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

by pesho (#49948057) Attached to: Editing DNA For Fame and Fortune
How exactly is "1-map out everything and figure out what/how everything works, so there are no unexpected results." different from "2-try stuff out and see what happens."? Is far as I know the way we "figure how something works" is to "try stuff out and see what happens". We do this with lab animals and then try as best as we can to show that the animal model is a good approximation to the human. If this is the case we can assume that we whatever "stuff" we tried on the animal will work the same way in humans without doing human experimentation. You can also "experiment" on humans without being unethical. That's why we study human disease. In this case the some random "stuff" has been already broken by nature and we can see the consequences. What is left to us is to figure out what the "stuff" is.

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

by pesho (#49947939) Attached to: Editing DNA For Fame and Fortune

So you'd then have two repair mechanisms.

And by "two" you mean "three". The two mechanisms dealing with this type of damage in human cells are Nucleotide Excision Repair and Trans-Lesion Synthesis. There are multiple published works showing that the resistance of human cells to UV radiation increases when they are made to express photolyase. Doesn't matter if one mechanism is better than the other as long as having two (or three) does a better job than one.

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

by pesho (#49946005) Attached to: Editing DNA For Fame and Fortune

Yeah, but we can do better than random modifications if we have a solid understanding of ourselves.

Can you do better? May be you could in the simplest of cases, where we know that the gene variant in another organism works better than the variant we have. Even in such cases you will need to brace yourself for the unexpected consequences. The number of nonlinear interactions between different genes, and between genes and the environment makes it very hard to predict outcomes. There is a virtue in having a population with buggy, unstable and diverse genomes. If the environment changes, and it alwys does, the population as a whole has a better chance of surviving the changes, compared to a population with stable and uniform genomes.

Having said that here is the number one on my list for bettering the human genome:DNA Photolyase, an enzyme that directly repairs the most common type of DNA damage caused by UV light. For reasons that are poorly understood most mammals, including humans lack this enzyme. The health benefit is obvious - a photolyase will reduce the incidence of skin cancer.

Comment: Re:I thought this was already banned (Score 4, Interesting) 851 851

by pesho (#49923451) Attached to: FDA Bans Trans Fat

In the past few years, I don't recall coming across a single product that had any trans fat.

FDA had mandatory labeling for transfats, which contained a loophole. You could put a label stating "0g transfat" if your product contains less than 0.5g of transfat per serving. If you define your serving size as 1g than your product can be made of nearly 50% transfats. Many bakery products, particularly the ones with long shelf life do contain transfats and can be labeled as "0g transfat". That's why some manufacturers use a label "No transfats" to indicate that there are indeed no transfats in their product.

Comment: Re:intuitively I would think steam would be better (Score 1) 217 217

by pesho (#49863775) Attached to: Watch the US Navy Test Its Electromagnetic Jet Fighter Catapult
Yeah, in the tropics it very well may be better. Move somewhere cold and every bit of steam that escapes almost instantaneously turns into ice. If you want to park your aircraft carrier in the Bering's see or further north, the steam catapults will turn into nightmares.

Comment: I call shenanigans (Score 4, Insightful) 203 203

by pesho (#49862701) Attached to: Chinese Doctor Performs Head Transplants On Mice
How is this physically possible? 1000 transplants in under three years! This is more than one serious microsurgery per day. An article in WSJ says he leaves the brain stem of the acceptor along with the so that it can control breading and hearth beat. This would mean that he is just connecting the blood vessels of the donor head to the circulatory system on the acceptor, without connecting the nerves. This seems more feasible to me, but hardly warrants the bombastic headlines. Does anybody have a link to an original research paper?

Comment: insulation, wires in pipes, simple things (Score 1) 557 557

You don't need the latest and the greatest tech to have an outstanding house in US. You probably don't want to put in something that has not been thoroughly tested into a structure that is designed to serve for decades. I would recommend looking into some of the technologies involved in building passive houses (think insulation, double pane windows). And before picking on whatever the coolest fad in wiring there is, make sure you put all your wiring in pipes. This way whenever you decide you need to upgrade your GigE to Fiber, or whatever comes out next month you don't need to destroy half of your house.

Comment: Does that make sense to you? (Score 1) 344 344

by pesho (#49790193) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier
Please help me with that:

Because Google pays billions to Apple to make its search engine the default search provider for iOS devices, the company collects much more from ads placed on Apple devices than from ads on Android devices.

Google pays apple to be default search engine on iOS; Google does not pay Google to be the default search engine on Android --> Google (the one that doesn't get paid by Google) must be such a looser. Once we have proven that we bravely conclude:

If Google already makes more from ads on iOS than Android, growth in iOS might actually be good for Google's bottom line.

Is this an MBA degree speaking here?

Comment: Curb your enthusiasm (Score 1) 111 111

by pesho (#49342357) Attached to: The One Thousand Genes You Could Live Without
First of all, this is an amazing study. How surprising is that we can live without certain genes? Not that surprising. We have done numerous experiments where we have knocked out genes in mice and other organisms and they do just fine. There is no reason why it should be any different in humans. Keep in mind that these variations in the sequence are predicted to disable the gene, but not verified to do so. For example variants that introduce stop codons in the middle of a gene are typically predicted to disable the gene. However this is not always the case. Sometimes the piece of the gene that has the stop codon gets spliced out and the gene can still produce a functional albeit shorter protein. What is needed now is some experimental evidence showing what fraction of these genes are fully disabled.

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