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WHO will prevent the manipulation of the human genetic code

The World Health Organization ( WHO ) wants to try to prevent deviations in the manipulation of the human genetic code, in the face of the progress of science and guarantee that the advances benefit the greatest number of people, through a series of published recommendations this Monday, July 12.

As research increasingly traces the human genome, we must downplay the risks and take advantage of the way science can lead to better health for everyone, and around the world, stressed the chief scientist of this body, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.

The implementation of instruments such as the CRISPR / Cas9 molecular scissors, which guaranteed the Nobel Prize in chemistry to the French Emmanuelle Charpentier and the American Jennifer Doudna in 2020, totally revolutionized genome manipulation, generating new perspectives, but opening Pandora's box to potentially dangerous experiences.

In 2018, a Chinese researcher caused controversy by bringing genetically modified babies to the world to make them resistant to the AIDS virus, said Dr. Swaminathan as an example of possible drifts.

The WHO then created a committee that delivered its work on Monday.

When in June 2019, a Russian researcher, Denis Rebrikov, spoke of his intention to do a similar manipulation, representatives of the organization asked to stop the research on the modification of the human genome that is inherited.

The committee also asked the UN organization to expand its international registry of clinical trials to what relates to the editing of the human genome and create a specific one to supervise preclinical research, in order to be able to act in advance.

The committee suggests that national and regional authorities facilitate the task of surveillance, providing clinical trials that involve editing the human genome with specific keywords that facilitate their tracking and installing an evaluation mechanism that makes it possible to detect clinical trials that may pose problems.

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