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Couch Potato Gene Identified In Fruit Flies

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the or-extract-it-straight-from-me dept.

Biotech 105

Pickens writes "University of Pennsylvania biologists have discovered a mutation in fruit flies aptly named the 'couch potato' gene that allows them to simply chill out — entering a mild state of quasi-hibernation known as diapause, when winter arrives. 'It's not like they're bears sleeping in a cave,' says Paul Schmidt. 'They just look like they're a little bit more sluggish.' The couch potato gene, first discovered in the early 1990s, got its nickname because flies with mutations in the gene became really sluggish and behaved abnormally. Little is known about the underlying evolutionary genetic architecture, but in diapause, the slacking off is far less severe. The flies' bodily functions slow down, and they are better able to tolerate stress. The fruit fly gene may have implications for human health, as it can help biologists study the function of the nervous system and diseases such as epilepsy, refuting a recent statement by a political candidate that fruit fly research has 'little or nothing to do with the public good.'"

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genes, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511079)

Wouldn't this make them potato flies?

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511109)

According to a vice-presidential candidate whose name escapes me, research using fruit flies is UnAmerican [thinkprogress.org] .

Re:Hmmm (4, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511423)

Palin doesn't like "fruit fly research" because apparently, the couch potato gene is linked to the Republican gene. So if scientists figure this out, we'll be able to cure the Neo-Con disease,...

Re:Hmmm (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511607)

But then what will happen to such great comedy TV shows such as 'Glen Beck' and 'The O'Reilly Factor'? Whereever will get my political humor?

Re:Hmmm (1)

haaz (3346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25513491)

You beat me to it..... and were funnier about it too. WEll done.

That's Nothing. (0, Offtopic)

St. Alfonzo (1393181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511115)

You know for five years John McCain was FORCED to be a couch potato.

Re:That's Nothing. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511519)

The name McCain is synonymous with potatoes [mccain.com] .

Re:That's Nothing. (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 5 years ago | (#25513531)

Now there's a perfect opportunity for some bipartisan cooperation. [heinz.com]

This is why we are $10T in debt (2, Insightful)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511205)

refuting a recent statement by a political candidate that fruit fly research has 'little or nothing to do with the public good.'

It might be fashionable to make fun of Palin on Slashdot, where people pretend to be constitutional purists and libertarians. But this type of thinking, "don't cut my program" is why America is $10T in debt, not counting the 79 million baby boomers about to retire and demand their Social Security and Medicare.

The question isn't whether government programs are well intentioned or often lead to good results (although maybe more often lead to bad results [wikipedia.org] ). The question is, can we afford every Utopian goal? Every time an executive, state or federal, tries to "cut" the budget (more likely, slightly reduce the increase in the budget), we invariably hear cries of "but the children," "the homeless will freeze to death!" or "but medical research funding!" Not one single recipient of government funding ever says, "yeah, we'll take on for the team." It's always a good idea to fund programs, and not one of them can ever be cut back or cut altogether, even though few if any of them are mentioned in the Constitution and our country got along fine without them for 150 years. Even the slightest paring back of government programs and living within our means would lead to an apocalyptic unraveling of the social fabric of the country.

Just tell your grandkids, as you exhale yur last breaths on your deathbed, who paying all of this off with exorbitant tax rates, "I did it for you."

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (4, Insightful)

Kligat (1244968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511263)

I think it's more that they dumb down studies to a sentence that makes them sound like tax payers are paying for scientists to play with bug collections, for the benefit of riling up Joe Sixpack, and generally creating a feeling of anti-science instead of anti-wastefulness. When I hear "Joe Sixpack," I think of it as an insult and picture Cletus [wikipedia.org] from The Simpsons.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25513933)

Seriously! I was shocked to here Palin using that derogatory term. I know that I have been known to use it, but when I do, I am fully aware that I am using an insult. I don't think that Palin realized that she was calling her constituents stupid drunks. Of course, if her constituents didn't realize that she was calling them stupid drunks, maybe she wasn't all wrong.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Prikolist (1260608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511271)

right nex to the sentence you picked, "The fruit fly gene may have implications for human health, as it can help biologists study the function of the nervous system and diseases such as epilepsy", so it's not a complete waste. maybe we should just stop invading random countries and there'll be enough money to pay off our debts and a bit cash in hand to invent anti-gravity

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511399)

right nex to the sentence you picked, "The fruit fly gene may have implications for human health, as it can help biologists study the function of the nervous system and diseases such as epilepsy", so it's not a complete waste. maybe we should just stop invading random countries and there'll be enough money to pay off our debts and a bit cash in hand to invent anti-gravity

Just because something may have implications for human health in a few areas, doesn't mean it will, or that hose implications will be magical disease cures. Of course a researcher will make every attempt to advocate some sort of use for his expensive research, but there seems to be no evidence that this is plausible. It's not like knowing what a piece of DNA does means we can just fix it in all humans.

As already said, funding everything is sort of a bad idea. We have to make cuts where we can, and this program honestly looks like it holds little promise without other major scientific advances. Until human gene modification becomes plausible, there's no point in sinking our imaginary dollars into fruit fly programs.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (5, Informative)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511973)

As already said, funding everything is sort of a bad idea. We have to make cuts where we can, and this program honestly looks like it holds little promise without other major scientific advances. Until human gene modification becomes plausible, there's no point in sinking our imaginary dollars into fruit fly programs.

So you're saying it might be time to change the way we decide who gets scientific funding, that the "Guess a number between one and ten" method we have, where if you guess the right number, your scientific proposal gets funded, might be a BAD system? Maybe we should start thinking about funding only the most important, worthwhile studies? Whoa man...

Waitafuckingminute, THAT'S ALREADY WHAT WE DO! There's this organization, called the National Institute of Health, that hands out a lot of grant money for biomedical research. Scientists spend a lot of their time filling out grant applications in the vain attempt to get them to fund their research, it's very competitive, a LOT of good studies don't get funding.

The ones that do are chosen by panels of other scientists and experts (though any scientist who has had a grant rejected will tell you, they're not perfect). They have a deeper understanding of what the benefits of research projects are than Sarah Palin, although that wouldn't be a high bar to clear. Yet they chose to fund fruit fly projects.

Hmm... a panel of biomedical experts think fruit fly research isn't a waste. Maybe they are crazy or corrupt, or maybe you don't really know as much about it as you think you do.

You can't jump right to the end in science, there is a lot of preliminary data you need to know usually before you can get a cure for X disease. For instance, with syphilis we had to first realize what bacteria were, realize it was a bacteria, realize that penicillin could kill bacteria, THEN we were able to cure it. You could have dumped all the money in the world into finding a cure for syphilis before we knew anything about that. You may have gotten lucky, but it's unlikely.

Similar with human diseases, knowing the genetics involved is ABSOLUTELY essential knowledge, even if we can't directly cure the genes yet.

Cancer treatments have improved greatly because of genetic work often done in flies. We can identify genes involved, then find out what they're doing in human cancers, then make treatments based on that.

One current hot prospect in cancer research is knocking out members of the kinesin family, a protein that moves along the cytoskeleton and is involved in cell division. Cell division goes haywire in cancer, if we could affect only one time of kinesin, it would stop cancer pretty well.

Know how we discovered kinesin? By studying squids and fruit flies.

To sum up: unless you're out there reading whole grant applications, don't say a study is worthless or scientists are lying about the outcomes of their research, because you really have no earthly idea and are maligning people who DO know what they are talking about.

(PS. don't quote me on the squids, I could be mistaken on that)

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25522883)

unless you're out there reading whole grant applications, don't say a study is worthless

Why not? No one here seems to mind when someone comes up with exact opposite conclusion based upon the same level of information.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (5, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511285)

But this type of thinking, "don't cut my program" is why America is $10T in debt

Uhh... no. America is $10T in debt because:

a) People demand their programs stay, while simultaneously refusing tax hikes to actually pay for them.
b) Prosecuting a war the country can't afford, then *cutting taxes* in the meantime.
c) Allowing the financial industry to run off a cliff, forcing the government to take action to prevent a complete economic meltdown.

Is pork a problem? Yup. But as Obama has pointed out *many* times, earmarks, where much of this pork comes from, account for a truly *miniscule* sum compared to the broader budget, which is dominated by military expenditures and various entitlement programs. Unfortunately, Americans are, apparently, unwilling to actually *pay* for those military expenditures and entitlement programs, and so you get mind-bogglingly large debt.

Incidentally, on a side note, here in my country, Canada, we have universal healthcare, universal education, university tuition that's actually affordable, old age security benefits, and a welfare system. And we're running a *surplus*. Just a little food for thought.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511347)

Incidentally, on a side note, here in my country, Canada, we have universal healthcare, universal education, university tuition that's actually affordable, old age security benefits, and a welfare system. And we're running a *surplus*.

Great... so the U.S. will soon become another Canada - universal free everything, and good at nothing.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511551)

Great... so the U.S. will soon become another Canada - universal free everything, and good at nothing.

Such as regulating banks?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512023)

Great... so the U.S. will soon become another Canada - universal free everything, and good at nothing.

Such as regulating banks?

No, no. Such as educating our children! No, wait... umm, such as providing decent health care to all!! No, no, that's not right either... hmmm, such as winning the war on terrorism!! No, wait, we suck at that too; maybe I meant the war on drugs!! Crap, we lost that one too... Oh I know this .... oh yeah -- exporting crappy caricatures of ourselves on television!!! Hah! America rules!! (the US-America that is). Take that, great white north!!

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25513929)

Im guessing your from the "REAL" America, and not that fake America I'm from!

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (2, Insightful)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511989)

Great... so the U.S. will soon become another Canada - universal free everything, and good at nothing.

If you take your finger out of your ass and use it to pick up a book you might learn about all the things Canada is good at. Ignorance is curable, after all.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511367)

Incidentally, on a side note, here in my country, Canada, we have universal healthcare, universal education, university tuition that's actually affordable, old age security benefits, and a welfare system. And we're running a *surplus*. Just a little food for thought.

Yeah.. But your Canadian. The shame alone is ....

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25512387)

Canada pays next to nothing for military because they know the US has their back. That goes a long way for social programs.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25513517)

Canada pays next to nothing for military because they know the US has their back. That goes a long way for social programs.

Uhh... you *are* aware that, prior to the Bush administration, the US was also running a surplus, while still managing to pay for their military?

Sorry, bud... it's a nice looking excuse, but it's only that. An excuse.

Oh, and in case you're curious, not only does Canada pay less, per capita, in total money for our healthcare program, we actually spend *less government money per capita*. It's true! You can find the numbers on NationMaster if you're curious. So while we may not fund a massive military, we *also* run a more efficient healthcare system than the US.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#25520161)

Incidentally, on a side note, here in my country, Canada, we have universal healthcare

- yeah, it only works well as long as you are young and healthy. My wife and I routinely drive to Buffalo, NY from Toronto ON to get prompt medical attention and once every couple of years fly to Germany for stuff that would be prohibitively expensive to do in the US but that is still light years better of what Canadian system has to offer.

universal education

- in US, don't they have universal education for primary and high schools just as well?

university tuition that's actually affordable

- and doctors who are useless after these universities.

old age security benefits

- and the gov't that promotes buying mutual funds as RRSPs, let's see how much of that was lost within the past 2 months?

and a welfare system

- which is abused.

And we're running a *surplus*.

- gee, you think it has nothing to do with being overtaxed?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25520857)

- yeah, it only works well as long as you are young and healthy. My wife and I routinely drive to Buffalo, NY from Toronto ON to get prompt medical attention and once every couple of years fly to Germany for stuff that would be prohibitively expensive to do in the US but that is still light years better of what Canadian system has to offer.

Yes. Welcome to the world of triage. Either we triage based on who needs the care more, or who can afford it. Suck it up. Better than a large fraction of your population going completely uncovered.

Oh, and if you believe waiting lists don't exist in the US, just ask someone who's care comes from an average HMO.

But, given you can afford to pay for your own care in the US, I can only assume you're not exactly in the demographic that would be excluded from the healthcare system in the US, so I'm hardly surprised you're complaining. After all, the rich benefit quite nicely in a system that excludes the poor.

- in US, don't they have universal education for primary and high schools just as well?

Did I say they didn't? No. That said, I've heard *many* people here on /. rail against the American public school system, and given how it rates relative to the rest of the world, I'd say it is, to put it mildly, mismanaged.

- and doctors who are useless after these universities.

Uhh... okay. If you say so.

I can say that Canadian universities are *extremely* well regarded in areas of computing science, biotechnology, and nanotech, among others.

- which is abused.

Yes, welcome to the free rider problem. Suck it up. At least my mom was able to get assistance when she needed it, allowing us to, you know, *not* have to live on the street.

But, again, I'm betting you're quite well off, so I don't expect you to understand. After all, if *you* don't use the system, what use is it? After all, the only people that use it are drunks and breeders who abuse the system, right?

- gee, you think it has nothing to do with being overtaxed?

No worse than the US (once you factor in things like employer-paid health care benefits). And yet we get more for our money. Which was the entire point of my post.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#25521327)

Yes. Welcome to the world of triage. Either we triage based on who needs the care more, or who can afford it. Suck it up. Better than a large fraction of your population going completely uncovered.

- are you familiar of the concept of false dichotomy? Germany has a dual system that works better than either the US or Canadian.

Did I say they didn't? No. That said, I've heard *many* people here on /. rail against the American public school system, and given how it rates relative to the rest of the world, I'd say it is, to put it mildly, mismanaged.

- Canadian public school system is just as mismanaged, nothing to be proud of here.

Uhh... okay. If you say so.

I can say that Canadian universities are *extremely* well regarded in areas of computing science, biotechnology, and nanotech, among others.

- nice to know that there are lucky people out there who get good professionals as opposed to useless ones, who can't even diagnose correctly, forget about treatment.

Yes, welcome to the free rider problem. Suck it up.

- why suck it up? There is no reason why it should be impossible to get rid of the free riders, this is a political problem of a country that is too liberal for its own good.

No worse than the US (once you factor in things like employer-paid health care benefits). And yet we get more for our money. Which was the entire point of my post.

- in Toronto we don't get more for our money.

We get doctor shortage.
We get competent doctors shortage, which is a subset of the first problem.
We get emergency rooms with 1 doctor, who is too busy to attend to actual emergencies because he is 'teaching' the residents.
We get to wait for 9 month to see a specialist and 1/2 of a year for biopsy.
We get crumbling infrastructure with no new roads built, no new subways, but we get these new wonderful and useless bike lanes (soon on our highways) and streetcars that take lanes away from normal traffic.
We get our property taxes shooting up by 30% this year.
We get RRSPs sinking 30% this quarter, so forget about that 'comfortable retirement plan' that your government was forcing you into.
We get shootings every day, people wake in their pathetic cardboard houses with bullets in them that were meant for some gangster.
We get 600sq/ft apartments for half a million.
We get the manufacturing being outsourced all the way to the cheapest of the cheap and then we get baby pacifiers back with lead in them.

Oh yeah, it's peachy.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25521885)

You never get tired of whining about this, do you?

If you and your wife are in the condition that you need to go to Buffalo or Germany a significant, notable and bitchworthy amount, then maybe this isn't the country for you.

Get out, win win situation for everyone.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25522249)

- are you familiar of the concept of false dichotomy? Germany has a dual system that works better than either the US or Canadian.

Great! I'd love to hear about it! Seriously.

Here's a hint: Just because I think Canada's system is better than the US's, doesn't mean I think it's perfect or infallible. Only an idiot is that closed minded.

- Canadian public school system is just as mismanaged, nothing to be proud of here.

Bitch bitch bitch. Again, my point isn't that Canada is perfect. It's that the American system is *really* bad, even though they're blowing hundreds of billions of deficit dollars. They can do better, and we already have, even if we aren't "the best" (according to you).

- nice to know that there are lucky people out there who get good professionals as opposed to useless ones, who can't even diagnose correctly, forget about treatment.

Again, blah blah blah. Bad doctors exist everywhere. You're *seriously* deluded if you think that Canada is any worse off in this regard.

- why suck it up? There is no reason why it should be impossible to get rid of the free riders, this is a political problem of a country that is too liberal for its own good.

No, you can't. It's implicit in any social welfare system. You can reduce the problem, but you end up limiting legitimate access. It's simply life, whether you like it or not. And personally, I'm willing to accept the small fraction of abusers so that those who legitimately need the system have it available.

- in Toronto we don't get more for our money.

Wow, I really don't give a shit. So your province sucks, how's that my problem? Not every province is as bad off as yours is. And I'm willing to bet yours isn't nearly as bad as you claim, you just like to complain because your poor salary is taxed more than you'd like.

Besides which, you're probably *still* better off than your average American. Shortage of competent, affordable doctors? Check. Crumbling infrastructure (like, say, collapsing bridges)? Check. Long waiting lists? Check. Destroyed retirement savings? Check. Sky-high violent crime rates? Check. Outsourced labour? Check.

But they *also* get: inaccessible healthcare for a large fraction of the population, a financial system that's evaporating before their eyes, a retirement system that may be on the verge of bankruptcy, a voting system that's horribly outdated, error prone, and corrupt, a broken political system rife with legalized bribery (aka, "lobbying") and corruption, an education system that's beyond bad relative to the rest of the world... and all while they're *still* paying a fair bit in taxes, and running a truly massive deficit.

And this is my fundamentally point: no, Canada is not perfect. But for our dollar, our system *is*, generally speaking, *better*. Can it be improved? Always. But it could also be so very much worse. And the US *can* do better, even if the libertarians would have us believe otherwise.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1, Troll)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511297)

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Above you can see an example of a early 21st century Homo Americanensis thinking. The species died out shortly after due to brain starvation.

One of the characteristics about this failed species was their egocentric orientation and allergy towards the common good. It eventually led to isolationism and the world turning towards more lucrative areas and the species faded avay quickly... Now if you will follow me into the next exhibition hall..

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511631)

There's a difference between the "common good" and helping people out, and having other people demand it of you, though; a lot of the left doesn't seem to understand that.

A problem of society in general is that people aren't giving enough and use their money to buy petty things, it's true. But I'm very uncomfortable with others telling me what I "owe" them.

Truthfully, no one is really against the common good, except maybe the true antisocial person, which is probably more apathetic to it than evil, and are really few and far between. Many people just hate the idea of OTHERS telling them what they need to supply to the "common good". Social consensus does not equal morality.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512345)

And this is basically an idea that is force fed you from childhood onwards. It results in an egocentric society like USA is today, socially, USA is already a third world country, the southern coast line from Pensacola to the Mexican border looks like you average third world country.

Every year passing by, with some form of natural disaster, the society is sinking deeper into the abyss because nobody feel it is a common interest and good for the country to pool money together and rebuild these areas. Today, years later, the areas still looks like the ruins of Europe did in 1945, the difference was that three years later, it looked nothing like it had just been through five years of war, USA's southern coast looks worse today.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512813)

Some people are really confused. Social security and the various welfare benefits are much more about running a stable, sociable, low stress society. For example universal health means, that we people are suffering, and parent worry about a child serious illness or injury, they do not also have to worry about how they are going to pay for it.

The underlying principles of effective social welfare nets are two fold, firstly there is the basic philosophical principle of society via declared ownership of all resource denying people the opportunity for a subsistence lifestyle basically forcing them into servitude to those with protected control of all resources and secondly and most importantly it is substantially cheaper to provide free health, free accommodation and a subsistence income than it is to imprison them when they break laws because they are incapable of effectively competing to gain access to those needed resources let alone the cost and suffering of the victims of crime.

How much more blatant does it have to be, three countries in a row, from north to south, an effective social welfare net and a low crime rate in the north, than as you go south the social welfare decreases as the crime rate increases, hmm, Canada - USA - Mexico, but this is ignored because of course greed always leads to blind ignorance.

The same ignorance is found when it comes to questions. The previous Australian government developed a stupid principle where they would not fund research unless it lead to profitable outcomes, net result, funding for permanent solutions that can't be sold but only given away to major problems was cut off in preference to solutions that could be sold to 'friendly' sic corporations that could sell them back to the public at an enormous profit ie. curing the disease rather than treating the symptoms or as in the case of fruit fly research, permanently eliminating the problem by effective genetic research rather than creating and continually selling for a profit pesticides that end up damaging the environment and farmers bank balances but generates an enormous profit for 'friendly' sic corporations.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25514587)

If censoring certain speech would make society more "stable", "sociable", and "low stress", would you accept that?

What about a police state of sorts?

What if, if it were determined, that having everyone's job picked out for them by the government and all wealth was shared equally, and freedom of speech was put under tight controls actually was THE best way to go about fulfilling these goals? Would you STILL support it? Granted, most people would be happy, but a few would very much not be.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Tycho (11893) | more than 5 years ago | (#25515685)

If censoring certain speech would make society more "stable", "sociable", and "low stress", would you accept that?

If the speech blocked and prosecuted was speech that openly gave plans and detailed instructions seriously advocating the commission of serious crimes, like a violent revolution, then I have absolutely no problem with that. I think that one would have to be a pretty serious whack job to think otherwise.

What about a police state of sorts?

A police state would most likely one of the intermediate states from the fall of a democracy due to a violent revolution. The police state would come after the certain collapse of any partial or full implementation of some sort of libertarian state. Many of the ideas and theories espoused by libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics have been shown to be unsupported by scientifically useful evidence and by scientific experiments. For instance, ask the former employees of Lehman Brothers or AIG about what they think about the existance of self-organizational actions of essentially unregulated markets. I think you can guess the response.

Nice flamebait, bad argument (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25514469)

Nice name-calling. If a Republican tried that kind of country-bashing, it would be modded flamebait by indignant liberals (much like my grandparent post has been for daring to dissent from liberal nanny state orthodoxy).

But the United States didn't become the world's lone economic superpower in a mere two hundred years through Marxism. It was through rugged individualism, self-reliance, initiative, innovation, and plain hard work. Never before has so much capital been amassed in such a short time. You see, in America, many of us believe that making yourself better by yourself is a much more equitable system than making everyone the same, regardless of their talents or industriousness. As Winnie said,

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

But at least with capitalism, you have a choice.

No, we Americans are not extinct, oh self-righteous one. Yes, the US economy has hit a speed bump, but even on our worst day, we still have better growth and lower unemployment than any of your holier-than-thou Western European social democracies, most of which have been around at least five times as long as the US. And as I have argued before, it was through government tinkering with the economy - setting artificially low interest rates, creating government-sponsored ATMs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Congress leaning on banks to make poor people with bad credit homeowners, etc. - that caused this, government control of markets, not capitalism.

It is funny though, how socialism has failed over and over, yet the left just won't quit trying to force it on people. But (government-tainted) capitalism has a bad year, and suddenly it's a failure.

Re:Nice flamebait, bad argument (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25514679)

That's a great post.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511313)

Palin criticized fruit fly research in France as taking money away from IDEA--the research she was referring to was a study on a protein that we think may be connected to autism.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511353)

unfortunately the war, is the reason we are 10T in debt, not "dont cut my program" Science in the US is so underfunded it is pitiful, When I have to spend more time fighting to maintain my fellowship then actually performing research it should be obvious that science is not the #1 concern.

Look at the DoD budget vs the NASA budget.

How about you get a clue next time dude.

Yes this is a flame.

I'm Clay McCain and I approved this message.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511479)

No. We're in debt because of government spending money on shit that's not the job of government. National defense is the number one job of the Federal government. Social programs are not Constitutional. Where does it say that you have the right to my money? Rights are only rights if they DO NOT require others to pay the bill.

I'm Thomas Jefferson and I disapprove of your message.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511589)

Where does it say that you have the right to my money?

indeed, where does it say that you can take my money and use it to invade other countries not in self defense? I agree that social programs at the federal level are unconstitutional owing to the tenth amendment however, it is equally wrong to use tax money in the manner the military is now using it. the military after all under an interventionalist policy has expanded to the point where it is the single largest section of the federal government. it may be constitutional to create and fund military power for defensive purposes but it is *wrong* to use that force where it is not defensive, it is not the job of the federal government to conquer the world with my money, it is the federal government's job to defend this nation from attack. I'm a libertarian and I approved this message

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511705)

Well, then, lets just get rid of public schools, social security, medicare, etc. The whole point of the *government* spending money on such things is that it provides for the common good. Without government intervention, we'd still be stuck with private schools for the rich only.

I would really much rather not have such a huge military budget than cut programs designed to promote the common good.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (2, Insightful)

atomic brainslide (87546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512249)

pragmatically speaking, your government is going to tax your ass whether you like it or not (for the foreseeable future). this means they already have your hard earned cash to do with as they please. you can now look at the situation in one of two ways.

1. the government spends about 60-70% of all that money paying for a "defense" budget, wallstreet bailouts, and interest on the debt it has accumulated.

2. the government cuts "defense" funding to 30% and puts the same cash to work in programs that put better food on your table, give you better medicines, better roads, parks, clean air and water, more free time to enjoy your life, better and cheaper education, and a more beautiful city or town in which you live.

the way i read your response is that you'd rather see the government spend money on "defense" (using the term very lightly), killing people in other nations, spying on you and your family, and creating illegal prison camps for "terrorists". whereas people like myself would rather see the government use the money that it "stole" from me in a way that actually improves my quality of life and doesn't infringe on my rights and freedoms.

hell of a country, the USA.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512883)

From what I can tell on Wikipedia, the Dept. of Defense gets 16.6%, 5% on the GWOT, 1.4% on the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. That adds up to far less than the 30% you recommend.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

atomic brainslide (87546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25519535)

From what I can tell on Wikipedia, the Dept. of Defense gets 16.6%, 5% on the GWOT, 1.4% on the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. That adds up to far less than the 30% you recommend.

Here's a link to the USA Government Budget [whitehouse.gov] . The number you're looking for is in table S-3 to the tune of $410.7 billion.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

atomic brainslide (87546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25519561)

wooops. my bad. need to learn to read tables :D you're right that the defense budget is about 16% of the whole.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511355)

OBJECTION!

The reason why we are $10T into debt is because we have a fucktard for a president that is spending billions every day on a pointless war to fill the federal reserves pockets.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511441)

Well, we could stop spending so much public money killing brown people.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511517)

If we truly only wanted to kill brown people, Iraq would be glowing a pale shade of green by now.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511563)

OK, so there are other reasons for our presence there. Are they economically justifiable?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511857)

If we truly only wanted to kill brown people, Iraq would be glowing a pale shade of green by now.

True, the objectives are more subtle: killng all the brown people who are unwilling to accept US elites' rule. Otherwise known as "Standard Imperial Procedure". Nuking Iraq is incompatible with the doctrine of Pax Americana whereby the (mostly) US-centred economic feudal nobility gets to rule and own pretty much everything, including the natural resources of places like Iraq. All pretences of any other purpose were long abandoned with the return of pan-national oil conglomerates to Iraq.

5T$ and growing from republican policies. (4, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511445)

"It might be fashionable to make fun of Palin on Slashdot, where people pretend to be constitutional purists and libertarians. But this type of thinking, "don't cut my program" is why America is $10T in debt, not counting the 79 million baby boomers about to retire and demand their Social Security and Medicare."

When Bush took over the debt was 5 Trillion and was shrinking under budget surpluses.

Large unsustainable tax cuts with a trillion dollar war of choice are the main culprits in the current 10 Trillion Debt level. Your grand children will suffer mainly from the Bush legacy. Not fruit file research.

Re:5T$ and growing from republican policies. (2, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512061)

Your grand children will suffer mainly from the Bush legacy. Not fruit file research.

Yes but fruit file research will suffer for other reasons; mostly because it's very difficult to get all those oddly shaped fruits into manila folders.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511451)

My displeasure with Palin in this case(like my displeasure with McCain in the "3 million dollar overhead projector" case) is not about spending policy, it is about disingenuous rhetoric.

I may or may not agree, depending on the instance; but I fully support people debating the merits of various projects, either in the broad sense of "what are the principles that guide what we do and do not pay for and how?" or in the narrow "is this particular project worth it or not?" sense. What I find objectionable, though, is people batting at strawmen rather than doing that.

In this case, the "Fruit fly research in Paris, France", as best I can tell, appears to have been Rep. Mike Thompson, D-California's $742,764 for research on the olive fruit fly. As it happens, that fly is a rather pernicious invasive species [ucdavis.edu] in California, where it has been spreading through the olive crop for the last decade or so. Personally, I'm of the opinion that large scale pest management, like national defence or law enforcement, is something that is very imperfectly, at best, handled by the private sector(if you are trying to wipe out an invasive species, a single farmer who attempts to free ride can serve as a harbor, etc. The feds have also achieved some notable successes in the area, particularly the Screwworm eradication starting in the 50s) That said, I'm totally open to disagreement with that, or the assertion that it should be handled through the department of agriculture rather than an earmark, or whatever. What annoys me is that, rather than an actual position on spending, we just got a soundbite and a snicker.

That is what annoys me. I agree that we spend too much, and we do a very poor job of examining our spending; but that is part of why exercises like this one annoy me. Soundbite sniping might be a good way to kill a particular program, especially if it has an amusing name, or involves something that you can get a knee jerk reaction to; but it is corrosive to any kind of national dialogue about spending. If we plan to reign in spending, we need leaders who will stand up and support reasons that underlie spending decisions, rather than working according to ad-hoc emotional appeals.

FRANCE (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511635)

I like how she's careful to include that obviously rehearsed "Paris, France" barb. First of all there's still this negative attitude toward France for trying to warn us against a disastrous war. Second there's this implicit mockery of the fact that we're investigating an invasive species from the Mediterranean at a research facility in liberal FRANCE instead of one in the Good Old USA where the flies can escape to infest surrounding areas.

I'm really going to miss this lady.

Re:FRANCE (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511671)

After all, why would you look for possible biological control organisms in a pest's native habitat?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511489)

While there is truth in your argument, I'd say it's important to remember the amounts we are talking about. Spending on basic, IMHO useful research such as Drosophila (which is one of the best model organisms, especially in genetics and neurosciences) makes up a minuscule percentage of government spending. Defense, on the other hand, is still (again) at cold war levels.

Even if someone has the opinion that spending on the sciences should be cut, it's not an excuse to be a redneck-pandering idiot and mock the science. It's perfectly possible to say "I wish we could spend more on C. elegans, but I believe the joint strike fighter is more important". It'd be wrong, but at least it wouldn't be idiotic.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511511)

Yes, there is unnecessary government spending but to say that the money spent scientific research is the reason the country is in debt is laughable. Ok, it's not, it's actually pretty sad. I guess for someone who believes that all the knowledge is contained in an ancient book and that a magical being in the sky is controlling everything that goes on on Earth, any money spent on science is wasted. ( http://www.google.com/search?q=palin+religious+beliefs [google.com] )

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511585)

You're talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, right?

Proving my point (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511949)

Yes, there is unnecessary government spending but to say that the money spent scientific research is the reason the country is in debt is laughable

This is exactly my point. It's only a million here, a million there. Somehow, we get to $3 Trillion. 60 percent of which is spent on entitlements ($1.8T). As grandparent poster, my point is that this kind of thinking, "it's only XX million," and "not my program" is how we get there.

You see, when spending other peoples' money, "it's only XX million" doesn't sound so bad. Because those voting all these appropriations will be long dead once the real bills come due.

Re:Proving my point (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25514407)

I understood your point, but my comment was aimed at Palin for picking out the science expenditure out of all things that the government is spending money on, and the possibility that she picks her targets in order to placate the religious right (or possibly even out of her own genuine religious beliefs which would be even worse) more than in order to reduce the government spending in general

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511515)

not counting the 79 million baby boomers about to retire and demand their Social Security and Medicare

Which is paid for out of taxes that come out of every paycheck.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511743)

yeah, but we've been raiding their retirements for years now because they had a surplus *then*. If those idiots in congress hadn't raided social security, it could still be a self-sustaining program, as it was intended.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511559)

I'm not sure why your complaints are directed at libertarians (or liberals/phony libertarians? Your signature is confusing me!) All the libertarians--ALL OF THEM--scoff at the excuses you gave. Some libertarians are unfortunately the Social Darwinist type, as well, and think the homeless should "just get jobs" and don't understand the roots of homelessness. Many libertarians I know are also a bit dogmatic on issues such as free will and don't want to admit that people are machines and simply put some people just don't function as well as others and may need psychological help to fix whatever is contributing to their homelessness.

Not all libertarians are like that--libertarianism is, at its core, a political philosophy, like socialism or anarchism or similar, and generally it's rather consistent although I think many libertarians are rather dogmatic, almost utopian (although they are not true utopians and don't think of themselves as utopian) in nature towards how things will turn out. Quite strange, as they are often bent on economics and talk about (rightly, I feel) subjective value and things are often a system of tradeoffs.

All ideology aside, fruit fly research, like most scientific research, is valuable no matter where the funding comes from. No, I'm not making any argument on where it should come from, or that the ends justify the means. But many people do not have a great understanding of science, particularly evolution and comparative biology, and want these programs cut because their intuition tells them search on cow farts or fruit flies is useless and provides little help to humans. Not that there isn't useless research, but you often have to understand the field on some level to understand why the research is important and its implications.

This leads me back to Americans and science. Americans don't understand science. Just ask Joe Schmoe to explain evolution, you'll get a lot of stuttering and probably some mixed-up talk of fish growing legs or something. Which is quite sad, because all they really need is the basics of natural selection and individual variation to explain how evolution works. The fact that people don't understand evolution is exactly why things like fruit fly research is mocked, by the way--they don't understand that despite being vastly different creatures, there are often many things that can be extrapolated from vastly different species to humans or other creatures, despite hearing stories about fish being genetically engineered to glow in the dark from firefly genes, or such!

The true libertarians, not the Bill Maher type or the "South Park" type, are against all government funding based on the belief that democracy is inherently immoral and unjustified and, from that, taxes are generally tantamount to stealing, because libertarianism is based NOT on "the greater good" but on the individual being the base unit of morality and that no amount of social consensus justifies infringing on the individual's right to autonomy; they generally reject the utilitarian arguments (although, in my experience, tend to employ them when they feel the arguments are in their favor and tend to deny the existence of any downsides of a libertarian system) in favor of "natural rights" either in its original sense or as a personal/ethical/political code. Libertarianism does not mean "generally Republican on economic issues, generally liberal on social issues" although the term is starting to evolve more into that direction and judging by Bob Barr's Libertarian nomination, it appears the Libertarian Party has gone that route as well.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511637)

I assure you what the USA spent in one year in the Iraq war surpasses by an order of magnitude the budget of all sorts of research projects around the world, combined, in the same time period.

How much was the Iraq spending again? 200 billion per month?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

AySz88 (1151141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511745)

Oh, so it has nothing to do with unnecessary war and poor economic management, then? Wow, and here I thought...

War critics, stop being illogical (2, Informative)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511937)

Yes, this war was unnecessary in that we were not attacked by Iraq and it costs money. But put away your emotion and knee-jerk ideology and Bush Derangement Syndrome and note some important facts:

1) Compared to the chief role of the US government today - redistribution of wealth [csmonitor.com] - The Iraq War is a mere drop in the bucket;

2) Compared to other wars, this one is rather cheap [freerepublic.com] , and we are spending about 38% on the military today compared to what we did in 1960;

3) The war won't last forever. Government programs will.

I am not ignoring the costs of the war. It all adds up. But for God's sake people, we are spending 60% of our budget on entitlements (not called for by the Constitution) while we spend 17% on the military (called for in the Constitution). Get some perspective.

I'll be reasonable and say the war costs money. OK, that's bad. Now it's your turn to be reasonable and say that spending $1.8 trillion of our $3 trillion budget with a $10T debt - and the $75T off-budget Social Security and Medicare liability looming - is a larger problem than any temporary war, and is not only bad, but really really bad.

Re:War critics, stop being illogical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25513591)

You republican idiots can't seem to understand that your policies have failed. You had your time and you failed us all. It cost the nation 5 fucking trillion dollars! It is time to see what real progress looks like.

Nice well-reasoned comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25514345)

Typical liberal. Try to be reasonable and calmly discuss the facts with them, but they shriek like children, stomp their feet, and call you names.

Lame.

Re:Nice well-reasoned comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25514527)

Who fucking said I was liberal? Republicans ahve to accept their failure before anything will improve.

Re:Nice well-reasoned comeback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25519559)

Typical idiot. Lumps all "other" into one tidy group, so all the better to vilify and hate them (and call them names).

This is not political. You are a non-partisan idiot, but idiot none the less.

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

raind (174356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511981)

I doubt that, why between the 1T or more bailout of wall street and the flawed and failing war in Iraq that's alot of dough right there, no?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

atomic brainslide (87546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512003)

[a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/summarytables.html]USA Government Budget[/a] for 2006, 2007, 2008, etc.

i'm sure if you look at the budget figures even with a [i]cursory[/i] glance you will notice that [b]defense[/b] spending, and interest payments on current debt constitute an enormous bulk of USA's debt (well over 50%!). that doesn't even include the MASSIVE $700B bailout package to wallstreet; a number that dwarfs even the defense budget!

[i]Table S-2[/i] has your basic budget figures, [i]Table S-7[/i] contains your net interest figures. [i]Table S-9[/i] has a very rosy picture of economic assumptions and [i]Table S-10[/i] has the debt financing figures.

seeing you try to pass the blame for $10T debt off onto social services and research that actually creates value, wealth, long term security, and growth for your society makes the mind boggle.

Is anyone bothered this was "flamebaited"? (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25516197)

Does anyone care about this mod abuse?

Re:Is anyone bothered this was "flamebaited"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25522363)

I don't know what would be more worrying, if you are trolling, or if you really are that fucking stupid.

I'm increasingly convinced that it's the latter, so you are probably right about the mod abuse.

Take one for the team yourself, and remove yourself from the gene pool.

More brave, thoughtful debate from the left (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25522511)

Call names and hide behind anonymity. So typical.

Why can't the left just debate instead of call people names (and mod them down) when someone disagrees with them?

Re:This is why we are $10T in debt (1)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25517635)

You, sir, strike me as a dipshit.

The Baby Boomers paid their tax dollar all their working lives, seeing it squandered on "Patriotic" Pet Wars and Lobbies Against Gun Control, and now people like you are complaining they actually want a pension? You seem to forget that the same baby boomers built the roads you drive on, the cars you drive in, the houses you sleep in and the Walmart you shop at. Hell, they even grew the potato you bought at the Walmart.

The fact that the US is 10T in the hole has much, much more to do with:

- Wasting most of your GDP on buying bibles and lobbying against the teaching of evolution and the suppressing of gay rights
- Invading countries you have no business of invading
- Sticking your grubby little fingers in other nations' disputes by sponsoring some faction or other
- The fact that you manufacture everything to be "bigger" and "better" and hence inefficient cum artificial (Harley vs Suzuki, Buick vs Toyota, giant tasteless tomatoes)
- The incessant development of Weapons of Mass Destruction
- The incessant development of Counter Weapons against other nations alleged WMD's
- The incessant spending on Billion Dollar Commercial campaigns for Elections
- The increase in commercialism that was fostered on top of a financial structure built like house of cards in a minor storm
- Trillion dollar salaries for everyone and their uncle who calls themselves a CEO or captain of industry
- The popular notion that three SUV type cars with five DVD players in each are needed to take 2 kids to school
- Housing 25% of the world's prisoners while only being 4.2% of the world's population
- Attempting to wire tap all telephone conversations on the planet

So why don't you cut down on military spending, mind your own bloody business for a change, develop a sense of pragmatism and modesty and use some of the cash you'll save to:

- Provide medical care for your citizens
- Guarantee a decent standard of living for your poor
- Properly Educate the ever increasing amount of morons that roam your streets
- Take decent care of your hard working, tax paying, now retired elderly
- Research fruit flies

You call the above Utopian? I've got three words for you in that case:
- Sweden
- Switzerland
- Holland

Damn, even Israel, which is a war zone by any means, has more civilized foreign policies, better literacy percentages and a higher mean age than you clowns nowadays.

Now go sit in a corner, ponder that for a while and be very, very quiet lest you put your foot in your mouth again by railing against people that make fun of Sarah Palin. The fact that the American people actually allowed for the mere possibility of putting that woman in any office of power indicates that your society has herewith become the laughing stock of this world, and I for one am squarely on the World's (TM) side with regards to that assertion.

In the words of John Cafferty: It's PATHETIC!

Sweet (4, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511213)

I'm one step closer to getting my disability check when they identify the gene for humans. It's not laziness, it's a disease.

Re:Sweet (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511997)

"I'm one step closer to getting my disability check when they identify the gene for humans. It's not laziness, it's a disease."

A disease with a nice ring to it. "I'm Diapausic!"

Combine this with Asperger's and I have a medical excuse for being a lazy asshole.

Time flies like an arrow... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511233)

Couch potatoes like a banana fritter. With syrup.

The Eviiil Sarah Palin (-1, Troll)

leereyno (32197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511237)

Now that I realize that Sarah Palin is unaware of the benefits of esoteric research into the lifecycle of the fruit fly, I have no choice but to vote for Obama/Biden.

Obama may be a dyed in the wool hard core crypto-marxist with deep ties to communist terrorists, organized voter fraud, and campaign finance fraud, and Biden may be a leftist flunkie, but there is no way I can vote for a candidate who can't appreciate the significance of fruit fly research to the public good.

More Obama Facts (4, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511345)

Did you know that...

Barack Obama's education was paid for by Saudi Arabian oil princes?

Barack Obama plans to enslave all of the hard-working, white Americans as part of black reparations?

Barack Obama paid $200,000 to the German Nazi organization UMLAUT to drive up attendance to his Berlin rally?

Michelle Obama retains her youthful look by bathing in the blood of infants?

Both Obamas are trained in the art of voodoo witchcraft?

Obama's supporters have engaged in a campaign of violence to terrorize God-fearing McCain supporters, including an underground vault where they torture and kill McCain campaign volunteers?

Obama's third-grade essay claimed that his personal heroes included Stalin, Mao, and Caligula?

The More You Know.

Re:More Obama Facts (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511373)

Before you mod it down, it's called being facetious.

But not too facetious. Go check out some of the videos from outside Palin rallies.

Re:More Obama Facts (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511699)

Parent is being facetious here. He's trying to make a point. There really are people out there who believe these ludicrous and spurious claims. Most of them attend Sarah Palin rallies. It's extremely scary how absolutely, positively stupid some people are. I mean, anyone who did 10 minutes of research and 5 minutes of critical thinking could easily see that all of these claims are completely without merit.

Oh, and even if the Obamas were trained in voodoo witchcraft? So what! Voudon is a constitutionally-protected religious practice in this country.

Re:More Obama Facts (1)

leereyno (32197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512209)

What a lovely straw man you have constructed.

Re:More Obama Facts (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25512771)

It's only [youtube.com]
a slight [youtube.com]
hyperbole. [lasvegassun.com]

Your signature is a nice touch.

New Discovery (Kinda (OK, Not Realy)) (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511305)

So, this "mutation" occurs in fruit flies and that is news because...we haven't found it before except in other flies in the 90s? Do we have a better grasp on this couch potato gene thanks to fruit fly research? Are you sure that some researcher wasn't just toking up in the lab? I mean, seems I get sluggish and act abnormally when I get high - I don't go hibernate like a bear, I just do things slower and differently.

High flies.

fly brain (0, Troll)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511415)

I guess that political candidate has some mutations in his brain also.

Re:fly brain (1)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511543)

Oh, excuse me, her brain. I was speaking metaphorically anyway.

I love these recent studies about the genetic and personality differences between Rs and Ds. Of course, there are some nature~nurture, urban~rural, and educated~uneducated arguments too, but the brain has duality built into it, and some people think more emotionally, and some people think more rationally. We all do both, all the time, but some people are more one-sided than others. Mutants. Strongly opinionated.

Did you see Linus talk about git? He should have been wearing a t-shirt that says "your code sucks, you're ugly, and you're stupid."

I don't believe it (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511539)

How amny ridiculous genes do we have already? And now the couch potato gene. It's just dumbing down results of research too much so the public can understand it. Please stop this nonsense.

CA experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511557)

This story is completely bogus. When I lived in California, I did not see even a single fruit fly on my couch!

Of course (2, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511725)

refuting a recent statement by a political candidate that fruit fly research has 'little or nothing to do with the public good.'

That scientific paper the politician had in his hands had "couch", "potato", "fruit", "fly" and "diapause" in it.

Try publishing a paper with the words "penis", "growth", "stamina", "huge", "could beat an animal to death with it in the forest" and see how fast you get bipartisan funding.

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25511785)

Duh! Everyone knows potato is a vegetable.

Does the fruit fly then become (1)

jhylkema (545853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511897)

the crack spider's bitch [youtube.com] ?

I can't wait for the elections to be over (0, Offtopic)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511923)

If I wanted political commentary, I would have signed up for the "politics" section. Just give me the science and technology, please.

Government expendatures not really an issue (1)

AndreaASU (1392781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25511985)

I'm not quite sure why we even consider the ludicrousness of our government expenditures. The U.S. government spends millions on funding fictitious colleges, medicare abuses, frivolous lawsuits, and studies that remind me of the song, "Things that make you go hmmm". I would sure like to know why my co-workers are so lazy and why we cant create more "worker bees" in this world. And how did this turn to politics anyway? Weren't we talking about flies???

Maybe this is a lesson (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25512093)

That people who don't believe in science should just stop trying to talk about it.

Time flies like an arrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25514533)

Fruit flies like a banana.

Sounds like my 10th grade biology class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25515295)

I had a biology class where we did experimentations with fruit flies to study genetics. We would put the fruit flies into sealed tubes, and then place the tube into cold water. The drop in temperature would "put them to sleep" allowing you to place them under a stereoscope to identify gender and any mutations from breeding.

Anyone else do this biology experiment in high school?

Human counterpart? (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25517043)

Something to keep in mind -- there is always a fair chance that humans may turn out to have some related version of this gene. Even if it may no longer perform the same types of function in the same place as the fly.

Famous example might be the hedgehog genes, loss-of-function mutations in them turned fruitfly embryos into little hedgehog-shapes. Much later, homologues were found in humans, with involvement in congenital defects (Leading to unfortunate situations where a doctor has to tell a mom her child has a Sonic hedgehog [wikipedia.org] mutation).

So does this have a counterpart in humans? I have no idea. But I'd be interested to know if this has any involvement in depression. It's sometimes been argued that some forms of depression may result from an evolutionary trait gone haywire, in which the goal was to direct a person to conserve resources and hunker down.

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