Reese Jones or Bonnie Bassler?

“Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria “talk” to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry — and our understanding of ourselves.

Bonnie Bassler studies how bacteria can communicate with one another, through chemical signals, to act as a unit. Her work could pave the way for new, more potent medicine.”

She tells about her discoveries in this 20 minute TED talk

Supposedly, “Reese Jones’ academic background is biophysics and human brain research (10 years at Berkeley biophysics, then Lester Fellow in innovation and entrepreneurship at Haas School of Business). Reese is experienced in inventing, patents, starting and growing successful infrastructure companies for broadband, mobile internet, health, digital media, and serving synthetic biology (programming in DNA). Reese is an associate founder and serves as a Trustee for Singularity University at NASA Ames research park in silicon valley. He also serves as a member of the Genetics Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School, supports open education, Wikipedia, EFF, Chabot Space/Science Center and posts actively on Facebook.”

In his TEDx talk, he concludes that we may be evolving to the point where”…we’re simply a microbe inside the internet.”

I suggest that others look at the talk Bonnie Bassler gave, and try to determine if any original thoughts are presented in the talk by Reese, or if instead he is merely regurgitating what Bonnie told us. The difference to me is that people may be led by Jones to believe in “The Singularity,” when biological life becomes electronic life, and where “…we’re simply a microbe inside the internet.”  Alternatively, they might be led to correctly believe that scientific progress is made by incorporating biological facts (Bassler) into presentations and published works, instead of incorporating nonsense about electronic “life” (Jones).

Earlier today, Reese began pretending that he understood what I’ve been attempting to discuss in the context of how the epigenetic ‘landscape’ becomes the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man, which is an extension of work published in our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review article: From fertilization to adult sexual behavior. We includes a section on molecular epigenetics with references to discoveries in yeasts. Recently, the important concept of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction in yeasts became clearer. See for example: Signaling Crosstalk: Integrating Nutrient Availability and Sex

I suspect that Reese is one of those people who sneaks up behind those he has criticized, and that he will soon be discussing the importance of my works while claiming that he always knew olfactory/pheromonal input links the sensory environment to ecological, social, neurogenenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction, because that fact has become obvious. It is a fact as obvious as the fact that we will not be mutating into anything like “…a microbe inside the internet.”



Author: James Kohl

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