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Comment: Re:I've been calling for this for 20+ years... (Score 1) 131

by MillionthMonkey (#47439433) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

If we ever learn to design new genes and proteins quickly, there are a bunch of starter projects:

Give mold the ability to synthesize CBD and THC. It would motivate you to wash your dishes- so you can use a razor blade to scrape off a gooey film of cannabinoids from the slimy ceramic in your sink, puff away, develop the munchies again, refill the sink with dirty dishes, and complete the cycle.

Insert a couple genes into E Coli that can synthesize cannabinoids in your intestines, so you can get a buzz after eating regular brownies.

Give cows a few genes for synthesis of cannabinoids during lactation. THC milk would also go great with regular brownies.

Design a virus that invades the human nervous system and inserts genes into white matter cells to induce synthesis of Adderall.

Engineer mosquitos that have the ability to synthesize heroin.

Make puncturevines that synthesize injectable human vaccines for measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, flu, rubella. and accumulate them in those tack-shaped goathead seeds. Plant them near people who think vaccines cause autism. Also include genes for synthesizing tire sealant, so their needles stop blowing out my bike tires when they reach the curb.

Give chili peppers the ability to synthesize and retain methamphetamine. Pulverize them and you can get meth with that "Chili P signature" like Jesse was selling in the first episode of Breaking Bad.

Create bees that can successfully avoid any areas tainted with anything manufactured by Bayer.

Resurrect DNA from extinct giant bird Palagornis sandersi but modify the legs a little so that the birds can hold bombs and chemical weapons.

Design trees that grow both apples and oranges, so we can finally compare them.

Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 2) 177

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47439187) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
The drugs are often exotic molecules we've cooked up for the purpose; but hormonal birth control exploits the same hormones that would naturally show up, since those are the ones that there are receptors for and that cause the desired changes. The quantity that a dense human population will put out is something quite different; but the chemistry won't be markedly different between humans and other placental mammals.

Comment: Re:Not new, and not shocking. (Score 1) 177

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47439137) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
There might be an RO system somewhere that uses gravity and an input reservoir at higher altitude than the output to supply some or all of the pressure; but I don't think that that is anything like the typical configuration. Cleaning up after a leak in zero gravity isn't going to be lots of fun; but everything else should work largely as planned.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47438915) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
In the case of SDI the PR might actually be worse than useless (playing mutually-assured-destruction isn't much fun to begin with; but if one or both sides come to believe the hype about a missile defense system things could really go downhill). In the case of 'iron dome', though, it might actually be helpful. Barring fairly substantial increases in rocket construction expertise, or acquisition of something particularly nasty to fill them with, the attacks it is supposed to defeat are only modestly dangerous; but extremely inflammatory.

Given how lousy the alternatives for appearing to be taking action against the rocket menace are (grovelling through every last hidy-hole in Gaza is militarily doable but a PR debacle and unlikely to turn up more than a few bits and pieces of impoverished machine tools, because low-end rockets just aren't that hard to build. Paying Hezbollah a visit might turn up somewhat more interesting stuff; but that hasn't turned out well in the past) a system that postpones or prevents somebody taking the bait and trying them might be quite helpful.

Comment: Re:Manager (Score 1) 178

by MightyMartian (#47438405) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

The issue, in the long term, is does it really matter? Microsoft still had a big chunk of the enterprise workstation and groupware market, but in many other ways they're becoming irrelevant. Despite throwing boatloads of money at the search and tablet markets, they're not moving those products. To make up for that they're hiking the prices of the very enterprise offerings they need to survive. Volume licensing, Server, Exchange, SQL Server and the like have Alli been jacket up to fund their failures. The last batch of Server licenses I bought may very well be the last.

Let's be blunt. Microsoft is all but irrelevant in the mobile and tablet markets. About the only thing they have going for them is the scam patent tax they have on Android devices.

Comment: Printed THC (Score 1) 131

by MillionthMonkey (#47438371) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

They are genetically engineering stuff to produce stuff that is already available? Benefit would be....?

I'm not going to bother with genetic engineering. I'm going to get a 3D printer, download THC.sdl and CBD.sdl, and print my own cannabinoids.

Which reminds me I also have to print a new bong because this one is starting to smell like yeast.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 4, Insightful) 138

What the hell they are complaining about now? If court ruled that how Aereo previously defined itself was illegal, then obviously it has to change it. First they win now they complain about it?

As best I can tell, they are whining because they preferred the imaginary world where the lawsuit against Aereo was actually over whether the filthy, disruptive, upstarts shoudl be burned to the ground and have the earth beneath them salted, rather than whether they were more like an antenna rental service or more like a cable company.

Aereo obviously didn't want to be a cable company, hence its ongoing defense; but the tone of the rhetoric against them was never "Yeah, because of a raft of tedious reasons, Aereo ought to be classified as a cable company for regulatory purposes"; but rather a bunch of fire and brimstone nonsense about the signal-stealing piratepocalypse.

Anything free is worth what you pay for it.

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