Tag: Genetics

Of Mice and Men, Chimera, and the Stem Cell Issue

Chimera (genetics)

From Wikipedia

Chimeras in research

In biological research, chimeras are artificially produced by physically mixing cells from two different organisms. Chimeras are not hybrids, […] (like a donkey and a horse) that form a single zygote that will develop as much as it can (in this case into a live mule […]);

in comparison, chimeras are the physical mixing of cells from two independent zygotes:

for example, one from the donkey and one from the horse. “Chimera” is a broad term and is often applied to many different types of mixing of cells from two different species.

Some chimeras can result in the eventual development of an adult animal composed of cells from both donors, which may be of different species – for example, in 1984 a chimeric geep was produced by combining embryos from a goat and a sheep.[8]


Mouse chimeras  …

William Saletan: Another Joe Klein.

Well I found this on Atrios first, but he has an ‘A’ in his name and I’m way too lazy to pay attention to time stamps.  It seems we have some more trouble with ‘truthiness’ and this time at Slate.

Perhaps you remember William Saletan-

Created Equal

Liberal Creationism

from: William Saletan, Slate

Posted Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007

Last month, James Watson, the legendary biologist, was condemned and forced into retirement after claiming that African intelligence wasn’t “the same as ours.” “Racist, vicious and unsupported by science,” said the Federation of American Scientists. “Utterly unsupported by scientific evidence,” declared the U.S. government’s supervisor of genetic research. The New York Times told readers that when Watson implied “that black Africans are less intelligent than whites, he hadn’t a scientific leg to stand on.”

I wish these assurances were true. They aren’t. Tests do show an IQ deficit, not just for Africans relative to Europeans, but for Europeans relative to Asians. Economic and cultural theories have failed to explain most of the pattern, and there’s strong preliminary evidence that part of it is genetic. It’s time to prepare for the possibility that equality of intelligence, in the sense of racial averages on tests, will turn out not to be true.

If this suggestion makes you angry-if you find the idea of genetic racial advantages outrageous, socially corrosive, and unthinkable-you’re not the first to feel that way. Many Christians are going through a similar struggle over evolution. Their faith in human dignity rests on a literal belief in Genesis. To them, evolution isn’t just another fact; it’s a threat to their whole value system. As William Jennings Bryan put it during the Scopes trial, evolution meant elevating “supposedly superior intellects,” “eliminating the weak,” “paralyzing the hope of reform,” jeopardizing “the doctrine of brotherhood,” and undermining “the sympathetic activities of a civilized society.”

Now the extended entry referenced by Atrios to Lawyers, Guns and Money’s Robert Farley mentioned that there were at least 2 other stories in this embarrassing sequence but didn’t link them and I’m having trouble cranking around the Slate search engine so I can’t prove it.

Still there is this quote from the very short apology I’d like to highlight-

I don’t want this role. I’m not an expert. I think it’s misleading to dismiss the scenario, as some officials have done in response to Watson. But my attempts to characterize the evidence beyond that, even with caveats such as “partial,” “preliminary,” and “prima facie,” have backfired. I outlined the evidence primarily to illustrate the limits of the genetic hypothesis. If it turns out to be true, it will be in a less threatening form than you might imagine. As to whether it’s true, you’ll have to judge the evidence for yourself. Every responsible scholar I know says we should wait many years before drawing conclusions.

Now where have we heard that before?

I’ve spent the past few days nosing around in the ongoing dispute about what the House FISA Reform bill (The Restore America Act) actually says. I’ve reached no conclusions.

An intelligence community source who deals with the FISA court told me he believed the word “persons” could be interpreted by the court to mean individuals. A Democratic source from the House Intelligence Committee referred me 50USC1801(m), which defines persons  as “an individual or any group, entity or foreign power.” In other words, Al Qaeda is a “person.”

I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who’s right (ADD: about this minor detail of a bill that will never find its way out of the Congress).

So why are you drawing paychecks you lying sacks of crap?