In China, children were born with artificially changed genotype

In China, children were born with artificially changed genotype


Chinese scholar he Cisangkuy said that he participated in the work of changing the genotype of the embryos, and as a result on light there were two children with “edited” genes. Scientist pursued a noble goal: through modification, children receive lifelong immunity to HIV. However, the world community at a loss, and the Chinese authorities began to genetics against active investigation. Really good end does not justify the means?

The problem

The Internet has emerged a lot of messages on this topic. If we summarize the information, the picture looks as follows. Some time ago, South University of science and technology in Shenzhen announced that it is looking for couples who are willing to edit the child’s DNA before birth. In particular, it was about the deletion of the gene CCR5 to protect children from HIV, cholera, and smallpox

Project Manager Ho Jianhui said that was edited the genomes of embryos of seven couples who underwent treatment. In one of the pairs was a healthy mother and a HIV-positive father. Genetics have changed the DNA of the embryo, and born as a result, the girls received a lifetime immunity to HIV.

How is it done?

The common man is difficult to imagine how it is possible to edit such a thin material, like genes. However, the technology has existed for quite some time. It is called CRISPR/Cas9. In fact, this complex, which protects the bacteria from attack by viruses, “cutting” the DNA of the virus from the genome of the bacteria. On the same principle the machine CRISPR/Cas9 acts on any other genes.

Is it possible to edit the genome?

During the last years of experimenting in the editing area of the genome, said scientists from many countries. But the birth of a “modified” children Chinese scientists reported the first.

“Man is not a lab rat and not experienced a plant sample, said Chairman of the Alliance for regenerative medicine in Washington Edward lanphear. Man is a unique species of our planet. I don’t question the fact that this is the boundary that mankind should not cross”. The Alliance called for an end to all research on human embryos editing.

Further – more. In November 2018 was reported that member countries of the UN may introduce a temporary ban on the development of technologies for genome editing, allowing you to quickly distribute certain gene variations in large populations of animals.

Why is everyone against it?

Scientists oppose edit the human genome for a variety of reasons. Some fear that we will be able to create people with programmed qualities, and there is not far to x-Men. Others believe that such intervention is not justified. The same development of HIV today can prevent or slow down much more simple methods. Still others point out that widespread use of genetic engineering techniques hamper the search for alternative ways to treat diseases.

Anyway, in relation to Hae Cisangkuy the beginning of the investigation. He’s suspended, and it launched the proceedings. In the meantime, the experiments on genotype banned, maybe you should think about medication to prolong life?