To transform humans into other species via genetic engineering

  • Thread starter Dremmer
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Will it be possible in the future for humans to transform into other species via genetic engineering? e.g. a human becoming a gorilla
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Certainly,many Frankensteins will appear before the superhuman...
 
  • #3
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Will it be possible in the future for humans to transform into other species via genetic engineering? e.g. a human becoming a gorilla
Possible maybe, but it depends on what you define as "human". You would effectively have to reduce each cell to just the phospholipid bilayer and cytoplasm, you would have to remove all the trans-membrane proteins, antigens etc. to prevent the body having an auto-immune reaction to the new DNA and proteins, so it would be practically impossible to perform on anything older than a few hours after conception, as there would be too many cells, before this then yes, it maybe possible, but really it would be easier to use IVF treatment, you'd waste an awful lot of energy otherwise.

Why are you asking out of curiosity?
 
  • #4
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I suppose that it would be possible to start up a few traits in an adult but I cant imagine any way of ever reforming an adult body to the degree I think you are implying. We are cursed with these somatic bodys that can only ever degrade and are limited in every way imagineable.
 
  • #5
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Speaking of "superhuman" was in the sense Nietzsche gave it.
It happens that nowadays science resuscitates this concept...even if not for philosophical reasons (which justifies the idea that phylosophy, science fiction and religion precede science).
In fact, Nietzsche's phylosophy is quite old; think only about Greek semideities..
 
  • #6
Pythagorean
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Yes, the Bene Gesserit will eventually develop the Kwisatz Haderach!
 
  • #7
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I think your Gesserit (what's that?) And your Haderach (another famous nobody) should read "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20147734" [Broken] or even "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&DbFrom=pubmed&Cmd=Link&LinkName=pubmed_pubmed&IdsFromResult=20147734".
 
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  • #8
alxm
Science Advisor
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I think your Gesserit (what's that?) And your Haderach (another famous nobody)
I'd say those are very well-known fictional things. A reference that obviously went totally over your head.
Pretentious much?
 
  • #9
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Happy for my head.
 
  • #10
Pythagorean
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Happy for my head.
You should be! His name is a killing word.

btw, your second link is from a search results session, it won't work anymore. Use the absolute link to the journal.
 
  • #11
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Right!And it seems it acted like.
 
  • #12
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Possible maybe, but it depends on what you define as "human". You would effectively have to reduce each cell to just the phospholipid bilayer and cytoplasm, you would have to remove all the trans-membrane proteins, antigens etc. to prevent the body having an auto-immune reaction to the new DNA and proteins, so it would be practically impossible to perform on anything older than a few hours after conception, as there would be too many cells, before this then yes, it maybe possible, but really it would be easier to use IVF treatment, you'd waste an awful lot of energy otherwise.
You can get this done through some combination of tissue engineering and retroviral gene therapy. Though if you want to turn a human into a gorilla, the scope of changes is so vast (we're talking tens of millions of bases) that it's far out of reach given modern gene therapy technologies. Tissue engineering is more promising.
 
  • #13
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I really don't think so no.
If you think about it, we start off as a single cell which contains DNA.
The cells splits and unfolds and by a near miracle the embryo becomes a small human.
Genetic engineers can look at the DNA and identify certain traits like skin colour which they can tinker with. But the overall unfolding of the embryo is so immensly complex, it is only through millions of years of evolution that it has been gradually evolved to 'work'.
There isn't a gene which says 'head type' and we can swap that for a bird for example. Or a gene which says 'lung type' and we can switch it for gills.
We may be able to tweak a few things but changing to a new species, when you think of the complexity of embryolic develop that cannot happen.
 
  • #14
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I really don't think so no.
If you think about it, we start off as a single cell which contains DNA.
The cells splits and unfolds and by a near miracle the embryo becomes a small human.
Genetic engineers can look at the DNA and identify certain traits like skin colour which they can tinker with. But the overall unfolding of the embryo is so immensly complex, it is only through millions of years of evolution that it has been gradually evolved to 'work'.
There isn't a gene which says 'head type' and we can swap that for a bird for example. Or a gene which says 'lung type' and we can switch it for gills.
We may be able to tweak a few things but changing to a new species, when you think of the complexity of embryolic develop that cannot happen.
I think the matter could be approached more pragmatically.As I suggested in this forum,read at "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20147734" [Broken] or even "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&DbFrom=pubmed&Cmd=Link&LinkName=p [Broken] ubmed_pubmed&IdsFromResult=20147734".
Testing various mutations that can be induced will lead to results, even if certain will be "Frankensteins".
 
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  • #15
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From a purely literary point of view, and having it drilled into me in English lessons, Frankenstein was the scientist, the monster was just called Frankenstein's Monster :P
 
  • #16
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Yes, the Bene Gesserit will eventually develop the Kwisatz Haderach!
And the Muad'Dib will be gifted with the sight to see his cursed terrible purpose.
 
  • #17
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1)To Krakatoan:there was no specificationwhether Frankenstein was the experimentator or the result of his experiments.
2)To Noesis:I don't feel gifted (I suppose, nobody of common sense would) as "Muad 'Dib" (or "Geserit" or "Haderach", as evoked by one of your celebrissime mates in this forum) with this answer.
Strange, it seems a whole tribe invokes Geserit, Haderach, Muad 'Dib...
I feel this tribalism is far of a "Physics" forum... and close to the defence of "the tribe", far behind a modern society)
 

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