We Knew Gene Editing Would Happen, but Not That It had Happened
Technology that continues to grow has already affected in most industry. No one could ever deny that technology has helped us making our life easier. However, this growing technology also comes with risks. Whether we’re ready or not, it’s coming in our way. The impact of technology happened in the scientist Gene Editing as well.
This surprising experiment has been talking about the scientists across the world. Hé Jiankui, a scientist from China just created the world’s first genetically edited babies of twin girls. He presenting his work at the Second International Human Gene Editing Summit in Hong Kong and he also releasing a promotional video about his project on YouTube.
Hé Jiankui revealed that there were eight couples which comprised of HIV positive and negative. All of them had signed up voluntarily for the experiment, but one couple later dropped out. When the babies were just days old bundle of cells, he disabled a gene that allows HIV to infect white blood cells. He cut the gene out and replaced it with very specific DNA cells. However, this gene editing comes with risks, for example, who knows that the gene he disabled suppressed cancer growth?
Knowing this happened, most scientists around the world seems to be completely mad about his experiment. They have already predicted this would happen as soon as the technology was inventing because CRISPR tool is cheap and easy to use. It’s known that gene editing comes with high-risks and shouldn’t be attempted at this point. Also, Gene editing has banned in the US and most of Europe. So, this could explain why most scientists have condemned his work.
Hé Jiankui explained that the babies were born normal and healthy. They called as Lulu and Nana. Lulu has immuned to HIV while Nana is more HIV-resistant, but she’s not immune. The parents of Lulu and Nana are conceal from others, especially the media due to their privacy.
Nevertheless, there’s no certain way to stop a scientist in experimenting something, no matter what laws or standards are in place. As he explained in his presentation, there’s potentially another gene-edited babies on the way for there were six couples more. Even though Hé Jiankui’s lab has been shut down for a moment, he will continue monitoring the kids for the next 18 years.
So, what do you think about this gene editing? Have you ever thought this would happen?