Culture, Links, Research, Science

Ayahuasca to Witch Trials

Now that the World Cup is over I can kick-start the dump of info I’ve been grabbing since kick-off. First up, courtesy of Mr. Warren Ellis is this article talking about an evolution of ayahuasca called changa, if you can call smoking an Amazonian hallucinogenic plant and DMT “evolution” from drinking it. Now, as a South American I do take a bit offense to some new-agers freebasing off of plants from my neck of the woods. Still, it did make me wonder if sometime in the future some psychedelic genetic engineers would try to make a one-stop shop plant that had both MAOIs and DMTs needed for the trip instead of needing two, for experimental purposes of course.

Moving on, one of my favorite Asimov stories, “The Last Question”, is up for your reading pleasure, thanks to Thrivenotes.  Check it out, and make sure to read the last line.

This one needs no details: DNA robot nanospiders. Just kidding, what that really mean is that scientists from four universities (Caltech, Columbia, Arizona State, and U of Michigan) have found a way to program DNA molecules to act much like the robots you’d make with a Lego Mindstorms set, only you know, at the nanoscale. How could they do this with such a small sort of material like DNA, you ask? Well, that’s when my good old friend DNA origami comes into play, which I mentioned in a post a while back. This is just at the proof-of-concept stage, they aren’t curing cancer or building new cells yet, but give them time. We’ll be killing ourselves with ourselves soon enough.

And to finish this off, the Central African Republic’s issues with taking witchcraft to court seems like something out of Franz Kafka and Terry Pratchett, but this is actually happening.


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