理智地利用基因编辑技术 We can now edit life so lets use the power wisel-亚博网站登录


【亚博网站登录】Biotechnology is on the brink of the biggest scientific advance since researchers discovered in the 1970s how to insert DNA into living cells. Fast and accurate new “gene editing”, which cuts and pastes DNA at exactly the right place in the target genome, is about to replace the slower hit-and-miss methods of genetic engineering used for the past 40 years.上世纪70年代,研究人员找到了在活体细胞中放入DNA的方法。目前,生物科技将要再次发生自那时以来仅次于的科技进步。较慢、精确的新型“基因编辑”——剪切DNA并准确地将其粘贴在目标基因组的准确方位上——将代替过去40年里用于的那种碰运气式的基因工程方法。Laboratories around the world are adopting gene editing, particularly a technique called Crispr (pronounced ‘crisper’), which will accelerate the genetic manipulation of microbes, plants, animals — and people. While scientists are talking excitedly about the great promise and potential risks of gene editing, these have not yet received the attention they deserve from the public or policymakers.全世界的实验室都在使用基因编辑,特别是在是一种取名为Crispr(出簇、规律间隔的短回文反复序列——译者录)的技术,该技术将减缓微生物、动植物和人类的基因操纵。

尽管科学家们兴奋地谈论着基因编辑的宏伟前景和潜在风险,但公众或政策制定者还没有对这些报以理应的注目。Most concern focuses on human gene editing. Crispr offers a relatively simple means, accessible to any fertility lab with a supply of eggs, sperm or embryos, to engineer the human germline — make irreversible changes that are passed on to future generations.人们最关心的是人类基因编辑。Crispr获取了一个比较非常简单的方法,任何一个享有卵子、精子或胚胎的生殖实验室都可以用它来设计人类种系,构建需要传送到后代的不可逆转的转变。This is fundamentally different to “gene therapy”, currently in clinical trials, which treats genetic diseases by adding DNA to patients’ affected cells but does not transmit changes to their offspring.这与当前仍处临床试验阶段的“基因疗法”有本质的有所不同。


基因疗法化疗遗传病时,不会把DNA重新加入到患者损毁的细胞中,但这种变化会遗传给后代。Keen to address the ethical concerns, national scientific academies convened an international summit on human gene editing in Washington this month. They concluded with understandable caution that the risks of unpredictable consequences are so great that no one should consider initiating a pregnancy with a gene-edited embryo for the time being, though research should continue and clinical applications might be appropriate in future if safety and efficacy can be proved.本月,意图应付伦理忧虑的各国科研机构在华盛顿开会了一次国际人类基因编辑峰会。出于可以解读的慎重,它们得出结论:产生无法预见的后果的风险过于大了,继续谁也不该考虑到用于基因编辑过的胚胎展开生育,不过,研究应该继续下去,如果安全性和功效获得证明的话,将来也许可以展开临床应用于。


While scientific self-regulation of this sort is welcome, the time has come for public bodies, regulators and funding agencies to become more actively involved. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, a participant in the Washington meeting, has an important role to play. Researchers in China are adopting gene editing with particular enthusiasm; early this year a team there undertook the only recorded experiment to alter the genes of a human embryo (albeit a non-viable one).尽管这种科学上的自我监管有一点青睐,但公共机构、监管者和资助机构是时候更加大力地参予其中了。参与了华盛顿会议的中国科学院(CAS),须要充分发挥最重要起到。中国的研究人员正在以最为加剧的热情使用基因编辑;今年早些时候,中国的一个团队展开了记录在案的唯一一次转变人类胚胎(尽管是无法长时间发育的胚胎)基因的实验。

As usual when discussing technologies that pose risks while promising great benefits, the best balance between restriction and encouragement is hard to assess. Some have suggested at least a temporary halt to any gene editing research with human embryos but this would have an excessively chilling effect on science. More important is strict enforcement of a moratorium on clinical use of germline editing.像一般来说的情况一样,当辩论在颂扬极大利益的同时也带给风险的技术时,在容许和希望之间是很难寻找最佳平衡点的。有些人已似乎,起码不应停止任何人类胚胎基因编辑研究,但这将对科学产生很大的加热效应。更加最重要的是,不应严格执行对种系编辑临床应用于的禁令。

Although human DNA is the most contentious target for editing, the technology will open new avenues and accelerate research in every field of genetic manipulation. Farmers, for instance, will be able to grow an expanded range of genetically modified crops; some plants will have their own genes tweaked rather than foreign genes added, which should make them more acceptable to consumer activists.尽管人类DNA是争议仅次于的编辑对象,这项技术将在基因操纵的各个领域修筑新的道路,并减缓研究工程进度。比如,农场主将需要栽种各种基因改建作物;有些基因改建植物将是其本身的基因经过了变更,而不是重新加入了外来基因,这样的植物不应更容易被消费维权者所拒绝接受。


Gene editing will open a wider horizon for GM animals, which have made minimal impact on agriculture and elsewhere. An enticing prospect for fighting mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, is to spread a synthetic gene that confers resistance to infection through the wild insect population. Scientists recently demonstrated an antimalarial “gene drive” in GM mosquitoes but stringent testing will be required before it can be let loose in the wild. With good management and public support, gene editing could lead biotechnology into a golden age.基因编辑将为基因改建动物修筑更加辽阔的发展空间(基因改建动物对农业和其他领域的影响仍然大于)。在抗击疟疾等蚊媒病方面,一种诱人前景是,把一种人造基因广泛传播到野生蚊子中,装载这种基因的蚊子需要外用疟原虫病毒感染。

不久前,科学家们展出了经过“基因偏向”(gene drive)技术改造的抗疟疾蚊子,但要再行经过严苛的试验,才能把这种蚊子获释到大大自然中去。在较好的管理和公众反对下,基因编辑可能会引导生物科技转入一个黄金时代。_亚博网站登录。