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Adamantium
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17 Dec 2015, 9:58 am

I think your concern about the impulse toward eugenics is well founded, but you keep talking about CRISPR as if it was a project or enterprise of some kind. That is a categorical error. You can no more talk about CRISPR as a controllable project than you can talk about DNA as a controllable project.

CRISPR is a part of the natural world that people discovered. Using its mechanism, people can split and splice DNA with great precision, permitting all manner of DNA editing that was previously impossible--or so difficult as to be impracticable. It isn't something people invented and it is a functioning part of the natural world regardless of how people use their discovery of it.

The claims in the article are BS of the kind that often emerge in science writing from oversimplification. CRISPR would allow people to edit a person's DNA and alter the codons that result in particular phenotypes only if the exact relationship between codons and phenotype was rigorously understood.

Since such understanding is not even remotely close for autism, it is completely impossible to use CRISPR based editing to do alter autistic phenotypes at this time. In the future, all sorts of things will be possible, but in the future the sun will expand into a red giant and sterilize the earth. The future is a big place.

The article makes stupid, grandiose claims. CRISPR is not alarming in the same way that calculus is not alarming. Evil people may use calculus in the service of nefarious plans, but that is not because of some intrinsic moral fault in calculus.

If you want to know what CRISPR is from a generalist standpoint, the Radiolab podcast I linked to is pretty good. The TWIV podcast is very good if you are interested in the mechanism from a biological perspective.



vermontsavant
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18 Dec 2015, 8:17 am

this is potentialy serious stuff


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Adamantium
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18 Dec 2015, 1:06 pm

vermontsavant wrote:
this is potentialy serious stuff


It is remarkably powerful. It's hard not to think of a new Island of Dr. Moreau situation, once you understand how powerful this is and how willing people are to leap into mucking about with genomes, before they have much more than a hint of a clue about how the systems they are tinkering with work. The Chinese group that went straight to human germline experiments emphasizes this.



vermontsavant
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19 Dec 2015, 7:01 am

Adamantium wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
this is potentialy serious stuff


It is remarkably powerful. It's hard not to think of a new Island of Dr. Moreau situation, once you understand how powerful this is and how willing people are to leap into mucking about with genomes, before they have much more than a hint of a clue about how the systems they are tinkering with work. The Chinese group that went straight to human germline experiments emphasizes this.
people better take care and get there ducks in a row before they start using this stuff.
i cant deny that this has potential to do good but it is knocking on eugenics door


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traven
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19 Dec 2015, 8:51 am

Science's entanglements with application-ism and consumer-ism is the broadway, and keepin' corporations afloat.

If it's exernal crutches that's needed, you'll pay, one way or everyway.

One slogan tying it all, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”



Varelse
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19 Dec 2015, 12:49 pm

traven wrote:
Science's entanglements with application-ism and consumer-ism is the broadway, and keepin' corporations afloat.

If it's exernal crutches that's needed, you'll pay, one way or everyway.

One slogan tying it all, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

Well said, however I wonder... are we then the savages in this situation, required to be tamed by the 'civilized' man?



Adamantium
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22 Dec 2015, 2:22 pm

Some news about investments in an applied CRISPR company:

http://www.biopharmadive.com/news/bayer ... tn/411277/

Quote:
Bayer is partnering with CRISPR Therapeutics to focus on using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to fix malfunctioning cells associated with blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease.


No focus on autism there.