Saturday , November 27 2021

Science in crisis: Genetically engineered babies


A Chinese scientist is informed that he changed the DNA of two babies to be immune from HIV. The reaction of the international scientific community has been unanimous: it was not moral.

1. Fudge's possible. In his speech at the 2nd International Human Genome Edition, the Chinese geneticist announced the birth of two twins whose DNA had changed using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique to make them resistant to the AIDS virus.

The Chinese researcher did not submit his research to the criticism of other scientists, nor did he reveal the truth to some of his collaborators and did not take into account the international consensus against genetic modification in infants. Therefore, according to Vidal, "his experiment created immediate rejection as widespread." (Ha'aretz, November 29, 2018)

The newspaper "Al Pai" described "Jiankui" as "an unsuccessful search for fame" (see), while La Vanguardia published the news in this title: "Dr. Fudge is great genetic" (see), and compares The same Italian embryo Severino Antinori, when he declared in 2002, even without evidence, that he had cloned human embryos and planted them with three women.

2. The risk of genetic manipulation. Dr. Yanqui's experiment will eliminate the molecular receptor (the CCR5 gene) through which the human bacteria can penetrate the cell and infect it, from the genetic material (DNA) of the two girls.

According to the German biologist Jan Korbel, interviewed by the digital newspaper Deutsche Welle (DW), "this procedure is not only ethically but very dangerous," that during the procedure to remove the molecular receptor of HIV from DNA, they can also remove genes Others that will affect these girls in the future. (DW, November 26, 2018)

In addition, Joseph Corbella explains that the genetic edition that made Jiankui made no medical justification, because "one of the girls who is supposedly born is still vulnerable to HIV because she has one of two copies of the whole gene, which he knew – or should have known – before transplanting Fetus. " (La Vanguardia, November 29, 2018)

3. Respond to the benefit of ethics. Although the veracity of the experiment is questionable by the scientific community, the news has been joined by dozens of international scientists who have condemned the lack of ethics of Jankoi.

Reuters reports that more than 100 scientists, mostly Chinese, have written an open letter and published the Chinese paper "Paper Paper," which states that "the ethical bioethical analysis of this study is called only" "(La Jornada, November 27, 2018)

On this occasion, the Bioethics Committee of the Council of Europe recalled that ethics and human rights should guide the use of genome-editing technologies in humans, and warned that DNA synthesis constitutes "many ethical, social and security problems." (, November 30, 2018)

epilogue He Jiankui has just opened the "Pandora's Box" because it has put at risk the future health of humans. The words of the snake to Eve echo: "Be like gods." However, it was the scientific community that lay media that protested the experiment, reminding that science did not have to reshape humans.

@FeyRazon [email protected]

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