Advertisement

loader

Talk

Advanced search

to not understand it, but be really excited by genome/DNA sequencing?

(146 Posts)
AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 13:30:34

I've probably not even called it the right thing!

But over the last few months I have heard on the news so many breakthroughs. By finding the 'fault' in their genome and repairing it.

One was for a hereditary eye condition that caused blindness being resolved.

One was the 3yo girl with leukemia.

One the other day about recurrent miscarriage (if they allow the editing of embryos).

Someone just mentioned on a thread about personalised assessments of what illnesses you are most at risk of and how to mitigate against them.

I really feel that the research into this is starting to get somewhere, and we're gaining momentum and we'll start seeing breakthroughs more and more frequently. Like we're really on the cusp of something amazing.

I don't even really know what DNA is in the physical sense - it's always portrayed as that twisted ladder, if you magnify a single cell enough, is that what you see?

Disclaimer: Not a scientist. My terminology is probably all wrong.

SpecialStains Fri 15-Jan-16 14:16:53

YADNBU! It is hugely exciting the advances in genome sequencing, and how much cheaper and faster its getting.

knobblyknee Fri 15-Jan-16 14:30:27

You can see DNA with the naked eye;

learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/extraction/howto/

And theres a plant thats DNA is so large its very easy to extract and see, but I can't find a link about it.

Thought you might find that interesting smile

AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 14:31:34

Glad someone else feels the same! grin

I mean, I was pretty excited about graphene and what they could do with that.

And I like the idea of 3D printers (they can print much cheaper prosthetic limbs, and I'm sure many more things).

Most other things I'm a bit Meh about.

But this! It totally blows my mind.

Owllady Fri 15-Jan-16 14:32:58

I know, I think it's amazing smile I have a child with an undiagnosed condition and I'm hoping she can be put forward too!

x2boys Fri 15-Jan-16 14:40:57

Ds has a deletion of genes on one of his chromosomes according to the geneticists it has likely to have caused his autism and learning disabilities so any breakthrough is interesting .

DrDreReturns Fri 15-Jan-16 14:50:10

I don't even really know what DNA is in the physical sense - it's always portrayed as that twisted ladder, if you magnify a single cell enough, is that what you see?
By magnifying a human cell you would see the chromosomes - which are collections of lots of DNA. If you had a really powerful electron microscope you might be able to see the twisted ladder (aka double helix). The structure of DNA was discovered using a different technique though (X-ray crystallography).

AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 14:50:50

I hope so Owl

That's interesting x2boys, I hadn't even considered that something like autism could have a physical genome angle too. Really interesting.

So many possibilities.

AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 14:56:59

Thanks DrDre

And I take it that would be any cell, so hair, organ tissue, blood cells, even bone? So in every type of cell, this structure of DNA exists?

And if that's the case, do they need to "edit" every cell one at a time to remove the bit that it causing the problem? It always sounds (on the news) like they've just made one simple change.

DrDreReturns Fri 15-Jan-16 15:02:25

Red blood cells don't contain DNA - but plenty of other cells in the blood do (white blood cells etc). Hair itself doesn't contain DNA, only the roots do. Bone marrow will contain DNA but not the actual bone.
My knowledge is out of date (did my degree twenty years ago) but I think it is impossible to change the genetic make up of every cell in your body. Perhaps these therapies use a more targeted approach? Different genes are turned on / off in different areas of your body.

HormonalHeap Fri 15-Jan-16 15:10:55

I feel the same too- I have a hereditary condition which my dcs may or may not have inherited. It's a game changer isn't it? Completely fascinated.

Egosumquisum Fri 15-Jan-16 15:13:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

toffeeboffin Fri 15-Jan-16 15:16:59

Hugely exciting.

Don't understand, but it's very cool.

Any scientists around to explain/simplify?

toffeeboffin Fri 15-Jan-16 15:17:38

'When I was young, it took days to sequence a few 100 bases of DNA (the sequence is bases - AGCTAGCCTA - etc. Now it takes a few hours to do 1000s. It's incredible

From what I understand, you can introduce genes through vectors that are then incorporated into areas - such as lung tissue for cystic fibrosis.

I.E. This ^ grin

Lonelynessie Fri 15-Jan-16 15:21:49

Yanbu. My bil who works in the field has told me of some of the things that are 100% possible (and have been actually done in labs to great success) and it's very exciting. I was astounded by some of the things he was explaining to me a few weeks ago that he himself has discovered and worked on, it's incredible. But, it's down to governments and big pharma to develop things, and quite often there are groundbreaking and life changing science that is blocked from being used, usually because of cost (as in big pharma will lose lots of money on other drugs by producing the cure).

AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 15:40:12

My bil who works in the field has told me of some of the things that are 100% possible (and have been actually done in labs to great success) and it's very exciting. I was astounded by some of the things he was explaining to me a few weeks ago

Oooo, please share! Technical details entirely optional, layman's language of examples very welcome!

AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 15:43:45

there are groundbreaking and life changing science that is blocked from being used, usually because of cost (as in big pharma will lose lots of money on other drugs by producing the cure).

I do not like this bit sad But it's the way of the world (of the powerful) I suppose.

I'd hope that Pharma would diversify to do this sort of work themselves, rather than try and shut it down. If they were brave enough.

Egosumquisum Fri 15-Jan-16 15:45:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dollymixtureyumyum Fri 15-Jan-16 15:47:09

Well they managed to bring back dinosaurs on Jurassic park, oh no wait a minute grin
Seriously though it's amazing to think what they will able to do in a few years, can't understand people who are against it and there are quite a few

murmuration Fri 15-Jan-16 15:51:37

Yeah, they can use viruses to change just the cells they need to. All the cells have the same DNA, but it's only important in some - and you might not even need to change all of them, for example, if you wanted cells to make more of some missing molecule that gets put into blood or something, you'd just need some of the cells doing it, not every single one, as long as enough of it got into the blood.

Egosumquisum Fri 15-Jan-16 15:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AyeAmarok Fri 15-Jan-16 16:11:51

Viruses can insert DNA into our genes. They're clever at doing that. If you insert the correct gene which makes the cells work correctly,you can basically get the virus (the vector) to insert the correct gene into the DNA.

Amazing. Such a simple yet great idea to get the virus to work for you for good, rather than against you.

x2boys Fri 15-Jan-16 16:18:47

So is it possible or could it be possible for chromosome, s to grow back the bit that's missing as in my son's case I have no idea of the science of this and it hurts my brain thinking about itgrin

redhat Fri 15-Jan-16 16:22:11

You can be tested for £125 which seems very cheap.

Egosumquisum Fri 15-Jan-16 16:39:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now