Vaccination, chemotherapy, antibiotics… is it Necessary to prohibit CRISPR?

Yesterday it became knownthat several famous people in the field to edit the genes they want to introduce a global moratorium on the edit genes in cells that transmit changes to the next generation. Even in 2015, after the first International summit on the editing of human genes, the organizers unanimously agreed that the creation of genetically modified children would be “irresponsible” if only we didn’t know for sure that it is safe.

CRISPR: deny should not be allowed

Last year, the Chinese scientist he Cisangkuy edited the embryos to create two genetically modified babies. Other groups are also actively looking for opportunities to use this technology to improve people’s lives.

This prompted the people with names in the edit area of genes (some of which signed the statement-2015) call for global moratorium on editing of all germ lines man — editing of sperm or egg cells with genetic changes.

In an open letter, published in Nature this week, major players in the development of CRISPR, including Emmanuela Charpentier, Eric lander, and Feng Zhang, have joined colleagues from seven different countries, calling for a complete ban on the editing of germ lines of a person, while the international body will not agree on how to monitor this. They have offered five years for consideration of this issue. The national Institute of health also supported this appeal.

The signatories hope that the voluntary global moratorium will prevent the next Cisangkuy with an unwanted surprise.

Scientists believe that a moratorium for a period of five years will provide time to discuss “technical, scientific, medical, social, ethical and moral issues that must be considered” before taking CRISPR to use. Countries that decide to go further and allow editing of the germ line, must not only announce it publicly, but also to participate in international consultations on the advisability of such movement, and to ensure “broad public consensus” in the country.

Also the signatories of the letter suggest that the study of germ line should be allowed, if there is no intention to implant embryos and produce children. Using CRISPR to treat diseases in unproductive somatic cells (when the changes are not inherited) should also be acceptable if any of the adults involved give consent. Genetic enhancement should be prohibited, and no clinical applications should not be, if his “long-term biological effects are not clear enough — both for people and for the people”.

We still don’t know what most of our genes, so the risk of unintended consequences — good or bad — is huge. For example, loss of the gene CCR5, which staged Heh, intending to protect children from HIV, was associated with an increase in the number of complications and deaths OOM of some viral infections.

Changes in the genome can have unintended consequences in future generations. “Trying to change the view, based on our current level of knowledge, would be a manifestation of pride,” says scientists.

The proposed moratorium is designed for good people and unlikely to stop scams. But a direct prohibition would be too “hard”. Well, let’s hope we can find a middle ground on this issue.

What do you think the General public, including you and me?

The benefits of CRISPR

Just this year, CRISPR has shown three powerful benefits possessed by the procedure of modifying genes and learning tool is just beginning.

First, all the same genetically modified twins from China, may have unintentionally improved the intellect. The study showed that the same change is the deletion of the gene CCR5 makes the mice smarter, but also improves the ability of the human brain recover after a stroke, and can also be associated with higher performance in school. The study was published in the journal Cell. Already initiated further research aimed at studying the Association of the CCR5 deletion with recovery after a stroke.

Second, CRISPR is able to weaken the immune system reaction of the body to stem cells, making the latter, in fact, “invisible” protective reactions. It is possible to prevent the rejection of transplants of stem cells. Scientists used CRISPR to remove two genes that are necessary for the proper functioning of a family of proteins known as major histocompatibility complex (HCGS) class I and II.

When the researchers transplanted the modified ternary mouse stem cell-incompatible mice with normal immune systems, they did not see any rejection. They then transplanted similarly engineered human stem cells are so-called humanized mice have immune systems are replaced by components of the human immune system — and again saw nothing.

This suggests that CRISPR can do the transplant at least pluripotent stem cells is much easier to reduce the percentage of rejection and to facilitate the process of habituation to new tissues.

And even if you say that CRISPR can be dangerous because they can accidently cut non-targeted genes, researchers have attended to the creation of a “switch” for editing tool.

Earlier this month a team from the University of California at Berkeley was reorganized into a programmable CRISPR tool ProCas9 that quietly hides in the cells, until he was awaken by external factors — for example, viral infection.

This “additional security” restrict editing skills CRISPR a subset of cells “for cutting,” says study author Dr. David savage.

Moreover, ProCas9 can potentially respond to a logical input, such as “and” or “no”, which means that it will be activated only under a specific set of instructions — for example, “this cell is cancer” or “this cell is infected” will lead to the answer “to sacrifice”, which activates CRISPR and give him instructions to cut the genes necessary for survival. The study was published in the prestigious journal Cell.

Obviously, a direct prohibition of editing CRISPR can be extremely dangerous and to drop science back — imagine that a direct prohibition of chemotherapy, vaccinations, or antibiotics. The potential of CRISPR even a few percent is not opened, but it is already clear how powerful can be this tool.

Do you support the moratorium? Tell us in our chat in Telegram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *