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Comment Re:The question is (Score 1) 295

I'm posting this on behalf of my friend Dr Debal Deb, an environment and agriculture scientist of international renown, who asked me to submit the following because he doesn't have an account on Slashdot, and doesn't want to post as AC. Quote begins:

in GMO, you're making a very deliberate change to some 200 (or less) nucleotides, and you know exactly what that change does, because you've already observed its results before putting it on the market.

Oh, really? Please tell us then why the Golden Rice (the GM rice with a transgene for pro-vitamin A)

(a) produces large amounts of zeaxanthine

(b) the maturation period is lengthened;

(c) grain yield is reduced.

none of these traits were known until this rice was produced.

Need more examples? Take the Bt gene in GM crops. The Bt toxin is known to exude from the roots of Bt rice and Bt corn, but NOT from the roots of Bt cotton and Bt canola.

Yet another example of your EXACT predictability: the transgene for pectin synthesis does no harm in GM tobacco containing it, but in the GM apple with the same transgene, premature leaf shedding is reported.

And then there are a plethora of examples of gene silencing, gene overexpression, and variable expression of the transgene in different tissues of the same plant. Enough with the technophilic triumphalism and the hubris of "Exact knowledge", "precision" and "predictability", already.

You may be interested to read all references to high-profile scientific literature, in my article "Genetic engineering in agriculture: Uncertainties and risks" [in GMO Food: A Reference Handbook (ed. D. Newton), ABC-Clio: Santa Barbara/Denver/Oxford (2014)].

End quotes.

Comment Re:take care of yourself and you will look good (Score 1) 285

I was with you until the Milk part. My ancestors worked hard at animal husbndry and shoving milk down thier guys to ensure I was lactose tolarante. Ok to be fair they didn't care about me they just wanted to surivive, but its a niec side effect at any rate,

Momento Mori

Seems to have had a rather unexpected side-effect, too!

Comment Re:Mod parent down (Score 1) 205

Since our Hubble volume will contain finite amount of matter-energy forever, the Bekenstein bound applies and thus the Hubble volume can only contain a finite number of distinguishable quantum states. After some point, all possible thoughts in that Hubble volume would have been thought, and any new ones will be repeats of ones that previously occurred. Even if you could be alive in this situation, would you want to?

Thanks for the interesting post. It reminds me about Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence. But here is what the philosopher Georg Simmel had to say on this matter (as summarised by Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufman):

Even if there were exceedingly few things in a finite space in an infinite time, they would not have to repeat in the same configurations. Suppose there were three wheels of equal size, rotating on the same axis, one point marked on the circumference of each wheel, and these three points lined up in one straight line. If the second wheel rotated twice as fast as the first, and if the speed of the third wheel was 1/pi of the speed of the first, the initial line-up would never recur.

Please read the Wikipedia page on "eternal return" and cyclic concepts of time; you'll find it interesting.

Comment Re:this already exists (Score 1) 288

Of course, if the information on your computer isn't highly sensitive and you aren't doing anything illegal, and you are not super paranoid about your privacy, then you probably shouldn't be using this, because it is suspicious. This isn't for the general public.

On the contrary, if enough people start using this that it becomes a fairly common practice, the police can no longer single out one person and claim that their behaviour is suspicious. This absolutely should be adopted by everyone.

Comment Re:Just downgraded (Score 1) 434

I finally downgraded my 2012 Nexus 7 today back to KitKat. It was essentially unusable running Lollipop

My experience on the Nexus 10 has been the opposite. KitKat was so bad that I had to go back to jellybean after a couple of days. Lollipop, on the other hand, has been smooth, light, and rock-solid; no issues at all. Best release for this device ever.

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