What would be a possible technological path to genome modified adult brains and to genetically enhanced longevity for adults ?
There is already improving versions of genetic engineering with improvements to CRISPR gene editing. However, current published research still shows below 50% effectiveness in making the desired edits in invivo human cells.
There is billions to tens of billions of dollars going towards research to improving gene editing.
Several established tech giants (Google, IBM, Microsoft) and other startups and companies are trying to develop universal quantum computers. There will also be improved qubits in quantum adiabatic and quantum annealing systems from Dwave with systems in the tens of thousands of qubit size ranges in the next few years. These systems should exceed classical computers for quantum simulation and optimization problems and machine learning and other areas.
Quantum computing has great promise for studying molecules,” says Krysta Svore, who leads Microsoft’s group working on quantum algorithms. Looking for new, practical superconducting materials is one possible application of the hybrid model that shouldn’t require very large quantum computers, she says. Conventional computers struggle to replicate the quantum behavior of electrons that underpins superconductivity.
Chemistry but also the molecular processes for CRISPR gene editing could be massively improved with imminent quantum computing.
Perhaps within ten years (five-six years for the very good quantum computing molecular search and analysis) and then another four for implementation there could be perfected precise genome editing.
Embryo selection with precise full genome intelligence screening will be powerful but full genome editing would be even more powerful
- The cost of embryo selection is modest, at $1500 + $200 per embryo, with the sequencing cost projected to drop rapidly. Embryo selection cost will drop in future
- Embryo selection was unprofitable in late 2015 (mean: -$673) in the USA under the lowest estimate of the value of an IQ point, but profitable under the highest (mean: $4763). The main constraints on selection profitability is the polygenic score; under the highest value, the NPV EVPI of a perfect SNP predictor is $27b and the EVSI per education/SNP sample is $71k
- Selection can be made much more profitable by selecting on multiple phenotype traits; selection scales near-linearly with equally-valuable traits, and considering an example using 7 traits (IQ / height / BMI / diabetes / ADHD / bipolar / schizophrenia), there is a gain of 2.8x over IQ alone ($4977 to about $14130)
The maximum amount of IQ gain if screening allowed for optimal selection
Chickens have become physically larger because of breeding and farming methods
Stem cells can be immortalized with telomere inhibitors. So once a perfectly genome edited stem cell is created it could be naturally replicated to trillions of cells. This would help scale up to affordable whole body genetic modification.
Robotic automation could be used to help scale up to whole body genetic modification.
Using and extending neurogenesis and neuralplasticity to incorporate genetically modified brain cells
Neurogenesis is the process of birth of neurons wherein neurons are generated from neural stem cells. Contrary to popular belief, neurogenesis continuously occurs in specific regions in the adult brain. Developmental neurogenesis and adult neurogenesis differ markedly. This article is limited in scope to adult neurogenesis.
In humans, new neurons are continually born throughout adulthood in two regions of the brain:
- The subgranular zone (SGZ), part of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus.
- The striatum; however the adult-born neurons are a type of interneuron, not a type that projects to other brain area
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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