Gene editing rids mice of DNA segment linked to autism - The Fine Ol' Solution to the Problem of Autism

repentance

True & Honest Fan
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While I'm for it, I'm curious to the down side. While most are worthless, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the greatest minds fell somewhere within the autism category.
We're not talking about abortion. There's no reason to believe that autism is a causal factor in the great intellect of any geniuses who fall on the spectrum, either.

I expect that there'll be a massive backlash against this from the autism lobby, which is almost as irrational as the deaf community, but that it will receive overwhelming support from mental health advocates. To be able to prevent/cure a major mental health disorder like schizophrenia would be one hell of a breakthrough.
 

ZeCommissar

Cutest commissar this side of the segmentum
kiwifarms.net
Inb4 breeding for autism becomes a "desirable" trait because its rare after generations of gene editing.

"Hey im the mom of the 1 in a million chance autistic kid! Please asspat me!"
 

Affluent Reptilian

kiwifarms.net
While I'm for it, I'm curious to the down side. While most are worthless, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the greatest minds fell somewhere within the autism category.
I'd be surprised if there weren't a lot of important thinkers and inventors who weren't autistic to some degree. If Simon Baron-Cohen is right, autistic people systematise to an extreme degree; they also can manifest hyper-attention to certain things. Both traits can be useful in developing ways of thinking.

One example that jumps to mind is Jeremy Bentham. He was very clearly a high-functioning autist. It comes out in his philosophy - not only crafting a system of human behaviour that turned everyone into automatons but then pushing it to absolute extremes to try to explain how people could be fit within that rubric.

Edit: Huh, a couple of years ago DNA was taken from Bentham's remains (he would have been totally cool with this). The intention was to sequence the DNA to discover if he had autism. Casual google can't turn up any results as yet. Also for some anecdotes supporting the autism idea for him, see here: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1322989/1/008_Lucas_and_Sheeran__2006_.pdf

Edit 2: Interesting bit from what John Stuart Mill wrote on Jeremy Bentham; after talking about Bentham could just not understand elements of people and how he overlooked core parts of human nature in his works (which still contributed substantially to law and business), he said on what allowed Bentham to do what he had:

The honour is all his — nothing but his peculiar qualities could have done it. There were wanted his indefatigable perseverance, his firm selfreliance, needing no support from other men’s opinion; his intensely practical turn of mind, his synthetical habits- about all, his peculiar method.
Ie without being such an autist Bentham couldn't have done what he did.
 
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Token Weaboo

Exceptional seeking the exceptional
kiwifarms.net
If I'm to be more serious about this, this could bring about some good things like building immunities earlier in life, but it could also bring about something like a prebirth plastic surgery. Call it model babies. The first versions will have issues, then the second will have improved to have perfect phyacial features and with each generation the uniqueness of each human will deplete and will make the previous generation of model children inferior to the next.

It's a pretty scary thought. To have one child be considered inferior to your first born and how parents will act to it.

"Ah, a person talking about eugenics"

Yeah, though I'm more concerned on how this will affect the psychological aspects of human development when everyone becomes a sort of model before birth.
 
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Reactions: Male Idiot

Affluent Reptilian

kiwifarms.net
If I'm to be more serious about this, this could bring about some good things like building immunities earlier in life, but it could also bring about something like a prebirth plastic surgery. Call it model babies. The first versions will have issues, then the second will have improved to have perfect phyacial features and with each generation the uniqueness of each human will deplete and will make the previous generation of model children inferior to the next.

It's a pretty scary thought. To have one child be considered inferior to your first born and how parents will act to it.

"Ah, a person talking about eugenics"

Yeah, though I'm more concerned on how this will affect the psychological aspects of human development when everyone becomes a sort of model before birth.
Dysgenics is a real thing - recent studies on different age cohorts using the GWAS hits we've got for the genes for intelligence show that (in the UK and Iceland where they have good cross-generational samples) the frequency of intelligence-producing alleles is declining. Not surprising - the fertility transition is an obvious reason, and at least in the UK they had a lot of the more educated classes hit disproportionately by WW1 (since it was the done thing for sharp boys fresh out of Oxford or Cambridge to go off to fight for King and country) and 2 (the RAF in the UK's case). Some estimates - again, focused on the UK - suggest the most intelligent generation was probably born in 1750 and things have been declining since (those estimates are less reliable than the GWAS-based studies since they're going off imperfect information we have from standardised testing done over 200 years ago).

Genetic engineering would be a way out of it that wouldn't require huge social interventions like forcing smarter women out of work, enacting a large-scale cultural engineerng plan to encourage child rearing, or paying the incredible incentives you'd need to voluntarily draw educated types with high child opportunity costs into having more kids. I mean you'll need something like that to some degree eventually because evidence suggests if you make people smarter they will just stop having less kids, but it should buy us more time.

Also 'uniqueness' isn't in itself a good. Some genes really are just incredibly shitty - think of all the weird genetic diseases out there caused by one gene being some awful mutant variant.
 
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