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Controlling Fear By Modifying DNA

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the turning-somebody-into-one-of-the-x-men-would-also-subdue-fear dept.

Biotech 105

An anonymous reader writes "The fear of flying or of skittering spiders can mean more than just a momentary increase in heart rate and a pair of sweaty palms. A hard-core phobia can lead to crippling anxiety. Now an international team of researchers says it believes it has found a way to silence the gene that feeds phobic fear via a novel mechanism of gene regulation associated with fear extinction. The notion appears to be that phobias arise from experiences that have left an outsized imprint on gene expression, and that undoing this can undo the anxiety itself. The study was published this month (abstract) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

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I thought fear was a choice (5, Funny)

guytoronto (956941) | about 5 months ago | (#46941921)

At least, that's what Will Smith told me.

Re:I thought fear was a choice (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46942133)

Apparently, that's what the study says as well.

STUPIDITY (4, Funny)

zoomshorts (137587) | about 5 months ago | (#46942525)

They need to get to work on STUPIDITY. Fear has it's uses.

Re:STUPIDITY (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 5 months ago | (#46943437)

So does stupidity. How else are you going to get someone to go put their life on the line fighting to prop up abusive regimes in far off nations so that we can secure exploitative mineral export deals?

Firsty post!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46941925)

Pissing ice since 1995.

What could go wrong? (3, Insightful)

brainstem (519778) | about 5 months ago | (#46941941)

Um yea, I don't see ANY potential problems by altering someone's genetics to remove fear. This reads like a bad sci-fi movie plot.

Re:What could go wrong? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942069)

Lack of fear as a child has been correlated with development of criminal behavior later in life: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/712468

While reducing the fear response could be useful as a treatment for a crippling phobia, it would almost certainly contribute to risky behavior as well.

Re:What could go wrong? (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46942523)

Probably, but even if you take aware natural fears like claustrophobia or fear of snakes, spiders or the dark you'll still have intellectual fears. Nobody naturally fears going to prison - okay maybe the claustrophobia or the prison rapes but not the deprivation of liberty as such, that's an intellectual thing because you've learned about the law where your rational mind tells you that if you do crime you might get caught and might go to prison. If there's a correlation I think it's because you become more of a thrill seeker where higher propensity of criminal activity is a secondary effect. Which sounds just right when I look back at those I grew up with, the thrill seekers were also trouble makers many of which later ended up in trouble with the law.

Besides, if you're having a crippling fear it might still make sense. I have someone I know who was suffering from horrible epilepsy attacks, in his 30s but still living with his parents who couldn't leave him alone, no job, no education, no drivers license because the seizures disrupted everything and if they weren't treated he could die. What he got is from what I can tell pretty much a modern lobotomy, they found the part of his brain that was causing it and cut most or all the links into that section. Let's just say it wasn't for everyone but he at least got semi-functioning, got a driver's license, finished a trade and overall got a life afterwards. If they're so horrible afraid they just can't cope with normal everyday life then really drastic measures might be called for.

Re:What could go wrong? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46944271)

A phobia is a lot different from a regular fear, and different in more than just a degree of fear. This treatment, if the research pans out, is not about removing fear but about fixing specific phobias.

I've got a phobia, and it is not like your general anxiety or misgivings about a situation. You can walk into a situation and think everything is fine and then suddenly freeze up. Sort of like going to the humane shelter to pick out a puppy and when you get there the sound of barking causes your palms to sweat and your heart to race. It is often totally illogical and unrelated to risky actions or situations. In my case it's actually getting worse as I get older, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It's not crippling but I am definitely altering behavior and plans to avoid it.

Re:What could go wrong? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46942125)

Good thing this has nothing to do with that right?

btw, if you actually read it, it reads nothing like a bad sci-fi movie.

Disabled Geniuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942127)

Fear is great for fight or flight. That's it.

Removing it *completely* might be dangerous - it kicks in faster than higher-thinking, so it makes avoiding a car-crash easier. If this "instantaneous" fear can be preserved while dampening the "phobic fear" this article is talking about, that's a HUGE win. Think of all the geniuses out there who've had phobias, and how limited they are by them. (Tesla - big example). That's just the famous ones - maybe the undiscovered ones could add to more to society if they were given a chance to be free from debilitating phobias.

Re:Disabled Geniuses (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#46942761)

fear is probably one of our oldest (evolutionary speaking) emotions. how many other systems within body/mind could possibly rely upon it?

With something as fantastically complex and interconnected as the brain, altering it to handle a superficial manifestation of something as primitive as 'fear' couldn't possibly have wide ranging side effects could it?

Re:Disabled Geniuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944621)

Pain is your bodies way to tell you something is wrong
Fear is your bodies way to tell you that you might get hurt
Screw with either of those and you are not gong to have a positive outcome, i.e. people who have no idea that their actions will lead to them being hurt

Re:What could go wrong? (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 5 months ago | (#46943211)

The Bene Gesserit found out what can go wrong when you breed fear out.

Re:What could go wrong? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#46943369)

Um yea, I don't see ANY potential problems by altering someone's genetics to remove fear. This reads like a bad sci-fi movie plot.

Your fear of having your DNA modified can be dealt with by a simple DNA modification...

Re:What could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944863)

We could go on all night naming sci-fi shows that dealt with "what could go wrong? We're just tweaking genes!"
Oh, but THAT will never happen!
The STNG (Star Trek Next Gen) episode where gene manipulation goes awry and everybody starts to devolve comes to mind.

Seems dauntless (2)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 5 months ago | (#46941951)

The Divergent series is all about gene manipulation including the fear gene. If only it was a more logical take on a society using gene manipulation. Anyone who read the Divergent series all the way through must be wishing they had this fear controlling gene modified so they wouldn't have had to suffer through the last two books.

Easier than that. (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46941963)

Simple feed the children LEAD. IT will suppress the fear triggers and make them far more hostile.

If you want to build the perfect warrior, then just do what the romans and the vikings did. Lead dosing.

Re:Easier than that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942371)

Makes em stupid too.
There is always an equally opposite down side to great things...

Perfect example is my GF. I wanted her to be conscious about the environment like me, but the down side is: She doesn't shave...anything. She looks like a druid, or wood nymph...or one of those weird feminine fairytale creatures.

Re:Easier than that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942539)

Smart warriors are not wanted. You want dumb as a box of rocks so they will charge the enemy.
Special forces you want smart but violent, but the grunts, Dumb is best.

Tyrell Corporation (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#46945065)

Simple feed the children LEAD ... If you want to build the perfect warrior...

An interesting idea, but modifying "fear DNA" is a great step towards bio-engineering "warrior drones". Think Tyrell Corporation...

Finally a cure for AGW alarmism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942039)

How quickly can we distribute this?

Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942067)

Boy, didn't see this one coming.

http://thefederalist.com/2014/05/07/another-survey-confirms-journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal/

"If a newsroom has a good chance of not even having someone of the Republican variety within its confines, it’s a newsroom that probably struggles to even come close to understanding the perspective of GOP voters. It’s a newsroom that might struggle to fairly cover or might completely ignore stories about tax burdens on families, systemic failures of the welfare state, the benefits of gun ownership, or the evils of a serial-murdering abortion doctor in Philadelphia (just speaking hypothetically here)."

So in other words, it's not fair. Republicans get misrepresented by journalists in a big way. Oh and we all know the bias we find in educational institutions don't we? Oh and don't even think about any bias towards socialism in the popular media. It's almost like a plot!

It's no wonder that Republicans are so hated around here, where so many of you geeks and nerds are young and have barely begun paying taxes and a often fresh out of university. But I still have to ask, what is so bad about individual liberty, natural rights and limited government huh? Why are you all so gung ho for the nanny state, big government and the welfare system?

Do any of you realize you are biased against conservatives because you have been *trained* to be? No one thinks it might be a good idea to unplug that cable from the back of your heads for a few minutes and let reason take over for a bit, and to see what comes from that?

No one?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942171)

I'm biased against conservatives because I've lived through everything from Vietnam, Iran Contra, the first and second gulf wars, and a two-term Bush presidency that embraced torture. Much of this was strongly supported by the American populace and press, so the "liberal press" whine doesn't carry much weight.

When bias occurs this way, it's called 'learning.'

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942271)

Excise me moron, Bush, either one of them, weren't conservative.

So your moronic liberal whining, sorry to say, doesn't carry much weight.

In point of fact it supports my argument, the bias against the conservative is so total you as the consumer cannot even detect it.

Fool.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944691)

Hmm, soooooo.... if you are going to simply decide that any formerly elected official of the past century, who called the,selves a Republican (and were elected as such) were not REAL Republicans... then you might as well just check yourself into the looney bin now

Lemme see
Hoover, who slid the nation into the Great Depression and disenfranchised Veterans to the point that they formed up into Hoovervilles... Wasn't a REAL republican
Nixon, who used the CIA to plot against free elections and subverted the normal chain of checks and balances... wasn't a REAL Republican
Reagan, who cut taxes for the wealthy and Gave America its first Trillion dollar deficit wasn't a REAL republican
G H W Bush, who actually managed to realize that he had to raise taxes (and close numerous military bases) wasn't a REAL Republican
G W Bush, who subverted every possible government regulatory body (resulting in financial calamity) while simultaneously planting the country into multiple decade-long wars wasn't a REAL Republican

So just who the eff do you THINK is a REAL Republican?

And for my 2 bucks, all of the gopers named above SHOULD put fear into the hearts of the voters (which, btw, is one of the primary methods that they use to get voters to vote goper in the first place... i.e. Red Scare, War on Drugs, War on Terror, etc...)

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (2, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#46942453)

I don't even have to have all that experience.

'Democrats' - tax & spend
'Republicans' - just spend (~80% of the federal deficit is from Reagan & 2 Bushes)

Which one actually sounds fiscally more conservative?

Neither are really responsible, but at least one tries to have the cash to spend.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942493)

"'Republicans' - just spend (~80% of the federal deficit is from Reagan & 2 Bushes)"

Good grief. So the Democrat party has had total control of the government includind supermajorities in the Senate and House not too long ago and we are farther in debt now than we - or any people at any time ever in all hostory - have ever been. $17TRILLION and counting I may add.

So how's that working out for you then?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943169)

There is no Democrat party.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#46945895)

So,

Reagan took the debt from $1T to $3T
Bush Sr took it from $3T to $6T
Clinton took it from $6T to $5T
Bush Jr took it from $5T to $12T
Obama from $12T to $17T.

Add it up, Republicans overspent $12T out of $17T debt. So it's only 70%.

And Obama had to deal with the mess of the Bush tax cuts (again, spend only republicans) and an actual recession (when the government actually should be spending). But, yeah, all $17T is his fault. If you're a fucking idiot.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942657)

I'm biased against conservatives because I've lived through everything from Vietnam, Iran Contra, the first and second gulf wars, and a two-term Bush presidency that embraced torture. Much of this was strongly supported by the American populace and press, so the "liberal press" whine doesn't carry much weight.

When bias occurs this way, it's called 'learning.'

Vietnam? Kennedy and LBJ were conservatives? Who ended US involvement? Oh, yeah, the EEEEVUL RETHUGLICAN Nixon.

Embraced torture? What's Obama done about THAT? Oh, yeah, escalated to "extrajudicial killings" of US CITIZENS.

Not that either Bush could be called a "conservative", so your labeling is way off anyway.

You wouldn't know "learning" if it were a 10-ton rock that landed on your impenetrable skull.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942811)

Don't bog us down in details, gets in the way of us hating conservatives!

Muahahahahhahhaha

(yes that's sarcasm)

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

paiute (550198) | about 5 months ago | (#46942195)

what is so bad about individual liberty, natural rights and limited government

Those are great. You have a political party around which believes in these things?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (4, Informative)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#46942285)

>Do any of you realize you are biased against conservatives because you have been *trained* to be?

Does it occur to you that we're biased against conservatives because people who self-identify as conservative keep saying deeply stupid things in public. See just about any Republican politician, or check out the insane conservatives that use tags like #TGDN, #TCOT, and #REDNATIONRISING on Twitter. They just keep feeding each other fake quotes, and reinforcing a hatred of anyone who isn't as delusional as they are. They think that intelligent liberal people are their enemy, when really the enemy is the "conservative" media that filled their heads with nonsense.

Conservative didn't always mean crazy/stupid, but it sure does now.


>what is so bad about individual liberty, natural rights and limited government huh?

Nothing, it's the superstition, authoritarianism, racism, homophobia, and opposition to women's rights that's wrong with the ignorant conservatives.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942393)

"Nothing, it's the superstition, authoritarianism, racism, homophobia, and opposition to women's rights that's wrong with the ignorant conservatives."

Hey asshole, what the fuck are you talking about? This has nothing to do with conservatism. Have you ever considered the possibility that you don't know what the fuck you are talking about?

Point me to a specific conservative making any such statement and I will easily explain to you why they are not conservative. Otherwise admit you are clueless. Put up or shut up asshole.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46943561)

It has everything to do with the public face of the so called conservative party in America.

If you don't like it, you should either disavow the GOP or clean house. They are representing you as a homophobic elitist hypocritical ignorant martinet.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943619)

"They are representing you as a homophobic elitist hypocritical ignorant martinet."

I said provide a specific example, and you fail to do so. So here is my response to you.

[].

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46943887)

Here. [google.com]

OH! Here's a heap [tumblr.com] of examples!

Then there's the whole Rush Limbaugh tough on drug abusers except when blowhard radio personalities take so much non-prescribed oxycontin their ears quit working. Why hasn't he had himself locked up? (just Google, there's far too many references to link)

Then there's these. [alternet.org] . Here [republican...acists.com] too. Even some (former) Republicans agree [vanityfair.com] .

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944129)

Can you be a little serious? No what Todd Akin said was pretty stupid - but the statements of one man at one time do not make for a party policy. Nor will I tell you I agree with everything every Republican ever said either. And come on, Rush and Palin? Really?

You cannot make the case that Republicans as a party believe in and support these things. I can make the case that the Democrats believe in wholesale socialism if not outright communism and that to do so they have engaged in fear mongering, corruption and intimidation under the color of law; case in point Louis Lerner.

Lerner and the IRS is a serious example, Rush Limbaugh and Todd Aiken making a stupid statement is not.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46944679)

So who is it that opposes gay marriage, abortion (even in the case of rape for a fair percentage), birth control, etc.

I hear stuff from Democrats I disagree with all the time, but it tends to be the GOP saying things that are outrageously stupid or blatant lies, batshit crazy, or just sociopathic.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 5 months ago | (#46948355)

Religious people would be the answer to your question. Why they tend to lean conservative is a different question.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942457)

>Do any of you realize you are biased against conservatives because you have been *trained* to be?

Does it occur to you that we're biased against conservatives because people who self-identify as conservative keep saying deeply stupid things in public. See just about any Republican politician, or check out the insane conservatives that use tags like #TGDN, #TCOT, and #REDNATIONRISING on Twitter. They just keep feeding each other fake quotes, and reinforcing a hatred of anyone who isn't as delusional as they are. They think that intelligent liberal people are their enemy, when really the enemy is the "conservative" media that filled their heads with nonsense.

Conservative didn't always mean crazy/stupid, but it sure does now.

>what is so bad about individual liberty, natural rights and limited government huh?

Nothing, it's the superstition, authoritarianism, racism, homophobia, and opposition to women's rights that's wrong with the ignorant conservatives.

OMFG, you're ignorant.

There are ignorant liberals, too, saying things like claiming they've been to 57 US states [youtube.com] .

Were you aware that Tea Party members are better versed in science [politico.com] than liberals or the population as a whole? Of course, what did the professor who did that study have to say? This:

“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote.

“But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party,” he continued. “All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused Internet sites like Huffington Post and POLITICO). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly, I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”

What a damning quote, isn't it? He had an impression - from the NY Times, POLITICO, cable TV other than Fox News - that was WRONG. Not only that, he admits he lives in an intellectual echo chamber.

At least he has the balls to admit it.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#46942799)

I think we have reached the point at which being a conservative must be regarded as evil. One issue is the constant sheltering and support of race hate groups. The second issue is wanting to control the actions of others with belief systems that want to regulate abortion or pornography. If one dislikes abortions then simply don't have one. If one dislikes porn then don't consume porn. The notion that one's personal moral beliefs must be stamped upon everyone else is just wrong. Then there is a continuous display of lack of concern for others. Failure to support education or the teaching of science as well as the failure to support those in distress and dire need can not be tolerated. For example Palm Beach,Fl. has laws that make it a crime to feed the poor. And yes, good people do fear conservatives. And maybe we need to fear them even more than we do today. But more to the point if phobias are an expression of genetic damage then we have a proof that many people thought to have been mentally ill have nothing more than a damaged gene. Not only will that go a long way towards saving lives and eliminating suffering it will also mean that insurance companies would be forced to treat this form of "mental illness" as a physical illness and that in itself would open up care for some disabled people. Phobias can be so severe that people are totally non functional.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942873)

"I think we have reached the point at which being a conservative must be regarded as evil."

Lovely.

"the constant sheltering and support of race hate groups."

Citation please? Which was the party that pushed for and passed civil rights legislation over the objection of which other party? Which party was Robert Byrd from? Then there's that whole civil way thing that Lincoln used to free the slaves (simplification I know), which party was he from again, was that Democrat?

G'wan, I'll wait for you to respond to these before continuing.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | about 5 months ago | (#46943379)

"Which was the party that pushed for and passed civil rights legislation over the objection of which other party? Which party was Robert Byrd from? Then there's that whole civil way thing that Lincoln used to free the slaves (simplification I know), which party was he from again, was that Democrat?"

You are making a common modern mistake. You are using the Progressive/Conservative categories and Democratic/Republican parties interchangeably. The time frame you are talking about the Democrats were the conservatives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_modern_American_conservatism). You can and should be proud of the historical accomplishments of your political party but please be aware of which party would be implementing those changes to society today.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943389)

"Democrats were the conservatives"

You can't be serious with this bullshit are you? Are you high?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | about 5 months ago | (#46943549)

And now you have shown why there is no longer any civil conversations in modern politics. You have repeatedly requested a citation for contentious claims. I provided a URL that backed up my statement and you instantly jump to insults and insinuations.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943569)

Bullshit, Democrats are not and have never been conservative, your link shows no such thing.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | about 5 months ago | (#46943657)

"With the decline of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party after 1960, the movement is most closely associated with the Republican Party (GOP)"

Literally the second sentence of the article... Thanks for playing.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943701)

"the conservative wing of the Democratic Party"

The Blue Dogs. Who always prove themselves to be progressive in the end when needed to support the Democrat party in socialism.

Hell the Republicans are not conservative, you are trying to say the Demrcrats were? There were - and still are Democrats that are more or less socailist than the party in general, that's all it's saying.

Now you bore me.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944741)

The Dixiecrats, that is Southern Democrats (who held the Confederacy close to their hearts and fought against the Republican carpetbaggers from the North in the antebellum era), were the party of Byrd and KKK and all sorts of nastiness

They became disillusioned with the modern Democratic party and all of the notions of Civil Rights and desegregation

Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan realized that there was a rift that they could take advantage of and this resulted in the Southern Strategy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

This took the dying Republican Party and grafted a bunch of bible thumping, segregationist, race-baiting scum to it, resulting in the Republican Party of today

Enjoy it, hell, even Lee Atwater disavowed it before his death

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943527)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

"On the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) completed a filibustering address that he had begun 14 hours and 13 minutes earlier opposing the legislation. Until then, the measure had occupied the Senate for 57 working days, including six Saturdays."

Robert Byrd - Democrat -
Byrd led the Democratic caucus as Senate Majority Leader from 1977 to 1981 and 1987 to 1989, and as Senate Minority Leader from 1981 to 1987. From 1989 to 2010 he served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate when the Democratic Party had a majority, and as President pro tempore emeritus during periods of Republican majority beginning in 2001

In 1946 or 1947, Byrd wrote a letter to a Grand Wizard stating, "The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation."

Sure he did leave the Klan, so I guess he get's a pass huh. Cause as we all know this was one of the most powerful DEMOCRATS EVER. So Lincoln, a Republican freed the slaves, the Republicans pushed the civil rights laws and the Democrats include KKK grand wizards.

But yea, Republicans are like totally racist and shit.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944789)

Read up on the Southern Strategy of the Republican Party
It will explain it all to you in easy words:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46943651)

Which was the party that pushed for and passed civil rights legislation over the objection of which other party?

Let's face it, neither of those parties exists in a recognizable form today.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943747)

In this we agree. They have both gone farther towards socialism.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46943901)

What crazy crack are you smoking?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944351)

Perhaps it's you who have been led by the nose no? I mean that's the assertion in the original post here, it's the basis for this discussion.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46944715)

I don't think so considering that I'm disappointed in the Democrats for shifting to the right. The rest f the world has noticed that the U.S. has no significant left, just right, righter, and wingnut.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942971)

Isn't considering groups of people to be evil EXACTLY what you find wrong with conservatives?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943077)

I think we have reached the point at which being a conservative must be regarded as evil. ... The notion that one's personal moral beliefs must be stamped upon everyone else is just wrong. ...

Unless YOU are doing the stamping, I guess.

The sad thing is, you probably are delusional enough to consider yourself "tolerant". Hell, you probably pat yourself on the back so much over your "tolerance" that you've dislocated your shoulder multiple times.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 5 months ago | (#46943325)

The problem with your statement is you start with the presupposition that your worldview is correct. Those who are against abortion feel that way because they perceive an unborn child as a human being who has a right to life. Yet liberals always frame the argument as "conservatives are against women's rights" (even though it's only a single "right" in question). Then again, phrasing it that way changes the frame of the discussion from women's rights to "when does life begin?", which is much harder to argue in favor of abortion, since by scientific definition life begins at conception, and by genetic definition the fetus is a human being. It's much easier to re-frame the issue as women's rights, and paint opponents as sexist bigots. Also, the law in Florida you mentioned came to light because it was used to stop a church from feeding the poor. The same church that is filled with conservatives (who are also painted as "idiots who believe in a magical sky fairy", because again, it's easier to paint your opponent as stupid than it is to actually debate their ideas).

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944823)

OK, so, as a Republican who values the lives of the unborn, how do you resolve that with starting two wars that resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 non-combatant civilians who had actually been born?

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

Payden K. Pringle (3483599) | about 5 months ago | (#46943791)

Please do not use homophobia when describing such people.

TFA is talking about phobias as genetic. i.e. they aren't something you choose. They are what you are born with.

Homophobia, as you are talking about (AFAIK) is the kind of hatred that is a choice. It isn't fear. It's downright hatred. Fear can lead to hatred, but I think phobias aren't directly tied to that.

In other words, there is a thing that is homophobia, a literal fear of gays that is akin to fear of heights and spiders. But that is a genetic thing apparently and not the same thing as the "homophobia" taught by many conservatives.

They just accept their brainwashing to hate homosexuals, or fail to see it, or something similar. I say this as someone who identifies as a conservative. And as someone who sincerely believes he has homophobia in the sense of what that word really means. I get the flight or fight response when near someone I know that is openly homosexual unless I'm trained to do otherwise. I know this by way of an old friend I grew up with in high school who came out as soon as he graduated. It still bothers me to be around him, but I can be. Others like him cause a sort of panic response in me.

I'm just saying. Please stop making homophobia an insult to the morality of a person when the actual word means something different. It's what happened to retarded (mental retardation was a completely legit medical term once), and I don't see how those who make this word an insult are any different from those who made gay an insult personally.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 months ago | (#46946363)

It's more like liberalism has set itself up as the One True Truth[tm], and anyone who disagrees with it is branded as outcast, evil, insane. Progressives have labels for people who disagree with them, and being labeled like this is grounds to lose your job or have a SWAT team called on you in the middle of the night. They simply don't understand how anyone can hold a contrary opinion. They also can't understand how they could be racist as well, even though they think that people can't think for themselves and accept moral agency for their actions, depending on what race they are.

Thanks for admitting your bias, though. It always gets denied and it's nice to see it admitted up front for once. It's like the time the New York Times came right out and admitted it was a liberal newspaper and not objective at all.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

krashnburn200 (1031132) | about 5 months ago | (#46942383)

No one thinks it might be a good idea to unplug that cable from the back of your heads for a few minutes and let reason take over for a bit, and to see what comes from that?

Please; You have no room to talk. If you had actually dared to face reality rationally you would not be so worked up about such meaningless things. You are participating in inherently irrational behavior and crying foul because others are a teensy bit more irrational than you.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942437)

"If you had actually dared to face reality rationally"

More non specific accusations and generalizations. Here is a specific example;

http://washingtonexaminer.com/fec-chair-warns-that-conservative-media-like-drudge-report-and-sean-hannity-face-regulation-like-pacs/article/2548163/comments#disqus_thread

This is the state threatening to silence content that it does not agree with. Something that the first amendment is specifically designed to protect - and something that all moral people stand for. Am I asking for all leftists to be silenced? No I am not, because the message of conservatism stands by itself.

But all you have is name calling and "shut up".

Nice one there Mr. Liberal.

Re:Democrats want you to fear Republicans! (1)

krashnburn200 (1031132) | about 5 months ago | (#46944539)

I am sorry you entirely missed my point AC.

I responded specifically and directly to the only point raised about which I cared; the one I quoted.
You reply with more political nonsense.
Congratulations, you broke the rust of the old cogitator and fired it up to let 'logic' happen with regards to one very tiny piece of your life and then you rushed to shut it off again just as fast as you could... Congratulations again! Seriously you are now more rational then the majority of people on the planet.

You still look ridiculous when you deride others for being 1% more irrational than you.

Western medicine at it again. (3, Informative)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46942101)

Since nobody reads, or seems to understand, they are not manipulating any genes here.

They found that learning to extinguish fear causes expression of a gene.

In common western medicine fashion, the important thing here is not that behavioural methods are effective in changing gene expression, but we can now remove the stimulus for gene expression (a persons conscious control) and package it up into a pill to sell for profit!

More interested in the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942105)

I can imagine cases where the ability to deliberately acquire a phobia could be beneficial. Who needs an e-cig when you could just piss yourself at the thought of smoking-related cancer?

Re:More interested in the opposite (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46943671)

I can see it now, being the office joke where every time the receptionist reads her horoscope aloud you have to change your pants.

Re:More interested in the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46944401)

What is so fracking hard about understanding that your thoughts and feelings releases hormones which again affects all the cells in your body, CHANGING GENE _EXPRESSION_.

No medicine needed.
No authority needed.
No direct external stimuli is needed.

Just. Your.
Mind.

Of all the thigns to do with DNA (2, Interesting)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 months ago | (#46942119)

they want to screw with our minds? Worse - with fear? You can't like start with getting rid of diabetic tendencies? Or even give us the power to choose our own skin color? One sure way to end racism in the US at least (of course we would probably have to change hair type as well).

Re:Of all the thigns to do with DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942177)

In all fairness, If you don't fear death or rejection/discrimination, then why would you need to bother exploring further DNA changes?... kidding!!! /ducks

Re:Of all the thigns to do with DNA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942315)

Stop posting on slashdot. You could have spent this time programming.

(just because you don't think reducing fear excitation is a valuable use of these researchers' time doesn't mean it isn't valuable, or that they should be doing other things)

Re:Of all the thigns to do with DNA (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#46942843)

Medication to change skin color would result in a lot of strife. For example it is simply easier to be a white person that a darker person in America. I think that given the option most black folks would want to be white or at least have their kids be white. That would almost cause an extermination in appearance of black folks. It might also mean that black folks who are very dark would want to appear a bit less black at the very least. One can only imagine the shock of change and the response of both the black and white community.

Re:Of all the thigns to do with DNA (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 months ago | (#46942865)

You appear to believe me when I said there would be a large market for it, but prefaced your agreement with me with an unsupported comment that it would cause strife. How? Why? People upset that others used their color? That sounds like complaining, not strife. Note I assume that the process would be cheap enough for middle class people to purchase.

Re:Of all the thigns to do with DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943023)

"I think that given the option most black folks would want to be white or at least have their kids be white."

You really think this? You are a freak.

Re:Of all the thigns to do with DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943069)

No, black people would still exist, and let me tell you why. See, there's this segment of the population that are like me - pale and white. Like a vampire (or possibly a SNATCHER) I can't go out in the sun without my skin burning. Sure, there's sunscreen, but that's annoying and messy to put on. I'd rather just go black for the summer.

Fear suppression by gene manipulation (2)

paiute (550198) | about 5 months ago | (#46942131)

I am confident that none of this work was secretly funded by the armed forces.

Re:Fear suppression by gene manipulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943955)

I am confident that none of this work was secretly funded by the armed forces.

Good. Then your DNA need not be modified.

Incorrect Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942147)

There is no DNA modification happening here. This is about gene expression, which is a very different concept.

My fear of flying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942249)

I've gone through different stages of fear with flying. From not being bothered at all, to terrible fear and anxiety for weeks before a scheduled flight and then back to not being bothered at all. Strange how the mind works.

I worked for a major airline and flew an average of six legs a week. As time went on my fear got worse. I changed jobs (not because of the flying) and eventually my new job had me flying too. With flying less frequently, my fear got REALLY bad. For weeks before a flight, the flight is all I could think about. Immediately when I woke up, when I was working, when I was watching TV etc. Constantly thinking about it with a sinking feeling in my stomache. I would count down the daysand hours, 15 days before my flight, next Tuesday, in 6 days, in 12 hours etc.. I would get sick, start puking, and have forms of panic attacks starting a few days before the flight. Strange thing though is once I actually got on the plane, I was fine and felt stupid for feeling the way I did before the flight. Eventually as a flew more and more again, I started to get better. Now I fly at least monthly and I am not bothered by it at all.

One thing I do still have issues with is mild and above mid flight turbulence when I can not see the ground or horizon to use as a steady point of reference, like when stuck in the clouds. Not having a frame of reference that I can stare at while bouncing around that is steady freaks me out instantly. Same thing happened to me in the couple of minor earthquakes I've been in buildings for and also some types of amusement park rides.

Why not just be less fearful (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#46942307)

There's no need to modify DNA to ease phobias, you just have to get over whatever personal issue is holding you back.

I used to have an irrational fear of spiders, then I moved to a house with lots of spiders. Phobia cured.

Re:Why not just be less fearful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942381)

There is a whole spectrum of phobias. I think they're trying to help with the really debilitating end of the spectrum. Those people would never even set foot in a spidery house without having a full-fledged panic attack.

Re:Why not just be less fearful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943813)

"Have you tried not being gay ?"

People get created differently.
In some limited cases you may experience success, but I doubt this goes for the majority, otherwise it wouldn't be an issue, would it ?

Re:Why not just be less fearful (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46944387)

My phobia is getting worse as I get older. I didn't even have it in my 20s.

One of the problem is that I do think to myself that it's just a stupid thing and that I should act like an adult and not let it bother me. But then it does bother me enough that I feel the panic rising. When it's over I'm beating myself up for being stupid and not acting like an adult, with all of that fueled by the leftover surge of adrenaline.

Mine's not that bad, but imagine someone who felt they had to walk down the street to use the gas station restroom because there was a spider sitting on their toilet.

Re: Why not just be less fearful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46947189)

That doesn't sound like a full fledged phobia otherwise you'd have never set foot in the house with spiders in it.

My wife has a fear of heights. Lots of people say they have a fear of heights meaning 'I get a bit wobbly up a ladder' - but she has a real phobia and it has fucked her life up. She can't get a train because leaving town means using a bridge to cross to the other side. She can't use shops with more than 1 floor. She'll probably never drive - too many bridges and a panic attack could cause an accident.

DNA modification sounds drastic but if it'll cure *that* sign us up.

Do you want Reavers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942399)

Do you want Reavers? Because that's how you get Reavers.

fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942431)

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Nothing is terrible except fear itself." - Francis Bacon

good and bad (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 5 months ago | (#46942549)

I could be both good and bad.

The good thing is that religion would end because no one would fear that Hell place that is crammed into ones head as a child, but the bad thing could be that we may die out sooner because we would not fear the bear coming to eat us.
The deeper side though thinks that this might be a GREAT idea because I am afraid of heights and flying. In order for me to get on a plane I have to pretty much take enough sedatives to kill a horse. There isn't anything out there strong enough to where I have no clue of my surroundings. I also have anthropophobia which causes me to work from home and conduct business over the phone, text, email or online. It is very difficult for me to be around crowds of more than 5-6 people at a time.

Re:good and bad (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#46942775)

"The good thing is that religion would end because no one would fear that Hell place that is crammed into ones head as a child, but the bad thing could be that we may die out sooner because we would not fear the bear coming to eat us."

IOW it's great for New Yorkers but they already don't believe in God and also not in bears.

The military will want it to make soldiers not to fear bullets or death, after all only 25% of the soldiers are able to fire their weapons because of fear.

Re:good and bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943205)

Soldiers that don't fear bullets get shot. Soldiers that have been shot are not very effective, whether they are afraid or not. If you want to use this fictional technology to make a better war machine, you'd want to INCREASE the soldier's fear of his CO so that they follow orders (even suicidal orders) precisely.

Fear sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46942717)

I have a heavy dht habit of around 1700mg per day and the long term side effects lead to hardcore paranoid delusions, but still not as bad as fucking clowns.

Will cure me of my clown phobia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943053)

Specifically my fear of clowns who live in sewers? Clowns who live in sewers and who also repeatedly say, "We all float down here." Because I think if I could talk to that guy I could help him.

It's not a flaw (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46943291)

I stand by the fact that people who aren't afraid of heights have brains that don't work correctly. Your brain is trying to keep your dumb ass alive by making you not go near ledges and stuff. We're afraid of bugs and spiders because they're often poisonous. Same with snakes. I'm not afraid of snakes at all so guess who's more likely to get bit, me or someone who's afraid of snakes? So why correct something that is a benefit? You know what my solution to spider phobia is? Kill the spider.

Re:It's not a flaw (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46943725)

I don't fear snakes either. That doesn't mean I don't give them a wide margin until I positively identify them as non-poisonous. At least I don't run for cover when I see a snake only to discover that my hiding place has spiders.

Re:It's not a flaw (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46944433)

There are other phobias that have little to do with normal situations. Such as not afraid of heights but afraid of bridges. Afraid of the number thirteen. And so on.

So you think you just get rid of spider phobia by killing it. How do you kill it if you can't even be in the same room? If you try to kill it with a broom and then your brain starts screaming that it's going to run up the broom and get to you, and that maybe if you stay still it won't notice you're there. It's really funny if it's someone else but it's completely rotten if it happens to you.

Don't Worry About The Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46943837)

There's nothing to fear here, move along..

Why stop there? (1)

mariox19 (632969) | about 5 months ago | (#46944341)

Next on the agenda, we clone Jem'Hadar [memory-alpha.org] and become galactic overlords.

It is the start of the Daleks! (1)

adndgamer (1642545) | about 5 months ago | (#46945457)

All hail the Daleks! Destroy the humans! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
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