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Would you edit your own genome if you could economically do it?

biohacking genomics crispr ethics splicing

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#1 ConstipatedNinja

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 07:52 PM


Hi, everybody!

 

Based on what I've seen watching various technologies getting cheaper and cheaper and based on various stories I've read on the dropping costs of DIY CRISPR-based gene hacking, I have a question for everybody:

 

If you could build your own lab for under $1000 to play with gene hacking, would you ever attempt to edit your own genome?

 

From what I can tell, all of the lab supplies are readily available and building a "garage lab" for CRISPR-based gene hacking is actually possible for an arguably reasonable price. However, there's an amazing lack of stories of people actually doing it. This surprised me, because surely if it's possible, then some have definitely tried it. And if some people have tried it, surely at least one person would be talking about it, right?

 

Also as an additional follow-up question to the above, if you would edit your genome, what are the things you would most want to edit?

 

Eager to hear everybody's answers!


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#2 Castiel

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 08:59 PM

Oh I would but the amount of changes is massive, we're talking multiple artificial chromosomes and chromosome dna changes and rearrangements.

 

I would go from a human state to an ideal state, wherein my body is a physical manifestation of the final possible cellular design, optimal architecture for physical survival, including the ability to add and remove dna.  Ageless, disease free, self evolving body.  An animal able to gain multiple traits and lose multiple traits indefinite number of times within the lifespan of the original host animal.


Edited by Castiel, 17 September 2016 - 09:00 PM.

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#3 seivtcho

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 09:23 PM

Is it even possible to build your own genetic lab for under $1000



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#4 ConstipatedNinja

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 02:07 AM

Oh I would but the amount of changes is massive, we're talking multiple artificial chromosomes and chromosome dna changes and rearrangements.

 

I would go from a human state to an ideal state, wherein my body is a physical manifestation of the final possible cellular design, optimal architecture for physical survival, including the ability to add and remove dna.  Ageless, disease free, self evolving body.  An animal able to gain multiple traits and lose multiple traits indefinite number of times within the lifespan of the original host animal.

 

Woah, that's pretty intense! Just for curiosity's sake, if you could only make three changes where each change added, replaced, removed, upped expression, lowered expression, or disabled entirely one and only one gene for each change, what would you do? As a mild example, upping expression of the NPTN gene for the benefits relating to intellect as one of the changes.

 

Is it even possible to build your own genetic lab for under $1000

 

Yes!

 

If you're a little careful about not completely blowing your money, you can get all of the equipment and chemicals to build out a genetic engineering lab for a few hundred dollars. Obviously not a highly advanced one, but there's people like Sebastian Cocioba (talked about in this article: http://fusion.net/st...rs-garage-labs/) who have already managed to set up such a lab for less than $1000. There was also an Indiegogo campaign started by a synthetic biologist working at the NASA Ames Research Center where putting down just $130 was enough to be sent "everything you need to make precision genome edits in bacteria."

 

We live in some exciting times!



#5 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 02:25 AM

Oh I would but the amount of changes is massive, we're talking multiple artificial chromosomes and chromosome dna changes and rearrangements.

 

I would go from a human state to an ideal state, wherein my body is a physical manifestation of the final possible cellular design, optimal architecture for physical survival, including the ability to add and remove dna.  Ageless, disease free, self evolving body.  An animal able to gain multiple traits and lose multiple traits indefinite number of times within the lifespan of the original host animal.

No offense but this sort of thinking stems from firstly not knowing human biology and secondly ascribing to an already disproved and illogical theory for how humans came to exist.

You would simply kill yourself if you tried to change your DNA in the way that you are suggesting.

 

For me, I would obviously want to fix my hair. I would want to have the African native hair that is thick, black and can only grow to be a few centimeters in length. Then I wouldn't have to cut my hair ever again. Would be extremely useful to my life. The idea that long hair serves any purpose "evolutionary" is just stupid. If I could somehow I'd also want to have the broad and flat African nose, would surely make breathing through the nose a lot more efficient.

 

I'd want to fix my hormonal output so I produce high amounts of androgens, but since reproduction is not suitable anymore (at least for a time being) I'd want to somehow make it so I am without any sexual desires. I'd also want to fix the errors with synthesis and degradation of catecholamines and other neurotransmitters, so I don't risk going psychotic even after sleep deprivation, and so it is much easier to fall asleep no matter what the scenario is. 

I'd surely want to fix my emotional hypersensitivity which is a part of the European phenotype. I don't like being that way.

 

Lastly, besides fixing most of the dna back to (what is presumed to have been) the ancient African dna, while leaving the mutations in that lead to brain overgrowth and thus a higher intelligence, I'd also want to reintroduce the ability to synthesize vitamin C and some modification to follistation, myostatin or whichever can give me a larger muscle mass without the need to exercise.



#6 Castiel

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 04:01 AM

Woah, that's pretty intense! Just for curiosity's sake, if you could only make three changes where each change added, replaced, removed, upped expression, lowered expression, or disabled entirely one and only one gene for each change, what would you do? As a mild example, upping expression of the NPTN gene for the benefits relating to intellect as one of the changes.

It has been observed that some individuals have negligible loss of neural function at very advanced ages, neurons transplanted from one animal to a new host with twice the lifespan live twice as long, even in humans virtually genetically identical neurons to most of the population lasted decades more 50% longer lifespan in Jeanne Calment the 122 year old official record holder.

I'm not sure what ensures negligible neuron function loss or what enables these cells to last 50% longer than the average human lifespan.   Some have even suggested that neurons exhibit negligible senescence and that it is the aging of supporting tissue that causes neurodegeneration, an interesting hypothesis.

Whatever master regulator(s) ensures the optimal set of maintenance and repair, which perhaps may enable negligible senescence at the cellular level,(known at least 2x lifespan in rodents  and known at least 1.5x avg lifespan in human), that would be interesting.

No offense but this sort of thinking stems from firstly not knowing human biology and secondly ascribing to an already disproved and illogical theory for how humans came to exist.

You would simply kill yourself if you tried to change your DNA in the way that you are suggesting.

Perhaps you know not of chimeras, animals with the cells of entirely different species within them?   Even in animals foreign cells from other species can be implanted in adult animals within protective materials that isolate them from immune response.
The issue with massive genetic change would be an immune reaction, but you can take care of that by modifying the immune system first, in which case it could tolerate arbitrary genetic modification.

 

The idea of imbuing a human with super organs, that is organs that do not age self regenerate can survive oxygen water food deprivation and high levels of toxins and may perform additional functions, is entirely within what is allowed by physical laws.

 

As pertain human origins evolution, the mechanism of natural selection, from a common ancestor.  This has not been disproved.

 

PS

 

Also note that there are harmful parasitic unicellular and multicellular organism that CAN exist within the human body even in large quantities without killing it.   Cellular machinery that was not parasitic but rather beneficial of entirely different genetic nature can be incorporated into the body, and can also be used to replace existing organs.


Edited by Castiel, 18 September 2016 - 04:14 AM.


#7 Castiel

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 01:11 PM

Here's an article on one of the most resilient lifeforms and how it may be possible to transfer some of its traits to humans in the future.

 

 

They also found that the hardy water bear expresses a tardigrade-specific protein that binds itself to DNA. This unique protein, dubbed Dsup, acts like a shield against x-ray radiation, preventing the DNA from snapping apart. This would help to explain why tardigrades are seemingly impervious to radiation, and why they can survive the vacuum of space.

 

 

This tolerance to x-rays can be transferred to the cells of other animals. On tests using cultured human cells, the researchers demonstrated that Dsup suppresses x-ray-induced DNA damage by a whopping 40 percent. If this tardigrade-specific protein could be transplanted to live humans, it could improve our own tolerance against X-rays. And perhaps tardigrade biology could be used to make humans more adaptable to space.

 

http://gizmodo.com/g...lity-1786814698

 



#8 treonsverdery

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 07:40 PM

well, one approach to being happier is to modify the SNPs of the COMT gene.  This video describes that.

 

 


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#9 Darryl

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 08:49 PM

The cited paper for that video:

 

Wichers et al, 2008. The catechol-O-methyl transferase Val158Met polymorphism and experience of reward in the flow of daily lifeNeuropsychopharmacology33(13), pp.3030-3036.

 

Alas, per 23andMe, I have two copies of the "unhappy, stoic, addiction-prone" COMT Val-Val version. Curiously, Promethease doesn't think this is a bad thing, as the "happy" version is also the "worrier" version.

 

I'd fix that, while I was in there, would hack my defective (rs53576) oxytocin receptors:

 

Lucht et al, 2009. Associations between the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and affect, loneliness and intelligence in normal subjectsProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry33(5), pp.860-866.

Tost et al, 2010. A common allele in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) impacts prosocial temperament and human hypothalamic-limbic structure and functionProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences107(31), pp.13936-13941.

Clarkez et al, 2012. Oxytocin receptor genetic variation promotes human trust behaviorBrains, Genes, and the Foundations of Human Society, p.66.

van Roekel et al, 2013. Oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in relation to loneliness in adolescence: Interactions with sex, parental support, and DRD2 and 5-HTTLPR genotypesPsychiatric genetics23(5), pp.204-213.

van Roekel et al, 2013. The oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in relation to state levels of loneliness in adolescence: evidence for micro-level gene-environment interactionsPloS one8(11), p.e77689.

Thompson et al, 2014. Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism (rs53576) moderates the intergenerational transmission of depressionPsychoneuroendocrinology43, pp.11-19.

Chang et al, 2014. Oxytocin receptor gene rs53576 polymorphism modulates oxytocin–dopamine interaction and neuroticism traits—a SPECT studyPsychoneuroendocrinology47, pp.212-220.

McQuaid et al, 2015. Distress of ostracism: oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism confers sensitivity to social exclusionSocial cognitive and affective neuroscience, p.nsu166.

McInnis et al, 2015. The moderating role of an oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism in the relation between unsupportive social interactions and coping profiles: implications for depressionFrontiers in psychology6.

 

I wouldn't mind the longevity associated FOXO3 version, as well.


Edited by Darryl, 03 December 2016 - 09:24 PM.

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