A BIOHACKER injected himself with DNA sequence made from parts of the Bible and Koran in a risky experiment because he “wondered whether it would be possible”.
Adrien Locatelli, from Grenoble in France, translated religious passages into DNA code to build unknown proteins which he then poured into his body.
The high-school student risked potentially fatal consequences after conducting the procedure without any knowledge of the effects the proteins would have on his body.
Mr Locatelli, who claimed the bizarre experiment was the first of its kind, converted all of the letters in the holy books into a DNA sequence.
A DNA strand is made up of chemicals represented by the letters ACGT, and all genes are coded for by a different combination of these four letters.
Mr Locatelli replaced every Hebrew character in the Book of Genesis with DNA code, excluding 2:10 to 2:14, 5, and 7:1 to 7:5 because they were “controversial”, going in the order of GACT.
He also replaced every Arabic letters from the 13th chapter from the Koran, the Surah Ar-Ra’d, with assigned nucleotides.
Mr Locatelli used the sequences of DNA letters to convert into chemical chains which had the potential to transform into any number of proteins in the human body.
The student then built the proteins in a lab before injecting himself, though it is unclear whether he injected different passages into either leg, or a mix of the two into both.
Publishing his article online, he wrote: “Recent studies have reported that it is possible to convert any type of information into DNA for the purpose of storage.
“Since it is possible to convert digital information into DNA, I wondered whether it would be possible to convert a religious text into DNA and to inject it in a living being.
“It is the first time that someone injects himself [with] macromolecules developed from a text.
“It is very symbolic even if it does not have much interest.”
What is DNA and and how does gene editing work?
- For decades scientists have been looking at ways to alter DNA – the blueprint for all living things.
- This complex string-like structure is made up of thousands of molecules called nucleotides. Sections of DNA are called genes.
- The order of the nucleotides creates a kind of biological code that regulates chemical processes, development and growth and determines the physical characteristics of the organism.
- Scientists have successfully found ways to manipulate DNA at a molecular level – such as genetically modifying cereal crops to make them resistant to pests.
- They have been searching for similar techniques that may help to cure diseases in humans by cutting out, fixing or replacing mistakes in the sequence.
- But, as DNA editing technology becomes more accessible, fears have grown over amateur scientists creating dangerous substances or harming people.
- Biohackers are people who practice body modification in an effort to extend and improve human capabilities.
The reaction to the insane DIY experiment has shocked people online with many users branding the teen an “idiot” and warning others against following similar tests.
Ella Watkins, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, tweeted: “This kind of avant-garde attitude and disregard for ethics towards science terrifies me that humanity’s end will be at the hands of an idiot.”
Isaac Stoner, founder of a company researching antibiotic resistance, wrote: “Dear biohackers etc. Please stop. You are idiots.”
And Sri Kosuri, a biochemistry professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, added: “2018 can’t end soon enough.”
Despite the endless list of potential side-effects, the teen only suffered a swollen left leg for a few days after the injection.