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Uncompromising Honor chatter

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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by kzt   » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:16 pm

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ldwechsler wrote:
And the DNA may be totally foreign to those of humans and other live forms that developed on Earth.

They have literally thousands of other planets worth of alien life forms to work with that they have played with over the last several thousand years. And DNA is composed of large proteins, it’s trivial to fabricate for someone who builds molecular or atomic scale electronics.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by JohnRoth   » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:49 pm

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kzt wrote:
ldwechsler wrote:
And the DNA may be totally foreign to those of humans and other live forms that developed on Earth.

They have literally thousands of other planets worth of alien life forms to work with that they have played with over the last several thousand years. And DNA is composed of large proteins, it’s trivial to fabricate for someone who builds molecular or atomic scale electronics.


A couple of points. First, the trivial one: DNA is made of a long string of four kinds of bases, there are no proteins involved. And it's trivial to build strings of DNA today - you can order custom stretches of DNA of up to a dozen or so base-pairs right off the internet. It may even be more today. Just keep your checkbook handy.

Second, and more important, from the viewpoint of someone who knows how genetics works, the prohibition against non-human DNA is somewhere between absurd, silly and rolling-on-the-floor hilarious.

The DNA in a cell is a freaking program for building all the different cell types in a body. Nothing more and nothing less. This program has a huge number of interactions among the sub-programs for different cell types - it's not nice and neat like a well-designed and maintainable computer program. The idea that it's even possible to transfer the DNA required for a significant new structure - like, say, a prehensile tail or wings or the stuff a gecko uses to stick to a wall or ceiling - and expect it to work simply shows a breath-taking lack of understanding of how the entire system works.

The prohibition is completely irrelevant, because it won't work.

That doesn't mean that those things can't be done - only that they'd have to be done by good old design and trying prototypes until it works properly. It's not going to be done by finding an interesting looking piece of DNA and transferring it into a human genome.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by Fox2!   » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:01 pm

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JohnRoth wrote:
That doesn't mean that those things can't be done - only that they'd have to be done by good old design and trying prototypes until it works properly. It's not going to be done by finding an interesting looking piece of DNA and transferring it into a human genome.


That's what slaves (or Ba) are for. Trying things out in a human genome.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by kzt   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:08 am

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Fox2! wrote:That's what slaves (or Ba) are for. Trying things out in a human genome.

No, you modify the tree cat genome to make it more tractable. Plus run the standard techniques for taming animals. And determine exactly what the tree at is picking up.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by cthia   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:20 am

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kzt wrote:
ldwechsler wrote:
And the DNA may be totally foreign to those of humans and other live forms that developed on Earth.

They have literally thousands of other planets worth of alien life forms to work with that they have played with over the last several thousand years. And DNA is composed of large proteins, it’s trivial to fabricate for someone who builds molecular or atomic scale electronics.


JohnRoth wrote:A couple of points. First, the trivial one: DNA is made of a long string of four kinds of bases, there are no proteins involved. And it's trivial to build strings of DNA today - you can order custom stretches of DNA of up to a dozen or so base-pairs right off the internet. It may even be more today. Just keep your checkbook handy.

Second, and more important, from the viewpoint of someone who knows how genetics works, the prohibition against non-human DNA is somewhere between absurd, silly and rolling-on-the-floor hilarious.

The DNA in a cell is a freaking program for building all the different cell types in a body. Nothing more and nothing less. This program has a huge number of interactions among the sub-programs for different cell types - it's not nice and neat like a well-designed and maintainable computer program. The idea that it's even possible to transfer the DNA required for a significant new structure - like, say, a prehensile tail or wings or the stuff a gecko uses to stick to a wall or ceiling - and expect it to work simply shows a breath-taking lack of understanding of how the entire system works.

The prohibition is completely irrelevant, because it won't work.

That doesn't mean that those things can't be done - only that they'd have to be done by good old design and trying prototypes until it works properly. It's not going to be done by finding an interesting looking piece of DNA and transferring it into a human genome.


Again, I commend you on your knowledge of genetics. I concur, but I get my info from a group of doctors and a neurosurgeon.

One nitpick. Prohibition is not irrelevant. Because of the extreme end of won't work. There are mad scientists who are actually mad, as in insane, who will go to any length to prove themselves correct (Detweilers). And there are lots of sewers to step in. The trouble with tribbles is the shit stepped into during the Final Wars.

"You simply cannot have any morally bankrupt Johnny Frankensteins playing inside genetics any more than you can have any kid or unqualified adult playing inside a nuclear power plant." —One of my friends. Neurosurgeon.


On the other end of that spectrum is always going to be the purists who insist that human DNA remain 100% pure. Racism is the only thing that will outlive the roaches. Oh, and in the Honorverse, I'm willing to bet that that mindset is "densely" populated about Sol.

Btw, I'm told that horizontal asexual genetic transfer was once thought impossible.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by JohnRoth   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:39 pm

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kzt wrote:They have literally thousands of other planets worth of alien life forms to work with that they have played with over the last several thousand years. And DNA is composed of large proteins, it’s trivial to fabricate for someone who builds molecular or atomic scale electronics.


ldwechsler wrote:
And the DNA may be totally foreign to those of humans and other live forms that developed on Earth.


JohnRoth wrote:A couple of points. First, the trivial one: DNA is made of a long string of four kinds of bases, there are no proteins involved. And it's trivial to build strings of DNA today - you can order custom stretches of DNA of up to a dozen or so base-pairs right off the internet. It may even be more today. Just keep your checkbook handy.

Second, and more important, from the viewpoint of someone who knows how genetics works, the prohibition against non-human DNA is somewhere between absurd, silly and rolling-on-the-floor hilarious.

The DNA in a cell is a freaking program for building all the different cell types in a body. Nothing more and nothing less. This program has a huge number of interactions among the sub-programs for different cell types - it's not nice and neat like a well-designed and maintainable computer program. The idea that it's even possible to transfer the DNA required for a significant new structure - like, say, a prehensile tail or wings or the stuff a gecko uses to stick to a wall or ceiling - and expect it to work simply shows a breath-taking lack of understanding of how the entire system works.

The prohibition is completely irrelevant, because it won't work.

That doesn't mean that those things can't be done - only that they'd have to be done by good old design and trying prototypes until it works properly. It's not going to be done by finding an interesting looking piece of DNA and transferring it into a human genome.


cthia wrote:Again, I commend you on your knowledge of genetics. I concur, but I get my info from a group of doctors and a neurosurgeon.


Something I've avoided saying before, but is now unavoidable. The very first thing you need to do in determining the credibility of an information source is this: how far out of their area of expertise are they talking.

Now, I wouldn't dream of talking about neurosurgery. It's not a subject I've studied, it's not a subject I'm even interested in studying. Everything I've seen in many years of browsing is very low quality.

However, genetics is only loosely related to neurosurgery. I would not expect someone who is a neurosurgeon to know enough about genetics to have an informed opinion as compared to people who actually work in the field. I'd want to see that person's credentials as a geneticist.

This is a huge problem: "experts" who talk confidently about subjects that are outside of their field of expertise. Here's a story I heard some time ago from a member of an inter-disciplinary team assembled to study something or other. This person said that the other members of the team were woefully undereducated about his specialty. Some of them had a knowledge base acquired in an undergraduate survey course 20 years previously. And, of course, that applied transitively - he was just as badly out of touch with what the other specialties were about. They had to bring each other up to a level where they could actually talk to each other without humongous communication gaps and long-outdated assumptions.

cthia wrote:One nitpick. Prohibition is not irrelevant. Because of the extreme end of won't work. There are mad scientists who are actually mad, as in insane, who will go to any length to prove themselves correct (Detweilers). And there are lots of sewers to step in. The trouble with tribbles is the shit stepped into during the Final Wars.

"You simply cannot have any morally bankrupt Johnny Frankensteins playing inside genetics any more than you can have any kid or unqualified adult playing inside a nuclear power plant." —One of my friends. Neurosurgeon.


To be blunt, he doesn't know what he's talking about. He may have his moral compass pointing in more or less the right direction, but the situations are not, in any sense of the term, comparable. Nuclear power stations exist. Frankenstein is horror fiction. Using that as an example is using an emotionally loaded term to shut down rational discourse.

In counterpoint, you've got the Chinese idiot from a couple of months ago who announced several genetically modified babies. There was so much backlash that the key item gets lost: what he did didn't work, and couldn't have worked even if he'd had the technical ability to actually do what he said he did. The last I heard, the Chinese government seemed to be looking for an excuse to execute him.

cthia wrote:On the other end of that spectrum is always going to be the purists who insist that human DNA remain 100% pure. Racism is the only thing that will outlive the roaches. Oh, and in the Honorverse, I'm willing to bet that that mindset is "densely" populated about Sol.


Essentialism is one of the things I'm trying to point out, and racism is simply one form of essentialism. Human beings have a tendency to think in categories, hence essentialism. Breaking out of that box takes work, and it's work that most people won't do.

What I'm trying to do here is get a couple of points across. The first is that learning science from reading science fiction is a guaranteed way to seed your brain with a lot of misinformation that may make learning the subject later more difficult than it need be.

The other point is equally simple: if you want to learn something, go to credible, up-to-date sources. And learn how to filter good data from the tidal wave of irrelevancies, out-of-date pronouncements and deliberate disinformation that seems to constitute most discourse today.

cthia wrote:Btw, I'm told that horizontal asexual genetic transfer was once thought impossible.


There are lots of things that people once thought impossible that turn out to work if you tackle the problem properly. There are other things that people once thought possible that we're pretty sure are impossible. The guy who coined the term "junk DNA" has a lot to answer for.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by saber964   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:06 pm

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IIRC Aldona mentions it. Mesa does have Treecat tissue samples and there is research going on but in a desultory manner. IIRC they refer to it as the Ritchman treecat.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by cthia   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:51 am

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Posts: 11274
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JohnRoth wrote:
kzt wrote:They have literally thousands of other planets worth of alien life forms to work with that they have played with over the last several thousand years. And DNA is composed of large proteins, it’s trivial to fabricate for someone who builds molecular or atomic scale electronics.


ldwechsler wrote:
And the DNA may be totally foreign to those of humans and other live forms that developed on Earth.


JohnRoth wrote:A couple of points. First, the trivial one: DNA is made of a long string of four kinds of bases, there are no proteins involved. And it's trivial to build strings of DNA today - you can order custom stretches of DNA of up to a dozen or so base-pairs right off the internet. It may even be more today. Just keep your checkbook handy.

Second, and more important, from the viewpoint of someone who knows how genetics works, the prohibition against non-human DNA is somewhere between absurd, silly and rolling-on-the-floor hilarious.

The DNA in a cell is a freaking program for building all the different cell types in a body. Nothing more and nothing less. This program has a huge number of interactions among the sub-programs for different cell types - it's not nice and neat like a well-designed and maintainable computer program. The idea that it's even possible to transfer the DNA required for a significant new structure - like, say, a prehensile tail or wings or the stuff a gecko uses to stick to a wall or ceiling - and expect it to work simply shows a breath-taking lack of understanding of how the entire system works.

The prohibition is completely irrelevant, because it won't work.

That doesn't mean that those things can't be done - only that they'd have to be done by good old design and trying prototypes until it works properly. It's not going to be done by finding an interesting looking piece of DNA and transferring it into a human genome.


cthia wrote:Again, I commend you on your knowledge of genetics. I concur, but I get my info from a group of doctors and a neurosurgeon.


Something I've avoided saying before, but is now unavoidable. The very first thing you need to do in determining the credibility of an information source is this: how far out of their area of expertise are they talking.

Now, I wouldn't dream of talking about neurosurgery. It's not a subject I've studied, it's not a subject I'm even interested in studying. Everything I've seen in many years of browsing is very low quality.

However, genetics is only loosely related to neurosurgery. I would not expect someone who is a neurosurgeon to know enough about genetics to have an informed opinion as compared to people who actually work in the field. I'd want to see that person's credentials as a geneticist.

This is a huge problem: "experts" who talk confidently about subjects that are outside of their field of expertise. Here's a story I heard some time ago from a member of an inter-disciplinary team assembled to study something or other. This person said that the other members of the team were woefully undereducated about his specialty. Some of them had a knowledge base acquired in an undergraduate survey course 20 years previously. And, of course, that applied transitively - he was just as badly out of touch with what the other specialties were about. They had to bring each other up to a level where they could actually talk to each other without humongous communication gaps and long-outdated assumptions.

cthia wrote:One nitpick. Prohibition is not irrelevant. Because of the extreme end of won't work. There are mad scientists who are actually mad, as in insane, who will go to any length to prove themselves correct (Detweilers). And there are lots of sewers to step in. The trouble with tribbles is the shit stepped into during the Final Wars.

"You simply cannot have any morally bankrupt Johnny Frankensteins playing inside genetics any more than you can have any kid or unqualified adult playing inside a nuclear power plant." —One of my friends. Neurosurgeon.


To be blunt, he doesn't know what he's talking about. He may have his moral compass pointing in more or less the right direction, but the situations are not, in any sense of the term, comparable. Nuclear power stations exist. Frankenstein is horror fiction. Using that as an example is using an emotionally loaded term to shut down rational discourse.

In counterpoint, you've got the Chinese idiot from a couple of months ago who announced several genetically modified babies. There was so much backlash that the key item gets lost: what he did didn't work, and couldn't have worked even if he'd had the technical ability to actually do what he said he did. The last I heard, the Chinese government seemed to be looking for an excuse to execute him.

cthia wrote:On the other end of that spectrum is always going to be the purists who insist that human DNA remain 100% pure. Racism is the only thing that will outlive the roaches. Oh, and in the Honorverse, I'm willing to bet that that mindset is "densely" populated about Sol.


Essentialism is one of the things I'm trying to point out, and racism is simply one form of essentialism. Human beings have a tendency to think in categories, hence essentialism. Breaking out of that box takes work, and it's work that most people won't do.

What I'm trying to do here is get a couple of points across. The first is that learning science from reading science fiction is a guaranteed way to seed your brain with a lot of misinformation that may make learning the subject later more difficult than it need be.

The other point is equally simple: if you want to learn something, go to credible, up-to-date sources. And learn how to filter good data from the tidal wave of irrelevancies, out-of-date pronouncements and deliberate disinformation that seems to constitute most discourse today.

cthia wrote:Btw, I'm told that horizontal asexual genetic transfer was once thought impossible.


There are lots of things that people once thought impossible that turn out to work if you tackle the problem properly. There are other things that people once thought possible that we're pretty sure are impossible. The guy who coined the term "junk DNA" has a lot to answer for.


John,

The reason she is my goto source is she's heavily involved in neurogenetics. Her research is currently focused on DNA based diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases. She's currently researching swannamatosis and neurofibromatosis. Her friends tease her that she never seems to eat. They say that she simply splices a few genes and forms a sandwich in the lab.

So, whereas perhaps you can argue with her, I sure as heck can't. I barely passed advanced biology in the 10th grade.

The reason I had trouble with it is because I'm very squeamish at the sight of blood and guts. In Biology we had to dissect a worm. In Advanced Biology we had to tackle a cat and then a dog.

:faint:

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by aairfccha   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:11 pm

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ldwechsler wrote:And the DNA may be totally foreign to those of humans and other live forms that developed on Earth.

Yet it may be not. Between a local virus from Manticore not only infecting humans but hybridising with a Terran virus and modified Terran plants easily producing a compound formed by Sphinxian plants I'd lean towards not.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor chatter
Post by Relax   » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:27 am

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Oi.... DNA does not work how the simple high school text books write it.

Essentially the only thing taught about DNA in school is how it replicates itself via mitosis. IE a string of "information". And all science based information regarding DNA STOPS at this point until microbiology in college.

That is NOT how DNA functions regarding cell biology. It CAN function that way, but the more we dig into it, the LESS we find that DNA actually works in a sequential order. When you ONLY look at sequential DNA reads on say the Human Chromosome, we found that roughly 1/3 of the DNA had no "sequential function". Originally this was called "junk DNA". Classic example is Introns.

Now that we have electron microscopes, computers, and especially the Human Genome Sequencing project, near 100% of so called "junk DNA" has lo and behold found to NOT be junk DNA. Why is it not "junk?"

DNA is not read sequentially.

Rather it is contorted into a vast multitude of 3d shapes and shoved into weird 3d shaped HIGHLY specialized proteins that then read different portions of the deformed often rats nested and twisted DNA via OTHER proteins purposefully created to do just that: rats nest the DNA in specific ways. We keep finding more and more specialized proteins used by the DNA and now the portion of "unsolved" DNA is under 1%.

In fact, most of the "sequential DNA" has been found to have MULTIPLE reads from the same string of information. It is Encrypted in digital information storage lingo. The amount of information is many times larger than any "sequential read". HOW much, we have NO IDEA. Mathematically the amount of information is literally exponential.

In other words, the actual amount of information stored in the DNA is only limited to the number of odd ball 3d shapes it can be snarled into along with said specialized proteins. Must have both present.

Remember the protein folding at home program you could download and help researchers out by donating your CPU down time to? What this program was doing, well, part of what this program was doing was analyzing different odd shapes that are possible to fold proteins into which could then mate with the rats nested DNA and perform cellular functions which unto this point we had no idea existed... or shall I more accurately say... no idea HOW some of it existed and how most of it happened other than... it happened.

Now, the real question is HOW do cells know when to code for certain oddball 3d protein shapes, which then process rats nested DNA, how are they created, and how are they removed without dumping everything else. Still figuring all that out. Have good information and testing, but 100% of it? Nope.

Another "vestigial organ" dies a quick death when ... science is used.

So, all the "DNA splicing and "crack" geneticists" blathered about in science fiction... is woefully, pathetically short of reality. Especially all the crap written about "splicing" new information into existing DNA via the retro virus..... It is not possible. And why cells which DO get infected by retro virus's, DIE. All those 3d specialized protein Shapes which are now scrambled and cannot be built to push the DNA through in its odd 3D shape which now cannot be formed either.

Anyways. Enjoy.

PS: Further reading: Type DNA 3d protein folding into a search engine and you will be inundated by new papers trying to solve, identify everything from AIDS cells and possible specialized nano bots which attack only certain shaped cells or parts of cells to sperm due to the shapes of certain proteins being produced and secreted/ingested, or not produced as the case may be.
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