What's stopping me from editing my own genome?

Well, firstly I'm a dumbass when it comes to biology, It takes years when going from the average joe understanding of how this stuff works to being capable of safely and reliably carrying out such procedures and I just didn't manage to get there yet, so bear with me.

But why can't I simply transfect something like a myostatin knock-out globally across my skeletal muscle myofibrils?
There's a kit here and it only costs half as much as my motorcycle:

Obviously It doesn't work like that, I can't just buy a cool DIY gene editing kit that comes with step-by-step instructions and expect to now have twice the lean muscle mass potential since if it were that easy and simple everyone would be doing it.
(so it can't work like that at all or at least if it somehow does then It must probably have some mild side effects like heart hypertrophy or y'know, cancer.)

So can someone please summarise how one would currently do something like that?
Thanks for reading and wish y'all a nice day!


  • Myostatin is necessary, if your muscle tissues across your body had no limit to their growth you would quickly find yourself incapable of functioning in literally thousands of ways. Your heart one was a good example, wrong parts of your heart gain insane amounts of muscle and it doesn't pump properly. Your skeletal muscle grows uncontrollably and your knee pops out of place and/or is unable to move. Cancer is a risk, you're adding an insane amount of new cell replication and increasing likelihood of mutations and literally feeding existing cancers by taking away one of the things preventing it's growth.

    As far as the geneticist perspective I can't help you, not my specialty. However, i'd assume the reason we don't have genetic modification treatments (We do, be careful with absolutes and all) is because we're simply unable to spread it to every cell in our body and even if we manage to do so the transition from your current genetic blueprint and physical makeup to the new one would kill you in many ways or simply not work properly since you already have a build body. I hypothesize that such drastic modifications will have to be done to an embryo who would then build a body from scratch with the new instructions. Fun thought experiment man, hopefully someone who's forte is genetics will chime in, my perspective was just that of basic biology

  • edited May 2022

    Okay so I'm not a biologist but I'm well researched and done experiments in this area, experiments which I'm not willing to share because you could attempt to use them in a way that breaks bioethics.

    Everyone starts off as a few cells (not literally but it's small), any substance which passes through those few cells is guaranteed 100% to pass through the entire structure unlike the human body where things can easily end up localised in part of the body (big or small) due to size.

    The most successful method of gene payload delivery is Crispr and it has actually been used to treat things successfully such as localised cancers in trials.

    An embryo has very little form, the human body however has a lot of form, it has spent 9-10 months in the womb growing into this wonderful form you can all your human body.

    Form factor is difficult to genetically change without killing you in some way not to mention the distribution of a vector to the entire body. Lets say you did successfully get your body to change form factor, lets say you made the shape of your fingers change, the body would start replacing old cells which are no longer genetical to you with new cells that contain your genetic changes now you think be thinking at this point "Oh great, that's what I want, right?" well technically "Yes, that is what you are looking to do and wanted to happen" but in reality the death of old cell structures (tissues, etc) on such as large scale that you body never dealt with before can result in those cell structures decaying and eventually poisoning you because there would be such as high concentration of lethal substances in your system from the amount of cell death happening at once, that poison will end up in the blood and your heart will stop, your kidneys will begin to fail. The body is going through cell death to replace old cells with new cells all the time to keep cell structures healthy but it's an amount which the human body can deal with, this process is called "apoptosis" or "programmed cell death" and the functionality of this process is to get rid of older cells which have been damaged beyond repair, another way in how programmed cell death can happen is the immune system simply telling a cell when it is time to die so that it doesn't get too old. If for some reason apoptosis is prevented then the old or non-repairable cells are at risk of dividing uncontrollably and turning into a growth (tumour).

    Now here is a question nobody ever asks "What would happen if I deleted my entire genome?" well first I would like to say that this is for certain impossible with current technologies but lets say you were successful in doing this then cells would no longer have genetic material to tell them to reproduce and how to reproduce, they would no longer have any idea on what to do and so they will just die and not being replaced, you would slowly develop widespread necrosis across your entire body, you will suffer an extremely painful, poisonous and level death, you will suffer things like heart failure, stroke, kidney damage and blood poisoning, you will start to feel very hot and you will likely become feverish as your body would no longer have the capabilities of being what it was made to be.

    This is why you shouldn't play around with genetics likely now let me tell you what the current common technique is. Lets say you have developed a tumour due to DNA damage over time, the tumour would be the part of the body that contains this DNA damage and so that would be the reason why you have a tumour and are not a tumour yourself. The research team would take a biopsy sample of your tumour, they will then inject a vector with a healthy version of the DNA from the rest of your body, they would then implant that sample back into the tumour, the healthy cells, with hope there would be nothing left of the tumour but the healthy cells and so the tumour would shrink to nothing, they don't just simply stick a vector into your entire body and let it pass around the system, you would risk resulting in the rejection of the cells which you changed the DNA of because the rest of you, the immune system in the rest of you that still has your old original DNA will try to reject it.

    Again do not try this, at least not on your own but alongside a doctor who is willing to break ethics and get imprisoned for it.

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