GMO agriculture 2.0?

I was interested to read in a recent Nature Genetics editorial that maybe the public could participate directly in pursuit of the genetic editing of agricultural crops.

This statement, in particular, is striking:

When innovation precedes knowledge

One theme raised in our STV 202 class is that acquisition of information may precede practical knowledge of what to do with that information.  This issue is especially noticeable in health, where it has become very easy to track people's vital statistics but not so easy to know how to use the results to benefit them.

Think of any commercial fitness tracker you can name.

Essentialism and obesity

The Internet has recently brought forth some news about research on  so-called "obesity genes".

Obesity is an increasing problem (no pun intended, of course).  Why it occurs and how it might be mitigated are hot topics in medical science.  One such area of research concerns the genetic contribution to obesity.  Is there an obesity gene or genes and, if so, what might be done about it?

Giraffe genes and species

A Wired article gives an account of some research on the matter of how many species of giraffes there are.  Up until now, biologists held that there exists one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, divided into nine subspecies.

High-tech curling brooms banned

Sweeping restrictions have been announced by Curling Canada, the national regulator for the sport of curling.  That is, Curling Canada has outlawed certain sorts of curling brooms that support novel kinds of sweeping.

The move follows controversy originating in the previous season with the introduction of brooms designed to allow sweepers to significantly change the trajectory of a curling stone after it has been thrown.

The magic carpet of the Rio Olympics

One of the main sources of excitement at a Summer Olympics is watching sprinters break Olympic and world records.  In this respect, the 2016 Rio Games was a bit of a bust.  The only such record to be broken was by Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa in the Men's 400m final.

What is a computer? Some more!

A recent posting pointed to some lack of clarity about what a computer is.  Is a computer anything that carries out automated, logical or arithmetical operations?  Or, is it a particular kind of good, e.g., a PC and not an iPad?

The Cyborgian games?

One of the most salient technology-society issues in Olympic sport is that of  enhancement.  Consider my recent post on gene doping, for example.  In general, the question is: When is the use of technology in a sport appropriate or acceptable?

CRISPR will give us wings!

CRISPR refers to short repetitions in DNA, the study of which has produced technology to edit DNA with great precision.  The prospect of being able to edit DNA nearly at will has led to a lot of breathless commentary about how we may change the world—for better or worse—through employing it.

A video recently posted on a YouTube channel called "Kurzgesagt" (German for "In a nutshell") falls into this category:

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