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Thread: A way to insert gene

  1. #1 A way to insert gene 
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    Is there a way to insert gene into an ebryo ? To replace its weak gene with a new, strong one ?


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    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    If you can do that (I don't know if you can or not) you'd want to do it before the embryo stage so that all the cells end up with the better gene as they differentiate. By 'weak' and 'strong' might you be thinking of defective genes being replaced by non-defective ones? That would be quite a big thing...humans can't produce their own vitamin C like most animals because of a defective gene, so replacement of that would be a pretty big deal.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Gene insertion is done quite often in molecular research - to create a transgenic line of mice, for example. But what is usally done is the gene is inserted into a small plasmid (a circle of DNA) the includes any other DNA sequences necessary to actually express the gene. So the gene isn't actually inserted into the existing DNA strands.

    To cut out and insert genes into the actual chromosomes is a lot more complicated. You would have to find proteins that can recognize the specific gene you want to remove and cut it out in such a way that you could then insert your desired gene in that exact same spot and permanently attach it. So far the best way to do something like this is with certain kinds of viruses that function by inserting their own genetic material into the chromosomes of their host. However, I don't know how specific they are, as in I don't know if you could get them to target the exact desired spot where they would insert their DNA. If you're interested though, you should look up gene therapy via viruses. It's a rapidly growing field.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  5. #4  
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    http://www.gmfreeireland.org/crops/index.php

    If its possible to do it with cattle, why can't we do it with people ?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    http://www.gmfreeireland.org/crops/index.php

    If its possible to do it with cattle, why can't we do it with people ?
    It is most certainly possible with people, but is considered by many to be something of an ethical quagmire.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    If we can create genetically better people, if we can make evolution work faster, why is it not ethical ?
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    Forum Freshman adamd164's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siemowit
    If we can create genetically better people, if we can make evolution work faster, why is it not ethical ?
    I suggest you go read a book on evolution and come back.
    Knowledge of evolution may not be strictly useful in everyday commerce. You can live some sort of life and die without ever hearing the name of Darwin. But if, before you die, you want to understand why you lived in the first place, Darwinism is the one subject that you must study.

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  11. #10  
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    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0920145350.htm

    They changed DNA of animals and their offsprings inherited changed DNA.
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    Forum Freshman adamd164's Avatar
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    And you claim that this is "speeding up evolution". How?
    Knowledge of evolution may not be strictly useful in everyday commerce. You can live some sort of life and die without ever hearing the name of Darwin. But if, before you die, you want to understand why you lived in the first place, Darwinism is the one subject that you must study.

    ~ Richard Dawkins
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  13. #12  
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    I used wrong words. I mean - this is MAKING evolution. We could make our DNA be better. This would be like evolution.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    There is research being done right now on gene therapy for people. It's not like it's just being ignored, as you seem to think. This therapy is mostly being considered for people with heritable and/or other terminal diseases.

    However, though that website you first linked to is definitely propagandizing itself as much as it can, there is some truth to it, such as the low level of understanding we have about what exactly is going on in the cell when we insert a gene into its nucleus. With viral gene insertions, we're not entirely sure exactly where in the genome that gene goes. And positional effects can be very important when it comes to the proper control of gene expression. Additionally, for the vast majority of genes out there - we're still not sure what they do and/or how they do it.

    There is a quite a bit of research left to do before we can specifically and accurately change our genome in the direction we want to. That day is coming, to be sure, it's just rather far away at the moment.

    And, technically, that could still be considered evolution. The definition of evolution is the change in the gene frequencies of a population, so by simply changing our genetic structure, we are in fact causing ourselves to evolve. Instead of the mechanism of evolution being a natural force, like it has been in the past, it would now be a human-made force. That's the only difference.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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