[Paleopsych] re: bacterial engineering and our future in space

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Mon Nov 28 02:56:31 UTC 2005

If one defines God very broadly...


-----Original Message-----
From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
[mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]On Behalf Of Lynn D. Johnson,
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2005 3:00 PM
To: The new improved paleopsych list
Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] re: bacterial engineering and our future in

And materialists say that God is an unlikely explanation . . .

Steve Hovland wrote:

> One of those guys, but I can't remember either.
> Whichever one he was, he also did a lot of acid.
>     -----Original Message-----
>     *From:* Jill Andresevic [mailto:andresevic at earthlink.net]
>     *Sent:* Saturday, November 26, 2005 9:29 AM
>     *To:* Steve Hovland; The new improved paleopsych list;
>     isaacsonj at hotmail.com; eshel at tamar.tau.ac.il
>     *Cc:* jz at bigbangtango.net; sjlee at howardbloom.net;
>     kblozie at yahoo.com; idigdarwin at yahoo.com; BobKrone at aol.com;
>     ohbeeb at yahoo.com
>     *Subject:* Re: [Paleopsych] re: bacterial engineering and our
>     future in space
>     Steve / Howard, I read that Watson or Crick (not sure which one)
>     wrote about DNA being sent to Earth on a spaceship, because his
>     theory was Earth could not create life, therefore life had to
>     brought here from another place (interesting how this is not
>     something well known, if indeed it is true). This also could
>     connect to the fact that a pig and a chicken and a human embryo
>     all look very much the same early in embryonic development, since
>     I am speculating that there was one form of DNA that then evolved
>     into different life forms. I am not a professional scientist like
>     most of you (I am guessing), just a fan of Howard’s. Curious as to
>     what you think of this, if anything. Jill
>     ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From: *"Steve Hovland" <shovland at mindspring.com>
>     *Date: *Sat, 26 Nov 2005 06:52:45 -0800
>     *To: *"The new improved paleopsych list"
>     <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>, <isaacsonj at hotmail.com>,
>     <eshel at tamar.tau.ac.il>
>     *Cc: *<jz at bigbangtango.net>, <sjlee at howardbloom.net>,
>     <kblozie at yahoo.com>, "Jill Andresevic" <andresevic at earthlink.net>,
>     <idigdarwin at yahoo.com>, <BobKrone at aol.com>, <ohbeeb at yahoo.com>
>     *Subject: *RE: [Paleopsych] re: bacterial engineering and our
>     future in space
>     Some people think our DNA came here from space
>     encapsulated in bacteria...
>     Steve
>         -----Original Message-----
>         *From:* paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
>         [mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]
>         <mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org%5D>*On Behalf Of
>         *HowlBloom at aol.com
>         *Sent:* Friday, November 25, 2005 8:50 PM
>         *To:* isaacsonj at hotmail.com; eshel at tamar.tau.ac.il
>         *Cc:* paleopsych at paleopsych.org; jz at bigbangtango.net;
>         sjlee at howardbloom.net; kblozie at yahoo.com; Jill Andresevic;
>         idigdarwin at yahoo.com; BobKrone at aol.com; ohbeeb at yahoo.com
>         *Subject:* [Paleopsych] re: bacterial engineering and our
>         future in space
>         Joel--The article you sent, the one below, is not only
>         amazing. It dovetails with a piece of poetry I wrote as a
>         treatment for a short film in 2001.
>         As usual, the poem was inspired immensely by my interchanges
>         with Eshel. Take a look:
>         Could swarms of robo-microbes
>         Made by humans and biology
>         The techno teams
>         That come from dreams
>         The wet dreams of technology
>         Could cyborg microbes by the trillions
>         Launched as space communities
>         Explore the dark beyond our skies
>         Thrive on starlight, climb and dive
>         through wormholes and through nebulae?
>         Could they re-landscape Einstein’s space
>         And tame time with phrenology?
>         Could they ride herd
>         on mass stampedes
>         of x-rays and raw energy
>         corralling flares spat by black holes
>         at the cores of galaxies?
>         Could genes retooled
>         In swarms of cells
>         Become our new conquistadors?
>         Could they explore
>         Galactic shores
>         And synapse reports
>         To our brains?
>         From global thinking
>         Could we go
>         To cosmos-hopping megaminds
>         One small step for E. coli
>         A giant step for human kind?
>         The article:
>         Retrieved November 25, 2005, from the World Wide Web
>         ------------------------------------------------------------------
>         November 24, 2005 Live From the Lab, a Culture Worth a
>         Thousand Words By ANDREW POLLACK Your portrait in a petri
>         dish? Scientists have created *living photographs made of
>         bacteria, genetically engineering the microbes so that a thin
>         sheet of them growing in a dish can capture and display an
>         image.* Bacteria are not about to replace conventional
>         photography because it takes at least two hours to produce a
>         single image. But *the feat shows the potential of an emerging
>         field called synthetic biology, which involves designing
>         living cellular machines much as electrical engineers might
>         design a circuit.* "We're actually applying principles from
>         engineering into designing cells," said Christopher A. Voigt,
>         assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the
>         University of California, San Francisco, and a leader of the
>         photography project, which is described in a paper being
>         published today in the journal Nature. *One team of synthetic
>         biologists is already trying to engineer bacteria to produce a
>         malaria drug that is now derived from a tree and is in short
>         supply. And J. Craig Venter, who led one team that unraveled
>         the human DNA sequence, has said he now wants to synthesize
>         microbes to produce hydrogen for energy. *The technology could
>         also be used to create new pathogens or synthesize known ones.
>         So far, however, most synthetic biology accomplishments have
>         been like the bacterial film - somewhat bizarre demonstrations
>         of things that can easily be done with electronics. *Synthetic
>         biologists have*, for instance, *made the biological
>         equivalent of an oscillator, getting cells to blink on and
>         off*. To make the bacterial film, *common E. coli bacteria
>         were given genes that cause a black pigment to be produced
>         only when the bacteria are in the dark.* *The camera,
>         developed at the University of Texas, Austin, is a
>         temperature-controlled box in which bacteria grow, with a hole
>         in the top to let in light. An image on a black-and-white
>         35-millimeter slide is projected through the hole onto a sheet
>         of the microbes. Dark parts of the slide block the light from
>         hitting the bacteria, turning those parts of the sheet black.
>         The parts exposed to light remain the yellowish color of the
>         growth medium. The result is a permanent, somewhat eerie,
>         black-and-yellowish picture.
>         *
>         Scientists involved in the project said they envisioned being
>         able to use light to direct bacteria to manufacture substances
>         on exquisitely small scales. "It kind of gives us the ability
>         to control single biological cells in a population," said
>         Jeffrey J. Tabor, a graduate student in molecular biology at
>         Texas. *Scientists, of course, have been adding foreign genes
>         to cells for three decades, and the distinction between
>         synthetic biology and more conventional genetic engineering is
>         not always clear. *Proponents of synthetic biology say genetic
>         engineering so far has mainly involved transferring a single
>         gene from one organism into another. The human insulin gene,
>         for instance, is put into bacteria, which then produce the
>         hormone. Each project, they say, requires a lot of
>         experimentation, in contrast to *true engineering, like
>         building a microchip or a house, which uses standardized parts
>         and has a fairly predictable outcome.* "We haven't been able
>         to transform it into a discipline where you can simply and
>         predictably engineer biological systems," said *Drew Endy, an
>         assistant professor of biological engineering at the
>         Massachusetts Institute of Technology.* "It means the
>         complexity of things we can make and can afford to make are
>         quite limited." Professor Endy *and colleagues at M.I.T. have
>         created a catalog of biological components, which they call
>         BioBricks*, which are s*equences of DNA that can perform
>         particular functions like turning on a gene*. Still, since
>         cells differ from one another and are extremely complex, it is
>         open to question how predictable biological engineering can
>         ever be. *M.I.T. has also begun holding a competition for
>         college students to design "genetically engineered machines."
>         The bacterial camera was an entrant in 2004 and was made in
>         part using BioBricks. Mr. Tabor said the idea for bacterial
>         photography came from Zachary Booth Simpson, a digital artist
>         who has been learning about biology at the university.* By
>         chance, the Texas team learned that Professor Voigt in San
>         Francisco and one of his graduate students, Anselm Levskaya,
>         had already developed a bacterial light sensor. So the two
>         groups teamed up. The E. coli bacterium was chosen because it
>         is easy for genetic engineers to work with. But *since E. coli
>         live in the human gut, they cannot sense light. Mr. Voigt and
>         Mr. Levskaya put in a gene used by photosynthetic algae to
>         respond to light. The bacteria were also given genes to make
>         them produce an enzyme that would react with a chemical added
>         to the growth medium. When that reaction occurs, a black
>         precipitate is produced. *The scientists created sort of a
>         chain reaction inside the bacteria. When the bacteria are in
>         the dark, the enzyme is produced, turning the medium black.
>         When the bacteria are exposed to light, production of the
>         enzyme is shut off. Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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>     ----------
>     Howard Bloom
>     Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the
>     Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind
>     From The Big Bang to the 21st Century
>     Recent Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York
>     University; Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
>     www.howardbloom.net
>     www.bigbangtango.net
>     Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board
>     member: Epic of Evolution Society; founding board member, The
>     Darwin Project; founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New
>     York Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement
>     of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy of Political
>     Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International
>     Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member: Institute for
>     Accelerating Change ; executive editor -- New Paradigm book series.
>     For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see:
>     www.paleopsych.org
>     for two chapters from
>     The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of
>     History, see www.howardbloom.net/lucifer
>     For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from
>     the Big Bang to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
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