Group & # 39; experts in Chile questioned the veracity of & # 39; alleged genetic edition in human infants to prevent HIV in China.
26 & # 39; in November, the Chinese scientist has caused worldwide concern Jiankui He claimed that it had created the first genetically modified babies into the world by applying the technique of & # 39; gene editing CRISPR / Cas9 to two twins.
The information given in the framework of the summit & # 39; Hong Kong, this congress was the first in which there is already discussion on the modification of the human germ line.
On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that experts from the agency will investigate ethical, social implications and & # 39; safety may involve birth & # 39; GM babies.
"We are at the beginning of & # 39; this technology to make use of it in people", said Miguel Allende, director of the Center for the Genome Regulation (CRG), the University of Chile. "It's totally irresponsible", he added, although he questioned whether the procedure actually been achieved.
In the world, the experiment & # 39; It caused a great awareness of the dangers & # 39; this form of & # 39; eugenika to mass to the point & # 39; thinking about the existence of & # 39; & # 39 two types; humans. The standard and modified. "It will be impossible to avoid the existence of & # 39; black market for genetic editing. People want perfect children and are willing to pay a lot to have one. We can be alone before the start of & # 39 ; black market & # 39; perfection ", warned the newspaper Country the philosopher Julian Savulescu, of Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics & # 39; University & # 39; Oxford, UK.
He started spreading Jiankui videos on YouTube which claimed that it had modified the genes & # 39; twins.
According to the Chinese researcher, girls, Lulu and Nana, "born with & # 39; health a few weeks ago," thanks to in vitro fertilization with & # 39; technology & # 39; GM "to prevent them from being infected -HIV ".
F & # 39; these videos, is alleged to have used the CRISPR / Cas9 technical and justify the experiment indicate that the genetic modification "m & # 39; should aim to eliminate genetic diseases", but " to give the girls the natural ability to withstand possible future HIV infection. "
Currently, genetic editing is more accepted in & # 39; & # 39 cells, adult – to treat certain diseases such as muscular dystrophy – but it is much more controversial in & # 39; human embryos. Chile, is governed by Law 20.120, on humans research, while the rest of the world there are different degrees of & # 39; restrictions, changing over the years, with China among the most flexible.
The procedure "is dangerous and premature, because we know very small part of the human genome, x & # 39; can & # 39; possible side effects & # 39; this amendment, as it tries to the effectiveness of -teknika, we do not know, "said Florencia Tevy, PhD in genomics. from the University & # 39; Bologna.
Experts agree that, technically, it is possible that the researcher carried out the experiment. "Technical feasibility is concrete and real," said Eva Bustamante, head & # 39; Onkogenomika at the Oncology Institute of Arturo López Pérez Foundation (FALP). Tevy also believes it is "entirely feasible".
"It is totally viable," Allende agreed. "It is not very difficult, if you have access to patients, and have the opportunity to have in-vitro fertilization and embryo, you & # 39; do it without a lot of help."
He pointed out that many laboratories in the world, including his body, applying the CRISPR technique, although it for editing & # 39; non-human genomes. However, stresses that rigorous strictly with human DNA is similar to that of & # 39; other animals, there is little difference, "except the difficulty of achieving the embryo".
However, the lack of & # 39; support of scientific publication or support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences itself cast doubt on whether the maneuver been achieved.
"M & # 39; there is no evidence that the work is real," said Bustamante. "M & # 39; there is no evidence & # 39; how it happened and how did it."
"You must prove and different kinds & # 39; data, is questionable, because when someone does something that is supposed to be spectacular, and does not show it, you suspect the shot." Scientists are always depressed to put our work in front of everyone, they see it, revise it and our peers jemmnuna tell whether or not ", said Allende.
"M & # 39; no technical details, it is of no laboratory notebooks or identify the formation of the group & # 39; research", said Tevy. "B & # 39; notes it can solve many questions".
However, if done, the specialists indicate the danger of the procedure, because the human DNA, despite advances, still in a large part unknown.
For many of them, the application of CRISPR / Cas9 technique without the certainty that the change & # 39; gene to generate future complications is irresponsible, and undermines the principle of maleficence ethically.
Moreover, they point out that if there is no certainty that it can not affect other biological processes, is serious, not only from an ethical, but also effects on short or long it can & # 39; generates f & # 39; his life. "To use it in & # 39; embryos, a & # 39; people were not born, and that is play with & # 39; genes, the m & # 39; clear aħniex about what they do, is irresponsible," said Allende.
Bustamante warned that could generate new mutations. "This is the main risk not having full control" of the procedure, he said.
"We do not agree with & # 39; this type of & # 39; experiment, although it is not an ethical dilemma to work with & # 39; human genome, the problem is that there is no safe technology today to ensure that only desired -ġene be affected., and secondly because they do not know enough about the function of genes and their alteration in & # 39; terms that could have other roles ", he said. "To fix one thing, you & # 39; delete another."
Finally, scientists suggest that, even if the procedure is real, the only way to prove its effectiveness is by exposing the twins to HIV.
"Nobody in the right mind to do so in the future, young people and adults, just to prove that theory & # 39; this man was real, and HIV is a virus, and jimmutaw viruses many ".
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