25 July 2016 How far forwards and how far backwards do we need to go to restore balance in human advancement? Star Trek Discovery and Beyond (caution Space Ship Porn), Iran destroying satellite tv dishes, CRISPR cancer Gene therapy and the Resident Evil franchise…Umbrella Corporation

Hello there, how are you today?  Good I hope.  Wish I was hearing the sound of pitter patter on the roof (rain) but not yet.  It will come.  So today I have a “train of thought” for you with regards to advancement of our species.  As you look at the head-lines I’ve chosen here, I think you will see the promise and the folly of  where we are currently at in the process.  I firmly believe that if you want something bad enough, if you focus on something strongly enough, you or someone else will manifest that desire into reality.  This is why the old clichés “Mind your thoughts” and “Be Careful what you wish for, for surely you will get it.”  is so relevant to where we are right now.

Let’s start with my favorite place….space!
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/%E2%80%98star-trek%E2%80%99-tv-reboot-title-and-teaser-unveiled-at-comic-con-new-series-%E2%80%9Cwon%E2%80%99t-be-episodic%E2%80%9D-bryan-fuller-says/ar-BBuJbTg?ocid=ansmsnent11

With the world premiere of Star Trek Beyond earlier this week and today’s Star Trek 50th anniversary panel in Hall H, Comic-Con 2016 is going very Starfleet. Among the news: the CBS All Access reboot will be called Star Trek Discovery, according to showrunner Bryan Fuller. He also confirmed the January 2017 debut date and said that the CBS All Access show “won’t be episodic” but rather will tell stories like a novel.

“Because it’s on CBS All Access, won’t miss anything,” Fuller said of the streaming service. “It’s all at your fingertips.”

SPACE SHIP PORN!!! YES!

Star Trek Discovery


Star Trek Beyond

So let’s go to the opposite extreme.  From space ships to this story I saw on my “BING” this morning about how Iran is destroying satellite dishes and receivers because they are considered the source of immorality. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/iran-destroys-100000-satellite-dishes-in-crackdown/ar-BBuKsNU?ocid=ansmsnnews11

Iran destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers on Sunday as part of a widespread crackdown against the illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging, a news website reported.

The destruction ceremony took place in Tehran in the presence of General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, head of Iran’s Basij militia, who warned of the impact that satellite television was having in the conservative country.

“The truth is that most satellite channels… deviate the society’s morality and culture,” he said at the event according to Basij News.
I saw this and thought they must be thinking this is why America is so corrupt….television is to blame! After recent events here…yeah I can see that.  They are not completely off-base in that line of thinking but unless you are leaving your children to be taught morality by a television set, then you shouldn’t have a problem.  I understand the temptation of technology…..the cell phones, the tablets, the pc’s, the laptops, the video game consoles, the televisions.  These are devices fraught with the condition humans put into everything they do….everything they make and that is duplicity.  When I say duplicity I mean, a device can be used for “good” or for “evil.”  Further….what is considered good or evil is a matter of perception which complicates everything even more!  I wonder why the Iranian people didn’t choose to focus on reforming themselves before having a “satellite dish burning?”  What if the story I’ve linked was about Iran staring into the face of technology and saying, “We know you are there but we will teach our children the difference between right and wrong…..the difference between fantasy and reality.  You will not be their only source of information to make this determination but you can remain as a symbol of free will.”  I challenge the Iranian people to this train of thought and you are in my positive thoughts and prayers as you face this issue in your country.

A great man once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  (Ghandi).  Do we want to go forward to space or backwards to silence?  How far forwards….how far backwards do we need to go as a world to “right the imbalanced ship”?

This question doesn’t only sit in the court of technology of also in the courts of science and medicine as is the case with this “BING” article I saw also….
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/crispr-cancer-immunotherapy-gene-therapy-1.3691689

This computer graphic depicts three T cells (white) attached to a cancer cell.

This computer graphic depicts three T cells (white) attached to a cancer cell. (Tim Vernon/Science Photo Library/Getty)

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A novel gene-editing technique with potential to revolutionize cancer treatment has scientists in a race to test it on humans.

As the scientific journal Nature announced last week: “Chinese scientists to pioneer first human CRISPR trial.”

But wait. On the same page, there’s a link to another story from a month ago: “First CRISPR clinical trial gets green light from U.S. panel.”

So who will be first in the race to use CRISPR in humans — the U.S. or China? And what are they using CRISPR to do?

If you haven’t heard about CRISPR yet then all of this might seem  underwhelming. But for scientists like Jason Moffat, at the University of Toronto, it’s amazing news.

“That’s fast,” he said. “They’re pushing the technology really hard.”

“That’s fast. They’re pushing the technology really hard.” – Jason Moffat, University of Toronto 

CRISPR is a revolutionary genetic editing technique that has been rocking the world of biology ever since researchers first realized they could use it to edit the genome of any species with ease and precision never possible before.

At U of T, Moffat is using CRISPR to identify the set of genes that are essential for cell survival.

“It gives you the tools to ask questions about what things are doing that we could never do before,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”

Scientists are now using  CRISPR in a range of wild experiments. They’ve already designed a mechanism that could wipe out mosquitoes. And they’re also toying with using it to bring the woolly mammoth back to life.

It’s a tool so powerful, it could be used to permanently alter the human genome in a way that could be passed on to future generations.

Earlier this year, scientists from around the world gathered for an unprecedented summit in Washington, D.C., and agreed to avoid using CRISPR for human genetic engineering 

CRISPR against cancer

But what can CRISPR do in research on cancer? That’s the question that will be asked in these human trials.

CRISPR is not a therapy on its own. It’s a tool. But because of its precision, researchers are hoping it will be able to make genetic edits that are more effective than the traditional gene-editing techniques, to trigger a patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells.

Prof. Jason Moffat

‘These first tests, if done properly, are going to pave the way for how to use CRISPR to treat disease,’ says University of Toronto cancer researcher Jason Moffat. (CBC)

Both the U.S. and the Chinese teams intend to use CRISPR in similar ways, but on different cancers. The Chinese will target non-small-cell lung cancer; the U.S. team will work on melanoma, sarcoma and myeloid cancers.

They will harvest a type of immune cell, known as T cells, from a patient’s blood and then use CRISPR to tinker with a particular gene in a way that will activate the T cells to attack cancer cells. And then they will put the CRISPR-ed cells back into the patient’s body to destroy tumours.

“These first tests, if done properly, are going to pave the way for how to use CRISPR to treat disease,” said Moffat.

What risks getting lost in the excitement over these first CRISPR trials is the sobering fact that it might not work. There is the ever-present risk of unintended consequences, including CRISPR’s tendency to make unpredictable genetic edits in unwanted places.

And experiments to genetically alter cells and reprogram the immune system are inherently risky. There’s a danger of triggering a catastrophic immune response known as a cytokine storm that can fatally overwhelm the body. And by unleashing T cells against cancer, it’s also possible they’ll start attacking normal tissue, too.

Gene therapy tragedy

639549121

In this illustration of CRISPR-CAS9, the Cas9 nuclease protein (white) uses a guide RNA (pink) sequence to cut DNA (green). (Science Photo Library/Getty)

For years, the entire field of gene therapy was haunted by an experiment that went tragically wrong in 1999. That’s when an Arizona teenager died suddenly, after volunteering to be part of a gene therapy trial to correct a genetic defect that, in his case, was not life-threatening. Many believe the death set back gene therapy research for years.

And last month, a clinical trial testing the same T cell approach, but without using CRISPR, was shut down by the FDA after several patients died. The trial has since been allowed to resume.

The Chinese scientists have secured all the necessary approvals and are scheduled to begin their trial using CRISPR-edited cells in 10 lung cancer patients next month. The U.S. team still needs FDA approval, and they expect to start their trial on 18 patients later this year.

Another caveat: These are Phase 1 trials only. That means the scientists are studying toxicity and side-effects and basic biological responses. Even if all goes well, the trials to see if the approach actually works against cancer are still many years away.


Not be be a buzz kill, but apparently these people haven’t seen any of the Resident Evil ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE films and video games….Umbrella Corporation anyone?!

Earlier this year, scientists from around the world gathered for an unprecedented summit in Washington, D.C., and agreed to avoid using CRISPR for human genetic engineering ” ….yeah about that.  You still found a loop-hope didn’t you….whose going to miss a bunch of cancer patients who are dying anyways?  GROWL! 

The energy behind such endeavors as this is usually a form of “passion” and passion can be very blind and very selfish. 

I see these people as trying to play God….this line of research doesn’t resonate with me anymore than GMO food does.  We want more food, we want a cure….faster…NOW.  Remember, science fiction and horror stories and films are ideas made manifest into reality.  They only stay in the realm of “make-believe” because we want them to but can cross the line to reality just like every other “idea” potentially can. A thought creates a desire.  A Desire creates a plan…a strategy to acquire the Desire.  A Plan sets people, places and things into motion.  People Places and Things in Motion is called….reality.

It’s probably too late for words of caution knowing what I know about the power of Desire. There is no greater Desire that the one Desire to defeat *cheat death.    Even as strong as Love is, Love will not stop a monster once it is created.

 

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