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Thread: All about repairing or replacing the human body

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Transplantations rarely (if ever) restore people to full health, so repairs with the original organs will be the ideal way to go.
    Bionic replacements are extremely difficult.
    Transplants today require the use of foreign organs. Usually with some form of immune suppression.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #182
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    Let's open up another bigger can of worms: curing chromosomal diseases by editing the genetic information.
    We can attempt to repair the phenotypical "defects" or disabilities, but would it be even greater if we can edit the chromosomal information?

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Let's open up another bigger can of worms: curing chromosomal diseases by editing the genetic information.
    We can attempt to repair the phenotypical "defects" or disabilities, but would it be even greater if we can edit the chromosomal information?
    I think altering germline heredity is illegal in most countries. I'm equally sure that someone, somewhere will try to do just that in the near future, legal or not.

    But once we start doing so, I strongly suspect that not everyone will be content with merely fixing medical problems, they'd also want to try to "improve" on mother nature in some way. But of course, not all experiments are successful, and illegal activities are unregulated. So there will almost certainly be cut-rate back alley gene-tweakers, and many of the children born from these attempts will suffer new medical issues themselves.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I think altering germline heredity is illegal in most countries. I'm equally sure that someone, somewhere will try to do just that in the near future, legal or not.
    It doesn't necessarily entail messing with the germline. If, for example, it's a disease that affects immune cells, you can remove them from the body and transfect them and then return them to the body, so that the germline cells are unaffected. I do agree that people will try messing with it though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But once we start doing so, I strongly suspect that not everyone will be content with merely fixing medical problems, they'd also want to try to "improve" on mother nature in some way. But of course, not all experiments are successful, and illegal activities are unregulated. So there will almost certainly be cut-rate back alley gene-tweakers, and many of the children born from these attempts will suffer new medical issues themselves.
    That would be very difficult to do. If you have a disease where a certain gene is deleted or defective, you can reinsert it to cure the condition. But what would you do to say make a person stronger? There isn't any deleted gene in that case to reinsert. I guess you could try inserting a chimp muscle gene in, but for example, it's hypothesized that our muscles are weaker than theirs because they allow us to have fine motor control which chimps don't. So by adding that gene, you might get a very strong but uncoordinated person.
    As above, so below

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    That would be very difficult to do.
    Very true. Hence why I predict a high initial rate of failure.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Very true. Hence why I predict a high initial rate of failure.
    I wasn't talking about just "initial" failures. As far as I know, we wouldn't even be able to start. If you want to engineer a kid with blue or green eyes, that's relative simple. But suppose for argument's sake that you want one with say striped eyes. You simply can't do it, because there isn't a gene for that. It requires the iris to develop in a special way, and you can't just program it.
    As above, so below

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I wasn't talking about just "initial" failures. As far as I know, we wouldn't even be able to start. If you want to engineer a kid with blue or green eyes, that's relative simple. But suppose for argument's sake that you want one with say striped eyes. You simply can't do it, because there isn't a gene for that. It requires the iris to develop in a special way, and you can't just program it.
    I'm saying that people will try to develop genetic code "software" for improved things. "Improved" being a vague and nebulous word, of course. As we learn more and more about how genes express, getting them to express in novel ways not found in nature, will surely become a goal of some scientists and bioengineers.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  8. #188
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    Altering the "germline" is indeed illegal in most countries, but the UK has opened a debate on it.
    One example might be one European group wants to provide foetuses with osteogenesis imperfecta with the COL101 gene that they lack for collagen synthesis.
    Such foetuses have such fragile bones that they break during birth, and frequently during early life, leaving them with severe deformities. A horrible disease.
    It may be that the correcting gene may reach developing ovaries and testes, although that is not the primary purpose.

    John

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    Altering the "germline" is indeed illegal in most countries, but the UK has opened a debate on it.
    One example might be one European group wants to provide foetuses with osteogenesis imperfecta with the COL101 gene that they lack for collagen synthesis.
    Such foetuses have such fragile bones that they break during birth, and frequently during early life, leaving them with severe deformities. A horrible disease.
    It may be that the correcting gene may reach developing ovaries and testes, although that is not the primary purpose.

    John
    What is the purpose to do so beside curing the disabling condition?
    If this is possible, can we start curing Angelman's Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, etc, before they develop?
    Ethically speaking, we should like children as healthy as possible at birth.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    What is the purpose to do so beside curing the disabling condition?
    I think he meant modifying the reproductive cells is not the primary purpose.
    It may be that the correcting gene may reach developing ovaries and testes, although that is not the primary purpose.
    If this is possible, can we start curing Angelman's Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, etc, before they develop?
    Ethically speaking, we should like children as healthy as possible at birth.
    Down syndrome is a chromosome disorder, not just one gene. And not everyone thinks human GMOs are ethical.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    If this is possible, can we start curing Angelman's Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, etc, before they develop?
    It's very hard to do. You can't simply remove a chromosome from a cell, at least not today. Normally the chromosomes are not neatly divided (it's only during cell division that they are), so you would have to halt the cell division and then remove a chromosome. Haplotyping (the pictures showing the pretty chromosomes) is done with stained dead cells. There is a team that managed to delete a chromosome from a DS cell line by using a viral insertion and inserted a gene that targeted the chromosome for destruction (successfully), but the problem is that you would have to delete just one of the C21s without deleting the other two. I think that for the experiment they just tried over and over until they got one where just one of the C21s was deleted. What makes it difficult is, you have to kill a cell to karyotype it, so if you take the zygote to test for DS, you will kill it in the process. If you wait, then you can't ensure that all the cells get the same deletion.
    As above, so below

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    It's very hard to do. You can't simply remove a chromosome from a cell, at least not today. Normally the chromosomes are not neatly divided (it's only during cell division that they are), so you would have to halt the cell division and then remove a chromosome. Haplotyping (the pictures showing the pretty chromosomes) is done with stained dead cells. There is a team that managed to delete a chromosome from a DS cell line by using a viral insertion and inserted a gene that targeted the chromosome for destruction (successfully), but the problem is that you would have to delete just one of the C21s without deleting the other two. I think that for the experiment they just tried over and over until they got one where just one of the C21s was deleted. What makes it difficult is, you have to kill a cell to karyotype it, so if you take the zygote to test for DS, you will kill it in the process. If you wait, then you can't ensure that all the cells get the same deletion.
    It sounds like that phenotypical repairs are easier than chromosomal overhauls, but even this is extremely challenging!

  13. #193
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    Upon the discussion about building fully functional bionic arms (attached to the shoulder), the regeneration, transplant, and bionic debate can go on endlessly.
    Practically speaking, transplant is the simplest way to go for current technologies, though.

  14. #194
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    Let's discuss the various approaches:
    1) Genetic repairs that aim at repairing damaged or defective genes: this usually have to start with the foetus (or even the embryo); this way will usually ensure the end product is "born healthy" at least. (Genetic repairs of current patients can be extremely challenging, though.)
    2) Phenotypical repairs that aim to repair damages due to natural developments or traumas; this can range from biological or physical means (advanced prosthesis) or any forms of regeneration medicine.
    3) Getting a brand new biological body (or fully mechanical body) and transfer the consciousness to it (we don't know how YET, though.)
    Some people have considered the difficulty in finding candidates, but the head transplant thing is getting at least one candidate, though.
    Some people may ask: why don't we invest in regeneration medicine first, though?

  15. #195
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    What is really at stake is aging reversal, which will be an epidemic in the next 20 or 30 years.

  16. #196
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    What will be an epidemic, aging or aging reversal? If you mean that aging will become an epidemic, I would say that it already is, and ends up killing many of us.
    As above, so below

  17. #197
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    Inclusa, deleting posts is not allowed, unless it is immediately after posting and noone has responded to it. You have deleted the last three posts in a row before your current one, from a one month timespan, possibly to make it seem like they were not being ignored. This is a very serious infraction of rule 11 and earns you a suspension. The posts have been restored.
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  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    What will be an epidemic, aging or aging reversal? If you mean that aging will become an epidemic, I would say that it already is, and ends up killing many of us.
    The aging epidemic is probably there since the "baby boomer generation" is entering their 70s.
    We probably cannot do anything about the "silent generation", but we still have time to do something about the "baby boomers", perhaps.

  19. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    If you mean that aging will become an epidemic, I would say that it already is, and ends up killing many of us.
    98.3% of all people will die at some point in their life. The remainder will follow shortly thereafter.
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  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Some people may ask: why don't we invest in regeneration medicine first, though?
    We are. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regenerative_medicine
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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