A pair of twin girls in China have been mutated in such a way that they will die quite young. This act is vehemently being opposed and thus being called “Foolish and dangerous”.
Last year Chinese Professor Prof He Jiankui shocked the world when he actually altered the genes of these twin babies so that they are immune to the deadly HIV.
He was immediately suspended from any further scientific activities and his acts were widely criticized.
“It’s shocking and unacceptable,”
Xu Nanping, vice-minister of science and technology said. He further added that this is not only the violation of China’s law and regulations but even the academic mortality and ethics were also violated at the same time. As per a recent study on “Nature Medicine”, it is pointed out that the girls are now likely to die young as a result of this mutation.
He actually targeted a gene called CCR5. Mutations to CCR5 generally lock the door and give people’s resistance to HIV. Professor actually made these embryos in an IVF clinic and then through gene editing technologies altered the CCR5 gene.
These are the resulting girls who are called as Lulu and Nana and were born last year. The problem with CCR5 is that other than it’s a role with HIV, it is also very important when brain functions are concerned and also it helps in fighting regular infections as well.
There was a study conducted at Berkeley by the University of California with 4,10,000 people. It was found out that more than 20% of them will die even before they turn 78.
Prof Rasmus from the university further added
“In this case, it is probably not a mutation that most people would want to have,”
“You are actually, on average, worse off having it.”
The gene editing technology which is also known as Crispr is extremely dangerous to be used on children. The after effects on both Lulu and Nana are still unknown.
We should also understand that the life expectancy of any individual depends on the DNA they are born with and also the world they are residing in. Researchers further communicated that
“shows once more that He was foolish to choose CCR5 to mutate”.
There was worldwide criticism and condemnation against the scientist when he made the announcement. People even called him “Monstrous”.
People also were angry because they believe that HIV can be treated and there are minimum risks of passing the same from a father to his baby. The Chinese authorities said that he did this in order to achieve “’Fame and fortune”.