In the last century science has breached the inner sanctum of atoms and created the atomic bomb. Today we invade the cells of the body. The consequences, alas,can lead us to the end of the world.
It all started a few years ago when genetic engineers from Harvard, mit and the University of California at Berkeley have jointly developed a powerful tools to modify genes that now allow us to literally create a monkey with DNA at its discretion. Tools called CRISPR, which means short palindromic repeats, regularly spaced groups.
If to speak a simple language, CRISPR makes possible the realization of scenarios, once considered science fiction, but at the same time happy and scared. The good news is that CRISPR and other tools can be used for the treatment of various genetic diseases (cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and breast cancer to diabetes, autism and even obesity).
For example, patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a defective gene that is unable to produce sufficient quantity of dystrophin, a key muscle protein. Recently doctors at the National children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has introduced healthy genes to the four boys with DMD and got very encouraging results.
But the use of tools for mixing and matching disparate types rather worrying. As you read this, genetic engineers in California and Minnesota creating pig-human and sheep-human chimeras, vital organs which are human. They do this against the will and without any financial creditunionone institutes of health(NIH). But it’s reported that scientists are motivated by a noble cause: to create a limitless source of body parts for patients in need of them.
But what if human cells in atikhisar will spread beyond their vital organs, e.g. the brain? The result being, you may be able to think like humans, and become something more than just genetically modified animals. The island of Dr. Moreau far, but the science is moving very quickly. Some scientists believe that is not far off the day when the world will shake up the news about the existence of a clever mouse stuck somewhere in the lab and screaming let me out.
Hiromitsu is the Executive Nakauchi, a biologist at Stanford University, which deals with these experiences, recognize that this can happen.
If the size of human cells is 0.5 percent, the probability that pigs will begin to think like men, and the sheep will stand on two legs, is very low. But if the size of the cells is much higher, e.g. 40%, then we have to do something.
Even more frightening is the possibility of using CRISPR to create new organisms from scratch. That’s what he thinks about this famous geneticist Craig Venter:
We went from reading our genetic code to the ability to create it. This gives us the hypothetical ability to do things that before no one even could imagine.
For example, geneticists have recently launched the Genome Project-Write (GP-Write), a global initiative that aims to redesign the existing genomes and to fully synthesize living organisms that arose in the human imagination.
It is impossible not to love science and its motivating desire to understand the universe and improve the human condition. But what we have achieved by cracking the atomic nucleus, so that such unpleasant consequences as nuclear power plants and hydrogen bombs, much greater good, such as nuclear medical devices that treat cancer and regularly save lives.
And though we all hope that genetic engineering will bring the world much good, in the mind involuntarily float the words of the late Erwin Chargaff, a prominent biochemist at Columbia University and pioneer in the study of DNA:
The nucleus of the atom, the nucleus of the cell In both cases I feel that science has broken the barrier that had to remain intact.