Humanity was reluctantly pulled into a new era this week. In a video posted on YouTube, Chinese scientist He Jiankui…
Humanity was reluctantly pulled into a new era this week.
In a video posted on YouTube, Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced to the world that he successfully used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to modify the DNA of two embryos before birth, essentially creating the world’s first genetically modified human.
The news, delivered on the eve of a high-profile scientific meeting in Hong Kong on human gen editing, left the science community in shock. “I see it as one of those moments that happens once every few decades,” said William Hurlbut, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University Medical Center’s Department of Neurobiology. “Hvor noen gjør noe som dramatisk ændrer landskapet, at verden aldri vil bli den samme igjen.”
Men forskeren, der udførte denne historisk ændrede feat, blev ikke fejret eller overdådig med ros. In fact, his whereabouts are currently unknown. Han skippte ud tidligt af det meget begivenhed, hvor han præsenterede hans forskning i forbindelse med et forsøg på dette arbejde. De Chinese autoriteiten hebben geopend een “onmiddellijke onderzoek” naar Hij en besteden de betrokkenen in het project om hun activiteiten te schorsen.
Het bewerken van de DNA van menselijke embryo’s die nog nooit eerder zijn gedaan. And with good reason, scientists say.
Scientists have reached an understanding that implanting such an embryo is a boundary that should not be crossed until the risks are reduced or eliminated. . “No one expected that someone would do this experiment on a human embryo,” Feng Zhang, one of the inventors of the gene-editing technique. CRISPR and member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard told CNN. “The scientific community did not actually know anything about what was going on.”
He, a professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, said he was “proud” of his work that resulted in two ostensibly healthy twin girls born from embryos altered to make them resistant to HIV. Men han blev fordømt ved hans peers, og den eksperiment var mærket “monstrous,” “unethical”, og en “storblow” till den ryska kinesiska biomedicinsk forskning.
Han kunde tinker med livet som skiftende teknologi bort från ögonen på regulators and purportedly even the university where he conducted the experiment, has raised serious ethical questions about the transparency of gen editing and sparked calls for a globally binding code of conduct.
The case also places renewed scrutiny on China, a leader in the field of genomic editing and biotechnology that has historically had a reputation for lateral ethical questions in favor of innovation.
But deeper questions are being asked whether or not it is now unavailable that this technology will be used in future.
“Never before have humans had power like this about our own biology,” Hurlbut said. “We are now in the era of germline genetic engineering.”
Germline gene-editing refers to genetic changes in each cell, which will be passed on to future generations.
Apart from raising ethical concerns, scientists said the gene He “edited-out,” said he said. “This is different to somatic (body) cell gene-editing, whereby only existing cells are targeted and the changes are not passed on to future offspring. “Called CCR5 is crucial to the human immune system, and removing it increases the risk of susceptibility to other diseases such as the West Nile virus and influenza. Andere kritieken wijzen op het feit dat de procedure niet medisch noodzakelijk was, omdat er andere behandelingen voor HIV zijn.
Het was duidelijk dat veranderingen in een embryo ook onbekende gevolgen zouden kunnen hebben die zouden kunnen worden doorgegeven aan toekomstige generaties.
He had not fully considered the potential long-term social effects on the twin girls. Da han spurte om at han skulle tro på hvordan de ville se sig selv og hvordan de ville blive behandlet af samfundet, svarede han: “Jeg ved ikke, hvordan man skal svare på dette spørgsmål.”
Forskere ved Summit pointed out that his approach to the study had been flawed from start to finish, in particular the way he obtained informed consent from the parents – a process that took place over just two sessions lasting a total of three hours, and without an independent third party to properly explain the risks and benefits.
He’s research has prompted scientists to call for greater transparency and some form of global governance in the field.
“There has been a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community because of the lack of transparency, “said Conference Chairman and Nobel laureate David Baltimore on Wednesday.
That the announcement of the world’s firs
Chinese scientists have accomplished many firsts in the genome world, including the first CRISPR-edited monkeys, the first use of the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 in humans,
China has also pumped huge amounts of government money into gene-editing technology, using it to lure leading Chinese scientists living abroad back to the country, as well as Foreigners who see the country as fertile ground for this kind of research.
“I just think right now China is a lot more driven, they incentivize their scientists to move faster and be bolder and it shows,” said Victor J. Dzau , President of the Institute of Medicine at the US National Academy of Medicine.
Last year, China spent a record 1.76 trillion yuan ($ 254 billion) on research and development, and the country is catching up with the US nvestment in the same area, spurring a genetic arms race that has been labeled “Sputnik 2.0” by Dr. Carl June, an immunotherapy specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.
And Chinese regulators appear more open to the new tech than its US counterparts. As of the end of February 2018, there were nine registered clinical studies testing CRISPR-edited cells to treat various cancers and HIV infection in China, according to Goldman Sachs analysis in April. That’s compared to one in the US after the Food and Drug Administration lifted its hold on the first US-based human CRISPR trial in October.
“It’s clear that this is the new frontier,” said Hervé Chneiweiss of France’s Center National de La Recherche Scientifique. “Det er klart den guldrush på enhver form for ny viden som kan omdannes til nye behandlinger.”
Mange af disse behandlinger eksisterer i et lovligt gråområde. For tiden har hvert land sine regler og regler om genredigering. China has several loosely-worded regulations restricting experimental science, including rules on embryo research. A 2003 directive to in-vitro clinics by the Chinese Ministry of Health barred “clinical experiments” that “violate ethical or moral principles.”
“The problem is there are no penalties” if the guidelines are breached, said Renzong Qiu of China’s Social Sciences.
In an effort to show the world that China is holding ethical standards, the nation’s vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Xu Nanping, said Thursday that he had “brazenly violated Chinese laws and regulations and breached the science ethics bottom line. “
Both the hospital named in He’s ethical approval documents, and the university he is affiliated with, deny involvement in the procedures. En in een gezamenlijke verklaring uitgegeven maandag, meer dan 120 Chinese wetenschappers veroordelen de onderzoek, zegt dat “direct experimenten op mensen is niets maar gek.”
“Er is een misconception dat het voorschot in onderzoek noodzakelijkerwijs moet komen met het zijn, meer flexibel met respect for regulation, “said David R Liu, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University, who has pioneered improving versions of CRISPR. “I caution that people should not take away from recent news that China is being less vigilant or less caring about these ethical breaches than any other country.”
In the short term, perhaps the greatest risk of misuse is not so much direct schade aan mensen, maar de potentiële chillende effect op legitiem onderzoek moeten overheden en regelgevers pushen voor grotere beperkingen.