stormsewer: (the rock)
I don't often read about scientific advances that give me a sense of vertigo, but it did happen recently. And no, actually, it's not the idea that we may soon be editing the genomes of human embryos, which has gotten people quite riled up [1]. It is work out of a lab working towards the same or similar goals, though: the Church lab at Harvard [2].

The article is entitled "RNA-guided gene drives can efficiently bias inheritance in wild yeast" [3]. I'm fond of saying that humans will soon be taking control of their own evolution, but the work here was a punch in the face for me regarding with how very possible that is going to be in the near future. Read more... )
stormsewer: (death)
So, I've been thinking a lot about death lately.Read more... )
stormsewer: (power lines)
So, I've been toying with genetic algorithms a bit. Making a genetic algorithm basically involves making a list of responses to every situation the algorithm might encounter. Typically you start with a random pool of algorithms, compete them, mutate and mix and match the winners' genomes to make a new generation, and then repeat indefinitely. (Does this process sound familiar?) The idea of encoding a response for every possible situation works well for some problems, but not for others. For instance, it would never work for teaching a computer to play go. Why not? )


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