Playing with Viruses

This post may end up being a big deal. Or, it might not.

This month I have learned how to grow my own bacteriophage for dirt cheap. I have also been dedicating as much time as possible to playing with genetic circuits and simulations, and attending several talks on CRISPR.

Myself and my close friends will be starting our first trials of homemade viral therapy on ourselves within the next six months. I plan on documenting everything so that we can make tutorials and share them with the community.

Now, the REALLY cool part: Gene therapy is stuck in the mud a bit right now. It has been hard to reach significant rates of infection in somatic cells. If you take a pill or inject virions into your muscles for example, you are going to experience mosaicism, or a difference in genotype among your cells, as relatively few cells will be effected.

My team and I may have discovered a way to make gene therapy 100% effective across the board. This is the specific reason I hope to edit my genome within the next three months. If we can make a viral therapy 100% effective and distribute it openly, no government in the world can stop us, and we could see a world where our own microbiomes become our in-house security systems, by editing our bacteria as well as our own somatic cells to wage war like never before on harmful pathogens and cancers.

Will be posting updates as things progress. End goals are to have easy tutorials that even a ten-year-old could follow, and at least three significant edits done to myself by the end of the year, as the series progresses.. We can talk about whether arming children with biotechnology is a good idea somewhere else though, haha.


  • edited March 9

    How did you grow bacteriophages?

  • I transformed E. Coli with plasmids coding for virion proteins and put a LacZ promoter on them so I could selectively only produce viruses when I added IPTG, which acts like a non-digestible analog to lactose, so you can use it to turn bacterial genes on fairly easily. I am finding purification of the viruses to be little tricky though.

    Definitely looking to improve my methods in the future, which ties into my idea to make stable cells that produce virions without lysing the cell; it would be far more efficient.

  • Sounds pretty great. And the world moves one step forward towards making me glow in the dark...

  • How did you achieve 100% effective infection? How did you measure this effectiveness?
    If you truly did this, then this is worthy of a great publication.

    I would love to hear what you did and what you're thinking of doing. Maybe I can help some. I am considering putting together a group where I am as I have quite a bit of equipment and help is always favoured. Anyways, maybe we could work together on making gene therapy more effective.

  • @RealityWizard As soon as I get things confirmed, I am planning on making a huge announcement. In a nutshell though, I've designed a genetic circuit that allows cells infected by a lysogenic virus to sustain production of more viruses at a very controlled rate, allowing even single cell to be the foundation of a potential full-tissue transformation. It has been working in colonies but I need to do further testing. I am kind of scrapped for cash and trying to come up with ways to fund this project right now, admittedly.

  • Adenovirus might be worth looking into
  • So your big breakthrough is that you're not using replication deficient viruses and you're hoping you can control it? Am i understanding that right?

    All that'll do, assuming it doesn't just make you sick, is make for a large immune response and the gene you tried to deliver will get chewed out by your immune system, assuming it doesn't give you lupus. The whole point of non replicating viruses is that it stops spreading after application. That gives you a lot more control over dosage which is important because viruses do have a cytotoxic dosage. Whereas if it's still replicating you can run into weird toxicity issues, or too many copies of the gene in a single cell which can make it overtired or kill it.

    If the issue is coverage then there's plenty of ways to get better coverage without letting a virus run rampant n your system. Lots of small doses being the classic option.

  • @chironex The breakthrough is doing a large number of small doses by scheduling activation of the viruses to be very selective, as well as limit the production. I have been able to control the cycles very well so far in bacterial colonies alone. By doing this scheduling, I can avoid cytotoxic dosage completely.

    The problem with non-replicating viruses is the need for lots of small doses, which even then fail to accomplish the job, let alone being particularly unappealing to anyone not diving headfirst into biohacking.

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