So, last weekend I read this book called “Threshold” by Ben Mezrich. Great fictional story about the human Genome and the possibilities of what can be done with it. The human Genome Project actually completed in 2003 and the main goal was to identify every one of the tens of thousands of genes in the string of DNA, along with figuring out the sequences of the 3 million chemical base pairs (ATCG) that make up our DNA.


Anyway, in the story “Threshold”, the genetist Jason Waters discovers the secret of DNA with his 2 counterparts, though he never recieved any recognition for it. He goes on to unlock the coding of DNA and does experiments in gene therapy, retroviruses, and in the end discovers how to introduce healthy and upgraded genes to human DNA by way of the retroviruses (like HIV). This is actually a valid process. Anyway, so he also had done research on evolutionary suicide, which is the pre-determined extinction of a species, also a true concept. Basically a species is doomed at one point in time, never able to adapt past a certain point.
All this got me thinking about the current work being conducted on genes, gene therapy, and the possiblity of competely changing our DNA makeup to prolong, accentuate, refine, and perfect ourselves individually or as a whole. There are infinite consequences to having the ability to heal all forms of cancers and diseases. What would it be like for no one to ever become terminally ill?? Can you imagine? One day you get diagnosed with cancer of some form and the next you are being injected with a gene to correct your bad one and voila! You are healthy again. Unfortunately at this point, gene therapy is not approved on humans by the FDA, and even the tests done thus far have not been very successfull in clinical trials. Each time people have done the trial tests using retrovirus therapy (you have to use a virus to get the genes in) have come down with serious issues like Jesse Gelsinger who died of multiple organ failure only 4 days after beginning treatment, or mulitple children who developed leukemia-like conditions although they were sucessfully treated of their “bubble baby syndrome” (X-CID, a severe combined immunodefinciency problem). However, such disorders like sickle-cell anemia is successfully treated in mice, so there is some level of progress.

Anyway, it’s cool shit to know and amazing how far we’ve come. I wonder….the person that does figure out how to sucessfully treat genes, does they become what we would define as God?

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