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CRISPR and the Future of Human Evolution

CRISPR and the Future of Human Evolution

[MUSIC] Is there something you’d change about yourself? Not just your hairstyle, but down at the genetic
level? For the first time in human history, the ability
to build and select genetic traits is within reach. Problem is, no one’s played this game before. [music] Mutation and selection. These two principles have molded basically
all life on Earth, from pond scum to platypuses. Evolution’s rule book says changes to life’s
instructions happen more or less at random, and not because an organism needs something,
while selecting which traits are good enough to be passed on, is decided by… ya know,
the universe. But humans are rewriting these rules in incredible
ways, putting us in charge of our evolution. For starters, we’ve massively changed our
environment so it’s much harder to die. There’s almost no chance a predator or another
human will kill you today, science can repair our bodies or make us invincible to enemies
we can’t see. And more people die today from having too
much to eat than too little. For thousands of years we’ve been deciding
which plant and animal traits are useful, which are passed on, and which are not. Thanks to more and more selection under our
control, human life expectancy has doubled in just a few generations. But this simply lets us steer evolution. Once we discovered the molecule that guides
these traits, we realized we could hit evolution’s gas pedal. DNA’s information is encoded in long chains
of nucleotides, and natural mutations, good or bad, happen very rarely and in random spots. In the mid-20th century scientists realized
they could speed up mutations using radiation or chemicals, but the effect was still up
to chance. And contrary to popular belief never, ever,
ever leads to superpowers. Later, in the 1970s, scientists exchanged
entire chunks of DNA between species, creating microbes that manufacture insulin, plants
resistant to viruses, even mice with human genes. They could control what was being edited,
just not where in the genome this new DNA was inserted. What scientists needed was a tool so precise
it could make a single change in 3 billion DNA bases, and cheap enough that anyone could
use it. In 2012, they got it: CRISPR. It sounds like a breakfast cereal, but CRISPR
has the power to literally reshape humanity, combining unnatural selection with non-random
mutations. Evolution could be in our hands. CRISPR was invented by one of life’s simplest
organisms. Just like you and me, bacteria are constantly
under attack by viruses. We can afford to sacrifice a few cells to
fight an infection, but a single-celled microbe doesn’t have this luxury. If a microbe survives an infection, it saves
some viral DNA in part of its genome filled with clustered regularly-interspaced short
palindromic repeats. That’s where CRISPR gets its name, it’s
a bacteria’s immune system, a memory of past infections, to protect it and its offspring
in the future. Those viral mugshots are copied into pieces
of RNA, and loaded into a special protein called Cas9. If the virus infects again, and CRISPR sees
a match, the Cas9 protein cuts up the viral DNA like a ninja. Scientists realized that CRISPR could do this
in any type of cell, and by reprogramming the target, CRISPR could cut any genetic sequence
down to a single DNA needle in a 3 billion letter haystack. Suddenly we have the power to edit genomes
like a word processor. When cells repair cut DNA, they can glue the
ends back together, often trimming a letter or two out and disrupting the genetic code. Or the cell can use another template to write
in new DNA, letting us splice in new genes with surgical precision. Genes can be switched on or off. Infections like HIV cut out. Our own immune system can even be reprogrammed
to hunt down cancer cells. Thousands of human diseases are caused by
mutations in single genes, and each could be reversed with CRISPR. Even complex traits like height or heart disease,
caused by many genes interacting with the environment in ways we don’t fully understand,
might be within reach. But to repair every cell in a body, human
genetic modification has to be done at the earliest stages of embryonic development,
and those changes will be passed on to future generations. It makes you wonder: if CRISPR is one day
used in embryos to Make People Better, would we also use it to Make Better People? Using CRISPR, if parents wanted, say, a blue-eyed
baby, could they order the necessary change in the OCA2 gene? If they wanted a more muscular baby, could
they edit its myostatin gene? Curing diseases with CRISPR and making designer
babies aren’t technically that different, but they’re miles apart ethically. Beyond curing diseases, CRISPR makes us to
ask tough questions. Who decides what is a better baby? What if only the rich can afford to edit genes? Should parents even be allowed to determine
their baby’s genetic future? Maybe they already do, thanks to birth control
and techniques like in vitro fertilization? Welcome to a new evolutionary balance. On one side: most of nature, with natural
selection and random mutation molding a whole planet’s worth of diverse species. On the other side is us, a single species
with tools that could match or maybe exceed the speed and power of evolution as we know
it. What’s clear is the ability to control nonrandom
mutation and unnatural selection in humans, to control a piece of our evolution, is no
longer a question of if we can. It’s a question of if we will. Stay curious. If you want to know more about CRISPR and
the strange future it might bring, our friend Vanessa from BrainCraft put out a whole documentary
about it called Mutant Menu. Head over to BrainCraft and watch the whole
thing right now. It’s super interesting and digs into a lot
of what we talked about today in even more exciting detail. This video is part 4 of a special series we’re
doing about the story of our species: In other videos, we talked about where we came from,
how we’re all connected, and how we’re all related. If you haven’t already, check out the rest
of the series. And be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss
any of our videos.

93 thoughts on “CRISPR and the Future of Human Evolution

  • Enjoy part 4 of our human ancestry series! Here's a look at the future. Do you think CRISPR will change human evolution?

  • Everyone will be tall and probably white with blond hair and blue eyes. Hitler's "Perfect German" as his experiments were called. Guess he won after all.

  • Congrats to China they succeeded CRISPR GENE EDITING Experiment.. Now we can edit babies, and we can cure HIV AIDS by deleting CCR5 Gene by using CRISPR

  • I really hope we use this for the greater good, not greater profitability. We could enhance our intellect and figure out a solution to many problems both naturally occurring and man made

  • Did you just create shreks dad?!
    Wait, can I become Shreks dad. Name my kid shrek, make him green and big with Mike myers voice and boom! Who’s a little meme, yes you are, yes you are.

    FBI open up…

  • At 1:26 I see this in the picture:

    "31-35 years around 1900 (global average)"

    1) How sure can one be of that average?
    2) How much better off were long lived countries so to speak than shortlived ones?
    3) It is the life expectancy at birth and is therefore affected by infant mortality, right?
    4) How much of it can be projected back to, for instance, Middle Ages, for which we are certain we do not have such statistics?
    5) How much did the life expectancy sink due to industrialism before it rose? I mean, smokier environments, less physical welfare for illpaid workers than before farming became too unlucrative for many, etc?

  • Well, I believe we should control our evolution to become brainy, so that we could explore the multiverse and living other planets where there is high Gravity E and different like conditions to survive and I hope that this will save the human species from extinct because the great filter is coming

  • my question is if animals with out emotions(yes thats a thing :¬( )like reptiles could be given emotions?

    idk it might be a stupid question

  • Advanced medicine & education, new energies & materials, IoT & big data processing …… they will remove the barrier
    between artifacts & natural objects, being friendly to the natural ( including body-internal ) & social environments.
    I hope new techs centered on AI and policies to utilize them will achieve the sustainability of human civilization ?.  /

  • I wish i grew wings. I could just fly around and tell people im an angel. The believers would we revering me 😀

  • Next to Mutation and Selection, always add Injection. Each hair on your body could be seen as an embedded life form.

    Bacteria inject DNA into the human genome all of the time. They also copy DNA fragments into their own DNA (yes, we stole CRISPR from bacteria).

    Humans are essentially transport media, for bacteria. And viruses are driving us. They are all gods!

  • Bring back the dinosaurs!!!!, Reverse engineering !!! Today a bird park petting zoo tommorrow Jurassic Park !!!!!!!!!

  • Reproduction, evolution, a natural selection, have primarily and driven by the fact that mates select individuals with qualities they want. For most animals, the qualities they want are directly influenced by the things that will keep their species alive. However, we are far past that point as a species and we no longer need to breed according to survival but for whatever reason we choose. We already do design babies when we select mates. inherently we know these traits will be passed down in some way and that's all that DNA wants to do is be passed down. I see no ethical problem with people being able to choose certain aspects of their children and allow them to be free of any genetic defects. I am so excited!

  • It's not so simplistic. Here's the latest from "First Genetically Modified Babies":

  • When will it be available to the public take care of things like hiv-1 please email me at Larry price 1961 at thank you very much

  • I think we should do this! Make ppl better eventually from the get go! Either way things happen, thanks for the informative video!

  • 3:55 Every time Joe says “another”, I get a flashback of “another one…and another one…and a-NUH-ther one!” ?

  • Hey, Joe! I've heard this topic come up several times and am very interested in it. I'm just a bit in two minds about the ethics of CRISPR. Could you make a follow – up video on that topic please?? ?

  • Genetically engineering humans could be the greatest tool we have to reduce inequality, it's also a tool that could make it much worse… In Ireland designer babies are illegal, the legislation is already in place which is such a pity.

  • “Yea, but the thing is, your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they forgot to ask whether or not they should.”
    —Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

  • It's discouraging to see this 'random' mutation scenario / meme continue to be touted by professional evolutionary biologists when there is ample evidence and theory to show otherwise. In short, the creation of variation upon which selection acts is hardly merely random. For a fine explosion of this mythical feature of the neo-Darwinian mindscape see Robert G. Reid's superb, 'Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment'. A nice complement to this is C. David Rollo's, 'Phenotypes: Their Epigenetics, Ecology and Evolution'.

  • No long from now, future human parents are going to be deliberately making ugly or funny looking babies as a meme. Much like I do when making a new fallout character ?

  • Possibly the most cringe comment section on YouTube filled with people who think they can predict the future about what’s going to happen w this

    little do they know we won’t survive til then since the aliens in Area 51 will get to us first

  • Possibly the most cringe comment section on YouTube filled with people who think they can predict the future about what’s going to happen w this

    little do they know we won’t survive til then since the aliens in Area 51 will get to us first

  • Possibly the most cringe comment section on YouTube filled with people who think they can predict the future about what’s going to happen w this

    little do they know we won’t survive til then since the aliens in Area 51 will get to us first

  • Perfect Creator will always have the say on where this will lead to … the first to fix is the mind up towards virtue of Love, Theological. Eternal

  • Why was I born In this century I wish I would've been born in a century or 2. To be able to see the fruit of everything that is going on today

  • The thing is… it’s not that easy lol. There’s so many different factors that tie into things, like if you change that thing that may happen but it could also fix this but maybe disrupt this. There’s not one gene to make you have blonde hair there’s loads and mixing them around is weird, you can’t pin point certain genes like that it’s not like a selector. Idk I may be wrong I’m just an internet person don’t listen to me.

  • It was my first day back to school and I guarantee the 4 videos in this series taught me more than I'm going to learn all school year. Definitely subscribers OK no now.

  • Concerned with the quality of the food products you eat daily? Meet the independent companies and people who are changing the entire agricultural paradigm by creating a first of its kind platform for food consumers to directly communicate with independent food producers, we are working on naturally breeding higher nutritional value, healthier crops as many of these crops are key ingredients for many of the food supplies you eat every day! its an exiting time in agriculture, come join the discussion and let the next generation of farmers and food producers know what food products and what labels you want on your food products on the shelf at the grocery store. These people are committed to providing you, the food consumers, with exactly what you want, through transparent production practices traceable from "farm to table" and every step in between! Imagine eating with confidence that you are feeding your family with only the very best quality. The first real discussion on a standardized food labeling program that is in its infancy of being put together by a group of independent companies and people right now, we need your input and feedback. The next generation of farmers and those involved in AG are waking up to the realization that it is out job to provide the customer (food consumers) with what products they want! tell us what you want, how you want it grown and we will customize a food production portfolio or plan for you no matter how big or small the request we are fulfilling the next evolution in true "farm to table" sourced foods, complete with a totally transparent food label, Come check this out! CRISPR is the proliferation of a better, simpler technology for gene editing, available to everyone CRISPR will render the large GMO companies obsolete! we have seen first hand the corrosive effective allowing large corporations to own and patent genomes to living organisms

  • Anyone who believes evolution is stupid and scared of the truth that they are judged because they live a selfish life… everything is design information is sequence of purpose not by accident. This guy is totally brainwashed he doesn't even make sence and he still talking. Genetic code, information and combination of cells all by accident? Duhhhhh keep talking the dummies are listening, those who cannot think for themselves, and when they do! they revert back to evolution because they like to sin and maybe watch abit of porn sometimes, and then lie to parents friends etc… , get drunk and even steel once in a while but just keep hiding and keep learning about nothingness, your time will be up soon the grave will surely give the correct information where your deeds will send you in eternity.

  • You talk a lot about evolution.. But show none.. Nothing new is added that humans have not all ready have had. This is not evolution,, It is selection of things desired from man that have always been.. If it works. I don't want my next neighbor to be a mutain.

  • Psalm 139:13-14
    13 For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

  • “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

  • Genesis 7:11"the fountains of the great deep were open and flooded the Earth" Facts: in 2014 Scientists discover that there are waters in the great deep were in fact opened, its not just magma that we were taught, the center of the earth has water as well. A thousand year old fairy tale huh? Facts peo pl e, these evolutionist are telling the same lies, The Bible has never been disproved because it cant be disproved. Your all being played by the elite corruption of the education system, DNA changes show biblical proofs, humans are proven to come from 1 set of ancestors, take a guess on whom. dinosaurs are not old as they want you to believe, all is proven by real Facts. Wake up to these Frauds. Your being mislead at every angle, do your own research. Even Darwin said his theory cannot be proven, he was a biblical man, his whole life.

  • We're basically going to engineer super soldiers. Long before we even think about eradicating disease. And even when we do, it will be so expensive, that only the elite will have access to genetic engineering.
    Another application would be to engineer astronauts. We could settle a colony on another planet with humans engineered specifically for that environment. Downside is after a few hundred thousand years, we will have dozens of different species.

  • Parents have been intervening to alter their future offspring's genetic makeup since the beginning of time – it's called mate selection , you moralising simpleton!

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