2017-08-15 Tue

Clear Thinking

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Back on August 3rd the Toronto Star ran an article about DNA Editing and Genetic Engineering.

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The U.S. (I feel sure that they are not the only nation) restricts activities surrounding genetic modification.

Some forty years ago a relative of a friend of mine gave birth to an infant who had a genetic heart imperfection. Two hundred years ago the baby would have died within 48 hours of birth, but the local hospital allowed the parents to take the child home for 24 hours before bringing it back to the hospital for treatment that must have been, forty years ago, somewhat experimental.

The baby survived! A Miracle! And I am sure (for the story has been told me) of the delight in the mother and father, and in their mothers and fathers, that the baby’s life has been saved.

So: Kindergarten, primary school, high school, college/university, job, marriage, and guess what? Babies again.

Now that earlier genetic defect has been passed on to two more humans. The defect might be dormant in this new generation, and then it might surface in the next generation.

I wish no harm or pain to anyone (well, OK, the Beck Taxi cab driver who tried to mow me down yesterday, but apart from him ...) and I have caused enough grief in families without ever wanting to do that again, but in terms of Genetic Engineering, by saving the baby’s life forty years ago, we have merely passed the problem on to future generations.

Genetic Modification has been going on since the first human tossed the first mastodon bone to the first becoming-tame wolf. Genetic Modification is directly responsible for the cob of corn you ate last night, and the wheat that made the flour for your hot dog bun, and the cow/pig/sheep/goat/horse that went into the hot dog.

Get used to it.

Genetic Modification is what goes on year in year out. It is how we evolved.

Those Once-Ignorant Police

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Bit of a mishap in Baltimore. Cases being tossed out, well, dismissed before they can be tossed out, because, well, the local cops have been mis-behaving. Again.

It seems that the cops weren’t paying attention in class, assuming this was mentioned in class, that they are being recorded thirty seconds BEFORE they turn on their cameras.

That is, the “ON” switch doesn’t turn the camera on as stop it from deleting what is already recorded.

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But anyway, don’t worry. Now police forces across the continent are aware of the problem, so cops will have thirty seconds to continue sitting in their cars, munching donuts, before getting out to approach the suspect.

Now we all know!