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CRISPR: The end of Malaria and Zika and Mosquitoes

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2018 10:10 am
Another article on the same study:

https://www.wired.com/story/heres-the-plan-to-end-malaria-with-crispr-edited-mosquitoes

Here's an interesting paragraph from the ariticle:
Quote:
“There are some unique dimensions to this that put us in uncharted territory,” says Jennifer Kuzma, co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University. One of the issues is that gene drives are designed to spread. That makes it next to impossible to do confined field trials, as is traditional for genetically modified crops. “We don’t have opportunities to learn from limited tests, that take into account different cultural and geographic landscapes,” says Kuzma. “And I don’t think we’ve really grappled with these questions yet.”
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2018 09:28 am
@rosborne979,
Once we get CRISPR working reliably (it currently isn’t) and we have understood the gene change thoroughly, I don’t see a problem with doing it. I don’t think The loss of a species per se is a big deal or an environmental disaster.

As has been noted, the vast majority of species has already gone extinct. What's one more? There will be less for bats to eat so the bat population will drop, but that's not the end of the world. If the ecosystem can adjust to all the changes Earth has been through, this should not be a show stopper either.

Regardless of whether you think the genetic system was an accident or by design makes no difference, intelligent input couldn’t hurt as long as we look at the implications.

Personally I think the speculation about all the possibilities of CRISPR are premature. We have a cool tool, but we don’t know enough about the machine we’re working with to use it to its potential yet. Remember all the hype after the human genome was fully sequenced? The possibility of Designer babies was supposed to be around the corner. We did learn from it but it opened more questions than answers.

But if we know enough to wipe out malaria and Zika and mosquitos - Nuke'em.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2018 02:00 pm
@Leadfoot,
I'm not sure how I feel about CRISPR from an ethical perspective yet. The possibilities are almost too big to wrap your head around.

I think CRISPR might be further along than you think it is: https://www.wired.com/story/crispr-base-editing-first-china

But I do know that it's here, and it's functional even if it's not always completely predictable. And it is going to be almost impossible to regulate and control. I have a separate thread devoted to CRISPR in a general sense. This thread was more specific to Gene Drives and Mosquito's.

I'm not sure wiping out or changing entire species is something I feel as sanguine about as you seem to (unless maybe you are just being provocative to get a reaction from the readers on the thread... ). I hate mosquito's as much as anyone, but yanking out a pillar of the food chain seems like something we might want to be careful with.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2018 03:18 pm
@rosborne979,
I did say 'if'. No argument about the potential, it’s huge. And the follow on is an order of magnitude bigger. We can now synthesize an entire gene's DNA from scratch in the lab and upload it into a host cell.
Right now they are just jazzed about copying existing code and putting the synthetic version in another cell and having it work. We could program your wife's eggs to deliver a T Rex if we knew the code well enough. But that’s a ways off. All the unavoidable software analogies just get me though.

'Find and replace' - <giggle>
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2018 01:05 pm
@Leadfoot,
If there is any relationship between Software and DNA, nobody that I know has ever mentioned it before. At least nobody credible Wink

As far as I know, we cannot (yet) "synthesize an entire gene's DNA from scratch in the lab and upload it into a host cell", as you say. You mean you think they can construct DNA, molecule by molecule, into chromosomes and insert them into a host cell? Or are they just making a copy and inserting that into a cell? What source article are you using for this reference?
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2018 06:33 pm
@rosborne979,
You really are not up to date on this stuff.

I’m not talking about cutting edge stuff here, you or I (or any lab) can order up custom DNA from any number of companies. (Example below)

You must define every nucleotide yourself, or you could modify the code of an existing organism. This gives us unlimited power to design your own software defined organism. If we knew enough about the code. That’s the power of software, you can do most anything if you have the skill. But I’ll guarantee you that you will never get a useful code by using random DNA sequences.


rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2018 06:48 am
@Leadfoot,
Nothing in that article even comes close to what you implied in your post. They are offering little snips of DNA, not whole genomes built to order. Get a grip dude. Try to provide at least some degree of accuracy and measure to your posts.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2018 06:36 pm
@rosborne979,
You didn’t really spend any time on that link. It wasn’t an article. It is the website for a company offering gene synthesis, part or whole.

Here is one product line they offer. Read that last paragraph carefully.
There probably is very little call for the synthesis of an entire gene at this time but only because we are not knowledgeable enough to specify an entirely new gene from scratch. We are just working with small chunks (subroutines) while learning. But there is no technical reason why they can’t assemble an entire gene.

Quote:
GeneArt® Gene Synthesis Kit with CorrectASE™ Enzyme

If you are new to gene synthesis, the GeneArt® Gene Synthesis Kit with CorrectASE™ enzyme is ideal for you.

The GeneArt® Gene Synthesis Kit enables you to:

Increase the success rate of do-it-yourself gene synthesis by providing standardized reagents and a protocol for the complete gene synthesis workflow
Increase the probability of isolating a synthetic gene containing the correct sequence, 3- to 10-fold, by including an error-correction step in the workflow
Perform gene synthesis typically in 3 days, from oligo assembly to sequence-verified clone
Reduce your labor time and sequencing costs by allowing you to sequence as few as 2–4 clones (compared to 10–16 clones with traditional methods)
The kit contains all reagents required for successful do-it-yourself gene synthesis, including:

High-fidelity Platinum® Pfx DNA Polymerase with automatic hot start for oligonucleotide assembly and amplification
Quant-iT™ PicoGreen® dsDNA reagent, an ultrasensitive fluorescent nucleic acid stain for quantitating double-stranded DNA (dsDNA)
pCR™-Blunt II-TOPO® vector for synthetic gene cloning
CorrectASE™ sequence error correction technology

If you’d like to have us complete your gene synthesis project for you, contact our GeneArt® Gene Synthesis Service. For the assembly of existing fragments, we offer the Seamless Cloning and Genetic Assembly Kits.


Related to this, see my last reply to Olivier on the 'Software Defined Lifeforms thread. It pretty much makes my case for that. If you won’t take the word of the most renowned genetic scientists and bio lab in the world, you are just in denial of the thing you claim to believe.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2018 07:59 am
@Leadfoot,
I spent more than enough time on the link. Sorry I called it an "article" instead of a web site and confused you.

I can see that you are laser focused on that little ambiguous line at the end of the paragraph, while completely ignoring the much larger part of the paragraph which completely refutes your whole premise. I'm sure the marketing people would be gratified that you place such complete faith in their glib little sales pitch.

But this thread is about CRISPR and Gene Drives and the efficacy of extincting species as a practice.

Do you really feel that wiping out or modifying entire species is a low risk action, or were you just being flippant about that?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2018 08:13 am
@rosborne979,
Ive finished "The Crack in Creation" a really good popularly written work about CRSPR-Cas 9 and there are some really well developed segments about evolution AND its manipulation by directed biology.

Rabbis are now dealing with the concept of "Kosher Bacon" when presented with "3-D printed" bacon developed and worked up by synthetic ribosomes between a "meat program" and the chemical printer (Its a fairly straightforward discussion of the chemistry that ribosomes have available to deal with).
Apparently we can now produce various meat like substitutes (Same cellular structure "meaty") and have been able to add teriyaki or hot Cajun Spice flavor>( I dont think the rabbis would want to deal with Ranch Dressing infusions yet because that would make the kosher rule too close to exploding).
I say that because I think Ranch dressings contain dairy (Milk n meat no no)
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2018 10:11 am
@farmerman,
Oh no, those poor Rabbis. Smile
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2018 10:36 am
@rosborne979,
Thinking about all this, Tom Cech , who was Jennifer Doudna's PhD advisor, recd the Nobel Prize in the 80's for discovering self splicing and linking ribozymes, which is when the basis for the "RNA WORLD" stuff kinda began.
Ill bet Doudna never figgered she'd be at the top of the bio sciences 30 years later.
Im gonn go back to his descriptive stuff and see what I can derive about the entire concepts of "selfie structures"
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Oct, 2018 08:52 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
I can see that you are laser focused on that little ambiguous line at the end of the paragraph, while completely ignoring the much larger part of the paragraph which completely refutes your whole premise


The line was not ambiguous, it made a clear claim. It is an add for scientific services, are you accusing them of false advertising? If you believe it was, point out why, if you really have an argument to make.

What did I ignore? What in the paragraph refuted what I said?

All your counter arguments are simple claims that I, or well respected scientists and laboratories are wrong. Is that all you’ve got?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Oct, 2018 09:15 am
@Leadfoot,
We disagree. I'm ok with that. You made your case, I made mine. People can read the links and statements for themselves.

So, back to the subject of the thread. Any further thoughts or opinions?
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Oct, 2018 02:22 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Do you really feel that wiping out or modifying entire species is a low risk action, or were you just being flippant about that?

You don’t actually read and comprehend much that I say. I said words to the effect of - IF we have understood the ramifications of doing so (and assuming they are acceptable) then yes, nuke Zika and mosquitos.

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Oct, 2018 07:33 pm
@Leadfoot,
Leadfoot wrote:

Quote:
Do you really feel that wiping out or modifying entire species is a low risk action, or were you just being flippant about that?

You don’t actually read and comprehend much that I say. I said words to the effect of - IF we have understood the ramifications of doing so (and assuming they are acceptable) then yes, nuke Zika and mosquitos.

I read what you write, but I must admit I often don't know what you are talking about. In any case, I was going by this post by you:
Leadfoot wrote:
Once we get CRISPR working reliably (it currently isn’t) and we have understood the gene change thoroughly, I don’t see a problem with doing it. I don’t think The loss of a species per se is a big deal or an environmental disaster... (center section removed for brevity)...
But if we know enough to wipe out malaria and Zika and mosquitos - Nuke'em.

The "IF" you use in that last sentence means to me that you think "IF" we know how to do it, we should do it.

Perhaps it's not my comprehension which is in question, but your ability to communicate. In any case, please go ahead and tell me what you really think. Restate it if you have to, I don't care. I'm not interested in arguing with you, I just want to know what you really think, and maybe even, why you think it.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Oct, 2018 09:45 am
@rosborne979,
This is precisely what I mean. The qualifying statement for my conclusion was 'removed for brevity' from my quote. It looks like you don't see anything that doesn't fit your mental image of me.

Here's the part of what I said that you couldn't see.

Quote:
Regardless of whether you think the genetic system was an accident or by design makes no difference, intelligent input couldn’t hurt as long as we look at the implications.


Obviously, if when we look at the implications of eliminating the mosquito via a gene drive and we see that it results in unacceptable consequences, we wouldn't do it.

I'm guessing there are many who would argue that 'man is not intelligent enough to mess with Nature'. Obviously, I'm not one of them.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Nov, 2018 09:11 am
And here we go...
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/chinese-scientist-claims-to-have-gene-edited-humans

Quote:
An ethical train wreck
So how did this get past the ethics authorities at the institutions where He worked? It's not clear that it has. Tech Review indicated that the Shenzhen City Medical Ethics Expert Board was beginning an investigation, saying that the hospital that supposedly granted approval for the research did not do a full reporting of its approval process. And the university that employs He has suspended him without pay, saying his work "seriously violates ethical and academic standards and regulations."

Meanwhile, scientific and ethical communities have nearly universally come out against He's work. One hundred Chinese scientists quickly organized an open letter in which they say, "We can only use the word 'crazy' to describe the experiment conducted directly on human beings."


Meanwhile, for every scientist who publishes a claim of success, there are probably dozens who are just keeping quiet and selling their skills to the highest bidder. And for every 1 human baby modified there are probably hundreds of animal and plant modifications happening.

Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Nov, 2018 09:33 am
@rosborne979,
Yet another example of 'evolution' (human induced in this case) giving a targeted 'improvement' by disabling another function (which was unexpected). I consider the malfeasance showed here to be culpable because the target sequence within the gene was not even known!" They turned CRISPR loose on a random search and destroy mission (just like all natural mutation Smile. This inevitably results in breaking things, not improving them, which is exactly what this research demonstrates. One wonders why people think mutation works so well as a catalyst for evolution.

The article gives very good reasons why this particular research was ill advised, not because it was inherently unethical but because we obviously don't know nearly enough about genetics yet.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Nov, 2018 10:29 am
Instead of modified genes that kills the species, can't they work on eradicating the disease from these things? Just a question from an uneducated bystander.
 

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