The Pentagon’s advanced research division has set aside $6 million from its next budget for research on the creation of “synthetic organisms” whose DNA can be altered to make them live forever, or die on command, and even keep a genetic record of what they have been doing.
In its 2011 budget (PDF, 522 pages), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency lays out its intention to create “BioDesign,” a project to create artificial life, presumably with military purposes in mind.
“BioDesign eliminates the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement primarily by advanced genetic engineering and molecular biology technologies to produce the intended biological effect,” the DARPA document states.
The agency says it wants to develop “a robust understanding of the collective mechanisms that contribute to cell death” so as to “enable a new generation of regenerative cells that could ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.”
But, if those organisms should malfunction or run the course of their usefulness, the agency also wants to have the ability to have them die on command, what it calls a “self-destruct option.”
The agency also wants to create “tamper-proof” genetic codes, so that enemy forces can’t reprogram the life forms to switch sides.
And finally, DARPA also wants these organisms’ genetic sequences to “record” what they have been doing, presumably for surveillance purposes, “similar to a traceable serial number on a handgun.”
Reporting at Wired.com, Katie Drummond says the Pentagon is “up against some vexing, fundamental laws of nature.”
First, they might want to rethink the idea of evolution as a random series of events, says NYU biology professor David Fitch. “Evolution by selection is nota random process at all, and is actually a hugely efficient design algorithm used extensively in computation and engineering,” he e-mails Danger Room.
Even if Darpa manages to overcome the inherent intelligence of evolutionary processes, overcoming inevitable death can be tricky. Just ask all the other research teams who’ve made stabs at it, trying everything from cell starvation to hormone treatments.
“And then there’s all of the ethical dilemmas involved in literally playing God,” comments John Funk at The Escapist. “But that’s only if the science actually works.”
Fake Village People appear on SNL to tell Trump to stop using their music or they’ll shave Ivanka’s head
The fake Village People made a surprise appearance on "Saturday Night Live" to tell President Donald Trump to stop using their music at his rallies or they'll shave Ivanka Trump's head.
"If you have been watching the Trump rallies, you probably noticed Trump dancing to The Village People," said Colin Jost during the Weekend Update segment. "If you haven't, let's take a look."
He explained that the Village People had their own special message for the president. The group of SNL cast members came out dressed in traditional Village People outfits and sang their cease and desist for the president.
SNL does campaign ad asking what they’ll do without Trump to trash — then they have a revelation
"What is the news even going to be about now?" the Saturday Night Life cast joked, saying that without President Donald Trump.
The fake ad began saying that everyone knows it could be the most important election of our lives.
"And the two choices couldn't be more different," the ad continues. "Do we want four more years of Donald Trump or a fresh start with Joe Biden? Can we survive four more years of scandal, name-calling, and racial division? Or do we want a leader who unites the country? I want to vote for Biden because he's better, smarter. better and better."
But, the cast members confessed, "I'm worried, because if Donald Trump isn't president -- when what are they going to talk about? Like, what would our conversations even be? Because the only thing I talked about for four years is Donald Trump. Every single day I tell someone, 'Can you believe what Trump just said?' My entire personality is hating Donald Trump. If he's gone, what am I supposed to do? Focus on my kids again? No thanks. He changed the game. He called the attorney general he appointed mentally retarded. That's some next-level sh*t!"
Saturday Night Live’s Trump claims his secret COVID-19 plan is ‘under audit just like my taxes’
"Saturday Night Live" began this week's show with a recap of the presidential debate showing President Donald Trump confusing Kirsten Welker with Hoda Kotb, Mindy Lahiri, and at one point, even a waitress.
Alec Baldwin explained that the coronavirus loved him so much that it didn't want to leave his body because it was so beautiful.
He also explained that he couldn't share his coronavirus plan because it was still under audit like his taxes.
Jim Cary toned down his portrayal of Joe Biden from last week's over-the-top yell-fest.
"Learning to live with it? We're learning to die with it, man!" said the fake Biden, quoting the real Biden, but with a glint of Clint Eastwood.