Posts Tagged ‘genome sequencing’

Generation of ‘X-Men’ superhumans could become a reality in 30 years thanks to advances in gene science, say MoD experts

  • Experts warn of ‘genetic inequality’ if advances are unequally shared
  • Report says ‘human augmentation’ is likely to increase over next 30 years
  • Details released following a Freedom of Information request
A generation of genetically-modified ‘X-Men’ superhumans could be among us by 2045, a Ministry of Defence think tank has said.Advancements in gene technology could help humans gain mutant powers such as the likes of Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm in the popular comic book and movie series, it has been reported.

The MoD’s Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre warn however that ‘genetic inequality’ could result from advancements in biology being unequally shared across society.

Mutant: MoD experts have suggested a generation of genetically-modified 'X-Men' superhumans, such as Wolverine, could be a reality by 2045

Mutant: MoD experts have suggested a generation of genetically-modified ‘X-Men’ superhumans, such as Wolverine, could be a reality by 2045

The centre met last summer for a two-day summit, featuring experts from government, industry and universities. The details have been released following a Freedom of Information request by The Sun.

It was reported during the summit, held to predict what would happen in the future, that: ‘Advancements in gene technology could lead to a class of genetically superior humans by 2045.

‘Human augmentation is likely to increase over the next 30 years.

‘Discussions highlighted that it is possible that advances in biology, unequally shared across society, could generate genetic inequality.’

The X-Men are a team of mutant superheroes created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, who first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1963.

The mutants use their powers for the benefit of humanity, despite an ever-growing anti-mutant sentiment among mankind.

The comics were turned into a highly-successful film series, featuring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Halle Berry as Storm, Ian McKellan as Magneto and Patrick Stewart as Professor X.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 26, 2013 at 6:49 am

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Could a Surrogate Mother Deliver a Neanderthal Baby?

In a controversial interview that has ignited commentary across the world, a respected Harvard professor of genetics has suggested an “extremely adventurous female human” might someday serve as surrogate mother for a cloned Neanderthal baby.

Besides saying that the cloning of a live Neanderthal baby would be possible in our lifetime, George Church told Der Spiegel magazine that using stem cells to create a Neanderthal could have significant benefits to society. “The first thing you have to do is to sequence the Neanderthal genome, and that has actually been done,” Church said.

“The next step would be to chop this genome up into, say, 10,000 chunks and then … assemble all the chunks in a human stem cell, which would enable you to finally create a Neanderthal clone,” Church told Der Spiegel.

Scientists completed the first sequence of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, finding genetic evidence suggesting ancestors of modern humans successfully interbred with Neanderthals, at least occasionally. More recent research has suggested Neanderthal DNA makes up 1 percent to 4 percent of the genomes of modern Eurasians. [The 10 Biggest Mysteries of the First Humans]

The benefits, according to Church, include an increase in genetic diversity. “The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity,” Church said. “If you become a monoculture, you are at great risk of perishing. Therefore the recreation of Neanderthals would be mainly a question of societal risk avoidance.”

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

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What is the Human Genome

Here is the definition taken from the Human Genome Project, “A genome is the complete collection of an organism’s genetic material. The human genome is ”"composed of about 20,000 to 25,000 genes located on the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a human cell.

A single human chromosome may contain more than 250 million DNA base pairs, and scientists estimate that the entire human genome consists of about 3 billion base pairs.

In the past eighteen months, scientists discovered more than 100 genetic variations that affect older people, such as: type 2 diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Genetic science is moving so fast that people now in their 60′s-80′s will see medical innovations that will touch their lives.

Francis Collins, MD, a leader in the Project, was astounded to see the huge amount of information derived from the genome, particularly in regards to older people.

As an example he cited age-related Macular degeneration, an eye disease troubling almost 2 million, visually impaired Americans. “Using new genomic tools we’ve discovered two genes that account for about 60% of the risk- the rest is smoking. But we were surprised. These genes are involved in inflammation, and everybody was thinking macular degeneration was caused by aging in the back of the eye.”

Macular degeneration tests are now being made using anti-inflammatory drugs, a complete change in the way it was formerly viewed.

Many scientists believe that the Human Genome Project has the potential to revolutionize both therapeutic and preventive medicine by providing insights into the basic biochemical processes that underlie many human diseases.

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