Let’s sit back and think about a world where DNA is an everyday tool to be used for many things. In a perfect world, where we all were tested for our DNA and it went into a database, can you imagine how that could change the criminal justice system? Do you dare to commit a crime and if you do, the first one where DNA of any kind is left at the scene, you’d have some explaining to do. When you had your DNA run you could find out any medical issues that might be hidden within your DNA, which could help you modify your lifestyle so as not to experience those life threatening events, like heart attack. There are certain ones of us who have that embedded in our DNA. It is like, for generation upon generation, they all died of heart attack or stroke. Imagine being able to stop that recurrence. It could also warn you of bipolar disease and other mental problems. Maybe you could get treated sooner. And maybe, just maybe they could eventually figure out how to use that new tool CRISPR to fix the faulty gene that caused your mental disease, just as they can now find the gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis and other diseases that are so severe and are passed on thru your DNA. It could literally, be Heaven on Earth.
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If you have not seen this special presentation on CNN about Three Identical Strangers, you have missed a really good, heart-breaking, heart-warming true story. We all wonder when we are adopted and we know we are adopted, who our real parents are, but can you imagine, heading off to college to be greeted by everyone like they know you. This is what happen that exposed a terrible experiment that had taken place 19 years earlier. At their birth a Jewish Adoption Agency had split the twins up for a study of “Nature vs Nurture” without as much as a word to the adoptive parents. It hard for me to understand how a psychologist could not know the devistation splitting children up that are siblings, let along children who are twins, would wreak upon them. The sad part of the story is that one committed suicide and it was said that he may have suffered from schizophrenia. The natural question for the surviving brothers, is what could be in their DNA that they need to know. My suggestion would be a DNA test, and then run the raw data thru a medical website to see what is in their DNA. If you’ve been adopted, there are any number of things that a DNA test could accomplish. You may connect to siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins. You can have your DNA tested to find any know defects and medical information that could be invaluable to you. I highly recommend DNA to anyone who has a curious mind or a desire to know where they came from. watch the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-OF0OaK3o0
Last evening I went to Cracker Barrel to grab a bite to eat and on the chalkboard outside they had posted “Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions”. Well that was really funny to me in view of my grandson-in-law’s dinner date; so I texted it to them as I was being seated. The lady next to me said hello and I mentioned that I really liked the signed out front and told her briefly about the grandson-in-laws dinner date and reason for it. She stated that she had been adopted and her adoption records sealed, which is the case in many states. States have now begun to release those restrictions but with limitations. Check your specific birth state for information. One of the best ways to find out what you are wanting to see, is to get your DNA done. It will link you to anyone related to you who has had their DNA run. I think the best resource for this type of DNA test is Ancestry.com. It will give you a list of people who are related DNA wise with you and you can make contact with them to find out more. The lady at the restaurant said “People just don’t understand why you need to know.” We all want that sense of belonging and it is missing in those who have been adopted and do not know their heritage. If this is the case with you, I would suggest that you have your DNA done. It is painless, inexpensive way to find the information you are seeking. If you need more information use the contact form and get in touch. I will be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.
Well, it seems that my sweet grandson-in-law had an awesome day yesterday. He has found 2 brothers and 1 sister. The sister arranged for all of those that could to meet at a restaurant. Apparently all went well as they spent some 3 hours visiting. The one brother who carries the father’s name said that my grandson looked more like his dad than he did. What a day! It came with so many emotions that he was in kind of a daze throughout the process. Nonetheless, he now has inherited 3 siblings and I think he said 7 nieces and nephews that he never knew he had. The family resemblances are remarkable in all of the children and their new found Uncle. He said last night that he has now gained that sense of belonging that had been lacking in his life. What a story!
As you probably know, I have done genealogy research for over 30 years. I have a sweet grandson-in-law who has mentioned that he didn’t think he looked like people in his family. There was a question in his mind as to who his father was, contrary to what he had been told all his life. His uncle mentioned a name in passing, and I, being the inquisitive person I am, asked a few more questions and began to research marriage and divorce records for his Mother. I found that a marriage had taken place late in January the year before he was born in March and was totally unable to find any divorce record. I began to research the name, although I had misspelled it I found some people who looked very similar to my grandson-in-law. That evening I told him I would not be surprised if that, in fact, was his true father and that he probably should have a different name. I encouraged him to have his DNA tested. Low and behold the DNA report came in Today! Since they were unfamiliar with how to go in and make heads or tails of the results, I told him to give me the logins and I would take a look. THERE IT WAS! The very first name on his list of matches; a half brother and half sister, and a ton of other links to other people who were related and when I clicked on how their matches in common, there that person was again. You can imagine my amazement and satisfaction knowing that we had JUST LOCATED HIS TRUE FATHER. He decided to look some up on Facebook and found both half siblings and Low and behold the male looked just like him. What’s even more amazing is that they have many friends in common and were in the same county and went to the same school, but of course several years apart. Needless to say, this has opened up a whole family he didn’t know he had, and not to mention that it solidified the research I had done trying to help him. It is so rewarding. Now comes, the hard part, talks with Mother to discuss what the DNA has proven, many questions about his father, who is now deceased, contact with the siblings, grandmothers etc. Hopefully, he will be able to learn more about Who he REALLY is, who he looks like and finally get that since of belonging and knowing where he comes from. Hope you have an awesome New Year armed with this new information. I am sure you will have many questions. Thanks for letting me be a part of this journey with you. Love You. This is why you have your DNA tested. I wish you all a Happy New Year and Happy hunting in the research of your own genealogy questions.
An amazing scientific breakthrough may change the way we look at pregnancy in years to come. Scientists are harnessing a gene-editing tool to fix the mutations in embryos that cause so many of the inherited diseases that are life threatening. The gene-editing tool corrects the disease-causing gene, preventing the mutation caused by it from passing on to future generations. Advances are being made in mutations in the nuclear DNA that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the sudden death in about 1 of 500 people, especially young athletes.
The CRISPR-cas9 acts as a pair of molecular scissors, finding the mutation and repairing it. The molecular scissors can cut the defective gene in the sperm. Experts have lauded the CISPR-cas9 as a major leap forward in genetic research
As a follow up to the story below
Researchers have harnessed this gene-editing tool to correct disease-causing mutation in human embryos, which will prevent the mutation from passing on to future generations. For instance, if you are a carrier of the mutation causing cystic fibrosis, your unborn child will be carrier as well. If you and your spouse are both carriers, your child would be born with full blown cystic fibrosis. With this DNA gene editing breakthrough, embryos can actually fix themselves if scientists start the process early enough. If you know anything about cystic fibrosis, it is a very bad disease causing extreme problems with the lungs and sinus. Medical bills for the treatment of a child with cystic fibrosis are staggering, and the life span is most definitely limited. So, if you knew you could save your child and yourself from all the grief that goes along with this disease in particular, wouldn’t you want to do it? A simple DNA test could make the difference.
Independent News – Ian Johnston Science Correspondent @montaukian Wednesday 16 November 2016 18:15 GMT
DNA-editing breakthrough could fix ‘broken genes’ in the brain, delay ageing and cure incurable diseases
Scientists have discovered a new way to edit DNA that could fix “broken genes” in the brain, cure previously incurable diseases and potentially even extend the human lifespan.
The breakthrough – described as a “holy grail” of genetics – was used to partially restore the sight of rats blinded by a condition which also affects humans. Previously researchers were not able to make changes to DNA in eye, brain, heart and liver tissues. But the new technique allows them to do this for the first time and could also lead to new treatments for a range of diseases associated with the ageing process.
One of the researchers, Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, said: “We are very excited by the technology we discovered because it’s something that could not be done before.
“The possible applications of this discovery are vast.”
The cells in most of the tissues of an adult body do not divide, making it harder for scientists to introduce changes to the DNA. But Professor Izpisua Belmonte, of the Salk Institute in the US, said: “For the first time, we can enter into cells that do not divide and modify the DNA at will.
Crispr: The science behind a ‘game-changing’ gene-editing technique
“We now have a technology that allows us to modify the DNA of non-dividing cells, to fix broken genes in the brain, heart and liver. “It allows us for the first time to be able to dream of curing diseases that we couldn’t before, which is exciting.” The researchers used the technique on rats born with a genetic disease called retinitis pigmentosa, which affects about one in 4,000 people in the UK. By altering the genes affecting the eyes, they were able to give the rats a degree of vision.
“It should be noted, however, that although tests demonstrated improved visual responses after subretinal injection of [the DNA repair] to three-week-old … rats, the rescue was only partial and not enough to completely restore vision,” the researchers wrote in a paper about their research in the journal Nature.
The technique, known as HITI, was based on the famous CRISPR gene-editing technique.
“The ability to use HITI for in vivo [in a living animal] targeted transgene insertion into post-mitotic [non-dividing] neurons is unprecedented and will help advance basic and translational neuroscience research,” the paper added.
Scientists who were not involved in the study hailed the breakthrough.
Professor Robert MacLaren, of Oxford University, described the research as a “significant advance”. “Researchers are now using this mechanism to correct gene defects. Clinical trials are a long way off because the CRISPR proteins may cut DNA at other sites that may have untoward effects,” he said. “Nevertheless, since ageing is defined as picking up DNA mutations, the ability to correct these mutations may in future provide us with a means of extending our lifespan as well as treating many diseases that relate to ageing.”
Dr Andrew Wood, of the Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine at Edinburgh University, was similarly impressed. “This study is a really exciting development for therapeutic applications of genome editing,” he said. “Although other groups have applied similar approaches in dividing cells grown in the laboratory, this is the first time that it has been used in non-dividing cells in a living animal. “Before it can be applied to humans, it is now important to improve the efficiency with which the genome editing molecules can be delivered to the relevant cells.”
And Dr Helen O’Neill, of the Embryology, IVF and Reproductive Genetics Group at University College London, said the technique could enable doctors in the future to use gene editing to treat patients. “This is an elegant study which establishes new means for targeted integration of DNA in cells which are no longer dividing,” she said. “These cells have long been considered a hurdle in somatic cell therapy. “Further work will need to be done on improving efficiencies, but this work certainly shows new avenues for alternative research into gene therapies.”
Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, of The Francis Crick Institute and one of the UK’s leading geneticists, said: “As reported, the methods are not super-efficient. For some genetic diseases it is not necessary to target all cells within the affected tissue, but levels of five per cent or so would only give marginal benefit. “However, with improvements in this type of technology, which seem inevitable these days, it is likely that the methods developed here could prove to be a very useful way of adding genes to non-diving cells, certainly for purposes of basic research, and perhaps eventually for gene therapy to treat otherwise incurable diseases. “It is a complicated paper, and it does not quite reach the level as hyped in the press release, but it is indeed rather important.”
Wikipedia – Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR, pronounced crisper) are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short, repetitive base sequences. These play a key role in a bacterial defence system, and form the basis of a genome editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 that allows permanent modification of genes within organisms. In a palindromic repeat, the sequence of nucleotides is the same in both directions. Each repetition is followed by short segments of spacer DNA from previous exposures to foreign DNA. Small clusters of cas genes are located next to CRISPR sequences.
The CRISPR/Cas system is a prokaryotic immune system that confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those present within plasmids and phages that provides a form of acquired immunity. RNA harboring the spacer sequence helps Cas proteins recognize and cut exogenous DNA. Other RNA-guided Cas proteins cut foreign RNA. CRISPRs are found in approximately 40% of sequenced bacterial genomes and 90% of sequenced archaea.
A simple version of the CRISPR/Cas system, CRISPR/Cas9, has been modified to edit genomes. By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell’s genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added. The Cas9-gRNA complex corresponds with the CAS III crRNA complex in the above diagram.
CRISPR/Cas genome editing techniques have many potential applications, including medicine and crop seed enhancement. The use of CRISPR/Cas9-gRNA complex for genome editing was the AAAS’s choice for breakthrough of the year in 2015. Bioethical concerns have been raised about the prospect of using CRISPR for germline editing.—Wikipedia