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(Nature)   Scientists seek to create bacteria that can not be killed by the body's immune system. What could possibly go wrong?   ( divider line
    More: Scary  
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18440 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Nov 2005 at 10:34 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

117 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-11-03 11:01:19 AM  
Well at least they have had the foresight of warning us beforehand. Can anyone else see the "Avain Flu mutates" and this article coinciding?
2005-11-03 11:02:59 AM  
2005-11-03 11:03:47 AM  
chaoslovescompany, good comment
2005-11-03 11:04:28 AM  
khonshu: If this gets greenlighted, I will be upset.

There ya go.
People are getting all excited over antimicrobial peptides.
2005-11-03 11:05:53 AM  
Screw antibiotic soap. I douse myself with a 50% bleach solution three times a day and put vancomycin in my cereal. I'm invincible.
2005-11-03 11:05:58 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

This comes to mind.
2005-11-03 11:06:50 AM  

This book is composed entirely of matter and is therefore subject to the second law of thermodynamics. By opening this book, the reader accepts responsibility, in full or in part, for the eventual heat death of the universe.
2005-11-03 11:07:28 AM  
Just call these guys in:

[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-03 11:09:38 AM  
did anyone even RTFA??!?

The article says nothing about "creating bacteria that can not be killed by the body's immune system."

Yeah, that's what I thought too. I didn't RTWFA, but what I read indicated this, not the submitter's inference.
2005-11-03 11:11:04 AM  
I'm pretty sure that humanity's last words will be "oh shiat"
2005-11-03 11:11:57 AM  
Who cares!! We all are going to die at some point! & usually it is our own dam fault! ;-)
As longs as I have time to tie you up & let you watch your lovely wife suck the snot out of my gorgeous male organ while your daughter (18 yrs old, of course) tongues my bung-hole.
I will be able to die a happy man!!!

2005-11-03 11:11:59 AM  

My money is on "I wonder what this button does."
2005-11-03 11:12:18 AM  
rotkiv: oh yes, make it only infect the muslim faith gene as well. :)
2005-11-03 11:12:32 AM  
remember kids: aim for the head
2005-11-03 11:14:27 AM  

spend 7.1bn exploring them instead, cuz I need the grant money.

werd. i hear that. we're having a hell of a time getting grants now...hmmm, i wonder why?


i work with pseudomonas, staph, salmo, e. coli (of course), enterococcus, bacillus atrophaeus (anthrax surrogate), methicillin resistant staph, clinical isolates of resistant name it pretty much. no one ever wants to shake my hand...wonder why?
2005-11-03 11:16:45 AM  
FloydA: My money is on "I wonder what this button does."

That would be the second to last words. The last word would be:

"Mr. President, DON'T!"
2005-11-03 11:21:11 AM  
Now its just going to come down to a choice of whether you want to chill in Boulder, Co. or Las Vegas
2005-11-03 11:21:20 AM  

This book is composed entirely of matter and is therefore subject to the second law of thermodynamics. By opening this book, the reader accepts responsibility, in full or in part, for the eventual heat death of the universe.

Heheheheh. Think I'll print some of those.
2005-11-03 11:21:44 AM  

I fully expected you to use the "I'm getting a kick out of reading these responses" cliche...I don't know if I'm disappointed or not...

2005-11-03 11:22:50 AM  
What is the orgin of the "What could go wrong?" cliche`?

Is it from a motion picture?

I seem to recall seeing two nerdy scientists after describing their plan for doing something or other and then saying, in unison, "What could go wrong?"

The Farkers collective knowledge of minutia should be able to tell me, or at least give some noteable examples.
2005-11-03 11:25:31 AM  
Tatsuma: I'm pretty sure that humanity's last words will be "oh shiat"

Nah, more like "Hey y'all, watch this! Somebody hold ma beer."
2005-11-03 11:27:25 AM  

If so, then Tatsuma is certainly correct that would be the second to last words. The last word would be:

"Mr. President, DON'T!"
2005-11-03 11:27:58 AM  
the correct ending of this headline should be "still no cure for cancer"
2005-11-03 11:41:04 AM  
handrail: just use pure isopropyl alcohol on your hands, forget that soap stuff.

or peroxide
2005-11-03 11:42:07 AM  
OK, I realize that, "It's not news, it's Fark", but why be just like every other dumb media outlet? I hope this moronic headline didn't get greenlit just because it is so sensationalized.

/canoeing in 6" of water
2005-11-03 11:42:22 AM  
But how will this protect me from Bird Flu
2005-11-03 11:42:48 AM  
Remember--Big Pharma makes money off TREATMENTS, not CURES.
2005-11-03 11:44:48 AM  
The biologists weren't trying to create uber-bacteria that are resistant to all the antimicrobial peptides of the human immune system; they were accelerating evolution in order to help predict whether such complications would arise naturally in the future, which would, in turn, help us to better prepare for them.

Stay in the kiddie pool, submitter, and leave the science talk to the big boys.
2005-11-03 11:46:05 AM  

Nice. *golf clap*

By now I'm sure you've seen the 'Darwin has a posse' graphic. Well, I have good news! You can get real vinyl stickers here, along with plenty of other interesting and humorous items.
2005-11-03 11:47:51 AM  
Tommy Moo: Stay in the kiddie pool, submitter, and leave the science talk to the big boys.

Well, unless submitter is a Mod, someone else gave it the greenlight. Yeah?
2005-11-03 11:49:34 AM  
Thanks for that link! Those stickers would definitely be a nice reward to students for submitting good papers/exams.
2005-11-03 11:50:28 AM  
SteelHorseRider: or peroxide

I'm off to drink peroxide
2005-11-03 11:55:31 AM  
Bacteria that can't be killed by the body's immune system? Does that mean people will start getting sick, and possibly dying?

[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-03 11:57:30 AM  
Scientists seek to create headline filter which cannot print grammatical errors.
2005-11-03 11:58:39 AM  
If Microsoft made meds...

"Gentlemen, we seem to have made all the money from this drug that we're going to. Time to make it not usable anymore and come up with it's replacement."

Scary thought.
2005-11-03 11:58:58 AM  
Tommy Moo:

You say The biologists weren't trying to create uber-bacteria that are resistant

From the article "the researchers created pexiganan-resistant bacteria."

Reading comprehension? The end result is resistant bacteria genetically manipulated by the same folks who gave us gmo's and declared "these will never escape into the wild". Well, they did. Now what?
2005-11-03 12:00:02 PM  

I always thought it woudl be "My god! Its full of stars."


"Total protonic reversal of the earth's matter is only a very slim possiblity."
2005-11-03 12:01:27 PM  

Jeez guys, are you that rabidly sensitive that you feel the need to go that far. Its high school science class, no one really starts questioning the universe until college. Why can't you let me have my beliefs and you have yours?
2005-11-03 12:02:33 PM  
massive amounts of jack daniels will cure all.

agreed, everyone in my house was coming down with the flu so we all did shots until we couldn't feel our throats anymore.
Voila no more flu
2005-11-03 12:12:48 PM  
this is why i live in a bubble
2005-11-03 12:14:08 PM  
i've done that with gin
/cold came back the next morning tenfold
//with a hangover chaser
///good times, good times
2005-11-03 12:16:54 PM  

No offense, but that picture was intended as a joke. For instance, read the bottom right sticker carefully.
Anyway, someone needs to be sensitive considering the ID movement is pushing to get the 'theory' taught in public grade school. Don't you think we should be concerned with facts throughout grade school, and leave the big debates for college?
2005-11-03 12:21:02 PM  
Call THIS guy.
[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-03 12:21:56 PM  

The issue has nothing to do with denying you your right to believe whatever you like. It doesn't even have anything to do with your right to teach whatever you wish. It has to do with the right of science teachers teach science. Creationism is not science, so it has no place in a science classroom.

And as far as your claim that nobody starts questioning until college, that seems like a rather poor justification for actively lying to the students. "Hey, they aren't listening anyway, so why not just spew a bunch of BS? They won't even notice or care until they get to college!"

That philosophy would not fly in a math or history course, so it has no business in a biology course.

Once again, teach your kids whatever you like, in your church or at home. Leave the science classrooms for science.

And I think those stickers are funny. No, I'm not "rabidly sensitive" any more than someone with a bumper sticker advertising their political or religious affiliation or their favorite band is "rabidly sensitive". I just think the stickers are funny.
2005-11-03 12:27:44 PM  
headline should read :

"Schools have creates Farkers appallingly ignorant of their ignorance of science. What could possibly go wrong?"

1.) Resistance to antimicrobial peptides has nothing to do with your body's immune system and its reponse to infection.

2.) the research was done at universities.

3.) the bacterial strains used for testing are not pathogenic and were grown under controlled lab conditions.
"Not pathogenic" means they won't harm you and won't transfer resistance easily to anything that will harm you.

4.) It's a really cool experiment, because bacterial reistance to antibiotics is a HUGE problem that drug companies and universities are attacking by determining what causes the bacteria to be resistant and making a supplementary drug. For instance. augmentin = penicillin-type drug plus what's called beta-lactamase inhibitor. beta-lactamases are enzymes made in bacteria that digest penicillin. Knowing how the penicillin resistance developed enabled researches to make another drug to block the resistant strain, prolonging the usefulness of penicillin. the resistant strains didn't come out of a lab, they came out of hospitals and people infected with STDs.

5.) Since this is a new class of antimicrobial, understanding resistance mechanims now will lead to better drugs later, for the reasons just described.
2005-11-03 12:28:28 PM  
I thought the government already created this virus. It goes by the name of H.I.V., or more commonly, A.I.D.S.
2005-11-03 12:28:40 PM  
Teach facts in school.
Preach beliefs in church.

/done done diddley done.
/don't make me pull out the FSM on your ass.
2005-11-03 01:16:41 PM  
2005-11-03 10:00:26 AM LiaLia [TotalFark]

Ah, another case of scientists seeing if they can do something without wondering if they should.

Along the lines of "let's see if we can re-create polio/1918 killer flu/etc."

This is actually a paradigm, called "The Scientific Imperative". Simply put, the Scientific Imperative states that if science *can* accomplish something, it *will*, and moral/ethical debate only follows once it has been done.

In other words, they will *always* do something before considering whether or not they *should* do it.

This is in some ways unavoidable, since it's impossible for anyone to predict with absolute certainty, all the possible variables that might effect the outcome of an advancement in science. Therefore you could try 'til blue in the face, but you would never be able to fully grasp the implications of something, before it has actually happened. This is why we always see a frantic dash when "big" issues of science arrive, as people who are familiar with this quandry, try to beat the clock in figuring out what "might" go wrong.

Which brings to mind another paradigm... if it can go wrong, it will go wrong.
"STV - Science, Technology and Values" was a course that arts/engineering/CS/maths majors etc, all had to take as a 'core' course, so that regardless of your academic background, you were exposed to the concept of pure scientific advancement in parallel with an ethical look at science.

It helps me to color in my world. It's a tapestry, see.
2005-11-03 01:37:30 PM  
I imagine there's a mad scientist laughing maniacally somewhere right about now.

[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-03 02:16:14 PM  
The experiment did not necessarily create antibiotic resistant mutations. Starting with a sub-lethal exposure and slowing increasing it is more likely to preferentially select bacterial cell lines with physiological adaptations to the antibiotic. These are usually genetically labile and quickly revert to 'normal, susceptible' in the absence of the antibiotic.

/I need more research funds to determine if the strains are true resistant mutants, or merely physiological adaptants.
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