Chinese authorities have begun investigations into gene investigators who claim to have changed the legacy of two newborn babies. At the same time, Swedish researchers are demanding debate about new genetic technicians. "It was twelve past two," said Professor Nils-Eric Sahlin.
A Chinese scientist claims to have changed the legacy of a newly born twin couple. The purpose of this change is to make them more resistant to HIV, which causes AIDS.
Researcher He Jianku told about "his business" – on Youtube. There he claimed to have changed the legacy of a newborn twin couple, Lulu and Nana. With the help of so-called crispr technology, researchers should change inheritance so children become resistant to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
"I understand my work will be questioned, but I think the family needs this technology. And I'm ready to get criticism for this," Reuters said. He said in a published video.
Artificially changing the human genome and allowing embryos that were converted to evolve into very controversial individuals and were banned in most countries. That, as far as you know, never happened before.
Critics of He Jianku's research did not allow us to wait.
"If this is the case, it would be the use of genealogical technology (this) that is the most irresponsible, unethical and dangerous," said Kathy Niakan, an expert at the Francis Crick Institute in London.
The research institute is related to, The Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, states that researchers have been unpaid leave since February and are not expected to return until 2021. The university also claims that researchers' efforts are unknown. .
"The University of Science and Technology South requires scientific research to comply with national laws and regulations, and to respect and adhere to international ethical standards," the university wrote in a statement.
Chinese authorities say they have begun an investigation, while researchers themselves appear to have disappeared or become irreversible.
Before that, he contacted the Reuters news agency, where he stated that he planned to share his research during the scientific forum this week, and that he planned to allow research to undergo peer review before being published in scientific journals.
At the moment, however, no one knows if He Jianku really did what he claimed to have done. There are still many question marks.
Nils-Eric Sahlin, professor of medical ethics at Lund University, was not so surprised by the news.
– Technology is there and there is interest in using it. But before using it, the world community must agree that it's safe to use, because today you don't know what the consequences are. There is a moral aspect to what has been done so far that these children can live throughout their lives.
TT: But is that also the first test tube boy?
"Yes, but this requires that you do a thorough ethical analysis first and learn what the consequences are. But above all, we all, not just the science community, discuss what values should be applied in Sweden. How do we want to do this with technology? this, this is not allowed in Sweden, while technology has enormous potential. We have shown this long and Smer (National Medical Council) has proposed a parliamentary investigation. We must discuss this – now, said Nils-Eric Sahlin.
Technology from Umeå
In this study, researchers used a recycling technique called CRISPR / Cas9, a technique developed in part at Umeå University. With the help of this technique, it is possible to introduce specific changes to the genome. If this is done on a fertilized egg, changes will accompany cell division in the future.
In Sweden and in many other countries, it is legal to study human embryos, provided there is an ethical agreement. However, according to the law on genetic integrity, it is not permitted to carry out genetic changes that might be inherited. Manipulated embryos must not be returned to the woman again. In addition, the embryo must be 14 days old and must be destroyed.
Source: The Genetic Integration Act, and many others.