Half-human, half-neanderthal

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The Daily Mail is reporting on a call put out by a Harvard professor for a surrogate mother to give birth to a human embryo injected with artificially created DNA based on genetic code found in the fossil remains of Neanderthals.

Whilst there are obvious legal, ethical and moral frontiers being pioneered here as well as biological ones, I have to admit my curiosity overrides any objection I might have to this experiment.

Naturally, the civil rights of the newborn, if successful, would be heavily debated.  I personally think that it should have full human rights with heavy advisory supervision by the scientific team behind this, assuming it wasn’t suffering heavily from its modified genetics and was being fostered by caring and competent parents.

Imagine disclosing their genetic background to it after it became conscious and intelligent enough to fathom it.

Brave new world indeed.

Aaron Swartz, co-founder of reddit, found dead! :-(

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Sky news is reporting that 26-year old Aaron Swartz, who founded software company Infogami which eventually merged with reddit, was found dead of an apparent suicide.

What makes this very suspicious is that Swartz was in an on-going legal case involving the cracking of MIT’s document store JSTOR and was accused of stealing millions of documents from there. Also, he was an avid civil liberties advocate. Probably facing years in prison was too much for Swartz.

Regardless of that, it’s sad to see Swartz go. RIP. Also, . .

A great blog entry of Swartz’s (I’m glad to see someone else didn’t drink the Bay area kool-aid and hated it as well)
Lots and lots of expected reddit commentary