How mRNA Technology Could Change the World

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How mRNA Technology Could Change the World

Derek Thompson


Quote:In principle is the billion-dollar asterisk. mRNA’s promise ranges from the expensive-yet-experimental to the glorious-yet-speculative. But the past year was a reminder that scientific progress may happen suddenly, after long periods of gestation. “This has been a coming-out party for mRNA, for sure,” says John Mascola, the director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “In the world of science, RNA technology could be the biggest story of the year. We didn’t know if it worked. And now we do.”

Quote:The triumph of mRNA, from backwater research to breakthrough technology, is not a hero’s journey, but a heroes’ journey. Without Katalin Karikó’s grueling efforts to make mRNA technology work, the world would have no Moderna or BioNTech. Without government funding and philanthropy, both companies might have gone bankrupt before their 2020 vaccines. Without the failures in HIV-vaccine research forcing scientists to trailblaze in strange new fields, we might still be in the dark about how to make the technology work. Without an international team of scientists unlocking the secrets of the coronavirus’s spike protein several years ago, we might not have known enough about this pathogen to design a vaccine to defeat it last year. mRNA technology was born of many seeds.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • nbtruthman
(2021-03-31, 09:11 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: How mRNA Technology Could Change the World

Derek Thompson

Pretty worrying stuff... there is so much they don’t understand. On the mRNA vaccines, which encode the Coronavirus spike protein, nobody talks about the large untranslated RNA regions (UTR) which flank the spike translated region, which do lots of things we don’t know about, or understand. These flanking UTR’s can also be methylated, allowing another epigenetic layer of information encoding.

These UTR regions are now implicated in memory modification in humans. Currently it’s a pretty blunt tool allowing either memory reinforcement, or memory erosion. The latter generally works through memory reconsolidation blocking. Very simplistically... When we recall a memory, and need to add new information to it, the process in the brain causes the memory to become easily altered, and then over the next few hours lots of molecular changes result in the memory becoming reconsolidated again. It’s this reconsolidation stage that researchers have investigated. They have found lots of chemical and biological ways to disrupt the reconsolidation process, preventing it’s completion. This causes the subjects to forget the original recalled memory, as well as the new information.

They are now able to remove the memory triggers to drug addiction, they can even remove the pain of a broken relationship, by wiping out the strength of the feelings you had for a partner.

The most effective method of wiping out any addiction, seems to require a period of enforced abstinence from the memory target. Very vaguely... then the original target memory is recalled in a way which requires new information to be added to the original memory. At this point a memory reconsolidation pharmaceutical is introduced. The next morning the subject awakes and finds the original targeted memories associations are much weaker. The memory still seems to be there, but the strength of feeling is gone.

Because of the way I think memory and the brain work, I suspect reconsolidation blocking is only preventing access to the memory, by disrupting the brains networks. The experience still exists, it’s just no longer accessible. My guess is that over time, the original memory will somewhat recover to different degrees, as the networks naturally rebuild themselves.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10....16.1218377

Above is a link to an easily understandable paper written in 2016, exploring the ethics of human memory modification. In the last 4 years since it was written, the technology has made huge strides. The last few pages of the document discuss the technology’s potential misuse. The authors seem a great deal more relaxed than I am about the technology’s potential misuse.

Quote:Reconsolidation research in humans has primarily focused on anxiety and trauma. However, the possibility of diminishing positive memories—either by accident or indirectly by interfering with trauma recovery and growth—has also been raised as an ethical concern. We have suggested that such effects are unlikely given appropriate care, but other types of positive memory may be at risk. Many theorists have likened romantic attachment to an addictive state (Burkett and Young 2012), suggesting that if a treatment could sever ties to an addictive substance (see later discussion), it might also be used to sever ties to a significant other. Given the lengths some people go to in order to move on from relationships, this is not too far-fetched a consideration. If used inappropriately, it might also be possible to diminish memories for positive events. We believe that doing so would likely require a purposeful effort, given the specificity of reconsolidation-based memory disruption we have observed. Nevertheless, some therapists or untrained individuals may misapply an otherwise highly useful technique. Hence, applications of reconsolidation-based treatments, and indeed any treatment, should be carefully scrutinized.

Considering this lockdown, imagine only being allowed back into pubs, if you have an injection. Imagine only being allowed to fly away on holiday, if you have an injection.

Certainly they are going to be able to treat lots of conditions which are currently criminalised, and dealt with using the courts... there are other behaviours the establishment might wish to alter, that might yield to such technology.

Am I reaching to far?
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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  • Hurmanetar, Typoz
(2021-04-03, 10:35 AM)Max_B Wrote: Am I reaching to far?

In the long run I'm sure the technology will be weaponized in some terrible way.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • Hurmanetar
(2021-04-03, 09:46 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: In the long run I'm sure the technology will be weaponized in some terrible way.

I’m a little concerned about the current crisis, where they would like to alter our behaviour away from certain addictions/habits we have.

I read a recent paper (2019) on a successful anti-addiction study using rodents. I was struck by how easy it would be to adapt the researchers experiment, to us after we’ve been denied our ‘addictions’ for a while due to Covid19 restrictions. If, for instance, they start introducing vaccine booster shots required for when you want to get back to flying away on holiday in summer, or to get back to using hospitality services (pubs, restaurants) in winter. Then my alarm bells are going to be ringing, because it would be so very close to the Unconditioned Stimulus - Conditioned Stimulus association breaking used in appetitive memory modification. You might lose your interest in foreign holiday, or going down to the pub the day after your jab.

Who knows?
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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  • Hurmanetar
(2021-04-03, 09:46 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: In the long run I'm sure the technology will be weaponized in some terrible way.

I'm expecting something akin to the Umbrella Corp's T-virus in Racoon City. Gates did say the next pandemic which he's calling "Pandemic #2" wouldn't be as lame as COVID but would really get people's attention. Sounds exciting.
(This post was last modified: 2021-04-06, 12:59 AM by Hurmanetar.)
(2021-04-03, 10:35 AM)Max_B Wrote: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10....16.1218377

Above is a link to an easily understandable paper written in 2016, exploring the ethics of human memory modification. In the last 4 years since it was written, the technology has made huge strides. The last few pages of the document discuss the technology’s potential misuse. The authors seem a great deal more relaxed than I am about the technology’s potential misuse.

What is the link between the memory modification talked about in the article and 3'UTR? I don't see it, but i may be missing something.
(2021-04-08, 11:39 AM)chuck Wrote: What is the link between the memory modification talked about in the article and 3'UTR? I don't see it, but i may be missing something.

UTR’s were mentioned in another paper I read.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

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