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The United States Has Issued The First Nonbinary Passport With Gender ‘X’ Option

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The United States Has Issued The First Nonbinary Passport With Gender ‘X’ Option

The United States has made significant strides when it comes to recognizing individuals’ genders.

They have implemented the “bathroom bill,” which granted access to sex-segregated public facilities for an individual based on a determination of their sex as defined. There are laws put into effect that protect gender identities, and now the Biden Administration has created another way for people to embrace their gender identity while traveling.

The U.S. has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation. This milestone marks the recognition of the rights of people who do not identify as male or female, said the State Department, according to NPR. President Joe Biden’s administration kept good on their word after promising this move earlier this year to make documents more inclusive for people who identify as nonbinary, intersex, and gender non-conforming.

Pressure to make this change came after a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Dana Zzyym, an intersex and nonbinary Colorado resident. Dana argued it was impossible to get a passport with their accurate gender because “female” and “male” were the only options available. Lambda Legal represented Dana in the lawsuit and confirmed Dana was the first passport with a gender “X” marker.

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Dana also made a statement about the news stating it was thrilling to get the passport finally. She continued explaining the goal was to help the next generation of intersex people win recognition as full citizens with rights rather than travel the globe.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price released a statement about the change, saying, “I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”

The department plans to offer the option to all passport applicants once their system finishes updating along with its forms by early 2022, according to Ned Price.

 

 

 

 

 

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Technology

The World’s First Living Robots Are Now Able To Reproduce According To Recent Scientific Findings

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The World’s First Living Robots Are Now Able To Reproduce According To Recent Scientific Findings

Well it’s no secret that technology has the ability to now create and produce things that we previously only thought were found in Hollywood films—but the latest jaw-dropping news about robots proves that we are currently living in the future we once used to imagine.

According to recent findings by scientists, the world’s first living robots are now able to reproduce…and the discovery has left even some of the world’s top scientists “astounded.”

@CNN reports, U.S. scientists have just discovered that xenobots, the world’s very first living robots, now have the ability to reproduce—in a way that is not seen in either plants or animals.   Xenobots were created from the stem cells of the African clawed frog and measure less than a millimeter wide.

Last year after their debut, the robots showed they could move, work together in groups and heal themselves—but no one ever expected them to reproduce. The scientists at University of Vermont, Tufts University and Harvard University, who created the xenobot, said they were shocked to realize the robot creation was now capable of reproduction.

Michael Levin, Professor of Biology and Director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University, co-led the research that uncovered that the robots could reproduce—but it still left him in disbelief. “I was astounded by it. Frogs have a way of reproducing that they normally use but when you … liberate (the cells) from the rest of the embryo and you give them a chance to figure out how to be in a new environment, not only do they figure out a new way to move, but they also figure out apparently a new way to reproduce.”

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Xenobots used “kinetic replication” to reproduce, which is described as a scientific process that occurs at the molecular level, although it has never been observed before on the level of whole cells or organisms.

Artificial Intelligence, aided researchers to test billions of body shapes to make the xenobots more effective to the kinetic replication. They then proceeded to gather tiny stem cells in a petri dish, gather hundreds of them inside the mouth of the xenobots, and a few days later the bundle of cells became new xenobots.

 

 

 

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Plumber Finds Bag Of Cash And Checks Stashed In 500 Envelops In Bathroom Of Joel Osteen’s Church

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Plumber Finds Bag Of Cash And Checks Stashed In 500 Envelops In Bathroom Of Joel Osteen's Church

Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church, America’s largest church has been questioned by police after ‘bags and bags’ of cash and checks were found in about 500 envelopes in a bathroom wall at the church.

A plumber, known as Justin, who worked at the church called into a Houston radio morning 100.3.

The Bull show to tell them about his shocking discovery, which comes barely seven years after about $600,000 in donations were stolen in the church and haven’t been recovered.

Justin said he was called in to Lakewood Church, on November 10 to fix a broken toilet.

‘There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile,’ he explained during the call Thursday morning, December 2..

‘We went to go remove the toilet, and I moved some insulation away and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall, and I was like ‘Oh wow!”

Houston police say that cash and checks were found in the wall, and that they talked to ‘everybody associated with the building’ they were able to contact.

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In 2014, $600,000 worth of donations were stolen from the church. The amount was a portion of donations made from one weekend of services and it has never been found.

Justin told the radio show that he informed the church’s supervisors and had to wait at the church for almost seven hours after his discovery.

‘Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found. Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation.

‘Lakewood has no further comment at this time,’ a spokesperson for the church told DailyMail.com. 

Lakewood Church welcomes about 52,000 attendees across multiple services per week, and its services are streamed worldwide.

Osteen, 58, the televangelist megachurch pastor, is estimated to be worth $50 million.

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All You Need To Know About The Omicron Variant

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JUST IN: Ghana Records Two New Cases Of Omicron COVID-19 Variant

The first cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus have now been detected in the UK.

It was highlighted by scientists in South Africa as a potentially worrying new strain.

What tests are used to detect Omicron?

Swabs from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which are sent to labs for analysis, can show if the variant causing the infection looks like Omicron, Delta, or something else.

Between a third and a half of UK labs – but not all – have the required technology to detect suspected Omicron cases. That means some parts of the country may identify more Omicron cases more quickly.

Confirming that a suspected case is Omicron requires a full genetic analysis, which can take up to a couple of weeks.

PCR tests are the ones you can order free from the government website if you have symptoms, or buy from a private company if you need one for travel purposes. There are many different makes.

Have the rules on self-isolation changed?

The advice for people with Covid symptoms or who have a positive test result for Covid (for any variant) remains the same – you must stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days.

But the UK guidance has changed for people who are contacts or live in the same household as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant.

When you get your PCR test back, it will tell you if you’re suspected to have Omicron.

At that point, the new requirement is that people in your household and any close contacts must also self-isolate for 10 days, even if they are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18.

You don’t need to wait until it is confirmed that you have the Omicron variant.

The rules around testing and self-isolation after foreign travel have also changed.

How do we know that Omicron is in the UK?

Using a technique known as genomic sequencing, all suspected Omicron test results have been analysed and some people are confirmed to have been infected with the variant.

It is likely there are many more cases of the variant already in the UK, as yet undetected, because it can take some time for this process to be completed.

The dominant variant of coronavirus is still Delta, which is responsible for around 40,000 new cases every day in the UK.

Do lateral flow tests detect Omicron?

Rapid or lateral flow tests (LFTs), which can be used at home, can’t tell you which variant you’re infected with – but they are still thought to be able to tell you if you’re negative or positive, even with Omicron.

If you get a positive LFT result, you have a legal obligation to self-isolate immediately and must get a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm the result.

What’s the difference between Omicron and other variants?

The Omicron variant has lots of different mutations that haven’t been seen before, and many that have.

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A large number of them are on the spike protein of the virus, which is the target of most vaccines, and that’s the main concern.

In standard tests, Omicron has what’s known as an “S-gene dropout” (which Delta, in most cases, hasn’t), and that gives a clue that it could be the new variant.

But not all “S-gene dropouts” will necessarily be Omicron – full genomic sequencing is needed to be sure.

What role does genomic sequencing play?

Up to 20% of the swabs from positive test results in the UK each week, or around 60,000 cases, are sent for genomic sequencing.

By looking closely at the genetic material provided, scientists can confirm whether someone is positive with Omicron or the already widely-circulating Delta.

This process only provides information about the swabs that are analysed – but using those results, scientists are able to estimate what proportion of new cases could be the new variant.

Scientists in the UK and South African are at the forefront of this technology, which is why most new variants have been detected in these countries. But that doesn’t always mean they originated there.

What are the symptoms of Omicron?

So far, in South Africa, most people infected are young and their symptoms have been mild.

There is some suggestion that the variant could be causing some slightly different symptoms to Delta – including aches and pains, and no loss of taste or smell – but it’s too early to say for certain.

At the moment, the World Health Organization says there is no evidence that symptoms of Omicron are different from those of other variants.

That means a new cough, a fever, and loss of taste or smell are still the main three symptoms to look out for.

Hospitals in South Africa are seeing more young people admitted with more serious symptoms – but many are unvaccinated or have had only one dose.

This suggests that getting two doses and a booster dose is a good way of protecting against disease caused by the new variant, as well as all other variants.

What else do we know about Omicron?

Very little is known about how the variant acts or how much of a threat it could be.

But on paper, it looks worrying, and that’s why governments are acting quickly in case it’s bad news.

Scientists are concerned that Omicron could spread more easily than previous variants and evade the protection from vaccines to some extent – but that’s yet to be confirmed on the ground.

 

 

 

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