Should we be worried that genes can be edited so easily?
来源：未知 作者：濮葡锕 时间：2017-04-26 06:01:25
By Michael Le Page After Dolly the sheep was born, several groups announced they were going to clone people. A bizarre religious cult and a maverick fertility doctor even claimed success in the 2000s, but these claims have never been taken seriously. As far as we know, no clone of an adult human has yet been born, not least because we have struggled to create cloned human embryos. CRISPR gene editing, by contrast, is relatively easy. It’s not the sort of thing anybody could do in their kitchen, but with sufficient money a small team of rogue biologists and IVF doctors could create the first gene edited baby right now. “This is the thing that scares me the most,” says Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute. In fact, there is nothing to stop IVF clinics trying germline gene editing in many countries, including the US. “You can easily imagine clinics trying to boost their revenue by offering this,” says Lovell-Badge, who points out that unregulated clinics offering unproven stem-cell treatments are springing up all over the world. Such irresponsible behaviour might be disastrous for the health of children – and the purses of their parents – but for now it poses no wider issues. We don’t know how to create superhumans even if we wanted to (see “Will CRISPR gene-editing technology lead to designer babies?“). The biggest impact from CRISPR will come from the enormous range of genetically altered plants, animals, fungi and bacteria it will be used to create. The technique has already been used to create extra-muscular dogs for police work,