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Maciamo
26-12-05, 13:16
Progress in genetic engineering, cloning and medical technologies may once make it possible for us to change the DNA of our body's cells. This could improve our lives more than we imagine.

A "gene theraphy" could cure hereditary/genetic diseases or defects, make us more resistent, and even immune to diseases, change our skin, eyes or hair pigmentation, make us naturally slimmer or more muscular, etc. In short, everything we can hope for with genetic engineering but on grow-up people, not cells or foetuses.

Of course, such a therapy could not affect intelligence, nor the way we feel (sensitivity), because neurons (nerve cells) cannot regenerate themselves after birth. So, there is no way to become more intelligent, change one's memory, feelings, emotions, etc. It thus assures that our preception of the "self" ("I feel that I am me and not you") would not change, as this perception is based on our nervous system (the only part of our body which cells do not change since birth).

My question is, would you try such a gene therapy if there was no risk ?

bossel
27-12-05, 05:53
Wouldn't have much of a problem with gene therapy, as long as it helps.


Of course, such a therapy could not affect intelligence, nor the way we feel (sensitivity), because neurons (nerve cells) cannot regenerate themselves after birth. So, there is no way to become more intelligent, change one's memory, feelings, emotions, etc.
AFAIK, it could affect intelligence by stimulating growth of new neurons & of new connections. I doubt that the effect would be very big, but who knows...

What's more, since there are diseases that affect memory & emotions, it's not too hard to imagine that there may as well be a way to reverse that.

No-name
27-12-05, 06:01
Depending on how sick and desperate I am, I am likely to try anything. Although I know that I will die someday, and I am okay with that- I don't like being sick, and definitely don't like being dependant on others.

Maciamo
27-12-05, 12:22
AFAIK, it could affect intelligence by stimulating growth of new neurons & of new connections. I doubt that the effect would be very big, but who knows...

What's more, since there are diseases that affect memory & emotions, it's not too hard to imagine that there may as well be a way to reverse that.

From that point of you you are right, it could prevent a degradation of the brain and nerves.:-)

Tsuyoiko
27-12-05, 12:46
I would like one to cure my eczema. But I'm not sure if I would want to cure my anxiety, as I think that is tied up with the rest of my brain functions and I wouldn't want them to change (unless for the better!).

misa.j
28-12-05, 00:10
I might if I were chronically ill and if gene therapy had more solid successful cases with no setbacks.

I would still be afraid of the immune response which could be very risky.

justin
28-12-05, 03:03
If it would save my life I would do it.

silver angel
29-12-05, 00:06
They've tried it (looooong time ago) with kids that had bleeding disorders like myself. They didn't live long.
If it was foolproof and safe, I'd do it to cure my disease.

Champloo
06-01-06, 03:51
I do not like the ideals of gene therapy. We are born a certain way, and we should learn to deal with the way we were meant to be. It does not matter if..HEY WE CAN DO THIS NOW! it's immoral, it is wrong, and I think that you shouldn't do it. Of course, it's your decision to make.

Tsuyoiko
06-01-06, 11:42
We are born a certain way, and we should learn to deal with the way we were meant to be.You were born naked, but I don't suppose you stay that way all the time :p ;-)

Maciamo
06-01-06, 11:52
I do not like the ideals of gene therapy. We are born a certain way, and we should learn to deal with the way we were meant to be. It does not matter if..HEY WE CAN DO THIS NOW! it's immoral, it is wrong, and I think that you shouldn't do it. Of course, it's your decision to make.

Why would it be immoral ? You are not affecting the body and life of others. Just your own.

nice gaijin
06-01-06, 14:12
I think the idea of gene therapy raises a lot of issues that go beyond merely curing diseases and preventing suffering (which I'm all for, for the most part). The ability to change cosmetic or physical attributes such as eye color or body type could be dangerous to the gene pool, not to mention society. What's to stop criminals from changing their appearance to evade capture? What's to prevent sportsman from modifying their genes to perform better, or the military from breeding or modifying people to be the "perfect soldier" that is the subject of countless movies and video games. Is any of this something that we should worry about, or accept as an inevitability and the price to pay for such an advance?

It's not so much a matter of playing the hands one's dealt; I'm more concerned with the potential abuses that might arise when talking about a powerful new kind of technology such as this.

Maciamo
06-01-06, 16:21
What's to stop criminals from changing their appearance to evade capture?

Cosmetic surgery already exist with the same effetcs. So gene therapy won't bring anything new in this regard.


What's to prevent sportsman from modifying their genes to perform better

Again, doping already exist. We could argue that genes without training is not enough. What's more, there are already substantial genetical differences bewteen every individual, and some "races" may be advantadges for some sports (e.g. some groups of Eastern Africans in sprinting). So, it would only give the same chance to everyone who wants to become a professional athelete, and thus put more emphasis on personnal effort.


or the military from breeding or modifying people to be the "perfect soldier"

I think that nowadays the weapons make the soldier more than the body, and even a genetical advantadged individual cannot get muscle and endurance without training. We are not talking about sci-fi like "Dark Angels". Humans will never been able to do some things, even with the best genes possible. In fact, it's very unlikely that a "genetically enhanced" human would perform better than the best people now. There is no "miracle solution"; if you improve your genes for one thing, you might become less good for something else. E.g. you can't be insensitive to pain and have a high sensitivity for sensual pleasure at the same time. Personality-wise, it's difficult to be meticulous, well-organised and thoughtful, and at the same time be spontaneous and nonchalant.

Twilight
15-08-13, 07:03
Only to save a life or slow down aging

Maciamo
15-08-13, 08:28
Only to save a life or slow down aging

Then that's a 100% yes since everybody needs to slow down ageing at some point.

LeBrok
15-08-13, 08:42
Then that's a 100% yes since everybody needs to slow down ageing at some point.
Plus slowing down aging will save lives and protect us from many old age diseases.

Ike
15-08-13, 08:59
Why would you think that neurons can't regenerate after birth. People had their fingers and arms stitched back and working again (with somewhat limited results). I'm almost certain we will have a cure for Superman's disability soon (in like 100-200 years).

LeBrok
15-08-13, 08:59
Of course, such a therapy could not affect intelligence, nor the way we feel (sensitivity), because neurons (nerve cells) cannot regenerate themselves after birth. So, there is no way to become more intelligent, change one's memory, feelings, emotions, etc. It thus assures that our preception of the "self" ("I feel that I am me and not you") would not change, as this perception is based on our nervous system (the only part of our body which cells do not change since birth).

I don't think we can change our main brain architecture, with general intelligence, predispositions, traits of character or sexual orientation. But it take good 30 years for brain to develop full intelligence capacity. That's 30 years of constant building new neuronal connections and pruning old and not used ones.
If we closed a child, after birth, in dark room alone, it's brain wouldn't develop at all from lack of stimulea. On other side of spectrum, giving rich educational environment kids can gain many extra IQ points till adulthood.
Also latest research point to the fact that people can grow new nerve cells. It is very slow process and helped by drugs, but in recent years there is some success in regeneration of spinal cords.

ebAmerican
15-08-13, 18:07
It's funny you bring the brain age development argument up. I have heard it fully develops around 28, so that is close to your 30 mark. If it is true, then I cringe a little with newly graduated college students teaching at 22-23 years of age. My wife is a school counselor and she had a discussion with a teacher, student, and parent. The parent mistook the teacher for another middle school child. A funny, but demoralizing situation. Sorry off topic, but it made me think of it.

I would gladly participate in gene therapy if it was used safely and appropriately. It would need massive oversight in order to curb possible abuses (mostly availability). It sounds like a tool the rich and powerful would use in class warfare. I think the movie Elysium touches on the subject.

Noman
30-08-13, 06:01
Any therapy that genuinely replaces your genes should probably be made illegal to even research. The potential for abuse is just too overwhelming. The other issue is one that plagues genetically modified crops today, that all progress stops. Right now you have less large genetic messups than any time in history due to purifying selection in a large population, so the natural way does work. But if you start killing off anything somewhat deleterious then you won't get the beneficial mutations either, that's often where they come from.

LeBrok
30-08-13, 07:15
Any therapy that genuinely replaces your genes should probably be made illegal to even research. The potential for abuse is just too overwhelming.
Other words you would rather leave abuse to the blind nature?