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April 29th, 2003


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04:25 pm - OPINIONS WANTED!
I heard this on the radio on my way to work and had to look into it.
first ever human genetic manipulation surgery to take place today

Basically there's a kid who's dying from a genetic disease, they're injecting a custom tailored virus into her brain to splice out the faulty segments of DNA with new versions, potentially halting the decay of her brain cells.

Scary or cool?
I want to hear what people think about this.
It's quite possibly the first step in being able to genetically modify ourselves at will after birth, and is thus a huge step in the forced evolution of humanity.
mood: interested
music: office chatter

(16 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)

Comments:


From:9mm
Date:April 29th, 2003 01:39 pm (UTC)
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Its cool until the last few words.
"Forced evolution of humanity"
That just sounds fucked up. It makes me think of the nazi blond & blue superiority complex.
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From:inahandbasket
Date:April 29th, 2003 01:57 pm (UTC)
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that's my phrase.

but seriously, think of the implications of this and decide whether you like it or fear it.
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From:adrianaendless
Date:April 29th, 2003 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Very cool for the child in question; however, also exceptionally scary as to where it might lead after this...
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From:cobaltnine
Date:April 29th, 2003 04:00 pm (UTC)
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See, I don't know. I don't know if it is actual evolution, because will this spawn replicate with her original, flawed, should-be-removed-from-the-pool genes, or with her new working ones? Especially with females, where eggs are produced and stored for life. I don't think it's actually a good idea, because if her spawn need gene therapy, and then theirs...it's not evolving at all.
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From:inahandbasket
Date:April 29th, 2003 04:13 pm (UTC)
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a damn good point.
modern technology already allows for the dilution of the gene pool by coddling the weak! we need to let the weak die and only the strong survive!

Ok, so I'm exagerating, but where do you draw the line between making life better and draging the species down the tubes? I know I'm not qualified to draw that line.
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From:cobaltnine
Date:April 29th, 2003 06:06 pm (UTC)
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I draw the line by saying 'make robots, not babies.' Except I don't use the b-word, it's full of loaded connotations. That's why I say 'spawn'. We, as a human race, are no better than salmon.

*not necessarily individually on a salmon-human one to one ratio.
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From:axessdenyd
Date:April 29th, 2003 09:11 pm (UTC)
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I like you. :-)
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From:inahandbasket
Date:April 30th, 2003 05:22 am (UTC)
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way to sidestep the issue.
=P

Oh, and tommy likes you. *giggles*
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From:axessdenyd
Date:April 30th, 2003 09:19 am (UTC)
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I do not like YOU, however.
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From:inahandbasket
Date:April 30th, 2003 10:03 am (UTC)
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oh hush stinky
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From:miyyu
Date:April 30th, 2003 06:08 am (UTC)
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Couldn't have said it better myself.
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From:jimmi_obadger
Date:April 30th, 2003 06:33 am (UTC)
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You're right; no one individual is qualified to draw that line. It's something we need to look at as an intelligent species, though: how do you avoid reproducing and multiplying harmful code without devolving into genetic fascism?
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From:oceanic
Date:April 29th, 2003 05:35 pm (UTC)
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I'm torn. The science geek in me says "NEAT!" and the rest of me goes "ohh, Fuck."
It was kind of the same reaction as when I saw a news article that they had finished the Human Genome Project, and there was this guy handing over a 12-CD binder with the entirety of the human genome on it. "Cool!......Oh, shit."
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From:miyyu
Date:April 30th, 2003 06:08 am (UTC)
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I am all for this. Gene therapy is the most viable way we've got to treat genetic diseases and I say go for it. I think nuclear bombs are far more dangerous than gene therapy because for some strange reason politicians are more frightened of human cloning than weaponry. They'll use weaponry regularly but it'll be extremely difficult to convince anyone allow genetic manipulation other than for medical purposes.

To answer the egg/progeny question: far as I know women's/girl's eggs are present at birth, all the eggs she's ever going to have, you don't make new ones, so if this girl survives and has children of her own they will not carry her "new" genes. I don't know how that works for male gametes though. My undertanding is men produce sperm all their lives so that could get tricky. Might not be bad though since it would avoid passing on the gene for the disease.
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From:inahandbasket
Date:April 30th, 2003 07:02 am (UTC)
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that's my take on it from a scientific point of view, I'm just not looking forward to all the issues it's going to create.
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From:miyyu
Date:April 30th, 2003 08:05 am (UTC)
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I'm not either, but think of it this way: any worthwhile advancement, scientific, social, or any other kind, (and boy is our pathetic excuse for a species need it) is always rife with controversy. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try it.
OPINIONS WANTED! - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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