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Forget Nukes, worry about this.

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posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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Synthetic Life
By John Markoff
There is a growing consensus (at least in Silicon Valley) that the information age is about to give way to the era of synthetic genetics. That was underscored recently when Harvard geneticist George Church and J. Craig Venter — of the race to decode the human genome fame — gave lectures before a small group of scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, and writers in West Hollywood.
The event, billed as “A Short Course on Synthetic Genomics,” was organized by John Brockman, the literary impresario (and book agent for several New York Times reporters, including this one) who publishes the cybersalon-style website www.edge.org, a forum dedicated to scientists (many of whom are his clients) and their ideas.

In roughly six hours of lectures, both scientists tried to convey how the world will be changed by the ability to routinely read genetic sequences into computing systems and then store, replicate, alter and insert them back into living cells.

The rate at which this technology is now improving puts silicon to shame. Dr. Church noted that between 1970 and 2005 gene sequencing had taken place on a Moore’s Law pace, improving at about 1.5 times per year. Since then it has improved at the rate of an order of magnitude, or ten times annually.

In the process the cost of sequencing the human genome has plunged from $3 billion to $5 thousand and continues to fall. Dr. Church identified 17 companies and one “open source” project all pursuing different technologies to further push down cost and speed up the pace of sequencing.

As a consequence, the structure of the emerging synthetic genetics industry is beginning to mirror that of the semiconductor and computer industries, which are based on modular components and design tools.

The key to the vast growth of the computer industry took place during the 1970s when physicist Carver Mead helped give the industry a standard design approach based on modular components. Now that appears to be happening in the synthetic biology world as well.

For someone who has spent the past three decades writing about computing, Dr. Venter’s talk was eye-opening.

“I view DNA as an analog information system,” he said. “ and I hope to convince you in fact that it is absolutely the software of life.”


www.newyorktimes.com

This is both amazing and frightning at the same time. This has goverment biological warfare written all over it.

I am convinced that we will be wiped out by a pandemic of our own causing as we delve deeper into a rabit hole of science that will ultimately lead to our demise simply because our means have outgrown our wisdom.

Man is a small, petty and violent creature, while we have many redeaming qualities such as music, math and poetry I don't think the good things will have a chance to mature to a higher state before we make the ultimate mistake and wipe ourselves out.




posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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Hard to believe how much we fear nukes and terrorist, but seldom think about the many other things that could doom us.

Great post.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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Why do you think aliens are usually "little green/gray men" with big black eyes, weird skin etc. They are probably just older human beings that are traveling the solar system universe because they killed off their own planet/s and harmed their own genetics. Sure they have plenty of advanced technology but they are basically "dead" spiritually and well physically they have deteriorated into ugly human beings that are super smart but spiritually lacking. At least that's one of my theories on ETs/Aliens.

Anyways, this is truly scary. We have used just about every powerful invention for evil purposes. This will be no different.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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I'd use this technology to bring back every extinct species - especially all of the dinosaurs.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by Zosynspiracy
 


Exactly, our own sorted history dictates that we are "evil". Sadly this is demonstrated not by our thoughts or asperations but by our actions alone.

No need for spirituality when man has this knowledge and has the ability to manipulate nature itself and in essence, replaces God and supplants himself.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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Dr. Church identified 17 companies and one “open source” project all pursuing different technologies to further push down cost and speed up the pace of sequencing.


I'm interested in knowing more about these companies.
Anyone has an idea of which companies they are?
I would appreciate the info.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by Geladinhu

I'm interested in knowing more about these companies.
Anyone has an idea of which companies they are?
I would appreciate the info.


Some researching with google will probably get you most of those companies. Ill bet youd be hard pressed to find an ATS member that can list more than 2 or 3.

In regards to the OP very interesting article I love this kind of stuff. If we (humanity) were responsible with this kind of technology only good could come from it, but as we are now we cant agree on anything and i feel that this maybe the ultimate weapon.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 01:11 PM
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I don't know about God, but to me 'synthetic life' sounds an awful lot like an oxymoron.

Anything could be our ice-nine, really. I think it will be a nuclear weapon, still, but now people are just threatening with them. Could be awhile before countries start using them, still. (If you didn't get the Kurt Vonnegut reference, it's from 'Cat's Cradle')



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by Geladinhu


Dr. Church identified 17 companies and one “open source” project all pursuing different technologies to further push down cost and speed up the pace of sequencing.


I'm interested in knowing more about these companies.
Anyone has an idea of which companies they are?
I would appreciate the info.


The companies who could benefit from this from a financial standpoint is staggering. Im sure that there will be hundreds investing and experimenting with research, devlopment and implimentation.

Really though, the only company im worried about is the US goverment. They weaponize everything they touch.



posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 01:36 AM
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Would it be too far fetched to imagine that they know more then they are letting on? Would it be out of the question too think that they may know much more about human genes than we all think?

What if they are engineering poisons and including them in food or our general water supply to weed out the people who are pre determined to be unfit for life as deemed fit for TPTB?

If they know more than they are telling us and can predict what chemicals can kill off somebody "infected" with certain genes that can be a problem for society as a whole (people who have high risk for cancer) or just the goverment when they take over American health care, then why not just kill them off.

FDA controlls alot more than you might think and if the best scientific minds that are leading the research are in the pocket of the goverment, no telling what the truth is for sure.



posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Helious
 


This reminds me of a great, fun series I recently read. Its called the Council War series written by John Ringo (a great military sci-fi writer).



The series is set several thousand years in the future, in a society with advanced nanotechnology, teleportation, and other technologies which effectively are magical in the sense of Clarke's law made real, all controlled and coordinated by an Artificial Intelligence called Mother. Initially the world is a near Eden. War has been gone for millennia. The most aggressive, curious or adventurous humans have left Earth to explore space or terraform new worlds. The abundant power and technology allows long lives, powerful genetic engineering that includes the ability to turn into a Merman or Dolphin, the ability to have homes on mountain tops in the Himalayas or in deep volcanos, and free flight. Despite—or perhaps because of—an idyllic world, technology is stagnant, no great art has been produced in generations, and the human population is dropping slowly.

Wiki Source : The Council Wars

If the OP's article is correct, then perhaps we might see the Council War series coming true within a few centuries, not a few millennia. People can choose who or what they can be without a breaking a sweat. Want to be an elf? No problem. How about a dolphin? Kazaam!

Pretty scary and magical at the same time. Lets hope someone discovers the means for longer life or immortality so we can see this come to fruition.



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