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View Full Version : What is your opinion on editing human DNA?



thalassa
01 Dec 2015, 08:43
Scientists from around the world are convening in DC to discuss editing human DNA (sauce (http://www.npr.org/2015/12/01/457974663/international-summit-to-debate-editing-human-dna)) for 3 days...we are pretty much at the point where its not a matter of if, but of when, why, and how much...

Good idea? Bad idea? A bit of both?

What should the limits be?

DragonsFriend
01 Dec 2015, 10:08
People don't have a very good reputation at genetic modification in the long term effects and they know so little about what the future may hold. There could be some short term benefits but what happens when they make a mistake? Who takes responsibility?

Thrudr
01 Dec 2015, 11:03
I think it's a bad idea, since there will always be people who will try to make a profit out of such things or misuse it, f.e. to create superhumans to control others or something like that (Unless that superhuman is going to be Captain America, then I'm totally ok with it :P).

But they are going to do this anyway. So if they do I really hope they will exclusively use it to help people, such as preventing certain diseases or disorders, like intellectual disabilities.

habbalah
01 Dec 2015, 11:40
Depends on the purpose. Are we trying to eliminate genetic defects? By all means, let's try for a healthier future.

thalassa
01 Dec 2015, 11:59
Depends on the purpose. Are we trying to eliminate genetic defects? By all means, let's try for a healthier future.

On one hand, I totally agree with this. Not only does it lessen suffering, it also (in the long run) is cheaper than treating some of these conditions over a lifespan.

On the other hand, some of those genetic issues exist for a reason--sickle cell anemia, G6PD deficiency, even cystic fibrosis gene exist for a reason--they are evolutionary adaptations for specific populations that conferred an advantage for people in those population (carriers of the gene), from malaria resistance (sickle cell and G6PD deficiency) to typhoid resistance (cystic fibrosis gene carriers).

Look at hemochromatosis, for example: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/the-iron-in-our-blood-that-keeps-and-kills-us/266936/

I think when this is done, it needs to be done very carefully...but that is something I am still pondering.

Bard A Madsen
02 Dec 2015, 07:34
Huge bucket of worms... We STILL argue over abortion! I still don't understand why they don't make it OK for under two months and be done with it and get on with other MORE important subjects, like steroids in Baseball, LOL. I saw today China bragging they already have the technology to clone humans... Like China needs help with population problems! I agree with two other posts about they are going to do it anyway and it would be great to correct defects, but how are they going to sterilize the experiment is a BIG question. Reminds me of Alien 3(?) with the clone of Ripley and the alien... We can have super wealthy people wanting neon glowing octopus gene kids, or better yet they can blend into the background in an instant. I've noticed recently that in the 21st century, people aren't required to take blood tests to see if they are incompatible to have kids like they use to for marriage licenses. People flip out over mascara on fuzzy bunnies. I think they should do it somehow to cure problems, like they do with particle accelerators looking for the God particle even though I cringe that they will try just one experiment too far and all matter will turn to energy and somewhere in the galaxy some aliens will go "oooh! look another super nova, I wonder what sparks those?"

B. de Corbin
02 Dec 2015, 11:48
It can't be stopped. With the magic CRISPR (which always makes me think of a toaster) it isn't even expensive.

It will be out of the hands of the well financed, and on the streets soon.

My ultimate opinion is:

This is gonna be interesting... I wonder what's gonna happen?

anunitu
02 Dec 2015, 11:54
First thing you know is a Penis enlargement spam ad...of course followed by some super Viagra(Wonder why that reminds me of Virgina?)

Might start with humans getting a real heart and stop killing each other.

B. de Corbin
02 Dec 2015, 11:58
First thing you know is a Penis enlargement spam ad...of course followed by some super Viagra(Wonder why that reminds me of Virgina?)

Might start with humans getting a real heart and stop killing each other.

Is this your wish-list?

anunitu
02 Dec 2015, 12:01
Only the part about a heart.

Herbert
02 Dec 2015, 14:54
Maybe if we engineer all of our children to be intelligent, the USA will stop having such low test scores. Though we'll likely then have troubles with drug use and market oversaturation. Meh. I don't think the republican party is going to be in favor of letting us genetically alter humans anytime soon. Or the democratic party. Or the green party. Maybe the libertarians.

B. de Corbin
02 Dec 2015, 15:01
I think we should engineer politicians so they stop shoving stupid tests down kid's throats.

habbalah
02 Dec 2015, 15:27
Maybe if we engineer all of our children to be intelligent, the USA will stop having such low test scores. Though we'll likely then have troubles with drug use and market oversaturation. Meh. I don't think the republican party is going to be in favor of letting us genetically alter humans anytime soon. Or the democratic party. Or the green party. Maybe the libertarians.

We'd probably have smarter kids if there was more money allocated to schools and an emphasis on education.

Herbert
02 Dec 2015, 15:33
Or just start firing bad teachers. There's that option.

anunitu
02 Dec 2015, 15:43
I myself think public officials need to focus on the public good,and much less on their political advantage that make them make decisions based on politics rather than what is right and good for the kids.

Serria
02 Dec 2015, 17:33
Wait is this discussion about editing existing DNA (which I'm pretty sure you can't do) or editing the DNA of a potential child via IVF? The reason I ask is because as someone with genetic disorders, if there were a way to spare my future children of having any chance of inheriting my disorders, I would do anything to provide that, and have children of my own someday.

Medusa
02 Dec 2015, 17:44
Judging by half the wakadoo responses just on this thread..we really need to stop fiddling with things before we create something we will surely regret.

thalassa
03 Dec 2015, 05:06
Wait is this discussion about editing existing DNA (which I'm pretty sure you can't do) or editing the DNA of a potential child via IVF?

At this point, its the latter, though I think we closer than the general public realizes to the former.

Crispr can work on any individual cell type, though its not good (yet) at targeting the desired gene in an entire embryo...but I think its only a matter of time before we figure out how to precisely insert genes into the cells in an entire body or an affected organ.



Some articles on the technique and its implications, for those that want to know about the future of humanity:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/us/2015-11-27-us-animal-gene-editing.html?_r=0

http://www.wired.com/2015/07/crispr-dna-editing-2/

http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-gene-editing-embryo-20150503-story.html

B. de Corbin
03 Dec 2015, 05:49
This is pretty cool too - I heard about it on Science Friday:

Center for PostNatural History (http://www.postnatural.org/)

Munin-Hugin
03 Dec 2015, 06:15
GATTACA, anyone?

Spiny Norman
03 Dec 2015, 07:15
GATTACA, anyone?

Brilliant film!

Marradin
04 Dec 2015, 05:01
This is a can of worms humanity isn't ready for yet.

We're just too immature as a species- how long before someone comes up with an idea to "Standardize the human population" in the interests of peace ect? If human diversity ends or is reduced by this than bye bye human race.

B. de Corbin
04 Dec 2015, 05:21
This is a can of worms humanity isn't ready for yet.

Ready or not, here we go!

Wheeeeeeeeeeee...


(For those of you who want to try gene editing at home, it is open-source. Here is your gene editing guide (https://www.addgene.org/CRISPR/guide/).)

Sean R. R.
04 Dec 2015, 10:54
I want super humans and mutants. Everywhere.

anunitu
04 Dec 2015, 11:09
I,want my MTV...not the crap version now,but the one with really cool videos!!!!!!!!!!!

Azvanna
04 Dec 2015, 18:50
One of the comments in the source read:
GMO humans. I wonder if there will be an opposition movement. The human vs X-Men struggle is the very first thing that came to mind! :D

Editing genes.. I think I'd like to just keep doing it through natural selection. Saying that humans have been tampering with genetics since we could plant seeds isn't quite the same as tampering with DNA in a lab, especially when it comes to sentient beings. We have a fair amount of control over the destiny of plants and sentient animals even, but the destiny of a human life (eg reproduction) is a thing we lack control over. I think we're in over our heads.


This kind of science is such a good example of light and shadow and the paradox. For the great good is can do, an equal amount of evil could be unleashed.

Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm, wrote a short story on the subject of editing human DNA and made some brilliant commentary on being frightfully perfect, the intrinsic value of life and the beautiful achievements that can be accomplished when making allowances for mistakes and risk-taking. The story is called 'Drum Machine' and it can be found in her anthology 'The Inheritance.' I want to post a couple of spoilers that illustrate the point. So Kalynrae, the spoilers aren't for your eyes!

An essential flashback:

Music isn't supposed to be "right", it's supposed to be music. Alive. Growing, and changing. If it doesn't change, then how are you going to get from "right" to "better"?'

I'd made one final try. 'Isn't it just as likely to be "worse" as "better"?' I'd asked him.

"Chesterson. That's the chance you've got to take. That's how you know you're alive.'

and the last paragraphs that bring it home:


But I didn't eat. I went to the living room and took down my keyboard. I turned on the meida wall and plugged it in. I set up for video, audio, body vibes, lights, the whole show. I pulle dup Blood Blisters, the stuidio track that Cliff had despised. I helmeted in so the sound wouldn't disturb the neighbours, and I turned it on. Then I played along with it, keyboard in my lap, exactly as we'd played it that day in the studio, proving to myself that I still had it. Then I reset and played it again. I sounded just as great. By the time I finished the third run through, I was dripping sweat. I leaned back and cranked up the audience roar I'd spliced in at the end. I lifted my arms and held them wide until it died off into white noise.

I took off the helmet and shook my sweaty hair loose. So much for you, Cliff Wangle. You're dead and Chesterson is still as good as he ever was. So who's the real musician now? I headed for the shower, grinning, triumphant. There's nothing like knowing you can do it. I could have played it a hundred time and each repetition would have been just as good as the first.

B. de Corbin
04 Dec 2015, 18:56
IMHO - no matter how it goes, there will be elements of humanity who chose not to do it, just as there are Amish, who chose not to engage in current technology.

There will be differentiation, and who will be "right," and who will be "wrong" will be sorted out by future history. "History," as Neitzsche wrote, "will judge."

Medusa
04 Dec 2015, 20:07
They messed around with Wolvie's body. Taking advantage of his mutation to pretty much withstand an Ebola chocolate shake with a side of zombie virus. They made a weapon out of him. You know the military will swoop on down for this.

Bard A Madsen
08 Dec 2015, 08:53
Brilliant film!

Thanks, watched it last night. It was good, but got lost, I thought his better brother drown somehow... And he didn't know his dad was taking urine samples ??? Still I liked it.

habbalah
08 Dec 2015, 18:12
I want super humans and mutants. Everywhere.

Mutant and proud!

Bartmanhomer
21 Dec 2015, 09:55
I'm not sure that I'm 100% on editing human DNA. Editing DNA will result probably into a mutated defect or mutants.

Briton
01 Jan 2016, 12:59
Let nature take its course. Its been doing it for billions of years. It knows what its doing.

DragonsFriend
02 Jan 2016, 06:22
With nature it's just luck of the draw but when a change makes you better it remains while mistakes get deleted. We humans try to save folks who are genetically different whether the change is good or bad. You know human life is more important than anything else. There is going to be DNA manipulation and probably electronic enhancements as well. I just hope that the screw ups aren't too bad.

Briton
02 Jan 2016, 08:11
Well, I don't believe evolution makes choices-even though it is often phrased that way, even in places of education by those who have no intention to misrepresent evolution. My plant sciences lecturer often says 'they have evolved to...' or asks us to answer 'why do you think they have evolved to...' as if the plants did it deliberately.

What I meant was that it is a tried and tested method. It works. We fight nature with unnatural extra child production such as IVF, so have to counter this by countering nature with contraceptives.

Maybe we shouldn't try and make people 'perfect' unless we are willing to control our desire to reproduce as a species, because we will be far better adapted to survive when historically the weak would have died. Without meaning to sound heartless, obviously all loss of life is regrettable, might we have to be heartless since we won't let nature be? If population is becoming unsustainable in its current numbers (I said becoming, I don't think the world is currently 'overpopulated', there is currently enough food, being wasted, in the world to feed everyone, but at its expansion, we will have to lose freedoms to sustain global populations much above our current 7bn~) is it a good idea to make humans better adapted and more likely to survive still?

Tylluan Penry
02 Jan 2016, 14:15
There are too many people out there who couldn't be trusted to edit a text message properly.

I certainly wouldn't trust them with DNA.

anubisa
04 Jan 2016, 20:19
I don't think it's wise to mess with our DNA. Just leave it be.

DragonsFriend
05 Jan 2016, 11:10
The driving force in DNA research is repairing genetic diseases and immune deficiencies. What it will lead to can be threatening but the research and probably the experimentation will happen. (is happening)

Kiesha'ra
05 Jan 2016, 13:59
Don't mess with nature, she always finds a way to mess with you back even worse. That's all I'll say about it.

anunitu
06 Jan 2016, 14:07
There is the off chance they will only use it for good(though things have been known to go sideways just a little)

ThePaganMafia
06 Jan 2016, 14:11
ITT: A bunch of people who don't know about DNA editing talk about whether or not we should edit DNA.

thalassa
06 Jan 2016, 15:59
ITT: A bunch of people who don't know about DNA editing talk about whether or not we should edit DNA.

Shrug. You don't have to know all that much about the technique to consider the ethics of the concept.

anunitu
06 Jan 2016, 16:07
It could benefit medical science,or it could become a nightmare depending on many things. If its use is only for company's to make a LOT of money it might go south very fast,if it is used to benefit human suffering with no consideration about money it "Might" be the beginning of a much better outlook for people with once non treatable medical issues.

DragonsFriend
07 Jan 2016, 12:48
New twists in technology are almost always militarized and then they are profit vehicles. Enterprises are driven by the desires of the greatest populations because by satisfying those desires one makes the most money. The "editing" of DNA is no different. What it is used for will depend on what people are willing to pay for. Would you like to be stronger? Would you like to have your sensory perception increased? How about having such a strong immune system that you would never need to see a doctor again?

Step right up folks, this is a world of real magic!

zarawatsonn
26 Apr 2016, 03:21
In my opinion everthing has some advatages and disadvantages.
Look, first thing is that, by making some changes in DNA, there is a very high chance of transforamtion of human body life cycle. In some manner it could be good or bad, depends on its formulation.

And the other thing is that, change in DNA means, we are going to change the whole idenity of a human.