Links 6/17/17

Links for you. Science:

A New Jersey thing: An official state germ?
China rises as a biotech powerhouse, developing drugs to treat the world
Oil’s pipeline to America’s schools: Inside the fossil-fuel industry’s not-so-subtle push into K-12 education
What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? (need to think about this more; something doesn’t seem right)
Antibiotics Promote Resistance on Experimental Croplands


Time to get serious about paper ballots for 2018
Is Impeaching Trump A Good Idea? (don’t agree, but worth considering)
A Resolution Condemning White Supremacy Causes Chaos at the Southern Baptist Convention
Small Man in a Memory Hole
Donald Trump Is Making Europe Liberal Again
American carnage
Missouri Legislator Decapitates Live Chicken on Facebook Because Abortion
Most Trump real estate now sold to secretive buyers
Jim Graham dead at 71 (killed by C. difficile)
These are the people who suffered when Kansas’s conservative experiment failed
Republicans are about to make Medicare-for-all much more likely (though, until we reach the promised land, 10,000-30,000 people per year will die needlessly)
Why does the GOP stick with Trump? It’s all about the judges.
WaPo Falls ‘Woefully Short’ In Depicting This Ward 7 Community, Neighbors Say
The Congressional Shooting and Political Violence
The President’s proposed budget could increase air pollution and congestion in the District
Turkish guards will be charged in D.C. protests, officials say
D.C. Council Advances Budget With Significant Housing and Homeless Investments
Blaming Bernie Sanders or progressives for congressional baseball shooting is preposterous
America Last: Will Trump Set a Record for the History Books?
D.C. Council report: Bowser administration favored top donor in contracting
Democrats: Your Russia obsession is blinding you from what really matters

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1 Response to Links 6/17/17

  1. kaleberg says:

    re: What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything?

    This is a common problem in programming. One thinks one understands what piece of code is responsible for a particular bug, but all too it isn’t the obvious piece of code but an interaction of various pieces of code. For example, there might be a special transformation case that only causes problems when some other piece of code stops preventing the user from demanding a particular viewpoint or action. Think, deleting an already deleted file. Surely there is no path that allows this, except when there is.

    In biology, it might be that some reaction usually has some cleanup reaction to clear certain by-products. If those by-products aren’t being cleaned up in a certain time frame, it is only a problem when one has a particular viral infection or has a problem with glycogen metabolism or the like. Something like height requires a balance of nutrition, regulation and a host of other factors. Height isn’t just growing bones, all the other stuff has to grow with them, and odds are there are mechanisms to push back when the lymph nodes feel overburdened.

    I don’t think every gene affects everything, but most organisms rely on redundant mechanisms. Such and such a mechanism is controlled by / requires some minimal combination of A, B, C or D. If B and C are not 100%, it probably won’t make much of a difference, except that process E sort of depends on B, F sort of depends on C. If B and C are not at 100%, some weird G which depends on E or F will not be working quite as well, at least not in all cases.

    I’ve seen this kind of thing in human written code all too often. Usage conventions, error checking and unwritten assumptions abound. Bugs cover other bugs and somehow or another the whole thing appears to work, then one day it doesn’t. A week of blood, sweat and tears later, and programmers are wondering how it ever worked in the first place. Get rid of the teleology, throw in a billion years of random mutation and contingency, and tell me biological systems aren’t at least as god awful.

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