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How do you guys feel about CRISPR?

PantherLotus

Professional Schmuck
GATTACA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWjlUj7Czlk

Amazing film that foresaw the ethical crisis and tackled it in a really interesting way, because I can see a future not where we're necessarily picking the sex of the child, but erasing things like Downs Syndrome or ASDs. And of course there will be a wealth divide in who gets 'the best'.
 

PantherLotus

Professional Schmuck
^^

2017 update based on What I Know Now: I didn't notice as a kid because of my privilege, but there doesn't appear to be a single person of color in GATTACA. Which intended or not, is fucking troubling.
 

Pomerlaw

Member
My whole reasoning behind me being against this for now, is that evolution makes the perfect organism through trial and error and a whole lot of time. A whole lot of it. Thousands, if not, millions of years.

You failed your evolution class. ;)

Evolution is not about making the perfect organism. In fact 99% of all species went extinct. Genes have no foresight. We humans do have it now thanks to our brains, in fact we are the only creature who can see (try to predict) far in the future. Most animals don't even have the sense of time passing.

Nature wants you to have babies, now, and those who are more adept at surviving and making babies, win. For now.

This tech is coming sooner or later, we have to deal with it, nothing will prevent progress but we must monitor it.
 
Used CRISPR during my PhD. It's an incredible tool. I look forward to all the advances we make thanks to this tool and our continuing increase of gene knowledge.
 

Geist-

Member
^^

2017 update based on What I Know Now: I didn't notice as a kid because of my privilege, but there doesn't appear to be a single person of color in GATTACA. Which intended or not, is fucking troubling.
You don't remember this guy?
Edit: Also found another one.
I'll give you that most of the cast is white, but let's not go overboard.
 
Modifying ourselves will be how we evolve as a species. Why leave it up to the crushing length of randomness? Our feeble intellect isn't capable of getting us where we need to go. How we go about this is potentially concerning though. No denying that.
 
I'm not a huge fan either. CRISPR is great and all, and is a good step towards individualized medicine, but it's not as good at gene editing as people are imagining.

It has its limitations, but development of new CRISPR technologies like using Cpf1 could tackle some of its current limitations, don't you think? But yeah, of course it is not the panacea.
 

Blackie

Member
I'm a big fan. Genetically modifying things can cause big improvements. Humans could become smarter, faster, strong, much superior organisms. I think we need a lot of improvement as a species and this could be a great mechanism to achieve it.
 

Chmpocalypse

Blizzard
Nature has being trying to perfect you (us) for millions of years.

This is a profound misunderstanding of the process of evolution. There is no 'Nature' guiding the process with intent (and given the sheer amount of junk DNA and vestigial organs like the appendix, lol at the thought of humans being even CLOSE to 'perfect').
 
I think its an amazing tool, and its potential must be explored. As with all technology, it can have bad or good consequences, but that is no reason to ban it.

Just the potential ability to fix hereditary disease in an embryo should be enough to justify its use. Cosmetic applications should probably be regulated.

At first, it is true that the treatments will be available to only those who can aford it, but with widespread use and development, the cost should fall.
 
This is a profound misunderstanding of the process of evolution. There is no 'Nature' guiding the process with intent (and given the sheer amount of junk DNA and vestigial organs like the appendix, lol at the thought of humans being even CLOSE to 'perfect').


It's not ""junk"" DNA
ITS NOT JUNK :mad:
Just because it doesn't encode proteins doesn't make them junk. These regions are very important are we learning more and more about how they can function and regulate expression. Epigenetics.
 
It's not ""junk"" DNA
ITS NOT JUNK :mad:
Just because it doesn't encode proteins doesn't make them junk. These regions are very important are we learning more and more about how they can function and regulate expression. Epigenetics.

Yep. The term "junk DNA" was once used to describe all non-coding regions if DNA, but now we understand that those non-coding regions often times have other functions.
 

Neo C.

Member
As long as it doesn't go horribly wrong like in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (modified agressive virus)...

Otherwise I have high hopes for it and hope I can get some life expectancy upgrades before retirement in 30 years.
 

Flux

Member
I get the feeling it will be the new "GMO" in the public's perception. The understanding of it will be poor and all it takes is a twisted corporation like Monsanto to give it a bad name.

The potential in therapy is undeniable to me though. So many genetic disorders are barely kept at a manageable level, so to remove or replace problem genes will be a huge relief for patients.
 
I imagine for as much potential it carries. Something like this can only exist with regulations. For the same reasons listed, this will probably be kept only for desises that we have yet to cure or birth defects.

Plus while it is possible with this to create some sort of super human, the complexities behind it and the amount of trial and error that will come in mapping this, the cost and the time do not make it worth it.

Things like being super strong are incredibly complex. You can't just make bones density stronger or muscle mass larger. You'd need to increase the heart to keep the extra flow of blood through the system. That means a bigger space for the heart to reside. That means changing the position of organs throughout the human body.

It would take an extreme situation for any government to go down this road.
 

Chmpocalypse

Blizzard
It's not ""junk"" DNA
ITS NOT JUNK :mad:
Just because it doesn't encode proteins doesn't make them junk. These regions are very important are we learning more and more about how they can function and regulate expression. Epigenetics.

Okay! Happy to have my own misunderstandings corrected. : )
 
As a medical treatment it could be miraculous. As a method of commoditizing certain human characteristics and types of persons on top of wild mutation in the event of a loss of control, it's potentially horrifying.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Bring it on. I am excited for what it will bring. We could potentially cure society of all illness and disease.
 

Rosstimus

Banned
I'm not an expert on the subject, but from what I've read it could fundamentally change medicine if it lives up the hype. Cancer, birth defects, even aging could become issues of the past.
 

Hastati

Member
I think it's an incredible technology that will be used in part to cure all inheritable disease and also inevitably be used to horrible ends. CRISPR, dumb AI and much longer lasting, more powerful batteries are three nascent technologies that will lead to huge amounts of both wonder and grief in the coming decades.
 
Harvard scientists are using CRISPR to bring back the Woolly Mammoth.

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/crispr-scientists-bringing-woolly-mammoths-back-dead/

The team declared their intentions to bring these monsters of the megafaunal world back from the dead ahead of the annual gathering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston this week. They explained that their aim is to use CRISPR, the popular gene-editing tool, to produce “elephant-mammoth embryos.”

As reported by the Guardian, the team are essentially at the cell stage, where they are experimenting with various combinations of elephant and mammoth genes. The embryos have not yet been created, but according to the project lead, they are just two years away from being cultured.

It would, however, be “many years” before any of these beasts will be allowed, or merely able, to grow into adults.

I recently listened to a podcast about this and its understood that we will have live Woolly Mammoths in three years.
 

Jarsonot

Member
Crispr commercial treatments will be used in humans first for immunotherapy purposes like this (or other indications where targeted germline manipulation is possible), long before any "designer babies" or embryonic inherited disease treatment- http://www.nature.com/news/first-crispr-clinical-trial-gets-green-light-from-us-panel-1.20137

Huh. I think the agreement between nations was maybe embyronic research, ie experimenting to create a "new" human. It's been awhile since I listened to the podcast. =)

This looks like they're removing cells, using CRISPR on them, and then reinserting the cells, not trying to alter the DNA of an entire individual.

I know that cells that have their DNA changed will pass that on to future generations, but could they possibly also "infect" and alter non-CRISPRed cells? I mean, could you theoretically inject someone with a small amount of engineered cells that would then infect and (eventually) alter every cell in their body? 0_o

Even if you could I bet there would be multiple problems with it. At some point you'd have someone who would have 50% original, 50% altered cells, and maybe they wouldn't get along?

Could make for a good sci-fi book. Something Micheal Crichton might do. =)
 
I don't recall if I saw this here or somewhere else, but I remember seeing an article where they managed to inject a computer virus into DNA using CRISPR.

Forget making mosquitos not be able to carry malaria. They are talking about releasing mosquitoes which when they reproduce create only male mosquitoes which in a few generations (<1 year) make the mosquitos go extinct.

I say ethics be damned! Let's wipe out Mosquitoes and Ticks today!

This definitely needs to happen or there's no point in doing anything with this technology damnit.
 

Drazgul

Member
I just want to be a biologically immortal superhuman hybrid with cross-species genes spliced in where applicable.
 
For curing genetic diseases. No question, use it.

Designer babies? Weird moral issue we're going to need to be discussing.

Also, I shudder to think what a country with less moral qualms would do with this tech. Imagine Russia, who seems to be fine using drugs to soup up their athletes, working on making better athletes before they're even born...
 
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