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Posted: 11/1/2006 6:20:50 AM EST
and no, not the denim kind.

So, say we were able to alter an adult's genes. If we altered some one's genes from blonde hair to dark brown hair, would they start growning brown hair from there forward? What if we changed their genes regarding thier height from tall to short. Would they shrink or stay the same? What if we changed them from short to tall. Would they start growing? Again, these are all hypothetical. Just a thought I had.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 6:24:24 AM EST
good question that I can't answer so tag
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 6:26:24 AM EST
Well, it would be mighty hard to do without problems. You see, a retrovirus would have to infect the person and exchange the genetic material in every cell.

Things like skin, hair and eye color would eventually change as the cells are replaced. Hair would be the fastest, oddly enough.

But factors determined by the chronological effects of the endocrine system would not be changed...that being height, weight and body type. These are developmental.

Link Posted: 11/1/2006 6:32:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 6:38:35 AM EST by Tolip]
Certain genes are only expressed at certain times. The genes governing height are probably only used to that effect while a child is growing. If we could alter the hair color genes, though, I would think that the color would immediately change (as it grows out).

There is a lot of very interesting gene-manipulation work being done right now using a number of different vectors and techniques to introduce new DNA into targeted cells in the body, as well as silencing existing DNA. Viruses have historically been used with a good deal of success. There are also a few new techniques being tried, which don't use viruses, and are much more tissue-specific.

The Nobel Prize in medicine this year was given to a couple guys who worked with stuff called siRNA, which basically goes into the cell and stops certain genes from being expressed. This could be very effective with fighting tumors, viruses, or any over-expressed or bad genes...
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:36:21 PM EST
If they ever perfect that, I'll give you a hint what I'll be in line for.

and no, it won't be a 12-inch "pianist"
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:54:34 PM EST
Altering genes won't change what has already happened. If your arteries are clogged from a lifetime of high cholesterol, suddenly changing your genome won't clear them.

The hair might work, but it would be hard to change all the DNA in all the cells even in one relatively small volume like the scalp. The cold-virus vectors that they've experimetned with usually only target one place (most of what I've heard of is going after the cells in the lungs for treating cystic fibrosis) and so far haven't been particularly successful.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:59:07 PM EST
Uhh gene therapy hasn't been very successful to date.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 3:07:10 PM EST
First you get a tape measure and measure the inseam....oh, in that case I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 9:26:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Nlinc:
Uhh gene therapy hasn't been very successful to date.


Laser weapons haven't been very successful at shooting down missiles to date.
It is a brand new technology, still in the research phase.


Originally Posted By RJGatling:
Altering genes won't change what has already happened. If your arteries are clogged from a lifetime of high cholesterol, suddenly changing your genome won't clear them.

The hair might work, but it would be hard to change all the DNA in all the cells even in one relatively small volume like the scalp. The cold-virus vectors that they've experimetned with usually only target one place (most of what I've heard of is going after the cells in the lungs for treating cystic fibrosis) and so far haven't been particularly successful.


True. There is what nature gave you, and then there is what life gave you. You could theoretically manipulate the expression, or sequence of any number of enzymes, though, to slow or stop the disease process.

There are a lot of non-viral vectors currently being researched. Antibodies have been attached to DNA-carrying packets to target specific tissues, other ligands used to target specific receptors, hydrophobic groups linked to naked genetic material, etc..
There are some good review articles out about some different processes.

siRNA will be huge once it becomes specific enough and safe/reliable ways to administer it have been developed.
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