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Evolution and Red Tape in the 3 rd Millenium “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said... “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution and Red Tape in the 3 rd Millenium “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said... “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution and Red Tape in the 3 rd Millenium “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said... “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that's all.” Lewis Carrol ( )

2 A Small Quandary ● Who is in control? Our genes or us? ● Apples, Tulips, Marijuana, and Potato's seem to know

3 Evolution in the Past ● Slow and tedious ● Tools: Recombination, mutations, transpositions ● Painstaking error and success methodology

4 Analogy: The Halting Problem ● Can an algorithm determine whether any given program and data run to completion? ● Nope. But what if it could?

5 The New Face of Evolution ● Homo sapiens: The first species to be able to modify its genome in a directly concerted effort ● Powerful new tools: Molecular and Genetic Techniques ● Bioinformatics solving an evolutionary 'halting' problem ● Epigenesis also possible

6 A Genes New Enemies ● Politics, Ethics, Greed ● Race and other prejudices – Linebreeding – HapMap Project ● Legislative Measures – Bans on human cloning – Restrictions on GMOs ● Control of Technology – Costly endeavors – Abuses of the patent system – CIMMYT, apomixis technologies

7 The Future ● Conflict: We don't want things to change, but our physical structure does. ● Ethical Pursuit v.s. Relentless pursuit of Perfection

8 The End Game ● Timeline still long, but only a fraction of time using previous methods ● A lot of interesting things may be accomplished before the next mass extinction


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