web analytics

Ever thought of not having a baby instead?

By Mike Cunningham On February 3rd, 2015 at 10:35 am

Listening to the snivelling and swivelling contributors to the broadcasts and debates regarding ‘Three Person Baby’ proposals, and how terrible it would be if the Law was not changed to allow a couple whose genetic make-up gives their children a possibility of a mitochondrial disease or condition; I was struck by the miserable sentimentality spoken by the woman whose first child has this condition. “Oh, she won’t live for more than four years; so we must be able to have a baby who will not be struck down with this terrible condition!”

What a disgraceful, self-centred, outrageous proposition this is! If the do-gooders and the ‘science’ get their way, we shall be engineering a new person, not one who has the traits and genetic make-up of the parents, but something new, and something very sinister; because we just do not know what the outcome will be.

The Westminster MP’s should say a very firm ‘NO’, and the parents, or would-be parents who discover that any children may be afflicted should be firmly told that they either attempt to have a child in the normal, unscientific way, and love the outcome; or adopt, or go without!

 

Frankenstein Salmon

By Mike Cunningham On August 6th, 2014 at 9:34 am

 

My headline is not, unfortunately, a coded attack on Scotland’s mouthy First Minister and his compound delusions of grandeur regarding his grand vision(s) for Independence for his small Country; more famous for hairy knees and/or whisky than common sense political thought. But it is a commentary upon a political decision, made mainly by politicians in a complicated entanglement with big business, and crop bio-engineering in particular. I am referring to the decision, made against some 99% of public opinion, to allow small-scale trials of a ‘false flax’ plant which has been genetically-modified to produce an oil similar to Omega-3, an oil found only in certain types of fish. These scientists, who are of course heavily subsidised by the big GM companies, state that this modified plant, because it now will produce a fish-oil, should and would be fed to farmed salmon to make them healthier, with a higher rate of Omega-3 within their flesh, which would make it a healthier product for people to purchase.

We are assured that everything has been thought through; everything has and will be tested to the ultimate degree, there will be no cover-ups, all will be out in the open, there is absolutely nothing for the sceptical public to worry about.

S’funny, really; that is just what was said when this drug was placed on the pharmacy market-shelf  as firstly a sedative with no side-effects whatsoever, then as the wonder-drug for women who were suffering from pregnancy morning sickness, and let us remember what happened with that little episode!

athal1athal2

athal3

 

 

So nothing to worry about with GM foods, or scientifically modified crops then?

Which does pose the question why the entire shindig is being produced behind ten-foot high barbed wire fences, and protected by guards with alsatian attack-dogs?

 

Just change the ‘battery pack’

By Mike Cunningham On June 28th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

She compared the new techniques to replacing a defective ‘battery pack’ in a cell that would virtually eliminate the chance of a severe disease in the child.

She said: ‘Scientists have developed ground-breaking new procedures which could stop these diseases being passed on, bringing hope to many families seeking to prevent their future children inheriting them.

 

‘She’ is of course the Government’s Chief Medical Officer ‘Dame’ Sally Davies, and she was talking about the latest ‘gee-whiz’ idea that is destined to remove the ‘tragedy’ of inherited disease from future generations through the Frankenstein process of swapping faulty DNA for normal DNA in the future mother’s egg.  This process would of course result in a child who has three parents’ DNA in their own make-up. A process which could not happen in anything else than a scientist’s laboratory and test-tube. A process which can only be described as unnatural in the extreme!

We see ourselves today as being on the edge of unreality, with the ability to shape a whole generation of children ‘in our own image’, and it is not, in my own humble opinion, a good place to be. It could be, and indeed is being argued, that if we can remove the very chance of certain deformities and life-threatening conditions before the child is born, we should do everything we can to remove any such chance. But we have to accept that we, as members of the ‘human race’, are the product of millions of years of evolution, and those thirty-odd strands of DNA which are the target of this obscene research have evolved over millennia, and they should remain unchanged; because how are we to know the end result of altering DNA strands which have been built over millennia?

We were told when abortion was first discussed in both Westminster and the salons of the ‘chattering classes’ in Islington and Notting Hill that the only reasons for the abortion of babies were to

be  of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family;, or grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or  the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated; or  the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

I do not believe that those reasons can be tabulated as against today, where we have virtual abortion on demand! It could well be argued that the only person to be considered is that of the future mother, and I for one lean towards that argument in reality, but, and it is a big ‘but’, the safeguards have been virtually diminished as to be non-existent.

We are told that the possibility of the so-called ‘designer baby’ is not possible, with all the checks and balances and assessments to be built in to the system, but we all know whjat happens to the ‘Checks and balances’ when politicians are involved, as well as when ‘Cheques’ are involved as well! The argument for this DNA swap to be undertaken is that the future children of a holder of such DNA will be free of the possibility of the illnesses or diseases or disabilities which may occur if the DNA had not been altered. I would counter with a simple argument of my own, one which is not heard as much as the many arguments opposing it; but which is just as valid: if the mother is found to have these ‘defective genes’, why not go down the route of not procreating children in the first place, and then there would be no further chance of a child with a mitochondrial disorder in the first place?

INCENTIVES MATTER

By Pete Moore On May 2nd, 2013 at 1:49 pm

What the public didn’t realize, he said, was that academic science, too, was becoming a business. “There are scarce resources, you need grants, you need money, there is competition,” he said. “Normal people go to the edge to get that money. Science is of course about discovery, about digging to discover the truth. But it is also communication, persuasion, marketing. I am a salesman.”

Comment by Diederik Stapel, a former – and fraudulant – Professor of Social Psychology, explaining why he made up the results of his experiments. It’s from a short piece by Rob Fisher at samizdata explaining why, in his words, all it takes for grand conspiracies to happen is for incentives to align.

HAWKING: HUMANS DOOMED “WITHOUT SPACE EXPLORATION”

By Pete Moore On April 13th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Renowned scientist Dr Stephen Hawking is saying that the human race will not survive another one thousand years “without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

I have no idea. I don’t know what will happen next month, let alone in centuries to come. The CBS piece doesn’t explain his remarks any further, so we can’t see Hawking’s analysis.

Any idea, eggheads? Does anyone think he’s onto something?

HOW OLD DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

By Pete Moore On March 21st, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Woahhh:

All the atoms that exist have been here since the beginning of the formation of the universe. Atoms have their birthplace in the center of stars and through the eons cycle through the formation of many structures over billions of years – eventually they may find their way to the formation of our bodies.

All the atoms in the universe, including the ones that make up us, were formed at the beginning of time. Amazing when you think about it, really, and that’s the first time I have. Far out, man. By the way, if you want to quibble with that assertion then have at it. I don’t know enough about that physics stuff to argue. So that led me onto reading that:

In a study published in the Annual Report for Smithsonian Institution in 1953, scientists found that 98 percent of our atoms are replaced each year.

Now I’ve seen stuff like that before, about how we’re completely recycled (apart from teeth, maybe) every so often. It begs many questions, so help me with a couple please, eggheads?

1) Where do the “new” atoms in our bodies comes from and how do they get in there? (Food? In the air we breathe?)

2) If the atoms in our brains are recycled every so often, what then is memory?

DO WATCH THIS TODAY

By Pete Moore On October 27th, 2012 at 10:41 am

On Sunday last weekend, BBC2 aired “Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell”. It’s a must-see in my book, one of those rare presentations which make TV worthwhile.

BBC2’s blurb states: “This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself – from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses.”

This is a sneak peek –

It’s all a bit sci-fi, and I don’t know how close to reality the CGI is, but it does a very good job of explaining principles and actions and what happens in one single cell as it’s attacked by a virus: think The War of the Worlds. The whole thing, which is one hour, will probably end up on youtube, but today is the last opportunity to see it on the BBC iPlayer here.

 

Eye Thangk Yew!

By Mike Cunningham On July 4th, 2012 at 8:34 am

 

A Higgs Boson goes into a church.  The priest says “We don’t allow Bosons in here”.  “Ah” says the Higgs “If I’m not here, you can’t have Mass.”

 

H/t to forlornehope in the Telegraph

SO, THAT HIGGS BOSON?

By Pete Moore On December 13th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

What a yawnathon the Large Hadron Collider is.

After fifteen years and six billion quid, the army of tax-feeders at CERN have announced the results of the search for something called a Higgs bosun: they may have pinned it down, and the results are ‘intriguing’.

What they mean is, ‘more research is required, behold our grasping hands’. Yes, they want a Super Large Hadron Collider.

RISE OF PLANET OF THE APES…

By David Vance On July 22nd, 2011 at 9:07 am

Timely publicity for the forthcoming movie!

A new report into experiments which transplant human cells into animals for medical purposes said scientists may not be far from giving apes the ability to think and talk like humans. Concerns about the creation of talking apes should be taken seriously along with “what one might call the ‘Frankenstein fear’ that the medical research which creates ‘humanised’ animals is going to generate monsters”, it was claimed. A regulatory body is needed to closely monitor any experiments that risk creating animals with human-like consciousness, spawning hybrid human-animal embryos, or giving animals any appearance or behavioural traits that too closely resemble humans, the report said. Scientists would, for example, be prevented from replacing a large number of an ape’s brain with human cells – as has already been done in simpler animals like mice – until much more is known about the potential results.

I think a major story may have been missed. Evidence exists which suggests scientists have already successfully combined human and animal genes. Here, for example, is a disturbing image of a  human being with the DNA of a jellyfish.