The Wonders of Biotechnology

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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 03:35 PM
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So by now, we all know Monsanto is evil. They must be right?


But if that is all you know about Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering then you don't know nearly enough. It's truly a fascinating and expanding area of science that is surely going to change the way a lot of things work in the future.

Whether or not that scares you remains to be seen, but i am hopeful the best stuff is yet to come.

Medicine

A field that all of us can relate to and all of us can benefit from. It's easy to argue the dangers of using genetics to study diseases, but what about using genetic engineering to create insulin or antibodies?

In medicine genetic engineering has been used to mass-produce insulin, human growth hormones, follistim (for treating infertility), human albumin, monoclonal antibodies, antihemophilic factors, vaccines and many other drugs.


Did you know that mice are the most common genetically engineered animal and are being used to study and treat a number of diseases including cancer, diabetes and obesity?

In the area of Parkinsons Disease there are companies like Nasdaq Top 100's - Life Technologies Inc
Life Technologies and Parkinson's Institute



Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1% of people over age 60, and more than 5 million people worldwide [1]. PD results primarily from the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons, which first affects movement, then cognitive function, with late-stage disease often accompanied by dementia.

The absence of physiologically relevant cellular models for PD represents a major bottleneck for PD research. Novel models are urgently needed to accelerate the discovery of disease mechanisms and drug targets which could rapidly translate into a wide range of clinical and therapeutic applications.

Recently, Life Technologies has partnered with the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, California, to develop PD model systems using donor fibroblasts that have been collected at the Institute.


A great reason to care about this kind of work is coming to NBC this fall.

Inside the Actors Studio - Michael J Fox

Sure, i think Life Technologies might be evil. (They sell Mutation kits!)

But they also do extensive research into Cancer, work with children's illnesses and have even pulled off this recent advancement.
Ion Torrent

The seminal importance of DNA sequencing to the life sciences, biotechnology and medicine has driven the search for more scalable and lower-cost solutions. Here we describe a DNA sequencing technology in which scalable, low-cost semiconductor manufacturing techniques are used to make an integrated circuit able to directly perform non-optical DNA sequencing of genomes.


I don't even understand what that means, but it sounds exciting!

Now maybe you don't care about Health and Medicine, luckily that's not where it stops.

DNA Computing

DNA computing is a form of computing which uses DNA, biochemistry and molecular biology, instead of the traditional silicon-based computer technologies. DNA computing, or, more generally, biomolecular computing, is a fast developing interdisciplinary area. Research and development in this area concerns theory, experiments, and applications of DNA computing.


This field is advancing so quickly and yet it is almost never talked about. Just a basic search on the words alone can turn up things that might interest or inspire you.

Like this nugget from North Carolina University
Newswise



Newswise — Chemists from North Carolina State University have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment.
Logic gates are the means by which computers “compute,” as sets of them are combined in different ways to enable computers to ultimately perform tasks like addition or subtraction. In DNA computing, these gates are created by combining different strands of DNA, rather than a series of transistors. However, thus far DNA computation events have typically taken place in a test tube, rather than in living cells


Why worry about what kind of wheat is growing in Oregon fields when this happened ten years ago. (PS: They got into the Guinness Book for this.)



Israeli scientists have devised a computer that can perform 330 trillion operations per second, more than 100,000 times the speed of the fastest PC. The secret: It runs on DNA.


Imagine a computer that can be injected into your bloodstream and connect to your brain. You might see mind control, i see wireless bio-chips that seamlessly integrate with a world wide virtual network.

Think thats a fantasy? Then you don't know about this.


Sometimes I can't believe that it's 2013 and we still don't have tiny, disease-fighting robots swimming around in our bodies.
Well, researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and Columbia University haven't created exactly that, but they have produced little critters that can latch onto targeted cells and "label" them.
The so-called molecular robots (aka molecular automata) are made up of antibodies and short snippets of DNA.
In a study in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers described how these molecular robots could help design drugs that target harmful cells and leave surrounding beneficial cells alone.


That's right, Molecular Robots!!!
And that's not all, there are advances in
Criminal Justice
Cybernetics (and the world's first pokemon)
More Cybernetic Bugs (Pokemon)
History
Hemp Biofuels in Hawaii
Biopools


I love the future.

edit on 3-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)
edit on 3-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 06:53 AM
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I actually work with the Ion Torrent and their 3500 (Sanger sequencing) machines in my lab. They're quite a neat bit of technology, though I think there's still a lot of work to be done in the next gen platforms (they need to get better are processing homopolymer regions, for example, and read lengths could be longer). I'm not sure why you think Life Tech evil because they sell mutagenesis kits, though. I guess you don't know what they are? Or you were poking fun? In any case, it's fairly standard gear for a molecular biology lab.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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I have no problem with mutants, but there is no regulation on who creates them and so i am scared.


Well, get to work on making me some mutants.
Though if you could find a way to bioengineer some glowing tattoo ink, that would be awesome too.
Blues, Purples, Greens, Reds, Whites and Blacks would all be acceptable colors.
Thank you for your interest Mad Scientist man.
edit on 8-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by Thorneblood
 


Those mutagenesis kits are for bacteria and I'm not sure what you mean by no regulation on who creates them? Life Tech doesn't sell to just anybody, for starters.

I've got better things to do than make tattoo ink, I'm afraid. :p Though Google tells me it's already a thing anyway. And it's woman*



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 06:24 PM
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That seems to be black light ink, i meant something more like Phosphorescent Ink, ink that always glows, its a million dollar idea
.

And you are right, there is no regulation. But there should be!
I suggest a Consortium of the worlds most innovative and experienced bio engineers unite in their effort to control the mutation of dna and the eventual evolution of all humanity.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by Thorneblood
That seems to be black light ink, i meant something more like Phosphorescent Ink, ink that always glows, its a million dollar idea
.

And you are right, there is no regulation. But there should be!
I suggest a Consortium of the worlds most innovative and experienced bio engineers unite in their effort to control the mutation of dna and the eventual evolution of all humanity.



I never said there was no regulation. I actually implied the exact opposite. But it's pretty clear you are not familiar with how the profession operates.

And that ink is phosphorescent.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 04:41 PM
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Dude. It was a joke.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Thorneblood
Dude. It was a joke.



You'll have to forgive me for not automatically assuming someone on ATS calling science related companies evil was a joke. :p



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 03:43 AM
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I understand the vast implications of what they are doing, perhaps not as well as i would like but still, i get their greater ideology and see how their work benefits others and advances science.

But they still sell Mutation Kits on the internet, hence they must be evil.

How else would Mad Scientists get their stuff?



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 04:07 AM
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Actually, my fears of Life Technologies go deeper then that.

Let me explain.

I was following the whole Benghazi thing, curious about why they would have so many CIA agents who wouldn't or couldn't intervene. Dug a little, figuring they had some UFO or Alien, whatever. Just dicking around.

One of the other posts referenced an aquifer project that led me to find this.
Nubian Water Aquifer

As you may know, water is important in the desert and hard to come by in a place like the middle east. This is especially true in areas like Libya and Yemen where water is actually a 25 billion dollar a year industry.

Most of this water comes from deep wells, most of which are drying up.

But there is more, this aquifer is managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.



The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) is the world´s largest 'fossil' water aquifer system meaning that the water is ancient and non-renewable, much like the mineral resources on which countries rely for their prosperity. Lying beneath the four African countries of Chad, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya), and Sudan, it covers some two million square kilometers. Groundwater has been identified as the biggest future source of water to meet growing demands and development goals in each country. But can the NSAS meet such demand? Over-abstraction has already started, at times leading to desertification. Other major human pressures include agricultural irrigation and climate change.

For many years, the IAEA has been working with NSAS countries through national, and regional projects to try and understand the complexities of the aquifer. However, there remains a gap in understanding how the NSAS works.


And they mean "Fossil" water.



A new technique uses the rare isotope called Krypton-81 to trace age. Recently, a team led by professor Neil Sturchio from the University of Illinois in Chicago tested some Nubian samples using the new technique with extraordinary findings. They found that Nubian groundwater is between 210 000 and 1 million years old! The NSAS as a ‘system’ was created during the Ice Age, also called the Pleistocene epoch, which lasted from 1.8 million to 11 550 years ago. Within this epoch, there were various cold and warm periods, during which time the recharge of groundwater in the NSAS was possible if conditions were wet. Between 5000 and 7000 years ago, scientists believe there was some major replenishment through dramatic climate changes.


One more thing....it seems most of the Aquifers in the Middle East are highly radioactive.

The water is contaminated.
Source


An explosive study on the problem was published in February 2009, but it has only attracted attention in the professional world until now. A team working with geochemist Avner Vengosh of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, had tested radioactivity levels in 37 samples from the Disi aquifer. According to the findings, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the water from the aquifer, which is about 30,000 years old, is up to 30 times as radioactive as the WHO considers safe.


You might be wondering why all this ties to Life Technologies?

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced it will provide a complete laboratory solution to identify an estimated 20,000 human remains found in various mass graves in Libya following the uprising of 2011 and to address missing persons cases from the 42-year regime of Muammar Gaddafi. This identification work is expected to take several years.

The humanitarian project is funded in part by Repsol, a Spanish-based oil company which donated to the Libyan government through its foundation, $2.5 million in 2012 to help establish a state-of-the-art laboratory to identify and generate profiles from human remains and references from associated relatives of missing people.


Repsol

So, an oil company and one of the worlds leading bio engineering companies are both digging in the same place. A million year old cavern full of radiation, in the middle of the desert.

But Not Alone.
The Department of Energy (D.O.E) is there as well.

Weird.
edit on 10-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 04:59 AM
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reply to post by Thorneblood
 


Hmm you have got me thinking and wanting to dig a bit more like you do .. looking forward to the (robot like) reply from op on your concerns and questions
edit on 10-8-2013 by Ta1ntedJustice because: Because i do not know it all.



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 05:09 AM
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reply to post by Thorneblood
 


Please take your last post on this thread and make it into it's own thread, with an attention-grabbing title. Great post and I agree, it looks interesting. What's the draw there? What are their motivations?



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by Thorneblood
I understand the vast implications of what they are doing, perhaps not as well as i would like but still, i get their greater ideology and see how their work benefits others and advances science.

But they still sell Mutation Kits on the internet, hence they must be evil.

How else would Mad Scientists get their stuff?



Right. Most chemical companies and bio science companies do. But they won't actually put the sale through unless they can verify who they're giving it to is credible and that the products are being used for research or clinical purposes only. Depending on the nature of the item, you would likely need an abundance of certifications and other documentations before the sale is processed. Purchasing things through even a university can be nightmare sometimes. And again, you don't seem to understand what those kits actually are.

And as for your second post, I am truly failing to see any connection. It sounds like Life Tech is trying to promote their sequencing platforms and give themselves some publicity and a bit of edge over their competitors (Roche, etc.). I cannot see even a tangential link to that and the aquifer you cited.



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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So Mutation Kits good, right, got ya


As for the other thing. Well Libya is just weird all over.

Libya is tied to the Greeks,Cyrene most notably to the Odyssey written by Homer. A book which is said to have a 'sequel' known as the Telegony which was apparently stolen by Eugammon of Cyrene.

But that isn't all. Libya is also home to myths about Giants, the Amazonians and even Medusa.
And is home to some of the oldest humans in the world
Ancient Libya

Around 20,000 years ago humans began migrating out of the area and, according to the latest genetic evidence, headed for Iberia, Egypt, and the Middle East, where they spread the new culture all around the Mediterranean sea. Recent archaeological research has confirmed that the so called Ibero-maurusian culture (22,000 BC), was in fact purely Berber culture, and that the name Ibero- was added by Aryanists for political reasons. The skeletal remains of a population anthropologists named "Mouillans" were said to date between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. These settlements were typically small, of about 100 individuals, mostly of women and children! They posed the largest cranial capacity of any population the world has ever seen; indicating, perhaps, their relation to the earlier, large-brained Cro-Magnons. Dr Carleton Coon has pointed out that the Mouillan features have never before evolved in such combinations in any race at that time in human's history.


Now aside from the fact that most of the drinkable water in the Middle East is highly radioactive, which in itself is a bit strange, there seems to be a lot going on in these underground water reservoirs.

Basically i think they found something very old and alive in the Nubian Aquifer.
It isn't a totally unsupportable theory.

Recent articles about Lake Vostok suggest that Fossil Water systems can hold all sorts of life.
V ostok

And a large "Fossil Water" lake in Africa known as the Dragon's Breath Cave is home to one of the rarest fish in the world the "Golden Cave Catfish"



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by Thorneblood
 


And?



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 03:45 AM
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And i don't know yet. I simply find it odd and wonder what Life Tech is getting out of it, i wonder what the benefit is to them on a larger scale.

Now. Back to the Wonders.


Tonight, a short video about the Artifical Hamburger grown in Lab



They say it tastes "Close to real" which in America just means it tastes like McDonald's.

edit on 11-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by Thorneblood
And i don't know yet. I simply find it odd and wonder what Life Tech is getting out of it, i wonder what the benefit is to them on a larger scale.


Well, since someone is paying them for their human ID services (still not seeing a link to the aquifer), money. Secondly, identifying human remain in the aftermath of Libya is a great selling point for their human ID kits to other customers, so they're getting an edge over their competitors and thirdly, publicity. Seems pretty obvious to me.




Now. Back to the Wonders.


Tonight, a short video about the Artifical Hamburger grown in Lab



They say it tastes "Close to real" which in America just means it tastes like McDonald's.



It will be interesting to see how far they can go with this. Currently the prototype is horribly expensive and possibly (most likely) not industrially viable, but we'll see how that pans out. It's still a huge strain on resources, so I'm not sure it's really that much more beneficial over conventional sources of meat, except that it reduces animal suffering.
edit on 11-8-2013 by hypervalentiodine because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 04:40 AM
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Or Life Technologies could be testing new medicines on unsuspecting Libyans, exploring some rare and ancient disease that lay dormant in the Aquifer, studying some mutated life form from the Aquifer, and if you assume the radiation information isn't all that new to the US then i find it a little odd that it's not more common knowledge here.

It also leaves me to wonder whether that information has been shared with the people of the Middle East.
How has it affected their minds and bodies? Can long term exposure to high levels of radium in your drinking water drive you to anger or madness? Do you become irrational?

And they are paying for it, from what i have seen so far the project itself is close to 10 million dollars to id 20,000 bodies when the lab they are building can apparently handle 50,000 samples a year.


How would you mass produce meat without the animal component?
Grow in large shallow pools like rice or something?

edit on 11-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 05:51 AM
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Originally posted by Thorneblood
Or Life Technologies could be testing new medicines on unsuspecting Libyans, exploring some rare and ancient disease that lay dormant in the Aquifer, studying some mutated life form from the Aquifer,


Life Tech isn't a pharma company. That's not where they make their money and they have no reason to expand in that area. And the only research the company itself does is into new equipment, kits and platforms for other researchers to utilise in their projects. All they are doing is giving one of their products some publicity.


and if you assume the radiation information isn't all that new to the US then i find it a little odd that it's not more common knowledge here.


I do not know what this means. That what is more common knowledge?



It also leaves me to wonder whether that information has been shared with the people of the Middle East.
How has it affected their minds and bodies? Can long term exposure to high levels of radium in your drinking water drive you to anger or madness? Do you become irrational?

And they are paying for it, from what i have seen so far the project itself is close to 10 million dollars to id 20,000 bodies when the lab they are building can apparently handle 50,000 samples a year.


The article you quoted said that the project was being funded by an external company, not by Life Tech. And even if Life Tech were footing some of the bill, there are still the other two reasons I cited for them wanting being involved in this.






How would you mass produce meat without the animal component?
Grow in large shallow pools like rice or something?

edit on 11-8-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)


That's more of an engineering question than anything. I don't know. If it's lab grown, the industrial application would put it in a sterile factory with a controlled environment rather than in the field. The resources required to make the 'meat' and the waste it would probably produce in the process is what leads me to posit that there is a long way to go for it to work better than the current model.



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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This is pretty cool, this robots expressions are being "controlled" by slime mould.


The Emotions of Slime in Robotics
PHI-Bot

A human-like robot face has been hooked up so that its expressions are controlled by the electrical signals produced when yellow slime mould shies away from light, or moves eagerly towards food.

It is all part of an experiment aimed at figuring out why these animate puddles of neon goo are so surprisingly smart. Physarum polycephalum, is a common yellow slime mould which ranges in size from several hundred micrometres to more than one metre. It is an aggregation of hundreds or thousands of identical unicellular organisms that merge together into one huge "cell" containing all their nuclei. This makes it much more interesting than your average unicellular bacteria, says Ella Gale who studies unconventional computing at the University of the West of England in Bristol and at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.



If this slime is so smart should we really be giving it access to robotic technology?
In a weird way i see this as being the foundation for a techno-organic life form.

I love the future.





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