Re: (Reply to Benzon) I

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 28 May 2003 - 18:05:18 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: (Reply to Benzon)"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Re: (Reply to Benzon) I
    >Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 21:07:45 -0400
    >At 08:13 PM 24/05/03 -0400, you wrote:
    >>>From: Keith Henson <>
    >>>Subject: Re: (Reply to Benzon) I
    >>>Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 20:41:41 -0400
    >>>At 09:10 AM 23/05/03 -0700, you wrote:
    >>>>Benzon wrote:
    >>>> >Gudmundur Ingi Markusson wrote:
    >>>> >>(GIM) I agree. The assumption that information simply resides in
    >>>>books or otherwise, waiting to be incorporated by hosts, which seems to
    >>>>be taken for granted in much memetic discussion, is misguided. Here I
    >>>>think Peirce is useful. In the light of his semiosis concept,
    >>>>information is not a dyadic relation, a carrier carrying something
    >>>>(signifier incorporating a signified), but a triadic relation, where
    >>>>information arises only when a subject interprets a signifier
    >>>> >All of which is to say that mentalist memetics gets tripped up on a
    >>>>point that linguists and semioticians have understood for a century or
    >>>>Actually, I see it more as a hurdle to "jet set" memetics, such as
    >>>>Blackmore's, where memes seem to jump in tact from books to brains to
    >>>>the internet, and what have you.
    >>>I think you might consider published genes as "lying there in books." A
    >>>current major concern of certain people is that the smallpox genome is
    >>>public as is the method of splicing in an immune suppressing gene IL-4.
    >>Could you please expand upon this "immune supressing gene" IL-4? Has this
    >>anything to do with the cytokine interleukin-4? Thanks.
    >Yes. Put interleukin-4 smallpox in Google and this is the first link.
    I was hoping *you* could elaborate on it. This link says that interleukin-4 is involved in immune system control. I don't see this as meaning that IL-4 is an immunosppresive gene. Interleukin-4 has normal regulatory functions in relation to the immune system.

    Some Aussie researchers were studying ways to sterilize pest mammals (mice were the model, but rabbits could have been an eventual target) by introducing a zona pellucida protein gene spliced into a mousepox vector, which would hopefully induce an auto-immune response upon the eggs of the mice, rendering them sterile.

    One strain of mice was especially resistant to this mousepox vector so an interleukin-4 gene was spliced in as a way of getting one over on the mouse strain's immunity. This strategy had the unintended consequence of making the vector highly lethal, instead of relatively benign and opening up a possible Pandora's box in the eyes of those worried about biological terrorism. Is that the jist of what you wanted to convey?

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