Can we alter the DNA in, say, a small-framed, low muscle mass male to those of elite bodybuilders?

Can we alter the DNA sequence that stops balding and hair loss? How about the genes responsible for bone metabolism, hormonal profiles, and the entire endocrine/hard tissue foundation of humans?

Can we alter the genes responsible for looks and alter them so they make an ugly personal hotter?

Basically, summarize this to: "Can gene editing create genetically-advanced versions of ourselves?"

Uglier prettier? Shorter taller? Weaker to stronger? Slower to faster? Dumber to smarter?

  • $\begingroup$ Please don't flag this as "vague." I make it clear by labeling "genetically-superior" as basically "any advancement of one's current genetics and gene expression to a superior level" as previously explained. $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '18 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ For example, genes limit muscle growth and can make what is known in gym culture as a "hard gainer" or "non-responded" AKA someone who works out and does not make much progress due to genes. Superior version of this would be one extending this possibility or altering it to a more fashionable and fulfilling extent where muscle building genes are then more comparable to elite-genetic bodybuilders or at least closer to this goal. Same with genes and hormones, soft/hard tissue, looks, and all the way to intrinsic, internal abilities like learning ability, intelligence and etc. $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '18 at 5:11
  • $\begingroup$ When you say alter the DNA, do you mean at adult age or at the stage of the zygote? $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Nov 10 '18 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b Adult age I mean. $\endgroup$ Nov 16 '18 at 18:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How about eating healthy, and having a healthy level of physical activities?! $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Nov 16 '18 at 18:48

No, this is still science fiction. There have some of experimental efforts to correct very simple, monogenic, diseases. Some of experiments seem to have helped the patient, many were ineffective, and some killed the patient or gave them cancer. Gene therapy in humans in still in the very early experimental stage. On top of that, the traits you are talking about are almost certainly governed by multiple genes, and the genetic networks are "incompletely understood", to put it mildly.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there a such thing as "beauty genes?" Are people born to be potentially attractive determined by genes -- or is physical attraction a combination of genes and environment? Some people not born goodlooking cosmetically achieved some level of "beautification" so it's a complicated issue I get, yeah. $\endgroup$ Nov 16 '18 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @FullofPowers Clearly children tend to look like their parents, so much of our appearance is determined by genetics, However, the details involve the interaction of hundreds of genes and gene regulatory regions. Even the genetics of something as straightforward as height is still poorly understood. Something as nebulous as beauty is going to be even more difficult to analyze. $\endgroup$ Nov 16 '18 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ So it's possible that one can predict a threshold or range of attractiveness potential genetically? $\endgroup$ Nov 17 '18 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ @FullofPowers , no, that's not what I wrote. It's even more complicated then height, because unlike height which is an objective measurement, beauty or attractiveness have strong cultural components. $\endgroup$ Nov 17 '18 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about that. It's pretty clear that beauty is very objective, even if also somewhat subjective too. $\endgroup$ Nov 18 '18 at 18:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.