Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Departure from the norm..

Big post. Careful now...

Well, that’s it. I cannot get connected to the internet anymore and will have to wait until I move house in a few days time before I can get online again. Obviously I can at work, but strangely enough they don’t like it when you spend hours playing a game when you have work to do, so until then I’ll just be blogging during my lunch.

So, what am I going to be doing with myself during my time off? I have a sneaky suspicion it’s not going to be much of anything fun and most likely a lot of moving furniture around as we move house. The times when I usually play EQ2 are when my children are in bed, so it’s not as if I will get to do anything like hanging around with them with my enforced spare time, coz they’ll be in bed. I guess I will be relegated to watching Eastenders and Coronation Street with the wifey for a few days. I draw the line at The Vampire Diaries though. I won’t be watching that. Yes, I am more than aware why my wife is a huge fan, but strangely enough the ‘talent’ doesn’t have the same effect on me as they do on her.

I’m a bit of a loss what to write about since EQ2 is off bounds at the moment, so I’ll write about something I have never approached before with my bloggage. One of the reasons I’m doing this is because although this is a fun, blog about games and hobbies and such, it has never really attacked real life issues. I honestly believe what I am about to write about it a massive step forward (or back depending on your point of view) for our species. It is the very next big step in my opinion for Humans and could quite literally change the face of our planet. Weird thing is, I knew nothing about it until last night. Well, I actually did, but I didn’t realise it at the time. Before I get in to this, it’s important to know that despite some research I still have a lot of black holes in my knowledge about this subject I’m going to discuss. So, I may be wrong in my opinion, or may indeed change it. But for what I know now and unless further research proves that wrong, I’m pretty gobsmacked about all this. As your reading it, ask yourself like I did, “Why the hell isn’t this headline news? I mean way and above everything else?”. Hmm, mebbe there’s a message there in itself?

Ok, enough rambling, what the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about the Human Genome Project (“HGP”) and the various work scientists have done with it. I’m pretty sure most of you will have heard of the project, but have you heard what the scientists have been doing with the data it produced? Does anyone recall back in our Millennium year? Tony Blairs speech? I’ll refresh your memory.

“Let us be in no doubt about what we are witnessing today, a revolution in medical science whose implications far surpass even the discovery of antibiotics; the first great technological triumph of the 21st century”.

President Bill Clinton stated on the same subject:

“We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.”

Then, we heard nothing else about it. Well I didn’t. For ten years. Sounds pretty dramatic, so what is it?

Put basically it is a book that took ten years to research and collate, 100 volumes long that contains the very information that makes us Humans what we are. Full of pure data about genetics and the chemicals behind the genes it is a total breakdown of our physical being. So it’s out there. Now here’s the real interesting bit. What have scientists been doing with this data? The answer could very well be when we have the fuller picture that they have been working out a way to cure all illnesses and it pretty much looks like death aside from an accident or old age, may become a thing of the past. Sometime in the future and probably for our children.

I know it all sounds very farfetched and I am wondering how this has managed to stay out of the main stream press. I’m sure it’s hit the scientific press quite a bit but I’m no slouch when reading the broadsheets and I must admit I have never seen it mentioned there. Well not as major news anyhow. I guess I could have missed it as I'm no science or medicine buff.

Basically scientists have developed a way to determine exactly what is wrong with you personally, how to treat it, how fast it will spread and where. Yes, that includes Cancer. Now bear with me because the ‘science’ of this goes a bit above my head and I may have misunderstood. However, apparently each gene and the chemicals that make up each of our 25,000 genes are assigned a letter, so all they have to do is find out which of your genes holds the cancer gene and voila, they can make it disappear. I’m sure it’s a lot lot more complicated than that however. Massively so.

The documentary that made me aware of this showed some truly truly astounding results though. For example it showed how they tracked down Cancer cells then using healthy genes attacked the cell which in turn forced the nasty cell to reproduce, but as it reproduced it killed itself and ‘Hey Presto’, old Cancer cell is no more and has been replaced with healthy cells, all thanks to the HGP and its application. Apparently they can do this for a lot of other illnesses too and eventually you will be able to visit your Doc, get your genes tested and they will be able to send that off to the HGP consortium who will in turn develop a medicine of ‘fresh’ genes that will be personal to you and with one injection, you're fixed. Again, I am sure it is a lot more complicated than that, but the implications are hugely massive.

They also showed another Human experiment. This was where one of those poor folks who have absolutely no immune system and have to live in a bubble. The chances of survival are slim indeed. Using the HGP they designed a whole new immune system for the lad (think he was about 10 years old) and ‘Voila!’ he was fixed and is now a totally healthy young lad. He was after the treatment, as fit and healthy as a butchers dog. Crazy crazy stuff. Are we seeing the immortalisation of our race through total extermination of illness? Perhaps. We were told that our children, the very next generation will not have to worry about illnesses that in our time were and are killers. They will be annoying as a fly apparently and using HGP, they can be swatted just as easily.

So why is this not top news? Well, it could be that I haven’t seen or read something very important about the subject that means this is not a certainty. If that’s the case I could understand. But otherwise? Well, just think of the repercussions to society. This one revelation could change quite literally the way we live. It would have a pervasive knock on effect to almost every other part of our lives and society. What about the billions the pharmaceutical companies would lose? The problems with a hugely growing population for our already struggling planet, problems with who this science would be available to, private or public medicine, the implications such findings will have on religion and beliefs and Politics, well, let’s not go there. There are so so many knock on effects. Imagine what Insurance companies would do with this information if they got their hands on it. Can you think any of them would give someone life insurance who they know will be dead in five years time? Massive repercussions indeed.  The point is this really could be one of the most important discovery and piece of scientific research for a very long time. It really has the propensity to change us as a species and in my eyes (if my understanding is correct) could very well be the next evolutionary step for us.

I know I usually stick to EQ2, gaming and MotoGP for my blogging, but if this is the next big evolutionary step for us Humans, then I wanted to write about it. I wanted to document it.

I guess time will tell, but life as we know it Jim, very well may have been quietly changing forever.

Be well.


  1. Ahh I meant to record Horizon last night and forgot. Will have to catch it on iPlayer.

    The potential HGP has for saving millions of lives is incredible. Some scientists seriously believe that because of the HGP there are people alive now (and may even be in their 30s and 40s) who could live to be hundreds of years old. Personally I think it's something we should embrace and not be scared of.

  2. Oh, here's the iplayer link for anyone who's interested:

    You'll need a UK IP (so will need an IP spoofer if you are outside the UK) to view it.

  3. Thanks Bro!! I might of known my chemical genius scientist Bro would have known about this. Thanks for the link too, that's awesome. Go check out that link folks, you'll be astounded.