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Author Topic: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.  (Read 60565 times)

martinuzz

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #660 on: August 28, 2017, 11:08:01 am »

Why would you call CRISPR overhyped? Sure, it's hyped, but in all fairness it was a major breakthrough with huge practical applicability, so I'd say it deserves the hype.
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Trekkin

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #661 on: August 28, 2017, 11:44:31 am »

Why would you call CRISPR overhyped? Sure, it's hyped, but in all fairness it was a major breakthrough with huge practical applicability, so I'd say it deserves the hype.

From outside the field it looks amazing, yes, but that's mostly because it was well marketed, easy to explain, and has a convenient moral angle; it's a perfect storm for science journalists, because they can write a bunch of smart-sounding articles about the ethical implications without needing to explain the boring technical limitations and know that they'll get clicks from the frightened and the scientifically illiterate. It's to their advantage to play up its capabilities to appeal to the "science will kill us all" crowd, so people have overestimated what it can actually do and at what efficiency.

It's new, and it's useful, but it's not unprecedented; there's less utility in specifically swapping out short segments of DNA than you might think, particularly when compared to cre/lox, FLP/FRT, or even transient transfection. In CRISPR's case particularly, much of what laypeople want to do takes longer alterations than CRISPR can handle, especially in eukaryotic genomes.

In other words, CRISPR is evolutionary, but it sounds revolutionary if you've never heard of any of the alternatives. It's also subject to the same constraints on how little we actually know of the translation between genotype and phenotype for a number of traits.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 11:49:36 am by Trekkin »
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Sheb

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #662 on: August 31, 2017, 02:28:29 am »

There's also the fact that while it's bloody amazing from a researcher point of view to have the flexibility of CRISPR over stuff like TALEN or Zinc fingers, and that lets you run a lot more experiments, from a gene therapy point of view those other techniques are just as good. So it's a revolution in the lab more than in the clinic.
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WealthyRadish

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #663 on: September 04, 2017, 07:16:40 pm »

This isn't really a controversial idea so much as a possible business opportunity, but I was thinking that it may be possible to create a formula of mouthwash that maximizes the ethanol content while minimizing the unpleasantness of the denaturing additives required to avoid being classified as an alcoholic beverage. If done you could plausibly evade the high excise taxes, import duties, and regulations on alcoholic beverages and gain niche appeal to alcoholics as either the cheapest source of technically consumable ethanol or at the very least as the best mouthwash for getting trashed on.
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Paxiecrunchle

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #664 on: September 04, 2017, 07:28:24 pm »

People but denatured alchol in their mouths daily, dancing with poisoning themselves just to get fresh breath,  sometimes I could forget how insane my own culture is and likley will be seen when aliens encounter us.

WealthyRadish

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #665 on: September 04, 2017, 07:32:51 pm »

I mean shit, looking into it, some mouthwashes already have up to 27% alcohol by volume, more than fortified wine. Maybe you could sell the mouthwash packaged with antacid tablets that also happen to contain a chemical that neutralizes the denaturing chemicals in the mouthwash completely, so by the end you have a bottle of peppermint schnapps that's higher proof and half the cost.
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Egan_BW

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #666 on: September 04, 2017, 07:48:11 pm »

Sounds like a good way to get sued when someone doesn't follow the exact instructions that you can't include without being classed an alcoholic beverage.
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Trekkin

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #667 on: September 04, 2017, 09:52:41 pm »

I mean shit, looking into it, some mouthwashes already have up to 27% alcohol by volume, more than fortified wine. Maybe you could sell the mouthwash packaged with antacid tablets that also happen to contain a chemical that neutralizes the denaturing chemicals in the mouthwash completely, so by the end you have a bottle of peppermint schnapps that's higher proof and half the cost.

We've played this game before, during Prohibition. It ends with a bunch of people dead, because it's way easier to find something to poison alcohol with than it is to be completely sure you neutralized all the poison. Then, too, the people with the chemical expertise to verify that any given bottle would be safe to drink tend not to want to buy bargain-basement liquor. Even if you did succeed, how long do you think you could sell UrbanGiraffe-Brand Probably Still Kinda Poisonous Peppermint Definitely-Not-Schnapps before your success motivated new legally mandated denaturants?

That isn't even touching on the lawsuits, like Egan_BW mentioned. A business built on exploiting alcoholics by selling them poison to evade government regulations is the kind of thing prosecutors dream of.

Oh, and you'd need to find a chemist willing to do this in the first place.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 09:54:12 pm by Trekkin »
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WealthyRadish

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #668 on: September 04, 2017, 11:03:16 pm »

I'm not seriously entertaining it, but it's worth considering that people already drink mouthwash for the ethanol despite the denaturing agents. If you're interested in the toxicity of mouthwash consumed for the ethanol, I found a good study here that explores exactly that:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232220456_What_happens_if_people_start_drinking_mouthwash_as_surrogate_alcohol_A_quantitative_risk_assessment

To summarize their conclusions, light and moderate consumption was found to have negligible health effects distinct from consumption of other alcoholic beverages, and the chronic effects linked with heavy consumption were due to certain compounds that could be avoided in this hypothetical alcoholic-friendly formula. They found that by far the most toxic component of the mouthwash was the ethanol itself. If you were formulating mouthwash to be as drinkable as possible while meeting the ATF requirement for denatured ethanol, you would obviously ensure that it's as safe or safer to drink than other mouthwashes (that's sort of the whole point, to tailor it to illicit drinking). It would be absurd to compare it to substances containing methanol that killed people in the prohibition example (any mouthwash formula would be insane to include something that toxic).
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Trekkin

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #669 on: September 05, 2017, 01:49:13 am »

The study you found involved buying a bunch of cheap mouthwash, performing NMR on it, and then looking at the reported acceptable daily intake (ADI) of whatever compounds they found; they did no actual toxicology at all. It's a stretch to say that the ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) characteristics of the denaturants aren't going to be impacted by the simultaneous alcohol consumption, particularly chronic consumption of the levels you'd need for any kind of significant profit margin, and ADIs are computed with fairly arbitrary safety factors anyway; what you want are human NOAELs, which are the actual levels at which adverse effects don't show up.

At any rate, we need not speculate about hypothetical chemical compounds. Formulating mouthwash to be sold in the US is going to involve compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Part 21; in particular, as a Specially Denatured Alcohol it must have denaturants added per one of formulas 37, 38-B, 38-D or 38-F. If you can find something on that list that is safe to drink chronically in large quantities, cheap to buy pure, and not totally abominable-tasting, I suppose you could start competing in the mouthwash-as-gutter-booze market.
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Sheb

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WealthyRadish

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #671 on: September 05, 2017, 03:01:43 am »

The study you found involved buying a bunch of cheap mouthwash, performing NMR on it, and then looking at the reported acceptable daily intake (ADI) of whatever compounds they found; they did no actual toxicology at all. It's a stretch to say that the ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) characteristics of the denaturants aren't going to be impacted by the simultaneous alcohol consumption, particularly chronic consumption of the levels you'd need for any kind of significant profit margin, and ADIs are computed with fairly arbitrary safety factors anyway; what you want are human NOAELs, which are the actual levels at which adverse effects don't show up.

Not sure if you read more than the abstract, but they referenced both ADI and NOAEL values (when they computed the margin of exposure). Yes, this does not consider the possible interaction between ethanol and the additives (which is important and a good point), but you're dismissing highly relevant information entirely while pretending to be an expert.

At any rate, we need not speculate about hypothetical chemical compounds. Formulating mouthwash to be sold in the US is going to involve compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Part 21; in particular, as a Specially Denatured Alcohol it must have denaturants added per one of formulas 37, 38-B, 38-D or 38-F. If you can find something on that list that is safe to drink chronically in large quantities, cheap to buy pure, and not totally abominable-tasting, I suppose you could start competing in the mouthwash-as-gutter-booze market.

What, this list? I see almond oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, lavender oil, pine oil, rosemary oil... Listerine gets away with 27% alcohol by volume by including menthol (mint), thymol (thyme), methyl salicylate (wintergreen), and eucalyptol (eucalyptus extract). That's it, that's all they need to add for it be classified as denatured ethanol in the US, and these are the sorts of compounds whose minutia of toxicity we're discussing.

Reminds me of that case where sixty-odd Russians died of drinking "Totally just bath oil".

Again, this is an issue with methanol, which nobody in their right mind would deliberately include in any mouthwash, let alone one they're covertly intending to be consumed. It's a product of terrible production practices and no quality assurance (though you can certainly bet that Russia would be market #1 for my hypothetical "Plasterine").
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Sheb

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #672 on: September 05, 2017, 03:15:14 am »

Well, the market for that is already a thing in Russia. This particular batch was newsworthy because of the methanol, but I guess most people don't die.
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ArchimedesWojak

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #673 on: March 01, 2021, 10:33:16 am »

slut is a gender neutral term of endearment
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Loud Whispers

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Re: The Unpopular/Controversial Ideas Thread.
« Reply #674 on: March 22, 2021, 08:18:22 am »

slut is a gender neutral term of endearment
Amongst equal friends perhaps, much in the same way that one could call one's best mate a fuckface but you wouldn't greet a stranger as so without expecting great insult to be incurred
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