Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Follow me and you'll see

So I got a comment about whether or not an X Man (X Men?) like Wolverine could be genetically engineered. I'm going to say yes, and not just say yes because I can but it might actually work. Now I'm not talking about surgically putting metal into someone's body (that would be very heavy) but altering their DNA in order for them to develop into something like Wolverine. Imagine that instead of a gene saying your bones will be made of calcium the gene said your cells are going to use another element, like iron. Well in theory your bones would be made of iron. This would have many possible side affects like your iron intake through your diet would be rediculous. This would also have to be done during your embroyonic development (good luck having your body get rid of an entire skeletal system of calcium). Well now you have a skeletal system made of iron (or another element)... great, but how do I get big claws? Well you couldn't retract them because you can't actually manipulate your skeletal system that way but you could have larger bones coming out of your hands. There are a few genes that have a lot to do with they way you are formed called Hox genes. These genes determine if you have 2 hands or 20, so if you manipulated them in a very specific manor during development then you can have 3 bones extend out of your hands (we do not know a lot about Hox genes so this won't happen).

So now you look like Wolverine, all you need now is an alcohol problem (check), a desire to smoke (check), an I hate the world mentality (check), and the ability to heal rediculously quickly. Well this is a little more easier said than done unfortunately. Unfortunately there isn't a gene that makes you heal as quick as Wolverine, and healing is a very complex process (doctors are paid to try and "heal" people and it doesn't always work). Ignoring disease, possible aging effects, any sort of complications and just focusing on repairing a cut it is possible to create something with superhuman healing, but it would never be as fast as Wolverine's. In order to speed up the healing process a number of factors could be altered: genes (for fasting clotting), increased immune system, better diet (to compensate for lost nutrients and minerals). End game being that a healthier lifestyle would result in better healing as well as a better immune system. Unfortunately the only way to get a better immune system is to create one by living a life. Every person that has lived before you has had a weaker immune system than you (maybe not everyone but keep reading). This is because both life and disease have been in constant battle since forever, and in order for one to live and survive they both have to evolve at the same rate (just about the same).

So to wrap it all up: can you make a Wolverine? No, but you can make something that looks like him. Will it look like Hugh Jackman? Nope.

7 comments:

  1. So interesting
    If mutants could be posible i would study genetic

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  2. Wolverine !!!! Best Marvel character in my opinion.

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  3. wow lol go make it work.
    +1 and following!!

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  4. @Admiral Ackbar

    Who's to say they aren't? It's only a matter of time until scientists can produce your perfect baby by manipulating genes. I don't see why they can't alter them to create a "better" human. But that's when shit REALLY hits the fan.

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  5. Yeah, I learned about Hox genes in school. Pretty amazing stuff, right?

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  6. Just give me Hugh Jackman, that's all I need. Interesting post though, I think that we should stay away from genetically engineering people as much as we can though. Like, so far away that we forget it can even be done.

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