CRISPR – human trials to begin

23 July 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m properly terrified.

the TED talk on CRISPR was welcomed with muted applause, I expect due to the power of this new technology, and what we have, historically, done with greatly powerful technologies (see: plutonium). It seems rather quick to jump to human trials, considering how little we know about the technology, and its potential to spread out of our control.

From the Guardian

Crispr: Chinese scientists to pioneer gene-editing trial on humans

A team of Chinese scientists will be the first in the world to apply the revolutionary gene-editing technique known as Crispr on human subjects.

Led by Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University’s West China hospital in Chengdu, China, the team plan to start testing cells modified with Crispr on patients with lung cancer in August, according to the journal Nature.

Crispr is a game-changer in bioscience; a groundbreaking technique which can find, cut out and replace specific parts of DNA using a specially programmed enzyme named Cas9. Its ramifications are next to endless, from changing the color of mouse fur to designing malaria-free mosquitoes and pest-resistant crops to correcting a wide swath of genetic diseases like sickle-cell anaemia in humans.

Read the rest of this entry »

More to the Media than the Message

5 July 2012

the Media is the Manipulation

I recall that media concentration/consolidation was a big worry in the 90s, but despite that, the momentum has carried us to our current situation, where the majority of media are owned by a minority of companies. The Internet and Satire have been my means of getting the news for quite some time. I wouldn’t have known about the protests in Montreal had I relied on Canadian Television. I certainly wouldn’t have had the balance of opinions and perspectives, so I could at least figure out (from a distance), what was likely going on.

Nevertheless, legislation floating around Canada seeks to restrict our use of the Internet, and criminalize our behaviour. Our public safety minister had branded us  in league with child pornographers. And the zombie Prime Minister continues to eat the country’s brain by controlling every message out of the Prime Minister’s Office, and restricting facts, scientific studies and so on, anything that provides evidence that he is the living dead.

Also, I love web comics as a means of illustrating statistics. And last thought, I wish Marshall McLuhan had lived to see the Internet. He would have been in his element.

169 Days to Dec 21st 2012