In late last year, a Chinese scientist of the name He Jiankui declared that he had produced the first human genetically modified world. Working with the embryos of families with HIV-positive parents, the scientist used the CRISPR gene editing technology to erase a specific gene.
Now, researchers believe that the twin girls that were born healthy could actually have changed the function of the brain as a result. In fact, the deletion of the gene, from the name CCR5, could make them smarter than what they would otherwise have been, but it will be some time before I I do not know sure.
Like MIT Technology Review reports, the babies known as Lulu and Nana had their CCR5 genes were eliminated in the gen editing process while they were still embryos. That gene has to link to the exclusion of cognitive function in laboratory tests. Global observations also refer to the lack of CCR5 gene related to advanced knowledge in the school and a new study suggests that its absence could help individuals recover faster after a traumatic event such as a stroke.
Jiankui did not explain who had any intention to change the cognitive abilities of the children that he had experimented, and he never made it clear if he believed that there was a connection between CCR5 gene and cognitive function. The last we heard about him, the scientist was told about a house arrest because Chinese government decided how to deal with the case.
Of course, it is worth noting that no-one knows whether the small girls at the heart of this whole mess have affected their brains in any significant way. Scientists following the case have indicated that we will not know the full impact of the changes that I made until the young people grow up.
There is still a good reason why the genetics community is so sound against human adaptation, and this is a great example. If the girls end a bit more smarter, that's one thing, but the reverse (or worse) might be true too. We will not know for some time.