On BioScience and Life and Such

Quote of the month April 2016

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2016 at 11:17 am

From fightaging.org. You can replace the text in [brackets] to make the quote about any scientific field.

I’ll note that the publicity department that formed up this release should be ashamed of themselves for the title, which is a enormous exaggeration. It is bad enough that the popular press consistently misstates the results of research into [aging], when so much of that research produces only small effects, without the allegedly more responsible parties also doing so. Not all [longevity] science is equal, but when everyone claims to have stopped aspects of [aging] – when no such thing actually happened – it becomes that much harder for laypeople to gain an appreciation for what is more or less useful in the field.

Well said. This cannot be repeated enough times. Hyping of scientific research results achieves the exact opposite of what it was meant to do – it feeds anti-scientific and irrational thinking. If you want anti-vaxxers, climate-change deniers and conspiracy theory nitwits to rule the world – then keep doing this, if not, then please stop.

So what happens when the sorting sets in

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Looking into the crystal bowl

2020- : Pre-implantation testing has become the norm. The sorting society is a reality

 

Our subject

2025:  The “perfect” embryo (our subject) is chosen based on predictions from genetic testing.

2026: Subject is born. Tests-results: “Everything as expected, all is well”.

2026-2036: Social interactions deviates from the planned course. Subject not as outgoing and happy as predicted. Social “incidents” and “minor traumas” may have impacted on behaviour.

2034-2046: Athletic abilities fall short of target. Ruptured tendon. Subject is putting on more weight than expected.

2044-2047: Academic results declining. Depression despite lack of predisposition ?

2047-2057: Professional career fails to reach target.

2058-2060: Social decline, lack of permanent adress. Subject in psychiatric care.

2060 – : Subject’s condition improved. Dismissed from further care. Genetic determinism abandonded as any form of guiding principle for future plans.

 

More from the crystal bowl

2030- :Pre-implantation genetic testing for personality traits and physical ability becomes out of fashion. “Natural” child birth increases in popularity.

 

Turns out we couldn’t eliminate unpredictability. Come to think of it, that wasn’t to hard to predict.

 

 

Correct me if I am wrong

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Background: The Hyperion Cantos book 1 and 2  and The New York Times on mitochondrial manipulation (see further description on bottom of page).

It is my impression that theres an underlying, and absolute, assumption that genetic engineering will lead to less diversity.

But,

If given a choice of a range of possible engineered enhancements, would all societies, ethnicities and subgroups have the same preferences ?

I think not.

Then it follows that future genetic engineering will lead to greater diversity. Strange and unpredictable diversity.

The difference would be that it is now humankind deciding which different variants that are brought to life, not “nature”.

We would still need to accept and accomodate the “different” individuals in our society, probably even to a greater extent.

Would that not be a good thing ?

If you keeep putting up hurdles to stop implementation of advances in genetic engineering, are you not halting the development of a “natural” way to save humankind in the future ?

Genetic engineering is by this reasoning, the natural way forward.

It should be cool an unpredictable, just like nature is today.

The Hyperion Cantos book 1 and 2 describes a struggle between three parties: 1) artificial intelligence (AI), 2) a probable extension of our present tech-savvy society dependent on AI and 3) an AI-independent “natural” biologically diverse society (based on genetic engineering !?). Spoiler: The “natural” biological society wins.

Quote from NYT-article: “Some told the officials that the technique could introduce new genetic mutations into the human gene pool. Others warned that it could be used later for something ethically murkier — perhaps, said Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, “to engineer children with specific character traits.””

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