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Everything posted by zyncod

  1. That is exactly what I meant by you people. Primarily, I meant hotcomm. And I expect affirmative action to die, too - when equality is achieved. Because right now, you have people that act like hotcomm do and think that nearly every black person is a "gangsta." And many of these people don't even have the courage to post their beliefs on an anonymous forum aside: I doubt that hotcomm has the sufficient courage of his convictions to post his real name and workplace. I'll do it if you will, hotcomm. Anyway, we effectively have a racial second class of citizens perpetuated by people that believe these types of things. We need to counter this. We need people to see blacks, Hispanics, women, etc, acting capably in positions of power. And we still have racists/sexists holding them back - people that naturally think that a black person is a thief or not as capable as a white person. Really, one generation is all we need to show people that their stereotypes are wrong. And people are rational - I know from experience that people's perceptions of gay people as evil change radically once they actually get to know a gay person. Affirmative action has minimal impact on how people live their lives. It's not like any competent white person has been forced to live off welfare because of affirmative action. But, systemically, that is what racism is doing to black people. Minimal representation in academia and the workplace will do a lot to change that. As far as "white guilt" goes (and, by the way, not like it matters at all, but I'm white), it is valid. Because unlike the Xans or the Native Americans, white people are still oppressing non-white people in America. And the only reason they're able to do that is because their ancestors raped, murdered, and stole. If the oppression was over and done with, "white guilt" would be invalid. Even if you just moved from a dirt farm in Poland, where none of your ancestors even saw a black person for the past 1000 years, you're still guilty of being white. Because being white has concrete benefits that have nothing to do with your intelligence or abilities. And that isn't fair. Again, affirmative action on its face isn't fair either, but its impact on white people is very minimal whereas its potential impact for minorities is great. And hotcomm, most of what you said is so vile as to defy comment, but I sincerely hope karma exists. Because you deserve to see what's like to always be denied the benefit of the doubt. Because constantly being treated like a criminal is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
  2. Going back to the point of me not understanding a whole lot about banana propagation, though - if banana bunches were derived from single cells in meristematic tissue, asexual selection by cutting might actually be more efficient. Because you would have tens to hundreds of "generations" per banana plant. Without the backwards steps that sexual reproduction inherently introduces.
  3. What the heck happened to this place? How has a thread like this been able to perpetuate itself for so long? You know why "white guilt" is valid? Because nobody starts at zero in this world. Yes, everybody might be created equal, but most people here were created white, male Americans. And yeah, that's not equal. Just look at hotcomm's comment for an example of why that's true: Do you honestly believe that somebody that says something like this is going to treat a black person exactly the same as a white person? (and for your information, hotcomm, let's see how you act when every white person on the subway grabs up their purses/bags when you get on - day after day after day-, even if you're coming from a stock broker job in a suit - I've seen it happen literally hundreds of times). The fact is, affirmative action is a drop in the pond. And it's mostly in academics - not where it truly matters, in the job market. As probably the only person here who can honestly say I lost a job due to affirmative action (on very good authority), I have the most standing to pass judgment on it. And yet I still say that it does not go far enough. Unless you're willing to go live as a farmer in Namibia, you're benefiting from how your ancestors raped, stole, and killed. And to arbitrarily decide that you're being fair now, is (excuse the language) complete and utter bullshit. So go ahead, have your "reverse affirmative action" scholarships. By your complete insensitivity to what has happened in the past 60 years in this country, you're just showing that you would have been behind Jim Crow laws (or if you want to go back further...). It's going to be so f'ing satisfying to watch what happens in the future. Because, y'know what? You people always lose. Always. And then you pretend you were behind Rosa Parks, or Frederick Douglass, or Martin Luther King. And we get to watch you die a little inside. And it's great. But you always have a little bit more hate left to give.
  4. And (not knowing a whole lot about banana propagation), it is a mistake to think that sexual reproduction is the only way to selectively breed something. Bacteria can evolve antibiotic resistance (selective breeding) without any sexual reproduction. If you can reproduce a plant by cuttings, then you can do selective breeding without any sex - you just continue to pick the plants with the best bananas to propagate.
  5. Well, I know that silver nitrate is an antimicrobial agent, because we used to use it to sterilize things that we couldn't heat in my old lab, where we worked on algae. Ethanol was another option - but this procedure was such a pain in the ass anyway that waiting around for the ethanol to sterilize the instruments would have made it horrible (basically, the procedure when you have a contaminated algal culture is to pick out single algae cells using a stretched-out pipette and drag them through the agar to knock off any bacteria stuck to them - and you can't heat the pipettes because even a match would destroy the stretched-out tip that it took you 30 minutes to make the right way). The silver ions likely covalently bond with various proteins/lipids/cell wall components on the bacteria. For whatever reason, it's less toxic for eukaryotes. Anyway... I think in clinical situations, silver is mainly used as a salt with sulfa drugs. The sulfa drugs are the main active agents - the silver is just there as a little bonus. But, because the silver is still toxic to eukaryotic cells, silver/sulfa drugs are not used systemically.
  6. http://www.amazon.com/MEAN-NOT-LAZY-STUPID-CRAZY/dp/0684815311
  7. You know, it's not a real "riddle" if you have to look things up.
  8. Also, factor VII needs to be glycosylated (sugars linked to it), among other things, in order to be active. Therefore, mammalian cells are the expression systems of choice since the glycosylation signals will be more likely to be recognized.
  9. How many of these people do you think exist in a government database? 70%? 50%? 20%? I'm betting on the last one or below. The reason that 10m illegal aliens live in this country is that there is no pressing need to deport them.
  10. Except that there are many, many people out there that do think that teen sex is irresponsible in and of itself. So they try to ban things like Plan B, the HPV vaccine, and abortions. But if push came to shove, they would rather their daughter took Plan B than an abortion than died in an alley with a coathanger. And they would sure as hell wish that they had given their good little Christian girl a vaccine at age 12 than she dies at age 50 from a cancer that she got from a moments' indiscretion (or her husbands' indiscretion). What we really need is a heterosexually transmitted STD that primarily affects males. Then we might actually see a push toward responsible sexual policy and education. Because all of our politicians would have it.
  11. Well, as much time as this debate has wasted, it has at least served to make one thing clear. A fertilized chicken egg is not in any way the same thing as a full grown chicken. Do we all see the subtext?
  12. Or ethanol. It evaporates quicker and is not so toxic. I would worry about bleach in a device designed to circulate air, as bleach is pretty unpleasant to inhale.
  13. Well, obviously you've not been to college yet. Otherwise you'd have seen the staple of hi-liter fluid mixed with water in a frosted Absolut bottle. Not non-toxic though. You're not going to find a fluorophore which is good to drink. I'd stick with hi-liters - there are better substances, but they're either very toxic (eg, EtBr) or expensive as hell (eg, phycoerythrin).
  14. Most PhD programs that I got into (Wash U, Yale, Berkeley, etc.) will allow you the full option of transferring into a lab that interests you. Especially multidisciplinary programs. As someone who's also interested in viruses, I would say to pick the places with the maximum number of PIs doing things that interest you. Because: 1. Some PI's are going to be asses. It's a fact of life. You don't want to tie your grad career to one specific person. 2. You honestly do not yet know what you want to do. Unless you're one of the lucky 1/1000 who moves from grad school directly to a faculty position, or industry is what interests you (blecch), you still have time to explore your options even as a postdoc. It's actually good that you have a range of career interests. Most of the other interviewees that I met were interested in doing something solely relegated to what they had done volunteering in undergrad labs. As somebody who has worked with plants, then in immunology, and has decided that I want to do something not entirely related to either of them, I have to say that people are far more impressed by a willingness to explore other options than being shoehorned into a career when you're 19-20.
  15. So, apparently from the various sources (NY Times, Han's Deposition), it appears that some fairly serious crimes (assisting suicide, reckless endangerment - three felony counts) are being charged almost solely on the statements of the "perpetrator"- for those of you that are entirely unaware of the story, here's how the general understanding goes at the moment: 1. Victor Han, who was having an extramarital affair, drove to Bear Mountain with his wife and 2 children, ages 3 and 5. 2. Victor Han knew, and told the police a fact that nobody else seems to be aware of, that his wife was suicidal. 3. Victor's statements seem to indicate that he thought his wife was not suicidal at the moment that he stopped on a road above the Bear Mountain Bridge, ostensibly to take a picture. 4. Victor left the car (after putting it in park, according to him), with his wife and children still inside. 5. The car rolled down a cliff, killing his wife, while the two children survived. My personal connection to the story is that I used to run cross-country races at Bear Mountain, and actually do remember the exact spot the car went over. It is, actually, one of the few naturally beautiful places in the NY suburb area. I'm just wondering what other people think - and you actually probably will need to do more research than what I provided to get the full idea of what happened.
  16. There is a slight increase in the chances of anal cancer, among others. HPV alters the cell cycle in cells that it infects, so there is always the chance that it could lead to a neoplasm, but (depending on the serotype), males don't really have to worry - I think that the chances are about equal to that of a plantar wart leading to cancer.
  17. You know, the best "solution" is to go ask a postdoc. So what if they think you're an idiot - they will anyway.
  18. Well, if you IP with a monoclonal, then you've already bound up your mAb's binding site. You can IP and blot with a poly, though.
  19. From Science's submission policies The fact is, most of the information that gets out into the media early is not going to be that good anyway, because the authors are compromising their chances to publish in a good journal. The last autism-vaccine "news" is an example of this, where the news story was apparently based on a poster presented at a conference. Not even a talk, a poster. If it's important enough to warrant a news story, it'll be published in a respectable journal before it gets out to the media. Otherwise, the news story is not worth the paper it's printed on.
  20. Well, scicop, you live in NY. Just visit the Met if you want to see multiple examples of how small people were in times gone by.
  21. So is Michael boycotting money - that would show those Bible-thumpers a thing or two! Seriously, we have so much to deal with in terms of how retarded a worldview Judeo-christianity is (and I meant that literally, not in the pejorative sense) - reproductive rights, gay rights, et cetera, et cetera - that this lawsuit was an utter waste of time. Plus, it all depends on who "we" means. If all the currency designers were Zoroastrians, I would have no problem in a quarter saying "In Mazda We Trust" (I had a Mazda 323 - it was awesome )
  22. Or God plucked the baculum out of Adam. I wonder if the fundamentalists are going to be arguing for this "alternate interpretation" to be taught in public schools? Or are they going to persist with their idea that we're all as smooth as a Barbie doll down there until we get married?
  23. Yeah, it sucks, doesn't it? The American Pax Romana lasted 11 years.
  24. From Mankind Quarterly 41 (1):43, the baculum was probably gotten rid of as a result of a longer route in women to the cervix mouth because of organ displacement due to bipedalism. That would mean longer penises would be required (although that would be somewhat mitigated by face-to-face mating rather than the rear mating found in other primates). If you need a longer penis, you're going to need a longer baculum (or a more erectile penis), and having a huge bone swinging around between your legs (as happy as it might make some of us), would not be good if you're going to be walking and running and jumping. Apparently, the ability to retract the penis did not go along with bipedalism, so we lost the baculum at some point. Also, there is the potential, since we can't withdraw our penis, that the display of a large engorged penis was subject to sexual selection. The article's actually kind of interesting, so I can PM it to anybody who doesn't have access.
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