Monday, October 26, 2015

Dr. George Church of Harvard Medical School dropped a bombshell in the middle of his presentation. In a typical experiment scientists use Crispr to alter a single gene. Church and his colleagues used Crispr to alter 62 genes at once in pig cells. They hope this will lead to using pig organs for human transplants. This also raises the question is this experiment could be used to altered multiple human genes at once. In 1990s researchers explored the possibility of using pig organs for human transplant. There is a major risk with pigs DNA called porcine version also known as PERV can affect human cells as well. In 2013 they asked Dr. Church to discover a way to edit the genes of PERV. He agreed to give it a shot even though he thought it wouldn’t work. Dr. Chruch had failed several times only killing the cells.  In the last experiment Dr. Church and colleagues found that there were 62 PERVs in the genome. The DNA was nearly identical from virus to virus. Chruch engineered a new set of genes and inserted them into pigs cell. Two weeks went by and the modified pig cells had altered all of their own viral DNA. Chromosomes showed no abnormalities and the cells grew normally. This could be the answer to endless supply of safe dependable pig organs for transplant.  
       This finding could save thousands of lives! We wouldn't have to wait for someones life to be cut short to save another one. There's always a down side to new findings. This is the first time scientist were able to change multiple genes at once. This could be another huge step to creating designer babies. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's so amazing! I hope that this becomes largely successful (despite the fact that designer babies might become a nigger thing someday) and I think that the benefits of having organs available on a large scale will outweigh the down side of people messing with their future child's genes.