27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Myth of the Solitary Villain

The more sophisticated and powerful a technology, the more people are needed to weaponize it. And the more people needed to weaponize it, the more societal controls work to defuse, or soften, or prevent harm from happening. I add one additional thought. Even if you had a budget to hire a team of scientists whose job it was to develop a species-extinguishing bio weapon, or to take down the internet to zero, you probably still couldn’t do it. That’s because hundreds of thousands of man-year...
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12 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Neurons Use Viruses to Share Information and Learn

When genes are activated, the instructions encoded within their DNA are first transcribed into a related molecule called RNA. Shepherd’s colleague Elissa Pastuzyn showed that the Arc shells can enclose RNA and move it from one neuron to another. And that’s basically what retroviruses do—they use protein shells to protect their own RNA as it moves between cells in a host. So our neurons use a repurposed viral gene to transmit genetic information between each other in an oddly virus-like...
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
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27 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Star Trek: The Motion Picture as a Meditation on Cybernetics

Consider for a moment just how many times Star Trek: The Motion Picture lingers upon the important act of a man entering -- or connecting to -- a machine. We watch Kirk's shuttle pod "dock" with Enterprise after a long, lingering examination of the ship. We see Spock, in a thruster suit, "penetrate" -- in his words, "the orifice" leading to the next interior "chamber" of V'Ger. This terminology sounds very biological, doesn't it? Consider that Spock next mentally-joins with V'Ger, utilizing a...
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Intelligent Plant Life

On certain small planets, drenched with light and heat from a near or a great sun, evolution took a very different course from that with which we are familiar. The vegetable and animal functions were not separated into distinct organic types. Every organism was at once animal and vegetable. Many species, of course, developed predatory habits, and special organs of offense, such as muscular boughs as strong as pythons for constriction, or talons, horns, and formidable serrated pincers. In the...
Folksonomies: otherness alien other
Folksonomies: otherness alien other
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18 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Falacy of Seeking Too Much Purpose in Evolutionary Adapta...

Darwin’s concept of evolution is centered on natural selection, or survival of the fittest [1]. Although Darwin did realize that organisms possess structures and even entire organs that might not have an extant function, as is the case of rudiments [2], on the whole, selectionist thinking has heavily dominated the biological literature ever since. In its extreme but not uncommon form, the selectionist, or adaptationist, paradigm perceives every trait as an adaptation. Under this view of bio...
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Vernadsky vs Chardin on the Biosphere-Noosphere

Although the ages of Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) and Vernadsky (1863-1945) differed, they were at the comparable level of scientific maturity concerning the growth of their biosphere — noosphere theories. Vernadsky first presented his views on the biosphere systematically when he published The Biosphere 2in 1926, although he began using the term biosphere much earlier (1911). In his Essays on Geochemistry ³, lectures written in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) in 1921, Vernadsky used both ...
Folksonomies: noosphere biosphere
Folksonomies: noosphere biosphere
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