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About SLAG

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    Junior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    St. Louis, MO


  • Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Interests
    almost everything
  • Occupation
    Patent lawyer & reg. agent. (Cda. & U.S.A.)

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  1. Robert & Sheila Taylor, You bet she will be in my & Margaret's prayers and intentions! Knee replacements often are better than the original. Regards, and all the best good luck. SLAG. & Marg, (of course).
  2. A Chinese cast iron anvil is a piece of junk. Marc1, your restraint is appreciated and admirable. But this lady is fixing to buy an anvil soon. And she may have not got the point. I, today, am a little more blunt Sorry about that. Madam, save your money, buy a real anvil (used or new) in the interim try what C-1 ... suggests. Regards to all
  3. Eli, It was fun corresponding with you. All the success for you and your son in the Great Bellows project1 Please keep us informed of your progress, SLAG.
  4. Eli, The amino acid lysine is common and essential to most animals, plants, and micro-organisms. It can be isolated all over the environment. Not a good choice for an exotic, essential biochemical. A better choice would be to engineer an organism that relies on an exotic nucleic acid. (they are essential constituents of RNA and DNA). For example, a threose nucleic acid, etc. Another good choice would be to use a D-amino acid. (most functional proteins use L-amino acids as constituents. Let me explain, amino acids as well as many other organic chemicals have the same molecules but bend light to the right (= Dextro-rotary ), and the other bends the light to the left. (= Levo-rotary). They have very different spatial arrangements and they work differently. All our biochemistry, nucleic and protein, use only L-rotary amino acids. (the ribosomes cannot use the D-nucleic acids to make proteins). The organism could be engineered to use only and rare and generally non-functional D-amino acid. Another fail safe (actually resistant) technique is to introduce suicide nucleic acid sequences into D.N.A. or R.N.A. Such a system would make a bug dependent on a very specific and uncommon chemical. And when if it is no longer provided the D.N.A. or R.N.A. fall apart and bug dies. These are only three ways to contain a genetically modified organism. There are numerous other mechanisms that could be employed. I am glad you brought up the movies Jurassic park. Permit me to spoil people's appreciation of the science/reality of the story line. The movie producer went to great lengths to be as authentic as possible. He hired one of the pre-eminent paleontologists ( physical anthropologists) in the world. Even so there are liberties that had to be taken for the sake of the movie. 1) the creatures were from the Cretaceous period of geological history. It ended 65.000.000 years ago. No nucleic acid would have survived intact in amber fossilized blood for so long. Nucleic acids are delicate chemicals. They break down easily. Even if the D.N.A. was chemically protected (extremely unlikely). But even then, geological events (such as volcanic activity), or cosmic rays would destroy the molecule. 2) the movie military used the wrong weaponry to attack the dinosaurs. Bullets would do little harm. But a shaped charged recoiless rocket will do the job handily. The hydrostatic shock on impact would travel through the beast's body and it's game over. (for example the Soviet r.p.g 7, 27, & 29, or the U.S. law or s.m.a.w. etc.). And goodbye movie, soon after it began. I have gone on over long. Regards to all, SLAG.
  5. Mr. Taylor, Modified micro-organisms are used in fermentation vats. They are so engineered to be Not viable at room temperature, or in the air. Geneticists usually add other biological limitation(s) in the organism. They can also be modified so that they cannot survive without a specific uncommon biochemical that must be added to the fermentation vat for the bug to survive and grow. Without that chemical they are "kaput", that is they die. There are other measures that can also be added, & usually are. Most genetically organisms are not as fit as their unmodified cousins. They cannot compete with their unmodified brethren, or other competing organisms, in the wild, and are gone very quickly. Mr. Taylor you are a thinking man and have anticipated potential fallout of this scientific breakthrough, and were rightfully concerned. Regards to tout la gang, SLAG.
  6. This Los Angeles Times article gives further details on the use of ethylene glycol, And it discusses the probable next moves to isolate the plastic digesting gene. And eventually placing copies of that gene into more convenient organisms than the wax worm. (bacteria or fungi etc.) The extra details are fascinating. Have a look at it. SLAG.
  7. Marc1, You are absolutely correct. The worms will not survive in deep water nor in deep underground landfills. But those worms could be presented with chopped up polyethylene in an environment they prefer. The polyethylene would be collected, and chopped up and not be disposed in, essentially, anaerobic (airless less deep landfill sites.) or the ocean. It would pay us to collect that plastic. Such collection is not sensible, now, because the plastic is not breaking down. The worm's "end product", ethylene glycol, would be a valuable chemical. It is used in anti-freeze. It could also be used as a feedstock for chemical conversion to other even more valuable substances. But there is another reason that the discovery is potentially wonderful. I predict that chemists and molecular biologists will soon figure out the catalysts that the worms use to break down the plastic. They can then design other closely related catalysts that could degrade poly-ethylene in chemical vats, or fermented by genetically engineered, (altered) micro-organisms in fermentation vats. (like how antibiotics and alcohols, etc. are produced these days, & in the past). (we have been brewing beer and making wine for an awfully long time). Regards, SLAG.
  8. Attention enthusiasts, Finally, They have discovered an animal that can eat and digest polyethylene plastic. Scientists have been looking for such a beast or micro-organism for many decades. P. E. is one of the most commonly used plastics in the world. It is a major pollution headache, everywhere. The substance takes about 100 years for film to break down. It takes about 400 years for bulk polyethylene to decompose. Not anymore! Common wax worms can do it in hours. And seem to be able to use it for their food! They are somehow turning it into ethylene glycol (a type of antifreeze), and consuming that. Do NOT take my word for it read this And confirm that this is no mere humbug. Regards to all, SLAG.
  9. Aus, Incredible inspiration. Brilliant. I think, also, genius. SLAG. (from "Up Under").
  10. Welcome, There are a lot of Sawicki's in Nova Scotia. (like Halifax). Are you related to any one of them? You are off to a good start. Keep at it, and enjoy. SLAG.
  11. Fifteen years old no problem. Check out littleblacksmith. He puts many of us to shame. SLAG.
  12. Pancho, A picture is worth a thousand words. Can you post one? SLAG.
  13. Splendid, "Spring's Promise", Excellent choice I would never contradict my spouse, either. Sheer folly! My brother in law once told me, in strict confidence, that her other name is/was "SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED". He was NOT joking! SLAG.
  14. Bob 123, You are welcome! SLAG.
  15. Calcite's (= calcium carbonate, = limestone) formula, is Ca(CO3). Dolomite's formula is Ca Mg (CO3)2. They are two different chemicals with different properties as Frosty has cogently stated. SLAG.