This is a huge risk…
Nevertheless, I’m going to go out on a crazy-insanely dangerous limb and state for the record?
Developing, genetically engineering ANYTHING in science relatively similar to zombies, serial killers, werewolves…
And FREAKING VAMPIRES!!!!!!!!
Bad, bad, bad, bad-bad, thing:
[via io9] Vampire bacteria could become the ultimate antibiotic
A bacterium found in sewage water could revolutionize modern medicine. It’s basically the bacterial equivalent of a vampire, spending its time hunting other bacteria and sucking out all their nutrients. This could revolutionize antibotics and stop the rise of “super bugs.”
The bacterium in question is called Micavibrio aeruginosavorus. Scientists have known about it for a good thirty years, but it’s proven extremely difficult to study using traditional techniques. University of Virginia researchers have only just managed to decode its genome and figure out how it works, and their findings are intriguing.
Micavibrio aeruginosavorus survives by finding certain other strains of bacteria. It then attaches itself to its prey’s cell wall and begins leeching on the victim’s nutrients. That’s unusual for bacteria, most of which simply harvest nutrients from the surrounding environment. For whatever reason, that isn’t an option for this bacterium, which has to rely on finding and destroying other bacteria to live.
At least one of its preferred victims is an enemy of humans. Pseudomonas aeruginosavorus causes serious lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. It’s early days yet, but the researchers say it would be possible to use Micavibrio aeruginosavorus against this deadly pathogen, injecting it nearby and allowing it to hunt down and destroy the infectious bacteria.
Chief researcher Martin Wu adds:
“Pathologists may eventually be able to use this bacterium to fight fire with fire, so to speak, as a bacterium that will aggressively hunt for and attack certain other bacteria that are extremely harmful to humans.
It is possible that a living antibiotic such as M. aeruginosavorus — because it so specifically targets certain pathogens — could potentially reduce our dependence on traditional antibiotics and help mitigate the drug-resistance problem we are now facing.
This vampire bacterium could well prove to be an extremely appealing alternative to common antibiotics, which work by inhibiting bacteria reproduction or breaking down their cell walls. The problem is that certain bacterial strains have developed resistance to these antibiotics, creating new breeds of so-called super bugs. Micavibrio aeruginosavorus is an intriguing alternative because bacteria can’t build up resistance to a predator in the same way they can a traditional antibiotic.
And because this bacterium only hunts a very select number of strains, it wouldn’t pose any threat to the myriad of beneficial bacteria that we rely on in our body. It also can get through difficult environments, like the viscous mucus film created by Pseudomonas aeruginosavorus, and reach its target in cases where traditional antibiotics would be significantly less effective.
Of course, the bacterium isn’t yet ready to be injected into the human body. It will likely take significant genetic engineering to get it to the point where it can hunt down the desired bacteria strains while leaving others alone. But this is potentially a huge breakthrough, and the fact that we already have the genome mapped is a very encouraging start. [Read More]
But apparently, me being of sound mind (Unlike these mad scscientists currently running amok) & body?
DON’T necessarily feel the same way.
Not at all.
[via NYTimes]These mosquitoes are genetically engineered to kill — their own children.
Researchers on Sunday reported initial signs of success from the first release into the environment of mosquitoes engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, killing them before they reach adulthood.
The results, and other work elsewhere, could herald an age in which genetically modified insects will be used to help control agricultural pests and insect-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria.
But the research is arousing concern about possible unintended effects on public health and the environment, because once genetically modified insects are released, they cannot be recalled. [Read More]
Engineered to kill?
What could POSSIBLY go wrong with that?
And they wonder WHY normal people (you know, NOT them)…
Look at them like a bunch of ego driven whack jobs with a very low public opinion?
[via New Scientist] [...] Cut loose from objective truth, America’s public dialogue has become one of warring opinions and policy paralysis. Progress is made by brute authority, over the laws, despite the data, and against the will of opponents – the very situation Locke and Jefferson were hoping to avoid.
Anti-science ideology has taken hold before, differently, but history may provide some lessons. The fundamental elements were similar when the Soviet Union elevated the ideology of Lysenkoism ahead of the warnings of geneticists, whom Trofim Lysenko called “caste priests of ivory tower bourgeois pseudoscience”, not unlike Sarah Palin’s characterisations of global warming as “doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood”. Soviet agriculture was set back 40 years.
The political right in Weimar Germany called Einstein’s theory of relativity a “hoax” and said he was in it for the money – much as climate deniers argue today.
During the Nuremberg trials, Hitler’s Minister for Armaments, Albert Speer, recounted the use of new technology to deliver a uniform ideological message, much like today’s political echo chambers: “Through technical devices like the radio and the loudspeaker, 80 million people were deprived of independent thought.” In other words, “Dittoheads”.
In his Great Leap Forward, Mao set forth a plan to transform China into a modern society in 15 years. Scientists who advised against his ideas were harassed or jailed. Mao’s policies led to the greatest famine in human history and the deaths of over 40 million people.
The US is obviously nowhere near any of these situations, but is reaching a crisis point uniquely its own. With every step away from reason and into ideology, the country moves toward a state of tyranny in which public policy comes to be based not on knowledge, but on the most loudly voiced opinions.
The solutions are as multi-faceted as the problem. Above all, scientists must reengage in the national civic dialogue (see opposite) and reasonable politicians should challenge opponents to science-themed policy debates. [Read More]
It kills me how much they DON’T get it. How very much scientists have NO understanding as to why they have such a low public opinion.
And THEY are supposed to e the smart one here.
Boggles the mind.
*shakes head sadly*