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Comment author: IlyaShpitser 09 June 2015 12:04:32PM *  3 points [-]

I don't really understand what causes this?

I think it's founder effect.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 28 May 2017 03:01:35PM 0 points [-]

There's a lot of that here.

Comment author: philh 22 May 2017 10:02:31AM 1 point [-]

I used to buy melatonin from a place called Puritan's Pride. They ship to the UK, and (shipping included) I'd pay about £15 for 720x200µg. But they've stopped selling it in 200µg; their lowest dose is now 1mg.

Does anyone know any other sites that ship low-dose melatonin to the UK for not loads more expensive? (If you don't know that it ships to the UK, I don't mind checking that myself. I know amazon.com doesn't.)

https://www.vitacost.com seems to be an option, it's more expensive but not prohibitively so.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 25 May 2017 09:25:01PM 1 point [-]

Can you buy it in liquid form? Then you can dilute it to whatever dose you want.

Comment author: gwern 11 May 2017 05:43:28PM 6 points [-]

I'm surprised at the lack of any 'when the stars are right' quips. But anyway, this has the same problems that jcannell's 'cold slow computers' and most Fermi solutions:

  1. to satisfy the non-modification criteria, it handwaves away all the losses in the present day. Yes, maybe current losses from the stars burning out are relatively small compared to the 10^30 benefit of waiting for the universe to cool a la Dyson's eternal intelligence, but the losses are still astronomical. This should still produce waves of colonization and stellar engineering well beyond some modest anti-black hole and collision engineering
  2. This doesn't provide any special reason to expect universal non-defection, coordination, insensitivity to existential risk or model uncertainty, or universally shared near-zero interest rates. All of these would drive expansionism and stellar engineering. Appeal to coordination spurred by the goal of preventing long-term loss of resources provides no additional incentive above and beyond existing 'burning the cosmic commons' incentives, and actually contradicts the argument for non-modification: if it's fine to let the stars burn out and everything proceed normally because the ultimate loss is trivial, then why would they be concerned about some more impatient civilization re-arranging them into Dyson spheres to do some computations earlier? After all, it's so trivial compared to 10^30 - right?
Comment author: CellBioGuy 18 May 2017 02:43:16AM *  2 points [-]

More to the point, anything that DOES use matter and energy would rapidly dominate over things that do not and be selected for. Replicators spread until they can't and evolve towards rapid rates of growth and use of resources (compromising between the two), not things orthagonal to doubling time like computational efficiency.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 08 May 2017 05:12:35PM 2 points [-]
Comment author: Lumifer 21 March 2017 05:22:46PM 4 points [-]

Less Wrong will be officially known as a website promoting white supremacism, Roko's Basilisk, and removing female characters from computer games. This Wikipedia article will be quoted by all journals, and your families will be horrified by what kind of a monster you have become. All LW members will be fired from their jobs.


Comment author: CellBioGuy 17 April 2017 01:51:18PM *  0 points [-]

...Sometimes I REALLY wish downvoting still happened.

Comment author: morganism 14 January 2017 10:54:51PM *  0 points [-]

Great article here on the latest deep bio, tho i can't read original..

Many Worlds, Subterranean Edition


and a panspermia update, with link in comments to a sweet little pdf

"And how was it that these sophisticated life processes emerged not all that long (in astronomical or geological terms) after Earth cooled enough to be habitable? “Either life developed here super-fast or it came full-on as DNA life from afar,” Ruvkun said."


and a new paper in Nature on some new archeans, had a great takeaway that may def help the panspermia argument, as the little buggers seem to be primed to move up the chain in anerobic enviros.

"We found that Asgard archaea share many genes uniquely with eukaryotes, including several genes that are involved in the formation of structures that give eukaryotic cells their complex character. Such genes had thus far only been found in eukaryotes, indicating that these archaea were somehow primed to become complex.


Comment author: CellBioGuy 09 April 2017 09:18:23AM *  1 point [-]

I am continually confused as to why people find seven hundred million years (4.4 to 3.7 billion years ago, the date at which we have both the oldest intact rocks on earth and not coincidentally the oldest good evidence for living things) an insufficient time to develop biochemical complexity. The Hadean is more unknown (due to no solid rocks surviving from that era due to geological reprocessing) than hellish, at least to a microbe over evolutionary time. There was liquid water and hydrothermal systems, there was basalt, there was more granitic rock, there was an atmosphere, and equilibrium temperatures were almost certainly not exactly extreme. The late heavy bombardment would NOT have touched the subsurface biosphere, there should be continuity of livable environments for that whole time, and could've actually increased the number of interesting hydrothermal environments that chemosynthetic bacteria love overall. Major biochemical inventions and evolutionary transitions can indeed happen remarkably fast, especially when there is no competition to constrain you to a particular ecological niche or established players crowding out newcomers to a process. The genetic code itself shows evidence of an extremely rapid period of evolution with many divergent lineages, of which only one survives in a runaway winner-take-all fashion (more on this in a later post on the nature of LUCA). I see no need to invoke panspermia especially when you have the deep domain split between the bacteria and archaea on Earth, which might be a relic of some deep differences between lineages that invented some important stuff separately.

This being said, GOD YES I want sequencers on other planets in case there is life there with a common biochemistry. Spread of microbes from world to world is not an impossible thing within our solar system. I would highly HIGHLY doubt it between star systems.

The Asgardian archaea are indeed fascinating. They somewhat overstate the case that there are major eukaryotic components in these guys a bit (a lot of the domains are separate rather than strung together the way they are in eukaryotes). There are so many eukaryogenesis models that are consistent with these guys existing though that a lot more research is needed. An alternative hypothesis to them being 'primed to be complex' is that they are abortive linages that peeled away from the eukaryogenesis pathway that lead to us and underwent reductive evolution back towards a standard archaean niche. Things can simplify too over evolutionary time.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 07 April 2017 07:30:56PM *  6 points [-]

Final version of thesis going out within 4 days. Getting back into a semi-regular schedule after PhD defense, death in the family, and convergence of job-search on a likely candidate in quick succession. Astrobiology writing likely to restart soon. Possible topics include:

  • schools of thought in life origins research
  • the nature of LUCA
  • recent work on the evolution of potentiated smart animal lineages on Earth
  • WTF are eukaryotes anyway
  • the fallacies of the Fermi paradox/ 'great filter' concepts
  • the fallacies of SETI as it is currently performed
Comment author: drethelin 06 April 2017 01:07:41AM 8 points [-]

"Anyone can just do x" is an insane and unrealistic way to frame solutions to a problem. Like saying "to stop the obesity epidemic we just need to tell people they have to eat less and exercise more." or "we should tell people to save more money for retirement" the fact that you can frame a solution in simple terms does not in fact make it a non-issue.

also for much of the year in America going to school DOES in fact involve getting up well before dawn.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 07 April 2017 07:20:08PM 0 points [-]

I for one had to get up at 5 AM and do homework until midnight most weekdays.

Comment author: username2 06 April 2017 05:53:35PM *  2 points [-]

Why do they start so insanely early though every teacher knows that first period is a waste of time

Because if they didn't the students' sleep cycles would shift further and people like you would be complaining that the new first period (former second period) is a waste of time.

every parent knows what happens to teenagers' circadian rhythms?

So what happens to them. I believe they tend to stay up late and be extremely night shifted. Wouldn't starting school late only make the problem worse?

Comment author: CellBioGuy 07 April 2017 07:16:07PM *  6 points [-]


The phase-response curve of the circadian rhythm to light shifts with age, with the equilibrium position of the wake point latest in the late teens and earliest in early childhood and old age.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 24 March 2017 10:20:18PM 10 points [-]

PhD acquired.

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