He Jiankui seemed nervous. At that time, he was by no means a special researcher working at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. But in the past two years, he has been working on a top-secret project and is preparing to deliver a speech and results at the International Human Genome Editing Summit. There is always a kind of excitement in the air. The audience watched anxiously. People started to record with mobile phones. Jian Kui created the first genetically modified child in human history.
After 3.7 billion years of continuous development through natural selection, a life form has brought innate biology into its own hands. The result is that the twins are born with an altered copy of a gene called CCR5, which scientists hope will make them immune to HIV.But he wrote that things are not as they seem British Broadcasting Corporation.
Hank Greely, professor of law and medical ethics expert at Stanford University, said: “He attracted me in the first five to six minutes. He behaved honestly. As he continued, I became More and more suspicious.” November 2018.
In the following years, it became clear that Jiankui’s project was not as innocent as it sounded. He violated the law, forged documents, lied to the girl’s parents that there may be risks, and did not conduct proper safety tests. The project shocked many scientists. The project was described as horrible, amateurish and deeply disturbed. The culprit is now in prison.
However, the biggest shift may be caused by errors. It turns out that the girls Lulu and Nana have not edited their genes yet. Not only are they not necessarily immune to HIV, but they happen to have a fully invented version of CCR5 and may not exist in any other human genome on earth. But he pointed out that these changes are hereditary and can be passed on to their children, and so on. British Broadcasting Corporation.
In fact, this is not unexpected. From being modified into a slimmer, unexplainable rabbit, to a longer tongue, to a cow raised without horns, but inadvertently endowed with long bacterial DNA (including some genes that provide antibiotic resistance) in the genome, the past is full of Mistakes and misunderstandings.
Recently, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London warned that regulating the genetics of human embryos could have unintended consequences. Analyzing data from previous experiments, they found that about 16% of random mutations could not be detected by standard tests.
Can I overcome it? How do they affect future generations?
This may be a problem in the future. After all, Jiankui has been condemned, at least for now, twins are illegal in many countries. For many years, Lulu, Nana and the mysterious third child were the only people on the planet with edited genes. But this may change.
Somatic cell modification has emerged, and a new technology is being developed to treat a range of serious diseases, from obscure metabolic disorders to causes of blindness in children. It is believed that this technology has the potential to make significant progress in the treatment of genetic diseases and common diseases (such as cancer).
Krishanu Saha, a bioengineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the consortium who studies the safety of the technology, said: “Most of the Crispr therapy will be modifications to the somatic cell genome.”
This is how it works. This method does not change a person’s genome, but only a fertilized egg or an early embryo in a petri dish, but changes ordinary cells, such as cells in certain organs such as eyes. This means that changes should not be inherited by the next generation, but like all gene editing, it is not that simple.
“So we inject genome modifiers into the brain to target neurons in the hippocampus. How do we ensure that these modifiers do not enter the reproductive organs and eventually modify sperm or eggs? Then that person may pass the modifiers to their children.” , Saha (Saha) explained for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).