From the moment he arrived, Egor lived for mayhem. The time was 1982, and the place was the first online game world, called MUD (short for Multi-User Dungeon).
Egor was the screen name of a player who set out to test the limits. He learned the shortcuts allowed by the code. He wrote scripts that let his character level up quickly. He discovered a way to fake other players’ logins. With a borrowed screen name, he would go on sprees of destruction, and watch with amusement as the real player logged on later to face a raging mob. He “ganked” new players—killed them before they knew which end of the sword to hold.
A dick? Yes.
Yet that whole massive industry was shaped, in some way, by how the game handled the problem of Egor. At the golden dawn of online space, he brought a snake into Eden. He forced his little world of techno-misfits to answer its first big questions, questions familiar to students of any society and its basic rules: Who’s in charge, and by what authority? And how does a community test and affirm its social boundaries?
Fascinating online gaming history. ~ eP
Controversial technique, currently banned, would prevent women from passing mitochondrial diseases to their children
The Department of Health has launched a three-month consultation on the draft regulations for a radical procedure that aims to prevent mothers from passing on serious genetic diseases to their children, a controversial technique because it leads to babies with DNA from three people.
Mitochondrial transfer has never been tried in humans and is prohibited in Britain under laws that ban the placing of an egg or embyro into a woman if the DNA has been altered. But scientists working on the technique said it offered hope of preventing life-threatening diseases for which there were no cures.
The government announced last June that it intends to allow the procedure, but the regulations must be finalised, debated and approved by parliament before the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) can allow clinics to offer the treatment.
About one in 200 children born in the UK have some form of mitochondrial disorder. The most serious affect the heart, brain, muscles and liver. Under the procedure, the nucleus is removed from an affected woman’s egg or from a cell in an embryo and transferred to a donor egg or embryo that has healthy mitochondria.
As a result, a baby will have DNA from the biological parents and a female donor who provides healthy mitochondria, the tiny biological batteries that power most cells in the body. The fraction of a cell’s DNA that is in mitochondria is minuscule and affects only how cells are powered. It does not influence the child’s physical appearance or personality.
See on theguardian.com