Saturday, January 5, 2013

Intro to Synthetic Biology

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post

Professor Jamie Davies walks an audience through the coming synthetic biology revolution. Comparing it to the personal computer revolution of the '70s and '80s, Professor Davies explains the lessons learned and how they can be applied to developing an open and constructive use of synthetic biology.

What is synthetic biology (video)? It is the next step in genetic engineering - not simply copying and pasting genetic code from one life form to another, but creating entirely new genetic sequences, and thus entirely new life forms. Already, competitions like MIT's iGEM, pit universities and even high schools against one another as they develop new forms of synthetic biology using "biobricks" - open source, standardized components that can be interchanged in the designing of a synthetic life form just as engineers use standardized parts to construct machines and buildings today.  

Examples of life forms created include bacteria that change color in the presence of toxins in the environment, and yeasts that are transformed into microscopic factories producing medicine.

The implications go further still - with the ability to read a human genome and understand, and as synthetic biology matures, it may be possible in the future to read one's genetic code, correct the errors that accumulate over time, and create repaired code that is reintroduced into the body via gene therapy. This would mitigate degenerative conditions stemming from aging, and all the diseases such deterioration invites, including cancers.

Professor Davies most important talking point however, centers on the DIYbio movement and how regular people are actively participating in this revolution - and how such participation is essential in keeping this technology free and available to all. He points out local DIYbio groups springing up around the world and how amateurs and professionals alike are teaming up to advance this new field of study. He surmises that the great interest in synthetic biology is the ability to actually build things (life forms in this case).

While there are threats of people abusing this technology, just as is the case with any other form of technology - just like with information technology and computing, the more people that are involved and actively participating and the more decentralized the infrastructure is, the greater our ability collectively is at defending against abuses. The greatest danger is if this technology remains in the hands of large institutions, corporations, and tangled up in a web of contrived "intellectual property" claims.

Ultimately, one walks away from Professor Davies' talk with a sense of optimism, but also with a call for action. If we are to harness the full potential of this technology, we will have to roll up our sleeves and get involved. If we fail to do this, the technology will be patented, black-boxed, copyrighted, and monopolized. The fear and real dangers produced by genetic engineering today stems from the fact that immensely corrupt, centralized corporations monopolize the technology and willfully and consistently abuse it to expand profits and control over the very substance of life. The emerging field of DIYbio and synthetic biology gives us a chance to level the playing field and put both the technology and its benefits where they belong - in the people's hands.

Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.


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Anonymous said...

There is definitely reason to be optimistic. People also need to realize that this technology is out of the bottle, so there is no way it's going back. But it is a bit naive to think that corporations and governments won't get their grimy paws on this and try to hoard it. We definitely need to get active on this.

Anonymous said...

Listen---people could have always been bred, and frequently have been. It's not news and it isn't good news. There's no way to detach such thinking from the hands of evil men: it is their thinking and you can't simply adopt it. You're ripe for slaughter when someone starts talking about this stuff. You have a goat, a lamb, and a sheep; and you have a slaughter house cooking up blood and guts.

Eat healthy. Get serious about it. Get concerned about who's poisoning you and why. The answer to female hormone, and cancer causing agent in the cereal is not "you need a new genetic make-up." This is laughable and absurd. Tony Cartalucci used to contribute interesting and insightful work. But I guess anyone can be "got to."

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous January 5, 2013 7:33 AM - "There's no way to detach such thinking from the hands of evil men: it is their thinking and you can't simply adopt it."

I don't get it, most of the scientists developing stuff like this are doing it because they truly believe in building a better world where diseases and ailments and genetic weaknesses can be almost completely eliminated to create a healthier, stronger and happier society.

As Tony points out very well in this article the technology itself is not a bad thing, it is the risk of it being monopolized and controlled by the major corporations that is dangerous, since many of those corporations produce things that make being healthy very difficult.

There is nothing "evil" about such technology, ignoring or dismissing this technology and thus allowing it to be monopolized by the corporations is what is "evil".

As the saying goes "all it takes for evil to flourish..."

Embrace the technology, understand that the way our society is "progressing" today it is inevitable, so get involved yourself and help prevent it from becoming a corporate weapon to be used against the "little guys"(by only allowing the wealthy expensive access to it).


Anonymous said...

#2 - "you need a new genetic make-up." Who said that? You said that - because you have no clue what this technology is about - or what was written in the article. The article suggests you get educated, you should take that suggestion seriously.

Nemetron 2000 said...

The question is, do the pro's outweigh the con's?

Everyone was praising the miracle of atomic energy and how it would herald in a new era of human existence. - "We would go to the moon on atomic powered rockets." They said. "We'd fly to work in atomic powered cars." They also said. - But, as we have seen, and are still seeing, and will probably see a whole lot more, the con's of atomic energy have thus far definitely outweighed the pro's.

I can easily imagine scenarios on par with a science fiction horror movie, or something similar to the plot from the game "Bioshock", that could arise from the mishandling or overaggressive use of this type of technology.

Ultimately, The ONLY way to keep "evil" people from misusing this technology is to get rid of "evil" people, and I have yet to hear a good solid argument on how to accomplish that.

Kevin Patrick Wright said...

Man has become so damn arrogant to think that he can become "God"-like. Creation is much more complicated than just re-arranging pieces of a puzzle to create a "new" image. There is much more to "life" than just the sum of its parts. There are specific frequencies, cycles, chemical balances, stimulus/response mechanisms and more that respond NATURALLY to their given environment, etc. To think for one nano-second that man could "improve" upon this natural balance is so blatantly repulsive to common sense.

WHY, oh why, can we not focus on MAXIMIZING and exploiting the existing and natural symbiotic relationships that have already been perfectly created for us??? You may ask... Well, if natural things are so "perfect", how come people are so sick? Good question, if you are a moron!!! We live in a toxic cesspool, eat toxic waste, and dump toxic pollution into our air, water, soil, and are currently working on polluting space and other planets; unlike those "heathen" natives who built "unexplainable" massive structures, developed complex mathematics, mapped the stars/heavens for guiding them through time/events/seasons, managed livestock and planted food ORGANICALLY, actually "HEALED" the sick, instead of "doctoring" them with man-made toxins, and more "barbaric" ideas that we "modern" man can no longer fathom as logical. And you still trust the "experts" in white jackets with your future???

Mankind has not "evolved" or "progressed" AT ALL in the last two-thousand plus years; we have actually digressed into an even more hedonistic, barbaric, and self-consuming 'culture' (parasitic & viral, but no longer "bio"-degradable). Countless civilizations have come and gone, many or most of them lived at peace and were harmonious with their environment. Many were, by some standards (including mine), far more advanced technologically, medically, socially, and spiritually than "modern" man.

FIRST, DO NO HARM!!! Instead of trying to work with what they were given, "modern" man has constantly looked for simpler and cheaper means of controlling the masses for their own devious agendas. The "bottom dollar" dictates the rules of the "game." PROFIT + CONTROL = POWER, and in a corrupt and tyrannical system, might is right!

With "modern" technology, mankind has been forced to accept the bad with the "good." We have completely poisoned our ecosystem, our bodies, our minds, and our symbiotic/holistic relationship with nature as a whole. It is REVERSIBLE & REPAIRABLE, if we apply holistic approaches. Nature will reverse man's arrogance, given time and with the application of common sense. For example, Monsanto GMO and/or "terminator" seeds (such as potatoes), can lose their BAD GENES after several generations = nature can repair "defects" that serve no obvious function to the natural order.

Human "diseases" (which are actually deficiencies), can "skip" generations. Some studies/research have suggested that this is more likely a response to the same conditions, environment, and/or lifestyle as other family members or close contacts. Seems logical, does it not?

This could quickly spiral out of control if "junior" is able to "conjure up" whatever creature befits his imagination (in his parents basement). Although, I would be more worried about what the Military Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, MEGA-CORPORATIONS, Banksters, etc. would "conjure up." We have to focus on "localizing" instead of "globalizing" everything. It's ass-backwards to do otherwise. Small, self-sustaining communities don't need a WORLD GOVERNMENT to dictate their daily lives. The "New World Order" is simply... NOT SUSTAINABLE!!!


That Homeless "Crazy" guy


Anonymous said...

Pretty much the only way to do that would be to adopt an occultist perspective of the universe, doing away with the religious "good" vs "evil" view of the world.

Calling people "evil" just hardens them against those trying to stop them from doing what they deem to be "immoral" things - typical polarization.

You may as well tell someone you think they are a demon spawn from hell that destroys everything they touch, and then ask them nicely to please help you in some way.

Most likely all you'll get is a flip of the bird or "f%#$ off!" or some such thing, and they'll become even less likely to actually change their ways.

"Good" and "Evil" are symbolic concepts derived from ancient mythology and the events that inspired the mythologies.

In the real world there is no "evil", just people doing things some other people may disagree with, usually for reasons that make perfect sense to the person doing it but are not understood at all by those who oppose it.

Christianity did attempt to impose a uniform moral code on people but that hasn't worked so well, and in many ways those "moral codes" are very much immoral to many people's perspectives.

Unless you can come up with a way for every person in the world to agree to a single moral code of action and have the exact same views of what is "good" or "bad" you won't be able to do away with "evil" people.

As it is now most of those doing what people here consider to be "evil" do not see their actions as being bad or immoral, certainly not "evil".

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. One man's "good" is another man's "evil". And so on.

Those who call for doing away with "evil" are in fact the worst supporters of tyranny, demanding that every person adopt THEIR ways of thinking and thus their moral codes.

Making everyone think the same way is one of the reasons I oppose this brainwashing system, yet many who oppose that system want to do the exact same thing to an even greater extent.

Bah, people will never stop wanting everyone else to think and believe the same way they do, even I can't escape that. But at least I don't try to force it on other people, I just give them the option.

These occultists have tried very hard to get people to "see the Light", especially through the music industry but still most are oblivious to what they actually stand for.

Perfect examples would be 4 songs from the band R.E.M - "The Great Beyond"; "Losing My Religion"; "Shiny Happy People"; and "Stand".

The video for "Stand" is particularly blatant in trying to show the symbolism.

The occultists promote many different views and spiritual belief's while trying to get people to see the Truth behind them, yet many of those who oppose them and say they are "tyrants" want to impose a uniform spiritual belief system based on what they themselves believe in.

Who are supposed to be the "evil" tyrants again?

I may disagree with what they do on a personal level and consider it "immoral" in many ways, but just because I think that way doesn't mean those who think differently are "evil".

"If you are confused, check with the sun..."


Anonymous said...

Well written yet again, Tony.
A discipline I was totally unaware of yet the possibilities are enormous. It takes someone of Mr Cartalucci's talent to make us all aware of current and cutting edge efforts, Thankyou.
HOWEVER... making the analogy of emerging computer advances in the 70's belies one small difference, a computer can be turned off!
Monsanto et al have shown us that ill conceived, unfounded experiments with DNA have produced monsters that the full ramifications of are as yet unrealised.
Symbiotic destructions, poisoning of intended consumers, financial and emotional fallout are all documented but have not reached a head yet. For what? Some extra dollars in my pocket not yours? Fuck the grandkids? Three eyes for everyone?
I apologise for my vehemence but this needs to be reigned in.
Sure it's ok to poison or blow oneself up testing some ground breaking science but when you take out the neighbors as well, things start to get heated.
If all this technology is unproven then may I suggest that proponents use some already proven technology build themselves a rocket and conduct this research where there are less variables... the moon springs to mind!!
I concur with other posters in saying that we aint god yet!

Anonymous said...

Jonny your rationalization of good/evil reads very sociopathic. I'm pretty sure every person that has ever done harm to someone else perceived their actions as being "justifiable" in some way, but their PERSPECTIVE has no dominion over our shared reality. I can believe pigs have wings and fly, of that water burns and fire is cold as ice, but would my beliefs change reality?

Want a simple understanding of what good and evil are? Good is a manifestation of 'compatibility', the ability to work within the NATURAL means and limitations allotted. Evil is the opposite of that. Evil is the setting of new limitations that are beyond that which are NATURALLY available; which will ultimately create unachievable/unsustainable goals (i.e. paying off the debt created from a debt based currency model), or the the setting of new limitations that restrict access to the NATURAL limitations allotted (example: the criminalization of marijuana use).

With this understanding one can see that the concept of government can ONLY be an evil one (varying degrees, yes, but 'evil' none the less). Governments either set goals for their citizens that exceed what is possible (i.e. "the war on terror"), or limit their citizens' access to what would very much be possible (a society not ruled by imaginary debt for example)

The concept of good and evil is not a matter of moral perspective. It's a matter of life and death.

Anonymous said...

"The concept of good and evil is not a matter of moral perspective. It's a matter of life and death."

Not really to my view, that is only from a religious perspective.

From a (certain) scientific perspective all life is "meaningless", so taking a life is not "immoral" or "evil" per say, just some people perceive it that way while others do not.

Everything in this world is about perceptions and perspectives, only some of those who can't see beyond their own perceptions can't grasp that.

And yes to my perspective killing people is wrong, but it only could be called "evil" if those doing the killing believed it to be wrong too and did it anyways, and enjoyed doing it because it was "wrong".

But those doing this don't consider it to be immoral because they are following a "cause" for the "greater good" of humanity.

Propaganda BS perhaps but they certainly believe in it.

Now someone like Charles Manson could be classified as "evil" as he clearly knew he was doing wrong and did it anyway, and enjoyed it immensely from the sounds of it.

If you think the globalists are that way you haven't done much objective research to find out what they actually believe in and why they are doing it all.

To their view killing some people now to bring an end to the ignorance that has had people killing each other by the millions for 2,000+ years is worth the price of those lives.

Is killing to bring an end to senseless killing really "evil"?

As I stated in that other post on the James Corbett Brzezinski video I still despise these murderous actions, but "evil" only exists in the minds of people indoctrinated by religion.

"Moral" and "immoral" exist, but again everyone's standards of morality differ.

But it's for that very reason that our disagreement on this matter will never be resolved.

You have your view on it and I respect it even if I don't agree with it, but I'll be maintaining my own views.

PS - I agree that government has some natural "immoral" aspects to it as it requires the sacrifice of individuals for the good of the greater society(in a perfect world), or the wealthy and powerful in our not-so-perfect world. But "evil"? Not to me obviously.

I completely support universalism aka "One World" as the globalists seek as well, but not so much "one world government" - unless it's a Jamahirya type system of direct socialistic democracy.

And certainly I don't support their means of achieving it, though I honestly haven't been able to come up with any other plans that would work to achieve such a goal myself.

I'm perfectly fine with people who want to say I'm "evil" for such views, I spent my childhood in a Christian community where the people who berated everyone else for being "evil" were pedophiles, wife-beaters, warmongers/supporters, drug dealers, slum lords(really bad ones) and con-men.

It's always easy to see "evil" in other people, not so much in yourself.

But now I'm just rambling off, sorry.


Anonymous said...

Just to be clear I am biased in this matter to some extent due to falling very badly for a woman who turned out to be "one of them"(Illuminati).

But the main reason I fell for her as hard as I did(before knowing what she was) was because she was the first person I've dealt with face-to-face(that is not an activist) who genuinely seemed to care when I went into rants about how screwed up humanity has become.

And she genuinely seems to love children(not in a perverted way).

Anytime someone refers to these people as "evil" she comes into my mind, and the look in her eyes in response to a few of my comments, and it's just not possible for her to be "evil" as such.

I have spent a lot of time wondering how she manages to go along with this all though given that she cares and she loves children(since millions of kids are being massacred by them), but clearly she does believe it is for the "greater good".

Or she's just afraid for her own life, but that doesn't really seem to be the case from what I've seen and heard.

Combined with actually researching their own stated views in the wide range of occult literature available to the public it becomes clear that these are not callous, "evil" people hell bent on doing "evil" for the sake of "evil" as many seem to believe.

Such a viewpoint is naive and uneducated, the result of religious indoctrination and the desire to NOT try to understand why they do what they do.

As I've stated many times before every strategist in history(like Sun Tzu) has pointed out that if you fail to understand your enemy you are doomed to lose the fight.

Clearly many or most in the activist movement today have been so indoctrinated with the "evil" false paradigm that they are too afraid to even try to understand them(they may go to hell for it) and as such they stand no chance of defeating them.

They often play right into their hands due to their failure to understand the enemy, assisting them in their objectives.

When that "good" vs "evil" false paradigm makes you oblivious to the fact you are actually helping the people you are trying to fight then it becomes downright laughable.

If that makes me a sociopath by some people's standards then so be it, at least I know who the "enemy" is, and why they are an enemy.

If I assist them in any way through my postings/rants at least it's by choice, not through accidental ignorance.


FunCoTech said...

Start by developing an objective (biologically based) means of detecting the psychopaths hiding among us.
Then the problem is what to DO with them...
But for a start they Have to be publicly identified and of course excluded from any position of authority, particularly in Government.

FunCoTech said...

I must disagree Jonny, psychopaths are biologically incapable of any form of remorse. Their ruthlessness often leads them to positions of power in Government, Military and big Business. In those positions they cause most of the great evils in the world.
A society with zero psychopaths would be just like you describe - I hope to live in one someday - but for now we Must recognise the existence of these "people"

P.s. Please don't tell me they can be cured because they cannot, simple scientific fact.

Anonymous said...

@FunCoTech - I agree that mental imbalances and other illnesses that lead to psychopathic behaviour are difficult or impossible to "cure", and there are plenty of them in the world today.

But they exist in every aspect of society including in the various religious communities, not just in these occult societies.

And it would be very much wrong to suggest that every occultist is a psychopath, many truly believe in the "greater good" cause that they are fighting for.

For many years I bitterly opposed these people and developed a heavy bias against them, believing as many here do that they are all psychopaths.

But first-hand experience with a few of them destroyed that notion pretty quickly.

But I absolutely agree it would be great to have a society free of psychopaths, but ironically to do that would pretty much require genetic engineering to "weed out" the mental illnesses that cause it.

But many around here due to their religious beliefs do not like that "messing with nature/God's creation", so those who want no psychopaths also want to prevent such a thing from actually happening.

That only leaves the option of killing them all to get rid of them, and that to me is just as close to "evil" as what the occultists are doing today - kill the people you don't want around anymore.

In my view it's psychotic to allow religious beliefs to pervert your morality so much as to be able to support hurting and/or killing anyone that you deem to be "evil".

If you really want to do away with all psychopaths and have a truly peaceful society then we'd need to do away with all organized religions too, not just these cults.


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