Scissors genetic : China overtakes the United States

Health 24 January, 2018


Published the 24.01.2018 at 15: 00


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Genetics will be the program of the states general of bioethics on Thursday. Among the questions, the scissors genetic will probably be addressed. These can be used to correct or change the DNA. The jewel in the crown american is no longer their sole property. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that China has used CRISPR (scissors genetic) on at least 86 people from 2015 at the hospital of the cancer of Hangzhou. Until now, they have been used to treat all kinds of patients with HIV, leukemia, cancers of the kidney, lung, liver, throat and stomach. CRISPR uses a modified virus to ”cut and paste” DNA and to edit genes with precision and incredibly fast.

 A difference of process

During this time, the United States, there has always been no testing CRISPR on humans. In China, dr. Wu did not need the approval of the national regulators, it only needs to ask for permission to test to the review board of his hospital.

“China should not have been the first to do it, but we have less restrictions”, summed up modestly Dr. Wu. The United States, planning a testing CRISPR on cancer patients who could “begin at any time,” according to MIT Technology Review. However, the process of receiving formal approval has been slow, in particular because of the safety issues on this technology. On a philosophical plan, it is equally questionable to change it knowingly our DNA : there could be all kinds of long-term effects of unintended and irreversible harm to patients. Indeed, the achievements of China have been impressive but not without risks. Fifteen patients involved in the trials have died ; half of them have succumbed to the effects of the therapy.