Re: Engineering Yog-Sothoth for Fun and Profit

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 22:40:16 MDT

Spudboy had commented on the efforts to re-write the genetic code.

This is actually old news. The first news item I've seen on it
seems to be on pg 12, April 8, 2000 New Scientist... (How do
I know that just off the top of my head???)... Well it happens
to be a reference I looked up today for a paper I'm writing on
what the ability to rewrite the genetic code will mean for the
development of nanotechnology.

Then Eliezer commented:
> Is it just me, or does this sound like a really bad idea?

Its just you. Its actually a good thing because if you can
completely rewrite the code and produce organisms based on it
you can eliminate one of the primary objections that the luddites
have to GMO -- namely the effect of cross-pollination eventually
forcing modified genes into "natural" species. With a completely
novel code gene transfer cannot occur (its like trying to run
an IBM 370 machine language program on a VAX -- all you get is

Now of course, since my paper argues that this will enable a
clearer path to "real" nanotechnology *that* might worry *you*. But
since I've taken a rough cut at actually putting costs on the development
of real nanoassemblers and they turn out to be pretty expensive
you don't have to run off screaming into the night just yet.

When I've had the paper reviewed, the URL will be posted, so
hold your questions for now.


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