Evil by design

How we are being persuaded by digital media,  is this also a question present in current day science?

Could be an interesting study given the applicability of the main tenets of interaction design software.

  • Pride. Social proof to position results in line with peer reviewer.
  • Sloth. Build a funding path of least resistance that leads scientists only do what they should do.
  • Gluttony. Escalate students’ commitment and use loss aversion to keep them there.
  • Anger. Understand the power of metaphysical arguments and peer review anonymity.
  • Envy. Create a culture of status around papers and feed aspirational desires.
  • Lust. Turn desire into commitment by using emotion to defeat rational behavior.
  • Greed. Keep scientists engaged by reinforcing the desired behavior.

Already in 2014 Nature News found

Giant academic social networks have taken off to a degree that no one expected even a few years ago. A Nature survey explores why.

Twitter+Facebook+LinkedIn as non scientific, but also ResearchGate + Academia.edu work as digitally interaction steering. Interestingly, the humanities, arts and social sciences don’t need ResearchGate, understanding much better the “token economies” mechanism.

How to export Whatsapp messages

This was rather easy with my rooted Android phone. However, when flashing it with Android 6 due to some memory leaks, root access does not work anymore. Neither by adb, nor by Kingoroot and Kingroot.

To export Whatsapp messages, however, I urgently need the whatsapp.cryptkey. And this key is only accessible in a rooted phone.

So I went down by another strategy by using WhatsApp-Key-DB-Extractor-master script on the Mac. To make this work, the JAVA JDK needs to be updated to at least version 7. The JDK needs to be manually downloaded and installed from the Oracle site


In a next step, the Android Debug Bridge needs to be updated from the terminal as the version in the zip file listed the phone as being inactive

brew cask install android-platform-tools

Then we can run


which puts 5 new files


into the


folder. Move this folder back to the SD card where the “Backup Text for Whats” App can find the key to export all encrypted Whatsapp messages.

Safety conditions for genome editing

I would like to see two points added to current CRISPR/Cas9 guidelines.

First of all, the current gene therapies are not being entered into the clinical trial databases on a regular basis. Maybe as the number of treated patients go down to a single individual or as there is no control group. I would really like the recommendation of a priori entry into clinicaltrials.gov or clinicaltrialsregister.eu (or some newly designed gene therapy databases). Just to get towards a clear risk/ benefit ratio.

Second, there should be some way to recognize gene editing. Some barcode as we used it already long ago, an artificial sequence that indicates the new insert. epigenie.com summarized the current approaches by last summer: Gestalt/Jay Shendure, barcode/Stephen R. Quake, scartrace/Jan Philipp Junker, hgRNA/Prasant Mali, mScribe/Tim Lu. Something like the FLAG-tag. Or more recently

R. Kalhor et al., “Rapidly evolving homing CRISPRbarcodes,” Nature Methods, doi:10.1038/nmeth.4108, 2016.
S.D. Perli et al., “Continuous genetic recording with self-targeting CRISPR-Cas in human cells,” Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aag0511, 2016.

Yea, yea.