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What is gene editing? Who did it? And is that true? A controversial experiment by Chinese scientist He Jiankui explained



<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The scientific community is mostly surprised at the claim that a woman in China give birth the first genetically edited baby in the world earlier this month, born from a modified embryo to make the twins resistant to HIV infection."data-reactid =" 31 "> The scientific community was very surprised by the claim that a woman in China gave birth the first genetically edited baby in the world earlier this month, born from a modified embryo to make the twins resistant to HIV infection.

The announcement was made on Monday by Chinese scientist He Jiankui on the eve of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong, where the world's leading thinkers have gathered to discuss technology and ethics.

His claim has deepened the sense of urgency surrounding the debate about the morality of gene editing, which has increased in recent years with rapid technological progress.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Who has invested in Chinese biotechnology startup He Jiankui?
"data-reactid =" 34 "> Who has invested in Chinese biotechnology startup He Jiankui?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "This progress is largely due to the discovery of a powerful gene editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9, whose gene editing application was first identified by University of California biochemists, Berkeley Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infectious Biology in Berlin."data-reactid =" 35 "> This progress is largely due to the discovery of a powerful gene editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9, whose gene editing application was first identified by University of California biochemists, Berkeley Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infectious Biology in Berlin.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "While technology that allows scientists to edit DNA strands has been developed since the 1970s, the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 has accelerated the ability of scientists to improve plants, control infections, and eliminate hereditary diseases. This also opens the door to radical changes in human DNA – this technology is said to be used by him to prevent the newborn twins from inheriting HIV infection."data-reactid =" 53 ">While technology that allows scientists to edit DNA strands has been developed since the 1970s, the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 has accelerated the ability of scientists to improve plants, control infections, and eliminate hereditary diseases. This also opens the door to radical changes in human DNA – this technology is said to be used by him to prevent the newborn twins from inheriting HIV infection.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "What do we know about He Jiankui's claim to have created the first genetically engineered babies?"data-reactid =" 54 "> What do we know about He Jiankui's claim to have created the first genetically engineered babies?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "What is gene editing?"data-reactid =" 55 ">What is gene editing?

Genes are sequences that are encoded into DNA strands; they determine the characteristics of the organism, its development, and, in some cases, what diseases they will get. Scientists have the ability to change the sequence of DNA, or genes, in living cells, "edit" genes and change how they are expressed in organisms. With gene editing, scientists can exchange DNA building blocks from genes that produce disease for new genetic codes that do not produce disease.

"Genome" is a broader term that refers to the whole set of organism's DNA, or the whole road map for an organism. Using a technique such as CRISPR-Cas9, scientists now have the power not only to engineer the expression of certain genes, but to target several genes along the DNA strand, thus creating more impact on the genome.

<h3 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Ethics and security are key to investigating gene editing claims"data-reactid =" 74 "> Ethics and security are key to investigating gene editing claims

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "What is CRISPR-Cas9?"data-reactid =" 75 ">What is CRISPR-Cas9?

CRISPR-Cas9 is a molecular system that acts as a pair of scissors that is very precise, showing the right place on the DNA strands to cut genes and insert a replacement. This is a borrowed tool from the immune system found in bacteria, where the CRISPR molecule stores the genetic code from past infections to defend it. When used by scientists, CRISPR molecules can match and find DNA sequences, while Cas9, the accompanying enzyme, binds and cuts DNA.

Other gene editing techniques that use enzymes to target DNA existed before 2012 and are still used, such as zinc-finger nucleation (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), but these are considered to be inappropriate and more expensive for laboratories to use compared to CRISPR-Cas9.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "How sophisticated is current genome editing technology?"data-reactid =" 98 ">How sophisticated is current genome editing technology?

The CRISPR technique has been used to change plants and animals. Earlier this year, researchers at Imperial College London used this technology to find a key that could erase the world's mosquito population, while those at the University of Edinburgh produced piglets that were resistant to viruses. There are many agricultural applications, from mushrooms that are not brown, made by a Pennsylvania State University professor in 2016, to tomato plants with fewer excess branches, developed by scientists from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Products of this progress, at this point, are limited to laboratories.

<h3 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed that another woman might be pregnant with a gene-edited baby when she apologized for triggering global controversy."data-reactid =" 100 "> Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed another woman might be pregnant with a gene-edited baby when she apologized for triggering global controversy

The use of CRISPR and similar technologies to fight human disease is one of the most interesting potential applications that captures research funding and the attention of scientists. The ease of use of CRISPR means that laboratories around the world use it to see how gene editing can eliminate diseases from hemophilia to HIV. Chinese scientists were the first to experiment with injecting cells with genes that modified CRISPR directly into humans. They used a technique to remove genes that stop the immune system from attacking cancer cells, in a 2016 clinical trial with lung cancer patients at Sichuan Sichuan University. Last year a private company in California made the first attempt to allow proteins to edit genes directly in the body, as opposed to modifying cells and then injecting them, in an effort to stop the gene that produces Hunter syndrome. The procedure does not depend on CRISPR, but ZFN.

At the very front of the genome editing technology is a modification of the human embryo. While this technology evokes the concern of "designer babies" with DNA altered to enhance appearance or intelligence, the scientific world has focused embryonic experiments on the prevention of hereditary diseases. The first known embryo editing experiment was published by Chinese researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou in 2015, just three years after the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The first embryo was edited with CRISPR in the United States last year by a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, who succeeded in removing genes associated with inherited diseases.

These exercises are purely experimental until the affirmation that he has implanted an embryo edited by genes for twins becomes a woman.

<h3 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Chinese scientist He Jiankui at the center of gene editing controversy ran a second experiment on human embryos, new documents revealed"data-reactid =" 120 "> Chinese scientist He Jiankui at the center of gene editing controversy runs a second experiment on human embryos, new documents reveal

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Why is gene editing controversial?"data-reactid =" 121 ">Why is gene editing controversial?

When scientists edit human embryos, they create changes that have the potential to influence the genetic composition of future generations. Unlike editing made to develop human cells, which only affects someone treated with these cells, edits are made for sperm, egg cells or embryos can be inherited. Global scientific bodies say that such enormous impacts need to be carefully considered and discussed with the public before being used.

When it comes to the current controversy surrounding Him, other ethical considerations are health. Because this technology is very new, the effects that might occur in the editing process on DNA and human life produced are unknown. Scientists around the world ask whether He carefully considers the health of babies in the future before using this new technology.

The birth of the twins attacked at the heart of the concern of "baby designers" who are often voiced around editing the genome. However, physical and personality attributes are usually associated with several genes, so while the human genome can be edited, choosing for such effects will be complicated to do. For now, science has directed its experiments towards the elimination of disease, not the selection of desirable traits.

<h3 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Chinese scientists condemn gene editing experiments & # 39; crazy & # 39; and & # 39; unethical & # 39;"data-reactid =" 141 "> Chinese scientists condemn gene editing experiments & # 39; crazy & # 39; and & # 39; unethical & # 39;

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "What are the rules for editing genes in Hong Kong and elsewhere?"data-reactid =" 142 ">What are the rules for editing genes in Hong Kong and elsewhere?

Faced with the radical implications of this technology, national scientific associations throughout the world have come out with regulations and recommendations for their use, but legal restrictions between countries vary. In the absence of strict regulations, China has been able to step into the CRISPR human court years before their American counterpart, which is still awaiting federal approval to begin the first human CRISPR clinical trial outside of China. Both the United States and Britain began editing human embryos last year, with legal restrictions on implantation in humans. In Hong Kong, such a lab procedure must undergo inspection and licensing by the Human Reproduction Technology Board. There are similar rules in mainland China, which require gene editing trials to get research institutes' approval and prohibit human implantation.

The US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine last year issued a regulation that was widely set to regulate acceptable genome editing in human embryos. The guide asks scientists to only edit the genome when there are no "reasonable alternatives" to prevent serious illnesses or conditions and sufficiently support research on target genes. They include criteria for how these experiments should be monitored and call for "extensive ongoing participation and input from the public" and "oversight mechanisms" to regulate technology use.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "This article What is gene editing? Who did it? And is that true? A controversial experiment by Chinese scientist He Jiankui explained first appeared South China Morning Post"data-reactid =" 145 "> This article What is gene editing? Who did it? And is it true? Controversial Chinese scientist He Jiankui explained the first time it appeared in the South China Morning Post

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