• Re-Writing The Human Genome And Implanting It Into A Living Cell Proposed. Prospect Of A Human With Laboratory-Determined Characteristics Is On The Biological Drawing Board

    Posted May 17, 2016: by Bill Sardi

    Most of the people on planet earth live on less than $4 a day.  Many are illiterate.  In their struggle to survive, they cannot even fathom what is going on in the elitist genetic laboratories around the world where the quest to develop a genetically perfect human is now on the drawing board.

    Yes, a synthetic human if you will.  Geneticists have already read the human genome but now they want to re-write it.  That is, synthetic genetic information, the entire library of genes called the human genome, would be implanted inside a living cell in the first step toward creating a human being without a biological father or mother.

    Now the presumption is humans were created via random selection of genetically determined traits over many millions of years and that this process could be bested by an effort to design a human rather than leave it to evolutionary chance.  In other words, man would take over evolution and control it.

    Inexplicably, Darwinian evolution posits slow changes over many millions of years produced by gene mutations whereas what geneticists have in mind would be to eliminate those mutations.

    Will geneticists take humanity into a brave new world that either becomes a waste of time and money, produces a number of Frankensteins before it can produce an Einstein, or just maybe create a super human?

    For the most part, the human genome is almost identical from one person to another.  If the sequences of nucleotides, (adenine, guanine, thymine, cytosine), those steps on the DNA ladder represented by the letters A, G, T, C, are written down on paper they would comprise about 172 one-thousand-page volumes.  In a TED talk scientist Riccardo Sabatini says 171.5 of those books would be identical to any other human.

    It appears geneticists would have already proceeded to the doorstep of synthetic human creation if it weren’t such a challenge to string together the 3 billion units of the human genome.  Biologists have already been able to string 1 million genetic units in a bacterium, so they are a long way from replacing the entire human genome and implanting it in a living cell.

    This proposed project becomes like Mt. Everest.  Asked why venturesome people climb the world’s highest mountain at great risk, the answer is, “because it’s there.”  Geneticists are going to do this, maybe for no good reason.

    It is interesting to read how biotechnology writers described with certainty this very preliminary development.

    An article in Tech Times said: “Those people who worry about the development of this technology have a long time to wait before their fears may be realized, but that day is coming.”

    Another report posted at Inquisitr said: Scientists study creating synthetic chromosomes- would make births without parents possible… Welcome to the future.

    Yet another report published at World Tech Today said: “Scientists are looking at a way to fabricate human chromosomes, making it possibly to synthetically create a human being… and the possibilities for success are looking fantastic, and may be only a decade away by best estimates.”

    Bruno Bowden, angel investor quoted in Newsweek, wanted this known: with genetic engineering we “will be curing disease and changing people’s lives.”

    Well, not exactly.  What is Mr. Bowden proposing?  We track down all the carriers of gene mutations that predispose to a single-gene mutation disease like cystic fibrosis and implant a new genome in vitro so the next generation cannot possibly develop the disease?

    The story line given out by the press is that maybe entire diseases will be eliminated, but genetically inherited disease only represents ~2% of all maladies suffered by humans.

    Of course, the geneticists who met secretly to discuss this back peddled to say their proposed research project is meant to be applied to the re-design of various microbes, maybe even plants and possibly animals.  But that smokescreen was quickly seen through – they are talking about making Cyclops – three eyes might be better than two, right?

    Existing gene editing technology

    A gene editing technology called CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) already exists.  This technology alone may lead to designer babies.  [Gizmodo]  CRISPR’s first human trial, an attempt to cure a form of genetic blindness known as Leber’s hereditary dystrophy by removal of damaged cells, repairing their genetic error and re-instilling them, will begin soon.  [Technology Review]  So far, CRISPR technology is limited to the most accessible organs and tissues (eyes, blood, liver, eye), is not applicable to diseases that have no genetic basis and are multifactorial.

    Most practical application of CRISPR

    What humanity ought to be thinking about is how to re-insert a working copy of the gulonolactone oxidase enzyme gene that was damaged in humans many generations ago, resulting in a species that does not synthesize its own ascorbate (vitamin C) in the liver as other mammals do.

    Biochemist Irwin Stone described humans as a genetically flawed species (homo sapiens ascorbicus) in his landmark paper written in 1979. [Medical Hypotheses]

    Sequences for re-insertion of the gulonolactone oxidase gene have been described by CRISPR technologists. [Genscript]  Re-insertion of a working copy of this gene have already been demonstrated in a lab dish. [Human Gene Therapy]  The idea of utilizing CRISPR technology to re-insert a working copy of the gulonolactone oxidase gene in humans is at least in public discussion. [Science Translational Medicine]

    Of course, to make up for this genetic flaw in the entire human species, a working copy of the gene would need to be inserted into embryos of female offspring whose own babies would produce offspring with the corrected gene.  The primary benefit would be in the second generation.

    Replacement of a working copy of this gene would not just eradicate scurvy.  It is known that mammals that internally produce vitamin C live 8-12 times beyond their age of physical maturation.  Non-ascorbic humans live 3-5 times beyond their age of maturity (around age 18).  Restoration of a working copy of the gene that produces the enzyme to synthesize vitamin C might prolong human life to the point where 144-240-year lifespans would be common.   This may serve as an explanation as to why the Biblical patriarchs, who lived prior to that gene mutation, lived so long.

    Cross species genome transfer

    Primate monkeys DNA is said to be 99% identical to that of humans. [Scientific American]  But the ENCODE project disproved that.  When so-called “junk” DNA is included, DNA from humans and apes are vastly different.  [Science News; Darwin Conspiracy]

    Regardless, some evolutionary biologist is going to be tempted to insert an entire human genome in vitro into an ape egg or sperm.  Then what: a new species called syntha sapiens?

    What remains unsaid?

    What goes unsaid is that genes are not totally static.  Oh the arrangement of the letters of genetic code are static, but they can be overridden by the dynamic production of proteins, a process called epigenetics that is environmentally controlled.

    Environmental factors (example: solar radiation), toxins and nutrients provoke genes to produce proteins (gene expression) or not produce proteins (gene silencing).

    I have been closely involved in an epigenetic-altering nutraceutical for the past 10 years that is posed as a molecular mimic of a calorie-restricted diet that doubles the lifespan and healthspan of laboratory animals.  [Experimental Gerontology] During the time this nutraceutical has been marketed remarkable results have been observed and reported, such as:

    • Three young girls with inherited Leber’s hereditary retinal dystrophy, a progressive blinding eye disease, have experienced a documented reversal of their condition with measured visual improvement.  While this may be considered an anecdotal report, the odds of this occurring by chance in three siblings would be impossibly small.  Leber’s hereditary retinal dystrophy is the eye disease where CRISPR gene editing technology will first be applied.
    • An artist with life-long severe dyslexia experienced dramatic sudden remission of all symptoms.
    • Number subjects with inherited color vision report their color blindness vanished.

    Epigenetics is the overlooked elephant in the room that evolutionary geneticists obviously don’t want to talk about.

    Created or evolved?

    Of course, for those who posit a creator, the very idea of this synthetic genome project is anathema.  What God has created is not good enough?

    Scientist Riccardo Sabatini throws his bias into the discussion: “We may look back in horror that we allowed our children to be born of the random processes that nature provides,” he says.

    A very basic question in human existence is “who are you?”  This question can only be answered by ancestry.  A person may attempt to answer that question by saying they are a plumber or a teacher, but that is what they do for a living.  It doesn’t specifically answer the question.  The only possible answer is: “I am my mother’s or father’s son or daughter.”  Or ultimately, positing a creator, “I am a child of God.”

    The Jews meticulously recorded their family lines of inheritance to be able to answer that question.  [I Chronicles 1:1-54] They knew who they were.  For example, Jesus was from the family of David and his Father was God.  It is the Jews who gave the world the concept of a monotheistic God.  Just how would humans answer that question if they originated from a lab experiment?

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