Genetic Information

Prof. Arturo:

Welcome. I liked the slider series but only the first year. Then it got hockey, so I dropped out. Hope to see your contribution in this universe....
This seemed to be a fine place to put this:
With human cloning seemingly just around the corner, what's to stop someone from plucking a hair from Brad's head, brush or bathroom and obtaining his DNA profile?
That's where the DNA Copyright Institute claims they can help.

President and founder Andre Crump says he wants to help celebrities and average citizens obtain the legal rights to their own DNA profiles. Crump says it's a scary thought, but with human cloning technology just around the corner, it makes sense.

"Just imagine Ricky Martin," he said. "Can you imagine how many people would literally want to clone Ricky Martin? Not necessarily so they can sing like Ricky Martin, but you know that the child is gong to be good looking, you know they're going to be talented in some ways and a lot of people look for that in their children."

Not to mention fans: the ultimate piece of celebrity memorabilia could be a clone of that celebrity.

"Who's the most likely people to be cloned against their will?" he asked. "It's going to be the celebrities. It's going to be the superstar athletes, the superstar models, movie stars, television stars, musicians, singers. It's those people who have the fans who are essentially excitable enough or excited enough to, to try to clone the person of their adulation, so to speak."

Protection: Not Just a Star Thing

The San Francisco company says their "copyright" process could stop DNA bandits before they unleash unauthorized likenesses of celebs. But average Joes can benefit, too, he said.

"We're not just trying to do it essentially only for the celebrities," said Crump. "We want everybody to enjoy this copyright protection and then, of course, add value added services for the celebrities."

However, no stars have jumped to copyright their DNA just yet.

"We've only been up and running for about a week," said Crump, who has an MBA, degrees in French and finance, two patents, and a pharmaceutical background. "But we hope that by the end of the year, we should have successes on all fronts. We think it will be good for society and of course it will be good for the entertainment industry."

The Price of DNA Protection

Protection comes at a price: DNA "copyrights" run $1,500 — but that fee includes "a beautiful metal wall plaque and certificate," the company's Web site promises. The certificate given to customers "can be proudly displayed as not only DNA Copyright documentation, but as the magnificent and original work of art it is: Themselves"

The fee doesn't include actual registration of DNA with the U.S. Copyright Office. That step, the site says, should be a "personal decision." However, for those who make that decision, the company will help out — for an additional $200.

"Copyrights do not require registration with the U.S. Copyright Office to be in effect, however registering does provide additional monetary rewards should an infringement occur," the online FAQ advises.

Don't Take It Out on the Clone!

Crump cautioned that copyright protection can't stop a clone once one is identified — it can only help the owner seek damages from its creator.

The clone, he said, is a person with rights.

"They didn't ask to be born the way they were born," he said. "If we're going to respect all individual's rights equally, you can't really punish them for that. But again, the person who commissioned the act, you can go after, and of course you would have lots of different tools."

"Copyright of DNA" is certainly a good idea. But the big question is still, whether the clones will be copies of the celebrities only in respect to their appearance or also in respect to their capabilities.

Everyone sees the world with his own eyes - my updated weltanschauung (world outlook) is described at:
I would say that the potential is there. What you get is kind of like reaching in a box of unmarked chocolates, you never really know until you get a taste what you really have. It is more than just genes that make up people. Their environment has a lot to do with it to. You grow up to expect certain things to be “right” and other things to be wrong. These influence what you think you should do or what you expect to do. This in turn results in what you think you are capable of and in the end colors what you feel you can do. So just because you have the genes does not mean you get the same thing again in another person.

Prof. Arturo:
Welcome. I liked the slider series but only the first year. Then it got hockey, so I dropped out. Hope to see your contribution in this universe....

My dear kmguru,

I have been called many things in my life. Some of them have been quite insulting. However I have never been called "hockey!"

Good God, I don't even like the sport! (Not that I consider it a sport)
just a thought away!

I think u are talking about Lamarkism. his theory of use and disuse of organs implies that the phenotype gained or adapted by an organism during his life time is passed to his next generation and continues. He has qouted varios examples like no limbs in snakes, no eyes in fish living in dark, long neck of giraffes and many more. i am a student of genetics and evolution and would like to comprehend accordingly. Wiessmen rejected the theory of use and disuse of organs. He cut the tails of mice for 22 successive generations and in each generation mice were born with tails. So he concluded that any adaptation or modification does not pass on to next generation unless it is effecting the genetic makeup. then came Darwin's theory of natural selection. But this theory also doesnt satisfy. I my opinion what realy happens is a mixture of these. In a population all the individuals have their own genotype. Even same phenotype can be the result of variations in genotype at minute levels. Environment is ever changing and provides the most important selection pressure for evolution. Individuals that had some favourable variations acc to this new environment ( and due to which they have some differences in their characters as compaird to others ) will survive and the others eliminated alongwith their set of genes and specific variations. hence the characters of the survivers will appear in the next generations as they will interbreed ( ofcourse when no other option availabe ). superficially it will appear that the characters developed by parents in their life time have passed to next generation ( Lamarkism ) but actually it is a case of presence of variations and natural selection ( Darwinism ).
When u specifically talk abiut intelligence and intellect, remember that phenotype is a result of genotype and environment. People in the same family have more genes in common as compaired to other families and are facing more or less same environment( nutrition, society, interaction, beliefs). That is why we assume that these features are transferred in the family, from parents to offsprings.
Hi Hermann,

You say:
1) Genes do not carry any intellectual information and our experience in life will not be written to the genes.
I don't think it would be impossible to store intellectual information (such as life experience) in DNA.

Interesting article:
Memories may be stored on your DNA
REMEMBER your first kiss? Experiments in mice suggest that patterns of chemical "caps" on our DNA may be responsible for preserving such memories.

To remember a particular event, a specific sequence of neurons must fire at just the right time. For this to happen, neurons must be connected in a certain way by chemical junctions called synapses. But how they last over decades, given that proteins in the brain, including those that form synapses, are destroyed and replaced constantly, is a mystery.

They found that a day after the shock, methyl groups were being removed from a gene called calcineurin and added to another gene. Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended, the researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of the shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process involved in memory formation.

"We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

"The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at the University of California, Irvine.
DNA is a very robust material for information storage. Methylation and demethylation (of cytosine) processes are controlled by the epigenetic machinery and also plays a role in development and evolution.

You also say:
I think we have still a misunderstanding.
In my opinion, the genes are not like a hard disks, because you cannot write on them. Genes seems to be like CD ROMs. All information on such CDs has been grown by evolution over very long time and cannot be changed during our life. Just for our children our CD will be randomly mixed with another one.
Is this your view as well?
With epigenetic machinery being able to methylated and demethylate (write and delete information) cytosine (DNA base pair), DNA can be seen to be exactly like hard disks.
Techne, this thread is nearly 7 years old. I doubt Hermann is around to continue discussion with you.
Sorry, I did not see that. The thread interested me and I replied to something I thought was interesting. Perhaps it can be used to see how perspectives change over time. :p
I'm sure you can get the discussion going again, but it will comprise of different participants. :)