What Happens when there are Mistakes? Crispier?

The genetic mistakes that could shape our species

New technologies may have already introduced genetic errors to the human gene pool. How long will they last? And how could they affect us?

In fact, there have been no shortage of surprises in the field. From the rabbits altered to be leaner that inexplicably ended up with much longer tongues to the cattle tweaked to lack horns that were inadvertently endowed with a long stretch of bacterial DNA in their genomes (including some genes that confer antibiotic resistance, no less) – its past is riddled with errors and misunderstandings.

More recently, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London warned that editing the genetics of human embryos can lead to unintended consequences. By analysing data from previous experiments, they found that approximately 16% had accidental mutations that would not have been picked up via standard tests.

Why are these mistakes so common? Can they be overcome? And how could they affect future generations?

Instead, both Lula and Nana are carrying CCR5 genes that are entirely new. As usual, each baby has two copies of the gene – one inherited from each parent – but they weren’t edited uniformly. Nana has accidentally had a single extra base pair added to one, and four deleted from the other. Meanwhile, Lulu has inherited a copy with 15 base pairs inadvertently deleted, as well as an entirely unaltered version.

“We’ve never seen these CCR5 proteins before and we don’t know their function in the context of a human being,” says Saha, “…we’re basically doing that experiment now.” – https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210412-the-genetic-mistakes-that-could-shape-our-species

That sounds ominous. (“…we’re basically doing that experiment now.”) Are these twins now patentable? Does He Jiankui the Chinese scientist own the patent of this created gene? Does He Jiankui have a role in decision making in their lives? How will this gene affected their future children?

Are the twins now legal scientific experiments? Must they comply to testing? And, will their children inherit the same patented gene?

Will our future children be genetically owned?



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