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  • Sidney Hagen
    Dear Brian: This shows that intelligent beings can manipulate the existing structure of life. How does this demonstrate that this happened untold millions of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2002
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      Dear Brian:

      This shows that intelligent beings can manipulate the
      existing structure of life. How does this demonstrate
      that this happened untold millions of times by random
      chance or principle of life to create progressively
      totally distinct superior species.

      Sid



      Sidney Hagen:"My point on testifiable, and
      falsifiable."

      Brian: The story of the discovery dates back to 1990,
      but the real
      breakthrough occurred in 1998, when Andrew Fire, at
      the Carnegie
      Institution, affiliated to the Johns Hopkins
      University in Baltimore, found=

      that RNA � a close cousin of DNA, the molecule of
      inheritance � could
      switch off genes.

      Dr Fire coined the phrase "RNA interference" and
      explained it by
      suggesting that genes can be selectively silenced.
      That would mean
      defective genes that cause tumours, or genes necessary
      for a virus to
      replicate in a cell, could be turned off.

      But the real breakthrough occurred in experiments this
      year which
      involved testing the idea on human cells � Dr Fire had
      shown it only on a
      microscope nematode worm. Two independent teams of
      researchers
      demonstrated that human cells in a test tube could be
      made to resist
      infection with HIV, and a third set of researchers
      found that it worked
      against the polio virus � in a way that they believe
      will prove effective
      against other human viruses.

      "In the past year we've realised that this machinery
      of RNA interference
      works just as well in human cells. It's led to an
      explosion in interest,"
      Professor Carmichael said.

      Five years ago there were just a handful of scientific
      papers published
      on RNAi, two years ago there were 100, last year there
      were 1,000 and
      this year there will be thousands more, he said.

      One idea for Aids treatment is to take out a person's
      blood cells and
      engineer them using RNAi to make them immune to HIV.
      The patient
      should then be resistant to infection.

      The beauty of the process is that it is specific to
      the gene being targeted=

      and so the interference should not result in the
      silencing of other
      important genes, Professor Carmichael said. This is
      important when it
      comes to possible side-effects. "If you design it
      against HIV then there is=

      almost no possibility that it will result in a perfect
      match against the
      patient's own DNA," he said.




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