Monday, December 26, 2016

"Messing with genes could WIPE OUT geniuses from the earth"

New technology which allows medics to ensure children do not inherit diseases could also mean the likes of Thomas Edison, who invented the lightbulb, might never be seen again, according to Dr Jim Kozubek. 
His claim comes as the US and China prepare to stage mass trials to edit the genes of cancer patients to ensure it is not passed down in their DNA. 
However, Dr Kozubek, author of Modern Prometheus: Editing the Human Genome with Crispr-Cas9, said the breakthrough is not necessarily a good thing and could see future generations of geniuses wiped out. 
Dr Kozubek said a world without depression, autism, schizophrenia or Asperger’s might also mean one without the likes of playwright Tennessee Williams, as figures show that writers are ten times more like to suffer from bipolar than the general population and poets are 40 times more likely to be diagnosed with it.
Dr Kozubek said: “Thomas Edison was ‘addled’ and kicked out of school. Tennessee Williams, as a teenager on the boulevards of Paris felt afraid of ‘the process of thought’ and came within ‘a hairsbreadth of going quite mad’.
“Scientists tend to think of variations in life as problems to be solved, deviations and abnormalities outside of a normal curve. 
Via Drudge. For more go here:


Lem said...

Genius is an anomaly. If you go after anomaly...

Chip Ahoy said...

Is all so purely axiomatically Americanocentric the lightbulb is invented by Edison who sued his ample ass off to assure that is what you know.

Wikipedia [Joseph Swan]

CIO [Tomas Edison, Joseph Swan and the real deal behind the lightbulb]

edutcher said...

Good point, Chip, Read somewhere Edison stole the credit for a lot of inventions.

Besides, editing genes with something called Crispr-Cas9 might turn people into crispy critters.

PS Editing out people like Tennessee Williams doesn't sound like that bad an idea.

deborah said...

Some female Ashkenazi Jews carry a gene for an early-occurring and virulent form of breast cancer.

rcocean said...

I think if the choice is between editing out Depression and losing a 21st century "street car named desire" I think the choice is obvious.

Most great artists were NOT wackos like Van Gough, or depressive types like T. Williams or E. Hemingway.

In fact, its 20th century American Artists that pretty much cornered the market on "crazy". If you look at the 19th century Artists or most English/Foreign Artists most of them were pretty normal - ignoring the Gay and/or neurotics.

MamaM said...

ricpic's mention of insane with regard to Caravaggion on an earlier post, prompted this look-up and awareness:

Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro which came to be known as tenebrism (the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value).

He gained attention in the art scene of Rome in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death sentence pronounced against him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606.

An early published notice on him, dating from 1604 and describing his lifestyle three years previously, recounts that "after a fortnight's work he will swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side and a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, so that it is most awkward to get along with him." In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.

MamaM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MamaM said...

Caravaggio. I'm still having difficulty with the preview function delivering 404 errors and have been publishing without preview which leads to typos.

ampersand said...

I think Tennessee Williams passed the hairsbreadth of Madness when he wrote "Suddenly Last Summer".

XRay said...

Well, 'WIPE OUT', in caps pretty much tells me the substance of whatever the hell follows.

My crazy Uncle, I guess. Who was crazy, but who also served in Korea, for two years, honorably. And lived in essentially, a cabin in SE Georgia, when he got back

Till he died. Was crazy, had nothing to do with anyone. Yet, he gifted me his guitar, with the frets worn beyond belief, and 300 dollars, though he hadn't seen me in thirty years. With no other word.

Though I know not a note of music.

Thanks for a way for me to say, Thanks, Uncle Jesse. You were a good man.

Maybe just that we aren't as smart as we may we think are. When it comes to Crispr-Cas9 and other such. We've done pretty damn good without it so far.

Hard for me to write this. Don't know why.

But Uncle Jesse lived as a hermit, unwilling to once again endure the world after his betoken exposure too it, in Korea. He knew what madness it was.

XRay said...

I guess what I'm trying to say, is, that the world would have been a lesser place without my Uncle Jesse in it. As his genes would have said, in years future, as mine would, if the future were now.


Well, fuck you. Supposed arbitragers of the future. You'd don't know fuck all.

deborah said...

First they came for the southpaws, and I said nothing...

Methadras said...

The laws of unintended consequences will not be broken in the face of genetic perfection. lulz. Mother Nature will strike back and you won't like it.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Apparently, Edison was too stupid to understand what he meant when he said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

deborah said...


"The laws of unintended consequences will not be broken in the face of genetic perfection. lulz. Mother Nature will strike back and you won't like it."

The sci-fi stories generated from this theme would be a cool genre.

bagoh20 said...

Even without geniuses, we will never want for experts.

If the average IQ were to drop to 75, we would still have people with an IQ of 60 called experts.

chickelit said...

Edison is the DWM* of inventors and takes a lot of modern grief. There certainly was "prior art" regarding the incandescent bulb in his time but developing one which lasted 1500 hours instead of just a few hours is a patentable invention, so give credit where credit due.
*Dead white male

Synova said...

Correlation is not causation, as they say. The idea that the creative are crazy, that the geniuses are depressive nut cases... these are what we call convenient fictions. It's right and good that society find a way to include those people who don't quite fit, that explains them, that says, yes, you're a nut ball but you're brilliant. But it's really not any more legitimate than how we explain that our desks are piles of mess and it doesn't mean that we're slothful or disorganized, it means that we're creative and extra smart in our brains... unless we're obsessive and compulsively tidy in which case that also means that we're creative and extra smart in our brains.

It's just as likely or more-so that our creative members, a certain number of them with emotional or mental issue, are artists because they can't hold down a steady job because tomorrow they might be afraid to leave the house. Particularly with the bipolar, if you can do something amazing when you're "up" and plunge into drink or despondency when you're "down", you may well be able to be a world-class creative sort... particularly if you've a wealthy family to support you.

But the correlation means that people who are creative fear becoming well. If they're well will the creative spark leave? Will it be like going through your days drugged?

Maybe if your meds are poorly figured. But I'll say this: My youngest is every bit as brilliant of an artist as he ever was. The difference is that on good meds he's a brilliant artist who doesn't routinely punch himself in the face.

Perhaps the question should be... even if we found that torturing a person made them a genius, would it be ethical to subject a person to lifelong torture?

Methadras said...

bagoh20 said...

we would still have people with an IQ of 60 called experts

We do. They are called potatoes.

Methadras said...

deborah said...


"The laws of unintended consequences will not be broken in the face of genetic perfection. lulz. Mother Nature will strike back and you won't like it."

The sci-fi stories generated from this theme would be a cool genre.

Actually that wouldn't be a bad idea. You can call it, Alt-Evolution.