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Comment: Re:Tricky to translate to primetime (Score 1) 230

by Blugenes (#44319751) Attached to: Scientists Silence Extra Chromosome In Down Syndrome Cells
If you can develop a vector that affect every cell in the body, including neuro tissue, the technology could be used for more than Down syndrome. Given that the vast majority of Down pregnancies do not even make it to term, there might be a much larger market than meets the eye just for Down syndrome alone as well, especially if combined with preimplantation genetic diagnosis. And there appears to be a larger and larger body of medical work going overseas, along with "medical tourism" on the rise to places like India and Brazil where US/EU certified docs can do procedures (or even read images!) for a fraction of the cost and live *quite* well. Nightwing, anyone?

Comment: Tricky to translate to primetime (Score 4, Informative) 230

by Blugenes (#44314937) Attached to: Scientists Silence Extra Chromosome In Down Syndrome Cells
This sounds neat but will be very difficult to translate into practical applications. First there would likely be an extra chromosome in every cell in the body, so unless you can engineer a means to silence the additional chromosome in every cell of the body then this is either a partial or nonfunctional solution. Second there are means of having a Down Syndrome phenotype that involves an imbalanced translocation in which you effectively have two chromosome 21s attached to each other, this therapy would probably not work for those patients. And finally the XIST gene is talking about shutting down an entire chromosome, while this might work in a petri dish or lab animal this will be a therapy specifically designed to treat children. Will they have to be screened prior to conception? Will there have to be treatment in utero to make it effective? I commend the researchers on the effort but this whets the whistle, and given the paucity of research funding lately perhaps the main point of the article is to drum up support for more grants instead of relay practical discoveries.

Comment: Lived near there when this was proposed... (Score 1) 258

by Blugenes (#44309063) Attached to: America's First Eco-City: Doomed From the Start
So we are talking about taking a suburb of Orlando and creating a city bigger than Orlando around it. The ecosystem is very fragile, the infrastructure would have to be largely built from scratch, and at that point in time the politics in the area were at best semi-feudal. Come from the right family or know the right people and things are much easier to get done. This project was ambitious, but look at another one called Palm Coast which was also ambitious and you will see that there were empty streets for *years*. Although this area is now much more developed, it was possible to explore whole neighborhoods that had paved streets and infrastructure but no houses! Yes, I think a project like this was doomed form the start, but largely because of the local political environment and need to build basic city support.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal

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