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originally posted by: neo96
The ramifications of this tech is insane.
White supremacists could target blacks.
Black supremacists could target whites.
Muslim supremacists could target jews.
And the list goes on.
It's insanity that this is even being explored.
“Darpa is not and should not be the only funder of gene-editing research but it is critical for the Department of Defense to defend its personnel and preserve military readiness,” he said. Darpa believes that a steep fall in the costs of gene-editing toolkits has created a greater opportunity for hostile or rogue actors to experiment with the technology. “This convergence of low cost and high availability means that applications for gene editing – both positive and negative – could arise from people or states operating outside of the traditional scientific community and international norms,” the official said. “It is incumbent on Darpa to perform this research and develop technologies that can protect against accidental and intentional misuse.”
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is debating whether to impose a moratorium on the gene research next year and several southern countries fear a possible military application. UN diplomats confirmed that the new email release would worsen the “bad name” of gene drives in some circles. “Many countries [will] have concerns when this technology comes from Darpa, a US military science agency,” one said.
"The primary risk posed by gene drive technology is social," he says. "Unethical closed-door research, unwarranted fears, or unauthorized releases of gene drives will damage public trust in science and governance." He still thinks gene drives have potential to save threatened species and battle public health threats. But researchers will have to invent safer forms of the technology first. That's where the Darpa money comes in. Until very recently, gene drives have been largely theoretical—safe ones even more so. But with the new funds, scientists like Esvelt and Akbari are starting to put together the pieces to test them in real life. That starts with bugs that have a gene editor baked into their DNA from the moment of conception
Teams at the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical school are screening and compiling a suite of chemical off-switches to block gene editors like Crispr/Cas9 and Talens. At UC Berkeley, Jennifer Doudna’s group is hoping to find anti-Crispr proteins to inhibit unwanted gene-editing activity, which would help design resistance-proof gene drives. While the military’s involvement has some in the public concerned about weaponized, Crispr-ized superskeeters, Esvelt sees defense department support as the only way to advance gene drive technologies safely, at least for the time being. The Darpa program explicitly prevents the release of gene-drive organisms and requires participants to work under stringent biosafety conditions—hence Akbari’s six-door entrance and exit routine. Perhaps one day he’ll have the molecular tools to come and go without concern. But for now, they’re still the safest thing between his gene-drives and the world outside.
originally posted by: Metallicus
originally posted by: MagesticEsoteric
They are admitting they want to be able to destroy human populations genetically?
Why would you develop it if you didn't contemplate using it at some point?
originally posted by: RalagaNarHallas
we still use naturalnews as a source?
ghr.nlm.nih.gov...less end of the worldy take on the matter
What are genome editing and CRISPR-Cas9? Genome editing (also called gene editing) is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism's DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome. Several approaches to genome editing have been developed. A recent one is known as CRISPR-Cas9, which is short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has generated a lot of excitement in the scientific community because it is faster, cheaper, more accurate, and more efficient than other existing genome editing methods. CRISPR-Cas9 was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria. The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to "remember" the viruses (or closely related ones). If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses' DNA. The bacteria then use Cas9 or a similar enzyme to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus. The CRISPR-Cas9 system works similarly in the lab. Researchers create a small piece of RNA with a short"guide" sequence that attaches (binds) to a specific target sequence of DNA in a genome. The RNA also binds to the Cas9 enzyme. As in bacteria, the modified RNA is used to recognize the DNA sequence, and the Cas9 enzyme cuts the DNA at the targeted location. Although Cas9 is the enzyme that is used most often, other enzymes (for example Cpf1) can also be used. Once the DNA is cut, researchers use the cell's own DNA repair machinery to add or delete pieces of genetic material, or to make changes to the DNA by replacing an existing segment with a customized DNA sequence. Genome editing is of great interest in the prevention and treatment of human diseases. Currently, most research on genome editing is done to understand diseases using cells and animal models. Scientists are still working to determine whether this approach is safe and effective for use in people. It is being explored in research on a wide variety of diseases, including single-gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and sickle cell disease. It also holds promise for the treatment and prevention of more complex diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Ethical concerns arise when genome editing, using technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9, is used to alter human genomes. Most of the changes introduced with genome editing are limited to somatic cells, which are cells other than egg and sperm cells. These changes affect only certain tissues and are not passed from one generation to the next. However, changes made to genes in egg or sperm cells (germline cells) or in the genes of an embryo could be passed to future generations. Germline cell and embryo genome editing bring up a number of ethical challenges, including whether it would be permissible to use this technology to enhance normal human traits (such as height or intelligence). Based on concerns about ethics and safety, germline cell and embryo genome editing are currently illegal in many countries.
There are rumours the Soviets did similar tinkering with plague bacteria (Yersinia pestis); Francisella tularensis, the bacteria that causes tularemia; and Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaire’s disease. That's a problem, because there's evidence that the Soviet Union's bioweapons are still lurking in labs in Russia today.
In theory, facilities such as Compound 19 should have been shut down in 1975, after the international Biological Weapons Convention. But, as the Sverdlovsk accident shows, that wasn't the case. And there are rumours that the biowarfare research continued even after that.
"In fact, reports from Soviet defectors in the 1990s tell of a vast, highly funded program involving tens of thousands of researchers working on biological weapons to lob at America and other targets," writes Mole.
The Soviet Union had the most efficient, sophisticated, and powerful offensive BW program in the world. It developed a completely new class of weapons based on genetically modified agents. For example, during the 1980s, the Soviet Union developed antibiotic-resistant strains of plague, anthrax, tularemia, and glanders. We came closer and closer to developing so-called “absolute” biological weapons.
The 836 strain of anthrax, for example, was extremely virulent, stable in aerosol form, and persistent in the environment. The high virulence of this strain was based on several factors, including a thick protective capsule and an ability to produce large amounts of toxin. In 1985 I compared the 836 strain with strains of anthrax obtained from all over the world, and nothing was better.
What was Soviet military doctrine for the use of biological weapons?
Under Soviet military doctrine, biological weapons were divided into three main categories: strategic biological weapons, operational biological weapons, and strategic-operational biological weapons. Contagious agents such as smallpox and plague were intended for long-range, strategic attacks against the territories of the United States, Great Britain, and some other European countries, because nobody wanted to use these weapons close to our own troops. Smallpox and plague were developed for this purpose because of their high mortality rate, contagiousness, and ability to cause epidemics or even pandemics
In an effort to enhance the weapons-related properties of BW agents, Soviet scientists spent years working to create a viral “chimera,” which is an organism that contains genetic material from two or more other organisms. Other scientists worked to eliminate the “epitopes” on the surface of existing BW agents in order to make them unrecognizable to regular diagnostic techniques. By using such a modified agent, “the Soviets would have made it considerably more difficult for the attacked population to identify the causative pathogen of the resulting disease outbreak and begin timely treatment.”
A project codenamed Hunter (Okhotnik) sought to develop hybrids of bacteria and viruses such that use of an antibiotic to kill the bacteria would trigger release of the virus. “Unlike other national BW programs, which without exception used only classical or traditional applied microbiology techniques to weaponize agents, the post-1972 Soviet program had a futuristic aspect. By employing genetic manipulation and other molecular biology techniques, its scientists were able to breach barriers separating species….” The Soviet BW program appears to have taken advantage of the declassification in the 1970s of a large number of documents from the United States BW program. Thus, the design of the Soviet Gshch-304 BW bomblet was found to closely resemble that of the declassified US E-130R2 bomblet.
In 2001, the US Government moved to reclassify many documents on the US BW program, but “nothing could be done about recalling reports that had been distributed relatively freely for more than 35 years.” The quality of US intelligence about the Soviet BW program left much to be desired. “Intelligence about Soviet BW-related activities is relatively thin for the pre-1972 period; meager and often of dubious value during 1970-1979; and a little less meager and of better quality during 1980-1990.” After 1990, little has been declassified. “There is an unknown number of still-classified reports concerning the Soviet BW program produced by the CIA and perhaps by other agencies that we do not have,” the authors write.
The state of declassification is such that “we have been able to collect far more information” about the history of Soviet BW activities from interviews with former Soviet scientists and others than from declassified official records. In what the authors term “a horrendous mistake by the United States,” the US government undertook a covert deception and disinformation program aimed at the Soviet Union in the late 1960s which implied falsely that the US had a clandestine biological weapons program.
This unfortunate campaign may have reinforced an existing Soviet belief that the US had never terminated its own offensive BW program, a belief that lent impetus, if not legitimacy, to the Soviet BW program. Today, the situation with respect to BW in the former Soviet Union is “ambiguous and unsatisfactory,” Leitenberg and Zilinskas write. “There remains the possibility that Russia maintains portions of an offensive BW program in violation of the BWC.” Alternatively, “since we do not actually know what is and has been taking place within the three [Ministry of Defense BW] facilities since 1992, perhaps the situation is better than might be feared.”
Should DARPA be developing this tech?
But since you're scared to death China might achieve such tech with their fraction of a budget
A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025 , and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.
The Wuhan lab cost 300 million yuan (US$44 million)
But worries surround the Chinese lab, too. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. Tim Trevan, founder of CHROME Biosafety and Biosecurity Consulting in Damascus, Maryland, says that an open culture is important to keeping BSL-4 labs safe, and he questions how easy this will be in China, where society emphasizes hierarchy. “Diversity of viewpoint, flat structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important,” he says.
Last spring, a team at Sichuan University's West China Hospital used CRISPR for the first time on an adult with lung cancer. In the new trial, reported by The Wall Street Journal, altered genes were injected into a patient with a rare type of head and neck cancer, called nasopharyngeal carcinoma, at Nanjing University's Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital. The aim is to use CRISPR, which allows scientists to snip out pieces of DNA with greater ease than older gene-editing techniques, to suppress the activity of a gene preventing the patient's body from effectively fighting the disease. On Friday, the university announced that the first patient had received an infusion of altered cells, which are taken from their body and altered in a lab before being injected back in. In all, 20 patients with gastric cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and lymphoma are expected to participate in the trial. Its first phase is expected to conclude next year. The other Chinese trial, in which scientists modified immune cells to attack lung cancer in 11 patients, expects to release results this year, according to the Journal.
The first US human CRISPR trial is slated to begin this winter at the University of Pennsylvania, after receiving a regulatory stamp of approval to proceed last year. In that trial, scientists plan to genetically alter patients' immune cells to attack three different kinds of cancer. Clearly, a race to cure cancer with CRISPR is underfoot.
And right now at least, China seems to be winning.
Progress in gene editing was slow because developing a way to target each particular sequence is costly and time consuming. All that changed in 2012 when CRISPR genome editing was developed, making it cheap and easy to target almost any sequence. The first clinical trial involving CRISPR began at the West China Hospital in Chengdu in October 2016. Doctors removed immune cells from the blood of a person with lung cancer, used CRISPR to disable a gene called PD-1 and then returned the cells to the body.
The HPV trial, meanwhile, will break new ground. Instead of editing cells outside the body, a gel containing DNA coding for the CRISPR machinery will be applied to the cervix. The CRISPR machinery should leave the DNA of normal cells untouched, but in cells infected by HPV, it should destroy the viral genes, preventing them from turning cancerous.
“Targeting HPVs seems a sensible approach if they can deliver the genome-editing components to sufficient numbers of cells,” says Robin Lovell-Badge of the Crick Institute in the UK.
“It is tricky to do these experiments in animals as they are not infectable by HPV,” says Bryan Cullen of Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, whose group also hopes to use gene editing to get rid of HPV.
If these trials are successful, it could benefit millions of people. Vaccination against HPV is now possible, but there is no way to get rid of the virus in people who have it already. It can cause mouth, throat and anal cancers in both sexes, as well as being the main cause of cervical cancer.
While the HPV trial looks set to be the first to use CRISPR to edit cells inside the body, it may not be the first ever such use of genome editing. Three trials getting underway in the US will use another genome editing method known as zinc finger nucleases to add genes to liver cells to try to treat haemophilia B, and Hurler and Hunter syndromes.