Meet the biohacker using CRISPR to teach everyone gene editing
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Meet the biohacker using CRISPR to teach everyone gene editing


Josiah Zayner thinks everyone should be able to change their DNA. For us, the frogs are a way to teach people actual genetic engineering and gene therapy. Without harming an organism. The step right before people doing genetic modification on humans, if they wanted to. Josiah’s a very controversial figure. He’s got a scientific background,
with a PhD in biophysics. And he spent two years as
a research fellow at NASA. But he left to start a company called The ODIN. He sells kits to help anyone modify organisms
for as cheap as 30 dollars. That’s because he wants genetic engineering to be decentralized, in the hands and homes of everyone. I think everybody’s worried about the risks of genetic engineering and how it’s going to hurt people. And nobody’s worried about the risks of what’s going to happen if we don’t allow people to do genetic engineering. Cause the problem isn’t going to be like, oh man, that person has way too many enhancements or doesn’t. The problem is going to be,
is this an equal playing field? Does everybody have access to this technology? It’s a provocative idea. It’s also dangerous. And it’s becoming possible because of CRISPR, a gene editing technology that can find and cut a sequence of DNA in a cell and replace it with another. It can achieve in days what used to take months, with precision and at a fraction of the cost. If it wasn’t for CRISPR, I don’t think
my company would be possible. A few years ago, George Church, a pioneer of CRISPR, signed on as an advisor to The ODIN. But even he’s acknowledged the risks
inherent in DIY genetic engineering. Leading researchers say the technology is still too new to use on humans without potentially harmful consequences, and that the way Josiah promotes it is reckless. This is Josiah Zayner. Coming straight to you from my garage lab. And I want to talk to you about how to genetically engineer a human being. Josiah’s famous in the world of biohackers, people who experiment on their own bodies
and other organisms outside of traditional labs and institutions. He’s gotten a lot of media attention
for his very public DIY stunts. Like when he injected himself with CRISPR while giving a talk at a synthetic biology conference. This will modify my muscle genes
to give me bigger muscles. Did that just quiet everybody? Sorry. The month after Josiah’s injection,
the FDA issued a warning that, for safety reasons, it’s illegal to sell gene therapy products
for use on humans. Earlier that year, German authorities restricted imports of The ODIN’s CRISPR kit, reporting that it was contaminated
with disease-causing bacteria. Despite the warnings, The ODIN has sold tens of thousands of CRISPR experiments. Don’t tell anybody, but these party lights
are actually really special. We use them for DNA visualization,
or fluorescence visualization. 50 cent lights. And they work just as well. You can’t make an effective human gene therapy from just what’s in these kits. You’d need more skills and supplies. If someone decided to inject themselves with what they can produce from the kit, they risk a potentially deadly reaction. So if you don’t purify it properly, you’re just basically injecting yourself with something that can cause an immune reaction. The majority of people probably won’t,
you know, it won’t kill them. But, you know, that’s just the majority of people. The ODIN started selling kits in 2016. Last year, Josiah says, they made over $500,000. He insists that by making gene editing available to as many people as possible, he’s also helping to advance the science. What are we all so afraid of? And I think that question kind of comes down to like we’re afraid to change what it means to be human. Like a clear cut definition of a human being
is like male, female. They have kids and procreate. And once you start straying outside those lines, people get more and more uncomfortable. And I think genetic engineering
is still at that place where like, everybody thinks it’s going
to cause the zombie apocalypse. Sometimes I still am afraid. But it’s not a fear of, like, something
bad happening necessarily. It’s more of a fear of that, like, you can’t control it. Josiah’s public CRISPR injection
doesn’t seem to have done much to him. He doesn’t regret doing it, but says he was surprised by the reaction
he got in the months that followed. So I’m gonna shoot to do half of it
on one side of my stomach, and the other half on the other side. After I injected myself with CRISPR, the next biohacker to inject themselves was like a month later. I thought it would be a year, years. And he admits his stunt might encourage people to do something dangerous, but is still wrestling with his own responsibility. People are like, “Oh I want to inject myself with all this stuff, even though I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’m injecting myself with.” And, I don’t know, maybe that’s good or bad. But like you never want people to get hurt, or you never want your actions to have a negative impact on people.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Meet the biohacker using CRISPR to teach everyone gene editing

  1. We have the full field guide to Crispr at Quartz https://qz.com/guide/gene-editing-biologys-gold-rush/?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=comment-section&utm_campaign-membership-gene-editing

  2. why dont u just make a kit about keeping the planet healthy
    so no planes with smokey tails and no more abusing women cuz men want their looks for gay sake
    and stop leaking radiation into water supplies
    and also give up sugar and cigarettes
    and leave mother earth alone
    i think u will find u become superhuman without injection things and wanting it from other ppl
    in some form of kit

  3. Bro Netflix is the shit man enjoyed they hole season. Institution indoctrination you to limit your self . Money corrupts our ability to make change . There not scared about what could go wrong. there scared of what will change for them. Power likes to stay in power . We are past the age of limitations the internet open the door for us to stop believe what scientist say goes we have eyes we use our minds more and more. In the last five year i have preaty much learned to build a house wire it and do the pluming understand solar wind and have combined many idelogies and priciples .all with YouTube. Put your mind to it and you can achieve it . We are at the point of were natural selection did the selection for us to be able to select what we want in essence we are evolution at work by making out bodies better

  4. Nothing happening here is new (there is nothing new under the sun, every thing has already been done) Read the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees, animal & Human hybridization started since the beginning. The result? catastrophic. The fact that the first thing people WANT to do is enhance themselves for selfish reasons is proof that the technology needs boundries. This is the reason the world was flooded in Noah's day. "All flesh was corrupt" except Noah and his family. Germline editing is permanent and Carrie's onto future offspring. I believe THIS technology will usher in the Mark of the Beast" Implants and chips can be removed, once you edit your DNA… no going back, permanent.

  5. “What are we all so afraid of?”

    hmmmmmmm maybe cuz CRISPR can lead to off target edits (i.e PERMANENT changes in genes essential for life that you cannot control)

  6. “What are we so afraid of?”
    Altering an individual’s DNA can have negative implications on a population scale. Let’s say he alters his gremline cells and that alteration is passed down to his kids, imagine the implications. The human genome is actively being annotated and the synergistic interaction of germs is not perfect know. Heck, molecular and cellular biology still has a long way to go before this kind of technology is approved for casual everyday household use. Allowing anyone to use this technology could also lead to bioterrorism – a serious issue.

    Truthfully, this technology should be highly restricted.

  7. So he’s injecting himself with edited genes to make his muscles bigger and in 5 years he’s going to look into a mirror and turn into the hulk.

  8. As you are there, why don't we give guns to all psychopath on the planet. Put this guy in a coucou house and throw the key in the ocean.

  9. The greatest risk is who gains access to this technology. Building eugenic societies at its best, moreover Imagine a biological ( genetic) war, a horrible senario no need to mention that self experimentation is unethical and unsafety and it doesn't do any difference. It's all about germline cells ! Why even bother posting and selling kits that do not work.
    Change comes gradually, evolution happens at micro scale and through time. That is how nature works. Please get over it. No offense but all these leads no where.

  10. Saw ODIN on Netflix's Unnatural Selection series!

    BTW, something I've never understood, if each DNA strand has 23 chromosomes / 3.2 billion base pairs, therefore a complete (clinical) sequencing has 6.4bn bp.. how many coding-genes are there? It's typically said 20,000, but should that also be doubled?

    Also, given DNA has only 4 letters to work with, and therefore has a maximum 64 instructions (3 letter LUT).. actually less since some codon instructions are redundant… Obvious Ventures' Nan Li mention that the total number of gene combinations is 10^614 (for reference, the total number of atoms in the universe is 10^80). How is he arriving at 10^614?!

    And what about double-stranded mitochondrial dna (mtDNA), which has 16569 bp, with 37 coding-genes that make 13 proteins, and 24 RNAs?

  11. Is there a way for this to help Acute Asthma. Because I've had every option but one and the Insurance company won't cover it. Bronchial Thermeplasy. My lung capacity is only at 30% as of now…..

  12. You know I am a poor person I'm not that smart but I like to try some type of your program to make me smarter and healthy

  13. He seems psychotic to me and I think he is a good guy and I am very proud of him for the great thing he does for me and I

  14. I don't have a problem with some idiot injecting themselves with something that brings about their demise, it's no different than someone bungy jumping or something like that. What I AM worried about is someone creating a super bacteria or virus or even weed that results in killing so many other people that don't consider base jumping a good idea. Having the technology out there for everyone to play with is just asking for that sort of trouble.

  15. Keep going we need people like yourselves and not these big pharmaceutical company’s init for the money … Shame on them.

  16. This is the kinda guy who either makes a major breakthrough in public health, or a total disaster. Either way, he’s seems so cool and def wanna hang with him 😆

  17. reasons to do this
    cure dieseases
    save everyone from death
    reverse aging

    reasons not to do this
    uh
    its dangerous idk how but it just is lol
    something could happen
    something else could happen
    uh
    uh

  18. Trans-Children good, trying to find Cures for diseases Bad?!?!

    Maybe if they current Medical system would do it's job and actually cure something people wouldn't have to do it on their own.

    This is hit piece that Bill Gates supports and has George Church under his thumb.
    They are ONLY scared because he might cure disease and mess with their money and they are scared that he is might encourage people to learn and teach others to cure themselves as well.

    They have CURED the majority of diseases AND they don't offer it at hospitals as a treatment because the NIH, CDC, FDA are bribed not to publish cures because they disease management because they still get paid for their racquet to keep the terrible healthcare system going and their Banker/Health Insurance INDUSTRY going. The tribe needs to be called out for bei ng the one's suppressing CURES. They even admit that they don't ever want to CURE Cancer, their GOAL, AKA best dream case scenario, is to make it a manageable chronic disease… Yeah, nothing to see here Oey Vey Shut it down!

    And F Germany for cucking once again to something they don't know about again… Germany: We must save humanity by stopping Global warming! We must stop Gene Therapy because it might save humanity.

    Also, Alex Jones and Joe Rogan wouldn't dare have a Geneticist, Bio-Hacker, or this guy on their shows because they won't get their sheckles. If people don't start demanding a change in the medical fields status quo or get behind guys like this then you deserve to die because Bill Gates wants to depopulate you and you deserve it not making it at least a political issue next election!

  19. The thing is in the beginning, people always freak out about new technology, but you have to get over that and see what this mean for us, this should be views as positive thing not negative. Can you imagine if we decided only few people can learn computer program in order to prevent hackers . Look where we are now , pretty much anyone can build apps, we wouldn’t have all this gadget, apps if it wasn’t for computer language available to everyone.

  20. try to find the proper allignment of purines and pyrimidines in a starfish' dna which is responsible for the regenerative ability. splice it into a human genome and replace this with the mytochondrion of an female egg cell and voila… you got an immortal baby…

  21. Idiocracy…coming. I watched the video and I realised guy talking without sense. He denied yourself everytime. I really dont know why he has a science degree. He talks like a moron.

  22. This guy is an idiot!! This technology is not well refined and ready for public use!! Clinical trials are still limited! This is not nice!!

  23. Smells like transgederism all the way over. In any case, dude aint getting stronger, instead, seems like he is looking more like a pineapple.

  24. Building. Creating my perfect son. I would do my research. Because if you mess with one lever others must be moved to keep balance. Want big muscles? Well I’m pretty sure I need strong bones too. It sounds like a lot of work and research but I feel this can come to a successful test. 🇺🇸👍🏿 🚀

  25. Hey, everyone, person with an actual background on gene editing here. Josiah Zayner is full of shit. Gene modification on a full fledged human being is impossible, only gene therapy is possible through somatic tissue modification or iRNA application. The use of CRISPR-Cas9for a premeditated modification is only possible through cygote modification and to this day it is still considered unethical. For an actual try (and even that is still debatable) look for Denis Rebrikov.

  26. This needs big companiea with budget, a team of scientists..u tell me that this can be individual doing? Cmon give me a break

  27. Idk dude. This can turn plants, food, animals, and even people into bioweapons. Does he not ask himself what if this gets into the wrong hands? I kinda imagine people like drug dealers, killers, sociopaths, and other bad things getting there hands on this and the fact that you can do it at home is even more disturbing. Imagine your neighbor using a gene editing tool and start abusing it with crazy concations. Gene editing can also have a chance of making new disease that are 5x worse than others depending on what it is so Imagine people all over the world doing this and they get serious diseases. This is too dangerous to release for people. Seriously, what is going on in this mans head???

  28. I think people like this have an issue where they felt powerless so they try to control what they think they can in order to feel they have some power over their lives

  29. WTF bans THE ONLY WAY WILL ADVANCE IS THIS WITH THE LAZY GOVERNMENT THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT STOP OUR SPECIES WE WILL EVOLVE CHANGE NOT EVERYTHING NEW IS BAD CHANGE IS NOT BAD WE ARE CHANGE CHANGE CAUSED US

  30. it been a couple years since he started experimenting with gene editing to increase his muscle. Doesn't look like he has gain anything. But his mentality of making this technology available to the mass is still interesting. Tinkering has always been the origin that world changing discovery

  31. Your about to have frat kids worldwide injecting CRISPR for muscle enhancement in their dorm rooms so they can impress Julia at the sigma apple pi formal at the end of the semester

  32. As a Biology student, I can't agree with this guy, you can't just give people with no education on lab safety and such to do this, they might hurt themselves

  33. We need CRISPR Tress against Global Warming that uses less water and survive droughts. So we can grow in sahara and other places.

  34. Everyone talks about hair loss prevention but no one talks about a way to make all body hair (at least from the neck down) fall out with gene editting

  35. Great idea, just let anybody randomly alter their genes regardless of whether or not they are trained in genetic engineering and end up maiming themselves or their son or daughter or fri end.

    How is this a good idea?

  36. Quartz: This man is revolutionizing how Gene Editting is taught and making it more accessible to the Public

    Everyone: HEY ISNT THAT THE SHIT PILL GUY?!

  37. If my actions only harm myself, and nobody else, then it's none of the government's business what I do to my own body. Basic libertarianism there, left or right wing.

  38. First of all what he said completely makes sense and he's not promoting causing damage, he's promoting sharing knowledge and learning. I see a lot of people aren't listening to what he's saying, but are either assuming things when they know nothing about the person in the video or talking about dangers of missuse. People die from staircases as well but he's trying to learn us how to use it whereas the institutions are telling you to stay at your place and call them whenever you need to use the stairs and pay for the help crazy sums of money so they can learn more and you just stay locked inside the whole time.

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