altering DNA

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chicken_boy
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altering DNA

Post by chicken_boy » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:16 am

Something I've always wondered about, I know certain viruses can alter DNA of surrounding cells and also alter themselves through mutation. The question is will we ever be able to alter DNA to the point where we could change things like hair color, or perhaps correct certain genetic related predisposition to disease. I don't think we will ever be able to change a persons overall look as that's something you grow into, not something that's constantly updated. Bone for example I don't think would just change shape based on genetic changes. I could be wrong.

Would also be interesting if we could alter aspects of a person to allow them to build muscle faster, or perhaps increase the capabilities of their brain during early development. That opens up a whole new can of worms with issues like genetically engineered children.

I'm more curious as to what genetic alteration can do for those that are already grown. Could it help with obesity for example.

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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:09 pm

Gene therapy is very promissing, and in a few years it may be possible to treat genetic illnesses by using this method.
But using gene therapy to change someone's hair color? Although in theory this may be possible, i'm not sure this is ethical to do.
Build muscle faster? much more tricky. changing hair color means more melanin or less melanin, but this would require completely "redoing" the hormone levels and protein anabolism.
increase capabilities of the brain - maybe it would be possible in 100-200 years, but i can say that that would be impossible, partially because it would require some nasty experiments on humans, which are also unethical- and illegal.
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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