6
   

CRISPR: The end of Malaria and Zika and Mosquitoes

 
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 May, 2016 08:18 am
@Miller,
Miller wrote:
Lastly but not related ( to the above), it's well known that Afro-Americans ( and Africans) who have the sickle cell gene are resistant to the development of malaria. This being the case, what will happen to this gene ( sickle cell) in future generations of humans ( of African descent)?

We might choose to eliminate it. If Malaria were not longer a concern the sickle cell gene would not longer be of use (unless someone finds a different function for it), so children who carry the sickle cell gene could be "cured" at the embryonic stage and change not only themselves, but all of their descendants.

The question of eliminating a trait and potentially removing it from the human gene pool forever is one of the main reasons I wanted to start this debate. This is an incredibly powerful mechanism, with potentially long reaching consequences, so we will need to understand what we are doing very well.
0 Replies
 
CVeigh
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 12:19 pm
@rosborne979,
You will have Greenpeace opposing you. They represent all that is despicable about liberal invocation of science.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 10:26 pm
@CVeigh,
I just took a seris of seminars re: the tech involved in CRISPR. Fuckin fscinating.
There will be a series of webinars on the subject in later 17 , cobbled together by some workers from a number of universities and biotech concerns
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 05:21 am
@farmerman,
I think CRISPR CAS9 will end up being one of the most impactful discoveries since electricity. And because of its ease and low cost it will be virtually unlegislateable. We now have the ability to change humanity (and all living things) genetically at the germline. Those traits will flow into the future unabated. And I bet they are already working on viral transfer methods for post germline introduction as well.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 05:33 am
@rosborne979,
Im not as optimistic as you. Where its possible to "edit out" suceptibility to a disease, or even edit out a pathogens ability to carry it, Its also quite doable to "edit in" heretofore unknown diseases to create biological 'WMDs"
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 05:41 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
I bet they are already working on viral transfer methods for post germline introduction as well.
The seminars spent a lot of time on bioethics and what many biologists are really really scared about.

The economics of "patentability " of edits is also becoming a lot of fun. We seemingly now have growing batches of lawyers getting their asses in this. Right now the legal arguments are getting in the way of actually teaching it in med research institutions and in universities. The countries where itll go gangbusters are places like China r North Korea where "licensure and patentability" is a perquisite under tight governmental control

SO THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 06:03 am
@farmerman,
in the seminars, the entire issue of "editing species out" was not supported by anyone , just for the sense of how the chaos of life qnd evolutionary pathways cn only be evaluated in past tense. Its rather Spencerian , but
Only those species that should survive will survive . Therefore, biologists seem to be clustering on the side of " Just because we now have a powerful tool lets not let the tool become an extinction mechanism" when e have no way to determine why species even exist within an ecosystem.
Bioethics in evolution goes WAAY beyond GMO's
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 09:15 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Bioethics in evolution goes WAAY beyond GMO's

Yes, I think CRISPR is going to blow our normal concerns about Bioethics and GMO's completely out of the water. This tool is far more powerful and far more precise than anything we've ever had before. And we've only just discovered it. In less than a decade it's potential is going to completely dominate medicine, for better or worse, there will be no stopping it (IMO).
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 09:23 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
in the seminars, the entire issue of "editing species out" was not supported by anyone...

I wonder if they will feel the same if the species being discussed is a particular virus or bacterial strain. I'm betting that society's "needs" will alter its view of ethics when it comes to biology.

How did the panels feel about modifying "beneficial" insects like HoneyBees to better resist hive depletion? I don't think we will be able to stop ourselves from altering the direction of evolution in many ways. Any time we "help" any particular genetic characteristic to survive it will come to dominate the gene pool and the original "species" will be out-competed and vanish. We will cause extinctions through selective pressure, just as we already do with selective breeding, this will just be massively more efficient.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 09:26 am
@rosborne979,
CRISPR is so powerful a tool that editing a virus "out" cn be circumvented by making the organismal host unable to support it. So, the virus isnt lost (in regrds to MArgulis rule of "capturing genomes") but the skeeter wont carry it.CRISPR is a tool , like a recipe, with many ways to get to a desired end.

A discussion was held in "directing evolution" as an ethical issue. It too was fascinating.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 09:40 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Im not as optimistic as you.

By the way, when I said "most impactful" in my post above, I didn't necessarily mean it would all be for the good. It's going to be a very sharp sword on both edges, the good and the bad.

Until now, or primary technological skill as a species has been almost exclusively devoted to the manipulation of Electromagnetism (electricity). Without it we would be an agrarian society. Electricity now dominates our civilization.

We are now entering a new technological realm focused on Biochemical Genetic manipulation. Genetic testing will reveal fatal genetic diseases before our children are zygotes, and parents will demand to apply the "cure", and ethicists will bend. And once they bend at all, and they will, the dam will break. Genetic diseases like Haemophilia, ALS, Sickle-Cell, Tay-Sachs, etc, will all be gone within a few generations because parents will demand it, politicians will follow. Then people will want non-germ line changes, like sharper eyes that can see UV light or Infra-Red, and better hearing, and cholesterol plaque resistance, and I bet all of that will slip right through the ethics filter further weakening the dam. And as you mentioned, China and North Korea and a thousand other little private labs around the world are going to be doing whatever they damn well please. It's hard to imagine anything stopping this process from unfolding.

0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 09:45 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
A discussion was held in "directing evolution" as an ethical issue. It too was fascinating.

It sounds like a fantastic discussion. Where did you attend?

I've mostly been listening to podcasts with various scientists involved with CRISPR (including those that discovered it) and reading articles. Listening to these guys talk about it can be pretty scary. They already see ways to make unimaginable changes.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 05:40 pm
@rosborne979,
it was in Philly and Prinnceton
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 06:07 pm
@farmerman,
I've read about this for a while, amazed and mostly glad at first glance (0r am I?), chary, reading along.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 06:58 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Its both xciting and scary. It raises all sorts of bioethical questions that we hqd no idea that qed be posing even 5 yars ago.

ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2017 07:06 pm
@farmerman,
agree
0 Replies
 
 

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