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Reverse Cancer, Prevent aging and Take control

  1. Jan 18, 2016 #1
    Hey all,

    It's been quite a while since I've been on here, I'm an IT Technician and recently lost a student to brain cancer at the age of 11 so i thought I'd brainstorm until i worked out a possible and feasible way to beat cancer, this might be sci-fi or false information as I'm not entirely sure this process is even possible so I'm very sorry if I'm wasting any ones time but thought its about time i share my thoughts, so take this information with a grain of salt, references at the bottom for clarification.

    DNA Sequencing
    So first off currently DNA Sequencing is a very timely process and storing DNA digitally isn't entirely feasible due to technological limits, we certainly can do it but not in our bedrooms at home, it currently requires massive data centers and costs quite a lot to even do. Now lets just say the size of DNA is 700petabytes of information, currently it takes thousands of dollars to store this much information and requires massive data centers and takes an extremely long time.

    This year Intel will be releasing a new storage chip that is 1000 times faster than any current NAND Flash storage, their current fastest ssd is 2800Mb/s read, 1900Mb/s write. Now being 1000x faster than current NAND Flash storage this gives us a speed of 2.8Tb/s read and 1.9Tb/s write, currently bus speeds are going to be a limiting factor even with these speeds and sooner or later ram, storage space and cpu's will need to be on the same chip as its really the only way to make use of these higher speeds plus filesystems will most likely need to be discarded and operating systems will have to be completely overhauled due to how they currently work, I'd suspect we will see this coming within the next 10-20 years.

    Speed comparison
    With the newer speeds it will take 4.26 days to write 700 petabytes of information and 2.89 days to read it, reducing the time needed to just over 1 week to write then read the DNA.
    Now compare that to a standard SSD that we currently have in home computers, the same amount of transfers on a 550MB/s SSD would take 40.35 Years, of course this is reduced due to massive data centers and costs quite a lot (still a lot less than it used to be though from what I've heard)

    Biohacking our DNA
    Now onto the meat of the pie, currently and previously it has always been limited by technology, if there is a way to store and read DNA within a reasonable time frame 1 week, this also means if we are looking for cancerous cell structures in your DNA it would take 2.89 days to find it, judging that we know what we are looking for(this obviously will need quite a few years of research), instead of 40+ years waiting to find it we could use that time sifting through all of the data and making sense of it, once we understand DNA completely you could get cures for all types of diseases and issues by basically creating an auto correct for your cells, you create a virus that has 99.9999% of your dna and that 0.00001% is the auto correct much like the aging process and cancer itself. This would then mean you could halt the aging process, reverse it and create a cure for absolutely anything, repair damaged nerves and allow our own bodies to repair themselves without the use of chemo and other radiation therapy, just a simple injection and you are on your way cancer free.

    Now I'm definitely going out on a limb here with all of the above but I'm sure this is the only way to "beat" cancer, by creating cancer itself and reverse engineering it to do good things instead of bad things, this also means you can use your own DNA and alter it for the better health and longer life.

    If all of the above does indeed happen there's many ethical issues that arise with people not dying and it going to the highest bidder and the world turning into the movie "In Time" but I won't go into that as the above hasn't happened yet.

    Intel chip technology: http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/28/9058393/intels-micron-memory-3D-xpoint-speed
    Intel Current SSD: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/ssd-dc-p3700-spec.html

    Sorry again if I've wasted your time but I'm pretty excited for what Intel is bringing to the table this year, and thought it might change medical science forever.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2016 #2
    I've read a bit about some of the super computers, they are doing gene sequencing as well as the famous Watson computer to come up with some sort of cancer treatment. Thing is making a comparison between the DNA of the cancer cell and regular cell is still on going (I forgot the reason). I am not sure how you go about identify the DNA trait, for instance this sequence represents opposable thumb, or twisted tongue. I think it takes more computing power for this type of referencing, but again someone more knowledgeable then me can probably answer this.

    P.S. Not to discourage you though, you are going in the right direction.
  4. Jan 18, 2016 #3
    I have been thinking about cell regeneration, possibly Telomere regeneration. Is it possible for regeneration to occur instead of death without disrupting the balance?

    A hypothesis might be; regeneration instead of total cell/Telomere death. In that senario the Telomeres would not shorten or when they began the process of shortening a regeneration process would kick in instead. Of course that would mean the "birth" of new Telomeres would not be as abundant, BUT the risk of cancer due to defective and dying Telomeres would then be almost mute? I guess the next step would be to see if we could "encourage" a Telomere to regenerate, finding out what would be the "kick" to initiating that response instead of break down and death. Just thinking out loud.
  5. Jan 18, 2016 #4


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    I'm not an expert in this area, but I have a question. I think human DNA has a total of ~3 billion base pairs. Since each base pair has 4 possibilities, this is 6 billion bits or less than 1 Gigabyte. How do you get from there to 700 Petabytes?
  6. Jan 18, 2016 #5


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    Science Advisor

    I think you vastly overstate the difficulty of storing and analyzing DNA sequencing information. DNA sequencing is beginning to be used to clinical diagnostic work with relatively fast turnaround times. For example, here is a study published in 2014 describing the use of DNA sequencing to diagnose a case of meningoencephalitis (i.e. inflammation of the brain). Because such inflammation is often caused by pathogens, the researchers performed DNA sequencing on the patients' cerebrospinal fluid, and within 48 hours of receiving the sample, they were able to identify the specific pathogen causing the inflammation (other techniques were not sensitive enough to identify the pathogen). Their DNA sequencing generated over 8 million reads (at ~250 bases per read, this corresponds to analyzing ~2 billion base pairs of information, close to the amount of DNA in the human genome). Notably, most of the 48 hours required for analysis were due to sample prep (~24 hours) and seqeuncing (~16 hrs). Data analysis (sorting through all of the 8 million reads to identify the specific pathogen) required only 97 minutes (see Figure 3a from the publication).

    Better and faster computers would certainly help with researchers trying to correlate genetic sequences from different individuals with phenotypic traits such as disease susceptibility, but computing power is not the main limitation in employing DNA sequencing in clinical settings.

    While your post overemphasizes the computational difficulties, it basically glosses over all of the real difficult biology involved. You write
    First, we do not understand DNA completely. Often, DNA sequencing will turn up many mutations of unknown significance, and unless they've been seen in other patients previously, we don't know whether they are disease causing or not (read this essay by Eric Topol about this problem). This is especially a problem in cancer where one of the hallmarks of cancer is that they accumulate mutations much more quickly than normal cells. Some of these mutations will be responsible for driving the disease, but others are just passengers that have occurred spontaneously and do not contribute to the disease. We are still working on distinguishing between driver and passenger mutations in cancer.

    Second, you write about creating an auto-correct for cells. While such technologies are under development, there are still a number of hurdles to overcome before they are mature enough for use in the clinic. I've written an Insight article (linked below) on this topic, that covers many points relevant to the discussion (e.g. why we lack enough fundamental genetics knowledge to fully exploit the technology):
  7. Jan 18, 2016 #6
    Genetics is at the forefront of a revolution in medicine and drugs based on the function of genes are already around. Cancer of course is not one disease and while they all in some way reflect a loss of control in cellular reproduction there are often a range of genes involved, these genes are not genes to get cancer, they have functions, some of which might be very important for survival, you can't just go around deleting things. There is also the problem that in a lot of cancers the range of genetic defects are highly variable, even in the same tumour, neither are they stable over time. You would be aiming at a shifting target, not knowing what sort of damage your interventions might cause. Currently treatments are targeted at the control mechanisms responsible for switching genes on or off like the receptors on the cell wall that activate or suppress cell division, several hormones do this and herceptin is a newer drug. genetic testing can identify which receptors are important in an individual and develop personalised drug treatments. This way, if you know what you are looking for you don't need to sequence the whole genome.
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