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IstominFan
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19 Jul 2018, 9:10 am

The acronym, CRISPR, alone sounds awful, as if a person is being thrown into a crisper and incinerated, which sounds almost literally true.



fluffysaurus
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21 Jul 2018, 3:55 pm

Mice with ASD--symptoms?

For ASD--symptoms read unsocial. Bearing in mind how difficult it is for an adult with a full history of communication and social interaction difficulties and misunderstandings to give of getting an ASD diagnosis, how the f**k are they diagnosing mice? They aren't they are just translating ASD as unsocial.



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28 Jul 2018, 4:19 pm

Lets use CRISPR to cure autism. And by that I mean give autism to everyone. Then it's not a disorder by definition and a whole bunch of stupidity comes to an end as well.



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28 Jul 2018, 5:48 pm

Am I the only person here who wants a cure? I'd love to be neurotypical for once so I could fit into society and function like a normal human being.


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28 Jul 2018, 8:52 pm

Why are so many against this? I think some people that forget that there are low-functioning individuals who would benefit from a treatment like this. Some people with autism can’t talk, can’t go to school, and are constantly overwhelmed by the world around them. If therapy and medications are okay, then why not genetic editing? Just because the treatment exists, doesn’t mean every autistic person would be required to get it or even need to get it. Different treatments work for different people.



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28 Jul 2018, 9:00 pm

Here's volunteering as a guinea pig. I'm way more interested in this than medication.


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jimmy m
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28 Jul 2018, 11:41 pm

From what I read: For absolute certain, genetics plays a role in autism. As many as 1,000 genes may be involved. According to a paper in the Annual Review of Public Health, the genetic contribution to autism ranges from 50% to 95%. The tricky thing, however, is that each gene likely plays only a minimal role. A small tweak here, another small tweak there. We will never discover "the autism gene," which makes research incredibly difficult.

With that in mind, I suspect using CRISPR to correct autism seems radically optimistic, if they cannot even identify the genes involved.

I think one of the article on CRISPR–Cas9 editing in vivo was flawed.
CRISPR Science Prevails; Critics Proven 'Off-Target'

Also autistic brains are different than NT brains. They are wired differently. Therefore I would not expect any gene editing program to alter any existing individual's brain.



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29 Jul 2018, 2:45 am

CRISPR can edit multiple genes.

I am for a volentary cure for those who want it. Thing is I do not expect any potential autism cure CRISPR or otherwise to be truly voluntary. You probably will not be legally required to take it but people who do not take it will be viewed at best as really stupid at worst as having a factitious disorder. Employees won’t hire refusnicks, insurance companies won’t cover them or charge exorbitant rates. All supports would be withdrawn. The thinking will be there is no need to spend money on those who want to have a “disease”. Autism Rights movement?, you need autistics for that and there will be far fewer autistics because they will have been cured. Adult refusenicks will likely understand the negative consequences so freedom of choice will probably be allowed. Children won’t have a choice, that will up to the parents or guardian and even if they are doubtful about the cure they will be under tremendous peer pressure to have their kids take it.


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29 Jul 2018, 1:48 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
CRISPR can edit multiple genes.

I am for a volentary cure for those who want it. Thing is I do not expect any potential autism cure CRISPR or otherwise to be truly voluntary. You probably will not be legally required to take it but people who do not take it will be viewed at best as really stupid at worst as having a factitious disorder. Employees won’t hire refusnicks, insurance companies won’t cover them or charge exorbitant rates. All supports would be withdrawn. The thinking will be there is no need to spend money on those who want to have a “disease”. Autism Rights movement?, you need autistics for that and there will be far fewer autistics because they will have been cured. Adult refusenicks will likely understand the negative consequences so freedom of choice will probably be allowed. Children won’t have a choice, that will up to the parents or guardian and even if they are doubtful about the cure they will be under tremendous peer pressure to have their kids take it.

I agree with this. I believe that even if a cure wouldn't be legally forced upon autistic people, they would still be pressured to take it anyways through increased stigma, scrutiny, and discrimination.

I might as well hide my autism diagnosis forever if curing all autistic people, no matter what functioning labels they have been given, is what people truly want...


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ASPartOfMe
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25 Apr 2019, 3:22 am

Injecting CRISPR into fetal brain may correct autism mutations

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Researchers are edging closer to a therapy for Angelman syndrome that involves injecting molecules that can edit genes into the fetal brain. They have already succeeded in mice and say the approach could eventually treat people with the syndrome.

The work is of high interest because a similar strategy could also work for other genetic conditions linked to autism.

But the prospect of injecting molecules into fetal brains poses ethical questions, experts caution.

People with Angelman syndrome have severe developmental delays, seizures, impaired speech and, often, autism. They have a missing or mutated copy of a gene called UBE3A on the copy of chromosome 15 they inherit from their mother. The paternal copy is generally silent, so they have virtually no activity of the protein in neurons, where it is needed to modulate signals between neurons.

Other teams have tried to introduce a healthy copy of the gene or to unsilence the paternal copy in mice. But these strategies are ultimately impractical because they involve drugs with harsh side effects or giving children injections every few months.

In the new research, presented at a conference in February, Mark Zylka’s team injected the gene-editing enzyme CRISPR-CAS9 into the brains of embryonic mice. The method unsilenced the paternal copy of UBE3A in the mice. The researchers also rescued UBE3A expression in cultured human neurons, according to the unpublished findings.

Research suggests that the syndrome’s traits can be avoided if UBE3A is turned on before birth1. The work underscores the importance of intervening early in development.

“The earlier you put the genes back and try to fix the problem, the better the therapeutic benefit will be,” says Zylka, director of the Neuroscience Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “There’s a lot of interest in trying to break down this barrier to being able to treat prenatally.” The treatment may be tried in people within three to four years, Zylka says.

Experts caution that the work must be repeated in mice before it can be tested in people — and that scientists will first need to resolve the ethical concerns.

Scientists should move carefully because this is evolving research, others say.

“The idea that you could treat a fetus with [an enzyme] is just a very uncharted area, and there could contain a lot of risks,” says David Segal, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the research. “We need to move with caution.”

The team made an incision in pregnant mice and used a microscope to look into the near-transparent brains of the embryos. They used glass needles to inject a modified virus carrying a version of CRISPR-CAS9 into 10 embryonic brains lacking UBE3A, about three days before birth. They attached the enzyme to an RNA ‘guide’ that directs it to bind near the UBE3A gene.

The enzyme blocks a strand of noncoding RNA that typically prevents the paternal copy of the gene from being expressed. It is unclear whether it does so by snipping that section of DNA or by simply sticking to the DNA and mucking up the works.

Regardless, UBE3A is expressed in about half the neurons in the mice’s cerebral cortex at 5 months of age, compared with none at all in controls.

Some people have a rare, mild form of Angelman in which UBE3A expression is at about 10 percent of the usual levels2. So restoring expression to 50 percent may be enough to make a difference for people with the syndrome, Zylka says. “We think that’s going to push us over the goal line.”

The researchers have not yet tested whether the therapy alters the mice’s behavior. Nor have they screened the mice for unintentional mutations elsewhere in the genome. (Zylka says the results are likely to be published later this year and will include behavioral data.)

The chances of rogue mutations are high with viral delivery of CRISPR-CAS9, says Hye Young Lee, assistant professor of neuroscience at University of Texas at San Antonio, who was not involved in the research. Nanoparticles — miniscule packaging molecules that break down after delivering the enzyme — are less likely to introduce such mutations and may be safer, she says.

Zylka says they may also be able to avoid editing the genome entirely. His team delivered a disabled version of the enzyme to cultured human neurons missing UBE3A, and he says this seemed to be just as effective at restoring UBE3A expression as the functional form.

Zylka’s team plans to try this approach in mice. They also would like to explore dialing up UBE3A expression in specific brain regions, which is easier to do than transfusing molecules across the whole brain.


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26 Apr 2019, 7:44 am

All of this talk about the stigmatization of Autism, a potential cure, and all of the ethical dilemmas that arise from it can't help but remind me of the basic plot for X-Men III: The Last Stand. People frequently associate the mutant community in the movies as a stand in for homosexuals and, while I feel like that definitely has merit, I also think that it could just as easily represent the autistic community as well as other groups that are viewed by outsiders as "disabled".



cubedemon6073
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26 Apr 2019, 7:54 am

What if I wish to be cured? Do I get a choice in this whole eugenics is evil debate?



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27 Apr 2019, 4:28 am

Child of the Universe wrote:
Spectral Aurtist wrote:
I used CRISPR to make myself part octopus. No joke. Doesn't seem to have done anything interesting though.

:|

AND YES....Editing autism OUT of genetics IS Eugenics. 100% no argument. and it's fine really so long as it is NEVER enforced...because in that SINGLE instant...it's CRAZY dark fascism.

Almost nothing more evil than stripping a person of their right to have their own genetics and to pass them on for better or for worse. that can't ever be allowed to happen and I am totally willing to admit I am terrified of it.


Part octopus? Wow! How did you do that? I didn't know CRISPR could be used on full-grown humans.

On the second point, I don't think that some people will have a choice. With all the hateful rhetoric spread about autism, parents might decide to edit out autism genes in their children. So even though it isn't technically "enforced," it still will happen. Luckily, it hasn't gotten too far yet, and it is still illegal to use CRISPR for any reason on people.


It can't. Gene line therapy is a "holy grail" of biomedical technology, and would be a VERY big deal if real. Poster is either trolling or nothing interesting happened from injecting themselves, because well nothing happened.


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27 Apr 2019, 4:37 am

Kenya wrote:
All of this talk about the stigmatization of Autism, a potential cure, and all of the ethical dilemmas that arise from it can't help but remind me of the basic plot for X-Men III: The Last Stand. People frequently associate the mutant community in the movies as a stand in for homosexuals and, while I feel like that definitely has merit, I also think that it could just as easily represent the autistic community as well as other groups that are viewed by outsiders as "disabled".


Tolkien had a theory of applicability, that in literature is was much better for the reader to apply a story to whatever meaning they ascribed it, than for an author to restrict the the reader by having something directly stand for something.

X-men the last stand works very well with the autism community in my opinion. Some really embraced being mutants, others (like Rogue) viewed it as a curse. Some could appear human and pass as normal and some as Beast put it "shed on the carpet."


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29 Apr 2019, 4:12 pm

If we ever develop an autism 'cure' that can be applied to people already born, then we are way beyond worrying about whether or not people will be forced or pressured to become NT. The ability to rewire brains will allow us to rewrite peoples personalities, making them more or less open to our favoured ideology. We will likely be able to change aspects considered by many to be important to identity, so one day no-one is LGBT+, the next day everyone is. Parents can make sure their boys behave as boys should and their girls as girls should - until someone else uses the rewrite on them. Absolute chaos. Let the Conversion Wars begin!

Ahem. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) are not so easily untangled. But it would probably be a lot easier to target the de novo mutations which lead to severe autism. The child would still be an autist, but a more functional one.

I also remember reading that there is overlap between the PRS for autism and the PRS for IQ. Parents will have to make a choice - reduce the risk of having an autistic child, or increase their IQ?


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