133 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.3.2023

Mar 19, 2023 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We met in the Gallery again. The Topic was CRISPR (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR ).

The TED Talk is here: https://www.ted.com/talks/max_plach_how_crispr_lets_us_take_the_next_step_in_evolution (the link is loading slow)

CRISPR is a natural defence mechanism with which bacteria defend themselves against viruses. Humans have investigated and decoded this technique and can now use it to try to find remedies for serious diseases such as Huntingdon’s. This technology may replace now useless antibiotics in the future. Two female scientists earned a Nobel Prize for it in 2022. It was also patented. The speaker said that this technology can be done in a normal lab, it is relatively simple for an expert to do.

But the technology may be used to manipulate the human genome, a Chinese scientist did this is already to a human egg, which was implanted in a Chinese woman, she gave birth to twins.

Mosquitos, transmitting many diseases in humans, may be manipulated so that only male animals would be hatched. At some point, the mosquitos would die out, but that means that a food source for other animals is going to be missing.

The group was concerned that the side- and aftereffects of such a treatment are not known. Secondary effects may come up later, and as the speaker noted, these Chinese children could have children themselves and enter the changed genome into the general population with time.

Like any new technology, CRISPR can and will be abused. We as individuals cannot do anything against this but we need to be aware of what is out there. But it is not a good idea to mess with evolution. Super-intelligent humans could be created who would find it easier to subdue and suppress other humans due to higher intelligence.

The US, as usual, is in the lead on this technology, it is a democracy, and the group agrees that such technologies should be kept under control in democracies. This is probably wishful thinking; we cannot stop this progress. People who abuse such a technology, should be taken to Justice. In the case of the Ukrainian attack, it is easy to say that Putin should be dragged into the International Court of Justice. The Chinese people cannot be taken to court for starting COVID; a culprit cannot be found and the state is not a person. If a scientist abused CRISPR, the person would have to be identified to be accused, the likelihood of this is low.

Detour: Russian and Ukrainian Oligarchs money can be used to rebuild the Ukraine in the future but these guys might go to the same International Court of Justice court and ask for their money back if they cannot be personally accused of a crime.

Some interesting info:

A interesting report about the American attitude toward the war: “Cooking the Frog”, is here: https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2023-01-18-weapons-for-ukraine–cooking-the-frog.rJgmCZ7Bsi.html

If you like to hear what animals have to say to humans: This woman knows: search for Batgap and emelie-cajsdotter


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