2016-02-20: Apple VS FBI

2016-02-19: More Zika may be better than less

2016-02-17: Dependent Non-Commuting Random Variable Systems

2016-01-14: Life at the multifurcation

2015-09-28: AI ain't that smart

2015-06-24: MathEpi citation tree

2015-03-31: Too much STEM is bad

2015-03-24: Dawn of the CRISPR age

2015-02-12: A Comment on How Biased Dispersal can Preclude Competitive Exclusion

2015-02-09: Hamilton's selfish-herd paradox

2015-02-08: Risks and values of microparasite research

2014-11-10: Vaccine mandates and bioethics

2014-10-18: Ebola, travel, president

2014-10-17: Ebola comments

2014-10-12: Ebola numbers

2014-09-23: More stochastic than?

2014-08-17: Feynman's missing method for third-orders?

2014-07-31: CIA spies even on congress

2014-07-16: Rehm on vaccines

2014-06-21: Kurtosis, 4th order diffusion, and wave speed

2014-06-20: Random dispersal speeds invasions

2014-05-06: Preservation of information asymetry in Academia

2014-04-16: Dual numbers are really just calculus infinitessimals

2014-04-14: More on fairer markets

2014-03-18: It's a mad mad mad mad prisoner's dilemma

2014-03-05: Integration techniques: Fourier--Laplace Commutation

2014-02-25: Fiber-bundles for root-polishing in two dimensions

2014-02-17: Is life a simulation or a dream?

2014-01-30: PSU should be infosocialist

2014-01-12: The dark house of math

2014-01-11: Inconsistencies hinder pylab adoption

2013-12-24: Cuvier and the birth of extinction

2013-12-17: Risk Resonance

2013-12-15: The cult of the Levy flight

2013-12-09: 2013 Flu Shots at PSU

2013-12-02: Amazon sucker-punches 60 minutes

2013-11-26: Zombies are REAL, Dr. Tyson!

2013-11-22: Crying wolf over synthetic biology?

2013-11-21: Tilting Drake's Equation

2013-11-18: Why $1^\infty != 1$

2013-11-15: Adobe leaks of PSU data + NSA success accounting

2013-11-14: 60 Minutes misreport on Benghazi

2013-11-11: Making fairer trading markets

2013-11-10: L'Hopital's Rule for Multidimensional Systems

2013-11-09: Using infinitessimals in vector calculus

2013-11-08: Functional Calculus

2013-11-03: Elementary mathematical theory of the health poverty trap

2013-11-02: Proof of the area of a circle using elementary methods

Dawn of the CRISPR age

This week, there were NPR and MIT stories about scientists urging for a moratorium on human genetic engineering made possible and cheap with new methods, to try to postpone this future.

When I was a kid, I was given a beautifully illustrated book on science that told a story about atomic energy. In the story, which it happens was also a 1950's movie, compared the knowledge and applications of nuclear physics to an all-powerful genie put in the hands of a plain fisherman (a strange perspective for a story that is often labelled as pro-nuclear propaganda). It concludes with our genie holding out it's hands offering two wells from which we will draw our futures, and challenges us to do so wisely. And 50 years on, with all our best efforts, nuclear power and nuclear weapons are still tools from which we and our states strive to balance benefits and detriments, such as Fukushima's China syndrome and the US vs Iran nuclear non-proliferation talks.

Anyway, for almost 20 years, since the cloning of a sheep, the writing has been on the wall that more pressures than just Darwinian evolution must soon be shaping humans. Now, some of us have let another genie is out of the bottle, and are trying to squeeze it back in. It would be naive to take on faith that nobody has started down this road in that score of years, though they are unlikely to have gotten very far. But the path is becoming easier, and, in a way, to be more travelled and more dangerous as people pursue first-mover advantages. And people want to say that it would be okay to reduce and prevent disease, but not to increase intelligence? My thoughts from a few weeks ago on gain-of-function research still apply here. We need some good ideas to help us deal with the things we have created.