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From MIT Technology Review:

EXCLUSIVE: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies

A daring effort is under way to create the first children whose DNA has been tailored using gene editing.

by Antonio Regalado November 25, 2018

When Chinese researchers first edited the genes of a human embryo in a lab dish in 2015, it sparked global outcry and pleas from scientists not to make a baby using the technology, at least for the present.

It was the invention of a powerful gene-editing tool, CRISPR, which is cheap and easy to deploy, that made the birth of humans genetically modified in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) center a theoretical possibility.

Now, it appears it may already be happening.

According to Chinese medical documents posted online this month (here and here), a team at the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, has been recruiting couples in an effort to create the first gene-edited babies. They planned to eliminate a gene called CCR5 in hopes of rendering the offspring resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera.

Elsewhere, Regalado explains in a tweet: “People asking why CCR5? Why edit a baby to resist disease rather than curing one? Because CRISPR is better at breaking genes than repairing them. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection. Gets you to “safety” sooner”

The clinical trial documents describe a study in which CRISPR is employed to modify human embryos before they are transferred into women’s uteruses.

It is unclear if any children have been born.

And now from AP:

AP Exclusive: First gene-edited babies claimed in China
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
34 minutes ago

HONG KONG (AP) — A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.

Many mainstream scientists think it’s too unsafe to try, and some denounced the Chinese report as human experimentation.

The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that few people naturally have — an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus.

Keep in mind that not all these East Asian Frankenstein breakthroughs that make the headlines pan out.

Still, kind of an interesting comparison to developments in the US (see below). Fortunately, Bill Kristol has a plan for Regime Change in China, so no need to worry about such matters.

 
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  1. We could have had a moonbase, genetic engineering and then the very stars themselves.

    Instead we have D’sean, Ranjit, Singh, Timbebu, Chang & Nguyen.

    Oh, goodie.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  2. anon[327] • Disclaimer says:

    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren’t going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make – or will eventually make – genetically engineered superhumans while this country can’t even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I’ve brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with “so you’re saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?”. Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    • Agree: Lowe
    • Disagree: Pat Boyle
    • Replies: @415 reasons
    This is more akin to a publicity stunt than a medical breakthrough. This is showing off the fact that their ethics in applying new medical technologies are totally corrupt. A technology they had no hand in discovering or developing, by the way. East Asia is certainly better poised to cope with globalism than our craven, cowardly society, but this is not a data point in their favor. Breaking one part of the genome with potential side effects to administer Gardisil for a disease that’s not even prevalent among the Chinese middle class? Meh. Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it.
    , @attilathehen
    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn't China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for "better babies."

    Also, CRISPR doesn't work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump's economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.
    , @Hodag
    I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world. They want to make money and be a technological leader. But having a say in how Europe or South America is run? They don't care. They lack the Universalism which is a particular Western disease.

    China wants secure borders and raw material. After that the world can f-off.
    , @Desiderius
    There’s a good chance the Han will, though not necessarily in China.
    , @Anonymous

    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren’t going to be ruling the world by the end of the century?
     
    Personality traits are significantly heritable.

    What kind of personality traits will governments breed into and out of their subjects? It is not hard to guess.

    What is more interesting - there would almost certainly special facilities where elite humans are bred to sustain the regime in future, as the Nazis did and the Norks do to this day. The new elite will be furnished with unusual traits including greater rebelliousness and assertiveness. The SciFi novel writes itself.
    , @Buster Keaton's Stunt Double

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
     
    FTFY.
  3. Large-scale gene-editing is inevitable at this stage, including for IQ. Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring.

    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.

    Looking back in 2060, we could well draw the conclusion that we have evolved into a new species and that the 21st century saw the end of Homo Sapiens.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it's unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.
    , @AnotherDad

    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.
     
    Moral quandry?

    Oh please. As in smart people, please have your kids--now. Lots them. When the future comes--it comes. But we only get there by hatching smart people right now.

    I can hardly think of anything stupider than smart middle class couples sitting around pondering the "moral quandry" of having children now, because super kids might be just down the road.
    , @Prodigal son
    Mating with a college graduate has better results today than obtaining an embryo with a high polygenic score. 62% of children of women with a college degree will obtain a degree, while a high polygenic score will only result in 56% of them obtaining a college degree.

    We are more than 20 years away from gene editing for simple human traits. The current technology is risky with few benefits. The current failure rate for IVF is 80%. We will need the success rate for IVF to be closer to 75% for most women to embrace it.

    , @Mark P Miller
    "Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring."

    That seems too conservative. If this report is true (and I suspect it is), couples are already rolling the dice today. We already have mapped significant loci for cognition. The only barrier now is a willing researcher to pull the trigger. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this hasn't already happened, but on the "down low" in case things don't pan out.
  4. Don’t worry. Chinese genetic engineering is okay. Because Bill Kristol and Max Boot.

  5. I suggest reading the entire article with this video playing in the background:

  6. anon[139] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Right on time. The Empire provokes WW3 as a distraction from its internal problems.

    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/11/25/ukraine-council-expects-to-declare-war-against-russia-after-maritime-incident/

    BTW, it’s obvious what the Ukrainians are doing here. They have been braying about Crimea for a while. They are ginning up a conflict to try and get it back. Democracy. What a farce.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    thats like a reverse yom kippur
  7. CRISPR will address the issue of low-IQ populations (except those that are irretrievable by natural decree).

    Functional whites (top 80%) will be edited up from 105 to 135
    Blacks will be edited up from 85 to 115.
    White Trashionalists (bottom 20%) will, alas, only get from 70 to 71, for even CRISPR cannot overturn the wishes of mother nature.

    But at least blacks will be up to 115, so all the dysfunction associated with them will greatly reduce (even if they are still below the new 135 level that functional whites will be at).

    • Troll: Clyde, YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Lurker
    An upside - in light of this, we won't be needing all that south asian debris.
    , @AnotherDad
    Ron we could use another button.

    Agree, Disagree, LOL and Troll aren't enough. We need one to label a comment "noise".
    , @ThreeCranes
    Like those you criticize, you conflate IQ with human-ness. Raise a black person's IQ and he is still a Homo Erectus/Sapiens hybrid. He will still retain many of the traits of his primitive progenitor. IQ isn't the whole story. You must look at the whole organism, seen as integrated with its environment. A black is superbly adapted to the equatorial Stone Age but is an unfortunate misfit in the temperate zone machine/electronic age.
    , @MikeatMikedotMike
    Imagine the effect CRISPR might have on low-sanitation populations like yours.

    And you're lucky that Steve has a high tolerance for the type of third world trolling you provide in the comments of his blog. Sadly, he has less tolerance for appropriate replies to it.

    Say hi to all of your roommates for us!
    , @Whiskey
    Unlikely, the MAOA warrior gene would have to be removed from those of African descent. Not does the current tech improve iq.
  8. They will engineer resistance to disease among their own people and then unleash that disease on the world. This is a perfect weapon. There will be time, later, for children of the chosen elite to be engineered into super humans. First clear the earth of pesky inferiors.

  9. anon[151] • Disclaimer says:

    Between bioinformatics and nascent CRISPR, the most obvious and immediate application is IVF egg screening, since it avoids both scientific complications and ethical weirdness around abortion. Any halfway intelligent couple understands that spending a few thousand dollars on a screened embryo is basically the deal of a lifetime. Ask any parent about their primary concern. It is always their child’s health.

    This stuff is a gift to conservatives, particularly in a world of universal suffrage, and helps to undo the political damage from the anti-scientific, pro-life idiocy of previous Republican administrations. I would be shocked though if the average Chamber of Commerce retard could do the NPV calculation to show a few thousand pre-natal dollars is worth several hundred thousand adult welfare dollars.

    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    IVF wouldn't and currently doesn't work that way. Twins are implanted more frequently these days because it turned out neither selective reduction nor "vetted, screened" single implants were as likely to carry a single fetus to term. There is a lot of counterintuitive stuff like that in fertility treatment. What works isn't necessarily what you think should work because biology is a hard problem and human biology is a Very Hard Problem.
  10. @anon
    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren't going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make - or will eventually make - genetically engineered superhumans while this country can't even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I've brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with "so you're saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?". Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    This is more akin to a publicity stunt than a medical breakthrough. This is showing off the fact that their ethics in applying new medical technologies are totally corrupt. A technology they had no hand in discovering or developing, by the way. East Asia is certainly better poised to cope with globalism than our craven, cowardly society, but this is not a data point in their favor. Breaking one part of the genome with potential side effects to administer Gardisil for a disease that’s not even prevalent among the Chinese middle class? Meh. Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it.

    • Agree: Travis, pyrrhus, bomag, ic1000
    • Replies: @Thank you
    "Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it."

    Thank you, from someone who works in the CRISPR field. We may be able to cure, or significantly improve, gain of function single gene disorders. But manipulation multiple genes with high efficiency and no off-target effects is still a ways away, and maybe actually be impossible with CRISPR's limitations.
  11. this song makes me think of steve./

  12. So, Chinese went from making toy dogs and goldfish to toy kids and goldkids.

    • Replies: @m___
    We, the suspicious reader should not run with this rumour. Either it is planted, willingly, or the Chinese can't keep a development in science secret, by consequence they there would be Chinese peasants, not scientists involved.
  13. @anon
    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren't going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make - or will eventually make - genetically engineered superhumans while this country can't even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I've brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with "so you're saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?". Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn’t China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for “better babies.”

    Also, CRISPR doesn’t work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump’s economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.

    • Replies: @TTSSYF
    I've worked with several Chinese men and women and, not only are they smart and extremely hardworking, they also are (in my opinion) absolutely charming. They also think they are very smart, with one or two unwittingly admitting to being "surprised" at how intelligent the native-born Americans in our company are. In my limited experience, however, they do live up to some of the clichés about Asians; i.e., being hard-wired for spatial thinking but weak on language, being somewhat "inscrutable", and lacking a certain type of creativity.
    , @Romanian
    I think their initial brand of Communism had a hand to play in holding them back.

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.
    , @Pat Boyle
    The smartest people are the Ashkenazi Jews. Of course there are relatively few of them but all of them seem to have a Nobel Prize for something or other . (Just kidding).

    Among the major population groups the nation with the highest IQ is Korea. Japan is next and then China. The high IQ lists have Hong Kong at the top but Hong Kong is a city not a nation, Nations have high IQ area (cities) and low IQ areas (country side).

    These East Asian nations are all above any Western nation in IQ. The highest IQ nations in Europe are Germany and Italy. Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I'm not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?
    , @Creepy Dude
    You can't deny Shaolin Soccer is a great movie.
    , @Random Smartaleck

    The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.
     
    Don't worry, any defective products will be rendered inoperative and recycled appropriately.
  14. anon[364] • Disclaimer says:

    “This is more akin to a publicity stunt than a medical breakthrough.”

    The level of “breakthrough” is irrelevant. The point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place. This will continue as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

    “This is showing off the fact that their ethics in applying new medical technologies are totally corrupt.”

    It’s showing they don’t let Western moral braying affect their willingness to apply science to better their society.

    “A technology they had no hand in discovering or developing, by the way.”

    Irrelevant. The US didn’t invent rocket science but went to the moon with it none-the-less.

    “East Asia is certainly better poised to cope with globalism than our craven, cowardly society, but this is not a data point in their favor.”

    It definitely is and nothing you have said proves otherwise. Their willingness to do such a thing IS a data point in their favor.

    “Breaking one part of the genome with potential side effects to administer Gardisil for a disease that’s not even prevalent among the Chinese middle class?”

    Irrelevant.

    “Meh. Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it.”

    Irrelevant. The technology will obviously get better with time. To reiterate, “the point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place.” This is what I mean by “unworthy”. All the commenter did here was deflect and ignore the context of what was being said; what he said sounded sophisticated but it wasn’t in the least. The Chinese are successful because such commenters are dismissed while wise policies enacted by the superior come to predominate without input by those without either vision or sophistication.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    The point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place. This will continue as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

    How many babies have been aborted in the US in the last 45 years?

    If the US can "stomach" 50 million or so abortions it sure as hell can stomach a technology that improves human quality of life.
  15. Why on Earth are couples signing up for this nonsense? I suppose if the mother is HIV positive then she can accept trading the risk of the child contracting HIV for an unknown risk of gene editing…assuming she accepts the HIV causes AIDS hypothesis.

    I doubt these gene-edited children are going to appreciate being told as adults they can go ahead and drink dirty water because they were modified to be cholera resistant.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    It's true that (unless there's a lot of stuff about China we don't know - always possible) HIV doesn't seem to be China's most pressing health problem. But maybe this is just a proof-of-concept work, before the serious applications are started.

    Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren't can do a lot of damage.
  16. @anon
    Between bioinformatics and nascent CRISPR, the most obvious and immediate application is IVF egg screening, since it avoids both scientific complications and ethical weirdness around abortion. Any halfway intelligent couple understands that spending a few thousand dollars on a screened embryo is basically the deal of a lifetime. Ask any parent about their primary concern. It is always their child's health.

    This stuff is a gift to conservatives, particularly in a world of universal suffrage, and helps to undo the political damage from the anti-scientific, pro-life idiocy of previous Republican administrations. I would be shocked though if the average Chamber of Commerce retard could do the NPV calculation to show a few thousand pre-natal dollars is worth several hundred thousand adult welfare dollars.

    IVF wouldn’t and currently doesn’t work that way. Twins are implanted more frequently these days because it turned out neither selective reduction nor “vetted, screened” single implants were as likely to carry a single fetus to term. There is a lot of counterintuitive stuff like that in fertility treatment. What works isn’t necessarily what you think should work because biology is a hard problem and human biology is a Very Hard Problem.

    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Sorry if I'm missing something, but why can't a couple fertilize ten eggs, screen the ten for the top two in some trait, say IQ, and then implant those top two eggs?

    I realize that this isn't a guarantee that these two embryos are the smartest, but it would definitely up the odds - and over large numbers would make a huge difference.

    Why isn't something like that possible over the next 20 years as screening and DNA knowledge improve?
  17. @Thulean Friend
    Large-scale gene-editing is inevitable at this stage, including for IQ. Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring.


    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.

    Looking back in 2060, we could well draw the conclusion that we have evolved into a new species and that the 21st century saw the end of Homo Sapiens.

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.
     
    Agreed. Likely what will happen is that gene editing will be used to make children nearly immune to a whole host of diseases, especially those associated with genetic defects. It will be very difficult for political and regulatory bodies to prevent those kinds of uses (as opposed to "frivolous" uses such as increasing height or selecting eye/hair color).

    What's going to be controversial is what will happen after the technology advances much further, say in 20-30 years, and there are experiments beyond diseases prevention.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.
    , @Svigor
    In the near term, the question is more about PIGD than genetic engineering. I haven't read a lot about how much degradation is introduced by the testing process, but that aside, all that is needed to make superkids is PIGD and the will to use (or facilitate) it on a large scale - use artificial selection to speed things up dramatically. A few key innovations in reproductive technology (cloning, etc) would supercharge it further.
  18. The fact that China is gaining an even larger footprint in Africa makes this particular scheme all the more terrifying. Imagine an Africa without AIDs!

    While it may seem better to splice for IQ increase, this carries even more dangers for Africans in particular. What if increasing African IQ also serves their exclusive MAOA “violence gene,” making them all the more effectively sinister?

    • Replies: @Nigerian Nationalist
    You're a parody, you know that right?
  19. How will anyone even know if it worked? Are they going to whisk these expensive designer babies from the nursery and expose them to HIV, smallpox & cholera?

    • Replies: @Travis
    good point..knowing the ethics of the Chinese we should assume this to be some kind of scam.
  20. The only meat on this Thanksgiving table is the baby, which looks kind of flabby. But fortunately, Chinese culinary scientists are creating crisper babies.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer, TWS
    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    Is that an African dirt cookie?
  21. anon[246] • Disclaimer says:

    “How will anyone even know if it worked? Are they going to whisk these expensive designer babies from the nursery and expose them to HIV, smallpox & cholera?”

    They would simply track a sample of this group versus some control population and compare infection/disease rates after a period of time. It’s a little more sophisticated than that, but the concept isn’t really very complicated.

  22. And the street shitters, what of them?

  23. @pyrrhus
    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it's unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.

    Agreed. Likely what will happen is that gene editing will be used to make children nearly immune to a whole host of diseases, especially those associated with genetic defects. It will be very difficult for political and regulatory bodies to prevent those kinds of uses (as opposed to “frivolous” uses such as increasing height or selecting eye/hair color).

    What’s going to be controversial is what will happen after the technology advances much further, say in 20-30 years, and there are experiments beyond diseases prevention.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.

    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    No, that's not likely either, because human biology is a Very Hard Problem and what you're describing isn't primarily gene-connected in a way that works with what CRISPR can do.
    , @DB Cooper
    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.
    , @Anonymous
    We’re living in the End Times.
    , @Samuel Skinner

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.
     
    Historically Catholicism had insanely high rates of infant mortality among foundlings- I believe this continued in some places until the 1960s. Since humans respond to incentives and behavior is inheritable, attrition of the bastard population improves the population gene pool over time.

    You can fight against it and you will run into the same situation we have today- feeding parasites just makes them hunger for more. There is a reason tradition and the community of the saints is the grounding for any working faith and not sterile adherence to principles.
  24. @Thomm
    CRISPR will address the issue of low-IQ populations (except those that are irretrievable by natural decree).

    Functional whites (top 80%) will be edited up from 105 to 135
    Blacks will be edited up from 85 to 115.
    White Trashionalists (bottom 20%) will, alas, only get from 70 to 71, for even CRISPR cannot overturn the wishes of mother nature.

    But at least blacks will be up to 115, so all the dysfunction associated with them will greatly reduce (even if they are still below the new 135 level that functional whites will be at).

    An upside – in light of this, we won’t be needing all that south asian debris.

  25. @Thulean Friend
    Large-scale gene-editing is inevitable at this stage, including for IQ. Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring.


    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.

    Looking back in 2060, we could well draw the conclusion that we have evolved into a new species and that the 21st century saw the end of Homo Sapiens.

    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.

    Moral quandry?

    Oh please. As in smart people, please have your kids–now. Lots them. When the future comes–it comes. But we only get there by hatching smart people right now.

    I can hardly think of anything stupider than smart middle class couples sitting around pondering the “moral quandry” of having children now, because super kids might be just down the road.

    • Agree: kaganovitch
  26. @pyrrhus
    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it's unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.

    In the near term, the question is more about PIGD than genetic engineering. I haven’t read a lot about how much degradation is introduced by the testing process, but that aside, all that is needed to make superkids is PIGD and the will to use (or facilitate) it on a large scale – use artificial selection to speed things up dramatically. A few key innovations in reproductive technology (cloning, etc) would supercharge it further.

  27. @Thomm
    CRISPR will address the issue of low-IQ populations (except those that are irretrievable by natural decree).

    Functional whites (top 80%) will be edited up from 105 to 135
    Blacks will be edited up from 85 to 115.
    White Trashionalists (bottom 20%) will, alas, only get from 70 to 71, for even CRISPR cannot overturn the wishes of mother nature.

    But at least blacks will be up to 115, so all the dysfunction associated with them will greatly reduce (even if they are still below the new 135 level that functional whites will be at).

    Ron we could use another button.

    Agree, Disagree, LOL and Troll aren’t enough. We need one to label a comment “noise”.

  28. Imagine the powers of that Chinese Baby: Detecting Jewish influence just by looking at someone.

    Heads will explode, it will be practically be like CHINESE AKIRA!

  29. “CRISPR babies” calls to mind Engelbert Humperdinck. The real one.

  30. As for the rich using artificial selection or genetic engineering to gain advantage for their posterity – of course they will. And not long after that, it’ll be on the shelves at Wal-Mart or Walgreens, just like everything else. The rich always get to play with the new toys first.

  31. @Twinkie

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.
     
    Agreed. Likely what will happen is that gene editing will be used to make children nearly immune to a whole host of diseases, especially those associated with genetic defects. It will be very difficult for political and regulatory bodies to prevent those kinds of uses (as opposed to "frivolous" uses such as increasing height or selecting eye/hair color).

    What's going to be controversial is what will happen after the technology advances much further, say in 20-30 years, and there are experiments beyond diseases prevention.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.

    No, that’s not likely either, because human biology is a Very Hard Problem and what you’re describing isn’t primarily gene-connected in a way that works with what CRISPR can do.

  32. Fortunately, Bill Kristol has a plan for Regime Change in China, so no need to worry about such matters.

    Well my proposal still stands: Israel is famously known for having one kick-ass military. It is also, as absolutely everyone knows, America’s MOST IMPORTANT ALLY ™. And of course America’s troops are a little worn down right now from fighting wars continuously for over 17 years.

    The Israeli Defense Forces have 3.1 million men and women available for service. That sounds like the perfect core of an invasion force. Throw them at China and let them wear down the Chinese defenses and I promise the American military will be along real soon – really, really soon – m’kay? But until then Israel, if it needs more troops, can take some advise from Max Boot and grant Israeli citizenship to every Somali, Salvadorans, Nigerian, Honduran, Pakistani, Syrian, Bangladeshi, and Eritrean who enlists in the IDF, plus their 20 or 30 closest family members.

  33. @anon
    "This is more akin to a publicity stunt than a medical breakthrough."

    The level of "breakthrough" is irrelevant. The point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place. This will continue as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

    "This is showing off the fact that their ethics in applying new medical technologies are totally corrupt."

    It's showing they don't let Western moral braying affect their willingness to apply science to better their society.

    "A technology they had no hand in discovering or developing, by the way."

    Irrelevant. The US didn't invent rocket science but went to the moon with it none-the-less.

    "East Asia is certainly better poised to cope with globalism than our craven, cowardly society, but this is not a data point in their favor."

    It definitely is and nothing you have said proves otherwise. Their willingness to do such a thing IS a data point in their favor.

    "Breaking one part of the genome with potential side effects to administer Gardisil for a disease that’s not even prevalent among the Chinese middle class?"

    Irrelevant.

    "Meh. Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it."

    Irrelevant. The technology will obviously get better with time. To reiterate, "the point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place." This is what I mean by "unworthy". All the commenter did here was deflect and ignore the context of what was being said; what he said sounded sophisticated but it wasn't in the least. The Chinese are successful because such commenters are dismissed while wise policies enacted by the superior come to predominate without input by those without either vision or sophistication.

    The point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place. This will continue as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

    How many babies have been aborted in the US in the last 45 years?

    If the US can “stomach” 50 million or so abortions it sure as hell can stomach a technology that improves human quality of life.

    • Replies: @L Woods
    Non-sequitor, I'm afraid. America has a distinctly warped sense of morality that's defined by nothing so much as the narrow self interest of its sanctified victim groups.
    , @Samuel Skinner
    I think it should be obvious that our elite cannot stomach anything that has the potential of helping another human being.
  34. @anon
    OT: Right on time. The Empire provokes WW3 as a distraction from its internal problems.

    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/11/25/ukraine-council-expects-to-declare-war-against-russia-after-maritime-incident/

    BTW, it's obvious what the Ukrainians are doing here. They have been braying about Crimea for a while. They are ginning up a conflict to try and get it back. Democracy. What a farce.

    thats like a reverse yom kippur

  35. @Twinkie

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.
     
    Agreed. Likely what will happen is that gene editing will be used to make children nearly immune to a whole host of diseases, especially those associated with genetic defects. It will be very difficult for political and regulatory bodies to prevent those kinds of uses (as opposed to "frivolous" uses such as increasing height or selecting eye/hair color).

    What's going to be controversial is what will happen after the technology advances much further, say in 20-30 years, and there are experiments beyond diseases prevention.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.

    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn’t be playing God. Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn’t be playing God. I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.

    • Replies: @Precious
    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn’t be playing God.

    No, it was troubling and distressing because two of the four patients died receiving blood transfusions in 1667. Nobody could figure out why because blood types hadn't been discovered yet. So it was banned for about two centuries.

    Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn’t be playing God.

    No, it was troubling and distressing because people believed and the legal system stated that someone was not dead until their heart was dead. Thus you can't harvest a heart from a person without killing them. Killing one person to save another person is troubling and distressing. Over time that definition changed from heart death to brain death, so now we don't have that ethical dilemma anymore...at least on paper. We may be in for another dilemma if they ever figure out how to do a brain transplant.

    I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.

    We shall see.
    , @Samuel Skinner
    I'm almost positive that isn't accurate. Blood transfusion was troubling and distressing because half the time it worked and half the time it caused the subject to die horribly- it wasn't until blood types were discovered that it could be done reliabily.

    Heart transplants were seen as playing God... because there were a limited number of available hearts and so authorities literally drew up lists and ranked people to determine who lived and who died.
    , @Ray Huffman
    Right. Lightning rods were once seen as especially sacrilegious because they interfered with God's wrath by saving people from lightning strikes. (Of course, that raises the obvious question of what kind of pathetic god could have his wrath frustrated by mere mortals, but people were pretty brick stupid back then.)
  36. @D day
    The fact that China is gaining an even larger footprint in Africa makes this particular scheme all the more terrifying. Imagine an Africa without AIDs!

    While it may seem better to splice for IQ increase, this carries even more dangers for Africans in particular. What if increasing African IQ also serves their exclusive MAOA "violence gene," making them all the more effectively sinister?

    You’re a parody, you know that right?

  37. Still, kind of an interesting comparison to developments in the US (see below).

    What is the comparison to, and why is it interesting?

  38. HIV is easily avoided, it would seem more productive to work on eliminating something like breast cancer. A lot is already known about the BRCA gene.

  39. Well, makes a change from crispy fried duck.

  40. In Britain, Toby Young was forced to quit a government advisory body on education, for merely hypothesising that it would make sense for the NHS to pay for embryo selection, when that technology became feasible.

    Spending a few thousand pounds, per birth, to boost mean IQ by (say) 7 points would obviously make economic sense. But truth is no defence, and Young had to go.

    • Replies: @Travis
    In the UK less than 2% of births use IVF. In 2015 52,288 women received 67,708 cycles of IVF, from which 15,283 babies were born....The success rate for IVF has risen from 14% in 1991 to 27% in 2015.

    hard to imagine that the 98% of women who conceive naturally will start using costly IVF treatments in large numbers in order to select a better embryos. Even if the cost come down from the current $50,000 per child, most women will avoid these invasive treatments. We already screen embryos at 10 weeks for hundreds of genetic abnormalities , which is why few with Downs syndrome are born today. But do not expect women to start creating a dozen embryos with IVF to choose the best of the embryos each time they seek to conceive, especially since 75% of the implanted embryos will not grow into a baby and the process will need to be repeated many times to get 2 children.
  41. @Anon
    So, Chinese went from making toy dogs and goldfish to toy kids and goldkids.

    We, the suspicious reader should not run with this rumour. Either it is planted, willingly, or the Chinese can’t keep a development in science secret, by consequence they there would be Chinese peasants, not scientists involved.

  42. HIV resistance? So the conquest of Africa is a go, and some of the men are expected to marry local women and have kids? Nah, the Chinese are too racist for that, safer rapes for the troops and administrators.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Those in Africa are already marrying African women.

    https://qz.com/africa/857156/uganda-is-worried-about-the-number-of-chinese-men-marrying-their-women/
  43. They planned to eliminate a gene called CCR5 in hopes of rendering the offspring resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera.

    And how are they going to find out if it worked? Blast the poor little thing with smallpox, cholera, and HIV?

  44. “Gets you to “safety” sooner””

    Gets you to a point where you can unleash a serious bio-war with less worry for friendly fire.

  45. If there were to be a CRISPR menu, what item will be the most popular among Chinese parents? My guess is light, pinkish, skin and a minimized epicanthic fold.

  46. @Precious
    Why on Earth are couples signing up for this nonsense? I suppose if the mother is HIV positive then she can accept trading the risk of the child contracting HIV for an unknown risk of gene editing...assuming she accepts the HIV causes AIDS hypothesis.

    I doubt these gene-edited children are going to appreciate being told as adults they can go ahead and drink dirty water because they were modified to be cholera resistant.

    It’s true that (unless there’s a lot of stuff about China we don’t know – always possible) HIV doesn’t seem to be China’s most pressing health problem. But maybe this is just a proof-of-concept work, before the serious applications are started.

    Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren’t can do a lot of damage.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    "Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren’t can do a lot of damage."

    Hence:


    https://off-guardian.org/2017/11/03/why-is-the-us-air-force-collecting-samples-of-russian-dna/
    , @theMann
    Actually, because of acupuncture and reusing needles, China has serious problems with blood borne diseases. Hepatitis is the worst, but I would guess they have more HIV infections than they will ever admit.
    , @Godfree Roberts
    I found this backgrounder and it seems to exonerate He.

    Scientist He JianKu Made a Validly Ethical Choice to Gene Edit the Twinsbrian wang | December 3, 2018.
    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/12/scientist-he-jianku-made-a-validly-ethical-choice-to-gene-edit-the-twins.html
  47. Regalado explains in a tweet: “People asking why CCR5? Why edit a baby to resist disease rather than curing one? Because CRISPR is better at breaking genes than repairing them. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection. Gets you to “safety” sooner”

    Hmmm,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess%27s_paradox

    Braess’s paradox is a proposed explanation for the situation where an alteration to a road network to improve traffic flow actually has the reverse effect and impedes traffic through it. The paradox was postulated in 1968 by German mathematician Dietrich Braess, who noticed that adding a road to a congested road traffic network could increase overall journey time, and it has been used to explain instances of improved traffic flow when existing major roads are closed.

    The paradox may have analogies in electrical power grids and biological systems. It has been suggested that in theory, the improvement of a malfunctioning network could be accomplished by removing certain parts of it,[…]

    It has been suggested that in basketball, a team can be seen as a network of possibilities for a route to scoring a basket, with a different efficiency for each pathway, and a star player could reduce the overall efficiency of the team, analogous to a shortcut that is overused increasing the overall times for a journey through a road network.

    My reading is Adilson E. Motter says you can get serious improvements to a network by knocking out a part of it.

    I think CRISPR knockout of genes could easily be used to get super-high IQ.

    • Replies: @adreadline
    Doesn't that relate to what Harpending and Cochran proposed? That one cause (maybe even the main cause in modern populations) of low IQ is genetic load?
    , @Sean
    Yes, but gc proposed fixing the faulty genes, rather than knocking others out. It seems to me that would be like opening a big new road.

    https://curiosity.com/topics/the-braess-paradox-says-closing-roads-can-actually-speed-up-traffic-curiosity/
    , @Anonymuse
    That is an interesting idea that can be extended to sociology.
    For instance what happens to a host society when a parasitic elite sub-population is eliminated or reduced drastically? Does it help or hurt the host society? What are the variables and thresholds?
    Post WWII Germany is one case study that may be of interest. Post-apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa also comes to mind. In the former case, the host society was not affected much due to high average IQ? While the opposite happened in Zimbabwe.
    Another curious case is the elimination (peacefully) of the parasitic elite population in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Brahmin elites emigrated en mass out of the state and out of the country when faced with loss of status/power and political hostility a few decades ago. However, the effect on Tamil Nadu, however was dramatic. The state which ranked among the poorest in 1980s is now ranked as the best state in India over all in socioeconomic parameters.
  48. @Twinkie

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.
     
    Agreed. Likely what will happen is that gene editing will be used to make children nearly immune to a whole host of diseases, especially those associated with genetic defects. It will be very difficult for political and regulatory bodies to prevent those kinds of uses (as opposed to "frivolous" uses such as increasing height or selecting eye/hair color).

    What's going to be controversial is what will happen after the technology advances much further, say in 20-30 years, and there are experiments beyond diseases prevention.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.

    We’re living in the End Times.

  49. @attilathehen
    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn't China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for "better babies."

    Also, CRISPR doesn't work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump's economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.

    I’ve worked with several Chinese men and women and, not only are they smart and extremely hardworking, they also are (in my opinion) absolutely charming. They also think they are very smart, with one or two unwittingly admitting to being “surprised” at how intelligent the native-born Americans in our company are. In my limited experience, however, they do live up to some of the clichés about Asians; i.e., being hard-wired for spatial thinking but weak on language, being somewhat “inscrutable”, and lacking a certain type of creativity.

  50. @anon
    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren't going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make - or will eventually make - genetically engineered superhumans while this country can't even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I've brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with "so you're saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?". Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world. They want to make money and be a technological leader. But having a say in how Europe or South America is run? They don’t care. They lack the Universalism which is a particular Western disease.

    China wants secure borders and raw material. After that the world can f-off.

    • Agree: Travis
    • Disagree: Sean
    • Replies: @L Woods
    If their pre-1912 outlook is an indication, they will expect the world to conspicuously acknowledge their supremacy, but (as you say) will take little practical interest in the day-to-day affairs of their nominal subjects.
    , @Mark P Miller
    "I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world."

    All the more reason they may ultimately succeed in just that. Lacking the overt drive for empire, they are less likely to succumb to that siren song. Unadulterated and unapologetic ethnonationalism, plus a vigorous eugenics programs may well leave the rest of the species in the dust.

    On the bright side, at least it won't be Africans ruling us.
    , @Sean
    China on wants secure borders, but every border that is secured has another border beyond it that is now the front line so it must be secured and so on. Countries do not willingly stop their influence expanding.
  51. @Anonymous
    How will anyone even know if it worked? Are they going to whisk these expensive designer babies from the nursery and expose them to HIV, smallpox & cholera?

    good point..knowing the ethics of the Chinese we should assume this to be some kind of scam.

  52. Chinese already lost the gene that causes body odor, what’s the big deal if we lose another one that causes AIDS? Good riddance.

    I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the gene that gives human cancer too.

  53. @jimmyriddle
    In Britain, Toby Young was forced to quit a government advisory body on education, for merely hypothesising that it would make sense for the NHS to pay for embryo selection, when that technology became feasible.

    Spending a few thousand pounds, per birth, to boost mean IQ by (say) 7 points would obviously make economic sense. But truth is no defence, and Young had to go.

    In the UK less than 2% of births use IVF. In 2015 52,288 women received 67,708 cycles of IVF, from which 15,283 babies were born….The success rate for IVF has risen from 14% in 1991 to 27% in 2015.

    hard to imagine that the 98% of women who conceive naturally will start using costly IVF treatments in large numbers in order to select a better embryos. Even if the cost come down from the current $50,000 per child, most women will avoid these invasive treatments. We already screen embryos at 10 weeks for hundreds of genetic abnormalities , which is why few with Downs syndrome are born today. But do not expect women to start creating a dozen embryos with IVF to choose the best of the embryos each time they seek to conceive, especially since 75% of the implanted embryos will not grow into a baby and the process will need to be repeated many times to get 2 children.

  54. @Thomm
    CRISPR will address the issue of low-IQ populations (except those that are irretrievable by natural decree).

    Functional whites (top 80%) will be edited up from 105 to 135
    Blacks will be edited up from 85 to 115.
    White Trashionalists (bottom 20%) will, alas, only get from 70 to 71, for even CRISPR cannot overturn the wishes of mother nature.

    But at least blacks will be up to 115, so all the dysfunction associated with them will greatly reduce (even if they are still below the new 135 level that functional whites will be at).

    Like those you criticize, you conflate IQ with human-ness. Raise a black person’s IQ and he is still a Homo Erectus/Sapiens hybrid. He will still retain many of the traits of his primitive progenitor. IQ isn’t the whole story. You must look at the whole organism, seen as integrated with its environment. A black is superbly adapted to the equatorial Stone Age but is an unfortunate misfit in the temperate zone machine/electronic age.

  55. @attilathehen
    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn't China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for "better babies."

    Also, CRISPR doesn't work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump's economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.

    I think their initial brand of Communism had a hand to play in holding them back.

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    All these problems are caused by their lower IQs.
    , @Anonymous

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.
     
    Reverse the arrow of causation, and you have an argument.

    China's writing system over the millenia CREATED a high IQ (105) population as successful test-takers on tests in written Chinese achieved greater reproductive success than their less literate cohort.

    As Mr. Unz himself put it in his influential paper:


    The social importance of competitive examinations was enormous, playing the same role in determining membership in the ruling elite that the aristocratic bloodlines of Europe’s nobility did until modern times, ...

    ... in China the proud family traditions would boast generations of top-scoring test-takers, along with the important government positions that they had received as a result.
     

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/
  56. @Redneck farmer
    HIV resistance? So the conquest of Africa is a go, and some of the men are expected to marry local women and have kids? Nah, the Chinese are too racist for that, safer rapes for the troops and administrators.
    • Replies: @D day
    I, for one, do not wish to live in an urban Mary Shelley novel.

    Therefore, I, for one, do not welcome the arrival of "Frankenegroes."
  57. Will Jones [AKA "Willie Chang"] says:

    The US will be using this technology soon on embryos, not to eliminate genetically inherited diseases but to produce gay and sexually ambiguous babies from birth. The Democrats dream of millions of future gay and sexually ambiguous voters that can actually say, “I was born that way.” It doesn’t get any better than that if you are a progressive politician.

  58. @Thulean Friend
    Large-scale gene-editing is inevitable at this stage, including for IQ. Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring.


    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.

    Looking back in 2060, we could well draw the conclusion that we have evolved into a new species and that the 21st century saw the end of Homo Sapiens.

    Mating with a college graduate has better results today than obtaining an embryo with a high polygenic score. 62% of children of women with a college degree will obtain a degree, while a high polygenic score will only result in 56% of them obtaining a college degree.

    We are more than 20 years away from gene editing for simple human traits. The current technology is risky with few benefits. The current failure rate for IVF is 80%. We will need the success rate for IVF to be closer to 75% for most women to embrace it.

  59. Anon[306] • Disclaimer says:

    The last I heard CRISR had hit a wall, with changes not reproducing past the fourth generation — in mosquitos. And the Chinese have it working in humans?!

    Apparently, cells have some sort of immune defense that can intercept the interloper inside the cell, but before the edit happens. It doesn’t succeed all the time, but it does enough that Gen 4 is the current record.

  60. @Thomm
    CRISPR will address the issue of low-IQ populations (except those that are irretrievable by natural decree).

    Functional whites (top 80%) will be edited up from 105 to 135
    Blacks will be edited up from 85 to 115.
    White Trashionalists (bottom 20%) will, alas, only get from 70 to 71, for even CRISPR cannot overturn the wishes of mother nature.

    But at least blacks will be up to 115, so all the dysfunction associated with them will greatly reduce (even if they are still below the new 135 level that functional whites will be at).

    Imagine the effect CRISPR might have on low-sanitation populations like yours.

    And you’re lucky that Steve has a high tolerance for the type of third world trolling you provide in the comments of his blog. Sadly, he has less tolerance for appropriate replies to it.

    Say hi to all of your roommates for us!

    • Replies: @Thomm
    Even CRISPR can't help you, as described in my comment above.

    The song that you have been trying to find is here :

    http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/the-unpardonable-heresy-of-tucker-carlson/#comment-2521038

  61. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DsiIX6LWsAAynr1.jpg

    The only meat on this Thanksgiving table is the baby, which looks kind of flabby. But fortunately, Chinese culinary scientists are creating crisper babies.

    Is that an African dirt cookie?

  62. Very much in line with what Michael Behe argues about evolution and intelligent design: most of what we see as evolution is really a loss of function that is contextually adaptive. Thus, adaptation is almost always due to breaking things, not creating new complex features (bacterial resistance, sickle cell).

  63. First rule needs to be : any genetically enhanced individual MUST BE STERILE to prevent insertion of genetically mutated DNA back into the n-descendant population. I doubt that sensible rule will be followed.

    Militaries are salivating at the bit for genetic enhancements- but it is not like they are utterly immoral and completely murderous.

    Couples are already using abortion as an enhancement – sex selection, downe’s syndrome removal etc – so they will certainly take any offered enhancements. But hey, it is not like they are completely selfish and unmindful of long term consequences, like 50 million unmarried males.

    I am sure that the more racially lunatic societies – here is looking at you, Israel- will be completely responsible in their use of gene manipulation.

    And of course, we can count on corporations to follow a well thought set of ethical guidelines……

    As other commenters have said, end times.

  64. @415 reasons
    This is more akin to a publicity stunt than a medical breakthrough. This is showing off the fact that their ethics in applying new medical technologies are totally corrupt. A technology they had no hand in discovering or developing, by the way. East Asia is certainly better poised to cope with globalism than our craven, cowardly society, but this is not a data point in their favor. Breaking one part of the genome with potential side effects to administer Gardisil for a disease that’s not even prevalent among the Chinese middle class? Meh. Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it.

    “Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it.”

    Thank you, from someone who works in the CRISPR field. We may be able to cure, or significantly improve, gain of function single gene disorders. But manipulation multiple genes with high efficiency and no off-target effects is still a ways away, and maybe actually be impossible with CRISPR’s limitations.

    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Hey, maybe you can help me. Seems that messing around with genes in the way that people fear/hope is still a very long off, if ever. However, what I'm curious about is much simpler.

    Why can’t a couple fertilize ten eggs, screen the ten for the top two in some trait, say IQ, and then implant those top two eggs?

    I realize that this isn’t a guarantee that these two embryos are the smartest, but it would definitely up the odds – and over large numbers would make a huge difference.

    Why isn’t something like that possible over the next 20 years as screening and DNA knowledge improve? Again, this requires no manipulation of genes. Heck it doesn't even require understanding exactly why certain genes impact a trait, just that they correlate. (And, yeah, I get that correlation does not imply causation so there might be some false signals, but it'd still be better than random.)
    , @ic1000
    > We may be able to cure, or significantly improve, gain of function single gene disorders. But manipulation multiple genes with high efficiency and no off-target effects is still a ways away, and maybe actually be impossible with CRISPR’s limitations.

    Excellent points.

    I agree with the commenter who noted that the most important aspect of this story is that these Chinese scientists and clinicians went ahead and did it. Because they could, ethics be damned. "Ethics" as morality (e.g. "first, do no harm"), and also as the structures that Western societies have built to align practice with theory (e.g. empowering institutional bioethics committees to oversee experiments on humans).

    From a medical perspective, the choice to mutate CCR5 in "wild type" human embryos is particularly notable because of the very low value of the modification to the person that's created, and to society as a whole. It's like an extra poke in the eye by Dr. Jiankui and the Shenzen biotech establishment.
  65. They are just copying the West again.

    Colonel Sanders has been producing crisper Chickens for years.

  66. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection.

    If only Mother Effin Nature had come with some simple and natural solution for prevention of this dreaded, modern plague that totally does not discriminate among its victims.

    Can y’all just imagine all the possibilities once Chinese Contractors start manipulating CCR5 on Central African chimps?

    The sky is limit.

  67. I know a few Chinese here in London and one thing they all have in common is a love of English pubs. In China all the bars are packed out with prostitutes.

  68. @Sean

    Regalado explains in a tweet: “People asking why CCR5? Why edit a baby to resist disease rather than curing one? Because CRISPR is better at breaking genes than repairing them. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection. Gets you to “safety” sooner”
     
    Hmmm,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess%27s_paradox

    Braess's paradox is a proposed explanation for the situation where an alteration to a road network to improve traffic flow actually has the reverse effect and impedes traffic through it. The paradox was postulated in 1968 by German mathematician Dietrich Braess, who noticed that adding a road to a congested road traffic network could increase overall journey time, and it has been used to explain instances of improved traffic flow when existing major roads are closed.

    The paradox may have analogies in electrical power grids and biological systems. It has been suggested that in theory, the improvement of a malfunctioning network could be accomplished by removing certain parts of it,[...]

    It has been suggested that in basketball, a team can be seen as a network of possibilities for a route to scoring a basket, with a different efficiency for each pathway, and a star player could reduce the overall efficiency of the team, analogous to a shortcut that is overused increasing the overall times for a journey through a road network.

     

    My reading is Adilson E. Motter says you can get serious improvements to a network by knocking out a part of it.

    https://twitter.com/adilson_motter/status/986594822927634433


    I think CRISPR knockout of genes could easily be used to get super-high IQ.

    Doesn’t that relate to what Harpending and Cochran proposed? That one cause (maybe even the main cause in modern populations) of low IQ is genetic load?

  69. This CCR5 variant already exists naturally in European populations, and the father in this case is HIV-positive.

  70. @Wilkey
    The point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place. This will continue as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

    How many babies have been aborted in the US in the last 45 years?

    If the US can "stomach" 50 million or so abortions it sure as hell can stomach a technology that improves human quality of life.

    Non-sequitor, I’m afraid. America has a distinctly warped sense of morality that’s defined by nothing so much as the narrow self interest of its sanctified victim groups.

  71. @Hodag
    I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world. They want to make money and be a technological leader. But having a say in how Europe or South America is run? They don't care. They lack the Universalism which is a particular Western disease.

    China wants secure borders and raw material. After that the world can f-off.

    If their pre-1912 outlook is an indication, they will expect the world to conspicuously acknowledge their supremacy, but (as you say) will take little practical interest in the day-to-day affairs of their nominal subjects.

  72. Given the potential of CRISPER, it’s a wonder that the researcher chose HIV. I did not know that HIV was all that prominent in China to warrant such intensive research. I am sure there are other researchers engaged in other aspects of CRISPER splicing, removal and manipulation. But i thought it interesting.

    That China does, or most of Asia does not share our western moral world view does make room for research that we might otherwise consider, with caution based on the moral implications. I actually am delighted that we are so inclined.

    From a technical point of view, the one reference that I think is essential to micro-surgery is that when it comes to DNA/chromosome design, purpose and function we simply don’t have sufficient knowledge of the long term effects from any number of chromosome interactions to predict consequence. I prevent HIV here, but introduce some other malformity and dysfunction, somewhere else in the human body’s design, and function.

    • Replies: @peterike

    Given the potential of CRISPER, it’s a wonder that the researcher chose HIV. I did not know that HIV was all that prominent in China to warrant such intensive research

     

    Perhaps they are thinking long term when it comes to their inevitable takeover of large swaths of Africa. Surely, many Chinese males will be mating with the local women, and given the prevalence of AIDS in Africa, it makes sense.
  73. @anon
    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren't going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make - or will eventually make - genetically engineered superhumans while this country can't even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I've brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with "so you're saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?". Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    There’s a good chance the Han will, though not necessarily in China.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    Where then? Africa? Mars?
  74. Good for them. I hope they keep at it and increase the number of genes and complexity of gene sequences they can edit. The more they do it, the more the rest of the world will be pressured to start too.

  75. Is it too late for Tiny Duck??

    • LOL: jim jones
    • Replies: @TWS
    Lol
  76. @Thulean Friend
    Large-scale gene-editing is inevitable at this stage, including for IQ. Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring.


    It introduces a moral quandry for those in their 20s and 30s today who wish to have children. There may be radical differences in ability for kids born in 2020 than, say, for those born in 2040. At the same time, fertility dries up with age as we all know.

    Looking back in 2060, we could well draw the conclusion that we have evolved into a new species and that the 21st century saw the end of Homo Sapiens.

    “Many geneticists in the US are already warning that the rich will have access to such technology within 5-10 years for their offspring.”

    That seems too conservative. If this report is true (and I suspect it is), couples are already rolling the dice today. We already have mapped significant loci for cognition. The only barrier now is a willing researcher to pull the trigger. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this hasn’t already happened, but on the “down low” in case things don’t pan out.

  77. @DB Cooper
    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.

    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn’t be playing God.

    No, it was troubling and distressing because two of the four patients died receiving blood transfusions in 1667. Nobody could figure out why because blood types hadn’t been discovered yet. So it was banned for about two centuries.

    Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn’t be playing God.

    No, it was troubling and distressing because people believed and the legal system stated that someone was not dead until their heart was dead. Thus you can’t harvest a heart from a person without killing them. Killing one person to save another person is troubling and distressing. Over time that definition changed from heart death to brain death, so now we don’t have that ethical dilemma anymore…at least on paper. We may be in for another dilemma if they ever figure out how to do a brain transplant.

    I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.

    We shall see.

  78. @Hodag
    I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world. They want to make money and be a technological leader. But having a say in how Europe or South America is run? They don't care. They lack the Universalism which is a particular Western disease.

    China wants secure borders and raw material. After that the world can f-off.

    “I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world.”

    All the more reason they may ultimately succeed in just that. Lacking the overt drive for empire, they are less likely to succumb to that siren song. Unadulterated and unapologetic ethnonationalism, plus a vigorous eugenics programs may well leave the rest of the species in the dust.

    On the bright side, at least it won’t be Africans ruling us.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    That’s the kind of meek that could inherit the Earth, and deserve to.
  79. I think this CRISPR baby announcement is more hype than anything else. The socially disruptive change will be therapies to increase cognitive ability and executive function. These require the modification of hundreds and possibly a thousand genes. CRISPR can’t do that. Whole chromosome synthesis from scratch is necessary. The other approach is iterative embryo selection. Both of these will not be available before the mid 30’s, about 20 years away.

    The real scoop on making designer babies.

    https://www.gwern.net/Embryo-selection#overview-of-major-approaches

  80. @Thomm
    CRISPR will address the issue of low-IQ populations (except those that are irretrievable by natural decree).

    Functional whites (top 80%) will be edited up from 105 to 135
    Blacks will be edited up from 85 to 115.
    White Trashionalists (bottom 20%) will, alas, only get from 70 to 71, for even CRISPR cannot overturn the wishes of mother nature.

    But at least blacks will be up to 115, so all the dysfunction associated with them will greatly reduce (even if they are still below the new 135 level that functional whites will be at).

    Unlikely, the MAOA warrior gene would have to be removed from those of African descent. Not does the current tech improve iq.

    • Replies: @James N. Kennett

    the MAOA warrior gene would have to be removed from those of African descent
     
    A single allele that is strongly associated with inappropriate, explosive violence (hardly a useful characteristic for a modern "warrior"). This is crying out for CRISPR editing. I doubt it will happen, even if medical ethicists decide that certain germ-line editing is acceptable.

    Approximately one million African American males have the "warrior gene" and would benefit from lifetime pharmaceutical treatment (just as people with some other alleles at this SNP benefit from antidepressants). This lucrative market remains untapped, and as far as I know unresearched.

    The intersection of medical ethics, race, and SJWs is so politically toxic that it is easier for everyone - SJWs and race hustlers included - to treat these unfortunate men with incarceration.

  81. @Twinkie

    Since intelligence is highly polygenic, possibly involving several thousand genes, it’s unlikely that anyone will create superkids in the near future.
     
    Agreed. Likely what will happen is that gene editing will be used to make children nearly immune to a whole host of diseases, especially those associated with genetic defects. It will be very difficult for political and regulatory bodies to prevent those kinds of uses (as opposed to "frivolous" uses such as increasing height or selecting eye/hair color).

    What's going to be controversial is what will happen after the technology advances much further, say in 20-30 years, and there are experiments beyond diseases prevention.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.

    Historically Catholicism had insanely high rates of infant mortality among foundlings- I believe this continued in some places until the 1960s. Since humans respond to incentives and behavior is inheritable, attrition of the bastard population improves the population gene pool over time.

    You can fight against it and you will run into the same situation we have today- feeding parasites just makes them hunger for more. There is a reason tradition and the community of the saints is the grounding for any working faith and not sterile adherence to principles.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    There is a reason tradition and the community of the saints is the grounding for any working faith and not sterile adherence to principles.
     
    Meaning?
  82. @Wilkey
    The point that matters is that they have the stomach to do it in the first place. This will continue as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

    How many babies have been aborted in the US in the last 45 years?

    If the US can "stomach" 50 million or so abortions it sure as hell can stomach a technology that improves human quality of life.

    I think it should be obvious that our elite cannot stomach anything that has the potential of helping another human being.

  83. @YetAnotherAnon
    It's true that (unless there's a lot of stuff about China we don't know - always possible) HIV doesn't seem to be China's most pressing health problem. But maybe this is just a proof-of-concept work, before the serious applications are started.

    Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren't can do a lot of damage.

    “Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren’t can do a lot of damage.”

    Hence:

    https://off-guardian.org/2017/11/03/why-is-the-us-air-force-collecting-samples-of-russian-dna/

  84. @DB Cooper
    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.

    I’m almost positive that isn’t accurate. Blood transfusion was troubling and distressing because half the time it worked and half the time it caused the subject to die horribly- it wasn’t until blood types were discovered that it could be done reliabily.

    Heart transplants were seen as playing God… because there were a limited number of available hearts and so authorities literally drew up lists and ranked people to determine who lived and who died.

  85. @Romanian
    Those in Africa are already marrying African women.

    https://qz.com/africa/857156/uganda-is-worried-about-the-number-of-chinese-men-marrying-their-women/

    I, for one, do not wish to live in an urban Mary Shelley novel.

    Therefore, I, for one, do not welcome the arrival of “Frankenegroes.”

  86. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren't going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make - or will eventually make - genetically engineered superhumans while this country can't even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I've brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with "so you're saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?". Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren’t going to be ruling the world by the end of the century?

    Personality traits are significantly heritable.

    What kind of personality traits will governments breed into and out of their subjects? It is not hard to guess.

    What is more interesting – there would almost certainly special facilities where elite humans are bred to sustain the regime in future, as the Nazis did and the Norks do to this day. The new elite will be furnished with unusual traits including greater rebelliousness and assertiveness. The SciFi novel writes itself.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Personality traits are significantly heritable.
     
    Cite?
    , @Anonymous
    Sample cite - a few quick searches should find hundreds.

    ... 59 rapists, 37 child molesters, and 25 healthy controls completed: (1) The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), which measures the heritable temperament dimensions Novelty Seeking (NS), Harm Avoidance (ΗΑ), Reward Dependence (RD), and Persistence (ΡΕ), and the character dimensions Self Directedness (SD), Cooperativeness (CO), and Self Transcendence (ST),

     

    http://www.psych.gr/documents/psychiatry/14.3-EN-63.pdf
  87. @attilathehen
    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn't China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for "better babies."

    Also, CRISPR doesn't work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump's economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.

    The smartest people are the Ashkenazi Jews. Of course there are relatively few of them but all of them seem to have a Nobel Prize for something or other . (Just kidding).

    Among the major population groups the nation with the highest IQ is Korea. Japan is next and then China. The high IQ lists have Hong Kong at the top but Hong Kong is a city not a nation, Nations have high IQ area (cities) and low IQ areas (country side).

    These East Asian nations are all above any Western nation in IQ. The highest IQ nations in Europe are Germany and Italy. Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I’m not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    Korea is not like Japan. Again, the Japanese are the only intelligent Asians.

    East Asians do not have higher IQs than Caucasians. They are notorious cheaters.

    Also, I want Asians to stop culturally appropriating Western stuff like computers, cars, television, airplanes, telephones, the list is endless. They cannot have orchestras play Western classical music or opera.

    They can use the abacus for their calculations.

    WWII was caused by the Soviet Union and England. The Germans knew about the slaughter of Russians by the (((Bolsheviks))). They were determined not to like the Soviet Union. Hence Hitler. England wanted Germany knocked out because it was an economic competitor.
    , @His story

    Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I’m not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?
     
    Germans didn’t like predatory lending, outrageous rent increases, while being mocked in their own newspapers. The also didn’t take a shine to the Jews declaring a worldwide economic boycotting the early thirties, just as a war ravaged Germany was getting back on its economic feet. Italians didn’t really like what they saw regarding Jewish behavior including radical Communism. The Bolsheviks were to Western Europe what Al Quida is to America, if that straightens it out for you.
    Our response to their request for refugee status when the shit started to fly gives credence to the claim that most of the world had about enough of organized Jewish shenanigans at the time.

    Germany also had had about enough of of the Polish and Jewish shenanigans against ethnic Germans residing in Poland at the time. Neighborhood ethnic cleansing and pogroms were popular devices to get Germans to pack their belongings and head back to Germany. When they arrived, Jewish landlords were waiting with exorbitant rents, peppered with a quiet contempt.

    In short, Germans were collectively fed up with tribal Jewish bullshit.

    Getting Jews to leave was a complicated problem, since Jews at the time too often would "shit what they ate," which demotivated most other countries from accepting them in any substantial number.

    Japan was simply looking for room to expand, and the Chinese were ignorant Hillbillies who wasted space and resources that Japan felt they could put to better use. Much like we felt about our native Indians, when push came to shove. Turns out we were correct. Japan probably was too, from a certain perspective.

    Since high IQ's don’t necessarily give a group of people the ability to predict the future, WWII was a calculated risk that could have gone either way. Hitler likely had a higher than average IQ, and some had posited that he had a photographic memory. He took a chance based on the information he had at the time. One bit of information he did not have was Stalin's 25,000 tanks buried in the interior of his country. Hitler has been quoted as stating that had he known about those tanks, he wouldn’t have even considered attacking Russia.

    Hope this helps.
  88. @Desiderius
    There’s a good chance the Han will, though not necessarily in China.

    Where then? Africa? Mars?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Eventually. Throughout the diaspora initially.
  89. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Imagine the effect CRISPR might have on low-sanitation populations like yours.

    And you're lucky that Steve has a high tolerance for the type of third world trolling you provide in the comments of his blog. Sadly, he has less tolerance for appropriate replies to it.

    Say hi to all of your roommates for us!

    Even CRISPR can’t help you, as described in my comment above.

    The song that you have been trying to find is here :

    http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/the-unpardonable-heresy-of-tucker-carlson/#comment-2521038

  90. It seems the deed was done by a single evil Chinese researcher, which is in violation of everyone’s ethics code, including China’s. Chinese health institutions have disavowed this bazaar development and promised investigation.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-26/baby-gene-editing-claim-in-china-fuels-denials-backlash

  91. @Mark P Miller
    "I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world."

    All the more reason they may ultimately succeed in just that. Lacking the overt drive for empire, they are less likely to succumb to that siren song. Unadulterated and unapologetic ethnonationalism, plus a vigorous eugenics programs may well leave the rest of the species in the dust.

    On the bright side, at least it won't be Africans ruling us.

    That’s the kind of meek that could inherit the Earth, and deserve to.

    • Replies: @Anonymuse
    The meek? who the Chinese? Who are still ruled by the same gang that Mao started, the gang that transformed China by killing an estimated 50,000,000 of their own countrymen? Nah don't think so.
    Westerners are the meek, first they gave up control of virtually the entire planet almost voluntarily and now are losing your homelands and women to the lowest common denominator outsiders and here you are in complete despair hoping that China will become a super-human power and will fix Africa and save Europe and eventually rule America benignly and save your progeny from being ruled by supposedly low IQ African marauders
  92. @Pat Boyle
    Where then? Africa? Mars?

    Eventually. Throughout the diaspora initially.

  93. @attilathehen
    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn't China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for "better babies."

    Also, CRISPR doesn't work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump's economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.

    You can’t deny Shaolin Soccer is a great movie.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    The only movies I will watch with non-whites are the old Godzilla movies.
  94. @Sean

    Regalado explains in a tweet: “People asking why CCR5? Why edit a baby to resist disease rather than curing one? Because CRISPR is better at breaking genes than repairing them. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection. Gets you to “safety” sooner”
     
    Hmmm,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess%27s_paradox

    Braess's paradox is a proposed explanation for the situation where an alteration to a road network to improve traffic flow actually has the reverse effect and impedes traffic through it. The paradox was postulated in 1968 by German mathematician Dietrich Braess, who noticed that adding a road to a congested road traffic network could increase overall journey time, and it has been used to explain instances of improved traffic flow when existing major roads are closed.

    The paradox may have analogies in electrical power grids and biological systems. It has been suggested that in theory, the improvement of a malfunctioning network could be accomplished by removing certain parts of it,[...]

    It has been suggested that in basketball, a team can be seen as a network of possibilities for a route to scoring a basket, with a different efficiency for each pathway, and a star player could reduce the overall efficiency of the team, analogous to a shortcut that is overused increasing the overall times for a journey through a road network.

     

    My reading is Adilson E. Motter says you can get serious improvements to a network by knocking out a part of it.

    https://twitter.com/adilson_motter/status/986594822927634433


    I think CRISPR knockout of genes could easily be used to get super-high IQ.

    Yes, but gc proposed fixing the faulty genes, rather than knocking others out. It seems to me that would be like opening a big new road.

    https://curiosity.com/topics/the-braess-paradox-says-closing-roads-can-actually-speed-up-traffic-curiosity/

  95. @YetAnotherAnon
    It's true that (unless there's a lot of stuff about China we don't know - always possible) HIV doesn't seem to be China's most pressing health problem. But maybe this is just a proof-of-concept work, before the serious applications are started.

    Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren't can do a lot of damage.

    Actually, because of acupuncture and reusing needles, China has serious problems with blood borne diseases. Hepatitis is the worst, but I would guess they have more HIV infections than they will ever admit.

  96. @Anonymous

    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren’t going to be ruling the world by the end of the century?
     
    Personality traits are significantly heritable.

    What kind of personality traits will governments breed into and out of their subjects? It is not hard to guess.

    What is more interesting - there would almost certainly special facilities where elite humans are bred to sustain the regime in future, as the Nazis did and the Norks do to this day. The new elite will be furnished with unusual traits including greater rebelliousness and assertiveness. The SciFi novel writes itself.

    Personality traits are significantly heritable.

    Cite?

  97. @Samuel Skinner

    Either way, as a Catholic who believes in the sanctity of human soul, a most Divine Gift, I find this trend extremely troubling and distressing.
     
    Historically Catholicism had insanely high rates of infant mortality among foundlings- I believe this continued in some places until the 1960s. Since humans respond to incentives and behavior is inheritable, attrition of the bastard population improves the population gene pool over time.

    You can fight against it and you will run into the same situation we have today- feeding parasites just makes them hunger for more. There is a reason tradition and the community of the saints is the grounding for any working faith and not sterile adherence to principles.

    There is a reason tradition and the community of the saints is the grounding for any working faith and not sterile adherence to principles.

    Meaning?

  98. @Hodag
    I doubt China will rule the world for the primary reason that they are uninterested in ruling the world. They want to make money and be a technological leader. But having a say in how Europe or South America is run? They don't care. They lack the Universalism which is a particular Western disease.

    China wants secure borders and raw material. After that the world can f-off.

    China on wants secure borders, but every border that is secured has another border beyond it that is now the front line so it must be secured and so on. Countries do not willingly stop their influence expanding.

  99. @DB Cooper
    Blood transfusion was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. Heart transplant was at one time troubling and distressing because human beings shouldn't be playing God. I am sure in due time gene editing will be seen as normal as blood transfusion.

    Right. Lightning rods were once seen as especially sacrilegious because they interfered with God’s wrath by saving people from lightning strikes. (Of course, that raises the obvious question of what kind of pathetic god could have his wrath frustrated by mere mortals, but people were pretty brick stupid back then.)

    • Replies: @Precious
    Right.

    No he was wrong, as I explained above.

    Lightning rods were once seen as especially sacrilegious because they interfered with God’s wrath by saving people from lightning strikes.

    ^Myth #1. Nobody objected Ben Franklin's lightning rods when they protected buildings from damage. Lightning rods protect people more from fire caused by lightning striking the building they are in rather than protecting people from getting hit by lightning directly.

    (Of course, that raises the obvious question of what kind of pathetic god could have his wrath frustrated by mere mortals, but people were pretty brick stupid back then.)

    ^Myth #2. People back then were as smart, or smarter, than people now.
  100. @The Practical Conservative
    IVF wouldn't and currently doesn't work that way. Twins are implanted more frequently these days because it turned out neither selective reduction nor "vetted, screened" single implants were as likely to carry a single fetus to term. There is a lot of counterintuitive stuff like that in fertility treatment. What works isn't necessarily what you think should work because biology is a hard problem and human biology is a Very Hard Problem.

    Sorry if I’m missing something, but why can’t a couple fertilize ten eggs, screen the ten for the top two in some trait, say IQ, and then implant those top two eggs?

    I realize that this isn’t a guarantee that these two embryos are the smartest, but it would definitely up the odds – and over large numbers would make a huge difference.

    Why isn’t something like that possible over the next 20 years as screening and DNA knowledge improve?

    • Replies: @Travis
    only 25% of transferred embryos go on to result in live births of babies....IVF would cost a parent $30,000 today and only result in a child a third of the time...to get two children a family could easily spend over $150,000. Screening 12 embryos for the ones with the best polygenic score today would not offer much guarantee that your child will have a high IQ, in fact only 57% of those with a high polygenic score will even graduate college.

    having a wife with a college degree already results in 60% of your children obtaining a college degree. Will selecting an embryo with a slightly high polygenic score than to be expected be worth $50,000 ? knowing the failure rate is 75% ? Is it worth $60,000 to have a kid with increased odds of having an IQ of 116 instead of 114 ?

    I find it hard to believe many people would spend the thousands of dollars to screen embryos to slightly increase the odds their children will graduate from college, especially since the failure rate for IVF is above 70%. So much easier and less costly to get pregnant the regular way.
  101. @Thank you
    "Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it."

    Thank you, from someone who works in the CRISPR field. We may be able to cure, or significantly improve, gain of function single gene disorders. But manipulation multiple genes with high efficiency and no off-target effects is still a ways away, and maybe actually be impossible with CRISPR's limitations.

    Hey, maybe you can help me. Seems that messing around with genes in the way that people fear/hope is still a very long off, if ever. However, what I’m curious about is much simpler.

    Why can’t a couple fertilize ten eggs, screen the ten for the top two in some trait, say IQ, and then implant those top two eggs?

    I realize that this isn’t a guarantee that these two embryos are the smartest, but it would definitely up the odds – and over large numbers would make a huge difference.

    Why isn’t something like that possible over the next 20 years as screening and DNA knowledge improve? Again, this requires no manipulation of genes. Heck it doesn’t even require understanding exactly why certain genes impact a trait, just that they correlate. (And, yeah, I get that correlation does not imply causation so there might be some false signals, but it’d still be better than random.)

    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    Perhaps you didn't understand my comment. Without using CRISPR, IVF already was trying to screen for traits (as do sperm banks), and yet you can't get the sort of guarantee you're talking about, because the womb environment itself is a factor that science hasn't been able to manipulate. You already have two intelligent parents using their own material, or using someone else's implanted. All those variations change what the edited genetic material would express as in a final, term embryo or embryos (and there's interactions between embryos, including increased chimerism/absorption).

    CRISPR is not some magic bullet technology. All interference of this type has consistently not produced the outcomes the parents or the researchers or the paymasters wanted. Because Very Hard Problem.

    To put it bluntly, in the screening case you're talking about, it's been found that the most survivable eggs are not the "best" ones of the ten, that slightly flawed ones seem to have the most success. This is also pretty counterintuitive. What if it's even worse with CRISPR-edited eggs? And then, if the eggs that "Test low" are the most survivable, what would the finished, delivered child look like, what might be the long range expression effects? We just don't know. We do know it's quite silly to make extravagant claims about precision and ability to control outcomes, though.
  102. @Whiskey
    Unlikely, the MAOA warrior gene would have to be removed from those of African descent. Not does the current tech improve iq.

    the MAOA warrior gene would have to be removed from those of African descent

    A single allele that is strongly associated with inappropriate, explosive violence (hardly a useful characteristic for a modern “warrior”). This is crying out for CRISPR editing. I doubt it will happen, even if medical ethicists decide that certain germ-line editing is acceptable.

    Approximately one million African American males have the “warrior gene” and would benefit from lifetime pharmaceutical treatment (just as people with some other alleles at this SNP benefit from antidepressants). This lucrative market remains untapped, and as far as I know unresearched.

    The intersection of medical ethics, race, and SJWs is so politically toxic that it is easier for everyone – SJWs and race hustlers included – to treat these unfortunate men with incarceration.

    • Replies: @DRA
    Lack of vitamin D can lead to more propensity to violence, and there are a lot of lactose intolerant folks around. Perhaps we sould start with supplementing something in addition to milk with D, to give the rest of us a fighting chance?

    Iodine supplementation in the US is limited to salt, but not to salt used in prepackaged meals, or snacks. I see a lot of frozen meals and snacks sold, and we are often encouraged not to add salt to food, for the sake of our hearts.

    Those of us that eat a lot of fish probably get sufficient vitamin D and iodine, plus DHA and EPA. If we also eat soy foods, we may also get more choline, from lecithin, which also helps brain and heart development and health.

    It strikes me that a lot of the peoples that are commonly cited on this site as being high IQ were historically resident near cold water seacoasts, NE Asia & NW Europe, for example.

    There is much we could do easily and economically. The gene editing should probably wait until the bugs get worked out of the process.
  103. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Sorry if I'm missing something, but why can't a couple fertilize ten eggs, screen the ten for the top two in some trait, say IQ, and then implant those top two eggs?

    I realize that this isn't a guarantee that these two embryos are the smartest, but it would definitely up the odds - and over large numbers would make a huge difference.

    Why isn't something like that possible over the next 20 years as screening and DNA knowledge improve?

    only 25% of transferred embryos go on to result in live births of babies….IVF would cost a parent $30,000 today and only result in a child a third of the time…to get two children a family could easily spend over $150,000. Screening 12 embryos for the ones with the best polygenic score today would not offer much guarantee that your child will have a high IQ, in fact only 57% of those with a high polygenic score will even graduate college.

    having a wife with a college degree already results in 60% of your children obtaining a college degree. Will selecting an embryo with a slightly high polygenic score than to be expected be worth $50,000 ? knowing the failure rate is 75% ? Is it worth $60,000 to have a kid with increased odds of having an IQ of 116 instead of 114 ?

    I find it hard to believe many people would spend the thousands of dollars to screen embryos to slightly increase the odds their children will graduate from college, especially since the failure rate for IVF is above 70%. So much easier and less costly to get pregnant the regular way.

    • Replies: @Svigor
    How much of all that money is 1. regulatory burden and other distortions that the Chinee needn't observe 2. down to lack of economy of scale?
  104. Genetically engineering humans is a deadly dangerous folly, but not for the reasons usually expressed.

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population. Trust me on this.

    2. In the event that someone really does try to breed superhumans, it will likely be a folly of the first magnitude. There is an old saying: if a committee of gorillas got together to try and develop the plan for a super-gorilla, would they have come up with a human being?

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population.
     
    Generally true. However, CRISPR will also be used to breed super-soldiers, assassins, concubines etc. for the ruling caste.

    Additionally, CRISPR will inevitably be used by the ruling caste and the Deep State itself to breed desirable characteristics into its future members - intelligence, endurance, instinctive caste loyalty, social aptitude, physical strength, disease resistance, etc.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Political_Institutes_of_Education


    ... if a committee of gorillas got together to try and develop the plan for a super-gorilla, would they have come up with a human being?
     
    , @Random Smartaleck

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population. Trust me on this.
     
    Especially in China. The Mao Dynasty seems to rather like the idea of its masses becoming hive insects already -- why not make reality even closer to the dream?
  105. @Creepy Dude
    You can't deny Shaolin Soccer is a great movie.

    The only movies I will watch with non-whites are the old Godzilla movies.

  106. @James N. Kennett

    the MAOA warrior gene would have to be removed from those of African descent
     
    A single allele that is strongly associated with inappropriate, explosive violence (hardly a useful characteristic for a modern "warrior"). This is crying out for CRISPR editing. I doubt it will happen, even if medical ethicists decide that certain germ-line editing is acceptable.

    Approximately one million African American males have the "warrior gene" and would benefit from lifetime pharmaceutical treatment (just as people with some other alleles at this SNP benefit from antidepressants). This lucrative market remains untapped, and as far as I know unresearched.

    The intersection of medical ethics, race, and SJWs is so politically toxic that it is easier for everyone - SJWs and race hustlers included - to treat these unfortunate men with incarceration.

    Lack of vitamin D can lead to more propensity to violence, and there are a lot of lactose intolerant folks around. Perhaps we sould start with supplementing something in addition to milk with D, to give the rest of us a fighting chance?

    Iodine supplementation in the US is limited to salt, but not to salt used in prepackaged meals, or snacks. I see a lot of frozen meals and snacks sold, and we are often encouraged not to add salt to food, for the sake of our hearts.

    Those of us that eat a lot of fish probably get sufficient vitamin D and iodine, plus DHA and EPA. If we also eat soy foods, we may also get more choline, from lecithin, which also helps brain and heart development and health.

    It strikes me that a lot of the peoples that are commonly cited on this site as being high IQ were historically resident near cold water seacoasts, NE Asia & NW Europe, for example.

    There is much we could do easily and economically. The gene editing should probably wait until the bugs get worked out of the process.

  107. @Pat Boyle
    The smartest people are the Ashkenazi Jews. Of course there are relatively few of them but all of them seem to have a Nobel Prize for something or other . (Just kidding).

    Among the major population groups the nation with the highest IQ is Korea. Japan is next and then China. The high IQ lists have Hong Kong at the top but Hong Kong is a city not a nation, Nations have high IQ area (cities) and low IQ areas (country side).

    These East Asian nations are all above any Western nation in IQ. The highest IQ nations in Europe are Germany and Italy. Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I'm not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?

    Korea is not like Japan. Again, the Japanese are the only intelligent Asians.

    East Asians do not have higher IQs than Caucasians. They are notorious cheaters.

    Also, I want Asians to stop culturally appropriating Western stuff like computers, cars, television, airplanes, telephones, the list is endless. They cannot have orchestras play Western classical music or opera.

    They can use the abacus for their calculations.

    WWII was caused by the Soviet Union and England. The Germans knew about the slaughter of Russians by the (((Bolsheviks))). They were determined not to like the Soviet Union. Hence Hitler. England wanted Germany knocked out because it was an economic competitor.

  108. @Romanian
    I think their initial brand of Communism had a hand to play in holding them back.

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.

    All these problems are caused by their lower IQs.

  109. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren’t going to be ruling the world by the end of the century?
     
    Personality traits are significantly heritable.

    What kind of personality traits will governments breed into and out of their subjects? It is not hard to guess.

    What is more interesting - there would almost certainly special facilities where elite humans are bred to sustain the regime in future, as the Nazis did and the Norks do to this day. The new elite will be furnished with unusual traits including greater rebelliousness and assertiveness. The SciFi novel writes itself.

    Sample cite – a few quick searches should find hundreds.

    … 59 rapists, 37 child molesters, and 25 healthy controls completed: (1) The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), which measures the heritable temperament dimensions Novelty Seeking (NS), Harm Avoidance (ΗΑ), Reward Dependence (RD), and Persistence (ΡΕ), and the character dimensions Self Directedness (SD), Cooperativeness (CO), and Self Transcendence (ST),

    http://www.psych.gr/documents/psychiatry/14.3-EN-63.pdf

  110. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @TG
    Genetically engineering humans is a deadly dangerous folly, but not for the reasons usually expressed.

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population. Trust me on this.

    2. In the event that someone really does try to breed superhumans, it will likely be a folly of the first magnitude. There is an old saying: if a committee of gorillas got together to try and develop the plan for a super-gorilla, would they have come up with a human being?

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population.

    Generally true. However, CRISPR will also be used to breed super-soldiers, assassins, concubines etc. for the ruling caste.

    Additionally, CRISPR will inevitably be used by the ruling caste and the Deep State itself to breed desirable characteristics into its future members – intelligence, endurance, instinctive caste loyalty, social aptitude, physical strength, disease resistance, etc.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Political_Institutes_of_Education

    … if a committee of gorillas got together to try and develop the plan for a super-gorilla, would they have come up with a human being?

  111. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @Romanian
    I think their initial brand of Communism had a hand to play in holding them back.

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.

    Reverse the arrow of causation, and you have an argument.

    China’s writing system over the millenia CREATED a high IQ (105) population as successful test-takers on tests in written Chinese achieved greater reproductive success than their less literate cohort.

    As Mr. Unz himself put it in his influential paper:

    The social importance of competitive examinations was enormous, playing the same role in determining membership in the ruling elite that the aristocratic bloodlines of Europe’s nobility did until modern times, …

    … in China the proud family traditions would boast generations of top-scoring test-takers, along with the important government positions that they had received as a result.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    • Replies: @Romanian
    That's an interesting point, but the idea behind running with a bag of rocks on your back is that, for you to get the full benefit of what you have accomplished, the bag of rocks must come off. Just like Jewish intelligence and getting out from the ghetto and the thrall of rabbinical studies. So, the Chinese 105 average IQ still leaves low and high IQ people with a cumbersome language, like a higher performance computer whose resources are eaten up by an inefficient operating system, leaving less for the actual applications.
  112. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Hey, maybe you can help me. Seems that messing around with genes in the way that people fear/hope is still a very long off, if ever. However, what I'm curious about is much simpler.

    Why can’t a couple fertilize ten eggs, screen the ten for the top two in some trait, say IQ, and then implant those top two eggs?

    I realize that this isn’t a guarantee that these two embryos are the smartest, but it would definitely up the odds – and over large numbers would make a huge difference.

    Why isn’t something like that possible over the next 20 years as screening and DNA knowledge improve? Again, this requires no manipulation of genes. Heck it doesn't even require understanding exactly why certain genes impact a trait, just that they correlate. (And, yeah, I get that correlation does not imply causation so there might be some false signals, but it'd still be better than random.)

    Perhaps you didn’t understand my comment. Without using CRISPR, IVF already was trying to screen for traits (as do sperm banks), and yet you can’t get the sort of guarantee you’re talking about, because the womb environment itself is a factor that science hasn’t been able to manipulate. You already have two intelligent parents using their own material, or using someone else’s implanted. All those variations change what the edited genetic material would express as in a final, term embryo or embryos (and there’s interactions between embryos, including increased chimerism/absorption).

    CRISPR is not some magic bullet technology. All interference of this type has consistently not produced the outcomes the parents or the researchers or the paymasters wanted. Because Very Hard Problem.

    To put it bluntly, in the screening case you’re talking about, it’s been found that the most survivable eggs are not the “best” ones of the ten, that slightly flawed ones seem to have the most success. This is also pretty counterintuitive. What if it’s even worse with CRISPR-edited eggs? And then, if the eggs that “Test low” are the most survivable, what would the finished, delivered child look like, what might be the long range expression effects? We just don’t know. We do know it’s quite silly to make extravagant claims about precision and ability to control outcomes, though.

  113. @Anonymous

    The only reasons I see for the Chinese to not fulfill their potential are internal fractures (East-West mostly) and their writing system, which is very cumbersome to achieve high level literacy in, as opposed to places using alphabets and abjads.
     
    Reverse the arrow of causation, and you have an argument.

    China's writing system over the millenia CREATED a high IQ (105) population as successful test-takers on tests in written Chinese achieved greater reproductive success than their less literate cohort.

    As Mr. Unz himself put it in his influential paper:


    The social importance of competitive examinations was enormous, playing the same role in determining membership in the ruling elite that the aristocratic bloodlines of Europe’s nobility did until modern times, ...

    ... in China the proud family traditions would boast generations of top-scoring test-takers, along with the important government positions that they had received as a result.
     

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    That’s an interesting point, but the idea behind running with a bag of rocks on your back is that, for you to get the full benefit of what you have accomplished, the bag of rocks must come off. Just like Jewish intelligence and getting out from the ghetto and the thrall of rabbinical studies. So, the Chinese 105 average IQ still leaves low and high IQ people with a cumbersome language, like a higher performance computer whose resources are eaten up by an inefficient operating system, leaving less for the actual applications.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Almost nobody who is LITERATE in Chinese thinks that the written language is inefficient or in any way generally inferior to English or other Western languages.

    Statements to the contrary often come from Westerners with a very shallow and mechanistic conception of how Chinese REALLY works in practice.

    For example, Chinese can be very handy and concise e.g. in newspaper writing. This is important - modern man reads hundreds of times more than he writes.

    As regards learning to read - although the INITIAL learning curve is steeper in Chinese, the difference in effort between learning to read English and Chinese at (1950s) high school level is probably not that great.

  114. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @Romanian
    That's an interesting point, but the idea behind running with a bag of rocks on your back is that, for you to get the full benefit of what you have accomplished, the bag of rocks must come off. Just like Jewish intelligence and getting out from the ghetto and the thrall of rabbinical studies. So, the Chinese 105 average IQ still leaves low and high IQ people with a cumbersome language, like a higher performance computer whose resources are eaten up by an inefficient operating system, leaving less for the actual applications.

    Almost nobody who is LITERATE in Chinese thinks that the written language is inefficient or in any way generally inferior to English or other Western languages.

    Statements to the contrary often come from Westerners with a very shallow and mechanistic conception of how Chinese REALLY works in practice.

    For example, Chinese can be very handy and concise e.g. in newspaper writing. This is important – modern man reads hundreds of times more than he writes.

    As regards learning to read – although the INITIAL learning curve is steeper in Chinese, the difference in effort between learning to read English and Chinese at (1950s) high school level is probably not that great.

  115. Due to the prevalence of generalist genes of small effect, I doubt CRISPR will be up to the task of creating a race of supermen. It might eventually be able to prevent a few rare disorders, though.

  116. @Thank you
    "Let me know when they can edit (not just mutate) dozens of loci in parallel with no off target effects then we can talk about super humans. Granted, when the technology may come to exist, they will be so unscrupulous they will certainly lead the way in testing it."

    Thank you, from someone who works in the CRISPR field. We may be able to cure, or significantly improve, gain of function single gene disorders. But manipulation multiple genes with high efficiency and no off-target effects is still a ways away, and maybe actually be impossible with CRISPR's limitations.

    > We may be able to cure, or significantly improve, gain of function single gene disorders. But manipulation multiple genes with high efficiency and no off-target effects is still a ways away, and maybe actually be impossible with CRISPR’s limitations.

    Excellent points.

    I agree with the commenter who noted that the most important aspect of this story is that these Chinese scientists and clinicians went ahead and did it. Because they could, ethics be damned. “Ethics” as morality (e.g. “first, do no harm”), and also as the structures that Western societies have built to align practice with theory (e.g. empowering institutional bioethics committees to oversee experiments on humans).

    From a medical perspective, the choice to mutate CCR5 in “wild type” human embryos is particularly notable because of the very low value of the modification to the person that’s created, and to society as a whole. It’s like an extra poke in the eye by Dr. Jiankui and the Shenzen biotech establishment.

  117. Slightly OT but sticking with the theme of “Chinese scientists in China conducting cutting-edge experiments with creepy implications”:

    Same-sex mice have babies
    By James Gallagher, BBC News
    11 October 2018

    It took a substantial feat of genetic engineering to break the rules of reproduction. The scientists said the “bimaternal” (two mammas) animals were healthy and went on to have pups of their own. But there was bad news on the all-male front. Mice with double-dads were attempted, but died within days of being born…

    The ‘bipaternal’ experiment is actually the important one, because it came so close to producing viable offspring. The developmental program was good enough to get the fetus to term, meaning 99.99% was working correctly. But then the pups all died, highlighting the importance of the remaining 0.01% of the genes.

    My guess is that this line of work will lead to major insights on the causes of miscarriages and birth defects. As discussed in comments above, those issues are major limiting factors to the widespread adoption of IVF and more advanced assisted-reproduction technologies.

    • Replies: @Random Smartaleck
    Lesbians thrilled, gay men crestfallen.
  118. @Sean

    Regalado explains in a tweet: “People asking why CCR5? Why edit a baby to resist disease rather than curing one? Because CRISPR is better at breaking genes than repairing them. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection. Gets you to “safety” sooner”
     
    Hmmm,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess%27s_paradox

    Braess's paradox is a proposed explanation for the situation where an alteration to a road network to improve traffic flow actually has the reverse effect and impedes traffic through it. The paradox was postulated in 1968 by German mathematician Dietrich Braess, who noticed that adding a road to a congested road traffic network could increase overall journey time, and it has been used to explain instances of improved traffic flow when existing major roads are closed.

    The paradox may have analogies in electrical power grids and biological systems. It has been suggested that in theory, the improvement of a malfunctioning network could be accomplished by removing certain parts of it,[...]

    It has been suggested that in basketball, a team can be seen as a network of possibilities for a route to scoring a basket, with a different efficiency for each pathway, and a star player could reduce the overall efficiency of the team, analogous to a shortcut that is overused increasing the overall times for a journey through a road network.

     

    My reading is Adilson E. Motter says you can get serious improvements to a network by knocking out a part of it.

    https://twitter.com/adilson_motter/status/986594822927634433


    I think CRISPR knockout of genes could easily be used to get super-high IQ.

    That is an interesting idea that can be extended to sociology.
    For instance what happens to a host society when a parasitic elite sub-population is eliminated or reduced drastically? Does it help or hurt the host society? What are the variables and thresholds?
    Post WWII Germany is one case study that may be of interest. Post-apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa also comes to mind. In the former case, the host society was not affected much due to high average IQ? While the opposite happened in Zimbabwe.
    Another curious case is the elimination (peacefully) of the parasitic elite population in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Brahmin elites emigrated en mass out of the state and out of the country when faced with loss of status/power and political hostility a few decades ago. However, the effect on Tamil Nadu, however was dramatic. The state which ranked among the poorest in 1980s is now ranked as the best state in India over all in socioeconomic parameters.

    • Replies: @Sean

    https://ucilnica.fri.uni-lj.si/pluginfile.php/1212/course/section/1197/Motter%20and%20Yang%20-%20The%20unfolding%20and%20control%20of%20network%20cascades%2C%202017.pdf.pdf

    In a cascade, nodes are affected by their neighbors in nonadditive fashion. In a power grid, for instance, a station’s response to an outage at a neighboring station depends not only on the failed neighbor but on the states of the other neighbors. So whereas a susceptible individual always has a nonzero probability of contracting the flu from a contagious contact, the probability of a power station adopting a neighbor’s failed state may be zero, if no other neighbors have failed. Because of nonadditivity, the spread of a new behavior or state often requires reinforcement, such that a given node must see multiple neighbors change before it, too, changes. Networks with local redundancies and other structures allowing reinforcements can therefore be more susceptible to cascades.1 By contrast, epidemics propagate more efficiently in networks with long-range connections, such as random ones. The interplay between network structure and nonadditivity can be critical to network spreading phenomena. Consider, for instance, that in 1970 gonorrhea led the list of infectious diseases in the US despite evidence that infected individuals transmited ed the disease to less than one partner, on average. The proposed explanation was that a core subpopulation of only 2% of the susceptible individuals was responsible for 60% of all infections.2 Had the disease spread via cascade-like dynamics, the need for reinforcement would have effectively limited the infection to the core and no one else A second distinguishing feature of cascades is that they may propagate nonlocally; one node’s change in state may alter the states of other nodes without changing the states of nodes in between.3 A power station may fail even if none of its immediate neighbors have, whereas in a flu epidemic, the virus can reach an individual only through a neighbor who is contaminated
     


    http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/tbw/trophic.cascade/index.htm

    Ecosystems Without Top Predators

    In many instances, trophic cascades have been initiated by human persecution and harvesting of top carnivores.
     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSzQ9w5TCqc

    To speculate along the same lines as you have, I don't agree with what you say about a human societies elite being iin many cases a parasitic cast. By my way of thinking an an elite seem more analogous to a top predator. If America is like Yellowstone then the wolves would be the old WASPs elite with their White-shoe firms, Ivy league restrictions and the feeling that they ran the society for the good of all. So the deer eating the trees and vegetation away, because there were suddenly no wolves to worry about, are still beneficial to the whole ecosystem and landscape, they just need to be given something to worry about.

  119. @EliteCommInc.
    Given the potential of CRISPER, it's a wonder that the researcher chose HIV. I did not know that HIV was all that prominent in China to warrant such intensive research. I am sure there are other researchers engaged in other aspects of CRISPER splicing, removal and manipulation. But i thought it interesting.


    That China does, or most of Asia does not share our western moral world view does make room for research that we might otherwise consider, with caution based on the moral implications. I actually am delighted that we are so inclined.

    From a technical point of view, the one reference that I think is essential to micro-surgery is that when it comes to DNA/chromosome design, purpose and function we simply don't have sufficient knowledge of the long term effects from any number of chromosome interactions to predict consequence. I prevent HIV here, but introduce some other malformity and dysfunction, somewhere else in the human body's design, and function.

    Given the potential of CRISPER, it’s a wonder that the researcher chose HIV. I did not know that HIV was all that prominent in China to warrant such intensive research

    Perhaps they are thinking long term when it comes to their inevitable takeover of large swaths of Africa. Surely, many Chinese males will be mating with the local women, and given the prevalence of AIDS in Africa, it makes sense.

  120. @Pat Boyle
    The smartest people are the Ashkenazi Jews. Of course there are relatively few of them but all of them seem to have a Nobel Prize for something or other . (Just kidding).

    Among the major population groups the nation with the highest IQ is Korea. Japan is next and then China. The high IQ lists have Hong Kong at the top but Hong Kong is a city not a nation, Nations have high IQ area (cities) and low IQ areas (country side).

    These East Asian nations are all above any Western nation in IQ. The highest IQ nations in Europe are Germany and Italy. Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I'm not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?

    Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I’m not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?

    Germans didn’t like predatory lending, outrageous rent increases, while being mocked in their own newspapers. The also didn’t take a shine to the Jews declaring a worldwide economic boycotting the early thirties, just as a war ravaged Germany was getting back on its economic feet. Italians didn’t really like what they saw regarding Jewish behavior including radical Communism. The Bolsheviks were to Western Europe what Al Quida is to America, if that straightens it out for you.
    Our response to their request for refugee status when the shit started to fly gives credence to the claim that most of the world had about enough of organized Jewish shenanigans at the time.

    Germany also had had about enough of of the Polish and Jewish shenanigans against ethnic Germans residing in Poland at the time. Neighborhood ethnic cleansing and pogroms were popular devices to get Germans to pack their belongings and head back to Germany. When they arrived, Jewish landlords were waiting with exorbitant rents, peppered with a quiet contempt.

    In short, Germans were collectively fed up with tribal Jewish bullshit.

    Getting Jews to leave was a complicated problem, since Jews at the time too often would “shit what they ate,” which demotivated most other countries from accepting them in any substantial number.

    Japan was simply looking for room to expand, and the Chinese were ignorant Hillbillies who wasted space and resources that Japan felt they could put to better use. Much like we felt about our native Indians, when push came to shove. Turns out we were correct. Japan probably was too, from a certain perspective.

    Since high IQ’s don’t necessarily give a group of people the ability to predict the future, WWII was a calculated risk that could have gone either way. Hitler likely had a higher than average IQ, and some had posited that he had a photographic memory. He took a chance based on the information he had at the time. One bit of information he did not have was Stalin’s 25,000 tanks buried in the interior of his country. Hitler has been quoted as stating that had he known about those tanks, he wouldn’t have even considered attacking Russia.

    Hope this helps.

    • Replies: @Buster Keaton's Stunt Double

    Getting Jews to leave was a complicated problem, since Jews at the time too often would “shit what they ate,” which demotivated most other countries from accepting them in any substantial number.
     
    Including Canada, as Justin Castro's recent teary apology brought attention to.
  121. @Ray Huffman
    Right. Lightning rods were once seen as especially sacrilegious because they interfered with God's wrath by saving people from lightning strikes. (Of course, that raises the obvious question of what kind of pathetic god could have his wrath frustrated by mere mortals, but people were pretty brick stupid back then.)

    Right.

    No he was wrong, as I explained above.

    Lightning rods were once seen as especially sacrilegious because they interfered with God’s wrath by saving people from lightning strikes.

    ^Myth #1. Nobody objected Ben Franklin’s lightning rods when they protected buildings from damage. Lightning rods protect people more from fire caused by lightning striking the building they are in rather than protecting people from getting hit by lightning directly.

    (Of course, that raises the obvious question of what kind of pathetic god could have his wrath frustrated by mere mortals, but people were pretty brick stupid back then.)

    ^Myth #2. People back then were as smart, or smarter, than people now.

  122. @attilathehen
    The Chinese are not smart. The Japanese are the only intelligent Asians. Why isn't China developed like Japan? Because they have lower IQs. These lower IQs cannot provide the good biological material needed for "better babies."

    Also, CRISPR doesn't work. Work done in the USA is showing bad mutations from using CRISPR. The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    The Chinese have aborted over 400 million fetuses. They are fastest aging country in the world. Trump's economic policies are bankrupting and collapsing them. China never was and never will be great again.

    The Chinese will just wind up with deformed babies.

    Don’t worry, any defective products will be rendered inoperative and recycled appropriately.

  123. @TG
    Genetically engineering humans is a deadly dangerous folly, but not for the reasons usually expressed.

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population. Trust me on this.

    2. In the event that someone really does try to breed superhumans, it will likely be a folly of the first magnitude. There is an old saying: if a committee of gorillas got together to try and develop the plan for a super-gorilla, would they have come up with a human being?

    1. Genetic engineering will NOT be used to create superhumans. It will be used to breed docility and tractability into the working population. Trust me on this.

    Especially in China. The Mao Dynasty seems to rather like the idea of its masses becoming hive insects already — why not make reality even closer to the dream?

  124. @ic1000
    Slightly OT but sticking with the theme of "Chinese scientists in China conducting cutting-edge experiments with creepy implications":

    Same-sex mice have babies
    By James Gallagher, BBC News
    11 October 2018

    It took a substantial feat of genetic engineering to break the rules of reproduction. The scientists said the "bimaternal" (two mammas) animals were healthy and went on to have pups of their own. But there was bad news on the all-male front. Mice with double-dads were attempted, but died within days of being born...
     
    The 'bipaternal' experiment is actually the important one, because it came so close to producing viable offspring. The developmental program was good enough to get the fetus to term, meaning 99.99% was working correctly. But then the pups all died, highlighting the importance of the remaining 0.01% of the genes.

    My guess is that this line of work will lead to major insights on the causes of miscarriages and birth defects. As discussed in comments above, those issues are major limiting factors to the widespread adoption of IVF and more advanced assisted-reproduction technologies.

    Lesbians thrilled, gay men crestfallen.

  125. @Desiderius
    That’s the kind of meek that could inherit the Earth, and deserve to.

    The meek? who the Chinese? Who are still ruled by the same gang that Mao started, the gang that transformed China by killing an estimated 50,000,000 of their own countrymen? Nah don’t think so.
    Westerners are the meek, first they gave up control of virtually the entire planet almost voluntarily and now are losing your homelands and women to the lowest common denominator outsiders and here you are in complete despair hoping that China will become a super-human power and will fix Africa and save Europe and eventually rule America benignly and save your progeny from being ruled by supposedly low IQ African marauders

  126. @Anonymuse
    That is an interesting idea that can be extended to sociology.
    For instance what happens to a host society when a parasitic elite sub-population is eliminated or reduced drastically? Does it help or hurt the host society? What are the variables and thresholds?
    Post WWII Germany is one case study that may be of interest. Post-apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa also comes to mind. In the former case, the host society was not affected much due to high average IQ? While the opposite happened in Zimbabwe.
    Another curious case is the elimination (peacefully) of the parasitic elite population in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Brahmin elites emigrated en mass out of the state and out of the country when faced with loss of status/power and political hostility a few decades ago. However, the effect on Tamil Nadu, however was dramatic. The state which ranked among the poorest in 1980s is now ranked as the best state in India over all in socioeconomic parameters.

    https://ucilnica.fri.uni-lj.si/pluginfile.php/1212/course/section/1197/Motter%20and%20Yang%20-%20The%20unfolding%20and%20control%20of%20network%20cascades%2C%202017.pdf.pdf

    In a cascade, nodes are affected by their neighbors in nonadditive fashion. In a power grid, for instance, a station’s response to an outage at a neighboring station depends not only on the failed neighbor but on the states of the other neighbors. So whereas a susceptible individual always has a nonzero probability of contracting the flu from a contagious contact, the probability of a power station adopting a neighbor’s failed state may be zero, if no other neighbors have failed. Because of nonadditivity, the spread of a new behavior or state often requires reinforcement, such that a given node must see multiple neighbors change before it, too, changes. Networks with local redundancies and other structures allowing reinforcements can therefore be more susceptible to cascades.1 By contrast, epidemics propagate more efficiently in networks with long-range connections, such as random ones. The interplay between network structure and nonadditivity can be critical to network spreading phenomena. Consider, for instance, that in 1970 gonorrhea led the list of infectious diseases in the US despite evidence that infected individuals transmited ed the disease to less than one partner, on average. The proposed explanation was that a core subpopulation of only 2% of the susceptible individuals was responsible for 60% of all infections.2 Had the disease spread via cascade-like dynamics, the need for reinforcement would have effectively limited the infection to the core and no one else A second distinguishing feature of cascades is that they may propagate nonlocally; one node’s change in state may alter the states of other nodes without changing the states of nodes in between.3 A power station may fail even if none of its immediate neighbors have, whereas in a flu epidemic, the virus can reach an individual only through a neighbor who is contaminated

    http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/tbw/trophic.cascade/index.htm

    Ecosystems Without Top Predators

    In many instances, trophic cascades have been initiated by human persecution and harvesting of top carnivores.

    To speculate along the same lines as you have, I don’t agree with what you say about a human societies elite being iin many cases a parasitic cast. By my way of thinking an an elite seem more analogous to a top predator. If America is like Yellowstone then the wolves would be the old WASPs elite with their White-shoe firms, Ivy league restrictions and the feeling that they ran the society for the good of all. So the deer eating the trees and vegetation away, because there were suddenly no wolves to worry about, are still beneficial to the whole ecosystem and landscape, they just need to be given something to worry about.

  127. @anon
    Can anyone seriously look at China and say they aren't going to be ruling the world by the end of the century? These people can make - or will eventually make - genetically engineered superhumans while this country can't even defend its borders against invading peasants. The few times I've brought up this topic, even on this site, a horde of people have responded to my comments with "so you're saying you want to kill people just like Hitler did?". Roll eyes. China is what happens when smart, nationalistic, people run your country for the benefit of your countrymen without input from the unworthy.

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

    FTFY.

  128. @His story

    Yes I have noticed that the three smartest nations (Germany, Japan and Italy) were those who started WWII. I’m not sure what to make of it but maybe some reader will want to comment?
     
    Germans didn’t like predatory lending, outrageous rent increases, while being mocked in their own newspapers. The also didn’t take a shine to the Jews declaring a worldwide economic boycotting the early thirties, just as a war ravaged Germany was getting back on its economic feet. Italians didn’t really like what they saw regarding Jewish behavior including radical Communism. The Bolsheviks were to Western Europe what Al Quida is to America, if that straightens it out for you.
    Our response to their request for refugee status when the shit started to fly gives credence to the claim that most of the world had about enough of organized Jewish shenanigans at the time.

    Germany also had had about enough of of the Polish and Jewish shenanigans against ethnic Germans residing in Poland at the time. Neighborhood ethnic cleansing and pogroms were popular devices to get Germans to pack their belongings and head back to Germany. When they arrived, Jewish landlords were waiting with exorbitant rents, peppered with a quiet contempt.

    In short, Germans were collectively fed up with tribal Jewish bullshit.

    Getting Jews to leave was a complicated problem, since Jews at the time too often would "shit what they ate," which demotivated most other countries from accepting them in any substantial number.

    Japan was simply looking for room to expand, and the Chinese were ignorant Hillbillies who wasted space and resources that Japan felt they could put to better use. Much like we felt about our native Indians, when push came to shove. Turns out we were correct. Japan probably was too, from a certain perspective.

    Since high IQ's don’t necessarily give a group of people the ability to predict the future, WWII was a calculated risk that could have gone either way. Hitler likely had a higher than average IQ, and some had posited that he had a photographic memory. He took a chance based on the information he had at the time. One bit of information he did not have was Stalin's 25,000 tanks buried in the interior of his country. Hitler has been quoted as stating that had he known about those tanks, he wouldn’t have even considered attacking Russia.

    Hope this helps.

    Getting Jews to leave was a complicated problem, since Jews at the time too often would “shit what they ate,” which demotivated most other countries from accepting them in any substantial number.

    Including Canada, as Justin Castro’s recent teary apology brought attention to.

  129. @GamecockJerry
    Is it too late for Tiny Duck??

    Lol

  130. @Travis
    only 25% of transferred embryos go on to result in live births of babies....IVF would cost a parent $30,000 today and only result in a child a third of the time...to get two children a family could easily spend over $150,000. Screening 12 embryos for the ones with the best polygenic score today would not offer much guarantee that your child will have a high IQ, in fact only 57% of those with a high polygenic score will even graduate college.

    having a wife with a college degree already results in 60% of your children obtaining a college degree. Will selecting an embryo with a slightly high polygenic score than to be expected be worth $50,000 ? knowing the failure rate is 75% ? Is it worth $60,000 to have a kid with increased odds of having an IQ of 116 instead of 114 ?

    I find it hard to believe many people would spend the thousands of dollars to screen embryos to slightly increase the odds their children will graduate from college, especially since the failure rate for IVF is above 70%. So much easier and less costly to get pregnant the regular way.

    How much of all that money is 1. regulatory burden and other distortions that the Chinee needn’t observe 2. down to lack of economy of scale?

  131. @YetAnotherAnon
    It's true that (unless there's a lot of stuff about China we don't know - always possible) HIV doesn't seem to be China's most pressing health problem. But maybe this is just a proof-of-concept work, before the serious applications are started.

    Diseases that your lot are immune to while the other lot aren't can do a lot of damage.

    I found this backgrounder and it seems to exonerate He.

    Scientist He JianKu Made a Validly Ethical Choice to Gene Edit the Twinsbrian wang | December 3, 2018.
    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/12/scientist-he-jianku-made-a-validly-ethical-choice-to-gene-edit-the-twins.html

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