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Everything posted by Helix

  1. Working for the government....but that isn't high paying (and it's degrading). Maybe working as a consultant for a biotech firm?
  2. When I think about a computer I think of a new media of communication and another nail in the coffin of censorship.
  3. That's a bit opptimistic. What source claims we can "know everything about the brain" in 20 years? We will definitely know volumes more than we do now, but knowing everything?
  4. Actually, we haven't had an offical war since WWII. Korea was a "police action" and I think Vietnam also had some sort of euphenism as well. Also, I agree with Bascule in that I'll go with the ACLU's choice. I won't blindly trust them, but on matters of law I think they have some authority.
  5. I agree that research in memory and the neural processes associated etc, will really leap forward in the coming half-a-century. But I think the change will sort of be in the opposite direction; I belive research will focus on how to remove memories. People with PTSD especially could benefit from therapies that remove or deaden memories. This is being researched now, and there was a New Scientist article about it a few months ago. Here's a link (subscription needed but at least you can see it's there): http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/mg18825281.200
  6. I wish I had time for anything....ahh sleep how I miss thee
  7. That's a good way of putting it. For all the memorization it takes to become a scientist, and to become a good one at that, blind luck and determination forged many of the discoveries we see today.
  8. Rather, the pinched nerves send the info to the brain where it is "felt".
  9. Scientists can look to nature and see what are different animal behaviors and then determine if they have medical value. So, for example, there's a pain killer (Prialt) that uses a compund found in a cone-snail. The snail uses this venom to immobilize its victim before eating it. Scientists who wanted to find a natural pain-killing compund looked, logically, to animals like this rather than a deer or goat.
  10. Then I'd take him on the Letterman show. What if every world leader was turned into a rock in 10 seconds?
  11. Helix

    Bacteria Colony

    Yeah it looks like your petri dish was contaminated by some type of mold. If you prepare another dish, try to make sure you wear gloves, don't put the dish plates on a table etc. That is a nice mold colony though, why don't you examine that while you have it?
  12. An American microbiologist, Sol Spiegelman, created the smallest possible replicating organism. He did this by taking a small virus, Qb, and giving it replicase so it could replicate. Then he added nucleotides and let it start to slowly mutate. Eventually it went from its original size, 4,500 base pairs, to 220. This little "monster" could replicate extremely fast due to its size and was the smallest organism while it was "alive." I, personally, doubt the validity of the story. 220 base pairs? That would only be enough for replicase. What about RNA polymerase or other vital proteins? In any case I think it's an interesting idea. But this all raises the question of what is the smallest organism (in theory). So then, what is the smallest theoretical organism, or does anyone think the Spiegelman account is true? (In case you want to read an account of the story: Spiegelman's Monster)
  13. DNA can explain complex life; humans have far more complex genes than C. elegans. The reason we are more advanced than white cells, even though we share DNA, is because we are trillions of cellls put together with varying genes being expressed. White cells are one type of single cell.
  14. All cells have the whole genome. Your arguement could be used on any cell. The reason why a muscle cell is different than, say, a neuron is because different genes are expressed.
  15. You're right Phi, people's motivation would lay soley on finding batteries or getting electricity for their next "high". Also, what are the long term effects of a near-constant stream of electricity on the brain? I'd imagine that might corrupt the neuron impulses.
  16. Picking up from what Dak said, anti-virals do exist and are custom made for each virus. But they also might have to be made for each strain if they are unique enough. Even then, viral evolution is such that an anti-viral wouldn't be that effective for long. Viruses are very very messy when the transcribe their RNA and so a lot of mutation creep in, speeding up evolution.
  17. I'm all for personal freedom and orgasms for all --but this has some social problems. First off, this will quickly become the most addicting drug known to man. The brain likes sexual feelings, because that leads to more people and hence survival of the species, so it will program us to like this Button. So people will do anything they can to keep the euphoria going; and what happens when the batterys die? They'll do anything they can to get batteries and will fight for them with other addicts. It'll be a problem. Also, they're motivation will be zero and will be completely unproductive at work - if they show up at all.
  18. then I would befriend him/her/it and sail the seven seas pilfering from the King. What if Ebola could dance?
  19. There have been many innovations in neuroscience lately, it seems as if the brain can't hold its secrets from us for long. From the first brain prosthesis:
  20. Then we all would have to read about 50 more books for school (archaic, boring books, not the good variety). What if the hokey-pokey isn't what it's all about?
  21. then I would be in a cliche movie. what if we received a radio signal from outerspace....of an alien sitcom?
  22. Helix

    The Truman Show

    I highly doubt a corporation could adopt a child, who would be it's legal guardian? And if they were to actually do so (weird...imagine Enron changing diapers...) there are child abuse laws barring them from puttin the child at the center of a twisted reality show.
  23. This is more responding to the OP than what others have said. Like others have said, congratulations on overcoming your problem; it's very hard to break an addiction because it becomes ingrained in your brain. That's the big issue with trying to finesse the neurotransmitters; addiction worms its way into other parts of the brain. Biochemically, the problem is the "conflict" issue" Dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved with addiction, is involved in a few other neurologic pathways, like the Tuberoinfundibular pathway (controlling maturity and hormones) and the Nigrostriatal pathway (involved with motor functions). So, even if you were able to inhibit dopamine, a pretty formidable task, you would have the problem of severely hampering the other dopamine-focused pathways. The other aspect is that when your brain believes something is "beneficial" to your health it will send impulses to the memory section of the brain telling it to remember the chain of events that leads to that action. In the motor control area, a similar message is sent that allows it to preform what is remembered. So, it will be very hard to get rid of this ingrained response. It's near impossible to get rid of it medically so you would have to physically over-ride it by repeatedly not taking the drug and telling your body "See? I'm not taking this drug and I'm still healthy. So stfu and get rid of that response."
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