How far would you go to a have a perfect body, or to beat a disease through the “miracle” of science (at least in the short term)?
Many people believe that these goals are attainable through strict nutrition, workout routines, de-stressing and other means, but science is working to provide shortcuts through the controversial CRISPR technique, otherwise known as gene editing.
This process is being used to combat diseases and to even create novel GMO foods like apples and mushrooms that don’t turn brown, but many experts have urged caution, including one of the technology’s creators Jennifer Doudna, who had a harrowing nightmare about her creation.
Now, one of the most well known CRISPR “biohackers” is speaking out against the risks of this potentially dangerous new GMO technology after he discovering that he may have made a serious mistake.
“Somebody is Going to End up Hurt Eventually”
Josiah Zayner, the biohacker in question, said recently that caution should be exercised in regards to this powerful new technology that allows people to “play God” with our food and biology.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that somebody is going to end up hurt eventually,” he said according to this report from GMWatch.org.
Zayner is well known for his stunts including attempts to genetically engineer the color of his skin, injecting his arm with DNA encoding for CRISPR that could potentially enhance his muscles, and sterilizing his body to “transplant” his entire gut microbiome.
He’s also debated with the FDA about selling a kit to make glow-in-the-dark beer, among other exploits.
But recently he added that he may have gone too far with the CRISPR stunt, according to the GMWatch article, which he did despite his own admission that the injection was not likely to work after all.
“Honestly, I kind of blame myself,” he said recently according to the article about the regret he has been feeling over the stunt. “There’s no doubt in my mind that somebody is going to end up hurt eventually.”
More on CRISPR GMO Technology
The new technology in question, CRISPR, is not exactly well known in the mainstream because its applications are mostly in the area of fringe science. But proponents say that it can help solve modern diseases that current mainstream medicine cannot touch.
The technology allows scientists to edit or “silence” genes allowing them to behave differently, thereotically imparting new functions on human or plant-based organisms.
For example in the world of food, GMO apples and mushrooms have been genetically engineered to not turn brown using CRISPR tools that chage their genes.
But scientists are now urging caution with this process as well, as a Columbia University study has found that CRISPR can cause “hundreds of unintended gene mutations,” and a recent computer model from another university study found that CRISPR may accidentally “cut” the wrong strands of DNA within an organism that it is utilized on.
Zayner has a Ph.D in biochemistry and biophysics and current sells do-it-yourself CRISPR kits, including the CRISPR construct he injected in himself for muscle growth, according to the article.
The article includes an interview with Zayner from The Atlantic, which can be read in full by clicking on this link.
Unfortunately, because this new dangerous GMO technology is both accessible and scientifically complicated at the same time, it may lead to more cases of potential danger, as Zayner stated.
For now, consume (or inject, in the case of Zayner) at your own risk, and be sure to spread the word and do your own research on CRISPR before supporting it.
Photo via Josiah Zayner Facebook page.