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Comment Re:Controversial? (Score 4, Insightful) 124

I see you haven't looked into mitochondrial disease at all.

I knew a couple that just lost their child to it. The baby took 9 months to die, losing all bodily functions and slowly withering away, unable to obtain energy for the cells from food. A colleague of my wife lost their baby in two months to a comparable but slightly different genetic failmode, which caused the skin to fall off her body. She died in horrible agony without eyes, nose and cheeks, and black, rotting skin all over.

There are pretty compelling reasons to want to do something about this, and it's really no coincidence that the mitochondrial diseases are first in line for an attempt at a cure.

Even then, sickle cell trait may have genetic strengths against malaria, but it's a stopgap measure at best and we have much better treatments nowadays - if you can afford to get a genetic cure, you can certainly afford profylaxis and medication against malaria. This goes for many other "genetic strengths" that are mostly crippling disabilities, as well. So to me, your statement is merely a variation on the rather worn out theme that "man should not meddle with Nature".


CERN Engineers Have To Identify and Disconnect 9,000 Obsolete Cables (vice.com) 169

An anonymous reader writes: CERN, home to the Large Hadron Collider, has grand plans to update the world's largest particle accelerator complex in the next few years. But engineers have identified a barrier to the upgrade: there's no space for new cables in the injectors that accelerate particles before they enter the LHC. In the past, when parts of the accelerators have been upgraded or added to, engineers would often additionally replace the cables that connected them. In the process, they would leave in place the old cables that were no longer in use. Now, a heap of obsolete cables are blocking the way to install new ones needed for the accelerator’s next big upgrade. To make space, CERN engineers have set out to identify and remove the old, unused cables. All 9,000 of them.

Comment Re: Trump just says stuff (Score 1) 875

What I can't understand is, giving the number of times Trump-controlled businesses have gone bankrupt and screwed their creditors, why does anyone still lend him money? Other than lucrative bribes, I can't think of any logical reason.

Classic case of gambler's fallacy. They all think this time it will work out for the best.

Comment Re:who cares? (Score 5, Interesting) 307

I live in the Netherlands, and we've had easy access to cannabis for a long time now. When I studied, a lot of roommates smoked it sometimes, and the heavy users had a few plants in their room. About a quarter of the teenagers have used it incidentally, the rest doesn't really bother with it.

With the experience we have locally we have also seen some issues. The issues are mainly psychological issues - IQ drops haven't been seen but motivation does tend to suffer from long term use. There is a very real link with schizophrenic disorders but it's unknown if people who have the genetic predisposition smoke cannabis because of that, or vice versa - in any case, if you have schizophrenic disorders in the family it is very unwise to smoke cannabis long term, although short term and incidental use may be safe.

Also, an acute psychosis brought on by too much cannabis is a well-known issue and cause of death for young tourists in Amsterdam as well. Usually we have a few casualties each summer because people in a psychosis sometimes think they can fly.

For the majority of incidental users, cannabis is MUCH safer than alcohol. However, there is a minority with genetic vulnerability to cannabis that should not use it at all, and long term use of cannabis (2+ years) is probably unhealthy for a much larger group - and I'm ignoring the wider and well-known effects of smoking here, since you could also drink it (as thee) or eat it (in cake).

I'm not against recreative drug use. It should be decriminalized asap. But it's not as harmless as some people make it out to be, even if it doesn't do nearly as much damage as alcohol or cigarettes.


Growing Flowers In Space (nasa.gov) 44

An anonymous reader writes: This weekend, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted a picture of the first flower to bloom in space. The International Space Station has been home to the Veggie plant growth facility for almost two years, and scientists have been working hard to figure out how to keep crops alive in microgravity. It's a challenge to keep plants properly heated and hydrated, and their current specimens been attacked by mold as well. "More crops for Veggie are heading to the orbiting laboratory aboard SpaceX-8. The Veg-03 run will include two sets of Chinese cabbage, and one set of red romaine lettuce. In 2018, there are plans to launch dwarf tomato seeds to the space station. Smith said the lessons learned from growing zinnia flowers will be critical in the process of growing tomatoes, a fellow flowering plant. Studies are also in progress to see how adjusting the lighting in the Veggie plant growth facility can affect plan mineral composition. There will be preflight testing to determine what 'light recipe' to use aboard the station."

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