Dirk Jan Buter

Technology for Personal Development

Explore the mystery of DNA biohacking?

DNA is, as it were, a blueprint for life. The DNA indicates what color eyes you have, your skin color or race. DNA determines who you are and together with your partner it determines the characteristics of your children. The DNA is therefore hereditary. If you as a man have a big gamble of a nose, your children can get that too, but that also depends on the mother. People have half father’s DNA and half mother’s DNA.

There are different types of DNA, but the idea is the same. For example, the DNA of a frog is 8 times longer than that of a human and that of a bacterium or virus is many times shorter. There is round (relaxed) DNA, but also straight (linear) DNA or in a kind of woven form (Supercoiled).

DNA is an acid, the A in DNA stands for Acid. Furthermore it consists of phosphate, sugar and nitrogen. But if you want to know more about this, I direct you to read more on the Internet or in a book about DNA or cell biology. I’m still learning and I don’t know everything yet.

DNA made up of single, double or triple strands. These strands are held together with so-called bridges. By means of temperature change, the strands can be broken or joined.

Humans consist of different cells in those cells are chromosomes, a kind of coil of DNA or genes. A body cell contains 46 chromosomes spread over 23 pairs. Each pair has one chromosome from the father and one from the mother. The first 22 pairs are the same for males and females, with the exception of the 23rd pair. That couple determines the gender. In women this is twice an X chromosome and in men an X and a Y chromosome.

DNA thus functions in a cell that is entangled in chromosomes. The genes in the DNA therefore have specific functions, the properties of who you are. Human DNA contains about 20,000 genes. When a cell divides, the DNA is copied and this copying process is not exactly perfect and errors occur regularly. It is possible that such a mistake causes a disease, for example cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease or a muscle disease. The older you are, the greater the chance of errors in cell division.

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna made a discovery in 2012 of a technique called CRISPR-Cas9. It is a kind of scissors and glue in which a piece of DNA sequence can be replaced by a new sequence. For example, DNA can be repaired in a hereditary disease. So this technique is very promising. Besides the fact that diseases can be cured, much more can be done with them.

CRISPR (clustered regular interspaced palindromic repeats) is a kind of cutting and pasting scissors, which are extracted from a bacterium and Cas9 is a protein to recognize a certain pattern which piece of DNA you want to change.

Due to the simplicity of this technique, such a CRISPR package can be ordered via a website The Odin, but wait a while before you do this, pay attention!! Because these packs are not allowed in Europe and you could risk a fine or jail time if you do!! People who experiment with this are called biohackers, often in the United States or other countries where it is allowed.

The reason I’m writing this is my quest for a longer life. I want to know more about biohacking within the limits of the law. If you also find this an interesting topic, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

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