Crypto-Info Approach to the Ethics of Genetic Engineering

I just read Wired’s America Needs To Figure Out The Ethics of Gene Editing Now, by Nick Stockton.

We are naïve to think that a moratorium would work because there are countries out there who are determined to supersede the US. Therefore, the focus should not be to halt research but to make it safer – for everyone, not just us. Recall how AIDS became a major health consideration in the US. Therefore, making this research safer for everyone makes it safer for us, too.

According to this Wired article, there are two scientific perspectives on this, need for open discussion (these include, George Q. Daley, R. Alta Charo, Steven Martin, Jennifer Doudna, Hank Greely, Mike Botchan) and temporary moratorium of “baby making” (Edward Lanphier, R. Alta Charo, Steven Martin).

In my opinion it is not correct to restrict scientists’ research to “safe” research but we have to weigh that against the benefits of progress. Learning, experimentation and research are all part of the process of making progress. “Safety” is something that we discover with hindsight – airplanes as weapons came to our national consciousness with 9/11. And for Christians who believe this is wrong, see Genesis 1:26.

What this article shows is that we don’t know enough about genes, gene splicing, and germline editing. Proof of this lies in answering this question I had asked at the 2013 100 Year Starship Study held in Houston, TX. What would happen if we took the entire nucleus/DNA of a simple animal and placed inside a plant cell, and do the reverse, a plant nucleus/DNA into an animal cell. Would the animal nucleus still develop into an animal, and would the plant nucleus still develop into a plant?

The findings will give us many answers. Are specific enzymes/proteins required per type of life form? Is there a universal information transference mechanism between nucleus and organelles for both animal and plant cells? Or are each life form’s mechanism different? If so how did evolution come up with two different mechanisms, and are there other mechanisms? Can the nucleus change the proteins within the cells to match its requirements? Can an animal (plant) nucleus convert the cell to an animal (plant) cell? Did the cell evolve independently of the nucleus? . . . .

Answer is we don’t know, because we don’t know enough of how information is transmitted from the nucleus to the cell organelles, as we are still experimenting with bits and pieces of DNA. That is, even though our research is very advanced our considerations are very primitive.

I suspect that if we change our perspective, from researching bits of DNA, to forming a 3-layer model (DNA, gene & information), we can progress faster. This crypto-info model consists of a bottom foundational layer, the DNA; the middle recording layer, genes, and the top information layer. The foundational layer is the physical implementation consisting of adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine bases, and a couple of other things. The recording layer is the store of select information, and the information layer has what, how, when to do it, and maybe more.

Our current research is based on the middle layer, splicing and moving around recording units or genes. Why are these recording units or genes combined together as strands and not individually present in the nucleus? The answer would suggest that there is information in the positional arrangement of these genes. Interpolating would suggest that the positional arrangement of the bases within a gene is how gene specific information is stored. So we understand how information is stored in the DNA. We don’t, however, understand what this information is. It is encrypted, therefore the term crypto-info. What is this information and how is it structured? An examination of the smallest genes would be a start to understanding this. The earlier animal-plant question raises another, is this coded information context-sensitive?

Of course once we get a working crypto-info model we will probably discover many more things about the DNA, its information, and its storage transference mechanisms. This crypto-info model raises another question, since silicon is the closest chemical to carbon, could a silicon-based DNA be constructed? What about other elements?

Coming back to the original questions about open discussions and temporary moratoriums, the crypto-info model shows that to address these issues we need to lay down guidelines of HOW to do DNA related research as opposed to WHAT DNA research we could do.

To be a Space Faring Civilization

Until 2006 our Solar System consisted essentially of a star, planets, moons, and very much smaller bodies known as asteroids and comets. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Division III Working Committee addressed scientific issues and the Planet Definition Committee address cultural and social issues with regard to planet classifications. They introduced the “pluton” for bodies similar to planets but much smaller.

The IAU set down three rules to differentiate between planets and dwarf planets. First, the object must be in orbit around a star, while not being itself a star. Second, the object must be large enough (or more technically correct, massive enough) for its own gravity to pull it into a nearly spherical shape. The shape of objects with mass above 5×1020 kg and diameter greater than 800 km would normally be determined by self-gravity, but all borderline cases would have to be established by observation.

Third, plutons or dwarf planets, are distinguished from classical planets in that they reside in orbits around the Sun that take longer than 200 years to complete (i.e. they orbit beyond Neptune). Plutons typically have orbits with a large orbital inclination and a large eccentricity (noncircular orbits). A planet should dominate its zone, either gravitationally, or in its size distribution. That is, the definition of “planet” should also include the requirement that it has cleared its orbital zone. Of course this third requirement automatically implies the second. Thus, one notes that planets and plutons are differentiated by the third requirement.

As we are soon to become a space faring civilization, we should rethink these cultural and social issues, differently, by subtraction or addition. By subtraction, if one breaks the other requirements? Comets and asteroids break the second requirement that the object must be large enough. Breaking the first requirement, which the IAU chose not address at the time, would have planet sized bodies not orbiting a star. From a socio-cultural perspective, one could suggest that these be named “darktons” (from dark + plutons). “Dark” because without orbiting a star, these objects would not be easily visible; “tons” because in deep space, without much matter, these bodies could not meet the third requirement of being able to dominate its zone.

Taking this socio-cultural exploration a step further, by addition, a fourth requirement is that of life sustaining planets. The scientific evidence suggest that life sustaining bodies would be planet-sized to facilitate a stable atmosphere. Thus, a life sustaining planet would be named “zoeton” from the Greek zoe for life. For example Earth is a zoeton while Mars may have been.

Again by addition, one could define, from the Latin aurum for gold, “auton”, as a heavenly body, comets, asteroids, plutons and planets, whose primary value is that of mineral or mining interest. Therefore, Jupiter is not a zoeton, but could be an auton if one extracts hydrogen or helium from this planet. Another auton is 55 Cancri e, a planet 40 light years away, for mining diamonds with an estimated worth of $26.9×1030. The Earth is both a zoeton and an auton, as it both, sustains life and has substantial mining interests, respectively. Not all plutons or planets could be autons. For example Pluto would be too cold and frozen for mining to be economical, and therefore, frozen darktons would most likely not be autons.

At that time the IAU also did not address the upper limit for a planet’s mass or size. Not restricting ourselves to planetary science would widen our socio-cultural exploration. A social consideration would be the maximum gravitational pull that a human civilization could survive, sustain and flourish in. For example, for discussion sake, a gravitational pull greater the 2x Earth’s or 2g, could be considered the upper limit. Therefore, planets with larger gravitational pulls than 2g would be named “kytons” from the Antikythera mechanical computer as only machines could survive and sustain such harsh conditions over long periods of time. Jupiter would be an example of such a kyton.

Are there any bodies between the gaseous planet Jupiter and brown dwarfs? Yes, they have been named Y-dwarfs. NASA found one with a surface temperature of only 80 degrees Fahrenheit, just below that of a human. It is possible these Y-dwarfs could be kytons and autons as a relatively safe (compared to stars) source of hydrogen.

Taking a different turn, to complete the space faring vocabulary, one can redefine transportation by their order of magnitudes. Atmospheric transportation, whether for combustion intake or winged flight can be termed, “atmosmax” from “atmosphere”, and Greek “amaxi” for car or vehicle. Any vehicle that is bound by the distances of the solar system but does not require an atmosphere would be a “solarmax”. Any vehicle that is capable of interstellar travel would be a “starship”. And one capable of intergalactic travel would be a “galactica”.

We now have socio-cultural handles to be a space faring civilization. A vocabulary that facilitates a common understanding and usage. Exploration implies discovery. Discovery means new ideas to tackle new environments, new situations and new rules. This can only lead to positive outcomes. Positive outcomes means new wealth, new investments and new jobs. Let’s go forth and add to these cultural handles.

Ben Solomon is a Committee Member of the Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), and author of An Introduction to Gravity Modification and Super Physics for Super Technologies: Replacing Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger & Einstein (Kindle Version)

SpaceX’s Success

I read all the news about SpaceX’s Falcon 9 latest “failure” to land on an autonomous spaceport drone ship aka barge. I view these as trials to success. Here’s why.

1. Grasshopper Successes: The two videos below show that the early landing trials aka Grasshopper from several heights between 250m and 1,000m.

The lessons here are:

a) Pinpoint landing of a 1st stage rocket is technologically feasible.

b) This 1st stage rocket has to attain zero vertical velocity at a minimum 250m above the barge.

Video of 250m test

Video of 1,000m test

2. Falcon 9 1st stage crash landing – 1st attempt: SpaceX tells us that the failure was due to a hard landing (see video below) but at 0:03 minutes into the video one can see that the 1st stage has substantially tilted before it hit the deck i.e. the 1st stage did not tilt because it hit the deck.

The lessons here:

a) A wobble – a dynamic instability – occurs before landing.

b) The guidance systems are unable to cope with new wobble.

Video of 1st attempt

3. Falcon 9 1st stage crash landing – 2nd attempt:  The video of the second attempt (below) confirms that indeed a wobble has been introduced before the stabilization fins are deployed. Further, this deployment exacerbates the wobble, and the guidance systems is unable to handle this exacerbated wobble.

The lessons here:

a) 1st stage vertical velocity needs to be zero by at least 250m above deck.

b) The stabilization fins need to be redesigned to alleviate exacerbation.

c) Like the Space Ship One’s shuttlecock approach, the 1st stage upper fins need to be deployed before the lower fins are.

d) Upgrade the landing guidance system to account for more severe wobbles.

If at a minimum, SpaceX achieves zero velocity at 250m before deployment of landing gear it will be successful. The other recommendations are good to have.

I expect SpaceX to be successful by their 3rd try.

San Francisco

I was in San Francisco on business and took the opportunity to visit some of the sites. Fisherman’s Wharf (below) has changed significantly since I was there some decades ago. Near the sign, there used to be a wooden pier where customers could enjoy their take out food and stroll along the pier. Now no longer.

In this second photo below, you can see what appears to be a post-Panamax container ships (that are too large to pass through the Panama Canal)  passing under the Golden Gate bridge, with San Francisco in the bottom left of the photo. I estimated that this ship’s speed was less than 1 knot per hour. This is to be expected as these ships require 4 hours of braking to come to a stand still.

Below is a photo of the cable car employees turning the cable car around at the end of the line (close to Fisherman’s Wharf). This is note worthy as it shows how forward thinking city council officials and technologist/engineers were more than a hundred years ago.

I visited Embarcadero at the end of Market St., to explore the Ferry Building of the Port of San Francisco. The first picture below shows the upstairs interior. The occupants are investment banking firms and the like, and off limits to the public. Imagine how time changes everything, as a smelly old ferry building becomes posh modern prime real estate.

This next picture is the downstairs of this Ferry Building, open to the public, and it occupants are mostly food retailers and restaurants.

Hope you enjoyed San Francisco through my eyes.

Super Physics for Super Technologies

CoverThumbnailTitle: Super Physics for Super Technologies
Sub Title: Replacing Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger & Einstein
Author: Benjamin T Solomon
Paperback: 154 pages
Publisher: Propulsion Physics, Inc. (March 19, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1508948011
ISBN-13: 978-1508948018
Language: English

Publisher’s Link: Super Physics for Super Technologies
Amazon’s Link: Super Physics for Super Teconologies

Reviewer’s comments: “Benjamin is the second researcher I have met who has tried to consider a nonsingular cosmology. The first was Christi Stoica, which I met in 2010″.
Andrew Beckwith PhD

The Objective: This book, Super Physics for Super Technologies, proposes that a new physics exists. The findings are based on 16 years of extensive numerical modeling with empirical data, and therefore, both testable and irrefutable.

The Need: In 2012 Prof. Nemiroff, using Hubble photographs, showed that quantum foam cannot exists. In 2013, Solomon showed that both exotic matter and strings could not exists. In 2015 the Kavli Foundation, with Prof. Efstathiou, Prof. Pryke, Prof. Steinhard discussed the issues with the Planck Space Telescope findings of a Universe that is significantly simpler than our theories. Therefore the need for new physics.

The Benefits: The replacement of the Schrödinger wave function with a simpler probabilistic wave function, results in a new electron shell model based on the Rydberg equation, giving exact results with quantum mechanics; leading to a new Standard Model and the unification of photon shielding, transmission and invisibility as the same phenomenon. Solomon’s inference is that any current or future stealth technology can be neutralized.

The Possibilities: Is it possible to rewrite physics and the old great cherished masters? This work is based on extensive numerical modeling of known empirical data and theorizing. Therefore, the answer must be YES.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Lockheed for nominating me to the position of Committee Member, Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA)

Building Gravitational Column Launch Engines

Status: Xodus One Foundation is in the process of raising funds for the design, prototype, manufacture of these space propulsion engines.

Engine Design: Engine design is in part based on the research by Solomon and by Podkletnov. Both researchers’ work are accessible through peer reviewed publications.

Theoretical Basis: In classical gravity, gravitational acceleration is dependent upon the mass of the planet or star. The discovery of the new equation g=τc^2 for gravitational acceleration (Physics Essays, Sept. 2011) will lead to new types of propulsion engines as mass is not present in this equation.

Historical Basis: In the 1990s the Finnish-Russian materials scientist, Podkletnov, had shown that a superconducting ceramic disc could shield gravity. A sample held above this device would lose a small amount of weight. Solomon only know of three teams who attempted to reproduce this effect, but either did not get off the ground or had their ceramic disc crack in mid experiment. Solomon believes today we have resolved the whys of Podkletnov’s experimental observations.

The New Technology: Knowing that gravity shielding was observed above Podkletnov’s device, we know anything above this device would lose weight. Therefore, if we laid out a square matrix of these devices, maybe 1,000 x 1,000, several feet under the launch pad, we could generate a gravitationally modified launch column. The launch sequence would be, roll space vehicle over matrix launch pad. Activate matrix. Neutralize gravity to almost zero. Start count down . . . t-minus 3, t-minus 2, t-minus 1, lift off. At lift off the matrix power would be substantially increased to reverse gravity in the launch column. Thus impelling the space vehicle into outer space.

Tesla Versus Chevy Volt, Case Study Part 2

A presentation of the future strategic options available to both Tesla and Chevy Volt, using the Holistic Business Model, as published in the book, Reengineering Strategies & Tactics. Note, correction that GM will be investing an $449 million not $1.4 billion I had stated in the video.

In Part 1, I show the strategic structural positions Tesla & Chevy Volt occupy. In Part 2, I show the future strategic options available to both, and potential mistakes they could be making.

If after reviewing the videos you would like to a similar 1/2 day review of your business, please do contact me.


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