Altruism hard-wired?

Brain imaging studies reveal biological basis for human cooperation: ‘Functional MRI scans have revealed a “biologically embedded” basis for altruistic behavior, with several characteristic regions of the brain being activated when players of a game called “Prisoner’s Dilemma” decide to trust each other and cooperate, rather than betray each other for immediate gain, say researchers from Emory University. They report on their study in the July 18 issue of the journal Neuron…’ EurekAlert!


A Pox on You:

Ebola virus could be synthesised: “The technique used to create the first synthetic polio virus, revealed last week, could be also used to recreate Ebola or the 1918 flu strain that killed up to 40 million people, experts have told New Scientist.

What is even more worrying is that there are easier ways of recreating microbes. You can simply add key genes to a close relative. The key in all cases is knowing the genetic sequence. That raises fundamental questions about the wisdom of publishing the genomes of deadly pathogens on the internet.”


Gilmore v. Ashcroft — FAA ID Challenge

Secret rule demanding “Your papers please” is challenged: ‘Civil libertarian John Gilmore today challenged as unconstitutional a secret federal rule that requires domestic US travelers to identify themselves.

“United States courts have recognized for more than a century that honest citizens have the right to travel throughout America without government restrictions. Some people say that everything changed on 9/11, but patriots have stood by our Constitution through centuries of conflict and uncertainty. Any government that tracks its citizens’ movements and associations, or restricts their travel using secret decrees, is violating that Constitution,” said Gilmore. “With this case, I hope to redirect government anti-terrorism efforts away from intrusive yet useless measures such as ID checks, confiscation of tweezers, and database surveillance of every traveler’s life.” ‘ cryptome