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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:10 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Should be be optimistic or pessimistic with the amazing advances in science and technology?
Are we opening Pandora's box?
If bugs which can mop up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere were realeased into the atmosphere would all our plants starve?
Yet I have to applaud the genius and thought behind radical ideas, pray that animals will not suffer vivisection and testing for scientists to prove the uses of their synethised life forms and hope the global partnerships can manage to encourage innovation but maintain a balance, keeping the lid on anything too way out.
Introduced naturally occuring species in the wrong environment can cause havoc, replacing one problem with another, (e.g. cane toads)

So just in case you have not already seen this scientific advance...pause for thought...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 131435.htm
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... rrer=yahoo

The potential is huge - but so are the dangers. An artificial species, created in the lab, might not 'obey the rules' of the natural world - after all, every living being on Earth has evolved over three billion years, when a myriad of competing species have had to share the same increasingly crowded environment.

It is possible to imagine a synthetic microbe going on the rampage, perhaps wiping out all the world's crop plants or even humanity itself.
Synthetic biology also challenges our most cherished notions of what life itself actually is. Non-scientists might not realise that we have, as yet, no proper definition of life.

A diamond is not alive; a baboon clearly is. But what about a virus? Viruses, which are even simpler than bacteria, have a genetic code written in DNA (or its cousin RNA).

The stuff viruses are made from is the stuff of life - protein coats and so on - yet they cannot reproduce independently.
Like diamonds, they can be grown into crystals - and you certainly cannot crystallise baboons. Most biologists say viruses are not alive, and that true biology begins with bacteria.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z0oW2TTUAG

And a whole group of folk need to take turmeric daily, get some exercise and eat healthy in a manner which ensures calorific intake is lower than energy expended to future proof their later years, backing up previous findings since 2005.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 092940.htm

Abdominal Fat at Middle Age Associated With Greater Risk of Dementia: Obesity Linked to Lower Total Brain Volume#
ScienceDaily (May 20, 2010) — Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine determined that excess abdominal fat places otherwise healthy, middle-aged people at risk for dementia later in life. Preliminary findings suggest a relationship between obesity and dementia that could lead to promising prevention strategies in the future.

and are you sitting comfortably?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2008 ... health.htm

That's right -- the time you sit in your chair could be keeping your body's fat burning in park! More than 47 million adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome, which causes obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Biomedical researchers from the say the reason so many of us have the condition is because we sit too much!

"The existing data, by numerous studies, are starting to show that the rates of heart disease and diabetes and obesity are doubled or sometimes even tripled in people who sit a lot," Dr. Hamilton explains. One reason, he says, is an enzyme called lipase. When it's on, fat is absorbed into the muscles, but when we sit down, lipase virtually shuts off.

"Instead, the fat will recirculate in the blood stream and go and be stored as body fat or it can clog arteries and cause diseases," Dr. Hamilton says. And it's not a small amount of fat. Plasma samples were taken from the same person after eating the same meal. When they ate sitting down, the sample was cloudy, but when they ate while standing up, it was clear.

"If you can perform a behavior while sitting or standing, I would choose standing," Dr. Hamilton says. That's why he swapped his desk chair for a treadmill. Not ready for that step? "You can have just as much fun watching your kids play if you're standing by the fence, next to a friend who pulls out that aluminum lawn chair and is sitting there," Dr. Hamilton advises.

You can also limit chair time by taking frequent breaks at work to stand and walk around. Stand up while talking on the phone or even while watching TV.

Standing also helps shrink your waistline! The average person can burn an extra 60 calories an hour just by standing! "But just avoid the chair is the simple recommendation, as much as you can," Dr. Hamilton says. That's advice worth a standing ovation!

Another benefit to standing -- it improves your HDL or good cholesterol levels. People who sat reduced their good cholesterol levels by 22 percent!

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 6:35 am 
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I am a bit worried about some scientific advances, too. Those synthetic microbes for example, but also when I watched many of the TED talks where people worked on methods to stop aging or suspended animation so that people can be put to sleep like in the fairytale of Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty).

But I have to admit that my main concern with some of those fancy new ways of solving fundamental problems is not the potential consequences (although they might be huge and largely unpredictable) but what they can prevent us from. I am worried that all those scientific solutions may decrease the need for people to act responsibly themselves. Who needs to take care of the environment when a microbe can do that? Who needs to find ways of dealing with a not so perfect face when plastic surgery can turn him into whatever he wants to look like? Who needs to live a life of purpose NOW when its end can be postponed for another 200 years?

I do believe that it's detrimental to the human psyche to lose all those limits and boundaries - to lose the hardship of life and the need to cope and act in a way that makes it possible to live together with nature. It's like children who never need to clean up the mess they made because mama will do it for them, who never need to say sorry when they broke their friend's toy, because papa will buy a new one. Will they learn to act responsibly? I doubt that and I don't think that adults who are being faced with too many and too easy solutions are any different.

Of course that's less a problem of the science than of the way it's being used. I am sure that all of those techniques are wonderfully useful in some areas, like plastic surgery when applied to people who have lost their face during an accident. I just don't have the optimism to believe that humans will be responsible users when given the choice (haha, and that from me who is considered to be the most optimistic person they have ever met by most friends).


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
I know my response may seem a bit strange but really, I cannot be bothered very much about it...

Why? Because I cannot stop it anyway. And if I cannot help a situation, I'ld rather not put any attention to it so I just don't know how it evolves...

I will most certainly never ever encourage people to go into such a direction as I believe (and I know it is my 'believing') that there is more to life than this one life I live now. That I have to live one life at the time (even if I am aware of previous experiences) and try to evolve into a higher conscience so that hopefully once I will manage to go over to the next step. But I don't know yet what will be waiting for me there... :huh:

If I would have myself put to sleep like 'Doornroosje', I will just delay this process... and here again I believe that I don't need anything 'chemical' for that as I will decide inbetween two lives on this planet how much time I leave as an interval before going to the next one.
Ans also, everyone has his/her own responsibility towards their deeds, so who am I to say whether or not this is a good evolution or not?

But I will be very happy that my life will be far away from such evolutions... :cheers:
Similar to gmo's, which I try to avoid to the max because I believe that they have no good energy left in them, I will try to avoid any 'living organism' which has been synthetically prepared (if I can call it like that).
I am not even pro 'test-tube' babies, so let alone to any other evolution into the direction that has been brought up here...

But since the world is not waiting for my opinion... :funny:

:love:

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You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:50 pm 
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I must add myself with all 3 of you. First I think the same as Susie and worry, then I think the same as Romy and I get annoyed if not angry; (For God sakes, humans! Use your energy to start changing things now and live like we are supposed to, instead of over complicating things and making new problems... and putting the responsibility elsewhere constantly :roll: so typical human...all of this)
But then I have to think indeed, I can not help this and life is short... I then come to the same conclusion as Annemarie. Life will take it's course. And I try to spend my energy on those things I actually can change.
Been reading the Dalai Lama lately... so helpful!

:yes:

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
We are constrained to live within the moral and ethical imperatives model we have been given and we have created from what we have been given.

My job isn't to, according to my own ethical system, go out and make people change by any mean, force or guile. It's to be the model of my ethical system and to thereby offer, not force, concepts of ethics on the world's people who I come in contact with.

This way I can enjoy the company of people that differ from me even if they buffet me with their own system of beliefs about what is and isn't moral and ethical.

For those of us where this is not so, where we believe we are right and that both implies we must, and compels us to, make them change we are the agents of war, isolation, pain and loneliness - mostly our own.

I write my story and you write yours.

I think at the end, with my last breath, while I will still not have completely resolved a system of ethics I will have lived a life of honor. So will those I have disagreed with, I think. At least those that do not try forcing me to follow their story and not my own. And I think about the story of other lives than human.

Sometimes Bonnie, as I look at her when she has run and is so excited and alive, makes me think of end of life. She and a pregnant doe came almost nose to nose today when Bonnie ran and slid to a stop to wonder at the doe. I wonder about her life, all of it and it's end too.

Who will have her, where she will be, if she'll be loved and cherished as she is now and if her end comes with care and kindness, and will she remember the old man that shared breath with her and her mother when she was a baby.

"Sharing Breath"

Image

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~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:11 pm 
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gosh Don, I don't know what to say... live's short and we should cherish every day, that's for sure. But I am sure you and your ladies have many years ahead together!!! :cheers:

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