It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Gene altered super humans

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 10:16 AM
I think it would be cool if someone were to be able to geneticly alter a embreo so it could more of its brain and have a hyper active imuin system.

I didn't put this under medical isues because its not a issue.

I was just wondering if anyone know anything about this or if it has already happened.

posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 10:21 AM
I don't believe a 'hyper immune system' would be a good thing.

posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 10:34 AM
Such experiments certainly do occur - and date back to the Nazi regime, at least. Now of course, scientists play with genes directly to cause new and "better" mutations.

Which has turned out to be a far greater problem than we were told it would be.

The problem: Genetic tinkering affects proteins, and causes them to misfold. Misfolded proteins have the ability to become infectious. Then they go places and do things no one considered possible. Like cause new diseases. OOOps.

FYI - The most well-known disease caused by a misfolded infectious protein (a prion) is Mad Cow disease - but now, we suddenly have legions of prion-related diseases spreading around the world.

Wonder why?

"Silent" mutations are not always silent

A mutation in a human gene that does not change the resulting amino acid can nevertheless change a protein's function, according to an online report from Science. The research marks the first time that the phenomenon has been confirmed in mammals. ..."The habit we all have of disregarding nucleotide changes that don't change protein sequence may not be a good one," coauthor Michael Gottesman at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., told The Scientist. "This may be a generalizable phenomenon that may lead to changes in function we haven't been thinking about." ...The idea that synonymous mutations might lead to differently folded proteins was proposed by Ian Purvis at the University of Glasgow and his colleagues and, independently, by Anton Komar, now at Cleveland State University in Ohio.

"Many cases of silent SNPs and their possible link to diseases should be reexamined," Komar, who did not participate in this study, told The Scientist. "Also, one should be quite careful in constructing artificial genes for the purposes of gene therapy, for example, and pay careful attention to the choice of synonymous codons."

Gottesman and his colleagues speculate that synonymous mutations represent rare codons for which translation machinery is not optimized. The resulting interruption of the rate at which mRNAs are translated could affect how a protein is folded, they said. Recent experiments in prokaryotes suggest codon usage is not random. ...Sadee suggested experiments that measure translation rates in vitro might help. He added that recent work of his own suggests that C3435T might affect mRNA folding, which in turn might affect mRNA translation rate and subsequent protein folding.

The evidence also suggests that misfolded proteins created by genetic tinkering also can infect infectious organisms, and help create "super-bugs."

Ie., see The Perfect Microbial Storm

posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 08:49 PM
Cool yes, but a disaster for the sports-world. Ethics are involved too. But I believe the US government are seeking them as we speak..

It's not easy to do though, lots of small parameters to consider.

posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 09:03 PM
Sports will adapt. The purists will be put off, but just think of the spectacle!?!

The Ethical issues are important, but in a different way then most expect. Like for instance, who has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my own body? Post-natal modifications done with the consent of the "age of consent" individual should be a basic right.

I do believe that measures should be in place to prevent additional eugenics atrocities, though even there where is the line that has to be drawn?

Will we allow parents to start mixing and matching "desirable" traits? Or will we only allow that kind of pre-natal tinkering for serious life threatening disorders?

Some on here would prefer an all out ban, but that in itself poses problems and risks. How to enforce such a ban without slipping into a worldwide dictatorship is one concern, another concern is how dangerous and destructive will the black market that will inevitably spring up be?

It's inevitable that this technology will become widespread and ubiquitous IMO. Let's hope the incoming Cyborg/Fyborg, Modified Human, Purist Human, AI, and "Uplifted Animal" factions can all balance each other out.

[edit on 23-12-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 07:06 PM
I think the premise here is that our brains, immune systems, and other systems may be genetically geared down and not realizing their full potential. I'm not sure that's necessarily accurate.

Before we can attempt such modifications, we'll have to start figuring out which genes are linked to people with greater functions and why.

It will probably start with gene therapy experiments on smaller animals- analyze genetic differences among related mice or other subjects and look for variables that might explain one being "smarter" than another, then attempt gene therapy to see if you can get the "dumb" one to become a better learner, etc.

We are probably a long way from custom DNA. I think we'll be limited for some time to hacking up and trying to manipulate naturally produced DNA. The most likely near-term experiment is probably the gattaca model- selecting the most desireable random combinations from reproductive fluids. There are of course moral questions about this. It's the ultimate in trying to live through your children if you ask me, and it could backfire.

What happens if we put all this effort into helping a couple selectively reproduce a the smartest possible offspring because they want to be the parents of the next einstein, and the kid applies his intelligence to analyzing football defenses and becomes the greatest NFL quarterback of all time instead.

Can we trust ourselves to respect something that we deliberately created for a purpose? It will, afterall, be a natural born human with a will and inalienable rights, yet we will have created it for a purpose not its own. I do not believe that people in general, especially the organizations possessing the resources for such an endeavor (namely governments) can be trusted to exercise humility in such a situation.

I fail to see the moral difference between selectively reproducing traits for a purpose and then enforcing the exercise of those traits and the less technological prospect of simply breeding humans like cattle and enslaving the offspring.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 09:37 PM
I see a HUGE grey area here.

Lets start with basic modifications of an already living organism.
Say I ingest creatin. creatin is used to prolong the effective use of your slow twitch muscles, allowing you to excercise for longer, run longer, basically do physical things better. It's not illegal to use in the olympics, as it's not a drug... its a protein mix.

Now move to things done at birth.
Should a mother chose to eat alot of vitamin C during pregnancy... that will in turn have an immediate affect on the fetus. Or maybe she herself ingests creatin to ensure excess fuel can get to the babies musles. None of this is illegal, and nobody has disputed any of this as un-ethical... but it happens.

So, at what point between chemical development and direct DNA intervention does it become wrong?

For immune systems, we have flu shots, vaccinations for children. Is that wrong?

For bones, we have stainless steel braces. My upper jaw in fact is completley supported by stainless steel because of an accident. My front row of teeth are completley fake and metallically fused into that plate. That may give me an advantage in that I'll never have a problem eating... but is it wrong?

How young would I have to be when I had that operation done to make it wrong?

I have nothing wrong with genetic modification. Every choice you make in what you eat affects how your offspring are going to turn out. Having a little control over it in the end just makes me feel safer. At least that way, I can know that the ice tea I had in barbados isnt going to screw up the chemical structure of the one sperm that happens to create my first child.
With genetic control I can ensure my child is healthy, and can compete with the rest of the world alot better than most of the others.

I see genetic modification as the future in evolution for our species. Natural evolution has reached a dead end for our race, we have to do the rest ourselves.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 10:11 PM
I think the moral difference comes into play when we define the aim too narrowly and remove the investment of effort.

Proper nutrition seeking to give your kid the best possible start is just taking care, and it requires an effort.

When you begin manipulating genetic traits for very specific agendas, you run into a question of infringing a person's natural chance to be.

When you can stack the deck without effort, you lose respect for the game. Take my earlier example- going out of your way to engineer a genius who may not be interested in applying that genius the way you intended him to use it. There is an attitude that you gave it to them and that they should fulfill the purpose.

My brother is a great example really. Sharp as I am, I think he's probably smarter. He doesn't want to be an academic though. He's a carpenter and he likes it. Suppose he had been an engineered child though? Suppose that our parents had precluded that- engineered him without the physical stature to make it in the trade that attracted him?

I grant that it's a philosophical matter without necessarily any answer. Would he still be him anymore than I would be me if I had his genes, and would the trade have still attracted him? Maybe not, I don't know. What I do know is that I don't trust humans. We're goofy, half-evolved, backwards beings who have a long history of inventing fire before we know better than to stick our hand in it, and I'm not sure that the generation we would design could measure up to the average results that we could hope for just on sheer probability.

top topics


log in