Using gene editing and CRISPR technology to combat coronavirus

February 26 22:00 2020

Lately, the coronavirus outbreak has been all over the news and spreading to at least 29 countries and leading to hysteria in some people especially those who are older and weaker and really show how despite our medicine and technology we sometimes can be helpless against super viruses even today.

One thing that is noteworthy is that the gene-editing community is silent as others have been looking into different ways to develop a vaccine against the virus not only for this generation but for future generations to come and how we would be able to stop similar viruses from being so strong and causing so much damage to our bodies.

Lately, there have been questions being raised if the 2019 coronavirus can actually reinfect people who have previously been cured of the virus after a man in China reportedly was asymptomatic for over 10 days and being released from quarantine with no trace of the virus in his system died but these reports are unconfirmed.

These theories have created fear in people and could indicate that the virus could be much worse the second time you would get infected as it would bypass the immune system by using the same antibodies to fight off the virus when in reality it would be a mutated virus and would surely be more lethal as it would sneak in right past the antibodies.

We spoke to Kristinn Spence a serial tech entrepreneur and a biology expert and asked him what he thought about the situation and if he believes the vaccine is near and if you could be reinfected.

“Well, there really is no way as of now to say that you could get re-infected or not because the body makes antibodies and you have them in your system for at least a few days or weeks after you survive any virus and your immune system memorizes it but theoretically speaking then some viruses can use these antibodies as a sort of trojan horse to slip by the defenses if the body and latch on to the antibodies for safely bypassing the entire immune system but that is not common and I do not expect the current outbreak to be working in that way since so many people are cured and without reinfection and statistics are saying that people are most likely not getting infected and making full recovery especially young people and healthy should not have to worry that much.

But what I don’t understand is why we aren’t looking at a broader spectrum on how to cure viruses that are RNA based like these and for example why the CRISPR community isn’t looking into gene editing even though I have done some basic bacterial gene edits myself and did study biology for fun but I do know programming and systems and the body is a system of sorts so I don’t know how complex it will be to develop such a vaccine but I know for a fact that it’s much more accessible today to reprogram our cells and the tech is already here but no one is looking into it that I know of and we should be because if this current outbreak is just one of many future outbreaks of different “super” viruses then humanity is already done for if we don’t think of and create advanced medicine in the next 50 years that will work on the primary collective core of these viruses and the mRNA rather than focusing on curing one by one and finding the common footing or identifier in most of the viruses defined by the coronaviruses category as well as others, for example, then we could theoretically create a universal vaccine which would protect us from future mutated versions as well.”

Kristinn Spence the tech entrepreneur even hinted that he is ready to start a bioresearch company in the future focusing on virus research but nothing is confirmed as of now.

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