Stephen Murphy: I am standing up for what I believe is the correct course of action on the biggest issue in Australian politics in 100 years – Kevin Rudd’s flawed emissions trading scheme (ETS).

((WN)) What would the three main policies you are taking into this by-election be?

SM: I will oppose the emissions trading scheme, ensure that all government policy is based on accurate scientific evidence and return common sense to Canberra

((WN)) How would you address these policies?

SM: By asking for a Royal Commission into climate change so that the facts (such as that global warming stopped in 2001 and the emissions trading scheme will not change the climate one bit) are openly presented to the Australian people.

((WN)) Sending asylum seekers to Indonesia: good or bad?

SM: Any government policy that does not properly consider all implications (be it emissions trading, or any other issue) is a bad one.

((WN)) Is the Australian dollar’s near parity with the US dollar a sign that the Australian economy is healthy, the US economy in chaos or both?

SM: It’s a sign of both. Many countries around the world look with envy at how well (relatively) Australia is doing, to our credit! It is of concern that the American economy is in such bad shape and that their levels of debt seem unsustainable.

((WN)) How do you rate the governments economic stimulus package?

SM: The economic stimulus package was poorly targeted and poorly carried out. When we could have been building roads, dams, railways and hospitals yet instead we were paying for tattoos, PlayStations and overseas holidays.

((WN)) Should it be wound back?

SM: The question about levels of stimulus spending is a complicated one and requires expertise in economics, however one could say in general terms that all government spending should be well targeted and spent in the most efficient way.

((WN)) Is Kevin Rudd a better Prime Minister than John Howard?’

SM: Australian voters are the best judge of that and we will know in 2019¬†ūüôā

((WN)) Is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme an effective solution to climate change? Why?

SM: Absolutely not. The CPRS will not change the climate by any amount that we can measure – it’s just a new tax that will hurt Australians and drive businesses and jobs overseas. Since 2003 there has been mountains of new scientific data which contradicts the popular theory that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing significant global warming. Recently, many of the scientists who wrote the IPCC report (on which the ETS / CPRS is based) have been reported as manipulating scientific data to create scary global warming scenarios. The science is definitely not settled

((WN)) Is there a better solution?

SM: We can very easily refocus the momentum and goodwill that has been generated on climate change and channel this energy into other worthwhile environmental projects in Australia that will make a difference.

((WN)) Why should the electorate vote for you?

SM: I will oppose the ETS and support responsible environmental policies instead of radical environmental policies that could end up costing every Australian taxpayer $4550 per year in new taxes.

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Business Card Tips What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

By Lauren Tate

What does your current business card say about you? Do you know? Are you losing clients with your card?

You may think of a business card as just simple information that you pass out to clients or potential clients. But it’s actually a lot more than that.

Within the first 3 seconds of handing someone your card, they will make an assessment about your business by looking at your card.

They will decide within that first 3 seconds if you are professional, trustworthy and worth doing business with. Of course, there are other things that play into that decision as well – but your business card can make or break an already positive impression.

So how can you make sure you are sending the right message? Here are 3 key business card tips that will make sure you look professional and trustworthy:

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#1 Make It Full Color

While years ago, black and white cards were ok, today with the advent of so many professional printers, it’s easy to step up to the plate and add some color. Full color cards are the best option.

People are drawn to full color cards – just as they prefer full color movies or full color pictures over black and white. Black and white cards say you couldn’t afford to step up to full color – or that you don’t care very much about the impression you make. It’s kind of like wearing an old track suit to a business meeting.

#2 Use a Heavy Card Stock

If you’re trying to send the impression of professionalism – and especially if you are appealing to the more affluent client base, you need a heavy card stock. Try a 14 pt. stock or higher.

Even if you have to pay a bit more for a heavy card stock, it’s worth it. One of the first things people notice is the thickness and heaviness of the card you give them. And a lightweight card that’s been printed off your computer at home is a huge turn-off.

#3 Print on Both the Front and Back

Most online business card printers will give you the option of printing on one side or both sides. If you can, I’d suggest you print the main information on the front and use the back for something as well.

Using the back is handy because, again, it sends the message that your business is successful. Plus if your card is placed face down on a table or something, the message printed on the back will catch people’s eye and they may want to pick up your card to read more.

Also, the back is another way to build your brand and advertise your services. For example, if you’re an artist you may want to showcase a picture of your work on the back. If you’ve won awards, you may want to list them on the back.

You may want to put your logo and favorite inspirational saying on the back. Other people put a coupon on the back (or a link to an online coupon website) which may help ensure people keep your card handy.

Plus, it doesn’t cost that much more to print on the front and back so it may be well worth your time.

To me a thick, full color card with printing on the front and back tells me this person is professional and probably has more business than he can handle. So I would definitely want to do business with him. Make sure your next business card has these 3 things and you’re well on your way to making a great first impression!

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Fuel leak prompts 17,000-vehicle recall by Toyota

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toyota announced on Friday that it will recall around 17,000 Lexus vehicles in response to risks of the fuel tank in the cars leaking after a collision.

The Lexus HS 250h model was subjected to the recall following a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. Despite previously passing Toyota safety inspections, the conclusions of an NHTSA sub-contracted investigator were that; when the vehicles in question collided with an object at more than fifty-miles-per hour, more than 142 grams of fuel, the maximum allowed by US law, leaked from the crashed car.

According to Toyota, further tests did not show any additional failure of the fuel tank.

In response to the findings, Toyota issued a recall of all affected vehicles, since the company had no solution immediately available. The recall includes 13,000 cars already sold, as well as another 4,000 still at dealerships.

Toyota says it plans to conduct further tests to determine the cause of the leak. A Toyota spokesman, Brian Lyons, said that the company was “still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is.” It’s still unclear when exactly the recall will take place, or when dealerships will be allowed to sell this model again. Lyons said that Toyota is “working feverishly to get this resolved as soon as possible.”

Toyota isn’t aware of any accidents stemming from the leaking fuel tank in the affected vehicles, first introduced in the summer of 2009.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Fuel_leak_prompts_17,000-vehicle_recall_by_Toyota&oldid=4099641”

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans graduate students

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list.Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NAICU has created a list of colleges and universities accepting and/or offering assistance to displace faculty members. [1]Wednesday, September 7, 2005

This list is taken from Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students, and is intended to make searching easier for faculty, graduate, and professional students.

In addition to the list below, the Association of American Law Schools has compiled a list of law schools offering assistance to displaced students. [2] As conditions vary by college, interested parties should contact the Office of Admissions at the school in question for specific requirements and up-to-date details.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is coordinating alternatives for medical students and residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. [3]

ResCross.net is acting as a central interactive hub for establishing research support in times of emergency. With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible. [4]

With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible.

Physics undergraduates, grad students, faculty and high school teachers can be matched up with housing and jobs at universities, schools and industry. [5] From the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

If you are seeking or providing assistance, please use this site to find information on research support, available lab space/supplies, resources, guidelines and most importantly to communicate with fellow researchers.

The following is a partial list, sorted by location.

Alabama |Alaska |Arizona |Arkansas |California |Colorado |Connecticut |Delaware |District of Columbia |Florida |Georgia |Hawaii |Idaho |Illinois |Indiana |Iowa |Kansas |Kentucky |Louisiana |Maine |Maryland |Massachusetts |Michigan |Minnesota |Mississippi |Missouri |Montana |Nebraska |Nevada |New Hampshire |New Jersey |New Mexico |New York |North Carolina |North Dakota |Ohio |Oklahoma |Oregon |Pennsylvania |Rhode Island |South Carolina |South Dakota |Tennessee |Texas |Utah |Vermont |Virginia |Washington |West Virginia |Wisconsin |Wyoming |Canada

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Colleges_offering_admission_to_displaced_New_Orleans_graduate_students&oldid=4579242”

Apple announces new iPod range

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Apple have released several re-designs of their popular iPod range. In addition to the iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle, they have announced the brand new iPod touch, a media player which mimics the iPhone’s touch-screen capabilities.

The new iPod Classic design features a larger memory space of up to 160GB or 40,000 songs, and has a new all-metal design. The iPod nano is now smaller and squarer, adding video playback to its features for the first time. The 4GB model is cheaper than its predecessor at $149/£99, but the 8GB is available in five colours at $199/£129. The iPod Shuffle is identical in design to the previous model, but is now available in a new range of five colours, with the same price of $79/£49.

The iPod touch also features in-built wi-fi technology, enabling users to access the internet and download music from Apple’s market-leading on line iTunes music store to their handset. It was announced that Starbucks would offer free wi-fi access to all users of the iPod touch in its cafes. The screen layout, similar to that of the iPhone, offers access to music, video, photos and the iTunes store. There are currently two models, at 8GB and 16GB of memory capacity.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs also announced that the price of Apple’s iPhone, currently only on sale in the US, will be cut by $200 to $399. He described the new iPod range as ‘one of the seven wonders of the world’.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Apple_announces_new_iPod_range&oldid=1731685”

Saving Your Sanity: Keeping Your Kids Occupied In The Car

By Levi Quinn

Even in these days of MP3 players and portable DVD players, keeping kids occupied during long car rides can still be a challenge. After a few hours of songs and movies, the plaintive cries of ‘We’re bored!’ and ‘How much longer?’ and ‘I’m hungry!’ start to drift from the back of the vehicle. Prepare to combat the two biggest challenges – hunger and boredom – and you can transform your trip to one that’s fairly quiet and peaceable.

Munchie attack!

For each child, prepare several brown paper lunch bags, each containing a snack and a drink. Have one bag per child for every 1.5 to 2 hours that you will be on the road. You can customize the bags to your child’s tastes or simply choose several different combinations.

After you fill the bags, roll down the tops and tape them shut. Label the bags with the children’s names. Place all the bags in an insulated cooler bag or cooler. You can quickly and easily distribute snacks as needed. The added surprise of the kids not knowing what is in each bag gives the kids something to look forward to.

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Bored No More

Battling boredom is a snap. Gather some more brown paper bags – one for each hour of car time. You do not need one bag per child, just one for each half-hour. Fill each bag with an activity that you can complete in about thirty minutes. When children start complaining about boredom, hand them a bag!

One classic family favorite is License Plate Bingo. Here’s what you do:

Make up several bingo cards for each child using the name of a state on each card instead of numbers. Give your children each a card and a washable marker. As kids find the matching license plate on a car as on their card, they mark off the appropriate box on their card. The first one to get bingo wins! Prizes can be candy, a small toy from the dollar store or even a dollar that can be spent once you reach your destination.

Games such as these keep kids today as entertained the same way they did children of generations past. By keeping the activities limited to a half hour, you will keep the kids interested and enthusiastic.

If you are going on a very long trip – one that will take more than a day – you may want to consider a larger surprise that will keep the kids busy longer. Do they love their Game Boys? You could buy a new game for each child but make sure it is one enjoyed by others too, so the kids can share.

Allow kids to play the new game for a time. When the time is up, everyone must pass his or her game to the right.

With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can save your sanity during long car trips with the family. You may even fid that you enjoy the trip as much as you enjoy the actual vacation!

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Viktor_Schreckengost_dies_at_101&oldid=2584756”

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor‚Äôs identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure ‚ÄĒ if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. ‚ÄúIt is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,‚ÄĚ she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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