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Thread: Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy

  1. #1
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    Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy


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    What could follow from this?

    A DTC service to measure our epigenetics, and predict our "epigenetic age"?
    If carried out early enough this might persuade some people to change their behaviour to improve their future chances.
    However, previous public health efforts tend to face the problem that the worst affected people often have the least ability to change.

    A CRISPR-like de-methylation tool to reduce "epigenetic age"?
    Specificity would be very difficult, but if nature knows how to find that spot to methylate, presumably there is a way to modify that ability to de-methylate.
    This would be exceedingly expensive and any lack of specificity might have some strange and maybe nasty side effects.

    Any others?

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     palamede (10-11-2016)

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    As time progresses, more detailed info is being extracted from our DNA as illustrated by this article. This info, most of us hope, will be used for good. Knowing our past performances regarding new technology, you can be rest assured some will use it for their own means whatever that may be. Can DNA screening for jobs, insurance, schools etc. be far behind. Laws can be worked around and money in the right studies and right politicians' hands can convince the public that DNA screening will greatly enhance their family's lives.

    Can we as a species fiddle with our DNA structure without unforeseen consequences? Should we proceed to the end result, homosupremus? Richardo Montalban as Khan in Star Trek comes to mind as an example. We now have a baby with DNA from three individuals. Is this the first of the hybrid humans? Will we have a society of pures and GEs (Genetically Enhanced) people?

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    Exactly, Amerijoe.

    Society takes time to think through ethical issues and come to a decision.
    Our method of making snap decisions in the sort term is often made through fear or other emotion, and the result can often be counter to our own long-term interests.
    The mere fact of a possibility does not mean that possibility should be employed.
    Society should decide how the ethics of a situation should be applied to technology.
    And that decision may change in the future, as either technology or society changes further.

    The three individual baby is not new technology. It was announced some time ago.
    The press response over the past few days has been as if there were no prior announcements.
    Living with a flood of information permanently on seems to be indistinguishable from having a goldfish brain - neither can remember recent events well. (to the extent that recent experiments have shown that goldfish memory is longer than that of humans who took an equivalent test!)

    So, society needs to have the ethical conversation; and somehow as a society, we need to clear a little space to talk about things like this.

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     Amerijoe (09-29-2016)

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    Technology has no sense of right or wrong. It is it's application where things can go wonky. When good men do nothing, who knows what kind of wonky could result. Science has always been a two edge sword. Now it has a new sword in it's arsenal called CRISPR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amerijoe View Post
    Technology has no sense of right or wrong. It is it's application where things can go wonky. When good men do nothing, who knows what kind of wonky could result. Science has always been a two edge sword. Now it has a new sword in it's arsenal called CRISPR.
    True, but it was Einstein and other scientists who went to the President with concerns about the atomic bomb.
    Those who bring something forth, if they can see certain consequences, surely have some responsibility to raise them.

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    CRISPR after knowing the epigenetics, that is going to be a nightmare.

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