'X-Men: Dark Phoenix': How genetic mutation works in the real world

  
Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 months ago  •  14 comments

'X-Men: Dark Phoenix': How genetic mutation works in the real world
The newest X-Men film, "Dark Phoenix," explores the dark side of mutation. In the real world, just as in the X-Men universe, genetic mutations can have a big effect on our lives. This is Mach at the movies.

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 months ago

Obviously, there is both good and bad to gene mutations. Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks?

 
 
 
cjcold
1.1  cjcold  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 months ago

Since all biological entities evolve on a daily basis....................................................................................

 
 
 
MrFrost
1.2  MrFrost  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 months ago
Obviously, there is both good and bad to gene mutations. Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks?

True, I could have gone from, "bedroom eyes" to, "bathroom eyes".... So I would not be in favor of the risks. 

 
 
 
zuksam
1.3  zuksam  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 months ago

The question of whether a genetic mutation is good or bad is usually answered by nature. If it's good it survives and thrives and becomes a normal part of that species genetics if it's bad it dies out. Now with Humans we no longer have the survival of the fittest that nature used to provide, our social safety nets and medical care allow all mutations to survive and multiply, good or bad.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2  Bob Nelson    3 months ago

We have two very different kinds of mutation in the video. Naturally-occurring mutations, also called "random mutations", and man-made mutations, also called "gene-editing".

A random mutation may be just about anything:
 - So minor that it goes unnoticed.
 - Modestly beneficial, such as enhanced resistance to some germ, to be noticed only if there's an epidemic of that germ.
 - So consequent that it kills the carrier.

It is "random".

Over the long haul, for the species, it's beneficial, obviously. It's the mechanism that drives evolution: bad mutations die, good ones get passed on.


Gene-editing is something else again. The idea is to intentionally intervene in a particular zygote's genes to produce a desired effect. Designer babies! This is a very heady topic!

Who decides what is "desirable"? Which parents get to "improve" their offspring?

"New, improved human beings" are coming. This will happen. We should already be deep into a discussion of just how the species will be defined.

Sam Walton's great-grandchildren?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    3 months ago

Nature "designed" us via evolution. Gene editing essentially "tweaks" that design. Kind of like customizing a car or selecting factory options when buying a car. Gene editing can be beneficial for a recipients health status. Of course, you could end up with a Khan Noonien Singh on your hands. So there is that, Lol.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3  Bob Nelson    3 months ago

There was no "design" involved in evolution. I'm sure you didn't mean anything, but that word, in the context of "evolution" may mean "intelligent design", that creationist stalking-horse.

Random mutations are random. Good ones are transmitted to the next generation; bad ones are not. Without human intervention, it's a very slow process. When humans intervene, as when breeding dogs or cattle, the process is greatly accelerated, showing results in years rather than millennia.

Gene editing is a very different game. The result is immediate. It is not random, but targeted. It's advertised as being health oriented, but we can be sure that very quickly we will have the ultra-rich "designing" their children.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @3    3 months ago

Are you referring to my post?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1    3 months ago

Reacting to it.

That's what I often do when Replying to the last Comment on the page: I use the "New Comment" box, rather than opening a "Reply" box.

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Gordy327
3.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.1    3 months ago
Reacting to it.

Ok then.

There was no "design" involved in evolution. I'm sure you didn't mean anything, but that word, in the context of "evolution" may mean "intelligent design", that creationist stalking-horse.

Yes, i am aware of that. I used the term "design" loosely (and in quotes) plus I simply lacked a better term at the time. But if you know my posts on scientific matters, especially where evolution is concerned, you will know how much I intellectually object to ID or creationism.

Random mutations are random.

Obvious statement is obvious. jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

Good ones are transmitted to the next generation; bad ones are not. Without human intervention, it's a very slow process. When humans intervene, as when breeding dogs or cattle, the process is greatly accelerated, showing results in years rather than millennia.

And someday soon, we'll have out own mutants, a-la X-Men. jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

Gene editing is a very different game. The result is immediate. It is not random, but targeted.

Gene editing can be used to eliminate genetic abnormalities.

It's advertised as being health oriented,

There are the obvious aforementioned health benefits.

but we can be sure that very quickly we will have the ultra-rich "designing" their children.

So?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.2    3 months ago
So?

Dystopia ahoy!

Perfect babies with very long life expectancy... but only for the ultra-rich.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.3    3 months ago
Dystopia ahoy!

If there's a dystopia, I would think it would be more government caused rather than due to life expectancy.

Perfect babies with very long life expectancy... but only for the ultra-rich.

Speculation aside, what is considered "very long?" 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.4    3 months ago
more government caused

What is this "government" that makes fundamental decisions about our society? Is it the clerks at the DMV? The air traffic controllers? The people who repair the roads?

My question is serious. Too many people see "the government" as some all-knowing, all-powerful monster, determining the details of their lives. That's nonsense. That's intellectual laziness.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.4    3 months ago
than due to life expectancy.

Not "due to", but rather "embodied by".

We are already ruled by the ultra-rich, but at least they are people like us. Tomorrow, they will be immortal as well as omnipotent.

That's kinda dystopic, I think...

 
 
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