4 years ago
How far away do you think we are for something like that? 10 years. So in 10 years we're going to have green people. If someone so chooses. Yeah, if someone so chooses. What if it sucks? Will they be able to go back to normal color? Well, if it's, that's a good question. If it's with this kind of gene therapy and it's a small number of genes, probably, but we are messing with very complex systems that we don't fully understand it. So that's why there's a lot of unknowns coming back to your point on regulation. That's why we, I don't think we want a total free-for-all where people say, hey, I'm going to edit my own genes. Yeah, and you don't want some backyard hustler. Yeah, it's true. Lab. It's true because you're saying about the Hulk. I mean, I just think that there are all kinds of, you know, we're humans, we're diverse, any kind of thing that you can think of, there is a range. And there's, you know, crazy on the left and crazy on the right and crazy on the top. So people are going to want to do things. And the question is, for any society, what do we think is okay and what do we think is not okay? And maybe there should be some, I believe there should be some limit to how far people can go with experimenting, possibly likely on themselves, but certainly on their future children. Certainly on their future children. Yeah. But once you're 18, I think do whatever the fuck you want. If you really, well, maybe 25. 25. We're going to have a lot of 25-girls with gills. It's like a, it's like, it's like, it's like the tattoo. Seem like a good idea. Yeah, well, we probably will. Yeah. So you think we're probably like 50 years away from that being a reality? So I think that we are, the genetic revolution has already begun and it's going to fundamentally change our lives in three big areas. The first is our healthcare. So we're moving from a system of generalized healthcare based on population averages. So when you go to your doctor, you're treated because you're a human just based on average. And we're moving to a world of personalized medicine and the foundation of your personalized healthcare will be your sequence genome and your electronic health records. That's how they know you are you. And that's how they can say, this is a drug. This is an intervention that will work for you. When we do that, then we're going to have to sequence everybody. So we're going to have about 2 billion people have had their whole genome sequence within a, within a decade. And then we're going to be able to compare what the genes say to how those genes are expressed. And then humans become a big data set and that's going to move us from precision to predictive healthcare where you're going to be just born and you're going to have all this information. Your parents have all this about how certain really important aspects of your life are going to play out. And some of that is going to be disease related, but some of that's just going to be life related. Like you have a better than average chance of being really great at math or having a high IQ or low IQ or being a great sprinter. And how do we think about that? And then again, a revolution that's already happening. We're going to change the way we make babies. We're going to get away from sex as the primary mechanism for conceiving our kids. We'll still have sex for all the great reasons we do. And that's going to open up a whole new world of just applying science to what it means to be a human with a lot of new possibilities. That's what's going to be so freaky when people stop having sex to make kids and they make kids in a lab. Every kid's made in a lab. Well, not only that, I think we're going to move to an era where people who make babies through sex will be seen as taking a risk. Kind of like people who don't vaccinate their kids. Where it's more natural to not vaccinate your kids than to do it. But people say, wait a second, you're taking on a risk on behalf of your kids. About 3% of all kids in the world are born with some kind of harmful genetic abnormality using in vitro fertilization and embryo screening. That 3% can be brought down significantly. And what happens if you see somebody 20 years from now who has a kid with one of those preventable diseases? Do you think that's fate or do you think, well, wait a second, those parents, they made an ideological decision about how they wanted to conceive their kids. So I think we're moving towards some really deep and fundamental changes. Hmm, well, yeah, that's an interesting conversation of whether or not, I wonder if we're ever going to get to a point where people don't allow people, sort of like people don't allow people to not get vaccinated. Right. And like there's a lot of that going on today. Right. Which is great, right? You don't want diseases floating around. But what if that gets to the place where we do that with people, with people creating new life forms? What if you say, hey, you are being irresponsible, you're just having sex and having a kid. Yeah. I know that's your grandma did it. We don't do it that way in 2099. Yeah. I think it's going to be hard to do that in a society like the United States, but in a country like North Korea. They'll be able to do that. Or if a country, if they said, look, you can make babies however you want. But if you make babies the old fashioned way, and if you have some kind of genetic, your kid has some kind of genetic disorder that was preventable, we're just not going to cover it with insurance. So you're going to have a $10 million lifetime bill. You don't need to, you don't need to require something. You can create an environment where people's behaviors will change. And then there will be increasing social pressures. I mean, right now, you know, somebody sees some little kid riding around their bicycle without a helmet. They're kind of looking at the parents like, hey, what are you doing? How come you don't have a helmet on your kids? And I just think that we're moving toward this kind of societal change where people will, I believe, see conceiving their kids in the lab as a safer, safer alternative. And it's not just safety, because once you do that, then that opens you up to the possibility of all other kinds of applications of technology, not just not just to eliminate risks or prevent disease, but you have a lot more information. So already it's possible to roughly rank order 15 pre implanted embryos, tallest to shortest in a decade from highest genetic component of IQ to lowest genetic component of IQ. I mean, this stuff is very real and it's very personal. What do you think would be the first thing that people start manipulating? I think certainly health. Health is, will be the primary driver because that's every parent's biggest fear. And that's, that is what is going to be kind of the entry application. People wanting to make sure that their kids don't suffer from terrible genetic diseases. And then I think the second will probably be longevity. I mean, right now there's a lot of work going, going on sequencing people, the super-agers, people who live to their late 90s, people do 100 to identify what are the genetic patterns that these people have? So it's like to live to 90, you have to do all the things that you advocate, healthy living and whatever. But to live to into a hundred, you really need the genetics to make that possible. So we're going to identify what are some of the genetic patterns that allow you to live those kinds of long lives. But then after that, then it's wide open. I mean, it's, it's higher genetic component of IQ, outgoing personality, faster sprinter. I mean, we are humans. We are primarily genetic beings and we are going to be able to look under the hood of what it means to be human. And we'll have these incredible choices. And we have, it's a huge responsibility. How long do you think before you have a person with four arms? I think it's going to take a long time. Couple hundred years. Well, the thing is, here's how I see it. So the real driver, there's two, two primary drivers. One will be embryo selection. So right now, average woman going through IVF has about 15 eggs extracted. And then in IVF, in vitro fertilization, those eggs are fertilized using the male sperm. And in average male ejaculation, there's about a billion sperm cells. So men are just giving it away. Women, human, female mammals are a little bit, are a little bit stingy. But then the next killer application is using a process called induced pluripotent stem cells. And so Shinya Minaka, this great Japanese scientist, won the 2012 Nobel Prize for developing a way to turn any adult cell into a stem cell. So a stem cell is a kind of cell. It can be anything. And so you take, let's say a skin graft that has millions of cells. You induce those, those adult skin cells into stem cells. You use these four things called Yamanaka factors. And so now you have, let's call it a hundred thousand stem cells. And then you can induce those cells into egg precursor cells and then eggs. So all of a sudden humans are creating eggs like salmon on this huge scale. So you have a hundred thousand eggs, fertilize them with the male sperm in a machine, an automated process. You grow them for about five days and then you sequence cells extracted from each one of those and the cost of genome sequencing in 2003 was a billion dollars. Now it's $800. It's going to be next to nothing within a decade. And then you have real options because then you get this, this whole spreadsheet and algorithm and then you go to the parents say, well, what are your priorities? And maybe they'll say, well, I want health. I want longevity. I want high IQ. When you're choosing from big numbers like that, you have some real options. And then on top of that, then there is this precision gene editing, the stuff that happened in China last year. And I think it will be, and the really coming back to your question about forearms, I think it's going to be varied. People have this idea that tools like CRISPR are going to be used. Someone's going to sit at a computer and say like forearms and three heads and wings and whatever. But it's pretty hard because human biology is incredibly complicated and we always know more. But we're at the very beginning of understanding the full complexity of human biology enough to make these big kind of changes. But if you're choosing from a hundred thousand fertilized eggs, those are all your natural kids. Yeah. And then you would get the best of that and then work on those. Exactly. That's exactly the model. You get that and then you say, all right, what if you had like 20 sons that were awesome and they didn't take care of them? They tell you about 18 of them and you kept two of them, then 18 of them shipped off to some military industrial complex, turned them into assassins. Any kind of crazy thing you can think of. That's the problem, right? All this stuff will be possible. And so, and a lot of technologies, you can imagine all kinds of crazy stuff. And that's coming back to your earlier point about regulations. We want to live in regulated environments. And so like now, think of the internet and in the beginning days, the internet, people thought, oh, just let the internet be. Let, you know, just let it play out. It's going to liberate all of us. And now China is showing how the internet can be actually be really actively used to suppress people. Facebook is taking people's information and Google in a way that's frightening. A lot of people appears like, hey, it shouldn't be that these companies can do whatever they want. We have to have some way of establishing limits because not every individual is able to entirely protect themselves. They don't have the power. They don't have all the information. We need some representatives helping us with that. The real concern is the competition, right? The real concern is whether or not we do something with reg in regards to regulation that somehow another stifles competition on our end and doesn't allow us to compete with Russia and China. Yeah, particularly China. Yeah, that's exactly right. And so what we need to do is to find that balance. And one of the big issues for this is privacy. So if you kind of look around the world, let's say there's the kind of the big countries and groupings of countries. There's three models of privacy. There's Europe, which has the strongest privacy protections for all kinds of data, including genetic data. There's China that has the weakest and there's the United States that has the middle and the paradox is from an individual perspective. We are all are thinking, well, we kind of want to be like Europe because I don't want somebody accessing my personal information, especially my genetic information. This is like my most intimate information, but genetics is the ultimate big data problem. And so you need these big data pools and you'd access to these big data pools in order to unlock the secrets of genetics. So these three different groupings, everyone's making a huge bet on the future and the way we're going to know who wins like right now in the in the I.T. world. We have Amazon and Apple and Google and those big companies, but whoever gets this bet, right? They will be the ones who will be leading the way and making a huge amount of money on these technologies. We're talking about is a trillion, multi trillion dollar industry.