DailyDirt: Life As We Know It…
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
All the biology we study today is based on life that relies on DNA (and RNA) to propagate. The ability to control DNA sequences will have a profound effect on our environment and society. We can already create synthetic lifeforms, but are we responsible enough to play with biotechnological fire?
- Editing DNA precisely could change a lot of things. The Crispr-Cas9 technique for editing genes isn’t perfect, so it could do a lot of good — or a lot of damage. It can be applied to people or bacteria or just about any living thing we know about, and we’ll have to figure out whether our edits are improvements or bioweapons. [url]
- GMO animals might be cruelty free — if we can engineer farm animals to not feel pain? We’re not quite up to speed with Douglas Adams yet, but hornless Holsteins and other mutants might be ready for the dinner table soon. [url]
- Gene editing is one biotech tool, and gene activation is another — and they’re both related. Steering the epigenome and turning certain genes on or off could create gene therapies that cure disease or increase longevity…. [url]
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Filed Under: biology, biotech, crispr, dna, douglas adams, epigenome, gene activation, gene editing, gene therapies, gmo, hornless holsteins, rna, synthetic lifeforms
Comments on “DailyDirt: Life As We Know It…”
An animal which cannot not feel pain is an animal might well badly injure itself without realising it.
Pain is the mechanism through which animals–including us!–realise that we are being damaged and take steps to prevent it. Imagine, for example, if you put your own hand into a flame but did not realise the consequences because you did not feel the pain which comes from being burnt.
Re: Bad Idea!
We can still eat badly injured animals. As it is, I believe we tend to injure them badly in preparation.
Re: Re: Bad Idea!
No, we slaughter them in preparation. But you want the animal to be in good health before that point, for a variety of reasons that should be intuitively obvious.
Re: Bad Idea!
“Imagine, for example, if you put your own hand into a flame but did not realise the consequences because you did not feel the pain which comes from being burnt.”
So I can become The Human Torch? Cool, gene splicing is awesome!