Genetic Information

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Hermann, Jun 2, 2001.

  1. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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    Howardstern,

    I read the text about "White Gold" in the link given by Times/.. before your mails arrived and came to a similar result. It looks like a mixture of science fiction and esoteric stories. It seems to be wasted time to follow up such things, because there is no rational access to and therefore also no basis for discussions.

    Please answer my request above.
     
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  3. HOWARDSTERN HOWARDSTERN has logged out.... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Yes Hermann, I know .....

    YEAH THE WHITE GOLD POWDER IDEA SEEMS A BIT FLAKEY....

    What's that old Greek Mythology liquer...elixor...called....for immortality and godhood,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...... to turn a mortal man into a god........................................hell, I can't remember!



    Anyhow!!!!!!!........ I like to read read through all varieties of present ideas and past writings, Hermann. Such things as the legend of Atlantis & the lost Ark of the covenant are imaginative, desirable, and hopeful studies that I admit to being a hopeful, "Indiana Jones" in an understandable desire to "Go on a Quest" and to also find fame and fortune, ect..

    Heck Hermann, we all do. I am completely aware that studied, intellectuals all, will have fantasies regarding new discoveries which are based on ancient mythology.

    And as well, I do always keep an eye & an ear open to ancient mythological accounts as they may or may not apply to modern science.

    Damn, I have got to learn to speak the German language!!! Quite likely the most brilliant people on the face of the planet Earth, and I can't even say hello in the language!

    ...........???????????
     
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  5. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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    159
    Howardstern,

    Sorry, just now I noticed that I have overseen your very kind reply to my question and to my website - it was hidden by too much "White Powder" - thanks a lot.

    Up to now I had a lot of discussions via the internet. Besides the discussion with you I enjoy most the discussion in the MSN forum "The Abyss Gazes Also" - you will find there my corresponding thread "Dualism contra Materialism" at:

    http://communities.msn.com/TheAbyssGazesAlso/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=2078

    Perhaps you will have a look and I will meet you there again.
     
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  7. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Very interesting thread. My computer friends tell me that DNA is like an UNIX operating system more than the Microsoft's Windows Operating System (OS). In Unix, except the basic stuff, you need to buy/ steal (social interaction) every software to do anything. In Microsoft's case, the OS just keeps adding new stuff. Someday, you do not need any other software to load - unless Government thinks (God) that is a monopoly and must be stopped.

    If we tinker our DNA, we could add more features to it thereby a child could be born with a High School diploma when one of the gene switches on by sixth birthday.

    Just a thought....
     
  8. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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    kmguru,

    Thanks for your contribution and your interesting thought. But switching DNA to an age with High School diploma would require, that the education of the last 100 years is stored in our genes, which seems not to be the case (see discussion with Wet1 on page1). Or have you any reasons to assume that?

    Hermann
    (my updated homepage:
    http://home.t-online.de/home/hraith/english.htm)
     
  9. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Hermann:

    Interesting website. Are you taking issue with the statement that encoding new information to the DNA is impossible because it is breaking some physical law (that we know of)?

    An analogy is the movie fifth element - you may want to watch it and return with your side of the argument - noting, it is only a crude analogy.

    The problem with forward looking statements is that risk management is difficult when predictions are besed on common instances - like our economy in the last 9 months. No one (except a few brave ones) followed the proper procedure to contain the risk even though we all know the math behind it.
     
  10. Hermann Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    159
    kmguru,

    I am not concerned about physical laws. But I think it is the general understanding, that genetic information has been generated by Darwin's evolution only (just random mutations and selection by survival). In this theory is no room for writing of intellectual information to genes within a short period of time (e.g. 100 years) like writing to a hard disk. This opinion has been confirmed by Wet1. If we think it is possible to write to genes (except by gene engineering) we would question the natural process of evolution.
     
  11. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Any process undertaken by humans or of human interaction that results in the alteration of gene expression can be called genetic engineering. My point still stands as to :yes we can add new information to our genes.
     
  12. Hermann Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    159
    kmguru,

    The question is not, whether we can add new information to genes by gene manipulation, but whether nature does add new intellectual information to genes. We can use the word "evolution" for everything (e.g. technological evolution), but this has nothing to do with genes. There is no gene, which describes the construction of an atomic bomb. Genes describe the construction of our brain, but not the intellectual content (if there is any at all). Here I am just talking about the knowledge of the last 100 years - not about instincts grown over very long time, which could be regarded as intellectual as well. Therefore there is also no genetic information corresponding a High School diploma as you mentioned in your first message.
     
  13. kmguru Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,757
    That question has been answered in a way in early 50s. My highschool biology text book had a chapter that contained the following story.

    During the forties, scientist noticed that percupines who were getting run over by model Ts in England, over a few generations, the offsprings learned to avoid the cars. They reasoned that somehow the survival instict is passed on to the offsprings. After all, nature has built in gene expression for the survival of the species.

    So in a way nature will encode those traits necessary for the survival whether boosting intelligence to manage new information or plain physical charecteristics for the survival.

    But point was we can add more quickly artificially a lot of stuff.
     
  14. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,616
    Now we have something going...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    I believe that it is very possible to encode genes to give an individual a head start. For instance, to give the embryo the proclivity to learn repidly when exposed to new information, to be able to retain that info at a glance, to have long term memory capabilities. This might add up to having that high school education by the 6th grade.

    I do not believe that we can encode that by way of genes. Your talking a lot of info in small places. And there might be another way. Prehaps at that age or later a chip or chips might be wired to "turn on" giving a data bank in which resides the info to be given. An instant education but there would be a delay between turn on time and use. The info must first be reviewed to be learned. It might be that as needed it would show up and from then on would be known.

    Once we start outside natures path we best be sure we know what were doing. For there would be a period during which the generations would interact. Go to far beyond the norm and you could very well have a witch hunt for any strange or modified human. Past history has shown this to be so. People do not like that which is different and are very suspicious of such. If you let a mistake get away and the mistake does not show up till a decade later, it will be hard to call it back. This is in part why I called it a Pandora's box.
     
  15. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Pandora's box? yes it is.

    When I was growing up, my family gave me certain herbs to speed up learning process. Whether it was placebo or not it did work. I finished high school 2 years ahead. Today I do intelligence analysis for businesses. I quickly found out that smartness itself does not help. You need a lot of data to act upon. I have to assimilate large amount of information from global economy to technology to consumer psychology to make any usable advisory.

    What I need is a brain plug that sucks the data very fast. The normal reading process is too slow. Any one ready to design one?
     
  16. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,616
    The question becomes...

    was it enviroment or was it actually a working formula? It is obvious that you have given it thought. As children we try to live up to what is expected and if properly rewarded continue as this is what should be. In essence we are molded into what is viewed as the right way to be and how to be an adult. Interesting...
     
  17. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    It was a combination of Gotu Kola and a whole slew of other stuff. I can recognize Gotu Kola being a capillay blood flow enhancer. It is possible the stuff enhances more neural connections. But without a before and after count of connections, it is impossible to tell. I do not think we have any non-invasive procedure that counts number of neural connections. It will be intersting to test that on Alzheimer's (sp) patients.

    But the chemical, if works, probably enhances only 20% (which could be within the parameters of human capabilities). You may be able to boost by chemical means IQ from 165 to 185, but that is not much at 165. You get more bang raising 80 to 100. What we need is an order of magnitude like 10 times more connections and improve the processing speed. That means some gene manipulation. Somehere I read that British scientists found a gene that improves IQ by one point. That will make those neo-nazi's a super race!!!

    Another way is to implant a processor that will have fewer problems.
     
  18. Hermann Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Kmguru and Wet1,

    It may be possible to achieve a higher IQ or a faster learning speed via gene engineering, but this concerns just the construction or functioning of our brain - not its content. I think it is impossible to add intellectual information (knowledge of High School diploma) to genes - not by nature and not by engineering. Can you agree with that?
     
  19. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    I disagree. I think you can add information to the genes via engineering. Data compression technology has come a long way. Todays latest is the fractal technology. While you wo'nt be able to add a lot of text files, you can add math and associations, relationships and rules.

    Next step is you create a gene set that creates the memory network in the brain (or anywhere else for that matter). This memory set will look like a glob of protein to outsiders but when activated at proper time will be the high school diploma memory set that will interact with the six year old child that already has the tools to access the data and can interact with the learned data since birth.

    I think, Hermann, where you are having problem is that you are taking issue in adding pure data to the DNA - and I agree. But there is a round about way to solve this problem. I just pulled this out of my @#$. Given time, I can architect a better method.

    At the end of the day, yes you can add information to the DNA by gene engineering. I can architect it for you if your lab has the money.

    ______________________________
    nonlinear thinking is the future...
     
  20. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,616
    Ramblings and questions

    That info can be added is not the problem I see. Its scope is the thing I have a hang-up with (if you will).

    Insects are given instincts that are pretty much functional as soon as they are able to obtain food for themselves. This is information on a level I understand and easily accept. Nature adds and takes away this info on a very long and slow time frame. What we discuss is in essence the same thing on a much faster pace. Nature makes sure that survival takes precedence. There is no such net for our willful interference with her designs. Understanding down to the n th degree becomes necessary because of this. So maybe we all learn something here.

    It was pointed out in another post that instinct and intelligence come up to about the same thing. No matter how you slice the cake the actions come out to fundamentally take care of the problem. But intelligence takes that a step farther in that willful interference with what instinct says you should do is allowable, no matter what the end results. Intelligence also allows the capability to learn and pass on that learning and to modify that learning to suit changing conditions and to anticipate before some problem or crisis arrives to more fully prepare to deal with it.

    But to encode an education is quite scary. The conquers and victorious most often go straight to the schools to change what is learned to benefit their circumstances no matter what history says happened. For all intents and purposes history is rewritten to state whatever is desired. I think you see where I going with this. How mush simpler it is to change. Comments?

    Now back to the point from where I wandered. To encode an education would be a massive undertaking. Just look at what it has been to map the genome. And here we are talking inserting info to exacting standards. I see the chip insert as a much more preferable option. (Even allowing that it doesn’t have self perpetuation potential} Easily modified at a later date to give the higher education for later life. And we are much closer to the capability than to the biologic one.

    I guess the questions that first come to mind is how much space is required to encode data? What percentage of total mass is used and how much is obtained from it? How could we approach 100% usage of capacity of the brain instead of the 10% that we now enjoy? What abilities would that give/allow? How much redundancy is necessary to ensure that mutation does not eliminate a specific bit in the coding? How much space does that take up from the total available? I would not like my descendants to look like a camel. (Call it nostalgia or just plain fixed in the ways)
     
  21. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    I agree on the scary part. But we are not in a kidie forum. In this advanced technology (well, science!) forum, all bets are off. Long time ago, I was solving a very complex technical problem. Both my boss and I, told his boss at the same time that given enough time and money we can solve anything. And we did for the problem at hand. Once we solve how it is done, then we debate the ethical implications. That is why governments have policy procedures. This is not your fifties where things are slow moving.

    Yesterday, I was reading the TV guide when you (wet1) are posting this. I was reading about the new startrek series and how they have to improve on the gadgets was was/is shown in the old series because we surpassed the technology in real life. I was watching the reruns of Voyeger. In it, a group of aliens took over the ship. What a bunch of crock. Today, I can design weapon systems that if fell in to the wrong hands will blow up in their face. And an AI ship can not protect itself? when the hologram people can act like normal human beings - give me a break! The story was written by a non technical person for drama effect.

    Back to the subject. My expert opinion is that yes, we can add a lot of stuff in to the brain. Should we? that is a whole another debate. Today we can compress a terabyte to 100MB (10:1). Using fractal technology we could do more. Our brain compresses data much more efficiently than we can do technically. Video data can be compresses 50:1 or more. Brain probably compacts it at one million to one rate (may be more) on old or seldom used memories.

    It will be a massive undertaking when you figure it took nature a few million years. But fear not, soon we will have AIs with a thousand times more processing power than humans.

    So, there you have it.....
     
  22. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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  23. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Hello Hermann;

    You are such a kidder. On one hand you use my almighty (as you put it) Science and Technology to post your beliefs and then complain that.....

    Are you by any chance from the Amish clan?
     

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