Morphine Mosquitoes


I took Genetic Engineering at the uni and could see there are many ways to apply the engineering. Any technology can have numerous applications. I was reading about spider-goats that produce spider silk in their milk. The problem with any technology is that as much as people would like to see applied to their interests, it gets applied for everybody's goats goals. I really doubt that somebody will go to the effort of creating a mosquito that produces morphine when it stings, but you never know. I can think of many ways that could turn out. I suppose it could be LSD mosquitoes also. With the work that DoD is doing in unusual applications of genetic engineering, they might produce something that gene jumps to another species. The gigantism movies of the 50's and 60's with 50 foot women, giant ants, bees, rats, and a score of other implausible and unimaginative extensions, was a bad guess as to what radiation does to life. On the other hand, the wandering genetic combinations of new associations is a real vector for strange happenings. Nature borrows from other nature constantly to see if something might be useful.

The entire process is so vastly complex that I always wonder what will happen. Certainly nobody knows what even the smallest change will produce. It happens all the time by random mutation and this is not new. It is the directed and associated mutation which is the new factor. I have no idea what will happen , any more than anybody else. There could be a mosquito that imparts disease resistance, super intelligence, or the illusion of certainty.

The image is just a 3D world selected to match the context, a model from a list, and then a snapshot made. Once I decided to illustrate this topic, it took about 3 seconds to generate the image as a single frame from a video. I suppose I could have produced a complete video with captions and sound effects in as little time, but I won't waste your bandwidth with my particular impression of the concept.

Some genetic sequences can never appear by random combination because the thresholds and sequences cannot combine and be viable. Constructed sequences step beyond those barriers and I can imagine a sequence that is itself the leap frog gene.

It is very much like programming, or exactly like programming a living engine. Recursion is a powerful tool and so it self-modifying code. Perhaps it is a new art in flesh. It may not be long before intelligent biological agents are programmed in every aspect of the biosphere. Birds that deliver for UPS. Cows that run the pasteurizing equipment themselves, dogs that clean up their own poo, monkeys that do high steel work, fish that scout for sharks and report to marine authorities, tardigrades that clean and wax the kitchen floor, cats that clean heating vents.... I could go on for centuries. If it were going to be controlled or stopped , all people would have to agree and that has never been possible, nor will it ever be so. Some people say that dealing with programmers is like cat herding.

Something I didn't think of. HackADay has an item using a camera phone as Geiger counter. Great hack!

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