Bacteria:Virus, Humans:Machines

Viruses = machines

Are their any biologists taking good DNA/RNA and making viruses with the genetic material to make cures for diseases such as cancer or infections such as HIV.

It seems simple to say that we can take a strand of DNA place it in the empty body of a virus and reprogram the virus to detect the markers of cells such as cancer the DNA it would inject would create Good cells and destroy the cancer cells.

The only problem is that we need to find a way to make the virus replicate. otherwise we need billions to do this with

I think all that is a little way too advanced to what biologists can actually do at the moment. A lot of the stuff they do is hit and miss, to create something as specialized as you are suggesting is way out of our technological capabilities at the moment. I remember reading that these days a lot of drugs and the like are created by creating millions of different molecules with a basic pattern behind them that they think might be the key and then just testing the lot of them, so discoverys are technically accident rather than design. I suppose it is hypothetically possible that they could create something as specialised as that in this way, but the chances against it would be astronomically high.

If it didn’t have the capability to replicate it wouldn’t technically be a virus I think, just a protein (is protein right? bit hazy here, long time since I’ve done any biology).

after thinking about it If this became possible not only would you create a new actuall life form but you would create mutations of every life form available. and possibly new diseases and such.

Or atleast that would be the imagined result if we created human cells with a viral like protien shell around it. Because if the healhy virus infected a cell, it would produce healthy human cells inside the father cell and each cell would be inside a viral capsule. Thus making a the human cell have a Tripple lipid layer.

In response to BluTGI question :

Actually biologist are taking short sequences of DNA which code for specific proteins and injecting them into a “hollow” virus shell. They do this to create vaccines. So when a dosage is given to someone, the virus replicates inside their body giving the person immunity against whatever they where being vaccinated against. However, I have never heard of this process being used to try to treat cancer or HIV, probably because, as Matt said, is it a little to complicated than that when it comes to these illnesses .
In fact, come to think of it, its really not a bad idea when considering treating cancer. One of the main things that allows cancerous cells to keep replicating is that they are continually growing telomeres. (Telomeres are protective caps at the end of a eukaryotic chromosome which help prevent DNA degradation, mutations and end-to-end fusion or entanglement of the chromosome with another chromosome. Telomeres work by stabilizing DNA structure. With each division the length of the telomeres decreases, however, with cancerous cells the telomeres are continuously replenished) If a virus was used to inhibit the enzyme responsible for the growth of the telomeres, ( I believe its called telomerase) then perhaps the cancer could died out. This wouldn’t harm and other cells in close proximity to the cancerous tissue because telomerase is only active in germ cells not in somatic cells. This is why the telomeres of chromosomes get shorter; because they are not replaced for the reason that the enzyme is not active in the cell. Eventually, when the chromosomes run out of telomeres, the cell dies. But like I said, with cancerous cells, the enzyme responsible for the length of the telomeres in active, so if a virus with the codes to deactivate the enzyme was administered perhaps cancer could be treated.
Unfortunately, I don’t think is that simple or they would have done it already but it could still have interesting prospects.
BluTGI wrote:

You must remember that a virus itself is not considered to be alive by practically all scientists. (I think it’s because it cannot survive for a long time or replicate without a host cell) So by changing a virus’s genetic sequences you wouldn’t technically be creating a new live form. I’m also aware that you probably meant using a virus to change the genetic code of a given creature. This could also be done through other means but this is basically why Bio terrorism is so alarming.

oops… that was me… you’d think i’d learn by now huh?.. :unamused:

Silver stated:

Although I am in no way a biologist or know anything more than photosynthesis, but I have heard alot from the many people I come into contact with. Here’s my insight from them so far…I heard that the process for destroying cancer is some kind of a vaccine that makes the cancer cell destroy itself. The only problem with this is that many other cells, cells we need, also get the same instructions and also begin to die. It’s no wonder peoples hair falls out, they get weak, etc, etc. The vaccine is basically killing the person as well.

Now for what I know: I once became very interested in a fellow named R. Buckminster Fuller who in my book is a genius. I have already reserved the upcoming summer to completely devote myself to his books. Anyway, he designed, in theory, what’s called a fullerene (named after him). This molecule, I think that’s what it is, is the most stable molecule to ever exist. It is so stable that it is possible to put heavy elements (As heavy as steal) into it and it will hold it. More importantly, the fullerene doesn’t dissolve in the blood stream. What came out of this, please keep in mind this is a synopsis, that a cancer vaccine could be put into the fullerene and it could be designed breakup at the cancer cell and nowhere else. Making no cells destroy themselves except cancer cells. The most amazing fact of all this is that after Mr. Fuller died, scientists actually found a replica of the fullerene in NATURE! It already exists!

Here is a link to more detailed account of the fullerene…

Anyway, I’m not sure how far the research went and exactly what some of the problems were, I imagine there were some otherwise we would be curing cancer now. Unless ofcourse the worst thing imaginable has happened, you know that the government actually has the cure for cancer but isn’t using it because they are making so much more money having to hospitalize people.

But I strongly advocate anyone checking this Buckminster Fuller guy out, especially reading one or two of his books. I myself have to do this, for I have only skimmed through many of his books for a university research paper I did last year.

I have provided some links to website where you can learn more about him…

For a nice interactive site, check out…

Quick synopsis of Bucky and his accomplishments…

Also -

Books by Mr. Fuller:
“Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”
“Critical Path”
“4-D Timelock”, 1928.
“And It Came to Pass - Not to Stay”, 1976.
“Earth, Inc.”, 1973
“Education Automation”, 1962
“Grunch of Giants”, 1983
“Humans in Universe”, 1983
“Ideas and Integrities”. 1963
“Intuition”, 1972
“Nine Chains to the Moon”, 1963
“No More Second Hand God”, 1963
“Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”, 1963.
“Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking”, 1975.
“Synergetics 2: Futher Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking”, 1979.
“Synergetic Stew: Explorations in Dymaxion Dining”, 1982.
“Tetrascroll”, 1975.
“Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects of Humanity”, 1969.

What’s your take?

He didn’t design it, they just named it after him cause it looks like the geodetic dome he designed for the 1967 Montreal World Exhibition. The scientists who discovered fullerenes are Robert F. Curl Jr., Sir Harold W. Kroto and Richard E. Smalley. There’s a brief article about their nobel prize at which also tells you how it got it’s name.

But I have heard Fuller mentioned a few times before (and not just by you magius :wink:), I hear he is very good, not actually read any of his stuff myself though, willtry and get hold of a couple of those books you mentioned.

Hey Matt,
thanks for the correction. I will look further into my sources and try to find where the mistake came from.

That’s ok, takes a big man to admit he was wrong :wink: I am wrong probably more often than I am right, and that’s why I like posting here, someone will tell me that I am :slight_smile:

Fullerene is a molecule, 60 carbon atoms linked together to form a sphere like structure. I think that’s what they’re talking about being able to make space ladders and such thinks out of.

I wonder if there is a way to make viruses into nanobots.

Yes and sort of. Most gene therapy uses viral vectors to introduce nucleic acids into cells (just they are pretty naff at the moment).

Viruses use cellular machinery/energy, and so are not going to become independent nanobots (though bacteria might be). Some viral proteins/processes can be harnessed to make nanomahines, however.

Just search NCBI or google for lots of info on bionanotechnology and GT

Human Beings Are A Virus!

Okay okay…shutting up!

Bad magius with your matrix big daddy quotes! :evilfun: