Should we be experimenting with our genetic code?

Discuss the November 2016 Book of the Month, Roan: The Tales Of Conor Archer by E. R. Barr.
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Bandersnatch
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Re: Should we be experimenting with our genetic code?

Post by Bandersnatch » 03 Jan 2017, 10:24

It's a bit of a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, we could solve a lot of problems with it, defeat illnesses, prevent them, etc.. but on the other hand, how far should we go? It could get very dangerous very easily used for the wrong purposes.
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Post by cvega93 » 03 Jan 2017, 12:57

This is the kind of topic that will be debated for centuries, but we will never come to an actual decision.
Experimenting with genetic codes could have both positive and negative impacts on human life as we know it now.
If I had the means of experimenting, including the rights/experience for it, I would be all for experimenting.
I don't think that experimenting on humans should be done, unless they agree too it beforehand and understand the risks their taking, but virtually (until it's come to a stage that a physical experiment could be done with a higher positivity rate) I would agree to in a heart beat.

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Post by James Craft » 03 Jan 2017, 20:14

I agree that mapping is useful, but at what point do we demean our very existence by 'improving' it? The thing is, for a genetically engineered child, they are still 'them' so does the fact that they were designed negate their existence?
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 03 Jan 2017, 22:49

I agree that the debate will continue for years to come. The uses for the CRISPR/Cas9 system are broad and the potential benefits include cures or treatments to many medical conditions. Fixing mistakes in the genome so that normal gene products and proteins can be produced has drastic benefit since these molecules do the work of life. Treating a lethal genetic disorder such as Tay Sachs would be phenomenal. These gene editing procedures would be carried out in somatic or body cells. The problems come when the genetic manipulation is applied to our germ line cells (sperm and egg) potentially altering our children. Germ line gene editing is currently illegal in most countries but that may change. Education is key.

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Post by Donnavila Marie01 » 04 Jan 2017, 01:18

I am not a religious person but I still don't buy the idea of experimenting and remapping our genetic code. If we experiment for medical purposes, maybe I could still be open to it, but changing nature is not a good idea. This may even open another door of discrimination.
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Post by Erik » 04 Jan 2017, 01:37

I have disabilities that are caused by errors in the genome. If there was a way for those errors to be repaired now, I think I would take it. As is, I deal with chronic pain, severe health problems, limits to my mobility, and isolation due to my genetic differences and the way people react to them. It is difficult to live with these impositions. If genetic-based therapies could help me, I would go for it.

When people seek to restrict genetic experimentation due to religious belief, I get indignant. Science should never be held back by mythology.

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Post by Bandersnatch » 04 Jan 2017, 13:37

Erik wrote:I have disabilities that are caused by errors in the genome. If there was a way for those errors to be repaired now, I think I would take it. As is, I deal with chronic pain, severe health problems, limits to my mobility, and isolation due to my genetic differences and the way people react to them. It is difficult to live with these impositions. If genetic-based therapies could help me, I would go for it.

When people seek to restrict genetic experimentation due to religious belief, I get indignant. Science should never be held back by mythology.
That's awful, I'm sorry. I kind of agree with you there. In some cases (like yours) it could really benefit people.
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Post by ChillAndRead » 05 Jan 2017, 05:38

I don't think there is a straightforward answer to this one..

Experimenting is how our science evolved for the better and the worse. I think what we need to keep in mind is that we can do whatever we want, go beyond the limits, by only keeping in mind the greater good. Many times though, greater good can be assumed to be half the population extinction so the rest of it can feed, but that is another book! :wink:
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Post by Lady Countryrose » 08 Jan 2017, 21:29

The idea of experimenting with genetic code is the foundation of a good Science Fiction/Fantasy book but the idea to really do it. Well I find that really dangerous. I mean, not everyone is a scientist to understand what DNA stran could do. Other than turning your eye color. Even your hair. I have seen movies to where the DNA could be changed to where you have magic, become a hybrid of some creature. Or even unlock the origins of the Univerce but is it wise. Hopefully, I hope we aren't able to do it. Other than in WWII, there was a Russian scientist who wanted to see if we chould mate with monkies. Which ended badly for the guy because none worked.

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Post by David Nash » 09 Jan 2017, 08:52

The mechanisms for altering our DNA to remove dangerous diseases is already available. And, unfortunately, the ability to do this kind of work is not limited to high-tech nations. Once the doors open to cure disease they will be pushed hard by those trying to find an edge in life. Improved strength, endurance, balance, better memory, improved reasoning. We will be looking for it all. Trying to hold back the tide of genetic experiments that are coming is futile. It is likely we will begin seeing the results within a few years, a decade at most. The real question is, are we going to be in front of the curve so we can control it, or are we going to be behind the curve and trying to fight the fallout.

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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 09 Jan 2017, 09:45

David Nash wrote:The mechanisms for altering our DNA to remove dangerous diseases is already available. And, unfortunately, the ability to do this kind of work is not limited to high-tech nations. Once the doors open to cure disease they will be pushed hard by those trying to find an edge in life. Improved strength, endurance, balance, better memory, improved reasoning. We will be looking for it all. Trying to hold back the tide of genetic experiments that are coming is futile. It is likely we will begin seeing the results within a few years, a decade at most. The real question is, are we going to be in front of the curve so we can control it, or are we going to be behind the curve and trying to fight the fallout.
David, thank you for realizing that this is already ongoing. I have posted several previous posts about the CRISPR/Cas9 system of gene editing that is being researched currently. Few people who post show true knowledge of what is going on in the scientific community. An international summit of officials, bioethicists and scientists from throughout the world met in 2015 to discuss the social, moral, and ethical implications of this technology. Many scientists had already called for a moratorium halting any germ line tinkering since it could change the path of human evolution. We have to hope that the individuals in the trenches will do what is right, but an informed citizenry is needed to hold them accountable.

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Post by GKCfan » 12 Jan 2017, 05:38

When we talk about changing our genetic code, I think of science fiction I've read or seen where the alterations always have terrible side effects. It makes me wonder if my opinions are shaped by fiction rather than fact.

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Post by ZenaLei7 » 14 Jan 2017, 17:35

I believe that we should not be altering our genetic code because it is unethical and dangerous. Humans should just leave it to God to design our genetics.
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Post by shibaburt » 15 Jan 2017, 04:26

I think that it is okay to look at our DNA, and figure out more about it. When it comes to experimenting or altering it, then no I don't think that is a good idea. It could lead to so many complications. I am taking a genetics class right now, and we just got done learning about the genetic code. We found out that by changing it, can cause mutations. Not all mutations are good, and I wouldn't even want to risk trying to find a good mutation. It could become like the movie "Splice," where they mutated it with different animals and human dna, and it turned into a girl with a tail. She was able to change her ways by turning into a boy.

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Post by mewsmash » 16 Jan 2017, 10:01

I believe experimenting with the genetic code leads to nothing but trouble. Humans are built this way for a reason, whether you believe it's because of a deity or because of evolution. I believe we should learn the disadvantages and advantages of our own species before we start mixing and matching DNA.
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