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Comment: Re:Hahahahahahahahaha LOL (Score 1) 265

by ColdWetDog (#48655857) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

But exactly why do all these systems start breaking down? I agree we're not getting particularly close to 120 year lifespans with our current approach, which is tinkering with treatments for the ailments of old age. But I suspect there actually is a simple magic bullet somewhere - something to stop us getting old.

I doubt it. Nature doesn't work that way. Getting to 120 is going to take a LOT of engineering. You are going to have to manipulate the immune system in a fundementally more complex way than we're doing know. You will need to have better organ transplantation and you're going to have understand the brain. You're going to have to understand human biology at a much deeper level that we currently do. And you will be swamped with details.

Aging isn't just one thing. It's the pileup of a lifetime of little things going wrong until the bridge collapses.

You may be able to DELAY aging with some sort of magic bullet but that is likely to have a whole raft of unintended consequences. Not to mention, you're going have to start on it when you're about 20 years old.

Comment: Re:Bear repellent? (Score 1) 232

by ColdWetDog (#48654081) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

OK. I can see cannon or swords as weapons. That's the point of them. But why is bear repellent a weapon? Are bears secretly part of the anti-terrorist program?

A bottle of bear spray is 10 oz of 2% capsaicin. If that accidentally or purposely was released it could incapacitate an entire plane. Given that there is no reasonable use for said spray while flying, it makes abundant sense to pack it away so the chances of release are minimized. All it takes is one half crazed passenger to put a whole lot of people in serious jeopardy. And we all know that a typical flight carries more than one half crazed person.

Comment: Re:Netcraft confirms it. (Score 1) 592

by ColdWetDog (#48643379) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

I'd suggest getting your kids to learn:

1) Organic Chemistry (think Mad Men) - drugs will never go out of style.
2) Weed farming (ibid)
3) Mushroom cultivation (ibid)
4) Bulk chemical engineering (ibid)
5) Psychology and counseling techniques.

It's just a matter of being ahead of the curve.

Comment: Re:We should have done this decades ago (Score 1) 72

by ColdWetDog (#48642515) Attached to: Boeing and BlackBerry Making a Self-Destructing Phone

Don't worry, they've thought about that. Most modern high performance weapons need maintenance and spare parts. Get on our shit list, no maintenance and no spare parts. It's either us or the Israelis (who somehow manage to manufacture high performance US weapon systems in their entirety).

Ask the Iranians. Their 'modern' Air Force has lots and lots of hanger queens. They've gone to making model RC planes since that is the best they can do on their own.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 4, Insightful) 334

Every. Fucking. Hospital. Everywhere.

The only thing that keeps this from being a problem is that the gory details of most people's lives are really not interesting to anybody and they are hard to monetize. I would imagine that hospitals and clinics around Hollywood have been hit multiple times. If you are a 'high value target', ie, nobody here on Slashdot, I'd be worried.

Very worried.

Comment: Re:Summary needs to bring up the interesting parts (Score 3, Informative) 56

by ColdWetDog (#48634869) Attached to: Scientists Discover That Exercise Changes Your DNA

True, this isn't particularly earth shattering, but you are incorrect in stating that there is no change in DNA. Methylation covalently (stably) alters DNA. So it actually does create a different nucleotide, one that is recognized by the cell as different from the original. This COULD result in germ cell (ie, heritable) changes.

There is absolutely no data to suggest that this particular set of methylation events has anything to do with reproduction or reproductive fitness, but mechanistically, it's possible. We are still pretty much working out the importance and scope of DNA methylation. In this particular instance, it is not at all clear that it does anything except alter gene expression - and we know that exercise causes gene expression changes. Those new biceps didn't just magically pop into being (unless you are photoshopped).

Comment: Re:What does this mean...? (Score 1) 56

by ColdWetDog (#48634729) Attached to: Scientists Discover That Exercise Changes Your DNA

So could changing ones thinking, behavior, or environment also change which genes are expressed?

Yes. That is the interesting bit about DNA methylation. Lots of 'transient' things can change the structure of DNA. If you think about it a bit, it makes sense. The 'Central Dogma' (which for years has been barking up the wrong tree) states that DNA makes RNA which makes Protein and DNA loops back and makes itself. While certainly true, it is too coarse of an approximation to be really useful. DNA changes in response to the environment (the topic here), RNA amplifies and interferes with pretty darn near everything, the environment can directly act on germ cell lines (again, via DNA methylation).

So yes, thinking (which at the molecular level requires at the very least RNA and protein production) can, through methylation and other mechanisms, control gene expression both in the organism and in progeny.

Nature has had several billion years to mess around with this. It's fantastically complex

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.