[ExI] Fwd: DIY DNA: One Father's Attempt to Hack His Daughter's Genetic Code

David C. Harris dharris234 at mindspring.com
Wed Jan 21 10:21:21 UTC 2009

Bryan Bishop wrote:
> A nice article in Wired about a father who is combing through his
> daugthers DNA to find the cause for her genetic disease.
Two  thoughts: 

In Lorenzo's Oil, the researcher dad shares his discovery  with the 
other parents at a charity meeting, and   one of the officials 
criticizes the amateur approach.  The dad has a "who the f!ck are you to 
discourage this bit of  hope" reaction quite like the one described 
here.  But  realistically, there is a serious problem even if you find a 
difference in the DNA in an area you believe is important ---- what  
he's trying to find.  You can NOT just stick the  right ATGC letter in 
at the right place in a human and see if the disease is cured.  Mice are 
different:   you can make  a mess of mouse babies by IVF and throw in a 
stretch of DNA with  a marker and the right letter and see if  the 
babies  that incorporate the special DNA are cured.

The  other thought is that his desire to do SOMETHING, just SOMETHING  
that feels like a HUNT for the  wonderful discovery: that may be the 
root of obsessive-compulsive behaviors in human males.  We evolved to be 
happy HUNTING something, like Truth.  It may be part of why hunting 
discoveries  is  such a thrill for scientists.

  - David Harris, Palo Alto

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