Re: intelligent mice

Anders Sandberg (
07 Sep 1999 18:56:26 +0200

Gabriele Betti <> writes:

> I'd like to know how the insert a gene works...I'd like it for me too.
> I read they created an intelligent mouse, .

They (Tang et al.) made the memory enhanced mice by injecting DNA directly into zygotes and then implanting them into female rats that later borne them as pups. So this approach won't work for you since you are already fully grown, but it might work for your children.

What could be done, but is rather uncertain right now, is gene therapy: inject a virus or liposome that inserts the right genes into cell, or inject free DNA and send electric shocks through the tissue to make the cells take it up. The later approach is obviously bad for the brain, the former two have a hard time spreading the gene to many cells.

> Would it be possible in theory to convert some of our actual genes, hairs
> as an example.., to other functions?

You could probably use gene therapy to affect skin cells and hair (wasn't there an anti-baldness treatment based on this?). What the genes does depends on which genes you selected - if you put in a luciferase gene then your affected tissues (sorry, just living tissues, not the hair itself) will glow in the dark if you ingest luciferine, if you insert genes for the right enzymes you can make vitamin C for yourself etc.

> Could I do it just be will strenght?
> I just read to much promotional stuff, maybe!

I think so :-) No, it doesn't work with willpower, at least not in the sense that you can change your genome. Although it is interesting to speculate how much hormonal control and biofeedback might be used to control some aspects of gene expression.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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