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[Draft] Gene Drive Consultation Protocol

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Libraria and Ausitoria
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[Draft] Gene Drive Consultation Protocol

Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:15 pm

Gene Drive Consultation Protocol
Second Draft

Category: Advice sought

(Explanatory diagram from wikipedia, so everyone can have some idea of wtf is going on):

Image

The World Assembly;

Noting a “chromosome” to be a parcel of typically half the genetic matter that gets passed on to a descendant,

Noting that a descendant typically inherits one of the two chromosomes from a parent, and the descendant has a half chance of inheriting either chromosome,

Noting that typically hitherto an artificially edited chromosome has therefore had a half chance of being inherited with the artificial genetic edit,

Observing that it is now possible to artificially edit a chromosome in such a manner that the edit will get copied from the chromosome it is on to the other chromosome, which causes a “gene drive” where the genetic edit is typically inherited by all descendants, rather than only some of them,

Observing that it is therefore possible to spread a genetic edit to all members of a species by natural reproduction,

Noting the release of widely-damaging gene drives, or genes drives which could match particular engineered diseases or the like suitable for the purpose of blackmail, may be considered to constitute an act of war without proper safeguards or consultation,

Believing the continuation of scientific research into gene drives, countermeasures, and the limited use of gene drives against invasive species and dangerous diseases is justifiable and indeed to be encouraged where proper safeguards can exist, and

Observing the WA has passed legislation on safe scientific testing, but

Believing the correct balance of safeguards in the initiation of genetic drives is a matter best determined by open and informed consultation between the community of nations;

Therefore:

1. Requires that all actors, e.g. persons, corporate persons, states, and alliances, may not initiate or spread any gene drive within the jurisdiction of World Assembly members without:

(i) Informing all nearby nations and delegates of regions, i.e. those within six thousand nautical miles of the nation(s) where the actor(s) shall initiate or spread the gene drive, and

(ii) Providing those nations and delegates with a period to reply and make arrangements or negotiate safeguards, if they wish to do so

Where this period shall be at least one month, unless the delegate of the region where the gene drive is being initiated agrees that urgent initiation is suitable, in which case they may reduce that period by simultaneously informing the other nearby nations and delegates of regions,

2. Further charges the delegates of regions, or delegated regional governments, with more widely consulting with other likely-to-be-affected nations in the case of gene drives in migratory or wide-ranging organisms,

3. Further requires that any actors who have previously initiated a gene drive inform all nearby nations and delegates of regions within one month of the passage of this act,

4. Requires that member states rigorously enforce these provisions at least within their own territories, and

5. Further charges WASP with providing technical advice and/or dispute mediation regarding gene drives and safeguards where requested by affected nations.

The General Assembly:

1. Noting a “Gene Drive” to be where the implant of any genetic matter in a biological organism is designed so the genetic matter is copied from one chromosome to another, such that the genetic matter is encoded within all descendants, except perhaps where the genetic matter mutates,

Therefore:

2. Requires that all actors, e.g. persons, corporate persons, states, and supersovereign organizations, may not initiate any gene drive without:
(i) Informing all nearby nations and delegates of regions, i.e. those within six thousand nautical miles of the nation(s) where the actors shall initiate the gene drive, and
(ii) Providing those nations and delegates with a period to reply and make arrangements, verify, or negotiate safeguards
Where this period shall be at least one month, unless the delegate of the region where the gene drive is being initiated agrees that urgent initiation is suitable, in which case they may reduce that period upon simultaneously informing the other nearby nations and delegates of regions,

3. Further charges the delegates of regions, or delegated regional governments, with more widely consulting with other likely-to-be-affected nations in the case of gene drives in migratory or wide-ranging organisms,

4. Further requires that any actors who have previously initiated a gene drive inform all nearby nations and delegates of regions within one month of the passage of this act,

5. Requires that member states rigorously enforce these provisions at least within their own territories,

6. Further charges WASP with providing technical advice and/or dispute mediation regarding gene drives and safeguards where it is requested by affected nations,

7. Notes the release of widely-damaging gene drives may be considered to constitute an act of war without proper safeguards or consultation,

8. Further notes both the continuation of scientific research into gene drives and the limited use of gene drives against invasive species and dangerous diseases is justifiable and indeed to be encouraged where proper safeguards can exist, and

9. Notes the WA has passed some legislation on safeguards in scientific testing, but

10. Further notes the correct balance of safeguards in the initiation of genetic drives is a matter best determined by informed consultation between the community of nations.


"Apologies to delegates for the unreservedly technical nature of this proposal, and its unconventional style. We look forward to comments and suggestions."
Last edited by Libraria and Ausitoria on Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:12 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:41 pm

OOC: First of all, lose the blocktext code, just use a box like normal. Blocktext can make it very narrow and very long, depending on your window width. And in general just is an unnecessary piece of coding, like the align code you're also using for some reason. :P

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:Category: Advice sought

Advice given: Don't do this. Writing to the category is much better than writing something and then trying to jam it into a category.

1. Noting

I think you mean "defining". Also, you should first include a few preamble clauses detailing why this is 1) necessary and 2) requires international legislation to deal with. Also, you should move the definition into the active clauses and make it read "defines".

a “Gene Drive” to be where the implant of any genetic matter in a biological organism is designed so the genetic matter is copied from one chromosome to another, such that the genetic matter is encoded within all descendants, except perhaps where the genetic matter mutates,

...what? I honestly can't figure out what this is meant to mean. Are we talking about gene therapy or genome reading or are you trying to ban natural evolution (genes moving between chromosomes)? :blink:

Therefore:

Just a tiny nitpick, but I'd replace this with "Hereby".

2. Requires that all actors, e.g. persons, corporate persons, states, and supersovereign organizations

Illegal for legislating for nonmember nations. Also, "supersovereign organizations" is going to need a definition at least for me. It's not a common word.

may not initiate any gene drive without:

Would help to know exactly what a "gene drive" is and whether you're trying to make illegal criminals out of people whose cells swap genes between chromosomes during natural meiosis (part of the formation of egg and sperm cells).

(i) Informing all nearby nations and delegates of regions, i.e. those within six thousand nautical miles of the nation(s) where the actors shall initiate the gene drive, and

Six thousand nautical miles is 11112 kilometres (6900 normal miles). Are you sure that's what you meant? That's more than a quarter of the RL Earth's circumference (and close to double its radius). Territorial waters (in RL anyway) extend twelve nautical miles from the lowtide shoreline. Six thousand sounds very much excessive!

The rest makes very little sense without knowing exactly what you mean by "gene drive".
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Libraria and Ausitoria
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:08 pm

Araraukar wrote:OOC: First of all, lose the blocktext code, just use a box like normal. Blocktext can make it very narrow and very long, depending on your window width. And in general just is an unnecessary piece of coding, like the align code you're also using for some reason. :P

II habits die hard. Good advice though! :P

Advice given: Don't do this. Writing to the category is much better than writing something and then trying to jam it into a category.

I'm aware that's good advice, I've given it myself a few years ago when I prowled the GA a bit more often. But which category should one take up jam-making in for this proposal?

I think you mean "defining".

The trouble with "defining" it is that then nobody else can, and as something in between a nat-sov-er and int-fed-er the Commonwealth would prefer that the WA not define it so that everybody else can. Hence "noting" instead. (Besides, it's really complicated).

Also, you should first include a few preamble clauses detailing why this is 1) necessary and 2) requires international legislation to deal with.

Is this really necessary? I mean, sure, every one of the three hundred or so resolutions does this, but in this case one only needs to look at gene editing in wikipedia know what gene editing is to know that consulting about it is a good idea. I'm not inclined to go into more detail about a subject which nobody will understand anyway.

...what? I honestly can't figure out what this is meant to mean. Are we talking about gene therapy or genome reading or are you trying to ban natural evolution (genes moving between chromosomes)? :blink:

None of the above. Like I said, it's a technically complicated subject matter. To save time, I recommend Wikipedia's main diagram as probably the most succinct and easily accessible explanation of the idea.

[OOC: I did think of writing this after reading new scientist. Certainly I have no intention of going into the details regarding Cas-9, as I seem to recall that there's a limit on how much we should copy RL acronyms around here.]

Illegal for legislating for nonmember nations.

But surely international laws were made for foreigners to follow! But that can be reworded at next draft, ditto supersovereign.

Six thousand nautical miles is 11112 kilometres (6900 normal miles). Are you sure that's what you meant? That's more than a quarter of the RL Earth's circumference (and close to double its radius). Territorial waters (in RL anyway) extend twelve nautical miles from the lowtide shoreline. Six thousand sounds very much excessive!

Yes, I'm sure that's what I meant. Species typically cover a decent distance.

Thank you very much for all your advice!
Last edited by Libraria and Ausitoria on Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:16 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:37 pm

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:The trouble with "defining" it is that then nobody else can,

OOC: Nobody else can what? I feel like half of the things you think you say, you don't actually type in.

and as something in between a nat-sov-er and int-fed-er the Commonwealth would prefer that the WA not define it. Hence "noting" instead.

But whether you call it noting or defining, you're still defining it. Otherwise it's nonsense. (Granted, it's nonsense now, but I mean more generally...)

Is this really necessary?

On this case, with no idea of what the fuck you're even trying to legislate on, YES. Preamble also gives you a chance to let non-experts catch on to what the hell you're talking about.

but in this case one only needs to look at gene editing in wikipedia to know that consulting about it is a good idea.

See, your "noting" was so weirdly worded and confusing that I had no idea we were talking about gene editing (why "drive" instead of "editing"?) at all. And I've studied this stuff on university level!

I'm not inclined to go into more detail about a subject which nobody will understand anyway.

In which case you guarantee that this is not a workable proposal, as the vast majority of the WA voters and even delegates will not look twice at something they can't understand.

Like I said, it's a technically complicated subject matter.

And thus unsuitable for international legislation in a game where the vast majority of players would have to look up "gene editing" to have any idea what we're talking about.

To save time, I recommend Wikipedia's main diagram as probably the most succinct and easily accessible explanation of the idea.

Your proposal, your explanations. You can link to Wikipedia, but telling people "Look it up I cba explain" is a surefire way of getting no support.

But surely international laws were made for foreigners to follow! But that can be reworded at next draft, ditto supersovereign.

WA can't affect non-members. You're not a newbie around here, you know this, I shouldn't need to be telling this to you (again).

Yes, I'm sure that's what I meant. Species typically cover a decent distance.

Only a very few migratory ones cover that much distance!

All in all, no fucking way is this going to be something I would support or recommend that you continue working on.
  1. It requires too much expertize to even understand the basics,
  2. You're unwilling to provide explanations and help non-experts understand the subject,
  3. The requirements are excessive even for RL single-planet system, and
  4. I wouldn't be supporting this in IC anyway.

EDIT: Saw you posted a pic from Wikipedia. I would instead post a link to the topic. And you'll still need to do better with an in-proposal definition, because you can't post links to Wikipedia in the submitted proposal.
Last edited by Araraukar on Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Libraria and Ausitoria
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:17 pm

Araraukar wrote:OOC: Nobody else can what? I feel like half of the things you think you say, you don't actually type in.

I'm perpetually short of time, and there's always a trade-off between being concise and being overly complicated anyway. It's especially hard to get the balance right without facial clues.

But whether you call it noting or defining, you're still defining it.

Legally speaking, that's not quite the case. If you define something as something you exclude all things which do not fall within the scope of that something. If you note something is something you do not automatically exclude anything from any or every other possible definition.

For instance when I note that a human is a primate without much hair I do not define a primate without much hair to be a human. For all I know it could be a depilated chimpanzee.

See, your "noting" was so weirdly worded and confusing that I had no idea we were talking about gene editing (why "drive" instead of "editing"?) at all. And I've studied this stuff on university level!

Well, I am talking about gene drives, and not editing in general. I can see I'm going to have to provide some explanation at this point, so as quickly as may be useful, gene drives are a form of gene editing whereby an edit on one chromosome gets copied to the other chromosome so that the edit gets inherited by all offspring. (Since organisms have two chromosomes and only one is normally inherited, normally edits do not spread to the entire population, but if the edit automatically copies to the other chromosome, as is the case in gene drives, it will be inherited by all descendants, as the diagram I've put in the OP shows).

Is that clearer? (No worries if the answer is no - I won't think you're stupid, I'll just know I haven't defined it in sufficient detail for you).

In which case you guarantee that this is not a workable proposal, as the vast majority of the WA voters and even delegates will not look twice at something they can't understand.

Are delegates really that short of experts to consult these days? Even in the feederites?

And thus unsuitable for international legislation in a game where the vast majority of players would have to look up "gene editing" to have any idea what we're talking about.

Well, it's an important issue, even if very few people are likely to understand it.

WA can't affect non-members. You're not a newbie around here, you know this, I shouldn't need to be telling this to you (again).

I have accepted your point on practical grounds. I'm simply continuing to present the counter-argument. But let's not go down that rabbit-warren at the moment.

You're unwilling to provide explanations and help non-experts understand the subject

I'm unwilling to unnecessarily provide explanations, in the short term as I don't have unlimited time; and in the long term, the more one defines anything, the more precise and inflexible and open to loopholes the law is likely to become. And the Commonwealth prefers purposeful construction to textualism any day. Hence I am currently considering the minimum explanation needed. I look forward to further input on the subject.

I wouldn't be supporting this in IC anyway.

I'll explain it more fully to you later.

Thank you again for your comments.
Last edited by Libraria and Ausitoria on Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Baizou
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Postby Baizou » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:43 pm

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:
Gene Drive Consultation Protocol
Draft

Category: Advice sought

(Explanatory diagram from wikipedia, so everyone can have some idea of wtf is going on):

(Image)

The General Assembly:

1. Noting a “Gene Drive” to be where the implant of any genetic matter in a biological organism is designed so the genetic matter is copied from one chromosome to another, such that the genetic matter is encoded within all descendants, except perhaps where the genetic matter mutates,

Therefore:

2. Requires that all actors, e.g. persons, corporate persons, states, and supersovereign organizations, may not initiate any gene drive without:
(i) Informing all nearby nations and delegates of regions, i.e. those within six thousand nautical miles of the nation(s) where the actors shall initiate the gene drive, and
(ii) Providing those nations and delegates with a period to reply and make arrangements, verify, or negotiate safeguards
Where this period shall be at least one month, unless the delegate of the region where the gene drive is being initiated agrees that urgent initiation is suitable, in which case they may reduce that period upon simultaneously informing the other nearby nations and delegates of regions,

3. Further charges the delegates of regions, or delegated regional governments, with more widely consulting with other likely-to-be-affected nations in the case of gene drives in migratory or wide-ranging organisms,

4. Further requires that any actors who have previously initiated a gene drive inform all nearby nations and delegates of regions within one month of the passage of this act,

5. Requires that member states rigorously enforce these provisions at least within their own territories,

6. Further charges WASP with providing technical advice and/or dispute mediation regarding gene drives and safeguards where it is requested by affected nations,

7. Notes the release of widely-damaging gene drives may be considered to constitute an act of war without proper safeguards or consultation,

8. Further notes both the continuation of scientific research into gene drives and the limited use of gene drives against invasive species and dangerous diseases is justifiable and indeed to be encouraged where proper safeguards can exist, and

9. Notes the WA has passed some legislation on safeguards in scientific testing, but

10. Further notes the correct balance of safeguards in the initiation of genetic drives is a matter best determined by informed consultation between the community of nations.


"Apologies to delegates for the unreservedly technical nature of this proposal, and its unconventional style. We look forward to comments and suggestions."

One eyebrow quirked, Mizushima sets his copy of the draft aside after finishing reading. He shrugs. "I mean, it looks neat and tidy. And I think I vaguely understand what we're talking about with gene drives.

"However, the barren preamble leaves me completely clueless as to why this field of genetics ought to be overseen by the World Assembly or why it ought to be done so in this manner.

"The last four clauses seem more like they belong in a preamble - they don't involve any activity on the part of the Assembly, after all - and moving them to the preamble would be a start to setting up an argument to persuade readers of the importance of your cause."
Last edited by Baizou on Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:25 pm

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:I'm perpetually short of time, and there's always a trade-off between being concise and being overly complicated anyway.

OOC: Proposal writing isn't something you should hurry. Do you know you can save a forum post draft? You can work on a post multiple times even if you were in a hurry and could only pay attention a few minutes at a time. Take your time before you post. Nobody's timing how fast you can type. :P

It's especially hard to get the balance right without facial clues.

If you were close enough to get facial clues, you'd be close enough for me to walk over to you and talk to you very loudly and slowly in Finnish on an expertize-requiring subject and then ask you how much of it was easily understandable. In front of a Finnish-speaking audience. (And no, this isn't a reference to my understanding of things, it's an analogue of using expert jargon without definitions.)

Legally speaking

Good thing, then, that we're not talking legally. We're talking language-wise. Whether you call it defining, when you "note" a wording you then later use in the text, you've defined it, for people who will be looking at your proposal sans any hyperlinking or stolen pictures.

If you define something as something you exclude all things which do not fall within the scope of that something.

...yes, and?

Let's pretend that we're talking about cabbages instead of gene editing. If you define cabbage "for the purposes of this resolution, as a leafy vegetable", then that defines cabbages and spinaches and whatever else you want to include in "leafy vegetable" as cabbages for the purposes of that resolution. You do not forevermore define all leafy vegetables as cabbages, just for the rest of the proposal.

Do you understand?

For instance when I note that a human is a primate without much hair I do not define a primate without much hair to be a human. For all I know it could be a depilated chimpanzee.

And you'd be called on it, if you tried to put it in a proposal. Do you understand that I'm trying to give you helpful pointers, not simply shred your thing into pieces for my own amusement? We're not talking semantically, out of all context, or of a scientific essay. We're talking about an online text-based game where the vaaaaast majority of people who might ever vote on this won't ever see this thread. They'll just see your proposal text, without any links or pictures, and even then most of them will very likely vote based on title and preamble.

Well, I am talking about gene drives, and not editing in general.

I invite you to imagine this being said very slowly and with extra-clear pronunciation and with all the appropriate visual clues and gestures: "YOU ... NEED ... TO ... EXPLAIN ... GENE DRIVES ... PROPERLY ... IN ... THE ... PROPOSAL ... TEXT."

so as quickly as may be useful

Forget being in a hurry. You're not. Be precise, be thorough, be willing to explain like you'd explain to a child who's 13, has just logged onto this forum and doesn't properly know what a gene is. (Because, let's be fair, that's the expertice level most RL politicians would be with this.)

gene drives are a form of gene editing whereby an edit on one chromosome gets copied to the other chromosome so that the edit gets inherited by all offspring.

So in other words you're trying to make it so that practically all the nation's on your side of the planet (or whole space habitat or smaller celestial body) would need pre-warning and time to reply to every single instance of gene therapy given? That amount of paperwork would make global bureaucracy grind to a halt. And thus subsequently make any reasonable nation ignore this resolution. You shouldn't be writing proposals that will have to end up being ignored by reasonable nations.

Since organisms have two chromosomes

Is this your non-scientific way of saying that (most) organisms are diploid? Because many aren't. Many are haploid (even some RL animals). Many are tetraploid (especially plants) or have even stranger multiples.

but if the edit automatically copies to the other chromosome, as is the case in gene drives

Please explain to me how an "edit automatically copies to the other chromosome" when we're talking about genome editing. No Wikipedia links or copying text directly off of some expert or magazine, I want your words. If we were indeed face-to-face, I could easily check if you actually understand what you're talking about, but as we're communicating with text while online, it has to be very tempting for you to just copy something you yourself can only barely understand.

Are delegates really that short of experts to consult these days? Even in the feederites?

YOU SHOULD NOT NEED AN EXPERT IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TO CONSULT FOR A GA PROPOSAL. And the GCRs are only what, 9? out of the 95 approvals you'll need to get to vote. And even then, unless you explain things thoroughly enough, their delegates are likely going to vote according to internal vote on their offsite forums, and I highly doubt most people even there are going to vote for something they don't know what it is and what contains scary words like "gene drive".

Well, it's an important issue

Why? And put the answer in the preamble.

I'm unwilling to unnecessarily provide explanations

And clearly, when talking about a cutting-edge scientific research papers, explanations are very necessary for anyone not involved in writing said papers.

in the short term as I don't have unlimited time

If you don't have time to properly write a proposal, perhaps you shouldn't write a proposal?

I wouldn't be supporting this in IC anyway.

I'll explain it more fully to you later.

Won't change my IC stance. On either Araraukar or PPU. (Or the Tikrr for that matter. And good luck on being able to explain it to the WAKK cats... :P)
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Libraria and Ausitoria
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:35 am

Richard Whittingrey replied. "Thank you, your Baizou excellency. We have incorporated your recommendations in our latest draft.

Good thing, then, that we're not talking legally. We're talking language-wise. Whether you call it defining, when you "note" a wording you then later use in the text, you've defined it, for people who will be looking at your proposal sans any hyperlinking or stolen pictures.

Thank you - that is a wise point. However the Commonwealth is still not going to legally define the word in the text. A good definition would be a precisely defined, i.e. either (a) shockingly long or (b) jargon-filled expert definition and very few people would understand it, and I'm not about to use a bad definition, and an expert would know what a gene drive is anyway.

However hopefully the preamble is now sufficiently clear for delegates. However it probably isn't. We look forward to further comment.

So in other words you're trying to make it so that practically all the nation's on your side of the planet (or whole space habitat or smaller celestial body) would need pre-warning and time to reply to every single instance of gene therapy given? That amount of paperwork would make global bureaucracy grind to a halt. And thus subsequently make any reasonable nation ignore this resolution. You shouldn't be writing proposals that will have to end up being ignored by reasonable nations.

No. For a start, I don't think (but could be corrected, it's not quite my field) that most genetic editing is designed to jump chromosomes, because it's usually not necessary and is more expensive and complicated. For a second, there is nothing in the draft which says actors, e.g. a national health service or profession, need to provide a warning before every individual initiation. As you say, it wuld be absurd to do so and it would be sufficient to provide a general statement and let the nearby nations decide whether they want more information - for instance Ausitoria would not be fussed by Knootian doctors treating patients but might want to know the safeguards and check the exact coding in bongo-bongo land or some unfortunate shithole. For a third, I don't imagine most nations would feel any need to reply about letting such an actor carry out routine gene therapy.

Is this your non-scientific way of saying that (most) organisms are diploid? Because many aren't. Many are haploid (even some RL animals). Many are tetraploid (especially plants) or have even stranger multiples.

Let's not confuse things unecessarily. This is one reason why Ausitoria is not about to define a gene drive. They're giving an example in two chromosones because people might be familiar with it. It is trivial to see the principle could apply for any positive number. It could apply to things without chromosomes but which function in an equivalent manner.

And clearly, when talking about a cutting-edge scientific research papers, explanations are very necessary for anyone not involved in writing said papers.

I don't even have a degree in biology, yet the basics and the possibility of weaponization make sense to me. I suppose the understanding gap exists more between the scientifically literate and illiterate rather than between the sciences. Let's see if this draft is any better. At any rate there should be a few chemists around who can get their heads round it.

If you don't have time to properly write a proposal, perhaps you shouldn't write a proposal?

Yeah, like that sort of attitude is going to encourage a broader level of discourse and engagement round here. It is a feature of the internet that on average the experts in it have very little time to spare for it, and only enough if they can justify the analysis. But even an expert with only five minutes can try to communicate something you haven't thought of. (Emphasis try).

Or, to put it another way, this is one bubble meeting your bubble. If you want to broaden out, be welcoming.

But thank you again for all your continued assistance - you're being most helpful.

I look forward to further comments.

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Postby Kenmoria » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:23 am

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Postby Snowman » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:42 am

If the resolution is tidied up into a clean bill, I will sure sign it. I don't want any mass diseases killing my fellow nations' people. I'll have to bail them out or risk looking evil because of their stupidity. Edit: To add to the guy under me, I am talking about how diseases are typically stopped by genetic variation. Now, these aren't clones, but zero genetic variation in certain traits seems like a great way to kill off something by just having to target one thing.

OOC: What does half chance mean? I think you mean like 50/50 shot the new organism gets the GMO from his poppy or the non from his mommy, however the half chance really doesn't portray this. Rather it sounds like you're saying a half of a chance, which is I had to put into math, I would say that sounds like 1/4, 1/2 of a chance, which is already 1/2
Last edited by Snowman on Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:49 am

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:I don't even have a degree in biology, yet the basics and the possibility of weaponization make sense to me.

OOC: Which is part of why I'm trying to get you to define things, because the WA has already banned bioweapons, which includes prions and viruses, which are most commonly used in gene therapy. If you think you've found something that isn't caught by the existing legislation, you need to explain how it works and why you think it doesn't fit under the existing definition.
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Bears Armed
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Postby Bears Armed » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:30 am

OOC post

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:I can see I'm going to have to provide some explanation at this point, so as quickly as may be useful, gene drives are a form of gene editing whereby an edit on one chromosome gets copied to the other chromosome so that the edit gets inherited by all offspring. (Since organisms have two chromosomes and only one is normally inherited, normally edits do not spread to the entire population, but if the edit automatically copies to the other chromosome, as is the case in gene drives, it will be inherited by all descendants, as the diagram I've put in the OP shows).

Except those descendants produced from gametes that already existed before the edit, of course.

Araraukar wrote:OOC: Six thousand nautical miles is 11112 kilometres (6900 normal miles). Are you sure that's what you meant? That's more than a quarter of the RL Earth's circumference (and close to double its radius). Territorial waters (in RL anyway) extend twelve nautical miles from the lowtide shoreline.

In NS (for WA members, anyway) , currently, it's twenty-four nautical miles. (RL rules allows nations to enforce some of their laws out to that distance, and when I drafted the resolution that's now in force people persuaded me that simply combining the two belts was better than defining each of them separately.)

Kenmoria wrote:(OOC: mentioning delegates and/or regions is a game meachanics rules violation (or possibly RL reference I can't remember))

Meta-Gaming. Personally I'd be okay with relaxing that rule, because to me the delegates' roles in approving and voting on proposals means that they should be considered to exist IC, but apparently I'm in the minority there.
Last edited by Bears Armed on Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:23 pm

Bears Armed wrote:OOC post

Except those descendants produced from gametes that already existed before the edit, of course.

OOC: Which in female humans at least is all of them, unless the egg cells themselves are edited...
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Libraria and Ausitoria
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:17 am

Araraukar wrote:
Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:I don't even have a degree in biology, yet the basics and the possibility of weaponization make sense to me.

OOC: Which is part of why I'm trying to get you to define things, because the WA has already banned bioweapons, which includes prions and viruses, which are most commonly used in gene therapy. If you think you've found something that isn't caught by the existing legislation, you need to explain how it works and why you think it doesn't fit under the existing definition.

I don't think gene drives are bioweapons. They can be weapons, they can enable future weapons, but they are not all neccessarily weapons - or at any rate, they shouldn't necessarily need to be counted as weapons.

I've checked resolution 242 and I'm pretty sure it's not covered, although we're dealing in shades of grey. Certainly Knootos' green book would probably exempt them, but perhaps their manner of interpretation is not entirely to be emulated. But I recognize the need to clarify the neccessity for general readers - I'll think on't for the next draft - thank you.

Bears Armed wrote:OOC post

Except those descendants produced from gametes that already existed before the edit, of course.


Indeed, yes, and also no - I understand that three-parent babies inherit some (albeit not much) genetic matter from living inside their host.

As said before, I'm not inclined to over-complicate things, unless you think this sort of clarification is worthwhile?

Meta-Gaming. Personally I'd be okay with relaxing that rule, because to me the delegates' roles in approving and voting on proposals means that they should be considered to exist IC, but apparently I'm in the minority there.

High time we put you in the majority. The WADs could play a useful role in monitoring all sorts of things on a regional level. Take back some power from the faceless gnomic beauracrats! Reduce their working hours! Let them have Sundays off!

Um, seriously though, would you think it worth seeing if we can budge that rule at this point? I don't think anyone wants yet another bloomin' committee/department/gnome factory.

Snowman wrote:OOC: What does half chance mean? I think you mean like 50/50 shot the new organism gets the GMO from his poppy or the non from his mommy, however the half chance really doesn't portray this. Rather it sounds like you're saying a half of a chance, which is I had to put into math, I would say that sounds like 1/4, 1/2 of a chance, which is already 1/2


Thank you for your support. Good suggestion, I'll add it into the next draft.

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Postby Araraukar » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:06 pm

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:I don't think gene drives are bioweapons.

OOC: Then what are they?

EDIT: From reading the source material of the Wikipedia article on gene drives, I came across this explanation:
Natural homing endonuclease genes exhibit drive by cutting the corresponding locus of chromosomes lacking them. This induces the cell to repair the break by copying the nuclease gene onto the damaged chromosome via homologous recombination. The copying process is termed ‘homing’, while the endonuclease-containing cassette that is copied is referred to as a ‘gene drive’ or simply a ‘drive’.

If the bit that gets copied from the intact chromosome is the "gene drive", and that they exist naturally, then most of your active clauses become even worse ideas, as "persons ... may not spread any gene drive ... without informing all nearby nations and delegates of regions, i.e. those within six thousand nautical miles of the nation(s) ... and providing those nations and delegates with a period to reply and make arrangements or negotiate safeguards" would apply to natural procreation by people who happen to be carriers of naturally-occurring "selfish genes"!

So going by the existing definition of a "gene drive", you're basically forcing people to apply for a permission from the other nations on their planet to have a baby!

This is why definitions for the purposes of legislation are a good thing, whether you like it or not.

Additionally, the wording "initiate a gene drive" makes little sense, considering "a gene drive" is an object, not a process. Replace it with some common noun and you see what I mean. You don't "initiate a dog".

Ironically, in IC Araraukar would be all for a proposal that in essence creates a requirement for a parental licence, though even they would think that handing the licencing rights to other nations within 6000 nautical miles would be a bit too much.
Last edited by Araraukar on Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:07 pm

Even assuming it was news to your nation that things procreate (and that the Pope is Catholic) this proposal does not require that nations provide information about single instances. Merely informing other nations within the required radius of the existence of a programme which involved gene drives (e.g. evolution) would be informing them. Then the neighbouring nations could ask for more details if they thought it necessary. Whereupon you could reply with a sex education tape...

In short I have actually drafted this carefully. Any person with a ounce of sense will realize permission to procreate is not required by this protocol. The question is not how to define “gene drive”, it is whether we agree what “informing” means.

(And why stop there? Do I need to define the words “nation”, “mile”, “migratory”, “organism”, “territory”, “advice”, “enforce”...? Or can I just start throwing dictionaries at people ICly? It could become the more sexy riposte to defenestration. In fact it's quite a pity we're arguing OOCly. I really want my ambassador to start throwing dictionaries at irritating ambassadors. Albeit perhaps in the form of paper planes from torn-out pages. Stop arguing OOCly so we can start the paper plane fight over whether it's necessary to define the word "nitpicker").

Oh, and a gene drive is a product designed to carry out a process. It's like saying "initiate a DVD". It's perfectly clear in the context. But as you point out it's also clearly not perfect, I'll swap "initiate" for "create" - thank you!

*Edited for clarity.
Last edited by Libraria and Ausitoria on Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Araraukar » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:15 am

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:Merely informing other nations within the required radius of the existence of a programme which involved gene drives (e.g. evolution) would be informing them.

OOC: Please tell me you're not serious.

Any person with a ounce of sense will realize permission to procreate is not required by this protocol.

Except, with the lack of definitions, it is.

The question is not how to define “gene drive”, it is whether we agree what “informing” means.

Considering your whole proposal is built around "gene drive", having an actual definition would help your cause rather than hinder. Or, better yet, change the name to "selfish genes", that's easier to explain and means the same thing.

Do I need to define the words “nation”, “mile”, “migratory”, “organism”, “territory”, “advice”, “enforce”...?

Those words aren't used in a manner that defies their official definitions. Though now that you mention it, what the fuck is the 6000 nautical miles about? Just use regular miles. Or, better yet, kilometres.

Stop arguing ICly so we can start the paper plane fight over whether it's necessary to define the word "nitpicker".

...I'm not arguing ICly?

I'll swap "initiate" for "create" - thank you!

Then you will still have to define a gene drive, because, again, using the substitution of a regular noun, "create a dog" is a much more involved process than, say, "use a dog" or "observe a dog".
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Libraria and Ausitoria
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:14 am

You can inform someone of more than one thing at a time. Like the pope is catholic and bears are armed in the woods. You can inform them of an unknown but perhaps probable thing, like that it might be that Araraukar doesn't appreciate this fact.

However, if your nation would be determined to inform everyone of every individual act of creating/initiating/propogating/spreading a gene drive, wasting c. 90% of GDP on the beauracratic mess required to achieve this, there is nothing to stop them, and it would certainly be one way of complying this proposal, and I wouldn't stop you. If a nation wastes its own money that is fine as their government will collapse by the process of natural selection. However Ausitoria will not waste its time and money, and nobody is actually required too by this protocol. The word "inform" is appropriately flexible because it has not been defined.

I.e., defining things is either bad or complicated or both. I am confident that nations will be able to interpret this protocol freely. Some will abuse this freedom, but all resolutions are abused, and this resolution has a mechanism to enforce a reasonable interpretation: the monitoring nations. That is why your concerns about the word "informing" are, while admirable in a legal setting, completely unnecessary in this case.

Regarding your fixation with dogs, I note you seem to be labouring under the delusion that Ausitoria is more concerned by the use of gene drives. As I have said, their concern is directed at new artificial ones. Thus to borrow your analogy it is perfectly reasonable to monitor the creation of dogs in laboraties to check that they won't systematically be rabid.

Finally, as for nautical miles, Ausitoria fancies them. I suppose we could use light-seconds if you complain enough.

(It really doesn't matter. I just picked a number which was suitably continent-sized).

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Bears Armed
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Postby Bears Armed » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:16 am

Libraria and Ausitoria wrote:
Bears Armed wrote:OOC post
Except those descendants produced from gametes that already existed before the edit, of course.

Indeed, yes, and also no - I understand that three-parent babies inherit some (albeit not much) genetic matter from living inside their host.

OOC: Unless I'm greatly mistaken, what you're thinking of is the fact that those 'three-parent babies' (whom I suspect would be a rarity in most cultures, anyway) acquire their mitochondrial DNA from the "third" parent, the one who provides an enucelated cell into which the nucleus formed by the fusion of the first two parents' gametes is placed.
If that's so then, then gene editing being used on a prospective candidate's mitochondrial DNA seems highly unlikely to me: Not only is it such a tiny proportion of the cell's total DNA, and already reduced to so few genes that options for editing seem unlikely to occur (especially as those few genes are so crucial to the cell's functioning that a person with faulty mitochondrial DNA -- such as might "need" editing -- is highly unlikely to live for long enough for that fact to be noticed) but it seems probable to me that in most cases where a prospective third parent's mitochondrial DNA was identified as "unsuitable" the most likely response in most cases would be to select a different "third parent" instead. After all, that person's contribution to the offspring's genome would be so tiny that have to wonder how much emotional commitment would be involved in their selection...
Last edited by Bears Armed on Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Our population is approximately 20 million. We do have a national government, although its role is strictly limited. Economy = thriving. Those aren't "biker gangs", they're our traditional cross-Clan 'Warrior Societies'... and are generally respected, not feared.
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Libraria and Ausitoria
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Postby Libraria and Ausitoria » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:01 am

Yes, you're greatly mistaken. I'm thinking of microchimerism, microbiomes, and microRNA transfer. I dare say your assessment of mitochondrial transfer is indeed functionally accurate.

Did you have any thoughts on whether we might be able to change the metagaming rules with regard to delegates?
Last edited by Libraria and Ausitoria on Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:06 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:35 am

I agree with this idea of relaxing the metagaming rule with regard to delegates (what a surprise). I'm also unclear about why this is a matter of international attention. However it is, to the OP, continue drafting your proposal. The old 'advice', really just mechanism to reduce participation in the GA, is full of crap. To quote Auralia on the Discord,

best to come up with a good topic and fit it to a category, imo
which is basically what you're doing now, UM
you didn't start out saying, "I want to write a Human Rights or a Health -- Research proposal"
because nobody does that
people care about specific issues, not abstract categories

I entirely agree. Nobody1 writes a proposal going into it with 'OMG! I could increase my health statistic! Or maybe, even cooler, the civil rights statistic!' People care about concrete issues. This is from where practically all the long-standing disagreements arise (nuclear weapons, abortion, etc.) and where the game is interesting. Pretending it is otherwise cheapens the game and puts people off this part of it.

1 Obviously, I have to put a footnote here because someone will interpret this to mean everyone imaginable with no exceptions, rather than as a rhetorical device. I have seen such vague proposals. To reinforce that, such proposals are (1) illegal under the 'must be a law' provision and (2) nobody will vote for them, because they are not concrete. You may as well fill a class with abstract methods and call it an implementation.

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