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FMP: Codex Vitae - CRISPR/Cas-9 by João Maia

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CODEX VITAE

CRISPR/CAS9

JOAO S. MAIA

FMP - 2019/2020

Q13752031


THIS BOOK IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

TO CRISPR, IT WAS MADE WITH THE INTENT

OF CREATING A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF

CRISPR/CAS9 IN ORDER TO GENERATE INTEREST

IN THIS SUBJECT AND SHOW THE EASINESS AND

POSSIBILITIES OF THIS GENETIC TECHNIQUE.

IN ORDER TO ENJOY THIS BOOK TO IT’S FULL

POTENTIAL IT IS NECESSARY TO DOWNLOAD

THE APP “ARTVIVE”, BEING ABLE TO OBSERVE

THE AR EFFECTS CREATED FOR THIS BOOK.




DNA is a chemical compound found inside

the nucleus of a living cell which contains all

the genetic information about an organism.

The DNA molecule itself consists of a

large number of chemical compounds,

bound together into a sort of rope-like

structure.

Engineers learned how to chop DNA

strands into pieces, reassemble them

into combinations never found in

nature, and then use the DNA to

create new types of proteins.


A GENOME IS AN ORGANISM’S COMPLETE

SET OF DNA, INCLUDING ALL OF ITS

GENES. EACH GENOME CONTAINS ALL

OF THE INFORMATION NEEDED TO

BUILD AND MAINTAIN THAT ORGANISM.

IN HUMANS, THE GENOME IS STORED

ON CELL NUCLEUS AND IN THE SMALL

MITOCHONDRIAL DNA. WHAT THE DNA

ACTUALLY DOES IS NOW PARTLY KNOWN.

APPLYING THIS KNOWLEDGE IN

PRACTICE HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN.





Genetic engineering involves the

group of techniques used to cut up

and join together genetic material,

especially DNA from different

biological species, and to introduce

the resulting hybrid DNA into an

organism in order to form new

combinations of heritable genetic

material.

These achievements

led to concerns in the

scientific community

about potential

risks from genetic

engineering.

Surprising results have been

obtained by silencing genes in

experimental organisms, as well as

the production of animal models of

human disease by deriving strains

of animals with mutated human

genes.

Much attention is being given to

the production of products and

methods to modify an individual’s

cells to treat human disease.

Although the majority of activity

at the present time is directed

toward traits governed by a single

gene, commercial and academic

investigators are hopeful that

complex diseases and behavior can

also be modified.






CRISPR-Cas9

In order to understand CRISPR we need to

understand the oldest of wars, Bacteria vs.

Virus.

Virus hunts Bacteria, they kill the bacteria

by inserting their own genetic code into the

bacteria, taking them over and using them

as factories. The bacteria tries to resist but

fails, most of the times, simply because

their protection is too weak.

When bacteria survives the attack, they are

able to activate their most effective antivirus

system, by saving a part of the virus

DNA in their own genetic code in a DNA

archive called CRISPR. So when the virus

attacks again, the bacteria makes a copy

of the virus DNA that had been stored and

arms a protein called CAS-9. This protein

matches the attackers DNA with the stored

DNA. When it has a 100% match, CAS-9

is activated and cuts out the attacker DNA,

making it useless.

THIS MEANS THAT CRISPR MIGHT

HELP US END DISEASES, LIKE HIV,

CANCER AND OTHERS. WE CAN

MODIFY OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO

MAKE IT STRONGER AT DETECTING

THIS DISEASE CELLS.


Scientists described how the system could be tweaked

to cut DNA in precise locations, and then demonstrated

how it could be deployed in human and animal cells.

CRISPR guides an enzyme called Cas9 to particular

spots in the genetic instruction book, or genome.

The enzyme slices through both strands of the DNA

double helix. Cuts can be used to disable certain genes,

snip out troublesome DNA or even repair a problem.

CRISPR is more precise than conventional gene therapy

and therefore may have the power to treat some diseases

for which gene therapy hasn’t worked well. Researchers

have had success in using the gene editor CRISPR/Cas9

to correct diseases in animals. Now some companies

and universities are testing the editor in people.

University of Pennsylvania researchers have given two

people with recurring cancers a CRISPR/Cas9 therapy,

a university spokesperson said. One person has multiple

myeloma; the other, sarcoma. As part of an ongoing

trial, both received T cells, a type of immune cell,

programmed with CRISPR to go after cancer cells.

Similar trials are under way in China. Trials are also

under way for two blood disorders. Both result from

defects in the gene for the oxygen-carrying protein in

red blood cells. The therapy is designed to mimic a fix

that nature has already devised.


clinical

trials

Still, many genetic diseases affect the whole body or

organs that can’t be removed and edited in a lab. No

one knows whether CRISPR can work well in the human

body. But a clinical trial using the gene editor to treat

an inherited type of blindness may help answer the

question. The disorder is caused by a mutation in the

CEP290 gene that leads to a non-functional protein.

When the protein doesn’t work, rod cells in the retina

die and light-gathering photo-receptors can’t renew

themselves, resulting in blindness.

The first people to get the experimental therapy will

be adults who are nearly blind, small amounts of the

CRISPR editor will be injected under the retina to test

for safety. It’s uncertain whether the low doses will

improve vision. If the doses prove safe, later volunteers

will get higher doses.


EDITING HUMAN EMBRYOS MAY CHANGE THE GERM-LINE IN A WAY WHICH WILL AFFECT FUTURE

GENERATIONS, THEIR CHARACTERISTICS, AND BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT.

GENE EDITING IS ON ITS WAY TO DISRUPTING FUNDAMENTAL BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES, IT

IS VITAL TO UNDERSTAND ITS RISKS BY EVALUATING HOW GENOME EDITING IS USED TODAY.


THE HUMAN ECOSYSTEM WILL INEVITABLY MOVE BEYOND NATURAL EVOLUTION AS SCIENTISTS

ACROSS NATIONS ARE ALREADY USING GENE EDITING TOOLS LIKE CRISPR-CAS9.

IT IS VITAL TO UNDERSTAND ITS RISKS BY EVALUATING HOW GENOME EDITING IS USED TODAY.

IT IS VITAL TO UNDERSTAND ITS RISKS BY EVALUATING HOW GENOME EDITING IS USED TODAY.


BABY

TWINS

BORN

IMMUNE

TO HIV

DUE TO

CRISPR

MUTATION

A Chinese biophysics researcher

who was an associate professor in

the Department of Biology of the

Southern University of Science and

Technology, stunned the world last

year by announcing he had helped

produce genetically edited babies,

has been found guilty of conducting

“illegal medical practices” and

sentenced to three years in prison.

Jiankui and two collaborators forged

ethical review documents and misled

doctors into unknowingly implanting

gene-edited embryos into two

women, according to Xinhua, China’s

state run press agency. One mother

gave birth to twin girls in November

2018.

He announced that he had modified

a key gene in a number of human

embryos in a way thought to confer

resistance to HIV. The modification

might be passed on to the

descendants of children born with it.


He Jiankui


Josiah

Zayner


BIOHACKER

PUBLICLY

INJECTS

HIMSELF

WITH

CRISPR

Dr. Josiah Zayner is a global

leader in the BioHacker movement,

constantly pushing the boundaries

of Science outside traditional

environments. He started

BioHacking during his Ph.D.

in Molecular Biophysics at the

University of Chicago, creating The

Chromochord in his apartment, the

world’s first musical instrument

that uses engineered protein

nanotechnology.

After his Ph.D., Josiah received

a prestigious fellowship to work

with NASA’s Synthetic Biology

program, engineering bacteria to

help terraform Mars. Now he is the

Founder and CEO of The ODIN.

Josiah has a number of Scientific

publications and awards for

his work in protein and genetic

engineering and is also recipient of

Art awards for creating Speculative

Science works that have been

featured in museums across the

world, including NY MoMA PS1. H.




WHEN TRYING TO WRAP YOUR

BRAIN AROUND THE CURRENT

STATUS OF GENOME MODIFICATION

AND CRISPR, YOU REALLY NEED TO

TAKE THE WORLD OF DIY BIOLOGY

INTO ACCOUNT.

UNIVERSITIES AND PHARMACEUTICAL

COMPANIES ARE NO LONGER THE

ONLY PLATFORMS AVAILABLE FOR

SCIENTISTS.


SOME BIOLOGISTS WORK FROM MAKESHIFT

LABS IN THEIR OWN BASEMENT, OTHERS

JOIN COMMUNITY LAB SPACES THAT ARE

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.


CRISPR CAN

AND POSSIBLY

WILL BE

USED FOR THE

CREATION

OF MODIFIED

HUMANS.

This means that human kind will be

changed forever. Modified humans might

alter the genome of our entire species

because, these DNA modification will

be passed into their children and spread

over generations and possibly modify the

whole genome of humankind. It will start

slowly, the first modified babies will most

certainly be to cure irreversible diseases,

ending a life of suffering.

But as this becomes a normality, people

will tend to not only end diseases but as

well to enhance their kids, giving them

perfect eyesight or a great set of hair and

so on.


WHILE YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM YOURSELF

OR YOUR EXISTING CHILDREN, IN THE

NEAR FUTURE, YOU JUST MIGHT BE ABLE TO

PLAY GOD WITH YOUR OWN NEW, LITTLE

CREATIONS. THINK OF IT AS A VERY

PERSONAL KIND OF EXPERIMENT.

TECHNOLOGY THAT IS ALREADY

AVAILABLE TODAY MAY WELL MAKE THIS

EXPERIMENTATION POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE

WHO CAN PAY THE PRICE TO MAKE A NEW

PERSON, ONLY ONE THAT IS HOPED TO BE

“BETTER.”






The discovery of CRISPR allows us to change what surrounds

us to our favour, probably ending a lot of diseases passed or

originated trough animals, but at the same time is it right

for us to alter what’s not ours? And perhaps ending animal

species.

Our touching in this has already begun, with humans changing

DNA in vegetables and fruits in order to make them last longer

in our shelf. CRISPR also allows us to modify ourselves, making

us able to immune to disease and as studies go, even aging.

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