Genome Pioneer: We Have The Dangerous Power To Control Evolution

J. Craig Venter is the pioneering cartographer of the human genome, the sequence of which he and other scientists mapped in 2000. The WorldPost recently spoke with this modern Prometheus about the promises and perils of being able to read, write and edit the human genome. You have said that humankind is entering a “new phase of evolution” -- from natural selection to intelligent direction. Why is this so, and what does it mean? Biological evolution has taken three and a half or four billion years to get us where we are. Social evolution has been much faster. Now that we can read and write the genetic code, put it in digital form and translate it back into synthesized life, it will be possible to speed up biological evolution to the pace of social evolution. On a theoretical basis, that gives us control over biological design. We can write DNA software, boot it up to a converter and create unlimited variations on biological life. This year is the fifth anniversary of when my team produced the first synthetic cell. To do that, we took the ones and zeroes in the computer, rewrote the genetic code from four bottles of chemicals and booted that up to get a self-replicating cell. That means we now have the power to start controlling evolution.   We’re doing this now in cells that can change manufacturing and create a new industrial revolution by creating synthetic food, chemicals and even building materials. Ultimately, as we begin to better understa...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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This study provides a possible reason why genes carrying health risks have persisted in human populations. The second found evidence for multiple variants in genes related to ageing that exhibited antagonistic pleiotropic effects. They found higher risk allele frequencies with large effect sizes for late-onset diseases (relative to early-onset diseases) and an excess of variants with antagonistic effects expressed through early and late life diseases. There also exists other recent tangible evidence of antagonistic pleiotropy in specific human genes. The SPATA31 gene has been found under strong positive genomic sele...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to online resources, and much more. This content is...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
This study showed that potential vicious cycles underlying ARDs are quite diverse and unique, triggered by diverse and unique factors that do not usually progress with age, thus casting doubts on the possibility of discovering the single molecular cause of aging and developing the single anti-aging pill. Rather, each disease appears to require an individual approach. However, it still cannot be excluded that some or all of these cycles are triggered by fundamental processes of aging, such as chronic inflammation or accumulation of senescent cells. Nevertheless, experimental data showing clear cause and effect relationships...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
In this study, we examined the benefits of early-onset, lifelong AET on predictors of health, inflammation, and cancer incidence in a naturally aging mouse model. Lifelong, voluntary wheel-running (O-AET; 26-month-old) prevented age-related declines in aerobic fitness and motor coordination vs. age-matched, sedentary controls (O-SED). AET also provided partial protection against sarcopenia, dynapenia, testicular atrophy, and overall organ pathology, hence augmenting the 'physiologic reserve' of lifelong runners. Systemic inflammation, as evidenced by a chronic elevation in 17 of 18 pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokin...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
This study suggests that exocrine glands can be induced from pluripotent stem cells for organ replacement regenerative therapy. Replacement of Aged Microglia Partially Reverses Cognitive Decline in Mice https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2018/10/replacement-of-aged-microglia-partially-reverses-cognitive-decline-in-mice/ Researchers here report on a compelling demonstration that shows the degree to which dysfunctional microglia contribute to age-related neurodegeneration. The scientists use a pharmacological approach to greatly deplete the microglial population and then allow it to recover naturally. The...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to online resources, and much more. This content is...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to online resources, and much more. This content is...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
In conclusion, senescence of vascular cells promotes the development of age-related disorders, including heart failure, diabetes, and atherosclerotic diseases, while suppression of vascular cell senescence ameliorates phenotypic features of aging in various models. Recent findings have indicated that specific depletion of senescent cells reverses age-related changes. Although the biological networks contributing to maintenance of homeostasis are extremely complex, it seems reasonable to explore senolytic agents that can act on specific cellular components or tissues. Several clinical trials of senolytic agents are currentl...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Discussion of advocacy for the cause is a usual feature of our community, as we try things and attempt to make progress in persuading the world that rejuvenation research is plausible, practical, and necessary. There are more people engaged in advocacy now than at any time in the past decade, and so discussions of strategy come up often. New ventures kicked off in 2017 include the Geroscience online magazine, and among the existing ventures the LEAF / Lifespan.io volunteers seem to be hitting their stride. The mainstream media continues to be as much a hindrance as a help, and where it is a help you will usually find Aubre...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to online resources, and much more. This content is...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
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