Alt.bio.hackers Announcement and request for FAQ material

U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu
Sat Apr 30 13:55:32 EST 1994


[note: this is a repost of a copy on other groups, which I've kept separate
from the others so as not to abuse the mailing list here.  Please followup to
the alt.bio.hackers copy of this message]

   Alt.bio.hackers was newgrouped over a week ago, and has begun to stabilize.
In commemoration of Walpurgis Night, I'd like to invite anyone interested in
BioHacking, the individualistic, bizarre, subversive, speculative, fun! aspect
of molecular biology and related fields, to have a look at this new group.
   I'd also like to make a request for FAQ material, for the assembly of an
interesting FAQ like that for rec.pyrotechnics or alt.locksmithing.  Please
post this material to the group as well as sending it to me, since if it's
worth hearing every month, it's worth hearing right now!  Also, this will help
weed out errors.
   Some things I'd be interested to see in the FAQ, or the group, include:
***Medical innovations which are not yet available in some countries:  RU-486,
Ibogaine (if it really does anything to help opiate addiction), the gene-
therapy vaccine for influenza published last year, last month's result in which
flies were extended by 1/6 in median lifespan by expression of catalase and
superoxide dismutase, etc.  Please be as specific with dosages, syntheses,
procedures, etc. when possible.
***High tech crime and biotechnology:  New York's "organlegger" (kidney thief),
confidence or lack thereof in DNA fingerprinting and means of confusing the
results, use of biological and chemical warfare in terrorism and war, and
an index of evil substances:  streptozocin, gold thioglucose, MPTP, xenogeneic
acetylcholine receptors, serotonin...
***Recent agricultural and industrial advances which could be of widespread
impact:  facts about gamma irradiation, frost-resistant bacteria, BST,
lysine-enriched crops, etc.
***Things to do with biology that are wierd or fun:  biology of luciferase,
embroyological manipulations, tanning pills, dyes excreted in urine, etc.

I also expect alt.bio.hackers to become host for discussions:
***Speculation about the future of biotechnology, development of plausible
material for science fiction novels, etc.
***Politics relevant to people working in the field:  The proposed 100-fold
reduction in the allowable radiation exposure [U.S.], the new regulation
against cervically dislocating mice [U.S.], FDA user fees [U.S. --- guess where
I'm posting from?!]
***Bioethical debate.  While I have jokingly proposed creating a separate group
alt.bio.ethics just to send it somewhere else, I suppose that a certain,
minimum, level of ethics is tolerable in molecular biology :v)

In general, I hope that alt.bio.hackers will become an INFORMAL place for
people to communicate on a wider scale about these issues, which would seem a
bit out of place in the more work-oriented biological groups.

[Technical note:  Although alt.bio.hackers is gaining better connectivity, it
is still not certain that posts ONLY to alt.bio.hackers will make it to or from
your site (because an intervening site may not carry the group).  I still
advise cross-posting to another group (whichever is most relevant for that
message) as well as alt.bio.hackers.  I have drawn a flame for my earlier
suggestion of crossposts to alt.test, and I am withdrawing that suggestion.
Besides, who reads alt.test anyway?]



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