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Chinese scientist claims to have created the world's first "gene-edited" babies, sends shockwaves through scientific community


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Chinese genomics scientist defends his gene-editing research in first public appearance

He Jiankui, the Chinese researcher who claimed this week to have helped produce the world’s first genetically altered babies, said Wednesday there was another “potential pregnancy” involved in his study as he defended a procedure that has shaken the scientific world.

 

Appearing in public for the first time since revealing he had successfully altered the DNA of twin girls while they were embryos to make them resistant to HIV infection, the Stanford-trained bioengineering professor said he felt “proud” of his work and its implications for public health in the face of nearly universal condemnation.

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1 hour ago, CitizenVectron said:

I am 100% on board with using this tech to wipe out HIV along with many inheritable illnesses. Buuuuut, we all know it's ultimately going to be used to produce white-skinned asians in that region, and blonde-hair blue-eyed caucasians in the western world.

De terk my jerbbbb

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9 minutes ago, sblfilms said:

In celebration of this feat I am going to watch Gattaca tonight, an all time great piece of sci-fi filmmaking.

 

Seriously though, that movie is great.

 

It really is a great movie! Just saw it again recently to show the film to the wife (maybe 6 months to a year ago now?) and it still held up plenty. Andrew Niccols is a pretty good writer/director (Lord of War, In Time, Good Kill). It's a shame his Netflix film Anon that came out earlier this year is apparently not very good. I love Gattaca and Lord of War.

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3 minutes ago, Greatoneshere said:

 

It really is a great movie! Just saw it again recently to show the film to the wife (maybe 6 months to a year ago now?) and it still held up plenty. Andrew Niccols is a pretty good writer/director (Lord of War, In Time, Good Kill). It's a shame his Netflix film Anon that came out earlier this year is apparently not very good. I love Gattaca and Lord of War.

Even In Time is entertaining, though it has the distinct odor of studio interference and some poor re-writing to “punch up the dialogue”. It is a better concept than it is a movie, but I’ll still watch it if it happens to come on TBS on a Saturday afternoon.

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5 minutes ago, sblfilms said:

Even In Time is entertaining, though it has the distinct odor of studio interference and some poor re-writing to “punch up the dialogue”. It is a better concept than it is a movie, but I’ll still watch it if it happens to come on TBS on a Saturday afternoon.

 

Yeah, In Time was actually better than I thought because it initially got such bad reviews and I saw it later. Not Gattaca / Lord of War level but solid and entertaining. I agree the film definitely had the odor of studio interference since it didn't have the same Niccol vibe at times that Gattaca and Lord of War have consistently. 

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So this guy did this without telling his University, says he funded it by himself, even though it's banned in China. I guess he planned to keep it a secret, but it got leaked.

 

According to this BBC article he's not being very forthright on what he actually did or how he did it, but it seems people believe he did edit the genes of these kids.

 

It also seems that Chinese scientists aren't happy about it.

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I've never read up on this subject in any capacity. What's the take on overpopulation and all the other dilemmas that come with "super"-humans in the scientific community overall? 

 

I don't have a logical reason to say so, but this creeps me the fuck out on many levels. I'm already internally envisioning my flawless, superior human overlords not dying and throwing me in mud somewhere to shovel pig shit like in Beyond Thunderdome. 

 

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH SUPER BABIES? I MEAN, THEY...something something Seinfeld. 

 

@legend "playing God"

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26 minutes ago, Bloodporne said:

I've never read up on this subject in any capacity. What's the take on overpopulation and all the other dilemmas that come with "super"-humans in the scientific community overall? 

 

I don't have a logical reason to say so, but this creeps me the fuck out on many levels. I'm already internally envisioning my flawless, superior human overlords not dying and throwing me in mud somewhere to shovel pig shit like in Beyond Thunderdome. 

 

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH SUPER BABIES? I MEAN, THEY...something something Seinfeld. 

 

@legend "playing God"

 

Why do you think genetic engineering would impact overpopulation negatively? More people surviving diseases? Overpopulation is no longer a threat to the planet, we can clearly see that (assuming the world doesn't dangerously slide back in prosperity and peace), population growth will continue to slow until it stops entirely in the late 21st century (probably between 10 and 12 billion), at which point the world population will probably continue to shrink for a few centuries.

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15 minutes ago, CitizenVectron said:

 

Why do you think genetic engineering would impact overpopulation negatively? More people surviving diseases? Overpopulation is no longer a threat to the planet, we can clearly see that (assuming the world doesn't dangerously slide back in prosperity and peace), population growth will continue to slow until it stops entirely in the late 21st century (probably between 10 and 12 billion), at which point the world population will probably continue to shrink for a few centuries.

Well that's why I asked because I don't know and overpopulation seemed like a logical thing they may be discussing. More people surviving diseases was my thought, yeah. 

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I am 100% behind gene editing and not just stopping at getting rid of genetic diseases or making people generally healthier. I want to see super genius Olympic decathletes that never get sick and live to be 100+. You want a prehensile tail, go for it, blue skin, sure why not. Go nuts with it. 

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I often hear the people worry that a highly effective and mature genetic engineering technology that could be used even on adults would lead to everyone looking the same.

 

If that ends up true, I'll be quite disappointed, because such a technology would allow us to be vastly more diverse and interesting, exploring biology never before possible.

 

Consider the range of stuff people do w/ video game avatars. Now imagine that in reality.

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