Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Earth Medicine News Science Technology

Scientists Announce Plans For Synthetic Human Genomes (washingtonpost.com) 57

An anonymous reader writes: After it was reported three weeks ago that scientists have held a secret meeting to consider creating a synthetic human genome, the participants of that meeting have officially published their plans. They announced a plan to launch a project that would radically reduce the cost of synthesizing human genomes -- a revolutionary development in biotechnology that could enable technicians to grow human organs for transplantation. The Washington Post reports: "The announcement, published Thursday in the journal Science, is the latest sign that biotechnology is going through a rapidly advancing but ethically fraught period. The promoters of synthetic genomes envision a project that would eventually be on the same scale as the Human Genome Project of the 1990s, which led to the sequencing of the first human genomes. The difference this time would be that, instead of 'reading' genetic codes, which is what sequencing does, the scientists would be 'writing' them. They have dubbed this the 'Genome Project-write.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Announce Plans For Synthetic Human Genomes

Comments Filter:
  • What could possibly go wrong, Dr. Frankenstein?
  • seems to be in too much of a hurry.
    why not demonstrate this with synthetic animal/plant genomes first.

    and drop the "to grow human organs for transplantation" whitewash. that is not the only use, if this can be done.
    they are promising and planning stuff too early and rather dishonestly. as with embryonic stem cells.

    scientists should develop the technology for itself, without broadcasting either selective benefits, or hiding possible abuses.
    leave that to people who will make the political and legal decisions;

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously. Organs with synthetic genomes will be rejected just like any other foreign tissues. As a result, immunosuppressive drugs are needed, which prevent rejection at the expense of making the person more vulnerable to infections. The goal shouldn't be to create a synthetic genome but to make the best use of a person's own stem cells. Furthermore, I'm skeptical of the true motivations because the justifications given don't make sense and I don't understand the need to hold a secret meeting to plan the p

    • Nothing about this makes sense.

      At least, not until one considers that their real double secret plan is to engineer the parts for a sexborg. That way they can mix and match from the same stock to swap out, say, the breasts as they wear out.

      On a more serious note, one rather guesses that they will eventually be able to "write" matching tissue and stealth it in past the immune system.

      rgb

  • Fucking with shit that shouldn't be fucked with. Death is a blessing. Embrace it.
    • Fucking with shit that shouldn't be fucked with. Death is a blessing. Embrace it.

      We have been playing God since the first time we cutout a diseased appendix. Feel free to die off and thereby get out of our way.

      • "We".."Our".. I'm pretty sure you have nothing to do with any of it and you are just another maggot wanting credit for something you have nothing to do with. Tag-alongs and cult members are the same way. I never was in their way. Might want to get that mental issue resolved.
    • "Death is a blessing. Embrace it."

      You first! :)

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Thursday June 02, 2016 @09:24PM (#52238565)

    This looks like an end run around patent law, to create "synthetic" genes that are patentable even if they're functionally identical to existing "natural" gene sequences.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This looks like an end run around patent law, to create "synthetic" genes that are patentable even if they're functionally identical to existing "natural" gene sequences.

      Which results in Replicants being sold as slaves, even though they are really just slightly modified humans. (Blade Runner Film)

    • Hmm... considering how many of the amino acids are coded for by multiple codons, if it stands up at all legally, it would be trivial to do to any natural sequence.
      • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Friday June 03, 2016 @07:33AM (#52240935)
        Except that it's not that simple (biology never is). Yes, multiple codons may code for a single amino acid, but they may yield different expression levels or transcription rates. In the genetic manipulation world, "codon optimization" is already a thing.
        • by tsqr ( 808554 )

          Except that it's not that simple (biology never is). Yes, multiple codons may code for a single amino acid, but they may yield different expression levels or transcription rates. In the genetic manipulation world, "codon optimization" is already a thing.

          Or, to put it another way, "Wow, biology is impossible. [xkcd.com]"

        • True, but if you're going to patent the product you're going to clone it into a yeast or bacterium to ferment large batches of hormone or whatever, so you can optimize the other end.
  • All new tech gets implemented by industries that can get return on investment the quickest.

    So look for your life like sex dolls/slaves to be available within a few years.

    and human like wage slaves soon after.

    Then the Clone Wars start.....

  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Friday June 03, 2016 @07:39AM (#52240983)

    Hmm. Every genome-analysis technique in existence has a substantial read-error rate, and overcomes those errors by reading lots of strands and doing lots of statistics. It seems like a very, very large leap from "analyze a billion DNA strands to come up with a single sequence that's accurate enough" to "produce a billion specified DNA strands that are each accurate enough".

  • To bio-roids becoming a reality (for you Appleseed fans out there).

    • Sauron supermen for CoDominium fans.

      Think there was something in ST:DS9 too. Wasn't Dr Bashir (unknowingly) one?

      It generally doesn't end well. I know the F stands for fiction but some SF writers have a good hook into human nature. I counsel caution.

  • Considering we drop bombs on people every day and accept "collateral" damage as morally passable, you can take your "ethically fraught" and shove it back into your hypocritical pie hole.

  • "..and this is how the zombie apocalypse starts."


    Somehow.
    I dunno; someone's gotta post it.
    • Man, I hope so.

      I am thinking life as a zombie isn't that bad. No responsibility, eat all day, no real conflict with each other. Sounds like a utopia really...

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

Working...