Gene Editing - Ethics

Discussion in 'In The News' started by Tsaphah, Jun 15, 2017.

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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    This article appeared in the June 13, 2017 issue of the Wall Street Journal, as a review by Amy Dockser Marcus, of the book, “A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution” by Jennifer A. Doudna and Samuel H. Sternberg.

    I will only refer to a few paragraphs under “fair use” copyright rules.

    The Ethics of Gene Editing
    Until recently, the name Jennifer Doudna was not widely known. Among scientists, she was recognized as a prominent biochemist. She ran her own lab, at Yale, then at the University of California, Berkeley. She made important findings, such as elucidating the three dimensional structure of RNA, a molecular workhorse that carries genetic information and catalyzes protein synthesis in the cell. Her days revolved mainly around petri dishes and test tubes. Then along came Crispr.

    As Ms. Doudna writes in “A Crack in Creation,” written with Samuel H. Sternberg, a biochemist and former member of her lab, Crispr will allow an organism’s DNA to become “almost as editable as
    a simple piece of text.” Using Crispr, scientists will have the capacity to alter, insert and delete genes in plants, animals and, yes, humans. The discovery, published in the journal Science in 2012, set off a frenzy of interest that has not yet subsided.”

    “Crispr will permit scientists to make changes in many genes at the same time, and it is easier, cheaper and faster to use.”

    “In 2015 Ms. Doudna organized a meeting in Napa, Calif., attended mainly by scholars and scientists, to debate whether Crispr should be used to perform so-called human germ-line editing, a process that involves changes to sperm, egg or embryo. Scientists remain excited by the potential for using Crispr to edit genetic mutations and treat diseases: In one lab recently, for instance, researchers corrected a gene mutation that causes sickle-cell anemia in humans and transferred the edited cells to mice, the first step toward finding a cure for the condition. But it is quite another thing to edit the germ line-that is, to make changes that would be passed on to future offspring. Would child’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease? If so, would it also be permissible to edit for greater intelligence or athleticism or even, say, for a particular hair color? While all such uses would ultimately require regulatory and institutional review, it is the notion of building a social consensus that is particularly fraught.”

    “In the experiment at the heart of the seminal Crispr paper, the researchers decided to target a spot in a jellyfish’s DNA simply because they happened to have the gene available for immediate use in their freezers and didn’t want to delay their work any longer in the rush to write the paper.”
    “The debates surrounding Crispr are not only scientific and ethical. They also include a patent battle over who controls the intellectual property of the discovery. Money has poured into Crispr-focused companies, including three that Ms. Doudna helped found and from which she may profit. To her credit, she doesn’t hide these facts, but she doesn’t delve into them much either. She calls the patent dispute—between a group led by her institution, Berkeley, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard—”a disheartening twist” but stops there.”

    “Is it moral to alter an unborn child’s genome to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s?
    What about editing for hair color or athleticism?”
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    Sounds like Hitler and the Nazis desire to create a “perfect race”. This brings to mind the scripture found in Genesis (Oh yeah, that’s where this term “gene” comes from!), which is Greek, meaning “source, origin”.
    “And Jehovah said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” ( Gen 11:6 DNKJB )
    “If we have properly understood the motives and purpose underlying this evil venture, what God foresaw was that if their wickedness had been left unhindered the true knowledge of God might easily have been totally removed from the earth. The establishment of the people of Israel as a witness of God on the earth also aided effectually in frustrating the devices of Satan which were, at the moment, proving successful. In fact, at that future time when "Satan shall be loosed for a little while," there will then occur exactly what was in the process of occurring here.” (Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament)
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Patent Holders for Gene - Editing Tool Weigh Global Pool

    Holders of key patents to the Crispr gene-editing technology are willing to join a world—wide joint patent pool—a development that medical and legal experts think could hasten the development of new human therapies.
    The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, along with three other institutions that own Crispr-Cas9 patents—Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Rockefeller University have submitted 22 patents for evaluation to the proposed pool, including patents involved in a dispute over intellectual-property rights to the groundbreaking technology.
    The move comes amid growing concerns that the logjam over rights to Crispr technology may hinder breakthroughs in disease treatment.
    Crispr is the defense system of bacteria and was adapted by scientists, using the protein known as Cas9, to edit genes in plants, animals and people.
    Two main camps lay claim to key developments in the technology: One is the Broad Institute group, which was issued a patent in the U.S. for the Crispr-Cas9 technology for Cas9 gene editing.
    The other is a group led by the University of California, Berkeley, which is challenging the Broad patent in court and has been issued its own patents for Crispr-Cas9 in other areas of the world, including Europe.
    Forming a patent pool would allow researchers or companies around the world to obtain a
    one-stop license more efficiently. In patent pools, patent holders typically merge their assets together and voluntarily fees and how any royalties will be divided. Pool members may also pay royalties to the pool if they need a license to commercialize products, depending on the terms of the agreement.
    Kathleen Denis, associate vice president for the Office of Technology Transfer at Rockefeller
    University, said the university believes the patent pool holds promise for simplifying the process for scientists to obtain the appropriate licenses" for Crispr.
    Rockefeller's decision to join the Broad in exploring a patent pool follows a separate clash between the two institutions over credit for Crispr. Ms. Denis said that Rockefeller and Broad have agreed to settled their differences via an "informal dispute resolution process."
    The proposal for a pool comes from a group called MPEG LA LLC, based in Denver and Chevy Chase, Md. It operates licensing programs for a number of different technologies, primarily video.
    In the uncertainty over resolution of the patent dispute, some companies have chosen sides, signing licensing deals with one or the other camp; others have hedged their bets and sought licenses from more than one party. "Potential licensees all want clarity on this," said Kristin Neuman, executive director, biotechnology licensing, at MPEG LA. "It is confounding their ability to plan for their businesses."
    Some companies and researchers are calling on the government to play a greater role in ensuring access to Crispr technology, whose discovery was funded by federal grants. Therapeutics based on the technology could home in on a gene defect, cut it out and, if necessary, replace it with other DNA, potentially revolutionizing the treatment of disease.

    Jehovah then said: “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.” ( Gen 11:6-7 NWT )
     
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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    There came a time, shortly after the world wide flood, that Jehovah had to step in and take action against mankind.

    Then Jehovah went down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. Jehovah then said: ‘Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.’ So Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. That is why it was named Ba’bel, because there Jehovah confused the language of all the earth, and Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth.” ( Gen 11:5-9 NWT )

    SayHi is a “universal translator” for iPhone, Android, and Kindle, offering speech-to-speech translation in 90 languages and dialects. Cool tricks: You speak, SayHi translates. The app claims 95% accuracy for voice recognition. According to LapTopMag, “The spare and straightforward interface makes this app appealing.” www.k-international.com/blog/translation-apps-2016/

    CRISPR/Cas9 and Targeted Genome Editing: A New Era in Molecular Biology
    https://www.neb.com/tools-and-resou...genome-editing-a-new-era-in-molecular-biology

    Monkey see, monkey 2: Scientists clone monkeys using technique that created Dolly the sheep
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/24/health/cloned-monkeys-study/index.html

    Is it time for Jehovah to say again, “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. Come! Let us go down there. . .”


     

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