Category Archives: Genetics

COUPLES’ LIFESTYLE CHOICES EFFECT OBESITY RISK!


 

download (2)The lifestyle an individual share with their better half has a greater influence on one’s chances of becoming obese than one’s upbringing, research suggests.

By the time individuals hit their 40s, choices made by cohabiting couples, including those linked to diet and exercise, have a greater effect than the lifestyle each shared with brothers, sisters, and parents growing up.

Researchers go on to say the study will further help scientists understand ties between obesity, genetics, and lifestyle habits.

Its findings bolster the message; lifestyle changes in adulthood can have a significant effect tackling obesity, regardless of a person’s genetic makeup.

images (2)The research team reviewed data provided by 20,000 people from Scottish families. They compared the individual’s family genetics and home environment in childhood and adulthood and related these to measures tied to health and obesity.

journal.pgen.1005804.g003The research encompassed 16 measures including, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure, body fat content and body mass index.

The information originally collated as part of the generation Scotland project is a national resource of health data and helps researchers to investigate you know who links to health conditions.

Professor Chris Haley of the medical research council’s human genetics unit at the University of Edinburgh led this research study published in the journal PL OS Genetics.

Professor Haley stated; “Although genetics accounts for a significant proportion of the variation between people, our study has shown at the environment you share with your partner in adulthood also influences whether you become obese and this is more important than your upbringing. The findings also show that even people who come from families with a history of obesity can reduce their risk by changing their lifestyle habits.”

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.

 

 

Pedigree- and SNP-Associated Genetics and Recent Environment are the Major Contributors to Anthropometric and Cardiometabolic Trait Variation. Charley Xia, Carmen Amador, Jennifer Huffman, Holly Trochet, Archie Campbell, David Porteous, Generation Scotland, Nicholas D. Hastie, Caroline Hayward, Veronique Vitart, Pau Navarro, Chris S. Haley. PLOS Genetics. DOI.10.1371/journal.pgen.1005804. Published online February 2, 2016.

Source: University of Edinburgh

Additional source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society

 

 

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner, and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity.

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRISPR Cas9 TECHNOLOGY REVISITED Vol. 1 No. 53


An international team of CRISPR–Cas scientists has found three new naturally occurring systems that show possibilities for genome editing. The finding and depiction of these systems are expected to further expand the genome editing toolbox, opening new pathways for biomedical investigation.     The research, published in the journal Molecular Cell, was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.

“This work shows a path to discovery of novel CRISPR-Cas systems with diverse properties, which are demonstrated here in direct experiments,” said

Eugene Koonin, PhD., senior investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the NIH.
Eugene Koonin, PhD., the senior investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the NIH.

Eugene Koonin, PhD., the senior investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the NIH. “The most remarkable aspect of the story is how evolution has achieved a broad repertoire of biological activities, a feat we can take advantage of for new genome manipulation tools.” (Cravedi, 2015)

As an aside, Dr. Koonin went on to remark,

“CRISPR is an impressive adaptive immune system for another reason: Its lessons can be inherited. People can’t pass down genes for antibodies to their children because only immune cells develop them. There’s no way for that information to get into eggs or sperm. As a result, children have to start learning about their invisible enemies pretty much from scratch.

CRISPR is different. Since microbes are single-celled organisms, the DNA they alter to fight viruses is the same DNA they pass down to their descendants. In other words, the experiences that these organisms have alter their genes, and that change is inherited by future generations.

For students of the history of biology, this kind of heredity echoes a largely discredited theory promoted by the naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the early 19th century. Lamarck argued for the inheritance of acquired traits. To illustrate his theory, he had readers imagine a giraffe gaining a long neck by striving to reach high branches to feed on. A nervous fluid, he believed, stretched out its neck, making it easier for the giraffe to reach the branches. It then passed down its lengthened neck to its descendants.

The advent of genetics seemed to crush this idea. There didn’t appear to be any way for experiences to alter the genes that organisms passed down to their offspring. But CRISPR revealed that microbes rewrite their DNA with information about their enemies — information that Barrangou showed could make the difference between life and death for their descendants.

Did this mean that CRISPR meets the requirements for Lamarckian inheritance? “In my humble opinion, it does,” said Koonin.” (Zimmer, 2015)

Diagram of the CRISPR prokaryotic viral defense mechanism. Click to enlarge
Diagram of the CRISPR prokaryotic viral defense mechanism. Click to enlarge

Enzymes from the crisper system are transforming the field of genomics, enabling researchers to target specific regions of the genome and edit DNA at precise locations. “CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are key components of a system used by bacteria to defend against invading viruses. Cas9 — one of the enzymes produced by the CRISPR system — binds to the DNA in a highly sequence-specific manner and cuts it, allowing precise manipulation of a region of DNA. Enzymes such as Cas9 provide researchers with a gene editing tool that is faster, less expensive and more precise than previously developed methods.” (Cravedi, 2015)

The three newly depicted systems share some aspects with Cas9 and Cpf1, a recently depicted CRISPER enzyme, but having unique attributes that could potentially be exploited for novel genome editing applications. This study underscores the variety of CRISPR systems, which can be taken advantage of to develop more efficient, effective, and precise ways to edit DNA.

Koonin et al. “took a novel bioinformatics (the use of computers to extract and analyze biological data, especially in studying the nucleotide sequences of DNA and other nucleic acids) approach to discover the new proteins, provisionally termed C2c1, C2c2, and C2c3, developing a series of computational approaches to search NIH genomic databases and identify new CRISPR-Cas systems

CRISPR technology has far-reaching implications for modifying and improving agriculture, pharmaceuticals, BioMed, and human genetics. We are rapidly approaching a brave new world with all that it implies as scientists’ knowledge of CRISPR technology geometrically grows.

However, let us pause for the moment; just how close are we to manipulating the genome sequence for personality traits of a human being? According to a

Dr. Brian Farley Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley post doctorate fellow.
Dr. Brian Farley Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley post-doctoral fellow.

biochemist Dr. Brian Farley Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley post-doctoral fellow, we are not close to performing precise personality modifications.

“Aside from a very blunt and sledgehammer approach (think: lobotomy), I really don’t think so — and not just because of the huge technical hurdles that need to be overcome before precise genome editing in humans is feasible.

Assuming that (and this is a simplifying, mostly untrue assumption!) personality is both entirely genetically specified (i.e., genomic sequence alone is enough to determine personality) and that we can understand the basis of that personality thoroughly enough to manipulate it, there’s still one big problem: many human genes are only actively expressed during early development. These are the genes that contribute to specifying a body plan, rather than keeping the body running. A lot of very important molecular decisions in the history of an individual are being made in the womb, and the genes that contribute are only being expressed then.

Personality (as a subset of all of the functions of the brain) is also in part being influenced by the events of fetal development. This is, again, likely over-simplified, but a lot of learning isn’t the formation of new neural connections in the brain, but instead, the paring back of old, lesser used connections. The vast majority of new connections are formed during fetal and early development, influenced (again) by genes that are only on then.

Silencing already silenced genes obviously won’t do much, and many developmentally-regulated genes have disastrous effects if they’re turned on when they shouldn’t be. Unless we get enough information about the brains of individuals to understand what every connection of every one of the hundreds of billions of cells in the brain is doing, and then have a method to specifically target gene-editing technology to individual cells, gene editing won’t be able to precisely influence personality.” (Farley, 2014)

The key phrases here are Personality (as a subset of all of the functions of the brain) is also in part being influenced by the events of fetal development and precisely influence personality. Does one think with advancements happening geometrically aided by biometrics that we are all that far behind in being able to precisely target personality traits during fetal development? I cite the Communist Chinese government and their clumsy first attempt at manipulating fetal cells. Although they developed harmful mutations within the cell related to the CRISPER Cas9 system, editing the wrong genomic sequence or doing nothing at all, it was still attempted. They obviously have no regrets or scruples in using human embryos. To them, it is so much human tissue to be manipulated as desired. This is truly a case of great intellectual power falling into the wrong hands. Automatons who will stop at nothing to become rulers of the realm and masters of all they survey. The race of man as we know it is in dire peril if the Communist Chinese government is successful in its attempts at manipulating the human genome for their selfish gains.

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.


Cravedi, K. (2015, October 22). Researchers identify potential alternative to CRISPER-Cas genome editing tools. Retrieved October 22, 2015, from NIH National Institutes of Health: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2015/nlm-22.htm#top

Farley, B. (2014, September Three). Will it be possible to alter a person’s personality in vivo using CRISPR-cas9 or similar technologies? Retrieved October 23, 2015, from Quora: https://www.quora.com/Will-it-be-possible-to-alter-a-persons-personality-in-vivo-using-CRISPR-cas9-or-similar-technologies

Matheson, M. (2015, May 21). CRISPR TECHNOLOGY TO TREAT HUMAN GENETIC DISEASE, A BRAVE NEW WORLD? VOL.1 NO.28. Retrieved October 23, 2015, from The Fat Bastard Gazette: https://thefatbastardgazette.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/crispr-technology-to-treat-human-genetic-disease-a-brave-new-world/

Zimmer, C. (2015, February 6). Breakthrough DNA Editor Borne of Bacteria. Retrieved October 23, 2015, from Quanta: Breakthrough DNA Editor Borne of Bacteria


Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner, and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity.

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

CRISPR technology to treat human genetic disease, A Brave New World? VOL.1 NO.28


Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.”

“…most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”

“No social stability without individual stability.”

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”

“The Savage interrupted him. “But isn’t it natural to feel there’s a God?”

“You might as well ask if it’s natural to do up one’s trousers with zippers,” said the Controller sarcastically. “You remind me of another of those old fellows called Bradley. He defined philosophy as the finding of bad reason for what one believes by instinct. As if one believed anything by instinct! One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them. Finding bad reasons for what one believes for other bad reasons–that’s philosophy. People believe in God because they’ve been conditioned to.”

― All quotes Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

“A group of 18 scientists and ethicists today warned that a revolutionary new tool to cut and splice DNA should be used cautiously when attempting to fix human genetic disease, and strongly discouraged any attempts at making changes to the human genome that could be passed on to offspring” (Sanders, 2015).

“Among the authors of this warning is Jennifer Doudna, the co-inventor of the technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, which is driving a new interest in gene therapy, or “genome engineering.” She and colleagues co-authored a perspective piece that appears in the March 20 issue of Science, based on discussions at a meeting that took place in Napa on Jan. 24. The same issue of Science features a collection of recent research papers, commentary and news articles on CRISPR and its implications” (Sanders, 2015).

The bacterial enzyme Cas9 is the engine of RNA-programmed genome engineering in human cells. (Graphic by Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley)
The bacterial enzyme Cas9 is the engine of RNA-programmed genome engineering in human cells. (Graphic by Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley)

“Given the speed with which the genome engineering field is evolving, our group concluded that there is an urgent need for open discussion of the merits and risks of human genome modification by a broad cohort of scientists, clinicians, social scientists, the general public and relevant public entities and interest groups,” the authors wrote.” (Sanders, 2015).

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” (Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 230). Yes indeed, the Captain does think that Jennifer Doudna and cohorts protest too much. Does one think with a technology called CRISPR-CS9, acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-Cas system9 (Cas9 protein), commercially available since 2013, that it will not be used to edit select sections of embryonic human DNA? One need only type in CRISPER –CS 9 and a myriad of bio labs pop up, offering their services to mutate genetically any living thing you have short of a human sample. Do Doudna et al. honestly believe that any or all-sundry bio labs will not eventually tinker with the entire human genome? Some rogue or rogue state, including China, Iran, Pakistan etc.; will try to do it with an extremely good chance of success.

Here is update fellow travelers. According to The New York Times of April 24, 2015 The Chinese have tried to edit the genes of a human embryo without success.

The experiment was unsuccessful in ways that had been foretold by scientists against human experimentation.

“The Chinese researchers did not plan to produce a baby — they used defective human embryos — but did hope to end up with an embryo with a precisely altered gene in every cell but no other inadvertent DNA damage. None of the 85 human embryos they injected fulfilled those criteria. In almost every case, either the embryo died or the gene was not altered. Even the four embryos in which the targeted gene was edited had problems. Some of the embryo cells overrode the editing, resulting in embryos that were genetic mosaics. And speckled over their DNA was a sort of collateral damage — DNA mutations caused by the editing attempt.”

So this takes us back to the question the Captain posed before this article was written; will some rogue state not try to alter the human genome? Well it has happened!

“The New York Times” article is well written as usual and understandable to all. The Captain recommends you click on the hyperlink and read this article in full.

Below is a piece from Wikipedia on CRISPER technology for all you bioscience geeks, and the Captain is one of them. This makes a great bioscience crossword puzzle with the answers!

Sanders, R. (2015, March 19). Scientists urge caution in using new CRISPR technology to treat human genetic disease. Retrieved from Berkeley News: http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/03/19/scientists-urge-caution-in-using-new-crispr-technology-to-treat-human-genetic-disease/

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.