Ex-NASA Scientist Is The First Person To Ever Genetically Modify Himself, And Could Change The Fate Of Humanity

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Traditionally, scientists and doctors have devoted their time, and life to studying human anatomy. Up until now, it has been these people that we rely on to manage and cure anything that goes wrong with our physical bodies. But what if there was a way that we could have the same impact on our own selves?

Biohacking refers to the process of performing DIY experiments and treatments on our own biology. This new wave of science has significant effects on the progression of human nature. In fact, one man’s discovery could change humanity as we know it. Here’s why.

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Josiah Zayner AKA: Biohacker

Josiah Zayner, an ex-Nasa Scientist, is famously known as a “biohacker.” This man has made headlines for his continuing contribution to science, being the first person on earth to ever genetically modify himself.

A man smiling, wearing a blonde shirt that reads
YouTube / The New York Times
YouTube / The New York Times

Zayner once attempted to clean out his own gut by injecting himself with another person’s faeces, but he wouldn’t stop pushing the boundaries even when it came to human waste. This genius has recently conducted an experiment in front of a live audience that could change the fate of humanity, forever.

CRISPR: A Gene Editing Tool

CRISPR is a technologically advanced gene editing tool that is commonly used for cancer research and treatment. This impressive technique is capable of editing the contents of human genes. Using this technology, Biohacker pricked his forearm to remove the protein known as Myostatin, which aids in the process of muscle growth and muscle mass in humans.

A close-up look of human cells in a microscope.
National Cancer Institute / Unsplash
National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Zayner furthered this movement by creating a “DIY Human CRSIPR Guide” and selling his man-made DNA for $20 online and to the public. “This is the first time in the history of the Earth that humans are no longer slaves to the genetics they are born with.”

A New Way Of Science

The biohacker used a Cas9 protein and gRNA guide in this experiment to create his modified DNA sample. In regards to this demonstration, Zayner’s start-up business, the Odin, now sells a similar molecule that disables a human gene related to muscle development. Imagine skipping gym and growing muscles on command.

A woman in science working at a machine in the hospital.
National Cancer Institute / Unsplash
National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Essentially, the discoveries made by this man are opening up a new path for society to take their anatomy into their own hands, regardless of permission from professionals. “This is the first of many people who will change their genomes. This will happen for medical reasons, for science, athletics, or maybe just because people wanted to or were bored.”

The Point Of The Experiment

Technically, the results that Zayner should see are muscle development in the spot where CRISPR was used. While it’ll take some time for biohacker to identify whether or not the evidence proves the experiment to be a success, he’s stated his doubts from the get-go.

A man wearing blue latex gloves and holding a test tube.
YouTube / The New York Times
YouTube / The New York Times

Zayner has admitted that his experiments from the past never resulted in ground-breaking discoveries, as well as acknowledges that there are safety risks to the activity he is conducting, especially infection. However, his intention with these practices are not about the results, but instead about his objective to change the profession of science: “This is the first time in the history of the Earth that humans are no longer slaves to the genetics they are born with.”

Democratizing Science

Josiah Zayner used to work for NASA studying a specific bacteria that would be developed to sustain life on other planets. Fast forward to the future, biohacker’s new belief in science is that it should be accessible to the average person instead of solely in the hands of doctors and scientists, creating a controversial movement to democratize science.

A hand in white latex gloves holding a hairless rat.
Pixabay / Pexels
Pixabay / Pexels

He expands on this thought process by stating, “As I write this, the FDA is in the process of approving the first human gene therapy treatment. Still, it’s too slow for me; clinical trials have been going on since before 2008. I want to accelerate that. I want people to have a choice about their genetics.”

A Legal Debate

Biohacker explains the motivation behind his work, “I want to live in a world where people get drunk and instead of giving themselves tattoos, they’re like, ‘I’m drunk, I’m going to CRISPR myself.” However, the ongoing debate circulating this phenomenon is the legal battles surrounding the dangers and side effects of copying Zayner’s experiments.

A man wearing blue latex gloves holding up a pill and examining it.
YouTube / The New York Times
YouTube / The New York Times

It turns out that according to the Food and Drug Administration laws, his concept of DIY at-home experimentation is technically legal. But, as comes with all things related to pharmaceuticals and safety, the question of liability still lies up in the air.

Our Fate Is In Our Own Hands

Imagine a world where human beings are in charge of their own physical appearance and immunity. With the possibility of gene editing and biohacking introduced by Josiah Zayner, the fate of an individual’s body is in their own hands.

A black screen that reads the definition of
YouTube / The New York Times
YouTube / The New York Times

Whether the evolution of science and medicine becoming more mainstream and accessible is for better or for worse, it’s slowly but surely making it’s way out into the open. If technology is so advanced in 2022 that just about anyone is able to perform the task of a doctor, biohacker is living proof that humanity is on the cusp of evolution.

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nicolemior is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives