The Genetic Engineering Thread

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The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Anaxagoras » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:08 am

I think we're about to enter a new era. Sort of like the Internet and smart phones and Google ushered in a new era in the 90s and aughts, we are about to enter a new era of genetic engineering. I don't know exactly what it will all lead to, but I think think the world won't be the same.

Genetically Engineering Pigs to Grow Organs for People
Scientists announce the birth of 37 pigs gene-edited to be better for human transplant.
The idea of transplanting organs from pigs into humans has been around for a long time. And for a long time, xenotransplants—or putting organs from one species into another—has come up against two seemingly insurmountable problems.

The first problem is fairly intuitive: Pig organs provoke a massive and destructive immune response in humans—far more so than an organ from another person. The second problem is less obvious: Pig genomes are rife with DNA sequences of viruses that can infect human cells. In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical giant Novartis planned to throw as much $1 billion at animal-to-human transplant research, only to shutter its research unit after several years of failed experiments.

Quite suddenly, however, solving these two problems has become much easier and much faster thanks to the gene-editing technology CRISPR. With CRISPR, scientists can knock out the pig genes that trigger the human immune response. And they can inactivate the viruses—called porcine endogenous retroviruses, or PERVs—that lurk in the pig genome.
"PERVs", really.

Anyway, it'll be a great world of the future, just like in Black Mirror!! :D
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Doctor X » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:11 am

They felt "heterospecies endogenous non-traitorious allele insertions" would be "too gross."

Baka.

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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by shemp » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:50 pm

But it's not kosher!
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Bruce » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:31 pm

Humans have been genetically engineering ever since we first started farming. Do you think GOD made that corn you're eating?

We're just getting really good at it.

There is a wave of new cancer fighting drugs coming down the pipe that are gene specific designer drugs. These things are really impressive, but they are incredibly difficult to synthesize and analyze. They are composed of a lipid "backbone" to get through the cell wall, an "anchor" to ensure that they are entering the correct type of cell, and a "bomb" that destroys the DNA of the cells from the inside.

It's a wicked and effective strategy. I picture it as giving the address of the bad guy to agent 007, handing him a key to the bad guy's back door, and a discrete C4 for him to plant once he's inside.

From a synthetic and analytical standpoint, its difficult to control. For one thing, the "bomb" portion of the molecule is incredibly toxic until it's attached to the lipid, so you have to make sure every bomb molecule is attached to a lipid molecule. For another thing, any lipid molecule that doesn't have an anchor molecule is useless because the target cell will ignore it. Finally, once the molecule is assembled, it's impossible to analyze because it's way too big to detect by conventional analytical means. Basically, we have to take a portion of the drug and digest it in a way that won't obliterate it's components and then quantify those components. There is no way to directly quantify the assembled molecule itself and determine how much of the pill contains all three active components.

At least not yet. Q is working on it. :wink:

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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:46 pm

Have you heard of the world of "Biohackers"? These crazy people who inject themselves with untested "DIY" gene therapies?

A Biohacker Regrets Publicly Injecting Himself With CRISPR
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Doctor X » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:40 am

I remain ever amazed at how many people engaged in science cease paying attention.

The answer is that, as some Humble Yet MagNIfIcent Sage noted wisely in his humbly magNIfIcent sagacity, "science" is a "process rather than an attribute." Scientists remain human subject to the same errors all humans can make.

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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Anaxagoras » Wed May 02, 2018 2:24 am

The CEO Who Injected Himself With An Experimental Herpes Therapy Was Found Dead In A Sensory Deprivation Tank

28 years old. Shame.
Aaron Traywick, a biohacker who once injected himself with an untested herpes therapy on a crusade to expand access to medications, was found dead on Sunday morning in Washington, DC, police confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Traywick, 28, was found in a spa in Northwest DC, according to police. Staff discovered him in a sensory deprivation flotation tank, according to his colleague Tristan Roberts.

His body was taken for an autopsy, and his cause of death was not immediately known. Their investigation is still ongoing, but the police say they don't suspect foul play.

Traywick was the CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, a tiny, controversial biotech startup on a mission to speed up the process of getting potentially life-saving treatments to patients.

At a biohacker conference in Austin in early February, Traywick made himself a guinea pig, injecting his leg with a never-before-tested, non-FDA-approved, gene-altering herpes treatment made by the company.

“I do what has to be done for the science to move forward and for other people to feel free enough to be able to seek interventions for themselves,” he told BuzzFeed News at the time.

A few months prior, Roberts, another Ascendance employee, had injected himself with an experimental HIV treatment.

Both radical stunts drew crowds on Facebook Live and made headlines around the world. But many watched with heavy skepticism: The company had released scant details about the underlying science of how these treatments might work.

On Tuesday, Roberts described Traywick as a "passionate visionary" and "a warrior for a better future."

"He seemingly never tired as he brought people together to work on some of the most imposing challenges facing humanity," Roberts said in a statement. "While many in the biohacking scene disagreed with his methods, none of them doubted his intentions. He sought nothing short of a revolution in biomedicine; the democratization of science and the opening of the flood gates for global healing."

Shortly after the Austin event, Traywick locked himself in one of the company's labs for several hours and locked out other employees, according to Gizmodo. Some employees said that they had become uncomfortable with Traywick's theatrics and false claims to the press and would no longer be working with him.

And soon after that, Traywick sued Gizmodo and a biohacker, Josiah Zayner, for libel, claiming that they had made false and defamatory statements about the company and its research. Last month, the suit was dismissed, according to court documents.

In the biohacking world, Zayner and Traywick were considered rivals. Zayner — who's done his own self-gene-editing experiments in an attempt to beef up his muscles — had criticized the Ascendance CEO for making unsubstantiated and potentially dangerous claims about treating medical conditions.

"Usually, most biohackers are considered pretty crazy and very controversial, but he was the most controversial of the biohackers," Zayner told BuzzFeed News, adding, "He just wanted to get stuff out there, he didn't care about the consequences to him or sometimes other people. That could be reckless, or it could be good, depending on how it ended up."
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by sparks » Wed May 02, 2018 8:11 am

"...crazy and controversial..."

Nope. Just dead.

But not as dead as these cigarettes.
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by ed » Wed May 02, 2018 9:49 am

Bruce wrote:Humans have been genetically engineering ever since we first started farming. Do you think GOD made that corn you're eating?

We're just getting really good at it.

There is a wave of new cancer fighting drugs coming down the pipe that are gene specific designer drugs. These things are really impressive, but they are incredibly difficult to synthesize and analyze. They are composed of a lipid "backbone" to get through the cell wall, an "anchor" to ensure that they are entering the correct type of cell, and a "bomb" that destroys the DNA of the cells from the inside.

It's a wicked and effective strategy. I picture it as giving the address of the bad guy to agent 007, handing him a key to the bad guy's back door, and a discrete C4 for him to plant once he's inside.
So you could get rid of a population that has some genetic characteristic?
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Bruce » Thu May 03, 2018 1:11 am

Some people think that's what AIDS was for...
Such potential!

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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu May 03, 2018 9:24 am

Image With natural selection, you don't need any central authority deciding these things. 8)
Just think how much happier he'd look if Pepto-Bismol had been invented.
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Re: The Genetic Engineering Thread

Post by sparks » Thu May 03, 2018 6:00 pm

Nixon had access to Pepto. And he still looked like he was full of shit.

Go figure.
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