Transcript: (Video Above)
There is a proponent of biohacking named Josiah Zayner who has a PhD and he basically wants to put gene-editing in the hands of the public as opposed to strictly the medical community or being government controlled. So basically in the near future anyone would be able to use genome editing technology such as CRISPR which stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. The main thing to know about is that it’s simply genome editing technology and a genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA and that includes all the genes.
Josiah Zayner is trying to promote this consumer-level gene editing and what he did as kind of a publicity stunt was to inject DNA into his forearm which “blocked” the myostatin gene, or inhibited that gene, thereby allowing his forearm to have a greater level of muscle growth.
Myostatin is a gene that inhibits muscle growth and, if that gene is inhibited, muscular development is greatly increased and you see that naturally in cattle such as Belgian blue cows. You also see that in whippets. Scientists have introduced myostatin inhibition in animals such as mice and they’re working on it for humans for muscle wasting diseases and it’ll probably make its way in the future into sports and athletics. The whole gene editing procedure is still in its infancy and there’s a lot of bugs that need to be worked out. You want to be able to just target the gene in such a way that it allows muscular development and not cause unintended side effects.
Josiah Zayner had apparently DNA that blocked that myostatin gene in a syringe and he injected it into his own arm. It was more on the lines of a publicity stunt because even with mice in the legitimate experiment it was multiple injections over a period of time, weeks, months before any results were seen. Him simply injecting his arm with DNA that blocked the myostatin gene wouldn’t all of a sudden make his arm look like Popeye. He certainly hasn’t worked out any of the negative side effects that would go along with it. What he’s doing is just introducing the idea where just like people have all the code necessary to edit computer programs and in operating systems and apps and so forth, why not make available genome editing technology to edit DNA. He believes it will speed up this type of technology in the same way that making computer programs open-source and making computer coding available to everyone sped up dramatically computer technology, just like Linus Torvalds, a master student in Finland, who, from his apartment, not from a university or some think-tank, he, on his own, created the Android technology for cell phones and so forth.
Of course, there’s bugs to be worked out as far as side-effects. Things can go wrong and it’s not just affecting Myostatin or muscle growth. It could be anything on earth you could possibly want to change through biotechnology including hair color, height, or waist size etc… so not limiting technology to a few high priests in the biotech field that have complete control over it, having this technology in the hands of the people would increase the levels of progress and the speed which is attained by exponentially. Josiah Zayner is promoting bio hacking and editing the human genome on a consumer level and just like there was a computer revolution there will be a biotechnology revolution that will be in the hands of the people