Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Just some funny vids.

DIY Genetic Engineering

This site has a story of how a software guy builds a glowing yeast strain. He used readily available equipment and mailorder chemicals. Given it is specialized equipmewnt but it was available on ebay for about 5g's. He had no prior history in it and was taught how to do it. In reading the article it really isn't hard. Genetic engineering apoarently follows a growth curve greater than Moores Law. Basically the faster it gets, the faster it gets.

He did it himself, while being told how to by a geneticist. Apparently, the scaling up to small pox is a a bit trickier but can still be done. Also apparently there are mailorder houses that sell gene sequences. I did a quick search on ebay for gene sequencer and found that the hardware to make this stuff isn't expensive. There was a Synthesizer with a BuyItNow of 250. With free shipping to boot. Gene sequences are available for download so you have a blueprint of what you want to make.

Am I scaring you yet? DNA is the building block of viruses and life. With this equipment you could make your very own customized version of AIDS or Anthrax. Or you could make a dog with 5 legs. As frightening as this could be I can't help but wonder what this means in the long run. With the maker mentality and the availability of equipment backyard gene doping could become a reality. On the flip side, the faster we can code dna and rna, the faster we can eliminate most if not all viral diseases like aids.

Semms like a we're in the beginning of a William Gibson World.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Um, happy valentines day or something.

The guy who writes my favorite webcomic Diesel Sweeties dis a set of strip that mirror my own agravated single guy thought on this valentines day. Basically that cards are a waste of money. So he made mock cards in his strips and they're great. Here they are culled from the strip themselves.

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Hope you get chuckle out of these.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gene Doping

Gene therapy for restoring muscle lost to age or disease is poised to enter the clinic, but elite athletes are eyeing it to enhance performance Can it be long before gene doping changes the nature of sport?

I've read a few articles pertaining to the future evolution of man and a excellent book called "Radical Evolution". This has always been a subject that has fascinated me. So imagine my surprise at reading an article on MSNBC called "Future of Evolution" and then finding the above atricle.

With the advent of viral genetic therapy to increase IGF-I (makes muscle) and inhibit myostatin (interferes with fat deposition), we may never have to work out again. A shot to increase muscle and another to drop fat. Professional sports won't be the same and the population in general (being vain) will suddenly become bigger and leaner.

I have more to write about, but in the mean time, enjoy these links and think about it.