GATTACA is near-future; DNA has been fixed in embryo

GATTACA is near-future; DNA has been fixed in embryo

Postby John Galt » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:33 pm

Amazing stuff. eugenics will be in overdrive by 2030. after, a de-facto caste system implemented by the first generation where a large contingent are modified. we will live to see it

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41386849

DNA surgery on embryos removes disease

Precise "chemical surgery" has been performed on human embryos to remove disease in a world first, Chinese researchers have told the BBC.

The team at Sun Yat-sen University used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion "letters" of our genetic code.

They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia. The embryos were not implanted.

The team says the approach may one day treat a range of inherited diseases.

Base editing alters the fundamental building blocks of DNA: the four bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine.

They are commonly known by their respective letters, A, C, G and T.

All the instructions for building and running the human body are encoded in combinations of those four bases.

The potentially life-threatening blood disorder beta-thalassemia is caused by a change to a single base in the genetic code - known as a point mutation.

The team in China edited it back.

They scanned DNA for the error then converted a G to an A, correcting the fault.

Junjiu Huang, one of the researchers, told the BBC News website: "We are the first to demonstrate the feasibility of curing genetic disease in human embryos by base editor system."

He said their study opens new avenues for treating patients and preventing babies being born with beta-thalassemia, "and even other inherited diseases".

The experiments were performed in tissues taken from a patient with the blood disorder and in human embryos made through cloning.
Americans learn only from catastrophe and not from experience. -- Theodore Roosevelt
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Re: GATTACA is near-future; DNA has been fixed in embryo

Postby Spider » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:02 pm

Amazing. Terrifying. This is China...they might just whip up a nice slave race. Or maybe brain-dead clones with custom organs for harvest. Or an army of supersoldiers, assuming the robots don't get there soon enough. Basically, every nightmare scenario scifi has dreamt up.

Yeah, we'll be able to cure genetic diseases. But there really aren't many limits when you can zoom in on a single nitrogen base and swap it out, apparently even leaving the other half of the pair in place? Been a while since BIO, but back then we were editing DNA with talen, usually on DNA we'd made a zillion copies of with PCR. Cutting out chunks of base pairs and zipping the dna back up with a replacement block of pairs. Either the chinese have a different method, or the article is a bit off. Or I'm old enough now that I'm just out of date.
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Onward to Mars
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Re: GATTACA is near-future; DNA has been fixed in embryo

Postby The Comrade » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:08 pm

I think we're going to learn in the next couple decades just how much is nurture over nature when it comes to traits.
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