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Comment Re:It's Politics, Not Conspiracy (Score 1) 680

to deny that human-caused CO2 emissions are having a significant impact on global climate really is no different than denying that all life evolved from some common ancestor, or that eating high amounts of refined sugar is hazardous to your health, or that smoking cigarettes leads to cancer and lung disorders.

First two aren't the best examples. Sugar hasn't been proven to be particularly bad for people if blood sugar and overall weight is managed.

And our coastal cities and whole countries aren't likely to be uninhabitable in 2100 if we're wrong about evolution.

Comment We are likely to be studied regardless (Score 1) 280

We are a threat to ourselves and in a hundred years (if we survive them intact) a threat to everyone else in the galaxy. Much of Star Trek on this is plausible. They are likely to intervene at least before we become a threat to them.

Then there's the question of what they might want from us. Do we have any resources here that they might want? Any data? That is harder to understand but we cannot rule it out. For that reason, I agree with Hawking. Why take the risk?

Comment This is why I still read Slashdot (Score 1) 177

So the main effect of the smoking-related-methylation is to stop those genes getting replicated? I presume missing genes means missing proteins... but if neighbouring cells produce them, it won't cause much of a problem? What else can go wrong from missing genes in an individual cell?

Also, what is transcribed instead of the methylated group, out of interest?

Sorry, my biology education sucked.

Comment Re:Let me be honest (Score 1) 343

I don't really care about more surveillance if it means people's lives will be saved.

Apparently, it can't, else at least one govt would have provided evidence of that. But I'm also guessing you'd ban cars, guns and junk food, as they kill around 10,000x as many people as terrorists.

I've concluded the people who have the most to lose from increased surveillance are drug users, pedophiles and those paranoid of the government.

It's also repeatedly demonstrated throughout the world that whistleblowers, journalists and the public they protect will be worse off.

If there is a compelling national security interest to tap my phone or monitor my communications - I won't like it (obviously) but I'm okay with it.

a) You'd never know you were under surveillance so you'd never get to challenge it.
b) Are you dumb enough to take the govt's word for it or should a judge get to make that decision?

Comment Re:Attica! Attica! (Score 2) 367

Every Western country will ban it completely. There will be much debate about medical cases and, eventually, that will be allowed -- and at-risk parents will get help via socialised medicine. But it won't be germline alteration. It will be embryo gene therapy.

There may be some non-religious govts that embrace it. Rich parents will fly out to get inseminated. It may start off with medical cases but it will soon be designer babies, with or without your line in the sand.

In the West, public attitudes will be very important. The US may be the last to adopt designer babies, though if China or Russia start breeding genetically-engineered soldiers, it will become a national security issue.

I suspect it will be 20-30 years before most Western countries allow more than embryo gene therapy.

Comment Best comment on the thread ^^ (Score 1) 410

Yep, it's all about state aid. Now none of my easily-outraged lefty FBriends knew this was a breach of state aid and it's possible neither Ireland nor Apple knew this might be. But they should have known.

That it's been going on for over a decade is neither here nor there. Apple and Ireland might have hoped they'd never get called on it, but that doesn't make it more ethical or legal.

Same EU law was at the centre of the British steel row four months ago.

Lastly, what does this say about Tim Cook? I strongly suspected their refusal to hack was one of the few times market forces lined up with privacy rights. It's possible he's a pro-privacy libertarian, or simply doing his job & hoping Apple fanbois will get Apple off the hook.

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