Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mad science!

Sacha writes in her wiki:
Andrew Hessel, Tara Hunt, Chris Messina and I were chatting about biotechnology and open source. Andrew mentioned DNA vaccines, which can stimulate the production of antibodies - so some cells do pick up new genetic material and do something with them, and scientists haven't quite figured out how that works yet. He went on to say that if biotech really took off, we probably wouldn't see the creation of a homogenous master race, but rather an explosion of biodiversity. Imagine all the people who want to have horns or blue skin or whatever else...

Oh, the horror!

No, no, it's not so much that I don't trust biotechnology. With time, these techniques will become safe and in widespread use.

But until they isolate the gene that provides good taste, this is one technology that must never fall into the wrong hands!

Besides, horns and blue skin? Bah! The first application will be a spammer's dream come true, if you know what I mean.

Fortunately, Sacha has much better sense than that:
Along the lines of self-modification: I probably wouldn't hack anything externally, but a better memory would be really cool.

So to her, I dedicate this next song:

Don't go tryin' some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair, mm-mm
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I said I love you, and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart, mm-mm
I couldn't love you any better
I love you just the way you are


  1. Biotech may be a long way in coming or that this is how some may think it is. How do we really know that it is already a restless and in some quarters reckless pursuit? It is usually a contest as to who does it first as far as my memory jogs me. Well... Presently deep into "Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown seems to ramify the imagination including into such things as genetic engineering. Let me type out a series of perhapses for DNA: Perhaps, what will happen next is something like a coded code, that a coded DNA is matched with an individual's total persona, inside and out in order to produce the desired result[s]. Perhaps, there is an anticode for withdrawal of the 'treatment' if there's an apparent mismatch resulting in a misfit. Perhaps, there is a sophisticated machine similar to a dialysis machine, promptly call it a DNA dialysis machine, that as the essence of a person is being sucked out, the essence goes through a classifier of the unwanted and wanted genes; after which the coded DNA would be mixed with the desired genes that would go back into the person's system. HA! Perhaps, a profiling gadget is going to happen into the set up so that a mismatch is somehow avoided. Perhaps what follows will be an incubator that will allow the desired changes to become semi-permanent and the person walks out with a ten-year guarantee. Perhaps, there's an implant that signals what environmental factors are threatening the stability of the treatment. And that perhaps, if a mistake occurs, it's all by the machines and besides there's a waiver signed prior to the procedures-- doctors need to move on into the next case. Perhaps, these procedures would be so desired not by just the or some scientists for whatever the contests are about, but by Hollywood'ers too, if not mostly?? Perhaps, the best starting point would be a healthy well chosen egg that could be fertilized by a well chosen sperm in which each have been loaded with perfectly coded codes--coded deoxyribonucleic acid codes. If perfection is key, the lucky lab will need totally idealistic biotechs. Such idealism is unique only to the work at hand. Hmmm.

  2. Since every living thing arises from some other living thing in a process governed compleatly by the biochemistry of the DNA molecule, it is most depressing to realize that it is the genome that is "immortal" in the sense that as long as there is ONE living thing, one living phenotype, it is the DNA code that survives the death of almost every individual.

    Therefore a Life Form, a species, is not made up of individual human beings at all, but of a Code in a double twisted molecule.

    The life form is the genome, not the bodies that are merely hijacked for transport by the genome. We are like boats in the river of time, transporting our genes to the shore of the future.

  3. I am preemptively horrified at what I will find on the Internet if and when this sort of technology becomes available to the public. One gets bad enough results doing Google Image Searches for "Jetsons."

  4. I don't know, DJB, I've always been a soul man. ;-)

    Anonymous: lighten up.

  5. re: DNA Dialysis Machine. Why bother? Just make a clone and transfer the memory.

    I doubt if Hollywood can afford DNA engineering... However, the military can and will.