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Would you ever become an XMan?


ThinkingMind
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Xmen is a show about humans who have mutated and developed special powers. How this happens it considered unclear and seems to happen randomly. Magneto said that Xmen were the future. Now biological engineering could theoretically create something like this but there might be some ethical concerns with it. If you were offered to join a project to make superhumans would you do so? Further would you ever want to be a test subject of the project and would you see such a project as beneficial to mankind?

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I have a hard time seeing adamantium claws growing out of someone's knuckles. But apparently that is possible now, given your sources.

Well if you think about it this is how cat paws work. However cats are designed for retractable claws. They have a slit that the claws go in and out of. I think doing so with a human would be a bit painful and the wound would probobly heal over which would make a repeat performance very painful.

Edited by ThinkingMind
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Well if you think about it this is how cat paws work. However cats are designed for retractable claws. They have a slit that the claws go in and out of. I think doing so with a human would be a bit painful and the wound would probobly heal over which would make a repeat performance very painful.

 

The mechanism is very different. The claws do not retract beneath the dermis. Besides, the actual superpower is rapid healing, the claws cut through the skin every time.

Either way it is pure fantasy not remotely rooted in reality. You could as well ask whether people will ever develop spellcasting skills.

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The mechanism is very different. The claws do not retract beneath the dermis. Besides, the actual superpower is rapid healing, the claws cut through the skin every time.

Either way it is pure fantasy not remotely rooted in reality. You could as well ask whether people will ever develop spellcasting skills.

No, not really. You simply cant imagine it since no one has done it yet. Not that I think these things would necessarily be that useful and there are a bunch of other reasons to not do it. I am talking about scientific possibility not fantasy. There is a huge difference. Xmen is science fiction like a lot of superheros are. Bioengineering is impossible to you now and anytime in the future since you dont have an imagination of what could be but only what is presently here and honestly where would science be if everyone thought like that?

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The ability displayed are for the most part physically impossible. Just calling it sci-fi does not make it science. And bioengineering is not magic. There are hard limitations to what is biologically possible. So yes, any ability that I can think of is pure fantasy. An exception may be becoming quite hairy. Still science fiction, but at least within the realm of possible.

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The ability displayed are for the most part physically impossible. Just calling it sci-fi does not make it science. And bioengineering is not magic. There are hard limitations to what is biologically possible. So yes, any ability that I can think of is pure fantasy. An exception may be becoming quite hairy. Still science fiction, but at least within the realm of possible.

You think bio engineering is magic. I was talking about making genetically modified humans with super abilities. However you go on to say how bio engineering something is not possible and its the same as saying witchcraft. That was your idea not mine. I never brought up magic and spell casters. So you really should not preach something you would so willingly speak out against. Also I dont mean all the abilities as clearly some of them are not possible. The idea is more to give humans abilities they would not normally have through biological experiments but you know if you think bio-engineering is a dumb subject no purpose in discussing it with you right? There was also research done trying to stop the aging process too.

Edited by ThinkingMind
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Also I dont mean all the abilities as clearly some of them are not possible. The idea is more to give humans abilities they would not normally have through biological experiments but you know if you think bio-engineering is a dumb subject no purpose in discussing it with you right?

First I would point out that CharonY is very knowledgeable in molecular biology.

 

Secondly, maybe, to avoid further confusion as to what you are asking about, you could list some of the superpowers you have in mind.

 

Some of these maybe at odds with the laws of physics even before we discuss genetic engineering (which in all honesty I have little to say).

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First I would point out that CharonY is very knowledgeable in molecular biology.

 

Secondly, maybe, to avoid further confusion as to what you are asking about, you could list some of the superpowers you have in mind.

 

Some of these maybe at odds with the laws of physics even before we discuss genetic engineering (which in all honesty I have little to say).

 

Well I just explained it. Basically giving humans abilities they would not normally have. Like maybe extra arms, better strength, heightened senses, better vision. Saying something like not being able to teleport makes sense but I dont see how one can say its impossible to make genetic mutations or bio engineer things like this. I mean we already have research dealing with this type of stuff. They make animals that have human DNA. This is done to make sure the transplant organ does not entirely reject its host. We know how cells work and how chromosomes work. We know how many chromosomes you need and where and how having too many or not enough creates defects in humans. We know that chemicals can mutate, damage or kill babies before they are born. Knowing all this information why is altering a human really so far out there? We know how people grow, and how to kill things like bacteria. We know how drugs affect our bodies and we know which chemicals we need a balance of to create a healthy human, What is so far fetched about creating intentional mutations? There are also a people with natural mutations already. I dont think humans are really that dumb. I think we have the potential to do a lot if there is enough interest and research.

Edited by ThinkingMind
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Like maybe extra arms, better strength, heightened senses, better vision.

That sounds to some extent plausible.

 

 

Knowing all this information why is altering a human really so far out there?

I expect you have over estimated what we know and in particular details. But I am sure others can say more here than I.

 

We know how drugs affect our bodies and we know which chemicals we need a balance of to create a healthy human

I would say that this body of knowledge is far from complete.

 

What is so far fetched about creating intentional mutations?

The problem is that we do not fully understand the details genetics, how genes are expressed and the interplay between different genes. It is hard to say is some intentional mutation will be good or bad. Again, maybe others can say more here.

 

There are also a people with natural mutations already.

We all have mutations, thankfully for most of us these are quite harmless.

 

I think we have the potential to do a lot if there is enough interest and research.

I also suggest you think of ethics.

Edited by ajb
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As ajb mentined, OP is vastly overestimating our knowledge on biological systems (on literally all levels). That being said, if we are not talking about X-man level superpowers but merely enhancements, then it moves from the realm of fantasy to science fiction.

We do not have the knowledge to genetically improve abilities or even comprehensively model our existing physiology on the molecular level. Will it ever be possible to improve some aspects of human physiology? That is entirely unclear. We are essentially complex integrated systems. If we change certain aspects it may very well cause imbalances that create issues. Chances are that there are hard limits, but again, we do not know enough of anything to even begin thinking about it.

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@ CharonY, maybe we should include genetic medicine in the discussion?

 

 

Diagnosis for inherited disorders has improved drastically in recent years. But what about gene therapy? Before we discuss X-men, how are we doing at improving people's lives who suffer from genetic problems?

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On the diagnostic side there has been a massive amount of effort in identifying genes involved in diseases. However, from what I have seen, the success relative to the effort was fairly limited. Though in an absolute sense there have been definite advances. A major issue is that much of the data is based on association whereas the mechanism of the disease are still obscure.

 

Gene therapy is not my field but currently a number of approaches being tested. To the best of my knowledge well over 1000 phase I trials have been conducted on a number of targets (with various cancer forms being the plurality) and less than hundred have been approved for Phase III. AFAIK worldwide there are less than five gene therapies approved in their respective countries (and none in the US, though I could be wrong).

 

It is important to note that in many cases the precise functions of these therapies may not be known in detail. In the case of rAD-p53, which utilizes an adenovirus to target the p53 protein in cancer cells it is assumed that it will overexpress p53 which somehow leads to tumor repression. In addition some synergistic effects with natural killer cells. The logic behind it was that p53 is often mutated or had reduced expression in cancer cells. Thus, overexpressing it seemed to make it more vulnerable.

Whether that is precisely how it works is a bit obscure, however. But again, I am not a specialist in this field.

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Well I just explained it. Basically giving humans abilities they would not normally have. Like maybe extra arms, better strength, heightened senses, better vision.

 

Extra arms, definitely not, not the way you normally think of an arm. Arms need a whole lot of skeletal and muscular support to be effective as an arm. Wings are out, for the same reason, unless you're willing to give up your arms for the wings, as well as most of your body weight, including your big-ass brain. I don't think a human who could fly would be smart enough to be considered human.

 

Better strength can be done now. Superhuman strength is also going to require superhuman skeletal and muscular systems, or you're just going to break yourself.

 

Heightened senses, this seems like an area with some room for improvement. It'd be great to have the retina of the eye actually facing the light. I've always wanted to know if having a third eye in a triangular perspective might allow the brain to interpret visual information more accurately in 3D.

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But again, I am not a specialist in this field.

I appreciate that and thank you for you effort here. You are more knowledgeable than most I would say.

 

In short, gene therapy is not really 'just around the corner', let alone creating X-men!

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