Increased IQ. Children’s brains with edited DNA

Повышенный IQ. Мозг детей с отредактированной ДНК

Birth CRISPR-children of the world learned in November 2018

Chinese scholar Cisangkuy he announced the birth of the first in the world CRISPR-children, in addition to resistance to HIV might have to change their intelligence.

An international group of scientists published a study about how children’s brains with the world’s first edited DNA could influence the method for deleting genes with CRISPR editor.

The news about these resistant HIV twins from China has excited the entire scientific world in November last year. Most expressed scientists have opposed such experiments and accused Cisangkuy Hae in “opening Pandora’s box.” Корреспондент.net tells details.


Brain research edited children

A team of researchers led by neuroscientist Alcino Silva, University of California, Los Angeles in 2016, conducted an experiment which showed that deletion of the gene CCR5 has greatly improved the memory of mice.

Silva and his colleagues several years looking for genes or other ways, the impact of which use drugs to help the brain repair after a stroke or injury. Now, CCR5 has become one of those candidates.

A new study of a group of scientists from the US and Israel, headed by Silva, published in the journal Cell 21 February 2019, showed that the absence of CCR5 gene due to natural mutations in humans accelerates recovery after a stroke.

In addition, the University Silva conducted tests of the drug Maraviroc against HIV, to improve the cognitive abilities of people. It also blocks the CCR5.

Scientists also found that people born without that gene faster and better recovering from a stroke than people with CCR5 in the genome.

However, the exact mechanism of the effect of the gene on the brain is unclear. One of the authors Thomas Carmichael suggests that CCR5 is a brake, which during learning and remembering reduces the excitability of neurons.

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Such mechanisms can also reduce possible damage to the brain during a stroke, but at the same time, prevents the formation of new neural connections for restoring the damage.

Scientists also found that the absence of at least one copy of CCR5 in the genome improves the level of education of children in school. This may indicate connection of this gene with intelligence.

For this reason, Silva believes that the editing of the genome affected children’s brains.

“These mutations are likely to affect the cognitive ability of twins. But the exact impact is impossible to predict, and therefore shouldn’t have done,” – said the scientist.

However, he notes that there is a difference of ethical and methodological difference between helping people with diseases and attempts to improve the intellectual abilities of healthy people.

Writes the MIT Technology Review, Silva as soon as he learned about CRISPR-children, immediately suspected that actually it was an attempt of editing of the genome not to protect themselves from HIV, and to enhance cognitive abilities, and is extremely frustrated scientist.

“I wouldn’t be a scientist if you hadn’t said that in the future we really will be able to increase the average IQ of the population: this is confirmed by many experiments on mice. But mice are not people, and yet we simply do not know what would be the consequences of such actions. We’re not ready for that,” said the neuroscientist.

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Note that at the summit in Hong Kong, where the Chinese scientists published the results of their labors, he also stated that familiar with the works of Silva in the field of gene CCR5.

Then he said that he opposes the editing of the genome to create a more perfect people.


The first children with changed genes

In late November, the Chinese scholar Cisangkuy he was Volnova the scientific world, a statement about the birth of the first children in the world with the edited genome.

A researcher from Shenzhen said that changed the genes of embryos using the CRISPR method, the result of which were born twin girls Lulu and Nana. He deleted the girls have the gene CCR5, which “opens the door for HIV into cells of the body”, than provided them with immunity to the virus that infected their father.

Scientists describe the birth of two healthy babies with altered genes “historical breakthrough of China in the prevention of disease.” However, the scientific world did not share his enthusiasm.

122 Chinese scholars wrote an open letter condemning his colleague and called on the government to sharply restrict the work of human genes.

Повышенный IQ. Мозг детей с отредактированной ДНК
Scientist, edited / Getty

“The Pandora’s box is open, but we can still shut it down before it’s too late. It’s just unfair to the Chinese researchers, which protect hard work and innovation, based on scientific ethics,” the letter reads.

Western scientists have called the work he “unscrupulous experiments on human beings” which cannot be justified neither from an ethical nor from a moral point of view.

Science described the birth of children with the edited genome a failure because of the “nesanktsionirovanno and prematurity”.


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