The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2007 jointly to Mario R. Capecchi, Martin J. Evans and Oliver Smithies for their discoveries of "principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells". This year's Nobel Laureates have made a series of ground-breaking discoveries concerning embryonic stem cells and DNA recombination in mammals. Their discoveries led to the creation of an immensely powerful technology referred to as gene targeting in mice. It is now being applied to virtually all areas of biomedicine – from basic research to the development of new therapies.The Nobel awards goes a long way to filling the vacuum of scientific information on GMOs and genetic engineering that the Greenpeace activists have been assiduously filling with their mixture of pseudoscience and fearmongering about GMOs, especially of plants like Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) corn, golden rice (Vitamin A built in) and all kinds of revolutionary GMOs that are doing more to solve the problem of hunger in the world than anything else. The Green Revolution did it in the sixties, now the Gene Revolution is on. Though of course Greenpiss activists never mention such stunning successes like the genetically modified E-coli bacteria that have been producing human insulin for decades so we don't have to get it from pigs. The sad thing is that these ideological numbskulls seem to have all the front page space they want from the usual newspapers and broadcasters who seem to turn to no one else for authoritative information on the scientific pluses and minuses of the technology.
Related: Attack of the Rainbow Warrior
IS SWS MEASURING HUNGER OR HARVEST SEASONS? Speaking of hunger, Mahar Mangahas and SWS claim that a new record in hunger incidence has just been recorded by them. No doubt they have collected and analysed their data professionally as they always do. But if you know about frequency analysis, go to the SWS website and run their quarterly time series data through your handy dandy fft alogorithm and tell me that the periodicities revealed don't suggest they are measuring something else. I shall give a hint: hunger nearly always peaks in the quarter just before the June and December harvests and highest in Presidential election years. Heehee! (Remember this is SELF-RATED hunger they are measuring.) I have always maintained that this is not a scientific survey because there is no independent event or process to verify or falsify the data, like elections do for their highly accurate and scientific voter preference surveys. Just because they use scientific methods to collect the data, doesn't mean the survey question sets up a scientific survey. It's not clear to me how a positive answer to the question "have you experience hunger at least once due to lack of food" amounts to "Moderate Hunger". Although it cannot be denied that hunger and poverty exist in the Philippines, the SWS survey's quantitative data is largely meaningless and only good for propaganda to beat the government over the head with. In an indirect rebuttal, it is amazing to me that at a time when dollar remittances and the Philippine dollar reserve is at an all time high, that hunger would also be at record levels..but how many days is it till Christmas harvest season?
Related Philippine Commentaries:
Hunger Stats Reveal Vicious Filipino Addictions to Alcohol, Cigarettes, Shabu, Jueteng Prostitution
Food For Thought About SWS Hunger Stats
CHILL OUT! The Washington Post has an excellent op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg on Global Warming. He avoids the two extremes of Al Gore's millennarianist doomsaying and the "atheism" of the global warming skeptics, saying, "We shouldn't ignore climate change or the policies that could attack it. But we should be honest about the shortcomings and costs of those policies, as well as the benefits." and "It's estimated that by 2050, global warming will cause almost 400,000 more heat-related deaths each year. But at the same time, 1.8 million fewer people will die from cold." He takes particular aim at the inutility of the Kyoto Protocols, pointing out a number of interesting assessments by the scientific community. For example,
"Global warming will claim lives in another way: by increasing the number of people at risk of catching malaria by about 3 percent over this century. According to scientific models, implementing the Kyoto Protocol for the rest of this century would reduce the malaria risk by just 0.2 percent."
Read it all and Chill Out!