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DNA- 50 years on

SystemSystem Posts: 8,649 Staff Team
50 years ago today (or yesterday as I type into the night) Francis Crick and James Watson made a discovery that would change science- and mankind- as we know it. The DNA sequence that is the fabric of organic life was revealed. I'd like to pay tribute to the two men who made such a significant discovery. :)

I think few would disagree that this is one of the most significant discoveries of all time. But has it opened a pandora's box? From enthusiastic claims about finding cures for most known diseases we've moved to Frankenstein paranoia and tales of design babies and cloned people.

I think that it's too bad that religious organisations and other focus groups are tying to stop embryos from being developed for research purposes. We could be a few years away from finding a cure from most varieties of cancer, heart disease and countless other ailments. Yet we find massive opposition from the Church for no apparent reason.

I know this is a massive minefield but my opinion is that as long as we're not cloning humans or 'making design babies' there is nothing to fear from genetic modification. If we are able in the near future to remove all potential cancer-causing genes or other genetic diseases from our DNA, all the better. Crime fighting has also benefited enormously from DNA advances.

I just hope we continue research and exploit all opportunities to the full. I've already heard that several governments are seeking to block research with embryos, and I think that's a damn shame. In fact, wasn't paralysed actor Christopher Reeve suing the US government for blocking research with stem cells?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Francis Crick and James Watson made a discovery that would change science- and mankind- as we know it.

    .....and not forgetting Rosalind Franklin for her imput :D

    Does anyone know what has happened to that religious 'movement' claiming they had cloned the first humans?:confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Raelians... they claim a second baby was on the way. But they won't disclose the identity of the first baby or submit DNA samples "to protect her from media attention". :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by go_away
    .....and not forgetting Rosalind Franklin for her imput :D

    You missed out the word significant from that sentence. If it wasn't for her input those two wouldn't have got anywhere. I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that her theory was "stolen", but that isn't a million miles from what actually happened.

    Of course the sexism of the time made sure that she didn't get due recognition. It's sad that we've never really corrected that.

    @ Aladdin. DNA research offer huge steps forward, but also huge dangers. What we need is tight controls over this, to ensure that we have responsible use of what is discovered. Unfortunately I cannot think of anyone I would trust...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: DNA- 50 years on
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    50 years ago today (or yesterday as I type into the night) Francis Crick and James Watson made a discovery that would change science- and mankind- as we know it.
    50 yrs ago aye. changed science and mankind as we know it aye.
    how come these great changes have gone largely unoticed then?
    science and mankind seem to be pretty much the same as fifty years ago to me. developing destructive technologies. killing each other. what has changed in 50yrs is the breakdown of the family.
    massive crime, from the streets to the corparate big boys. honesty and honour gone. the world looking more fucking dangerous than ever before. h.i.v/aids. tubercolsis, std's. poverty. hunger. millions of displaced and disadvantaged people around the globe. wow we have electronic toys! has anyone yet invented or discovered anything at all which realy improves the human condition? poverty is escalating. how are the poor of the world going to benefit? the environment is deteriorating fast. even cod is becoming an endangered species.
    despair for the many, an ever increasing number of them. good medicine and central heating for the minority.
    changed science and mankind aye.......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Re: DNA- 50 years on
    Originally posted by morrocan roll

    the world looking more fucking dangerous than ever before. h.i.v/aids. tubercolsis, std's. poverty. hunger. millions of displaced and disadvantaged people around the globe. wow we have electronic toys! has anyone yet invented or discovered anything at all which realy improves the human condition? poverty is escalating. how are the poor of the world going to benefit?

    The Cold War, that was pretty dangerous!

    Far less sickness and disease than 50 years ago, nearly everybody has higher life expectancies.

    Anything that improves the human condition? :confused:

    I could think of quite a few I believe.........
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm the result of genetic research and advancements towards perfection. They took out of my sequence all of the muddled, liberal, loving, compassionate thinking humanity has been burdened with for so many years. So I'm very much in favor of continued research.

    I trust mankind and believe that we will not play God but will work with DNA to improve not only people but all kinds of things including computers - from what I've read IBM is working on. My over-all criticism of Science Fiction and religion is that they are too negative...I trust the pursuit of scientific advancement.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by pnjsurferpoet
    I trust mankind and believe that we will not play God but will work with DNA to improve not only people but all kinds of things including computers - from what I've read IBM is working on. My over-all criticism of Science Fiction and religion is that they are too negative...I trust the pursuit of scientific advancement.

    Would that I had your youthful optimism...;)

    While I trust the mainstream scientific community to be reasonably responsible, I don't believe that scientists can take into account all the possible long term ramifications of their work. On top of that, you always have the risk of the lunatic fringe breaking the rules (e.g. the claims of the Raelians to have created a cloned child).

    P.S. How does using DNA to improve people differ from playing God?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Re: Re: DNA- 50 years on
    Originally posted by Toadborg


    The Cold War, that was pretty dangerous!

    Far less sickness and disease than 50 years ago, nearly everybody has higher life expectancies.

    Anything that improves the human condition? :confused:

    I could think of quite a few I believe.........
    the cold war was dangerous......not much changed there then.
    less sickness and disease in the western world you mean.
    higher life expectancies only in the western world...often with little or no quality of life. the poor are a growing number. they don't get to see theses things. do you not see that only a small percentage of the world share in these things. that percentage and that per entage is getting ever smaller.
    you could think of quite a few aye? then share them with me as i need cheering up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, less sickness and disease andhigher life expectanct in most places.

    The world is very unequal but it doesn't mean things have not improved in much of the less developed world also, just nowhere near as much as here which is a very bad thing in my mind.....

    Smallpox vaccine has improved peoples quality of life.......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As has Habitat for Humanity, but neither have anything to do with messing around with the building blocks of life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Clandestine
    As has Habitat for Humanity, but neither have anything to do with messing around with the building blocks of life.
    oh well...ten out of ten for smallpox though. one of my favourites is refrigerated transport. it realy puts the cream on my well fed western arse.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: DNA- 50 years on
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    50 years ago today (or yesterday as I type into the night) Francis Crick and James Watson made a discovery that would change science- and mankind- as we know it. The DNA sequence that is the fabric of organic life was revealed. I'd like to pay tribute to the two men who made such a significant discovery. :)

    I think few would disagree that this is one of the most significant discoveries of all time. But has it opened a pandora's box? From enthusiastic claims about finding cures for most known diseases we've moved to Frankenstein paranoia and tales of design babies and cloned people.

    I think that it's too bad that religious organisations and other focus groups are tying to stop embryos from being developed for research purposes. We could be a few years away from finding a cure from most varieties of cancer, heart disease and countless other ailments. Yet we find massive opposition from the Church for no apparent reason.

    I know this is a massive minefield but my opinion is that as long as we're not cloning humans or 'making design babies' there is nothing to fear from genetic modification. If we are able in the near future to remove all potential cancer-causing genes or other genetic diseases from our DNA, all the better. Crime fighting has also benefited enormously from DNA advances.

    I just hope we continue research and exploit all opportunities to the full. I've already heard that several governments are seeking to block research with embryos, and I think that's a damn shame. In fact, wasn't paralysed actor Christopher Reeve suing the US government for blocking research with stem cells?

    As soon as we rid ourselves of Primitive religions then we can begin to evolve socially as a species.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In today's paper online.

    A leading British scientist has spelled out his fears of "genetic apartheid" with people who have low-grade DNA stigmatised by society. They said in the article how babies will have DNA cards at birth in 20 years.


    I never see the bad side of something. People must stay up nights thinking of ways to take an advancement and turn it into something bad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Go rent the film Gattica or read Huxley's novel Brave New World.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Clandestine
    Go rent the film Gattica or read Huxley's novel Brave New World.
    In Brave New World they are factory farmed and physically manipulated... not genetically... (Sorry I have read that book about a hundred times...)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Once they had discovered DNA and the possibilites of how it works there was still an awful lot of work to be done. I've did a module called advanced molecular biology before christmas and believe me, its complex. We are still along way from understanding the mechanisms behind it all. Its like the human genome project, yes we have a sizeable chuck of the genome 'coded' out as a series of letters, but nobody really knows what to do next or even what we would like to do next. So far the genome excerise has been primarily a political one, it has little scientific value.

    I would suggest we may start really making noticable use of what we know in 20/30 years time with reagrds to human health, but as Aladdin said, what we know already has applications, medically to an extent, but also in the fight against crime and in the quest to fully understand genetics.

    Its a case of so far, so good, but still alot more to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apologies then Symbeline, Ive not read the book, but the film Gattica which is based on the novel has modified the storyline somewhat to focus on a society steeped in genetic manipulation and the discrimination stemming therefrom.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by pnjsurferpoet
    In today's paper online.

    A leading British scientist has spelled out his fears of "genetic apartheid" with people who have low-grade DNA stigmatised by society. They said in the article how babies will have DNA cards at birth in 20 years.


    I never see the bad side of something. People must stay up nights thinking of ways to take an advancement and turn it into something bad.
    thats me mate. i sometimes wish i had the almost religous faith that some of you people hold to when you look at our world. you don't see dna cards as bad news either?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would think with DNA cards people have a head start on preventing predisposed diseases. (Although worrying that you could get something could take away from just enjoying life too I guess.)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    what i see is the amazing human reducing himself to a microsoft product. with plastic surgery and genetics there will be no beauty left. no hereo's. no villains. and you'll still have to download a patch.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds like MTV MR.

    Like in America, a band, musician has to get on MTV's TRL (Total Request Live) to make it really big. But everyone on is very good looking. What about the talented musicians and singers who aren't good looking.

    It's like in my dad's career, he got over on his looks. He's an Account Executive in an ad agency. I think society is moving towards some view of perfection.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    our graves are becoming evermore shallow.
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