China First Gene Edited Twin Babies, The Gene Alteration is Banned in United StatesUma (Author) Published Date : Nov 26, 2018 13:07 ET
Jiankui of Shenzhen, a Chinese researcher claims that he helped to make the world's first alteration in genes of the twin babies made changes in the DNA of the twin girls to help them resist possible future infection with the AIDS virus. Genome or gene editing is a technology that allows the genetic material to be altered by adding or removing in the gene. The changes made in the sperm, eggs or embryos can be inherited. This is not allowed in the US except for lab research. China outlaws human cloning but not clearly gene altering.
Jiankui revealed this in Hong Kong International Conference on gene editing and in an associated press meeting. However, this kind of work is banned in the United States for the reason that these DNA alterations can pass to future generations and there is a risk of harming other genes too.
His intention was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease but to resist possible future infection with HIV. Some scientists are not satisfied with his report and criticized him for his experiments on human beings and the possible risk involved in it. In Genetic Engineering, a method of introducing new genetic elements into organisms has been done around the 1970s. The main defect of this technology, by which the DNA is inserted into the hosts, is that it can tarnish the other genes within the organism. The methods could be used for research purposes, by targeting mutations to specific genes, and in gene therapy to cure some genetic diseases.
Scientists have already discovered a clear way to make changes in DNA. The tool, called CRISPR-cas9, makes the possible means to operate on DNA, to supply a needed gene or disable the problematic gene. Dr. Eric Topol, who is the head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California revealed it to be too premature. Harvard Universitys George Church, one of the famed geneticist said a major and growing public health threat.
China First Gene Edited Twin Babies, The Gene Alteration is Banned in United States