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Scientists Hold Secret Meeting to Consider Creating a Synthetic Human Genome

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posted on May, 13 2016 @ 06:53 PM
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Well, I guess the secrets out.


Scientists are now contemplating the fabrication of a human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes.

Source

Research: Link


While the project is still in the idea phase, and also involves efforts to improve DNA synthesis in general, it was discussed at a closed-door meeting at Harvard Medical School in Boston on Tuesday. The nearly 150 attendees were told not to contact the media or to tweet during the meeting.

And here we are, reading about it in The New York Times. “Organizers” called it a follow-up to the Human Genome Project, which aimed at reading the three billion chemical letters in our DNA sequentially or what some would call, the blueprint of human life.

This new project looks to improve on that success by not only reading our genome, but writing it by synthesizing all three billion units from chemicals created in a lab. Of course there are ethical issues to consider, such as the abuse of applicable traits, like enhanced strength or cognitive abilities, giving an unfair advantages to a standing army.

For example, would it be acceptable to sequence and then synthesize Einstein’s genome? Questions of this nature have been asked and even used as criticism towards the proposed project. The copy and pasting of specific parts of any genome will undoubtedly raise concerns over who gets what and how it will be regulated.


George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and one of the organizers of the proposed project, said the characterization was a misunderstanding, and that in reality the project was aimed more generally at improving the ability to synthesize long strands of DNA, which could be applied to various types of animals, plants and microbes.

It seems that we are headed in this direction whether the majority find it ethical or not. I wouldn’t put it past our government or military to have already made advances in this field and now feel confident through trial and error to unleash their ideas onto the public.

In the end, most of us are powerless in deciding what is acceptable or not to manipulate. Designer genes are nipping at our heels, only held back by our ignorant view of their future impact on society and human evolution.


He said the meeting was closed to the press, and people were asked not to tweet because the project organizers, in an attempt to be transparent, had submitted a paper to a scientific journal. They were therefore not supposed to discuss the idea publicly before publication. He and other organizers said ethical aspects have been amply discussed since the beginning.

I’m not sure how much I buy that, but do believe they're up against a large group of critics who lack any semblance of scientific reasoning or understanding about what this can offer us in the future. The primary goal of the project in their words is, “to synthesize a complete human genome in a cell line within a period of ten years.”


The project does not yet have funding, Dr. Church said, though various companies and foundations would be invited to contribute and some have indicated interest. The federal government will also be asked. A spokeswoman for the National Institutes of Health declined to comment, saying the project was in too early a stage.

Again, there is no proof but my undying mistrust of any government’s ability to misuse or compartmentalize scientific endeavors, leaving the public with little to no knowledge of any unfortunate outcomes due to either a lack of understanding or negligent funding. What has entered the public domain has surely been contemplated by those working in the shadows.


Scientists and companies can now change the DNA in cells, for example by adding foreign genes or changing the letters in the existing genes. This technique is routinely used to make drugs, such as insulin for diabetes, inside genetically modified cells, as well as to make genetically modified crops. And scientists are now debating the ethics of new technology that might allow genetic changes to be made in embryos.

Synthesizing a gene or entire genome, would give scientists the opportunity to make even more drastic and extensive changes in human DNA. If there was any beginning and end to our genome, think again. We are becoming as editable as your last regrettable post on ATS.


Right now, synthesizing DNA is difficult and error-prone. Existing techniques can reliably make strands that are only about 200 base-pairs long, with the base pairs being the chemical units in DNA. A single gene can be hundreds or thousands of base pairs long. To synthesize one of those, multiple 200-unit segments have to be spliced together.

The article states that cost and capabilities are rapidly improving and the expense of synthesizing genes has plummeted from $4 per pair back in 2003 to 3 cents currently. Even at today’s price, the cost for three billion letters would be $90 million. If the declining trend continues, scientists are projecting the cost to reach $100,000 in about 20 years.


Dr. Boeke is leading an international consortium that is synthesizing the genome of yeast, which consists of about 12 million base pairs. The scientists are making changes, such as deleting stretches of DNA that do not have any function, in an attempt to make a more streamlined and stable genome.

The human genome is more than 200 times larger than that of yeast and what may be easy to synthesize and paste into one genome may not be as easy or produce the desired results in another.


“Our ability to understand what to build is so far behind what we can build,’’ said Dr. Minshull, who was invited to the meeting at Harvard but did not attend. “I just don’t think that being able to make more and more and more and cheaper and cheaper and cheaper is going to get us the understanding we need.’’

That’s a good question and there is only one way to find out. There are endless ways to screw this up and only a few chances to get it right. Are we capable of playing god without destroying ourselves in the process? What are the potential risks and who will be in control of such power?

The military complexes of the world will not stand by and watch without attempting to harness it potential, wanting to gain any advantage possible. What do you think ATS, are we responsible enough to play with such fire and not get burned?

edit on 13-5-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

I do not believe this hasn't already been tried secretly!

Just mho!



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:05 PM
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So..........This guy?



Only probably pissed off...........



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:11 PM
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Even with CRISPR technology we're still a far ways off from genetically enhanced humans.

Unless the military has some stuff in the works we aren't aware of.

I don't think most people here on ATS really understand the difficulties involved with all of this. Simply mapping a genome is one thing. That's just recognizing where everything is and what it is. Figuring out what it all does and how it all interacts? Figuring out how to remove certain portions and then figuring out how to insert new DNA and get the body to replicate it on its own like its own? Making sure you don't tamper with other DNA by accident? Making sure one gene you tamper with doesn't effect another gene unintentionally?

We're a loooong way off. This sounds like brainstorming, a way for scientists to sit around and hang out, and create a tax write off for whatever nonprofit hosted it.



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:15 PM
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Maybe all of the Xman movies are trying to subtly tell us something that already is or could be?


iTruthSeeker



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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Oh no! NOT chemicals! Anything but Chemicals!



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 08:04 PM
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It is the next step as unfortunate and concerning as it may be. Especially if the plans to go through are being taken more serious to eventually have (the elite)humanity as digital avatars instead of organic life.



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 08:38 PM
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originally posted by: ManBehindTheMask
So..........This guy?



Only probably pissed off...........


Where do you thing we humans came from? God already created us in a lab and here we are coming full circle.



posted on May, 13 2016 @ 11:39 PM
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No more like this guy
www.youtube.com...

or


edit on 13-5-2016 by makemap because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2016 @ 03:36 AM
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originally posted by: makemap
No more like this guy
www.youtube.com...

or






posted on May, 14 2016 @ 11:08 AM
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Can they not fix humans that live right now instead of creating more. Fix whats broken first.



posted on May, 14 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: eisegesis

The idea of eugenics is not new. I am sure that they would breed out undesirable traits like individuality and creative thinking and instill a strong appreciation for authority and order.

I think that it could be positive in the right hands, but it will never be in the right hands. People that desire power will always want to exploit technology to increase and maintain their power.



posted on May, 14 2016 @ 11:58 AM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
a reply to: eisegesis

The idea of eugenics is not new. I am sure that they would breed out undesirable traits like individuality and creative thinking and instill a strong appreciation for authority and order.

I think that it could be positive in the right hands, but it will never be in the right hands. People that desire power will always want to exploit technology to increase and maintain their power.


A FIRST ORDER?



posted on May, 14 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I don't think most people here on ATS really understand the difficulties involved with all of this.


Nor do they understand that such research is primarily driven not by some evil villain in a volcano who wants to create an army of superhuman creatures to take over the world, but to create treatments and cures for diseases.

Unfortunately, when science is discussed on ATS it's usually based more on science fiction movies than actual scientific reality, everyone here imagines a supervillain (the NWO, Illuminati etc) doing evil things the Christians won't like.

Just look back at the discussions about the LHC for an example of that.



posted on May, 14 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
The idea of eugenics is not new. I am sure that they would breed out undesirable traits like individuality and creative thinking and instill a strong appreciation for authority and order. .


Who is "they"?
And if you're so sure of this why have "they" not done this already considering Eugenics is entirely possible without spending billions of $'s on such research?

You must live a horrible life, constantly terrified of this imaginary big bad evil controlling your world.



posted on May, 14 2016 @ 03:17 PM
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originally posted by: Rocker2013

originally posted by: Metallicus
The idea of eugenics is not new. I am sure that they would breed out undesirable traits like individuality and creative thinking and instill a strong appreciation for authority and order. .


Who is "they"?
And if you're so sure of this why have "they" not done this already considering Eugenics is entirely possible without spending billions of $'s on such research?

You must live a horrible life, constantly terrified of this imaginary big bad evil controlling your world.


The Nazis were 'they' so were many American during the time leading up to WWII. Monsanto is 'they'. Our Federal Government is 'they'.

The problem is not the science, but human nature which dictates that every scientific breakthrough will be used and twisted to do the most possible damage to the people, the public and environment.


edit on 2016/5/14 by Metallicus because: eta



posted on May, 15 2016 @ 12:26 AM
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originally posted by: Metallicus

originally posted by: Rocker2013

originally posted by: Metallicus
The idea of eugenics is not new. I am sure that they would breed out undesirable traits like individuality and creative thinking and instill a strong appreciation for authority and order. .


Who is "they"?
And if you're so sure of this why have "they" not done this already considering Eugenics is entirely possible without spending billions of $'s on such research?

You must live a horrible life, constantly terrified of this imaginary big bad evil controlling your world.


The Nazis were 'they' so were many American during the time leading up to WWII. Monsanto is 'they'. Our Federal Government is 'they'.

The problem is not the science, but human nature which dictates that every scientific breakthrough will be used and twisted to do the most possible damage to the people, the public and environment.



Remember Scientists are not good leaders. This is why EU is total mess.
They either turn mad, or totally forget about the most basic thing in life. Back to basics. Your asking for a corporate takeover when you have scientists as leaders. They suppress others from inventions. Some can be as evil in stealing other people inventions. This was a basic prime example in Nazi Germany with its bioweapon testing.

"Angela Dorothea Merkel[a] (née Kasner; born 17 July 1954) is a German politician and former research scientist."
en.wikipedia.org...

Science doesn't fix everything.

edit on 15-5-2016 by makemap because: (no reason given)



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