November 26 2018 – 19:44
A Chinese man claims that he has changed a number of embryos in fertility treatments, twins already born. But there is a warning in the scientific community.
A Chinese researcher claims that she has helped create babies, the first genetically named twins named this month that DNA adapts them, with a powerful new tool that can rewrite the original life project .
If it's really, it would be a great science center with intense ethical implications.
The US scientist said he had been involved in genetic editing in China, which is banned in the United States because changes in DNA can be transferred to future generations and there is a danger that other genes will be harmed.
Many scientists believe that it is too dangerous to try it, and some say that the Chinese report is equivalent to experimenting with humans.
Resist HIV infection in the future
Researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen City, said he had changed embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, and has so far had a pregnancy. He stated that his goal did not improve or prevent hereditary disease, but to try to give a characteristic that many people do not have a natural way: able to resist a future infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
He noted that the parents involved had refused to be identified or interviewed, and will not reveal where they live or where the work was done.
It was not yet confirmed by science
No one confirmed. He claims to be independent, and has not published in a magazine, where other experts would explore that. He published his work in Hong Kong on Monday to one of the organizers of an international conference on genetics that will begin on Tuesday, and before that in unique interviews with The Associated Press.
"I feel a strong responsibility that not only wants to do something for the first time, but also want to put the example," he told the AP. & # 39; & # 39; The Association will decide what to do next in terms of allowing or prohibiting such scientific developments.
More than 120 Chinese scientists condemn the announcement of his colleague He Jiankui about the birth of two genetically modified babies to avoid HIV contracting, in an open letter where they say that experimenting people is "crazy" and suggesting potential potential results.
Scientists from different organizations, including universities of Tsinghua, Beijing and Fudan and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have been documented by the text.
"These transitions of human genetic material, which are very insecure in science, will inevitably mix into the human genetic group," said the letter issued by DPA.
Researchers say "babies born healthy are for a period, but the potential risks and damage to the human group (…) are volatile."
They were also worried that the experiment was "a blast for the global reputation of Chinese science", and asked the inspection authorities to act as soon as possible and conduct an investigation into the case.
"The Pandora box has been opened and we may have the possibility to close it before the damage is inappropriate," he warned.
However, the genetic genetics of HIV, George George of Harvard University, defended the "genetic threat of HIV", which defined as "an increasing and important threat to public health."
"I believe it is justification," said Church of that goal.
In recent years, scientists have found a relatively simple way of generating genes, the DNA strands that control the body. The tool, named CRISPR-cas9, enables DNA operations to provide a necessary gene or disable one that causes problems.
One of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technicians, the American Jennifer Doudna, also criticized his announcement.
"If verified, this work is a break of precautions and a transparent approach to the application of a global scientific community CRISPR-Cas9," said Doudna, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley.
Doudna said that his research research had not yet been published or reviewed by the scientific community.
The researcher is taking part in the Hong Kong of the Genomic Edition Summit, which he also plans to attend.
If a scientific analysis confirms this work, it will confirm "the urgent need to limit the use of genetic editing in human embryos to scenarios where there is no clear medical need and that another therapeutic approach is not practicable, "he said.
The CRISPR-Cas9 mechanism has been known for almost decades and in 2003, the Spanish microbiologist Francisco Martínez Mojica discovered that microorganisms use it to protect themselves, breaking genetic material from viruses and incorporating & # 39; r that material in their own DNA.
The discovery of Mojica was the basis of Doudna and French researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier, years later, to artificially reproduce the system and offered in 2012 that could be used to modify the genome exactly, as well as humans.