fbpx
×

Tired of all this political nonsense?

Sign up and get inspired everyday

How Would “Gene-Edited Babies” Affect The World Ethically?

He Jiankui claimed to have created the world’s first gene-edited twin baby girls.

Right before the world AIDS days, a Chinese professor, He Jiankui, from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, claimed that the world’s first gene-edited twin baby girls, who he helped generate with rewriting gene that could prevent HIV injection, has been successfully born.

“After birth, this verified that the gene-editing surgery was safe. No gene was changed except the one to prevent the HIV infection. The twin baby Nana and Lulu are as healthy and safe as other girl babies,” Jiankui said via social media.

I understand my work will become controversial, but I believe families need this technology. I am willing to take the criticism.

The assertion immediately ignited an enormous “earthquake” amid academic community and public opinions, which has intensified the international backlash.

More than 100 Chinese scientists launched a joint statement, expressing their intense denunciation that his behavior has hammered the image and development of China’s scientific community, for he has violated the rules on experimenting on humans.

Mr. He announced the process of the surgery at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, where experts from all over the world discussed regulations on gene editing. He said he used CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful gene editing tool, to disable copies of theCCR5 gene in embryos to prevent HIV injections.

However, that is not the most important point. In fact, what astonished scientists and ethicists was that he had ignored all ethical protocols.

“The world has moved on to the stage of embryo gene editing. There will be someone, somewhere, who is doing this. If it’s not me, it’s someone else,” Jiankui believes.

Nevertheless, the public seems to be paying more attention to whether the technology is really mature enough. George Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School, expressed his concerns in this aspect.

“We know the technology is very powerful. It’s basically a molecular scissors. We can cut DNA and make changes.

But it’s unclear how precise that cutting is, so the worry is that you cut in places that you don’t want to cut, inactivating genes that are very important, or maybe changing the expression of genes that could predispose to other problems, like cancer,” he said in an interview at Hong Kong.

China authorities have currently suspended all of Mr. He’s scientific projects, with the declaration that they were firmly against the experiment of genetic editing babies. Mr. He now also has been in a series of investigation.

“According to China’s regulation ‘Ethical Guiding Principles for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which was promulgated in 2003, it stipulates that genetic editing and modification on human embryos can be carried out for research purposes.

However, the incubation period in vitro should not exceed 14 days after fertilization or nuclear transplantation,” Xu Nanping, the vice minister of Science and Technology of China, responded to the public.

He pointed out emphatically:

“But if the gene editing baby is confirmed to have been born, which is apparently prohibited, then it will be handled in accordance with relevant Chinese regulations and laws.”

By: Grace C. Sui

Comments

RECOMMENDED POSTS

992px-DACA_rally_SF_20170905-8471

Responses to Immigration Reform Changes under Trump

President Trump and former President Obama have both deported tens of thousands of illegal immigrants. However, they evoked different responses…

Body Image – Voices

Body Image – Voices

“I think the media puts out a specific image that everyone strives to look like. Even just racially, most people…

LGBTQ – Voices

LGBTQ – Voices

“I came out to my parents when I was 15. My mum was very understanding and didn’t react much.” Glasgow,…

How To Become A Stronger Version Of Yourself

How To Become A Stronger Version Of Yourself

“I would wake up and try to recognize the good things in my days. I pinpointed what made me laugh…

Body Image – Voices

Body Image – Voices

“It’s important for people to feel confident in their own body, but be careful of not being hyper focused on…

Mental Health – Voices

Mental Health – Voices

“Find things that can help you express yourself, do things that can make you forget the pain and just enjoy…

Self-Expression – Voices

Self-Expression – Voices

“Dancing was never a competition for me though as it became to many of my friends. I sincerely just enjoyed…

trisha-small1

Meet Trisha Sakhuja-Walia: CEO of Brown Girl Magazine

Trisha Sakhuja-Walia is the co-founder and CEO of Brown Girl Magazine. Brown Girl puts out digital diverse content for South Asians…

LGBTQ – Voices

LGBTQ – Voices

“My sexuality kind of developed in stages. I liked boys first, had crushes on boys first, and flirted with boys…