Notices
Results 1 to 13 of 13
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Gerdagewig

Thread: New abilities through Genmodification?

  1. #1 New abilities through Genmodification? 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4
    I'm wondering if it's possible to get new abilites through genmodification. Abilities that makes you immun against diseases, or maybe abilities that makes you physical stronger. And if it's possible, what is the main problem with making it a reality.

    I'm just a young teenager that wants to learn more about genmodification. Thank you.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    80
    It is possible to give new abilities to somebody through gene modification and it is already being done in different ways.

    Since you used the example of disease resistance above, I can tell you that changing a person's genes to give immunity to disease has been done for a very long time (hundreds of years), but probably not in the way you imagine. The inoculations that almost everybody in the world get these days (you certainly had some of them yourself as a youngster and even also as a teenager) causes some changes to the genes of your immune system that will give you an immunity to that specific disease for the rest of your life. You would not have had that genetic resistance if it wasn't for the fact that it was given to you by the jab, so you therefore have new abilities (to fight disease) through gene modification.

    This example is probably not what you were thinking of however, because the immune system is designed with the ability to change itself according to what bugs it is exposed to, and therefore you're not really doing gene modification on a level that would not have been possible at all naturally, you're just changing genes according to a natural mechanism that everybody is born with.

    As far as making completely artificial modifications to genes, it is also possible. There are numerous ways in which genetic diseases (things that people are born with) are treated by fixing the "broken" genes in their bodies. If you google something like "gene therapy", I'm sure you'll get plenty of info on this. The bottom line is that such a patient was born with a defect and by modifying his genes he was given the ability that he lacked. A common way of getting the "correct" gene into the body to replace the "broken" gene is as follows. You take a virus that would normally give somebody the flu for instance and take out that part of it that makes you sick, but leave the parts that it uses to get into and spread itself through your body. The virus can thus still infect the patient, but without making him sick. You then insert the "correct" gene into the gap in this virus. When you now place this modified virus in the patient's body, it will spread as it normally does, but instead of making the patient sick with the flu for instance, it will cure his genetic disease by putting the "correct" version of the "broken" genes into his body, which will give him the abilities he lacked from birth.

    Apart from using gene modification for treating people with genetic diseases, there is also the possibility that people could be made stronger or even more intelligent etc through gene modification. I'm not very up to date with exactly what's happening in this field at the moment, but I know some tests have been done on animals already decades ago. They would for instance find the copy of one of the genes that make a rabit's muscle grow and put extra copies of that gene into the animal. The result was that the rabits became much stronger than they ever were, even in their old age. They have also put the growth hormone gene of a rat into a small white mouse for instance, and he grew up to be at least twice as big as his brothers and sisters (maybe google "transgenic organisms" or something like that?. These things would probably never be condoned in humans however because there are all kinds of moral objections to it. In the professional sporting world there are rumours however that some people are already using these illegal "gene doping" (google it?) methods to give them an unfair advantage over their opponents. Since some genes that are linked to intelligence have also been identified, it is theoretically possible to also insert these genes into somebody and maybe make them much cleverer than they used to be. The chances of some unforeseen side effects are unfortunately also high and I certainly wouldn't want to be the one to test it on myself! I'll rather stay stupid and healthy than maybe more intelligent but a "monster"! lol!


    VARADRAJ likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4
    Interesting! But do you think it is possible to become stronger without increasing in size? And may it be possible to increase in reflexes beyond human capabilities?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazybronto View Post
    Interesting! But do you think it is possible to become stronger without increasing in size? And may it be possible to increase in reflexes beyond human capabilities?
    Before we discuss these questions further, please tell me what you made of your reading up on gene therapy, gene doping and transgenic organisms?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4
    I haven't had time to read alot, but I will try to make time to read, but read somewhere that it is possible to make someone stronger but it will make them bigger in size. But if they can do that, they can surely make your muscles to react faster.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    80
    I think there's a chance that one might be able to make a muscle much stronger than would be expected for its size for a normal human being. I will gladly share my ideas about how this can be achieved once you've had time to read up a bit on your own.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    You would have to alter the structure of the human musculoskeletal system and the density of our muscle fibers in order to make us stronger without increasing size. What you're suggesting is essentially a rewrite of the human physiology.

    On basic example of genetic modification through natural processes (the safer kind) is the resistance of sickle cell carriers to malaria, predominantly in the African population. It's possible on that kind of level, but as for creating what I can only imagine you're implying as super soldiers...that would be difficult scientifically and ethically.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    984
    Stronger muscles and more robust bones are common amoung other members of the primate family. Human evolution has selected out those traits. I would suggest great caution in trying to reverse that trend.

    More inportant is the misconception that these techniques can be applied to an existing specimen. Genetic manipulation will change the next generation, not this one. If you have something done to yourself, it will change your children but not you.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    You would have to alter the structure of the human musculoskeletal system and the density of our muscle fibers in order to make us stronger without increasing size. What you're suggesting is essentially a rewrite of the human physiology.
    .
    I don't agree. There are huge differences in the strength per weight of muscles between different humans. Some people with relatively small and light muscles can lift much heavier objects than other people with bigger muscles. Thus, some people have muscles that are genetically stronger than others. Also, closely related primates (chimps for instance) are even much stronger per weight than the strongest humans (I've read of a 60kg female chimp doing a 360kg one handed pull whilst in a rage in a zoo, which is many times stronger than a human is capable of - or is it just that our women don't get pissed off enough? . Thus, in an almost identical muscle fiber to ours, there is the potential to generate much increased maximal contraction.

    I would therefore guess that if the genes that are mainly involved in providing the extra strength to abnormally strong humans and chimps etc were identified and placed in a human muscle, there will most likely be significant improvement in strength. The side effects might however be terrible!

    See my next post below as well for a continuation of my thoughts.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Stronger muscles and more robust bones are common amoung other members of the primate family. Human evolution has selected out those traits. I would suggest great caution in trying to reverse that trend.

    More inportant is the misconception that these techniques can be applied to an existing specimen. Genetic manipulation will change the next generation, not this one. If you have something done to yourself, it will change your children but not you.
    I agree that the amount of caution needed is so big that this should never be tried to any great degree! The mention you made of us having less robust bones is one of those reasons. If a human's muscles are much stronger than it naturally would have been, tendon tears and even bone fractures due to simple maximal contraction might result.

    I don't fully agree however that the existing specimen wouldn't see any advantage. I do agree that the biggest gain in strength would be seen if somebody had the altered genome from conception, but think that there would still be significant improvement in the existing specimen. In the same way as any human can vastly improve their physical abilities through training, even in their old age, I think that adding genes that code for some growth factors will certainly strengthen the muscles.

    Your statement that only your children would see the changes is also incorrect in another way. Depending on how the new traits were administered to the person, the traits might not be transferred to the offspring at all. I know that there was some research at UCLA a decade or so ago where rabbits were injected intra-muscularly with mRNA that coded for their own Growth Hormone. Even in their old age the rabits became much stronger, active and lived longer, without any apparent side effects. This treatment doesn't make any permanent change to the genome, but still improves the individual through a genetic mechanism. There are some serious rumours that similar methods to this is used on humans in pro-sport already!

    BTW, I was actually hoping to get the young Crazybronto to read up himself on this subject before giving him all the information for "free" and him probably not learning much in the process, but the conversation has obviously grown beyond that now.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerdagewig View Post
    I don't agree. There are huge differences in the strength per weight of muscles between different humans. Some people with relatively small and light muscles can lift much heavier objects than other people with bigger muscles. Thus, some people have muscles that are genetically stronger than others. Also, closely related primates (chimps for instance) are even much stronger per weight than the strongest humans (I've read of a 60kg female chimp doing a 360kg one handed pull whilst in a rage in a zoo, which is many times stronger than a human is capable of - or is it just that our women don't get pissed off enough? . Thus, in an almost identical muscle fiber to ours, there is the potential to generate much increased maximal contraction.

    I would therefore guess that if the genes that are mainly involved in providing the extra strength to abnormally strong humans and chimps etc were identified and placed in a human muscle, there will most likely be significant improvement in strength. The side effects might however be terrible!

    See my next post below as well for a continuation of my thoughts.
    That would entail a reduction in fine motor skills. I was suggesting a better way than simply making us more like chimps. If we are altering our genetic structure, let's move forward with it. Primates tend to use a more unrefined application of muscle than we do.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    80
    [QUOTE=Flick Montana;364300]
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerdagewig View Post
    That would entail a reduction in fine motor skills. I was suggesting a better way than simply making us more like chimps. If we are altering our genetic structure, let's move forward with it. Primates tend to use a more unrefined application of muscle than we do.
    Again, i don't agree.

    First, as is proven by millions of people who use performance enhancing drugs worldwide, fine motor skills do not deteriorate at all, even while maximal contraction increases up to three fold or more.

    Second, by increasing the efficiency of contraction of a muscle by making it more like a chimp's, doesn't mean that it will be a step backwards. Such a change will most likely not have any effect on the nervous system and intelligence etc.

    Third, my suggestions wasn't limited to using something like chimp genes, but also said that using human genes could be very effective (and might be done already). By simply putting extra HGH, IGF1 and maybe Testosterone genes into the body, great increase in strength would probably result with no trans-genic component. There are also other growth factors that could be used. Now that I think of it, what is that natural "defect" that makes the Belgian Blue cattle so incredibly strong? Myostatin inhibitor or something? I seem to remember that they've identified a young German child (he must be about 5 by now?), who was born with this. The expectation is that he will probably become extremely muscular with very low body fat, all naturally. This could possibly be induced somehow? but maybe not, because how would you remove the existing functioning gene, even when you insert the "broken" new gene?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13 Amazing! 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4
    This is some interesting stuff, I have done some reading up, but not much but I have some more knowledge about the subject. It's amazing what you can do, I'm starting to get really interested in Genmodification, Gene doping have caught my attention the most, because you can make yourself better in so many ways. The meaning of this post was to learn if you can make yourself much better, now I know that it's possible and I also noticed that I much less aware of the subject because you can write the greatest things while I lack knowledge to write a post properly.
    Gene doping seems amazing, that you can improve yourself like that is amazing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: November 10th, 2010, 03:59 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •