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The intersection of "cut and paste" in human genetics: does it save lives or go beyond ethical limits? – February 12, 2012



What is different under the promise of taking medication to cure disease and getting surgery to treat damaged tissue, voluntarily participating in experiments to change the DNA of deficient cells, or avoiding all of this? Previous) Modifying the genetic information of some embryos? Are they gray within the same scale? The scientific community says no. One is that everything is first and the other is genetically in contact with the "first" cells, Resulting from the combination between egg and sperm. Because the actual effect is unknown, but the change will be inherited by future generations. And no one is trying to open the door.

With the exception of He Jiankui, a ridiculous Chinese scientist who was despised this week, announcing that he has a genetically modified infant who does not do any of the main protocols of bioethics among all the regulations in China. That is, in this particular case, it is possible to destroy the embryo's DNA and resist the spread of HIV / AIDS. As a result of the experiment, he was convinced that Jiankui was born with a pair of twins and is undergoing another pregnancy.

Let's clarify jargon. On the other hand there is a call (always in the experimental phase). Genetic modification of somatic cells: Removes "problematic" cells from organisms, inserts or corrects missing or defective gene sequences, and then replenishes. This change "dies" with a person, that is, it does not happen to their descendants.

Also Genetic plate of reproductive cells (For Chinese scientists), at least for humans Rejected by the scientific community. There is a change in the gametes that DNA or embryo itself is made from, and it is hereditary.

One more: unpronounceable acronym CRISPR and Cas9 They talk about two tools (they are not the only ones) that scientists use to make the "hurt" in the DNA chain to contact the somatic cells with the embryonic cells.

fear? Like him Jiankui, tomorrow is the news of others. Outsider To do a lot "Genetic version of garage", Or have not received academic approval. Because of personal grants People with green eyes, people with maximum athleticism, or people with less hunger can be easily manufactured. Possibilities like ambition can be infinite.

"If a person decides that this is the ideal height for humans, then 1.80 meters of people will be able to use it," said Fernando Pitossi, senior research fellow at the Conicet-Leloir Institute.

Did the ghost of the Super Race reappear? One of those who believe that Fabiana Arzuaga, Coordinator of the National Advisory Commission on Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, said, "The question posed to this scientist is effect Off target. you You touch genes in the embryo, but you do not know if you are affecting other parts of the genome.. What if you have more intelligence than resistance to the disease? The ideas of a more favorable group will create big social differences. Discrimination and discrimination"

Chinese scientist He Jiankui (AP).

Chinese scientist He Jiankui (AP).

Claudia Perandones, Geneticist and Mediator of ANLIS National Laboratory and Health Research Institute Carlos G. Malbrán "has a different position, and in her case, the most stringent of this kind of progress is believing that everything is marked as an eugenic aspect, Connect biological heritage with interest in the perfection of human species..

Perandones agreed that "what Chinese scientists have done is destructive and therefore to be evaluated, sanctioned and controlled." "I have not published the results of the research in the scientific journals, and it is not clear what consent was obtained from my parents," he said.

Genetically engineered laboratories (AP) of genetic embryos in China.

Genetically engineered laboratories (AP) of genetic embryos in China.

But it was realistic: "We will not be able to return: The tool to come forward is this tool. You need to know how to use it neatly and properly.. The logical thing of the future Use when there is no other treatment.. He had other options for Jiankui to avoid HIV. "

It's not just a theme. On Tuesday, INTA, Conicet and ANLIS, as well as the Scientific and Technological Innovation Office on Agriculture and Health The work of "gene editing", Different experts will focus on the premise "I wanted to know about gene editing."

As for "cheering," the source linked to the event confessed that it was not easy to decide whether to include the theme of the Jeremi Edition in the program.

The subject is troubled. According to Perandones, "As with in vitro fertilization, everyone is embarrassed when a new model appears. Then we can improve the quality of life of an individual by institutionalizing an ethical, legal and legal system."

But for Pitossi,Direct evolution"They can not always imagine:" We always want to control everything. But in this case it will be necessary to direct the evolution of the species affected by the forces that we can not control. If it is common to determine human characteristics that are scientifically optimal over disease, we will take the richest of the games of evolution. Diversity"


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