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Alan Watts – Existence is Quite Weird and Why the Apple Tree Apples Fall, Philosophy and Spirituality

Posted: June 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm



Alan Watts - Existence is Quite Weird and Why the Apple Tree Apples Fall, Philosophy and Spirituality from Endocrinology Hormone Clinic on Vimeo.

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Technocalpyse Part 1, 2, 3

Posted: January 24, 2016 at 7:16 am

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The Ethics of the Future: Human Genetic Engineering and Human Immortality Medicine is Coming in 19 years!!

Posted: January 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

The Ethics of the Future: Genetic Engineering and Immortality Medicine

2015 is Going to Be a Fascinating Year for Longevity Science

By Professor Mark

How do you feel about the potential for great advances in Human Longevity Science that have been occurring in recent years? Do you feel excited about the prospect of living a much longer life, or are you indifferent? Are you nervous about the prospects of what this sort of tinkering with genetics and human nature might bring?

Is the potential for a vastly expanded lifespan going to be something that everyone can enjoy, or will it be an advantage simply for those that can afford it? If you could live 100 years longer, would you want to? Would you care if the opportunity were afforded to you as an individual? Would such a huge opportunity lead to a new and beautiful life on earth, or would earth somehow take these momentous advantages and turn the world on its head?

My Beliefs Regarding Advanced Genetic Engineering

Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Penn State, our professor posited similar questions in our Genetics Class, which played a major role in affecting my beliefs toward the subject of hyper-longevity and Genetic Engineering. The class was large, with more than 100 students, and my professor asked the class what their opinions were regarding the use of genetic manipulation and engineering to alter human life.

Surprisingly, the class was completely silent. In response to this silence, the professor called up two students to debate the subject. One of my classmates volunteered to voice his opposition to genetic engineering, and I chose to volunteer, providing an argument in favor of it.

My opponent voiced his opinion to the class that genetic engineering for this purpose would be ethically wrong because it is not in man's best interest to play God. Most of our classmates seemed to agree, nodding subtly in agreement.

Personal Aesthetic: Choosing to Be Different

I felt as though I was standing upon a grand crossroads of history. As I looked around the class, it felt as though all of my classmates, for all of their cliquish differences, were being incredibly closed-minded, like they just accepted what they had been told all their lives and were afraid to think for themselves.

After the professor gauged the response of the students, I had my opportunity to argue in favor of this advanced human genetic engineering. I glanced around the class, and felt my argument come together cleanly in my mind. I saw white girls with bleached hair stretching down their backs, more than a few of which had fake breasts. I saw black girls with expensive weaves and complex and expensive hairstyles.

There were white students mimicking their hip hop and rap idols, and I even saw a young Asian student that had very obviously dyed her hair red. In my class I saw a great commingling of different styles. People both attempting to exemplify American standards of beauty and those taking on the aspects of other cultures, adopting them as their own.

As I looked around at all of this, recognizing the great diversity in my class, I had a strong feeling that there was not one person in the class that didn't have at least one thing they wanted to alter about the characteristics they were born with. I continued thinking to myself, that these students probably wanted to be different in a variety of different ways: some wanted to be smarter, some taller. Some girls wish they had larger breasts, and some guys wanted larger penises. Others probably wish that they didn't have to go through the trouble to put in contacts and hair dyes to look like the person they wish they were. For myself, I would have given anything just to be a few inches taller.

A Call for Genetic Freedom

After standing quietly for a moment, with all of these thoughts running through my at head a rapid place, I spoke from my position, in the back of the class, and suddenly stated loudly: Genetic Freedom!

I felt that just those two words spoke for themselves, but my professor threw a dejected glance in my direction, and I could detect her shaking her head almost imperceptibly. Her silence was a sign that she needed more. After the brief silence, I continued. I argued to the class that the individual should have full control to alter his DNA as he sees fit, so long as it doesn't negatively impact society or the rights of anyone else.

She seemed thoroughly unhappy with the argument, and the class began to chatter loudly, nearly in unison. After the short spate of controlled chaos, the class continued with liveliness and energy, but I felt that others in the class largely shunned me as a result of the fervent beliefs I expressed in regard to what legitimately amounted to the potential future of the human race.

Will People Be Able to Resist Genetic Alteration?

I still laugh to myself to this day about how my belief met such incredulity in the face of so many. In the future, once science makes it possible to make such powerful changes to humanity at the genetic level, I am confident that these same students, if given the actual opportunity to improve themselves through futuristic genetic methods, would absolutely jump at the chance with no second thought.

It wouldn't be Playing God. It wouldn't be unethical. It would simply be the new reality. In fact, once the time comes to pass when Genetic Alteration becomes a reality, the exact same people today that seek out plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery will clamor for these procedures as soon as they become available. In the end, I believe I made a B in the course, which is regretful, because I've always remained highly interested in genetics.

The Future of Humanity: The Organic and the Engineered

Another of my professors at Penn State, himself with a doctorate in genetics, explained an interesting aspect of human evolution, one which I had never thought of before. He explained that the many races that make up humanity as a whole developed their differences as a result of dispersing far from one another, and slowly adapting to their new environments over time.

After they migrated, geography, distance, and other factors kept them from interacting heavily with one another, which caused their minor adaptations to become more pronounced. In the same way that they developed their own habits and cultures, their aesthetic and physical makeup also changed. Some grew taller, others grew paler, and each individual culture became maximally resistant to the diseases which were prominent in their area.

Even though these physical and genetic changes were significant, any healthy woman on earth could still mate with any other healthy man, no matter how different he looked or acted. What he said that truly sparked my mind was that if the different races of human beings stayed geographically isolated from one another for longer period of time, eventually the different races could have changed enough to where they could no longer produce children with one another.

Could Genetically Engineered Humans Evolve Beyond Humanity?

This can also apply to the future of genetic engineering. The modern world is so interconnected that geography has no impact on the ability of humans to breed with one another, but genetic enhancement may lead to a point at which a human born today would not be able to mate with an individual that was the result of generations of genetically altered parents.

As Genetic Engineering becomes more advanced, humans may change enough at the genetic level to prevent interbreeding between lineages which have undergone these advancements and those that chose not to. This change would of course be gradual, first reducing the ability to conceive before denying that ability altogether. At this point, it would take genetic engineering just to create a viable child for two disparate humans. Interestingly enough, it may even come to pass that different species of humans evolve from such endeavors, as distinct from one another as they are from humans themselves.

The beginning of this story could begin sometime in the next hundred years, as scientists and medical specialists develop the ability to safely and effectively alter DNA to meet the specifications of the individual.

The Future is Coming: the Great Human Divergence and the Neo-Sapient

The people that choose to reject Genetic Modification and Advanced Longevity Treatments in the near future will create an interesting binary world. This could be the beginning of a grand human experiment. This could be the focal point of a genetic divergence so strong that it literally fragments the human race, creating a new class of post-humans that have advanced to a point where they qualify as their own unique species.

I think back to the genetics course I mentioned earlier. I remember the absolute ocean of diversity that was contained within the 100-student course, and I was able to visualize a future in which Genetic Modification leads to even greater diversity, and a uniqueness that has never existed in the history of the human race. It made me think of the diversity of the universe, and the unlimited options for diversity that it represents. As someone with an affinity for astronomy, I find it utterly inconceivable that planet earth is home to the only lifeforms in the universe.

Of course, along with my great optimism, I do recognize that there are risks and unknowns related to the future of Genetic Modification. There is even the potential that the science behind Genetic Modification could be used for Genetic Warfare. There is certainly the potential that the same science that creates a new humanity could be used to destroy large swathes of it. I can imagine an apocalypse that is not nuclear and grandiose, but genetic and nanoscopic.

Post-Humanism and the Search For Other Worlds

In the end, will humans be able to develop interplanetary travel and colonization in order to insure itself against such potential apocalyptic scenarios? It's a subject that I am particularly concerned with, and is the core reason why I support NASA and the United States Space Program. As the world moves faster and the dangers become greater, it is imperative that we are able to save humanity even in the case of a state of mutually assured destruction.

If there truly is a Genetic Revolution on the horizon, it is vitally important that we use all of the resources we have available in order to make our dreams of space colonization a reality. Imagine a future so spectacular: A future where a multitude of post-human species advance outward from earth in order to colonize space like a rainbow across the galaxy.

This journey will be arduous and epic, as earthlings spread across the cosmos in order to find new viable homes and potentially interact with other life forms.

What Would Aliens Be Like?

Can you imagine how literally otherworldly that would be? If we found advanced aliens, would they have unlocked the key to eternity? Would we have done the same? There is no doubt that the first time that we make contact with an extraterrestrial species, they will come from worlds and cultures which are absolutely unimaginable in the face of everything that we have experienced.

I may have delved a bit into the realm of science fiction, but the future of humanity in the face of Genetic Modification has the potential to be every bit as exciting and otherworldly as the potential future that I just described. It instills a tremendous sense of fear, awe, and most importantly, unlimited potential.

Do You Think That You Could Handle Immortality?

If you ask the average person out on the street about the potential future afforded by Genetic Engineering, Advanced Longevity, and Immortality medicine, you'll likely get a number of different responses, some positive, some negative, others simply incredulous. If you surveyed 100 people, I believe that you would find that the majority would ultimately reject the idea of immortality.

Some people think that eternity would take the excitement out of life. Others fear that they would eventually just become a broken shell of their former selves as their bodies physically decline in spite of science's ability to prevent death. For many, the concept of eternity is just as fearsome as the concept of death itself. It's not all that different from the way that people feel about retirement these days. They are frustrated because they have to work so hard all through the healthiest part of their lives only to be too frail and broken down by the time they retire to enjoy it.

Longevity Medicine and the Future

That's why Longevity Medicine is so important. We want our retirement years to last as long as possible, and we want to be able to enjoy them. Maybe one day, we will be retired as long in our lives as we are at work, or longer! That's what the approach to immortality will be like!

There are a growing number of people that are optimistic about a lengthy future. They understand that even with regard to a concept like immortality, life is the sum of individual experience. Some will take advantage of a life bordering on immortality, while others would simply choose to be boring. People that live lives full of happiness and vitality shouldn't be deprived the opportunity to extend that joy, simply because there are others who wouldn't appreciate it!

The arguments stemming from the subject of Human Immortality continue to become both more interesting and more complex, both for those that long for such a fate, and those that oppose the concept. No matter how you feel about the idea of Advanced Longevity, there is no doubt that such opportunities to live lives we now consider unimaginable will eventually come to pass.

As long as human beings are able to engage in scientific advancement without destroying ourselves or sending ourselves back to the stone age, such opportunities will present themselves to the human race in the near future.

Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy: The First Steps to Hyperlongevity

The seeds of these future endeavors are being planted today, in the fields of gene therapy, genetic medicine, and stem cell therapy. This is also the core concept behind medical treatments which seek to optimize hormone production in the body in order to alleviate the medical conditions associated with hormone imbalance and aging.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Streamline Your Body for the Future!

Treatments such as Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Sermorelin Acetate Therapy, and Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy seek to correct common hormonal imbalances that occur as a result of the aging process. There is even a strong argument that these hormone imbalances are actually the root cause of many symptoms of aging, including frailty, osteoporosis, and cognitive decline.

There are many Health, Wellness, and Longevity Physicians that believe that these forms of Hormone Replacement Therapy are some of the must effective means to prolong a healthy and active life when used in combination with a healthy and conscientious lifestyle. These medical treatments are the best way to decrease your mortality risk so that you are more likely to experience the next great advancement in Anti-Aging Medicine.

If you feel that your quality of life has been on the decline as a result of changes in your body and mind resulting from the aging process, I strongly encourage you to get your hormone levels checked, because there is a significant chance that you may be suffering from a reversible form of hormone deficiency.

The Future of Human Genetic Engineering

This is truly an exciting time to be alive. We are quickly approaching the point at which scientific breakthroughs in health science will continue to occur at an ever-increasing pace, with groundbreaking new health advances occurring on a regular basis. The following years will be incredibly interesting, because there are a multitude of clinical trials regarding the promise and potential effectiveness of both gene therapy and stem cell therapy.

By 2012, these studies, and other similar studies, were already displaying high levels of potential to both treat and protect both animals and humans from disease. Beyond Hormone Optimization and Genetic Therapy, the next stage of advancement will most likely be in the field of nanomedicine. Beyond nanomedicine is femtomedicine.

At this stage of scientific inquiry, this is as far as even the most forward-thinking physician or philosopher could imagine, but there is no doubt as we create new medical treatments and expend our knowledge of medical science, new opportunities for advancement will be conceptualized that could be even more life-altering and fantastic than those that we just mentioned.

When you consider the future of medicine and longevity, you realize that human beings as they are now aren't simply the end result of millions of years of evolution, but also a gateway to the next state of terrestrial life, a transitional state between what was and what will be, an opportunity to experience even greater consciousness and enlightenment by conquering time, itself.

What is the Idea Behind Human Immortality?

When we discuss the idea of human immortality, it doesn't just mean allowing a human being to live forever, human immortality represents the idea that it will be possible, with future biomedical and genetic enhancements, for human beings to experience a practical immortality in which one is able to live as they were in the prime of their life, for all of their life.

It seems just as you master your body and your mind in the late twenties and early thirties, your body and mind start to enter a slow and unstoppable decline. What if you could preserve that period of physical and psychological perfection forever? It is during this period that the average person reaches his or her functional peak as an individual, with regard to strength, cognitive ability, immunity, and overall health.

How Much Better Would Life Be if You Lived to 200?

Think about how different and exciting that life would be if you could have the body and mind of a 29 year old for 120 years. There are a number of people that think that humans should not have this opportunity, but it sounds much better than spending the whole sum of those years in slow and steady decline.

How Much Better Would Life Be if You Could Live Indefinitely?

Immortalists subscribe to the belief that individuals that truly enjoy life and are creative or passionate enough to find interesting or fulfilling things to do would be able to easily take advantage of a significantly lengthened lifespan. I do understand how such a long life would feel to someone that lacks passion or imagination, however. I can imagine two hundred years of absolutely drudgery. If one does not have the propensity to invest or save to create wealth, I can imagine two hundred years of hard work with nothing to show for it.

With luck, a more automated world would allow us to enjoy our lives while actually working less. Imagine a world of eco-friendly machines could do the work of one hundred men. This could be a wonderful world of leisure for all, but it could also lead to a world where machines are used as a method of control and domination, like in Frank Herbert's dystopian novel Dune.

The Temptation of Human Immortality

Whether the opportunity for Human Immortality comes in twenty years or two hundred years, there will be those that seek out the opportunity for such a life, and there will be those that choose to reject the opportunity for immortality.

The central question that Immortalists posit is a simple one: Why would anyone actually want to die or grow old? When you think of it that way, it sounds absolutely silly. Who would ever want to do such things? But in reality, it seems as though most human beings are resigned to such a fate.

Who Really Wants to Grow Old?

More than simply growing old, who wants to lose their lust for life or their libido? Who wants to experience their own body slowly deteriorate as they are beaten down by illness and disease? Human Immortalists are those that are willing to fight against what is perceived as inevitable by society at large. They believe that those that have resigned themselves to decay and death are simply not willing to imagine a post-human age where they could evolve beyond the inevitability of death.

It seems that many humans think of Human Immortalists as harbingers of doom which are going to bring about a new genocide. They believe that Immortalists are going against the will of God by altering the Human Genetic Code in an attempt to foster extreme lifespans, improved aesthetic, and vastly improved health outcomes.

The Great Schism of Humanity

There is a strong chance that a rift will develop between those that choose genetic alteration and those that choose to forgo such opportunities. In the end, it is likely that humanity will rift into two distinct groups. Over time, greater and greater numbers will opt for Genetic Modification, and those that opt out of such procedures may potentially lose footing in society as a result of their choice.

If modification indeed has the ability to create such disparity, genetically modified humans will spread their genes with one another, and their offspring may have greater potential for both prosperity and intellect, which will create a socioeconomic rift between GM Humans and Unmodified Humans.

Will Post-Humans be able to act ethically under these circumstances? Will Unmodified Humans be able to accept a place in the world where they are unequivocally inferior to their GM counterparts? This new world will be different and exciting, and it's up to us to create a civil world where we can act in the best interest of all.

What Other Strange Opportunities May Become Available in the Future?

On top of our ability to vastly extend and improve our long-term health, the future will also provide us with enhanced opportunities with regard to personal aesthetic. We will not only be able to cure conditions such as psoriasis which plague millions in the world today, but many may choose to move beyond mere optimization and may choose to fully customize their appearance. Perhaps one may choose not to have olive or alabaster skin as many in society desire today, but go for a different color all together.

What if someone chose to color their skin orange, green, or blue? What if they wanted to be leopard print or covered in zebra stripes? This may appear otherworldly and unnatural to our minds, but when presented with an entire array of customization, what would be so strange about doing something like that to stand out? How different would it be to dying your hair blue or rainbow, if there were no dangers in undergoing such a change?

But, given enough time and scientific innovation, skin color and other basic augmentations like genetic breast and penis enlargement will be just another evolution in the concept of general aesthetic. The potential for more extreme changes would eventually become possible. What if humans wanted to take on the characteristics of animals? What if someone wanted the ears or tail of a cat, for example? There would even be the potential to do even more drastic things that we can barely imagine today.

Genetically Engineered Pets

These genetic advancements won't occur in a human vacuum. They will also apply to animals as well. Today people are paying top dollar for basic genetically modified hypo-allergenic dogs, and glow-in-the-dark mammals have even been developed in laboratories.

In the future, it is likely that scientists will come up with scientific modifications which significantly enhance both the aesthetic and intelligence of animals. It's even likely that animals will experience the benefits of genetic engineering more quickly than humans, as this future will largely be facilitated by means of animal testing.

The Post-Human Era Starts with Basic Genetic Engineering and Ends with Post-Humanism, Hyperlongevity, and Potential Immortality

You may not be able to tell, but we are already in the midst of the first phase of the Post-Human era. The beginning of this era was marked by the first time that egg and sperm from two different individuals was combined and implanted into an adoptive mother. It was such a grand event in retrospect, but the passing into this new era was not met with massive celebrations, but simply with concerns over the ethics of the new future.

Post-Humanity will have a litany of moral conundrums to unravel, some that we can imagine, and others that are unfathomable to us today. The state of the mortal mind is simply not equipped to handle the moral and ethical quandaries that the genetically modified mind will face. What if there are other lifeforms just like us in other parts of the galaxy, that have also learned to take control of their very existence on the cellular level? What if the number of unique alien civilizations in the universe is unlimited? What if we as earthlings are just one form of intelligent life among a countless litany of others?

The Current State of Genetic Modification and Gene Therapy

Today, scientists, researchers, and physicians are taking the first step into this future, with the quickly growing field of genetic therapy. We are on the cusp of doing some truly amazing things, like genetically altering viruses in order to protect humans from genetic disorders and conditions. At first, these initial treatments have been risky, reserved for those in most dire need, but as medical science becomes more well-versed in these therapeutic advancements, they will become safer and more widely available to the general public. Could you imagine reducing your risk of cancer by 80% just with a single injection? That may be the future for you.

The Current State of Organ Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapy

Another aspect of genetic therapy has to do with the advancing field of Stem Cell Therapy. There are new, state of the art treatments available which utilize stem cells in order to improve the health of the heart. Patients that have experienced heart attack or heart disease can be treated with stem cells which have the ability to develop into new and healthy muscle tissue.

Similar techniques have also been used in order to regenerate other parts of the body or parts of individual organs. In one famous case, scientists biomanufactured a windpipe for a patient with the patient's own cells. They were able to do this by taking the stem cells and allowing them to grow in culture before pouring them over a scaffold in the shape of a windpipe. Just by providing the cells with the nutrients to grow, they were able to recreate a human windpipe in the laboratory just in a matter of days.

Because the windpipe was created from the patient's own cells, the body did not reject the windpipe when it was surgically implanted into the body. This is one of the first successful cases where a patient's life was changed through the scientific advancements of genetic organ replacement.

Stem Cell Therapy Will Be Available in the Near Future: Hormone Replacement Therapy is Here Today!

Stem Cell Therapy is exciting and will become increasingly common and popular over the next century in the United States. Today, there are a few places where Stem Cell Therapy is available internationally, especially in Asia, but they have yet to be medically certified, and there are still a number of pertinent risks involved. In the Western World, Stem Cell Treatments are currently going through clinical trials. Although the results are mixed, continual progress is being made.

There are many scientists that believe that Stem Cell Research will lead to a new future in medicine, but policies enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush have set the United States behind by at least a decade, and other nations in Europe and Asia are currently taking advantage of their head start, and may one day eclipse us in these new and futuristic medical therapies.

In just a few short years, genetic testing will become affordable enough that it will become a common and recommended part of prenatal care as well as regular checkups throughout the lifespan. Over time, more and more Genetic Disorders will be able to be effectively treated with Gene Therapy, and with every breakthrough, people will be that much more likely to live a longer and healthier life.

Once the clinical science is sound, it won't even be a difficult ordeal for the patient. It would simply be like going to visit the pharmacist, or making a call to a specialist pharmacy. After receiving the medication, one will be able to administer the medication on his or her own and without the frequent oversight of a medical professional.

Not long after these Genetic Treatments are made available to the public, Stem Cell Therapies will quickly become more and more advanced as well. There are even companies that have expressed a desire to take your stem cells and develop them in a laboratory environment. The goal of this treatment would be to take your own stem cells and foster the healthiest cells to multiply. After these cultures are developed, they would be mailed back to you in order for you to inject them to alleviate health conditions and other symptoms related to the aging process.

Beyond Genetic Engineering and Stem Cell Therapies, will come new forms of medical treatment that we are just beginning to research today, but will surely flourish in the coming decades: nanomedicine and femtomedicine.

Nanoscience and the Healthcare of the Future

These are tiny, genetically engineered cellular machines that will be able to improve your health by altering the functions of your body in a positive manner. They will be able to repair and alter particular forms of cells so that they function optimally, even after a period of long life in which you would expect to see physiological breakdown. It is even believed that these treatments can also preserve and repair the brain itself! Isn't that exciting?

There are countless people in the world that have a litany of big dreams, more than they could ever hope to accomplish in a single lifetime in some cases. They have these long checklists of things they want to do in their life, a whole wide world they want to explore. Some have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and want to read thousands of books or learn dozens of languages in their life.

There are countless more people that have spent their early lives living on the edge, and suffer from issues such as alcohol dependency or drug addiction which have harmed their bodies and their brains. With these forms of genetic and nanomedicine, it will be possible to repair the bodies and minds of these individuals, allowing them to make a fresh start. It is possible that addiction itself may become a historical curiosity as a result of these medical advances.

What Would Do If You Had 200 More Years to Live?

  • Would you learn to play multiple musical instruments?

  • Would you research for decades in order to write the perfect novel?

  • Would you visit every country on earth?

The number of dreams that humans have yearned for is nearly infinite, and most never live to achieve all of their dreams, if they achieve any of their dreams at all. If you are still alive in the near future, around 2032, you will be able to take full advantage of what Longevity Medicine and Anti-Aging Therapy have to offer!

Some time in the future, we will finally overcome the condition of aging. We will be able to prevent all illness and be able to live in perpetuity, as long as we don't succumb to an accident or similar fate. This is the extreme vision of Immortality Medicine.

The First Immortals Could be Alive Today!

By the time we make it to the 22nd century, there will already be individuals that have taken the road to Hyperlongevity, and there will likely be millions of humans that have taken part in this great leap forward into Post-Humanism. They will not only be healthier, but smarter too, with further advances in Genetic Science that allow us to amplify the capacity of our brains.

As people continue to develop down this evolutionary road, will we even consider them humans anymore? They will represent a new version of humanity, and they will likely use a new term to define themselves, whether that be Neohuman or some other clever word or phrase.

I believe that this advance into Neohumanism will also lead to a new era in space travel and human colonization. With these extensive lifespans, many Neohumans will inevitably turn their eyes to the stars in a desire to find new worlds and discover new lands and extraterrestrial lifeforms. Brave Neohumans from all over the planet will take to interplanetary space vessels in order to colonize and experience new worlds and lands that are beyond the scope of human imagination.

Can I Live to Experience This New Era of Humanity?

All of the things we've discussed may seem incredibly exciting to you, but we understand that these innovations are going to come in the near future. If you want to take part in this grand human experiment, it's important that you live long enough to seize these innovations as they come! There are steps you can take now to alleviate the negative symptoms of the aging process and increase your odds of experiencing the new, human revolution.

My suggestions will not ensure that you will live for the next twenty years or longer, but they will potentially drastically decrease your mortality risk so that you are able to seek out this new and exciting future that we have laid before you.

Today, the door to Neo-Humanism, Hyperlongevity, and even Human Immortality is slightly open, and there are many alive today that will experience these magnificent and life-altering advances.

Will You Take Advantage of the Advances of Hyper-Longevity and Anti-Aging Medicine? Are You Willing to Commit to a Longer and more Youthful Life?

It's quite plain to see that we are at the crest of an event horizon, beyond which it will truly be possible to lengthen lifespans indefinitely. The most important thing is to breach that horizon. By taking steps to increase health and lifespan now, you allow yourself the opportunity to take care of further, greater medical enhancements down the road.

The most modern advances available today are in the form of Recombinant Hormone Replacement Therapies. By optimizing your hormone balance, you increase the odds that you will live long enough to experience the new, up-and-coming breakthroughs of the mid-21st century.

If you live just a few more years, new genetic medical treatments will become available which will significantly increase your lifespan. While you are enjoying the benefit of genetic medicine, researchers and medical scientists will advance and perfect Genetic Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy, allowing you to live even longer!

There are a number of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies going through clinical trials as you read this, which show great promise in preventing or treating serious illnesses which severely inhibit lifespan today. As the medical community becomes more adept at using these new tools for the purpose of treatment, they will begin to utilize these treatments as forms of Positive Medicine.

They will be able to treat patients before they even get sick in order to optimize their health and greatly improve lifespans as a result, because the incidence of illness will decline significantly. In addition, these same treatments will be able to streamline existing physiological processes, keeping the body physiologically stronger and more youthful. They will be able to tailor these treatments uniquely to the individual in order to give the best care to each individual patient.

Stay on the Cutting Edge of Longevity Medicine to Perpetually Extend the Human Lifespan

With each of these breakthroughs and treatments, we will come one step closer to Immortality. Eventually, scientists and researchers will crack the code of human life, and finally figure out how to allow us to truly live indefinitely. It may take 100 years or it may take 500 years to achieve true Immortality, but each life-extending advance will allow people to survive until the next great advance. Hyper-Longevity will eventually become a universal reality, barring accident, war, or any other form of life-ending catastrophe.

You may feel that this is a science fiction world that I am describing, but it very well may be possible for you to experience this all for yourself. It is estimated that at some point between 2032 and 2052 we will have perfected medical practices which allow us to live significantly longer lives than we do today. Those that are optimistic feel that we are just twenty years away from this era, while those that are more cautious suggest that fifty years would be a more reasonable estimate.

Twenty to fifty years may not seem like that long in scientific study, but in terms of your own life, it is a significant period of time. Are you willing to make the sacrifices now in order to experience Hyperlongevity in the near future?

Eight Ways to Extend Your Lifespan

There are a lot of steps that you can take in your life today in order to significantly increase the odds that you survive to experience this new and amazing future. If you follow the suggestions below, conscientiously, you will maximize your potential to extend your life until further longevity advances develop in the coming decades.

These eight factors have been shown to be most important when determining the length of an individual's lifespan:

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Environment

  • Social Circles

  • Vice

  • Climate

  • Calorie-Restricted Diet

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Diet of the 21st Century: Caloric Restriction and Fasting for a Longer Life

A recent article in Newsmax Health explained that the future of longevity isn't fad dieting or strenuous exercise, but a Calorie-Restricted diet which manages metabolism and ensures a long and healthy life.

Over the last century, there have been more than twenty thousand studies regarding caloric restriction in animal species from around the globe. All of these studies have unequivocally shown that restricting the calories in an animal's diet has the ability to significantly increase the lifespan, and the same appears to apply to human beings..

This may sound like a starvation diet at first, but conscientiously and significantly restricting calories in the human diet is a powerful means to a longer life. Of course, most people consume at least 1500 calories per day and some consume several thousand! But, it appears that the sweet spot for human longevity is quite a bit lower than that 1500 calorie threshold.

For those that are struggling with Caloric Restriction, especially those that are currently overweight, HCG Injections can help relieve the feeling of hunger associated with the initial phase of the diet in order to acclimate to their new dietary lifestyle more effectively.

At first it may seem counter-intuitive, that too much of the Bread of Life can actually shorten the lifespan, but that absolutely seems to be the case. A diet that provides high levels of nutrients through the consumption of a small number of calories is the number one way to increase human longevity effectively. Intermittent Fasting and Caloric Restriction slow down aging and also reduce the incidence of a wide variety of illnesses that plague so many in America today.

The Modern Media and the Culture of Food in the West

In the United States, as well as other countries in the West including the United Kingdom, children were raised in a reality in which starvation was one of the greatest evils of the 19th and 20th century. The various forms of media available all showed the terrible fates of so many who were denied the food needed to live. Nowhere is this imagery more vivid in Western Civilization than in the footage captured after the end of World War II as the true horrors of the Holocaust were revealed to the world at large.

During the Cold War we also experienced further evidence of the horrors of famine as communist Russia and China struggled with providing their populations with proper nutrition, leading countless to die of starvation over many decades. Today, on modern television, there are advertisements for charities throughout Africa and Asia which show the plight of the starving in these third world nations.

I do not mean to discount the real and significant struggles that those that came before us experienced in the not so distant past, but it had a powerful impact on food culture in the West, particularly the idea that it is better to eat too much than too little. In our elementary education and beyond, we are confronted with story after story of mass famine, and it seems that part of the way that we culturally appreciate our current abundance is by partaking in it.

This appreciation for our abundance has led directly to a culture of overeating that borders on obsession. In the West, we simply love our food too much, and the expansion of cuisine in the West has allowed anyone to get whatever they want, when they want it, whether they go to the grocery store, the pizza parlor, or the Chinese buffet.

A Culture of Overeating Develops into a Culture of Force Feeding

Throughout the twentieth century, we have always been taught that we need to eat every last bite on our plates. Often times, we were also strongly encouraged, if not forced, to go back for a second portion. In addition to this, the proliferation of soda drinks has led directly to a significant increase in the empty calories that the average American consumes.

As the twentieth century barreled on, parents on average had less time to cook and prepare meals at home, which led to the greater proliferation of both fast food and microwavable dinners, loaded with sugars, salts, and carbohydrates which increased our caloric consumption even more!

During this age, restaurants like Burger King and McDonald's became the captains of the fast food industry, generating billions of dollars in profit funneling cheap calories into the mouths of men, women, and children all across the country.

Because of all these pressures to overeat, the longevity gains that people in the West experienced as a result of modernization all began to slip away, the combination of unhealthy eating and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle is threatening today's generation with the prospect of living shorter lives than their parents on average!

The United States would be stronger in every way, if it could foster greater consciousness about the importance of eating smarter to eat longer. If we all just made the proactive decision to engage in a lifestyle of at least mild caloric restriction, it would both decrease the price of health care and allow the citizens of this nation to live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Do You Dream of a Healthier, Happier Life? Contact the Conscious Evolution Institute Today!

If you are a man or woman over the age of thirty and currently live in the United States, the Conscious Evolution Institute can help you improve your health and longevity. We provide Doctor-Monitored Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy to patients all across the United States.

With just a simple phone call, we can arrange for you to meet with one of our affiliate physicians in order to set you on the road to a new you. We offer a variety of Hormone Replacement options, including Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Human Growth Hormone Injections, Sermorelin Acetate Injections, and HCG Injection Therapy for Weight Loss.

We also provide nutrition and lifestyle counseling in order to help you maximize the results of your treatment by choosing foods, supplements, and exercises that will get your body running on all cylinders!

If you feel that you may be a candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy, don't hesitate, call us today, and one of our friendly specialists will walk you through the process and answer any and all questions that you may have.

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Miller Fisher syndrome and Haemophilus … – n.neurology.org

Posted: April 20, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Objective: To examine the association between Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) and antecedent Haemophilus influenzae infection.

Background: Little is known about agents in prior respiratory tract infection of MFS, whereas antecedent upper respiratory symptoms are frequent. H. influenzae is a major pathogen that can cause human respiratory tract infection.

Methods: The authors used ELISA to detect serum antibody against the bacterium in 70 consecutive patients with MFS and 110 with GuillainBarr syndrome (GBS).

Results: Serum antiH. influenzae IgG and IgM antibody activities were significantly higher in the MFS group than in age- and sex-matched patients with other neurologic diseases (n = 62) and normal control subjects (n = 82). The GBS group showed no significant increase in any class of antibody activities compared with control groups. Serologic evidence of recent infection was found in five (7%) of the patients with MFS and two (2%) of 110 patients with GBS, all of whom had a history of antecedent respiratory tract infection. They frequently showed ophthalmoplegia, but other neurologic features were not remarkable. Serum anti-GQ1b IgG antibody that had cross-reactivity with GT1a ganglioside was detected in six of these seven patients. Thin-layer chromatography with immunostaining showed that serum IgG from H. influenzaeseropositive patients with high anti-GQ1b and anti-GT1a IgG antibody titers bound to the lipopolysaccharide fraction extracted from the type b H. influenzae serostrain. These bands were also stained by anti-GT1a monoclonal antibody (GMR11), indicating that the lipopolysaccharide bears the GT1a epitope.

Conclusions: These findings point to H. influenzae being an agent associated with MFS. Epitopic overlap between H. influenzae and human nerve tissue may be involved in the development of MFS much as GBS is associated with Campylobacter jejuni enteritis.

Link:
Miller Fisher syndrome and Haemophilus ... - n.neurology.org

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Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate Degree – Northeast …

Posted: April 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm

EXCLUDESTARTRequirements for Program Entry

REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRAM APPLICATION

The DMS program follows a competitive enrollment process whereby candidate applications are reviewed by a ranking process. The following steps must be completed for the application process.

Attendance at a mandatory pre-application informational session will be required. To sign-up for a mandatory pre-application session, please contact Admissions at (920) 498-7159 or (888) 385-6982.

High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to http://www.nwtc.edu/gettingstarted.)

Two semesters in high school, or one semester of college Algebra, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry (with a lab component) with a grade of "B" or better.

To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 3.0 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

Upon completion of program benchmarks and attendance at the mandatory information session, students will be able to register for the Health Educations Systems Inc. (HESI) A2 Exam. The HESI can only be taken after attendance at a pre-application information session. Test topics include Math, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Reading. To learn more about these assessment scores, please contact an admissions specialist at (920) 498-7159 or (888) 385-6982, or visit the DMS program webpage http://www.nwtc.edu/academics/degrees/health-sciences/Medical/Pages/DiagnosticMedicalSonography.aspx Related link, lower right side.

Candidates submitting applications to the DMS program must also provide an essay (no more than 1,000 words) completed on campus in the Assessment Center. The essay will follow a question and answer format and will include information related to the following; why they are interested in and their knowledge of the profession, experience in healthcare, specific skills and duties of a sonographer, and characteristics that make them a good candidate for the program.

Candidates are ranked in the following categories: HESI scores and program essay. The highest ranking candidates will be offered a place on the program wait list. Remaining candidates will need to resubmit a new application for the following year to have an opportunity to re-apply with the following year's applicants.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRAM ENTRY

Upon success acceptance to the program wait list, the following must be completed:

Complete caregiver background check. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Complete mandatory welcome week program orientation.

Complete mandatory four-hour job shadow.

Program Availability

Waitlist

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Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate Degree - Northeast ...

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Human germline engineering – Wikipedia

Posted: April 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Human germline engineering is the process by which the genome of an individual is edited in such a way that the change is heritable. This is achieved through genetic alterations within the germ cells, or the reproductive cells, such as the egg and sperm.[1] Human germline engineering should not be confused with gene therapy. Gene therapy consists of altering somatic cells, which are all cells in the body that are not involved in reproduction. While gene therapy does change the genome of the targeted cells, these cells are not within the germline, so the alterations are not heritable and cannot be passed on to the next generation.[1]

The first attempt to edit the human germline was reported in 2015, when a group of Chinese scientists used the gene editing technique CRISPR/Cas9 to edit single-celled, non-viable embryos to see the effectiveness of this technique.[2] This attempt was rather unsuccessful; only a small fraction of the embryos successfully spliced the new genetic material and many of the embryos contained a large amount of random mutations.[2][3] The non-viable embryos that were used contained an extra set of chromosomes, which may have been problematic. In 2016, another similar study was performed in China which also used non-viable embryos with extra sets of chromosomes. This study showed very similar results to the first; there were successful integrations of the desired gene, yet the majority of the attempts failed, or produced undesirable mutations.[3]

The most recent, and arguably most successful, experiment in August 2017 attempted the correction of the heterozygous MYBPC3 mutation associated with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in human embryos with precise CRISPRCas9 targeting. 52% of human embryos were successfully edited to retain only the wild type normal copy of MYBPC3 gene, the rest of the embryos were mosaic, where some cells in the zygote contained the normal gene copy and some contained the mutation.[4]

In November 2018, researcher Jiankui He claimed that he had created the first human genetically edited babies, known by their pseudonyms, Lulu (Chinese: ) and Nana (Chinese: ).[5][6]{

Human genetic modification is the direct manipulation of the genome using molecular engineering. The two different types of gene modification is "somatic gene modification" and "germline genetic modification." Somatic gene modification adds, cuts, or changes the genes in cells of a living person. Germline gene modification changes the genes in sperm, eggs, and embryos. These modifications would appear in every cell of the human body.

Human germline engineering is modifying the genes in the human sex cells that can be passed on to the future generations. This process is done by a complicated but an accurate technique that contains an enzyme complex called CRISPR/Cas9 clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, this enzyme can be found in many bacteria immune system, in which they use it to fight off any harmful infections.[7]

CRISPR is a repeated, short sequence of RNA that match with the genetic sequence that the scientists are aiming to modify or engineer. CRISPR works in rhythm with Cas9, an enzyme that splices the DNA. First, the CRISPR/Cas9 complex searches through the cell's DNA until it finds and binds to a sequence that matches the CRISPR, then, the Cas9 splices the DNA. After that, the scientist inserts a piece of DNA before the cell starts repairing the spliced part, said John Reidhaar-Olson, a biochemist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York[8]. The main purpose of human germline engineering is to enable the scientists to discover the unknown functions of the genes by eliminating specific DNA fragments and observing the consequences in the targeted cell. Also, scientists use CRISPR technology to fix the gene mutations and to treat or eliminate some diseases that can be passed on to the offsprings[9].

CRISPR/cas9 is a genome editing tool that allows scientists to edit the genome by adding or removing sections of DNA. It contains an enzyme and RNA, the enzyme acting like scissors to alter the DNA while the RNA acts as a guide for those enzymes. This system is currently the fastest and cheapest way to genetically engineer on the market today and its uses are endless. The RNA in the CRISPR/cas9 allows researchers to target specific sequences in the genome making it possible for them to alter one sequence and not the others surrounding them. This is a new technology for scientists in the genomic altering field.[10]

Although the CRISPR/cas9 cannot yet be used in humans[citation needed], it allows scientists to target genes more effectively in diploid cells of mammals in order to one day be used in human research. Clinical trials are being conducted on somatic cells, but CRISPR could make it possible to modify the DNA of spermatogonial stem cells. This could eliminate certain diseases in human, or at least significantly decrease a disease's frequency until it eventually disappears over generations.[11] Cancer survivors theoretically would be able to have their genes modified by the CRISPR/cas9 so that certain diseases or mutations will not be passed down to their offspring. This could possibly eliminate cancer predispositions in humans.[11] Researchers hope that they can use the system in the future to treat currently incurable diseases by altering the genome altogether.

The Berlin Patient has a genetic mutation in the CCR5 gene (which codes for a protein on the surface of white blood cells, targeted by the HIV virus) that deactivates the expression of CCR5, conferring innate resistance to HIV. HIV/AIDS carries a large disease burden and is incurable (see Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS). One proposal is to genetically modify human embryos to give the CCR5 32 allele to people.

There are many prospective uses such as curing genetic diseases and disorders. If perfected, somatic gene editing can promise helping people who are sick. In the first study published regarding human germline engineering, the researchers attempted to edit the HBB gene which codes for the human -globin protein.[2] Mutations in the HBB gene result in the disorder -thalassaemia, which can be fatal.[2] Perfect editing of the genome in patients who have these HBB mutations would result in copies of the gene which do not possess any mutations, effectively curing the disease. The importance of editing the germline would be to pass on this normal copy of the HBB genes to future generations.

Another possible use of human germline engineering would be eugenic modifications to humans which would result in what are known as "designer babies". The concept of a "designer baby" is that its entire genetic composition could be selected for.[12] In an extreme case, people would be able to effectively create the offspring that they want, with a genotype of their choosing. Not only does human germline engineering allow for the selection of specific traits, but it also allows for enhancement of these traits.[12] Using human germline editing for selection and enhancement is currently very heavily scrutinized, and the main driving force behind the movement of trying to ban human germline engineering.[13]

The ability to germline engineer human genetic codes would be the beginning of eradicating incurable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, sickle-cell anemia and multiple forms of cancer that we cannot stop nor cure today.[14] Scientists having the technology to not only eradicate those existing diseases but to prevent them altogether in fetuses would bring a whole new generation of medical technology. There are numerous disease that humans and other mammals obtain that are fatal because scientists have not found a methodized ways to treat them. With germline engineering, doctors and scientists would have the ability to prevent known and future diseases from becoming an epidemic.

The topic of human germline engineering is a widely debated topic. It is formally outlawed in more than 40 countries. Currently, 15 of 22 Western European nations have outlawed human germline engineering.[15] Human germline modification has for many years has been heavily off limits. There is no current legislation in the United States that explicitly prohibits germline engineering, however, the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2016 banned the use of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) funds to engage in research regarding human germline modifications.[16] In recent years, as new founding is known as "gene editing" or "genome editing" has promoted speculation about their use in human embryos. In 2014, it has been said about researchers in the US and China working on human embryos. In April 2015, a research team published an experiment in which they used CRISPR to edit a gene that is associated with blood disease in non-living human embryos. All these experiments were highly unsuccessful, but gene editing tools are used in labs.

Scientists using the CRISPR/cas9 system to modify genetic materials have run into issues when it comes to mammalian alterations due to the complex diploid cells. Studies have been done in microorganisms regarding loss of function genetic screening and some studies using mice as a subject. RNA processes differ between bacteria and mammalian cells and scientists have had difficulties coding for mRNA's translated data without the interference of RNA. Studies have been done using the cas9 nuclease that uses a single guide RNA to allow for larger knockout regions in mice which was successful.[17] Altering the genetic sequence of mammals has also been widely debated thus creating a difficult FDA regulation standard for these studies.

The lack of clear international regulation has lead to researchers across the globe attempting to create an international framework of ethical guidelines. Current framework lacks the requisite treaties among nations to create a mechanism for international enforcement. At the first International Summit on Human Gene Editing in December 2015 the collaboration of scientists issued the first international guidelines on genetic research.[18] These guidelines allow for the pre-clinical research into the editing of genetic sequences in human cells granted the embryos are not used to implant pregnancy. Genetic alteration of somatic cells for therapeutic proposes was also considered an ethnically acceptable field of research in part due to the lack of ability of somatic cells to transfer genetic material to subsequent generations. However citing the lack of social consensus, and the risk of inaccurate gene editing the conference called for restraint on any germline modifications on implanted embryos intended for pregnancy.

With the international outcry in response to the first recorded case of human germ line edited embryos being implanted by researcher He Jiankui, scientists have continued discussion on the best possible mechanism for enforcement of an international framework. On March 13th 2019 researchers Eric Lander, Franoise Baylis, Feng Zhang, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Paul Bergfrom along with others across the globe published a call for a framework that does not foreclose any outcome but includes a voluntary pledge by nations along with a coordinating body to monitor the application of pledged nations in a moratorium on human germline editing with an attempt to reach social consensus before moving forward into further research.[19] The World Health Organization announced on December 18th 2018 plans to convene an intentional committee on clinical germline editing.[20]

As it stands, there is much controversy surrounding human germline engineering. Editing the genes of human embryos is very different, and raises great social and ethical concerns. The scientific community, and global community, are quite divided regarding whether or not human germline engineering should be practiced or not. It is currently banned in many of the leading, developed countries, and highly regulated in the others due to ethical issues.[21] The large debate lies in the possibility of eugenics if human germline engineering were to be practiced clinically. This topic is hotly debated because the side opposing human germline modification believes that it will be used to create humans with "perfect", or "desirable" traits.[21][22][23][24][25] Those in favor of human germline modification see it as a potential medical tool, or a medical cure for certain diseases that lie within the genetic code.[22] There is a debate as to if this is morally acceptable as well. Such debate ranges from the ethical obligation to use safe and efficient technology to prevent disease to seeing actual benefit in genetic disabilities.[26] While typically there is a clash between religion and science, the topic of human germline engineering has shown some unity between the two fields. Several religious positions have been published with regards to human germline engineering. According to them, many see germline modification as being more moral than the alternative, which would be either discarding of the embryo, or birth of a diseased human.[22][24][25] The main conditions when it comes to whether or not it is morally and ethically acceptable lie within the intent of the modification, and the conditions in which the engineering is done.

The process of modifying the human genome has raised ethical questions. One of the issues is off target effects, large genomes may contain identical or homologous DNA sequences, and the enzyme complex CRISPR/Cas9 may unintentionally cleave these DNA sequences causing mutations that may lead to cell death.[27]

Another very interesting point on the debate of whether or not it is ethical and moral to engineer the human germline is a perspective of looking at past technologies and how they have evolved. Dr. Gregory Stock discusses the use of several diagnostic tests used to monitor current pregnancies and several diagnostic tests that can be done to determine the health of embryos.[23] Such tests include amniocentesis, ultrasounds, and other preimplantation genetic diagnostic tests. These tests are quite common, and reliable, as we talk about them today; however, in the past when they were first introduced, they too were scrutinized.[23]

One of the main arguments against human germline engineering lies in the ethical feeling that it will dehumanize children. At an extreme, parents may be able to completely design their own child, and there is a fear that this will transform children into objects, rather than human beings.[23][24][25] There is also a large opposition as people state that by engineering the human germline, there is an attempt at "playing God", and there is a strong opposition to this. One final, and very possible issue that causes a strong opposition of this technology is one that lies within the scientific community itself. Inevitably, this technology would be used for enhancements to the genome, which would likely cause many more to use these same enhancements. By doing this, the genetic diversity of the human race and the human gene pool as we know it would slowly and surely diminish.[23] Despite the controversy surrounding the topic of human germline engineering, it is slowly and very carefully making its way into many labs around the world. These experiments are highly regulated, and they do not include the use of viable human embryos, which allows scientists to refine the techniques, without posing a threat to any real human beings.[23]

The creation of genetically modified humans may have been performed in the mid-1990s, in which a 1997 study published in The Lancet claimed, the first case of human germ-line genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children..[28][29] In November 2018, researcher Jiankui He claimed that he had created the first human genetically edited babies, known by their pseudonyms, Lulu (Chinese: ) and Nana (Chinese: ).[5][6] Researcher Alcino J. Silva has discovered an impact the CCR5 gene has has on the memory function the brain.[30] Silva speculates the brain function of Lulu and Nana likely has been impacted but that the exact consequences of the edit are impossible to predict. Studies have shown mice who have had the CCR5 gene have shown a marked improvement in the function of their memory and brain recovery after stroke.

The first known publication of research into human germline editing was by a group of Chinese scientists in April 2015 in the Journal "Protein and Cell".[31] The scientists used tripronuclear (3PN) zygotes, zygotes fertilized by two sperm and therefore non-viable, to investigate CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human cells, something that had never been attempted before. The scientists found that while CRISPR/Cas9 could effectively cleave the -globin gene (HBB), the efficiency of homologous recombination directed repair of HBB was highly inefficient and did not do so in a majority of the trials. Problems arose such as off target cleavage and the competitive recombination of the endogenous delta-globin with the HBB lead to unexpected mutation. The results of the study indicated that repair of HBB in the embryos occurred preferentially through alternative pathways. In the end only 4 of the 54 zygotes carried the intended genetic information, and even then the successfully edited embryos were mosaics containing the preferential genetic code and the mutation. The conclusion of the scientists was that further effort was needed in to improve the precision and efficiency of CRISPER/Cas9 gene editing.

In March 2017 a group of Chinese scientists claimed to have edited three normal viable human embryos out of six total in the experiment.[32] The study showed that CRISPR/Cas9 is could effectively be used as a gene-editing tool in human 2PN zygotes, which could lead potentially pregnancy viable if implanted. The scientists used injection of Cas9 protein complexed with the relevant sgRNAs and homology donors into human embryos. The scientists found homologous recombination-mediated alteration in HBB and G6PD. The scientists also noted the limitations of their study and called for further research.

In August 2017 a group of scientists from Oregon published an article in "Nature" journal detailing the successful use of CRISPR to edit out a mutation responsible for congenital heart disease.[33] The study looked at heterozygous MYBPC3 mutation in human embryos. The study claimed precise CRISPR/Cas9 and homology-directed repair response with high accuracy and percision. Double-strand breaks at the mutant paternal allele were repaired using the homologous wild-type gene. By modifying the cell cycle stage at which the DSB was induced, they were able to avoid mosaicism, which had been seen in earlier similar studies, in cleaving embryos and achieve a large percentage of homozygous embryos carrying the wild-type MYBPC3 gene without evidence of unintended mutations. The scientists concluded that the technique may be used for the correction of mutations in human embryos. The claims of this study were however pushed back on by critics who argued the evidence was overall unpersuasive.

In June 2018 a group of scientists published and article in "Nature" journal indicating a potential link for edited cells having increased potential turn cancerous.[34] The scientists reported that genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9 induced DNA damage response and the cell cycle stopped. The study was conducted in human retinal pigment epithelial cells, and the use of CRISPR lead to a selection against cells with a functional p53 pathway. The conclusion of the study would suggest that p53 inhibition might increase efficiency of human germline editing and that p53 function would need to be watched when developing CRISPR/Cas9 based therapy.

In November 2018 a group of Chinese scientists published research in the journal "Molecular Therapy" detailing their use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to correct a single mistaken amino acid successfully in 16 out of 18 attempts in a human embryo.[35] The unusual level of precision was achieved by the use of a base editor (BE) system which was constructed by fusing the deaminase to the dCas9 protein. The BE system efficiently edits the targeted C to T or G to A without the use of a donor and without DBS formation. The study focused on the FBN1 mutation that is causative for Marfan syndrome. The study provides proof positive for the corrective value of gene therapy for the FBN1 mutation in both somatic cells and germline cells. The study is noted for its relative precision which is a departure from past results of CRISPER-Cas9 studies.

The most controversial research to date has been the work of He Jiankui who presented his research at Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in November 2018.[36] Jianku claimed to have implanted embryos that were successfully modified with a mutation in the CCR5 gene with the intent of preventing HIV transmission. The result of his experiment was the birth of two female children code named Lulu and Nana. The reaction against the announcement was swift and met with widespread international denunciation. Further details of Jianku's research have yet to be published aside from what was announced at the summit. Since the reveal of the research Jiankui's position at Southern University of Science and Technology has been terminated and he has been under a state of house arrest for his work and may even face the death penalty.[37]

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Human germline engineering - Wikipedia

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Mustang Bio, St. Jude new gene therapy for ‘bubble-boy …

Posted: April 18, 2019 at 7:52 pm

For babies born with the severe genetic condition known as "bubble-boy" disease, a run-of-the-mill common cold can be deadly.

Born without crucial disease-fighting immune cells, they must be kept isolated from the outside world for their own protection. Those with the disease normally spend months in the hospital and are treated for severe infections. Without treatment, most born with the disease die as infants.

A new experimental medicine is now being called a cure for the condition by researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Ten babies born with the genetic disease, X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID), have been successfully treated, with no apparent side effects, the researchers said on Wednesday.

The kids are now making their own immune cells. Nearly all have been able to go home with their families and live normal lives, including attending day care, with one more recently treated child remaining at St. Jude for the time being.

"This is a first for patients with XSCID," said Dr. Ewelina Mamcarz of the St. Jude Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Mamcarz is the first author on a paper about the results, which reports on the first eight children to get the treatment and is being published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.

David Vetter. AP

XSCID, which according to US government estimates probably affects at least 1 in 100,000 newborns, became famous in the 1970s because of a young boy with XSCID named David Vetter.

Vetter lived his entire life in a plastic bubble to protect him from a deadly infection. He became known as "the bubble boy."

His story quickly captured the public's sympathy and imagination, and it even inspired a made-for-TV movie about Vetter starring John Travolta.

Those plastic chambers are now gone, but those with XSCID today still need to be kept in protective isolation to shelter them from infection.

One treatment option is a bone-marrow transplant, but not everyone can find a matching donor, and the treatments don't always work. The latter was the case for Vetter, who died at age 12 after an unsuccessful transplant.

Read more: The treatment that cured 2 men of HIV may also help with a remarkable array of more than 70 deadly diseases

There has long been hope that gene therapy, a cutting-edge area of medicine that tinkers with the body's genetic material to treat disease, could help. But in early treatments, some patients went on to develop leukemia, stymieing research efforts.

MB-107 is a new experimental gene therapy being developed by the $80 million biotech Mustang Bio and tested out at St. Jude. St. Jude

The new experimental treatment is called MB-107, and it's being developed by the biotech Mustang Bio, which has a market value of roughly $80 million. The biotech's stock was set to triple before the market opened on Thursday.

The researchers worked to minimize the risk of patients developing leukemia.

That has so far been successful, with no patients from the research trial developing the cancer.

The treatment begins with a patient's stem cells, which are collected and treated outside the body with a hollowed-out virus, introducing a normally functioning gene to the cells.

Patients then get chemotherapy before being infused with their newly altered cells. The entire process takes about 10 days from start to finish.

Read more: 'This is the most complicated process I've ever seen': As billions flow into gene therapy, top execs say a crisis is brewing in the hottest new area of medicine

The use of low doses of chemotherapy was an innovation borrowed from bone-marrow transplants, in which it is used to wipe out a patient's existing immune system. In the new experimental gene therapy, it seemed to improve uptake of the treatment and minimize safety issues.

Researchers say this is effectively a cure for XSCID, but they don't know yet how long it will last. They've tracked patients for 2 1/2 years at most so far.

In terms of "physiological, quality of life this is a cure," Dr. James Downing, president and CEO of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, said. "The question is, will it be durable and last 10, 20, 50 years for these children?"

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Mustang Bio, St. Jude new gene therapy for 'bubble-boy ...

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Gene therapy restores immunity in infants with rare …

Posted: April 18, 2019 at 7:52 pm

News Release

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

NIH scientists and funding contributed to development of experimental treatment

A small clinical trial has shown that gene therapy can safely correct the immune systems of infants newly diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening inherited disorder in which infection-fighting immune cells do not develop or function normally. Eight infants with the disorder, called X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID), received an experimental gene therapy co-developed by National Institutes of Health scientists. They experienced substantial improvements in immune system function and were growing normally up to two years after treatment. The new approach appears safer and more effective than previously tested gene-therapy strategies for X-SCID.

These interim results from the clinical trial, supported in part by NIH, were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Infants with X-SCID, caused by mutations in the IL2RG gene, are highly susceptible to severe infections. If untreated, the disease is fatal, usually within the first year or two of life. Infants with X-SCID typically are treated with transplants of blood-forming stem cells, ideally from a genetically matched sibling. However, less than 20% of infants with the disease have such a donor. Those without a matched sibling typically receive transplants from a parent or other donor, which are lifesaving, but often only partially restore immunity. These patients require lifelong treatment and may continue to experience complex medical problems, including chronic infections.

"A diagnosis of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency can be traumatic for families," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIHs National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). These exciting new results suggest that gene therapy may be an effective treatment option for infants with this extremely serious condition, particularly those who lack an optimal donor for stem cell transplant. This advance offers them the hope of developing a wholly functional immune system and the chance to live a full, healthy life.

To restore immune function to those with X-SCID, scientists at NIAID and St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, developed an experimental gene therapy that involves inserting a normal copy of the IL2RG gene into the patients own blood-forming stem cells. The Phase 1/2 trial reported today enrolled eight infants aged 2 to 14 months who were newly diagnosed with X-SCID and lacked a genetically matched sibling donor. The study was conducted at St. Jude and the Benioff Childrens Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco. Encouraging early results from a separate NIAID-led study at the NIH Clinical Center informed the design of the study in infants. The NIH study is evaluating the gene therapy in older children and young adults with X-SCID who previously had received stem cell transplants.

The gene therapy approach involves first obtaining blood-forming stem cells from a patients bone marrow. Then, an engineered lentivirus that cannot cause illness is used as a carrier, or vector, to deliver the normal IL2RGgene to the cells. Finally, the stem cells are infused back into the patient, who has received a low dose of the chemotherapy medication busulfan to help the genetically corrected stem cells establish themselves in the bone marrow and begin producing new blood cells.

Normal numbers of multiple types of immune cells, including T cells, B cells and natural killer (NK) cells, developed within three to four months after gene therapy in seven of the eight infants. While the eighth participant initially had low numbers of T cells, the numbers greatly increased following a second infusion of the genetically modified stem cells. Viral and bacterial infections that participants had prior to treatment resolved afterwards. The experimental gene therapy was safe overall, according to the researchers, although some participants experienced expected side effects such as a low platelet count following chemotherapy.

"The broad scope of immune function that our gene therapy approach has restored to infants with X-SCID as well as to older children and young adults in our study at NIH is unprecedented," said Harry Malech, M.D., chief of the Genetic Immunotherapy Section in NIAIDs Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology. Dr. Malech co-led the development of the lentiviral gene therapy approach with St. Judes Brian Sorrentino, M.D., who died in late 2018. These encouraging results would not have been possible without the efforts of my good friend and collaborator, the late Brian Sorrentino, who was instrumental in developing this treatment and bringing it into clinical trials, said Dr. Malech.

Compared with previously tested gene-therapy strategies for X-SCID, which used other vectors and chemotherapy regimens, the current approach appears safer and more effective. In these earlier studies, gene therapy restored T cell function but did not fully restore the function of other key immune cells, including B cells and NK cells. In the current study, not only did participants develop NK cells and B cells, but four infants were able to discontinue treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins infusions of antibodies to boost immunity. Three of the four developed antibody responses to childhood vaccinations an indication of robust B-cell function.

Moreover, some participants in certain early gene therapy studies later developed leukemia, which scientists suspect was because the vector activated genes that control cell growth. The lentiviral vector used in the study reported today is designed to avoid this outcome.

Researchers are continuing to monitor the infants who received the lentiviral gene therapy to evaluate the durability of immune reconstitution and assess potential long-term side effects of the treatment. They also are enrolling additional infants into the trial. The companion NIH trial evaluating the gene therapy in older children and young adults also is continuing to enroll participants.

The gene therapy trial in infants is funded by the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), and by grants from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of NIH, under award number HL053749. The work also is supported by NIAID under award numbers AI00988 and AI082973, and by the Assisi Foundation of Memphis. More information about the trial in infants is available on ClinicalTrials.gov using identifier NCT01512888. More information about the companion trial evaluating the treatment in older children and young adults is available using ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01306019.

NIAID conducts and supports research at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

NIHTurning Discovery Into Health

E Mamcarz et al. Lentiviral gene therapy with low dose busulfan for infants with X-SCID. The New England Journal of Medicine DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1815408 (2019).

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David Vetter, pictured in September 1982 inside part of the bubble environment that was his protective home until he died in 1984. Today most kids born with severe combined immunodeficiency are successfully treated with bone marrow transplants, but researchers think gene therapy is the future. AP hide caption

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This Food and Drug Administration approved Luxturna, a gene therapy developed by Spark Therapeutics, to treat an inherited form of blindness. Courtesy of Spark Therapeutics via AP hide caption

A panel of experts has recommended that the Food and Drug Administration approve a treatment developed by Spark Therapeutics for a rare form of blindness. Spark Therapeutics hide caption

A British scientific panel has been reviewing treatments for mitochondrial disease that involve using material from two women and one man with the goal of producing a healthy baby. iStockphoto hide caption

David Vetter was born without a functioning immune system and spent his life in a bubble that protected him from germs. He died at age 12 in 1984. Scientists are using gene therapy to treat the disorder so that children can live normally. Science Source hide caption

Until now, scientists have had a tough time getting therapeutic genes to go where they need to go. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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