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Extensible human

Insert real "junk genes"
 
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We now know that what were once known as "junk genes", and thought to be useless relics of evolution are, in fact, important components of the human gene. So where can we put our newest transhuman genes, if theres no space? It's simply too risky to put new genes smack-dab in the middle of existing ones.

Use a virus to insert empty space into the genome. This space should be distributed into various places, and include markers to target. When we need to install the gene for that sweet new nano-garbage collector, we'll already have an easy target for the zinc finger.

Voice, Jun 26 2007

Magic Numbers http://en.wikipedia...umber_(programming)
[zen_tom, Jun 26 2007]

The Fly http://en.wikipedia...The_Fly_(1986_film)
merged a the fly at the genetic level [nuclear hobo, Jun 26 2007]

New base pairs http://technology.n...lifes-alphabet.html
Scientists have added two letters to the mix! [Voice, Jan 31 2008]

Watermarks http://www.telegrap...01/scigenome101.xml
Your name, dna writ! [Voice, Feb 03 2008]

[link]






       No no no. There is no sense in this - you want to put some "padding" in the genome, so that you can later drop useful transgenes into it? That's daft.   

       You would do just as well to insert the transgenes into intergenic space (ie, between genes). Yes, you have to consider all kinds of position effects (which we don't understand) and yes, you may find that you've dropped your transgene into a regulatory element or something else which we didn't know was there. But exactly the same argument applies if you first drop some "neutral" sequence in, and then put the transgene into that.   

       It's bit like saying "we may want to insert a sentence into this book, so first we'll insert a bunch of 'XXXXX's at some point, and later we'll put our new sentence into the middle of the XX's." No point.   

       There is an argument for having defined "targets" for inserting the transgene, but since you have to somehow target your initial "padding" DNA anyway, you're still just as well off targeting the transgene directly into the genome rather than targeting-in some "padding" and then targeting the transgene into the padding.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 26 2007
  

       // we may want to insert a sentence into this book, so first we'll insert a bunch of 'XXXXX's at some point //   

       That happens, at least with page reference numbers and the like. Easier to spot don't you know. As for genetics, um... carry on.
theleopard, Jun 26 2007
  

       //We now know that what were once known as "junk genes", and thought to be useless relics of evolution are, in fact, important components of the human gene// - do we? - lots of this genetic material seems to be there solely for the purpose of replicating itself in the next generation.
hippo, Jun 26 2007
  

       Typical fundamental lack of documentation that we have come to associate with open source projects such as life.
Ian Tindale, Jun 26 2007
  

       This is how (some) programmers reserve space for themselves in machine code. Sometimes, they use special sequences as bookmarks that can be searched for and found later. Favourite bookmarks include:
3735928559 (deadbeef in hex)
3405691582 (cafebabe in hex)
And other hilarious combinations of the letters ABCDEF.
  

       Unfortunately, in genetics, you only get four letters, ACGT - which gives you GACT for example, but that's not even a proper word.
zen_tom, Jun 26 2007
  

       You can have all my transhuman genes and I'll keep the ones I came with, thank you, especially after seeing The Fly.
nuclear hobo, Jun 26 2007
  

       Be afraid...
theleopard, Jun 26 2007
  

       //That happens, at least with page reference numbers and the like. Easier to spot don't you know.//   

       dont you people use LaTex? it does all that crap for you. \cite{source} then you just do a bib at the end, it sorts out the rest.   

       thats what we need, typesetters for genes.
bleh, Jun 26 2007
  

       2 links added
Voice, Feb 03 2008
  
      
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