It does not seem so long ago when a boast was raised over Dolly the Sheep, the first animal to…
It does not seem so long ago when a boast was raised over Dolly the Sheep, the first animal to be created by cell cloning. Now, if a Chinese scientist is to be believed, we have made the leap to clone animals to genetically edit our own offspring.
The researcher, He Jiankui from Shenzhen, says the twins called Lulu and Nana “came shouting into the world as well as all the other children” several weeks ago, and are now home with their parents.
He, along with a Chinese law and the help of an American scientist ̵
1; who traveled abroad as such, is currently forbidden in the United States – could write and manipulate the twins DNA through the CRISPR genetic engineering tool, according to the Associated Press.
purpose? Medical change and resistance to disease, namely the HIV / AIDS virus.
Embryos given by seven couples changed, with a successful pregnancy so far. According to the researcher, the successful pregnancy resulted in twins with sperm from a man named Mark who is an HIV carrier and “never thought he could have children.”
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“Grace [the mother] began her pregnancy with a difference after we sent her husband’s sperm to her egg, we sent also some protein and some instructions for a reoperation, “he says. “When Lulu and Nana were just a single cell, it took away the door through which HIV comes in to infect people.”
The protein portal is used by a gene called CCR5 that allows HIV to enter cells. It is this genome that the team focused on editing.
He added that a few days later, the team carried out follow-up to see if the changes had taken place. According to the researcher, “the operation was safe for the purpose” and no other gene was modified.
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The trial was conducted secretly and no paper has yet been submitted for peer review in the genetic sequencing and editing space.
The identities of the parents and the children involved in the trial – which some have exploded as ruthless human experiments and dangerous – have also been kept anonymous.
If such statements prove to be true, this is a great milestone in science that can lead to a generation born with inherent resistance to some of the most debilitating diseases. Such a future, however, also gives a number of ethical questions and the possibility of a caveat in the case of “designer” children and what DNA can – or should – change.
The research, which has not been independently verified, was terminated before a reshuffle conference due to the start of Hong Kong on Tuesday.
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The tool that is clearly used to perform the experiment is known as Clustered Regular Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR / CRISPR-Cas9), a review tool based on a naturally occurring bacterial editing system. By using CRISPR, dangerous genes can be disabled.
Researchers around the world are still exploring the potential applications of the tool, but for some, DNA manipulation may have come too early.
“This is too early, says Dr. Eric Topol from Scripp’s Research Translational Institute in California.” We are dealing with the manual of a human being. That’s a big deal. “