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Thread: Can the human body be mutated using viruses or other means?

  1. #1 Can the human body be mutated using viruses or other means? 
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    Well, stupid title here, couldn't really think of quite the right words. Anyway, my friend and I were talking about stuff found ourselves wondering if it would it be possible to modify a virus to change the cells in a human body to preform an action, such as curing baldness, or eventually being able to modify anything you wished, like changing eye color, or modifying how a face looked, ect. Virus is kind of specific, so if there was another method to reaching this, I guess that would work as well. Just kind of wanted to learn more about the topic, to know if there are any studies currently in affect, what exactly it would be called, ect.

    Thanks!


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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    For curing baldness? No, DNA will not be the best bet for this. Supplementing a repressor to Testosterone in skin cells is the best solution. Though i can't guess why they have not yet used this technique yet..

    To add, A virus has several disadvantages when being used. They have to be multiplied, their DNA removed, then new DNA has to be put in the virus capsins. Even if it can be effective for 99,9% (which is not), then the remaining active viral DNA, will have unexpected results. Not being distributed evenly, or being knocked out of the body completely. A virus can not be trusted...


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    example of virus mutating the human body--warts. not the effect you are looking for?
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    Studies on changing DNA using virus is called "Gene Therapy". So you can find more information about it.
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    Thanks for the replies, I'll check out gene therapy. Basically, I wanted to know if the human body could be modified in ways that we wish, to possibly change external appearance, ect. The first thought was virus because it changes the host's cells to reproduce, and can cause mutations. I'm sure there's another way other than viruses.
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    A little bit of a difference now than what I said originally, I see the way viral gene therapy works is it extracts the mutated or insufficient DNA. I was wondering if you could also change things where there really wasn't something wrong.
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    Ya, you can change hair color using gene therapy.

    This is funny: they change mice hair color to glow!
    Mice Shine Light on Gene Therapy

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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    Ya, you can change hair color using gene therapy. This is funny: they change mice hair color to glow!Mice Shine Light on Gene Therapy
    Wow, pretty much an exact example of what I was asking about, thanks! I kinda want flourecent hair now
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    dafuq, it doesn't tell how the genes are applied. Simply injecting a virus containing the DNA just does not do the job. I wonder what they did...
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  11. #10  
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    For me, I really don't mind the detail because I also heard that other people had done a more incredible feat like programming a whole bacteria with a newly created synthetic (artificially assembled) gene **, and it also use virus to deliver the gene to the bacteria. So for me, I guess this is possible and I don't have any experience to understand the detail anyway.

    **BBC News - 'Artificial life' breakthrough announced by scientists . I also watch a documentary about it on Discovery ("Creating Synthetic Life").
    Last edited by msafwan; September 11th, 2012 at 07:22 AM.
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  12. #11  
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    There is a difference between singlecelled organisms, and an actual vertebrate. Anyone with a computer can create a dummy gene, not everyone can succesfully infect a mouse with a virus, and have it under total control, with no side effects, and have the gene implemented in it's system.... Thats just... WAYYYY different... Trust me on this.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  13. #12  
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    Of course I trust that point. I know that human folly can cause something terrible to happen. It is from my own experience and from the history of human engineering (ie: software, civil, aerospace, or societal engineering) that we can crash stuff soo spectacularly such that it create an evil terrible consequences, there is no such thing as "too big to fail".

    But it is not impossible. Other people even tried reprogramming T-Cell with AIDS virus to kill cancer. Like this one: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/he...pagewanted=all

    For some reason no one is scared about it. I guess they trusted it for now.
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