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Thread: Gene Drives

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    Default Gene Drives

    There's not a lot of real science going on in this thread, so I figure I better step up to the plate and help make it more edumacational.

    This is a very good short video I just came across about how Gene drives work.
    It freaks the shit out of anti-GMO idiots because most of them don't understand genetics, and those that do can't see the big picture and are even more alarmist.

    The poster child application for a gene drive is as in this video, a method for eradicating Malaria by disrupting the vector (mosquitoes).

    Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

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    Crazy Diamond
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    Hmmm, seems like something that could be very effective to eradicate the mindless morons of human society that currently are out-breeding the wise, educated minority.
    Would help to kerb the population growth with positive effect for future generations.
    Oh I just wish.

    EDIT; rereading what I just wrote appears very elitist, Nazism & Aryan race type architecture, so I guess it won't happen soon, if at all.
    I guess we just have to live with the bogans.
    Last edited by Tiny; 04-04-18 at 05:58 PM.
    Cheers, Tiny
    "You can lead a person to knowledge, but you can't make them think? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
    The information is out there; you just have to let it in."

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    I'm glad you're paying attention Tiny Because that is one of the concerns with gene drives. However, there is a small problem with using gene drives on large slowly reproducing organisms like humans.
    It takes a long time for the drive to make a difference on our time scales.

    Lets assume that I find 10 unsuspecting victims and put the drive in them. Lets also assume that humans have an average of 3 offspring that survive to become adults.
    Generation 0 has 10 members.
    Generation 1 has 30
    Generation 2 has 90
    Generation 3 has 270 ........ It takes over 18 generations to flood the entire population. This will take about 400-500 years for humans. It kind of defeats the purpose if you're trying to achieve in in your own lifetime.
    Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

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    Ok so it's very very slow selective genocide; got to be better than doing nothing.

    My lifetime is approaching twilight, so no big deal, I don't need to witness it.

    Skynet going to be after me now. lol
    Cheers, Tiny
    "You can lead a person to knowledge, but you can't make them think? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
    The information is out there; you just have to let it in."

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    It's all right tiny, 'twas my thinking too.....
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    Actually, it looks like genocide, but it's not. There are a number of factors which don't let that play out.
    You can thank Mr Euler for the law of diminishing returns. It's not entirely possible to destroy an organism with a gene drive alone. But it certainly is possible to make the species feel very threatened. Of course the Mosquito was not my first choice, the Bufo Marinus was.

    Now using a gene drive to wipe out the cane toad turns out not to be an effective solution in the long run. Sure it thins out the numbers, but evolution fights back.
    It turns out that when you give the an organism an unfair disadvantage, those that retain the advantage now just have an exponentially bigger advantage against their friends.

    Of course, if other external factors are not influenced by the drive then they can apply even pressure across the genome and that has a chance of finishing them off.
    You can't give the toads a gene that is deleterious. Making them sterile, defeats the drive. Giving them only 2 legs, defeats the drive. Likewise,making them non-toxic also defeats the drive. Non toxic toads are quickly picked off and they take predators with them who then eat toxic toads and you're worse off than where we started.

    The Gene drive needs to "fly by throwing itself at the ground and missing."
    An example is to make the toads Red. This makes them easy to avoid if you're a predator and easy to spot if you like golf.
    Giving the toads a gene that makes them female is another way of hitting them hard.
    A female toad lays eggs and all of the tadpoles will be female. Lets assume all of those will be females and carry the drive.
    Males mate and are displaced by females. Now we come to a tipping point where the population is 99% gene drive females. The population now collapses.
    The hope is that the few remaining males now don't find non drive females or mutated drive females, else there will be a new population explosion until the female selective drive finds it's way back into the wider population. It grows, collapses, bounces and grows again. But each time it does the organism gets closer to extinction, but also has a chance to lose the drive and everything goes back to square one.

    Using the drive as a vector itself makes for an interesting weapon. The target species is not the one that carries the drive.
    The other thought which I haven't put my mind to fully yet is crossover of gene drives. If two drives are in existence and they both end up in the same organism, what are all the cool, neutral and bad things that can happen? The obvious answers are, both genes thrive. One gene deletes the other (but which one wins out). One replaces the other.
    Or you get some really weird transposons happening where genes from one drive are picked up unintentionally from the other.

    And the final fun one is to give a gene drive a 'time to live'. This seems logically possible, but I'm not sure the it actually is. Can you program a gene to to remove itself and give DNA a counter or clock to watch and enable or disable it?
    Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

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    Way over my tiny mind but throw this bit of 'Gene' knowledge into the mix.
    As well reported, the remains of a man was found buried in a car parking area in a Town in the UK a few years ago.
    He was buried there several hundred years ago and it was conjectured these were the remains of King Richard the Third who died in Battle.
    DNA testing was conducted and turned out to be not just a simple process as the needed 'Genes' had to be transmitted through daughters of each generation and it was stated that this Gene line WILL cease to exist in the not to distant future so had he not been discovered by the time this happens, they would never been able to prove conclusively who he was.
    With this Gene line ceasing, could Nature be doing a 'Clean out' to eliminate any Genes that may cause 'problems' if they come together?
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Not really. It works the other way too. You might have heard of genetic Eve or Genetic Adam.
    You can trace every living male human back to one male human ancestor. Genetic Adam.

    Does this mean that there was actually an Adam and Eve as per Genesis? No, of course not.
    We do know that humans went through a genetic bottleneck of about 10,000 individuals.
    If we do not account for mutations, you can see that males who have only daughters or do not live long enough to breed, their Y chromosome is lost.
    Their daughters male children pick up a Y chromosome from their other grandfather.
    Eventually one particular Y chromosome is inherited by the entire species. Though by that time, that chromosome has diversified at normal a normal mutation rate.

    This is by no means a sure thing. With a large number of members of a species, there is a lot of genetic diversity and much lower risk of inbreeding and genetic disease.
    Genetic "problems" when two genes come together, that's textbook 101 inbreeding.
    An example is a bother and sister. Lets say their mother has genes Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee and Father has Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk.
    The children randomly have half the genes from each parent Ag HB Ic DJ Ke and the other Ag Bh ic dJ ke
    So far so good... no inbreeding yet.
    But the grandchild is born with AA BB cc JJ ee <- This freak of nature is more inbred than most conservative party leaders. This particular individual had about a 1 in 32 chance of being this fvcked up with this limited gene set.
    A brother might have Ag Hh cc Dj Ke <- This sibling might be perfectly normal, but susceptible to some genetic problems that the father might have had.

    And you'll notice this is what the gene drive does. The H gene is the drive. It activates, deletes the h and replaces it with H.
    Now the brother has Ag HH cc Dj Ke. Cross this with a cousin. Ag Bb CI jd Ke
    and we might get a child Ag Hb Cc jj Ke and a sister AA HB cI Dd ee. Every child will have a H gene.
    And the gene drive will mutate both of them to Ag HH Cc jj Ke and AA HH cI Dd ee.

    Without the drive, Each child has a 50% chance of not inheriting the gene and it could become extinct in that blood line.
    So evolution doesn't actually seek to "clean out" genes, but they can just accidentally be left out of the next generation.
    A Gene drive ensures 100% that does not happen.

    ***
    I might point out inbreeding causes a reduced gene set. AA BB cc JJ ee only has 5 genes. A B c J e. This is half the genetic diversity.
    The brother Ag Hh cc Dj Ke has more diversity. AgHhcDjKe 9 out of the full 10 are different. Much more genetic diversity.
    Last edited by trash; 14-04-18 at 09:46 PM.
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    WOW !!! Totally and completely beyond my comprehension but damned fascinating .

    I believe certain 'defects' are detectable by studying the Genes so I wonder if in time, certain 'Traits' may also be seen?

    Shades of Science Fiction where such is done and those not deemed 'suitable' are 'Terminated'!!!
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Just reading through my own post to see if I could improve on it.
    I noticed the gene drive gives you all the advantages of inbreeding without the disadvantages.

    Defects are not really defects. We tend to think of mutations as bad, but they can be benign and not actually cause any harm or changes and sometimes they can be advantageous.
    In some cases the DNA is able to repair itself. This is of course what the gene drive does but in a more complex way. The only issue is the gene drive "improves" on the repair.
    Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

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    Back in the Dim Dark Ages, inbreeding was almost the norm. Now, we have the "advantage" of huge genetic diversity.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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