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Comment Re:"cure for cancer" (Score 1) 204 204

Guess what? Not all cancers have easily identifiable markers, and even ones that do vary a lot from one cancer to another. You're not going to find a single agent (or even a set of agents) that you can use to target all of them. Therefore, no, it isn't universal.

Comment Re:Time to recompile humanity (Score 2) 62 62

It is confidently asserting that because you don't understand nature's ways that you are observing a suboptimal solution.

Ha! What in the world suggests to you that we're an optimal solution? Evolution only makes an organism fit enough to reproduce and rear the next generation. Things that cause problems rarely, or create health in old age are poorly selected for. If we're optimized for anything, it would be as tribal hunter-gatherers, not modern civilization. Science is not magic. I am confident that we can do better, if we choose to do so.

Comment Re:Time to recompile humanity (Score 1) 62 62

Me? Absolutely not. I'm a software engineer, not a biochemist. That doesn't mean that nobody can. We've mapped the genome, now the job is figuring out what everything does, including all of the interactions. Once we know that (which is a truly massive task that has only just begun), we can start looking at what we can change to make things work better. It might require changing many things at once in order to separate, for example, two biological pathways that are currently connected, where correcting an issue in one creates an issue in the other. And the result might be people that are no longer genetically compatible with unmodified humans. I'll let someone else tackle the sociological effects of that, but it's almost certainly possible to make those sort of changes once we understand our biology well enough.

Comment Re:Time to recompile humanity (Score 1) 62 62

Yeah, but we can do better than random modifications if we have a solid understanding of ourselves. Huge challenge though, as our biology is a huge example of spaghetti code. Right now, changing one gene can have a complex cascade of unintended consequences. Some level of interdependency is probably necessary, but it's likely that a lot of it isn't, it just ended up that way randomly. It will really be the golden age of DNA modification if we figure out enough that we can start unraveling those interdependencies and clean up our genetics.

Comment Re:The Dark Age returns (Score 1) 479 479

If you aren't correcting for errors in data collection then your conclusions will be wrong. When you're dealing with measurements made over decades, the only way to deal with errors in data collection of those past measurements is to apply corrections. You cant co back and take new measurements. Also, it's not as though they're just saying, "this doesn't agree with my opinion, I'll just change all the measurements by this much". They're looking at unexpected discrepancies and trying to determine why they exist. For example, recently researchers noticed ocean temperature measurements collected by buoys read consistently lower than measurements collected by ships. The buoys are reading accurately, and the ships appear to be reading high. (not surprising, given that ships have engines that release heat) Before the pause, most of our ocean temperature measurements were made via ships. At the beginning of the "pause" we were moving away from ships and toward primarily buoy based measurements. This created an artificial drop in the average temperature that was due to changes in measurement, not changes in the actual temperature. If this is corrected for (adjust the measurements made by ships down a specific amount determined by the typical difference between ships and buoys) then the global warming pause completely disappears. The researchers didn't set out to make it disappear, it just came out of the data.

Comment Re:so what you're saying is (Score 3, Informative) 639 639

Instruments on ocean buoys for some reason are reading a lower temperature than research ships. Many buoys were deployed during the time period of the "pause", which pushed down the average temperature reading as compared to past measurements. They've now taken this disparity into account and the "pause" disappears. They were looking for an explanation for the "pause" and found it to be an error in the way the data was collected, so they corrected for the error.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder