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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Ambassador Kosh Re:From the outside... (661 comments)

The problem I have is that when we use chemical mutagens on Organic food it has many of the same dangers and some different ones. The same when we use radiation to mutate foods.

I can't find any scientific reason to single GMO out. I want them ALL labeled. Anything that makes sense to label for GMO we should label for any other food also.

At this point we can fully type out a DNA sequence for a few thousand dollars. I think that should just be standard practice for food and made available online.

Look at all the pink grapefruit around. Those where a random mutation that we kept alive. However, some mutations end up being harmful to us or harmful to some of us. Many food allergens we can match based on DNA sequence. Imagine food items put into a database and then ever food item could be checked against every know allergy or problem DNA sequence. You would immediately know who should not eat the food, who should be warned etc.

I want actually safe food and labeling just GMO is a fear response and it is based on not understanding the actual genetics.

2 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Ambassador Kosh Re:From the outside... (661 comments)

GMO also encompasses things like genetically engineered bacteria that we use to make most modern drugs. There are also other companies that do GMO than Monsanto. GMO is even correct when we look at modifying humans to cure diseases.

Are you saying that Golden rice is bad and that we should not have it and that instead we should have millions of people go blind? what about the work being done to engineer potatoes to be non-carcinogenic when fried? It looks like soon we are going to be modifying beef to remove the protein in it that causes inflammation in humans and is a major source of cancer.

However I guess all of that does not matter and we should just say GMO is bad and there can be no discussion about it. Pros and cons can't be discussed. We can't study it and make rational decisions. The whole issue must boil down to a soundbyte and that ends it.

2 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Ambassador Kosh Re:From the outside... (661 comments)

The problem is that it is not a sane choice. This is ENTIRELY based on fear. If all you do is label something as GMO that tells you nothing at all. This does not help you make any kind of informed decision at all.

Was the GMO done to make the plant drought resistance? does it resist cold? was it modified to be less carcinogenic? was it modified to make a certain companies fertilizer more profitable? etc

Just saying something is GMO is worthless.

It should also be pointed out that Organic foods can be grown with heavy metals, modified with radiation or treated with chemical mutagens. However all of those are FAR more dangerous than GMO techniques and they are all just labeled as Organic.

If you want to know what is in your food then that is the kind of law you should pass. Have something that tells you exactly what is in your food so you can make an informed decision if you want.

2 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Ambassador Kosh Re:From the outside... (661 comments)

Thank you.

The reason I came here was to learn how to use computer simulations to manufacture drugs. There are so many cures for diseases we know of that we just can't figure out how to manufacture and using computer simulations to figure out how to manufacture the drugs is an extremely new area for drug development.

I ended up here because I solved a problem that was considered impossible for doing drug development in computers.

It is very cool to do and the classes are very difficult but I am learning a lot at least. It is just sad that I will have to go back to the USA after I am done so I can actually do the drug development since protein, DNA, RNA etc type drugs are basically forbidden for development in Europe.

So hopefully in about 4 years I will be back in the USA and working on bringing drugs to market that we can't manufacture right now.

3 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Ambassador Kosh Re:From the outside... (661 comments)

The problem is that while they say do no harm that is not what they actually do.

In Ireland a scientist figured out how to make regular potatoes immune to blight by taking some genes from wild potatoes and inserting them in the kind we eat. The atni GMO crowd managed to kill any kind of testing of that and instead potatoes are still done using the "normal organic methods" of killing blight on potatoes which is to put heavy metals on them. So safety is clearly not the issue and can't even be studied.

Actually the whole cross breading thing overall is pretty screwed up in many cases. Farmers discovered natural thing they could put on plants to increase the chance of cross breeds working. It turns that that nearly all of them are chemical mutagens and are FAR more dangerous than precise genetic engineering is.

I am not saying that we should blindly trust GMO or Organic stuff. What we need to do is fully allow the scientific development and analysis to see what truly works for us for safety, nutrition and environmental damage. Right now though that is not what is happening and decisions are made based on fear.

What I do want to see is all products on the market should have their full DNA mapped out and put online in a searchable data base (BLAST) and that includes all the ingredients that go into your product along with any other chemical species in there we know of. Then you would have an app on your phone and could select what you are allergic to, what you don't want in your food etc and then scan a tag on the food and your phone would tell you if it is safe for you. Right now there are thousands of food allergies and we only list about 20 or so on food. This anti-GMO stance I see now does not help knowledge or safety in any way it is just fear.

I want to see actual information on food and people able to make real choices. So long as this is just fear based that will not happen.

3 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Ambassador Kosh Re:From the outside... (661 comments)

Every country does deeply stupid things.

Look at the EU and their policy on GMO. It is ENTIRELY fear based. They just label something as GMO which is completely useless and people are taught that GMO is bad period. Even research into GMO has almost entirely ended in Europe. It doesn't matter that their own studies show the ones they have tested are safe they continue to be against it not just in the EU but world wide. The EU is a pretty major factor in stopping the usage of golden rice.

This kind of thing can go both ways.

I am currently in Germany working on a Masters degree and PhD but some of my professors have already told me that to do my work once I am done I will have to go back to the USA since DNA editing on humans is pretty much defacto illegal in the EU and they don't allow the research into it either. However in the USA we have companies using technology like CRISPR/CAS9 to silence genes that causes diseases like Huntington's disease. Imagine a one time injection and you are completely cured of a horrible genetic disease? Imagine being able to replace faulty tumor suppressor genes and virtually wipe out cancer.

However none of that matters. People in different areas of the world have a world viewpoint and then they pick and choose the science that supports it and try to claim superiority over others based on that. With liberals in the USA we have the anti-vaccine movement and that is something that conservatives are almost universal in support of and the anti-vaccine movement is massively anti science and should be stopped before they cause the deaths of tens of millions of people. We have the conservatives not accepting human damage to the environment. We have Europeans against genetic engineering. We have countries where their religious beliefs means that women are second class citizens.

The human race is a bunch of barely evolved thugs and barbarians and they like to claim they are civilized by choosing bits and pieces of science to support their worldview and make fun of anyone else that does not accept that science also while ignoring the stuff they refuse to accept.

3 days ago
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What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

Ambassador Kosh Re:English-ish? (578 comments)

In the end though the advantage that english has is that word order is not that important. You will have english professors get upset at the wrong word order or word choice but in normal conversations you can butcher the word order BADLY and still be understood.

I am in Germany right now studying a masters degree and then a phd. All the classes are in english and the students are from around the world. I have also talked with many people from other areas of the world here and in the end english ends up being the language used. When someone from india and germany or india and china end up trying to communicate they almost always switch to english.

Part of why I think english is easier is because we no longer have formal vs informal words and masculine vs feminine words. We also have things like numbers said in exactly the order they are written.

I do understand pronunciation problems and even with that the intent usually comes through clearly. There have been very few times where have had to ask someone to repeat a word.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Shrinking Storage Space In iOS 8

Ambassador Kosh Re:MicroSD card? (325 comments)

Many of the Lumia phones have a microsd slow on the INSIDE.

I open up the phone once (trivially easy) and I can put in a microsd card, sim card and even replace the battery and then close the cover back up.

The battery covers the sim card and microsd card so they can't be removed while the battery is in. This means you can't accidentally remove them while the phone is on.

It is a very good and simple design. It means you don't have any of the external interfaces, you don't worry about dust, water etc and you don't lose them.

Android has more apps but geeze the Lumia phones are better designed and Windows Phone 8 definitely has a better interface than Android and iOS. This is a fight I wish that Microsoft would win.

about three weeks ago
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The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Ambassador Kosh Re:They said that about cell phones (386 comments)

I would love to see what you could do with google glass targeted to technicians and engineers at a chemical plant. Set it up with augmented reality systems so that you can look at any pipe in the system and see the pressure, flow rate, concentrations etc. It would make it FAR easier and faster to keep an eye on equipment than we do now. It would also make it much easier for technicians to look around and see what equipment they are going to do to adjust soon.

Google glass needs some time to mature but there are many industrial applications for it.

I would love to have a self driving car. I HATE driving. Right now I live somewhere that i don't have to drive but once I move to somewhere where I do need to drive I definitely want to get a self driving car and affording it won't be a problem.

about a month ago
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Lizard Squad: Xbox Live, PSN Attacks Were a 'Marketing Scheme' For DDoS Service

Ambassador Kosh Re:But what laws are they breaking? (139 comments)

If they live in any first world country what they are doing is illegal. If they live in a country where it is not illegal that is what drones are for.

I am not saying we should use drones. It is definitely not ethical but it is a inevitable outcome. If you do a great deal of damage to powerful people and then try to avoid any punishment they will use other methods to get back at you.

I also doubt that any country is going to keep these people from the USA. The other first world countries won't and the third world countries cant.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

Ambassador Kosh Re:IBM is dead (332 comments)

IBM is also doing some of the most cutting edge nanoresearch in the world. At the rate they are going they could end up as something like a major biotech company. Some of their work on nanotech antibiotics is amazing. They have also pioneered a huge amount of technology with graphene.

about a month ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Ambassador Kosh Re:Have Both (567 comments)

Lots of scientists I know work in private offices when they are analyzing the data or doing other non-lab work.

Working with others on the actual lab work makes a lot of sense and that is how it is normally done (except in industry where it is slowly becoming more common to have the lab work automated.)

about a month and a half ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

Ambassador Kosh Re:I have been waiting for this (342 comments)

The ONLY issue I have with this is that the level they are testing for does not seem to be based on actual science. We should set a limit on what level of risk outside the norm of driving is no longer acceptable. We should then identify things that increase your risk beyond that point and measure for them. Alcohol, tobacco, texting, talking on phones etc should all be treated exactly the same way.

I don't care why you run a red light and kill someone. If you are high, drunk, texting, talking on a phone, shaving etc it only matters that you do it and the laws need to be based on that. Laws based on feelings and how much you think it impairs someone without any actual science involved are a waste of time and end up harming us all since it increases general contempt for laws.

about 2 months ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Ambassador Kosh Re:What people want... (454 comments)

On a large scale what you are describing is an arcology. We have the technology to build them and they would give a better quality of life at a tiny fraction of the cost that a city does while giving much better services. Mostly humans are pretty stupid and they refuse to change until forced. Humans have to be dragged into the future kicking and screaming the whole way.

about 2 months ago
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Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Ambassador Kosh Re:Or just practicing for an actual job (320 comments)

What annoys me about McCabe-Theil diagrams is that they are not fundamentally the way the theory works for designing distillation systems. They are basically a way to solve problems using huge approximations before we had the computer power to do it correctly. I much prefer the rate models for distillation column design and think that mccabe-theil should be scrapped. HOWEVER, I think that students need to understand how that stuff truly works and since the algorithms are simple they should write a basic rate equation based solver for distillation column design. Then they would truly understand how the stuff really works and be better equipped to use it.

I just don't like the idea that you learn one method that is supposed to give you the idea of how things really work but then the actual systems you used are based on entirely different theories and assumptions.

about 2 months ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

Ambassador Kosh Re:ZMapp (193 comments)

One issue I can think of is there is selective pressure on viruses for them to become less lethal over time since killing the host is counter productive. You can't compare now to the past for death rates since as the virus spreads and mutate the pressure is to become less lethal.

If you want to compare the effectiveness of a drug on a virus you need to compare in the same population and random is really the only way to do it since you need to make sure that the mutations you are dealing with are in your test and control populations.

I wish we did not have to do it this way since a lot of people die as a result. I wish we knew more about how our bodies really worked so we did not have to do this. However we don't. We are learning quickly but we are not there yet. If we don't do random drug testing then more people will die in the end and the process will take far longer.

about 3 months ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Ambassador Kosh Re:Conservation and smart practices (652 comments)

The number one investment you can make is in insulation. Most homes throw away over half of all the heat they generate or have to cool FAR too much because of heat let in during the summer. You should not even think of doing PV work until you have done the insulation work. Insulation pays back faster and does not have the same kinds of damage issues as PV does.

The second investment would be in more efficient devices. Most furnaces are fairly bad and most electric devices in the house are pretty bad. Why run your AC more in the summer because your refrigerator is doing more to create heat than it should?

PV is the last step I would take not the first. First insulate the hell out of the house, then make devices more efficient. Depending on climate an attic fan is a great investment to clear out the extremely hot air in the summer. PV mostly just looks flashy but that is about all it is.

about 4 months ago
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Downtown Project Suicides Shock High Tech Community

Ambassador Kosh Re:What's the point ? (185 comments)

I left on my own. I started to hate the physics degree i was working on and wanted to do something else.

about 4 months ago
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Downtown Project Suicides Shock High Tech Community

Ambassador Kosh Re:What's the point ? (185 comments)

I went to an instate school and applied for many grants and also ended up with some loans. Shortly after I started school my business partner died and I was left running a business by myself that I really had no idea how to run. I managed to be a full time student and keep the business running. The work I put in to do that was insane and I had no breaks beyond about 1 to 2 days in a row for 3 years.

I did not do ANY parties when I went back to school. I pretty much just studied, went to class and worked. I was just about at the poverty line income wise but I made it work by not spending money on many things that other people do like cable tv, expensive cell phone plans, eating out etc.

I also decided not to have a girl friend or get entangled in any social issues. My life as stressful enough without adding more. I was also smart in that I did not have any children.

So after doing all of that so far the financial rewards have been very low and I have another 4 to 6 years of very hard work ahead of me before I am done. My coworkers at the biotech company think that this will all pay off hugely once I am done and from everything I can see they are right but I have definitely worked hard and sacrificed for close to 10 years by the time I am done.

about 4 months ago
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Downtown Project Suicides Shock High Tech Community

Ambassador Kosh Re:What's the point ? (185 comments)

Well my professors do think I am the most likely person they have ever had as a student to be a mad engineer. So while you don't have to be insane to do what I do is certainly helps.

What I have done so far will save tens of thousands of lives ever year and the stuff I am working on now will save millions. However, I have not used conventional problem solving techniques. I combine engineering with computer programming in a way that seems natural to me but those I have worked with and my professors say is not remotely normal or natural but it does work.

The program I am starting in Germany so far seems unique in the world. The entire program is based on writing practical computer simulations for engineering applications. It seems like an obvious degree to exist but the skill set seems so insanely rare that it just does not happen. I am the only person doing this degree in biotech that I know of.

about 4 months ago

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