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How to Genetically Engineer Your Children to Be Rich

18 May

a woman's face divided into a puzzle symbolizing genetic engineering

Designing the Perfect Human


 

Designer Babies-R-Us

There has been a lot of debate in the news lately about the fears of creating designer babies and the implications it could have on our society, and on future generations of humanity if those new genes get passed down.

But that’s no fun to talk about, so let’s see just how we could design the ultimate child.

In this article, we will discuss how to engineer your child to have the highest possible chance of being wealthy.  I mean super wealthy – like rose gold plated iPhone 6 wealthy.

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“Incredible Hulk” Drug Uses Genetic Research to Increase Muscle Growth

15 May

hulk shadow bodybuilding gene

Bodybuilding Gene Leads to Drug That Inhibits Myostatin

 

In a previous article about genetic bodybuilding I mentioned the research behind the potential muscle building properties of the myostatin gene.

The Myostatin Gene Controversy

Myostatin is a protein that prevents your muscles from growing too large.

For most animals, if your muscles grow too large your body burns too many calories, and you could die if you don’t have enough food to eat.

Fortunately humans have solved this caloric dilemma with calorically concentrated creations like Twinkies and Man Vs. Food.

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The World’s Oldest Living DNA

23 Jul pando genes

The Most Successful Genes on Earth

How to be genetically successful

What makes an organism successful?

Longevity  – Tortoises can live over 200 years

Strength – Rhino beetles can carry over 850 times their own body weight

Reproduction – Rabbit females can produce up to 100 babies per year

Accolades – Jonathan Goldsmith , “the Most Interesting Man in the World”, has won the lifetime achievement award, twice.

most interesting man in the world

If you measure genetic success as the ability to reproduce one’s unique DNA the most, (which makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint since DNA continuously changes as organisms adapt to different environments and a genetic code that spreads more than others would seem to be better adapted) then the honor must go to one of the most unique organisms on the planet:  The Pando Tree.
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How Genetic Engineering Can Make Us Look Like Bodybuilders Naturally

16 Jul child bodybuilder genes

In a past post we mentioned that bodybuilding is not genetic.  Traditional bodybuilding uses anabolic steroids to imitate the hormone testosterone and increase protein synthesis and muscle growth.

There is, however, a recent discovery that could make you look like a bodybuilder without ever having to lift a weight.

Genetic “Natural” Bodybuilding

genetically altered cow muscles

In 1807 a breed of cow was discovered in Belgium that had extremely large muscles and very little fat.  This breed underwent linebreeding until the trait that caused them to be so muscular was a natural hereditary condition for all members of their breed.

Later genetic testing showed that a key mutation in the gene controlling myostatin had effectively shut off the myostatin protein.  The Myostatin protein is used by the body to inhibit muscle growth and development, so with out it, the muscles grow much larger than normal.

It not only affected adult cows, but even the babies.  The cows had double muscle tissue at birth, which means that they were literally born with twice as much muscle tissue as regular cows.

The myostatin mutation also inhibited fat storage, so these cows were bred to produce extremely lean meat, naturally.

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Wendy the Bodybuilding Dog

Wendy ripped muscle dog

Another discovered case of an inhibited myostatin gene was found in an English wippet named Wendy.  Again, the genetic mutation in that single gene caused her not only to have twice the muscle tissue of regular dogs, but accelerated muscle growth, and decreased fat storage, earning her nicknames like Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Incredible Hulk.

Unlike testosterone, the myostatin gene malfunction does not cause increases in aggressiveness or the development of male characteristics (besides the huge muscles).  Her owner claims that she does not exhibit any odd behaviors or attitudes when compared with other English wippets.

She does, however, refuse to drink tea.

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Muscular Mighty Mice!

follistatin inhibits myostatin protein in mice

A genetic scientist at Johns Hopkins discovered the myostatin gene while studying the development of a mice embryos. They found high concentrations of myostatin being expressed in skeletal muscle, and lower concentrations in fatty tissue.

When they inhibited the myostatin gene, the mice grew 30% larger than the normal mice.  As expected, they had more muscle fibers those muscles grew larger than the regular mice.  They also had less fat.  Sex appeal was not tested.

An even BIGGER discovery came only recently.

A Vaccine For Muscle

muscular mice genetically altered

The research into myostatin was part of an effort to find a treatment and possible cure for Muscular Dystrophy, a condition in which the muscles weaken and degrade over time.  Inhibiting myostatin was one possible treatment, but a difficult one, as it is most effective when the gene is turned off in an embryo, not in a fully developed adult.

Instead of turning off the myostatin gene in all of our DNA, what if they could find a protein that they could simply turn on to inhibit myostatin?

They found it.  Follistatin.  The same researchers who discovered the myostatin gene have recently released a the discovery of a new protein, follistatin, that inhibits myostatin even further.

When mice were given a follistatin vaccine that forced cells to start producing high amounts of follistatin, the same mice who had doubled their muscle tissues through myostatin inhibition now quadrupled their muscle tissue!

  • Myostatin gene mutation = 2 times the muscle
  • Myostatin gene mutation with follistatin vaccine = 4 times the muscle

If follistatin works in humans, not only will muscular degenerative diseases have a cure, but sports and bodybuilding would have a new “natural” steroid.  If you think Barry Bonds’ head is big, just wait until Ronnie Coleman starts shooting up with follistatin.

We may finally have humans big enough to wrestle grizzly bears.

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Myostatin Deficiency in Humans

Child born with super strength

There are 2 known cases of myostatin deficiency in humans. One is an unidentified German child who could apparently workout with 7 pound weights at age 5.

The other is Liam Hoekstra, whose parents became concerned when he began doing incredible physical feats at a young age. His condition has not made him muscularly bulky, but he is already an estimated 40% stronger than children his age.

If this continues, we could see strength and speed records broken by this extraordinary child.  His parents currently have him enrolled in a wrestling team.

The only downside so far to his myostatin deficiency is that his appetite is out of control.  He has to eat a full meal every hour.  Now that’s a diet problem I can deal with.

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RELATED POSTS:

5 Amazing Things About Your Genes & DNA

Why IQ is Genetic

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Genetic Information

5 Amazing Facts About Your Genes and DNA

14 Jul

1. You are a Mutant!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle DNA

The average person is born with 60 mutations in their DNA from their parents.  These kinds of mutations in DNA are thought to be largely responsible for the evolution of all species on Earth over millions of years.

As you age, environmental factors like UV rays from sunlight, radiation from x-rays and other medical procedures, and probably talking too much on your cell phone, cause additional mutations in the DNA, furthering your chances of one day becoming one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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2. You can be your own Twin.

Chimerism you can be your own twin

There is a way for you to have 2 different sets of DNA in your body.  It is called Chimerism.  When a pregnancy starts out as a set of twins, one of the twins is often absorbed into the cells of the other, and only one child is born. Sometimes the absorbed twin’s cells with slightly different DNA keep dividing, and they remain in your system.

In 2002, a woman named Lydia Fairchild took a DNA test as part of an application process for a welfare program, but when the results came back it showed that she was not the mother of her children!

The court wanted to prosecute her for fraud even though hospital records showed that she gave birth to the children.  She was eventually able to prove that she was affected by chimerism and had two sets of DNA in her body.  She was actually her own twin.

(PUBLIC ADVISORY: If you begin to grow a second head, please call a real doctor for actual medical advice!)

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3. DNA is right handed.

DNA is right handed

The ladder-like structure of DNA usually twists to the right.  This twist makes DNA’s shape asymmetrical.  If you try to superimpose the mirror image of DNA onto itself, it will not fit. Just like your right and left hand.

There are forms of DNA that have been discovered to have other shapes, for example there occasionally arises a left-handed form of DNA that scientists have called “Z-DNA”.  (Fortunately, Z does not mean zombie, however it is only a matter of time until a comic book writer uses it that way.)  It seems to occur briefly during biological activities such as DNA transcription.

Most scientists believe that DNA randomly arose as a right handed structure, and all DNA that has evolved since has had to follow that structure. DNA’s right-handedness may also be due to the Earth’s natural rotation, early human tire swing experimentation, or because our DNA is just too lazy to be ambidextrous.

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4. Your DNA can reach to the stars.

Your DNA Can Reach to the Sun and back

If you unraveled the DNA in a single cell in your body it would be about 6 feet long.  You have around 50-100 TRILLION cells in your body.

If you put all the DNA molecules from every cell in your body together they would reach to the sun and back numerous times.  (some calculate as many as 600 times to the sun and back!)

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5. There is MORE bacterial DNA in your body than your own DNA.

human body has more bacteria dna

Believe it or not, there are about 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than your own cells.  That’s like 500-1000 Trillion bacteria cells floating around your body. That means there’s more DNA from bacteria inside you than human DNA.

Bacteria are super, super small, about 10 to 20 times smaller than a human cell, so you don’t really notice them.   1-3% of your body weight is actually bacteria, which will soon lead to an anti-bacterial weight-loss challenge.  (You heard it here first!)

Don’t freak out though – a lot of that bacteria is helpful and necessary for many bodily functions.  As for the rest of it… remember to wash you hands before you eat.

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RELATED POSTS:

Weird Things That Are Genetic

What is Genetic?

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What is Genetic?

12 Jul what is genetic?

Do you know what physical traits are hereditary?


 

Heredity Definition: inherited traits passed down from the parent’s genes to the child.


 

What physical traits are genetically passed down from a single gene?

genes for eye color

  • Eye color is genetic.

Eye color is also based on how much melanin you have, which determines how much color pigment is deposited in your iris. Just like skin color and hair color, our genes give us a natural color, but those colors will change as we are exposed to more or less sunlight.

FUN FACT: Your true eye color is not determined until age 3!

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