Experts in the field of genetic research suggest that our worst fears about editing genes won’t come true, because it’s too difficult to implement. You see, one of the main concerns that cause the public method of gene editing CRISPR, is that it can be used to create “designer babies” with higher level of intelligence. In the worst case this may give unfair advantage to parents who can afford to improve their offspring. For example, a survey of residents of the American city to Drink in July 2018 showed that their greatest concern is that NASA “will be available only to the rich.”
They should not worry, comforted by their three leading scientists in the field of editing genes. Intelligence is too complex to be designed, and that’s good, because that intelligence will save us from the dangers of human arrogance.
Designer babies and CRISPR
In November, the Chinese scientist Heh Cisangkuy said that secretly used the tool to edit the genes to create a twin girls, immune to HIV. This caused alarm, because it showed that the production of designer babies is not only impossible to stop — this is already happening.
But public concern over the creation of intellectual elites, probably has no ground reality. According to scientists, who published work last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The article was written by George Daly, Dean of the Harvard school of medicine and two European experts on embryology, Robin Lovell-badge icon and Julie Steffann.
“In the long run our greatest protection against improper editing of the genome may be the inability to influence traits such as intelligence, which result from complex interactions of many genes and environments,” they wrote.
We connected more than a thousand genes with IQ or success of people in school. At the moment scientists do not know what these genes, and, more importantly, the tools for editing genes has not yet reached to change the genes of the embryo in many places.
To the authors ‘ ignorance is bliss. They want to edit the genes were used to eradicate genetic diseases in embryos and believe it is possible. Because of serious congenital diseases, such as Huntington’s disease or cystic fibrosis, often caused by specific errors in DNA separate genes, they can be corrected using CRISPR. They say that to do it in the Bud is the best way to get rid of the problem.
Daley and other scientists now want this kind of medicine moved forward. But it will be more difficult if the edit genes will be used roughly, since regulatory authorities will continue to ban it, and public opinion will deteriorate.
In the case of twins, Heh Cisangkuy said that they had deleted a gene called CCR5, to make them immune to HIV. Although Xe was in a sense the first, Daley and colleagues believe that was the infamous study that violate the rules of ethics. Will always remember him for reckless disregard widely marked in research, clinical and ethical standards.
Now he is under house arrest.
And this is only the beginning — in fact there is a good reason to change embryos. For example, if the couple can not have healthy children or did not want to pass risky genes when trying to conceive a child through IVF. Anyway, CRISPR is being used for purposes that the public finds disturbing. Most people are perfectly relevant for this tool, if it is to eradicate the disease. But only 20% believe that use it to “improve” the human — in particular, to improve intelligence of offspring is a good idea.
Fortunately for scientists, they do not need to decide whether this is good or bad to improve the intelligence of the embryo. They say it’s impossible, so nothing to worry about.
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