Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution => Topic started by: MarianaM on 16/09/2019 12:34:58

Title: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: MarianaM on 16/09/2019 12:34:58
Johnny is wondering...

What would happen if I tried to inject myself with dinosaur DNA or RNA? How would my cells and/or DNA pair with a dinosaur's?

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: Kryptid on 16/09/2019 18:22:30
You wouldn't become some kind of dinosaur hybrid. The DNA would be treated as a foreign substance, instigating an immune reaction. This person injected himself with foreign DNA and only experienced "minor inflammation": https://www.livescience.com/64388-boy-encoded-and-injected-dna-bible-quran.html
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: WannabeDinosaur on 16/09/2019 20:46:47
Damn. what about genetic splicing?
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: Kryptid on 16/09/2019 22:54:12
Damn. what about genetic splicing?

There are no confirmed reports of us having found dinosaur DNA. DNA has a relatively short half-life even under favorable natural circumstances, so it's unexpected that we can find any today. The half-life is 521 years, with all base pairs breaking apart after about 6.8 million years: https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/whats-half-life-dna/

I'm still hoping that, maybe, some as-yet unknown natural method of DNA preservation will allow us to find partly intact dinosaur DNA. The drier, colder, and better insulted from radiation and microbes, the better.
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: evan_au on 17/09/2019 12:03:41
Birds are descended from dinosaurs.
- It is quite feasible to splice bird DNA.
- If you want it to affect every cell in the body, you would need to make the changes in an embryo.
- However, genetic engineering of humans requires approval by an ethics committee, and they would expect to see considerable evidence that this genetic engineering would correct a fatal genetic disease.
- At this point in time, I expect that they would not approve genetic engineering that would enhance a person's performance above the average.
- At the current state of the art, genetic engineering has significant "off-target" effects, and so carries a high risk; it can only be used on humans if they are faced with a definite adverse outcome without the treatment.
- Typically, the chance that a CRISPR change will "take" is somewhere around 10%. Where will you find 10 embryos?

But the nub of the question is: Assuming (in, say, 20 years) genetic engineering was a lot more reliable than it is today, which gene or gene variants would you transfer from a bird into a human? And why?
- And would it still be relevant 20 years later when they became an adult?
- And what rights will an embryo have, in 20 years time? (and 20 years later, when they grow up?)
- And will the ethics committee be equally unmpressed in 20 years time?

Face it - today, genetic engineering is mostly done in animals, in the lab, where a high failure rate is not such a problem.
- But there are severe restrictions on these animals outside the lab, even if the gene variant is one that occurs naturally in a closely related strain of animals (eg transferring a gene variant from breed of hornless cows into a breed that normally has horns - with the goal of reducing stab wounds and lost eyes in the cows).
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: alancalverd on 17/09/2019 15:06:29
Falling out of a tree can be fatal for any animal other than a bird, so genetic modification of a human embryo that gave it wings and sufficient pectoral muscle, would indeed be curing a genetic defect that affects 100% of the current population.

Ethics committees must also consider the social benefit of an experiment. If the scary warmists are to be believed, the human need to fly is destroying the world, but the migration of starlings is a Good Thing (unless you happen to be a fruit farmer, but they are all capitalists who use Poisonous Chemicals, so they don't count). So a generation of humans that can fly to Florida in the winter without using an aeroplane is a social benefit. 

Go for it!
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: chiralSPO on 17/09/2019 16:18:14
Falling out of a tree can be fatal for any animal other than a bird

My praying mantis would beg to differ. ;-)
Title: Re: What would happen if we combine human DNA with dinosaur DNA?
Post by: alancalverd on 17/09/2019 18:35:07
The habits of the mantodea are enough to put any male off sex. I'd rather fall out of a tree.