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#1 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 05:02 AM


In the Future...

#2 AgentNyder

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 07:42 AM

I take it you have something against Governments, firstimmortal? :)

#3 outlawpoet

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 10:24 AM

Well, there is a certain amount of truth to it. Government is a threat to one's existence, seeing as they currently wield the power of life and death over their 'citizens. One would hope that the acceptance of such powers decreases either through de-emphasis of governmental powers, or legislation.

It is ridiculous that some segment of the population should be able to kill people, no matter how ensconced, rich, or justified they may be.

Sadly, we live in a world of leveraged risks, and some hierarchy in our society may be the temporary price we pay for certain benefits. But I think it's clear that such artificial constructs have no place in any decently run place to live.

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#4 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 06:00 AM

I take it you have something against Governments, firstimmortal?  ;)


Yeeah [B)]

#5 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 03:35 AM

Increasingly, health care decisions in the USA are being mandated by small cadres of "specialists" who decide whether this or that medication will be made legal and available to the American public. Where scientific evidence once was the criteria for extended use of a new medication, such decisions are today being made more on the basis of the profits which can be made from a particular medication, too many of the top physician-bureaucrats working in the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Cancer Society (ACS), etc. are themselves often drug-company millionaires, with personal stock holdings or investments in the companies whom they regulate. Drug companies provide large sums to political campaigns so as to definitively influence legislation, and to various medical institutes, to "research" their products. Their full-page color advertisements for new drugs in medical journals essentially pay for those publications.

#6 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 03:38 AM

Pharmaceutical companies are one of the highest profit margin industries in the U.S. who do not have to account for the often extreme prices they charge, higher than anywhere else in the world. Drug company money plays a powerful role in shaping health policy, the approval process for new patent drugs, and publishing (or censoring) research findings about the effectiveness or side-effects of those drugs.

Additionally, nearly every major medical organization and medical society in the USA, to include many governmental agencies like the FDA, NIH, and ACS, expend significant sums of money each year to fund unfactual, even slanderous propaganda against relatively inexpensive natural healing methods, which might otherwise substitute for the expensive and often toxic medications and surgical procedures pushed by the medical-pharmaceutical cartel.

"Quack-busting" groups, such as the National Council Against Health Fraud, team up with various medical societies, licensing boards, and the FDA to efficiently snoop upon and "police" the medical community, making sure that only the most orthodox medical treatments will prevail. Word quickly spreads, through the medical gossip system, if a doctor does not prescribe the usual drugs or treatments. Any doctor employing vitamins, herbs, nutrition, energetic medicine (homeopathy, orgone accumulator), chelation therapy, or any other progressive, innovative or unorthodox treatment can expect great pressure from these groups, up to and including visits from aggressive, gun-waving "health-care" policemen.

Similar, or even more aggressive treatment is meted out to midwives, herbalists or to other health care providers who lack the MD degree, and employ methods which compete with the entire lucrative doctor-hospital system. A doctor or midwife who is today labeled a "quack" in the newspapers can expect as bad and unfair a treatment as did a "witch" in the Middle Ages.

The quite telling consequences of this anti-scientific pogrom against the new and unorthodox health research findings are that a higher percentage of people are dying from degenerative illness today than in the 1950s, while cancer cure and survival rates are essentially unchanged from when the multi-billion dollar orthodox "war" against cancer was initiated. Like the "wars" against crime, poverty and drugs, the "war against cancer" has been a huge, expensive flop, benefiting only the over-bloated cancer industry, today more people are engaged in the "treatment" of cancer than those who die from it in a given year. Obviously, the attitude that "war" is necessary to solve a social or health-care problem is itself part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

#7 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 03:43 AM

The FDA alliance has destroyed the lives and work of numerous medical pioneers, as usually without any charges being filed. They simply arrive at the offending clinic and home of the pioneer, break down the doors, shove guns into the faces of everyone present, seize and impound office and laboratory equipment, mailing lists, computers, files, bank accounts, etc., carting everything off to a warehouse where it is dumped. Even personal funds in a bank account are "impounded" (stolen!) by these government thugs, whom like DEA agents raiding a crack house, using drug-seizure laws to keep a percentage of whatever they steal!

Amazingly, none of the major political parties have displayed alarm or interest in these FDA assaults. It has all been done with the full knowledge and approval of top politicians (Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Gore) and Justice Department officials. Virtually all of these politicians have consistently been sent letters of protest by the lawyers, friends, patients and co-workers of the various clinicians or small businesses who have been raided to my knowledge, nobody who has been raided by the FDA has ever received a friendly note or a helpful response from any of our political Royal Family. These power elites either agree with the FDA, don't care about natural health matters, or are completely isolated from what is going on in the real world by layers of bureaucracy and "helpers", who censor the the pleas for help from their mail and telephone calls. The FDA raids demonstrate a serious erosion in the principles of government by law, due process, liberty and justice. For health matters, at least, we now have government by iron-fisted bureaucratic decree, with only the facade and illusion of law.

#8 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:14 AM

The key to the future of medicine is the development of anti-aging therapies to extend the maximum human lifespan. If we were to find cures for all the diseases that kill people today such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke we would add but a few short years of increasing disability to the average lifespan and nothing at all to the maximum lifespan. On the other hand, if we could delay or reverse aging by 25 or 50 years, we would not only live longer, but would do so in better health and physical condition.

#9 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:15 AM

The greatest obstacle to the development of anti-aging therapies is the FDA, which prevents anti-aging research.
The FDA Does Not Recognize The Concept Of Anti-Aging Therapies. The FDA is stuck in an outmoded concept of medicine, in which diseases are discrete entites that must be treated individually. The FDA does not understand that diseases can be prevented by general health-building measures: that different diseases are caused by common underlying mechanisms such as free radical activity. They don't understand that the basic underlying cause of all diseases and disabilities is the aging process by which we grow old, suffer, and die.

The FDA thinks it is "impossible" to slow down or reverse aging because it is a prisoner of the dogma that aging is "inevitable" and that it is only possible to treat specific diseases.

#10 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:23 AM

Unaware that anti-aging scientists have documented several mechanisms of aging, the FDA is oblivious to the fact that they have discovered a variety of anti-aging therapies to manipulate these mechanisms, and that they are beginning to locate the genes that control the aging process.
The FDA's ignorance of anti-aging research and it's bias against anti-aging therapies is the basic underlying reason for the many obstacles the agency has created to discourage anti-aging research and to prevent the development of anti-aging therapies.

Since the FDA does not understand or recognize the concept of anti-aging therapies, it is not surprising that the agency has given no thought whatsoever to putting together a protocol to approve therapies for the treatment of aging.

#11 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 05:09 AM

Well, there is a certain amount of truth to it. Government is a threat to one's existence, seeing as they currently wield the power of life and death over their 'citizens. One would hope that the acceptance of such powers decreases either through de-emphasis of governmental powers, or legislation.
.


Some, no doubt, will insist that government should step in immediately to regulate an area with such far-reaching social consequences as immortality. Others will take the position that people are perfectly capable of organizing their own affairs without any help from the authorities, elected or otherwise. This debate is as old as human history, and it won’t be resolved here.

#12 Mind

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 04:48 PM

Governments are upset about losing their regulatory grip on communication mechanisms.

Here (business week)is an article about how wireless communication is about to surpass traditional "landlines". The most salient quote with regards to how Government is our greatest threat to life is below:

The implications for U.S. communications policy are no less far-reaching. During the 20th century, federal and state regulators strictly controlled everything from pricing to reliability in the U.S. telecom industry. In much of the rest of the world, phone service was a government-run monopoly, like the post office or national defense. Now, the transition to wireless means that governments everywhere risk losing their tight grip. "Wireless is shaking up the system. You are moving from universal service and monopoly to [a system] where service is a private contract between the company and the customer, and there are no guarantees," says analyst Rudy Baca of Legg Mason. Congress held a hearing on Sept. 24 to review the public-policy challenges. Regulators in California, Utah, and Virginia are concerned enough that they're considering trying to step up their own regulation of wireless phone prices and service by the end of this year.

While the wireless future is fraught with risks for many, customers are seeing huge benefits. All the competition means choices aplenty, tumbling prices, and innovation on the rise. And as cell phones become more sophisticated, consumers are ending up with what is essentially a small computer in their pocket, opening up all sorts of new possibilities for services and entertainment.


Why the heck does the government need to regulate and monopolize wireless communication networks? To ensure quality service? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. What a joke. Besides, the free market has already accomplished that.

#13 Jace Tropic

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 07:07 PM

thefirstimmortal: Some, no doubt, will insist that government should step in immediately to regulate an area with such far-reaching social consequences as immortality. Others will take the position that people are perfectly capable of organizing their own affairs without any help from the authorities, elected or otherwise. This debate is as old as human history, and it won’t be resolved here.

I agree with you there. Libertarian spinners assume that bigger problems such as space colonization will take care of themselves with “long-term” (five years) investment strategies and capitalization.

Corporations tend to complain about certain regulations that impede their progress yet want regulations to impede the progress of other corporations. Go figure. They have their priorities straightened at least, don’t they? But, of course. Who can't have their cake and eat it too?

It may just serve us right when we are completely annihilated by behaviorist software.

Business Week: …opening up all sorts of new possibilities for services and entertainment.

I wonder what kind of diluted services these will be? Basic needs have already been mastered except for violence- and deception-free serenity, cosmetics, and mortality. After all this we will still require “entertainment” (empty capital for an empty supply eventually translating into material waste) to fill our voids?

An epistemology that doesn’t dodge inconvenient facts about the human condition would eventually be nice. Ah, but it doesn’t, after all. Our problems will be all gone when subjective awareness is completely replaced with superpositioned qubits.

#14 Mind

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 12:08 AM

Jace: Corporations tend to complain about certain regulations that impede their progress yet want regulations to impede the progress of other corporations. Go figure.


Great observation Jace. Often times the greatest threat to the free market is Corporations/businessess. The power that comes with success is corrupting. Politicians fall victim all the time. No wonder big corporations and politicians are such good buddies....each trying to protect their power. They are addicted.

#15 Jace Tropic

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:05 AM

Mind, from this couldn’t we extrapolate that since we don’t have a neutral economic ground from which to start, doing away with the quantity of politicians would only exacerbate tension on domestic soil? We can’t get rid of them all for obvious reasons, and fewer would make it much easier for them to become corrupted. Would you have the same trust in people in general if there were many more miniature sovereign-states doing their own thing?

#16 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:46 AM

Why the heck does the government need to regulate and monopolize wireless communication networks? To ensure quality service? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. What a joke. Besides, the free market has already accomplished that.


Don't Laugh too loud, they get away with many things based on this false premise. ;)

#17 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:50 AM

The Space Station
Original Promise

Cost: $8 billion

Result to date
over $100 billion spent so far

#18 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:56 AM

The Space Station
Original Promise
Completion : date:1992


Result to date
Still not done; current estimate is 2007

#19 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:58 AM

The Space Station
Original Promise
Parts completed 40
Missions completed 8




Result to date
Parts completed 2
Missions completed 1

#20 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:03 AM

In 1972 and again in 1982, NASA made predictions about the space shuttle. Here is how well that program has turned out:

The Space Shuttle
Original Item Promise
Flights per year: 51


Result to date
Average about 4

The space shuttle was supposed to provide great benefits to science and the American economy As Robert Oler, Richard Kolker, and Mark Whittington explain:

Some NASA officials even boast that for every dollar spent, nine or ten - some have even claimed fifteen - dollars go back to the federal treasury ... But after almost 20 years of flying the space shuttle, not a significant scientific or medical process has been discovered or perfected in space. No significant product of any kind has been produced in space. Furthermore, the servicing of satellites, once the shuttle’s mission , has been abandoned.

#21 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:05 AM

In January 2000, NASA reported that it had lost the $165 million Polar Lander that was supposed to explore Mars. So NASA went back to the taxpayers’ trough to get new funding to look for the lost Lander.

#22 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:06 AM

In the 1970s several private companies wanted to build their own rocket launchers and send satellites into space. But the government wouldn’t use their services. And by offering cheap, subsidized rates for launching satellites, the government effectively killed all private competition.

It took the Challenger crash to change the rules, reducing considerably the number of government launches. Now government agencies use private launch services, instead of driving them out of the market.

Most other laws that inhibited private development of space have been removed. And so markets are opening up for tourism in space, as well as private mapping of the moon and far-off planets. I have no doubt that there will be other markets that will spur private space development.

Beal Aerospace has invested $200 million in the building of a new rocket to launch satellites. This is a pittance compared to what a government launcher costs. When an enterprise seems too big for the private sector to handle, it’s often because we use government costs to gauge its size.

Unburden private companies from subsidized competition and they will provide the money to do what is truly worth doing. Usually they will succeed. But if a private company fails to deliver, it won’t cost the taxpayers anything.

#23 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:09 AM

Have I mentioned that government doesn’t work? ;)

#24 Jace Tropic

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:35 AM

Bill, I do not really believe you are as reckless as you appear.

#25 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:52 AM

Bill, I do not really believe you are as reckless as you appear.


Oh Jace, I am the Evil Kinevil of ImmInst posters ;))

#26 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 05:49 PM

We are at the beginning of the twenty-first century and we are already hard at work building the foundation necessary to gain Immortality.

With each passing decade we will enhance our ability to manipulate matter, reshape the planet, develop innovative energy sources, and control fundamental aspects of the physical universe, such as the atom.

We will establish dominion over the very heart of physical matter itself. Through nanotechnology our species will attain control over the atom and its tiniest components. Such control will enable us to effortlessly reverse aging

That effort will soon pressure governments, medical associations, and various “ethics commissions” to make regulations hampering the development and application of such technologies and therapies.

#27 thefirstimmortal

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 01:44 PM

Author Kenneth Vaux, on Biomedical Ethics writes:
“Man, as a social being, must learn to die for the sake of the fu­ture.” "We must learn that death energy is creative. We face population and ecological disaster if we disrupt the evolutionary death now in process without simultaneously disrupting birth."

#28 Mind

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 03:28 PM

Jace: Mind, from this couldn’t we extrapolate that since we don’t have a neutral economic ground from which to start, doing away with the quantity of politicians would only exacerbate tension on domestic soil? We can’t get rid of them all for obvious reasons, and fewer would make it much easier for them to become corrupted. Would you have the same trust in people in general if there were many more miniature sovereign-states doing their own thing?


I would like to respond appropriately to your point...but it is not exactly clear to me.

Theoretically I figure the quantity of politicians would not matter as long as there are appropriate and effective ways to deal with those that become dictatorial.

Come to think of it, one way to limit any single politician's power would be to have many of them. I have read some proposals that call for the U.S. House of Representatives to be expanded to 1,000 or 2,000 members, so that each representative can be in closer contact with their constituents (like it was when the House was originally created). Also, with more representatives it is less likely that things will get done in the Legislature. The only laws likely to get through are the ones that are truly needed.

#29 Mind

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 05:23 PM

Wasn't sure where to put this story, but it feels like a "Big Brother" surveillance story. I am not completely against surveillance, it seems there is no way to stop it. The only thing I want is the same access to the surveillance as the government.

Begin Article

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Sherwood (585) 273-4726
February 12, 2004
Smart Software Gives Surveillance Eyes a ‘Brain’
In these days of heightened security and precautions, surveillance cameras watching over us as we cross darkened parking lots or looking over our shoulders at airports may seem reassuring, but they’re only of use if someone is watching them. Researchers at the University of Rochester’s computer science laboratories have found a way to give these cameras a rudimentary brain to keep an eye out for us, and the research is already been licensed to a Rochester company with an aim toward homeland security.

“Compared to paying a human, computer time is cheap and getting cheaper,” says Randal Nelson, associate professor of computer science and creator of the software “brain”. “If we can get intelligent machines to stand in for people in observation tasks, we can achieve knowledge about our environment that would otherwise be unaffordable.”

Far from being an electronic “Big Brother,” the software would only focus on things for which it was trained to look—like a gun in an airport, or the absence of a piece of equipment in a lab. Nelson has even created a prototype system that helps a person find things around the house, such as where reading glasses were left.

Nelson set about experimenting with how to differentiate various objects in a simple black-and-white video image like that used in a typical surveillance camera. The software initially looks for changes that happen within the image, such as someone placing a cola can on a desk. The change in the image is immediately highlighted as the software begins trying to figure out if the change in the image is a new object in the scene, or the absence of an object that was there before. Using numerous methods, such as matching up background lines that were broken when the new object was set in front of them, the prototype system is accurate most of the time. It then takes an inventory of all the colors of the object so that an operator can ask the software to “zoom in on that red thing” and the software will comply, even though the soda can in question may be red and silver and overlaid with shadows.

The next step, however, is where Nelson’s software really shines. Nelson has been working for years on ways to get a computer to recognize an object on sight. He began this line of research over a decade ago as he wrote software to help a robot “shop”—picking out a single item, like a box of cereal, from several similar items. One of the tasks he recently gave his students was to set up a game where teams tried to “steal” objects from one another’s table while the tables were monitored by smart cameras. The students would find new ways to defeat the software, and consequently develop new upgrades to the system so it couldn’t be fooled again.

Though a six-month-old baby can distinguish different objects from different angles, getting a computer to do it is a Herculean task of processing, and more complicated still is identifying a simple object in a complicated natural setting like a room bustling with activity.

Unlike the baby, the software needs to be told a lot about an object before it’s able to discern it. Depending on how complex an object is, the software may need anywhere from one to 100 photos of the object from different angles. Something very simple, like a piece of paper, can be “grasped” by the program with a single picture; a soda can may take half a dozen, while a complex object like an ornate lamp may need many photographs taken from different angles to capture all its facets. With those images in mind, the software matches the new object it sees with its database of object to determine what the new object is.

The technology for this ‘smart camera’ has already been licensed to the local company PL E-Communications, LLC., which has plans to develop the technology to control video cameras for security applications. For instance, CEO Paul Simpson is looking into using linked cameras covering a wide area to exchange information about certain objects, be they suspicious packages in an airport or a suspicious truck driving through a city under military control. Even unmanned aerial reconnaissance drones like the Predator that made headlines during the current Iraqi war can use the technology to keep an eye on an area for days at a time, noting when and where objects move.

“We’re hoping to make this technology do things that were long thought impossible—making things more secure without the need to have a human operator on hand every second.” says Simpson.

Nelson and PL E-Communications were connected through the Center for Electronic Imaging Systems (CEIS), a NYSTAR-sponsored Center for Advanced Technology (CATs) devoted to promoting economic development in the greater Rochester region and New York State. CEIS develops and transfers technology from local universities to industry for commercialization, and by educating the next generation of leaders in the fields of electronic imaging and microelectronics design.

End Article

Universityr of Rochester

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#30 Mind

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 11:10 PM

Another government regulatory agency on the way.

Read the full article here

The best quote of the piece is:

So, with a new federal regulatory agency on the case, are we safe from bioterror now? In reality, this new biosecurity agency will only be regulating respectable researchers at universities and corporations in this country, who are not likely to be the guys cooking up some super-infectious version of smallpox to spread through the New York City subway system. Thus, this new federal effort may well be irrelevant to the Al Qaeda wannabes and illiberal political fanatics of the future.



The Best BioDefense is BioOffense

Technology, not regulation, will protect us from bioterror

Ronald Bailey

Biologically generated superpathogens, beyond the control of medicine, are a truly horrific thought. And in an age when the West is facing enemies clearly not averse to shocking new means of warfare, they might be a horrifically realistic one.

Thusly, the federal government has launched a National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. The NSABB will be operating by this summer, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month. The NSABB will oversee "dual use" biological research—research that could be used by therapists to cure, but which also could be exploited by potential bioterrorists to kill.

The NSABB will exercise regulatory oversight over any biological experiment that would: make human or animal vaccines ineffective; grant resistance to therapeutically useful antibiotics or antiviral agents for humans, animals, or crops; increase the virulence of human, animal, or plant pathogens, or make nonpathogens virulent; make pathogens more easily transmissibility or alter their host range; help evade diagnostic or detection methods; or enable weaponization of biological agents or toxins.

The NSABB seems intended to function much like the National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), which has ruled on the safety of genetics research since the 1970s. All experiments would undergo review by the appropriate Institutional Review Boards first, and if additional questions remain about an experiment's national security implications, the NSABB could conduct a further review and suggest limits on what is done and published.

So, with a new federal regulatory agency on the case, are we safe from bioterror now? In reality, this new biosecurity agency will only be regulating respectable researchers at universities and corporations in this country, who are not likely to be the guys cooking up some super-infectious version of smallpox to spread through the New York City subway system. Thus, this new federal effort may well be irrelevant to the Al Qaeda wannabes and illiberal political fanatics of the future.

What we ultimately need to defend ourselves against bioterror is a highly sophisticated biotechnology of our own.

Some commentators, however, advocate not just a unilateral disarmament when it comes to biowar, but deliberately trashing our own defenses. Most notoriously, Bill Joy proposed technological relinquishment as an option in Wired four years ago. Joy argued that humanity must essentially abandon technological progress because our ability to misuse it is far too great. This month, similar sentiments are echoed in Lawrence Lessig's article on "Insanely Destructive Devices," also in Wired.

According to Lessig, the way forward is to reduce the inequities and resentments that might inspire someone to resort to bioterrorism to destroy their enemies. This seems an extremely unlikely strategy, especially when we consider the most notorious bioterrorists of modern times. How could one ever satisfy the bizarre desires of the Aum Shinrikyo death cult?

Biodefense depends not on abandoning technology or appeasing our potential adversaries, but on nurturing a robust biotechnology. Remember, we are talking about "dual use" technologies—for both offense and defense.

First, before we panic about biotoxins, let's think a bit about evolution. If a truly horrific virus or bacteria were easily concocted, it is very likely that Mother Nature would already have generated one. But let us assume the worst: that fiendishly clever evildoers could devise some sort of superplague that would kill off some huge fraction of humanity. A plague as deadly as Ebola, more communicable than the common cold, and with a latency period of several weeks to allow it to spread through unwitting populations.

What would it take to counter such a pathogen? A dynamic and extensive diagnostic and biomedical manufacturing system that could deploy multiple levels of defense, including vaccines, new antibiotics, and other novel targeted therapies. To do that, we need to move ahead with innovative biotech.......






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