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A Russian scientist plans to genetically engineer babies by the end of 2019 - and the scientific bodies admit that they are unable to stop him

At the beginning of June, Denis Rebarikov, a molecular biology researcher who heads the laboratory for editing the genetic code at the largest fertility clinic in Russia, announced his plan to genetically engineer human babies. Rebarikov intends to continue in the footsteps of the Chinese researcher Ha Yanuki, who genetically engineered babies in order to give them resistance to the HIV virus. However, Rabrikov's goals are more practical: he wants to enable mothers who carry the virus in their bodies to give birth to children without them being infected by the mother during pregnancy, childbirth or later in life

genetically modified fetus. Illustration: shutterstock
genetically modified fetus. Illustration: shutterstock

And here it begins: a Russian scientist has announced his plans to genetically engineer human babies by the end of 2019, and despite cries of distress and grumbling from bodies like the World Health Organization, no one is going to stop him.

At the beginning of June, Denis Rebarikov, a molecular biology researcher who heads the laboratory for editing the genetic code at the largest fertility clinic in Russia, announced his plan to genetically engineer human babies. Rebarikov intends to continue in the footsteps of the Chinese researcher Ha Yanuki, who genetically engineered babies in order to give them resistance to the HIV virus. However, Rabrikov's goals are more practical: he wants to enable mothers who carry the virus in their bodies to give birth to children without them being infected from the mother during pregnancy, childbirth or later in life.

Rebrikov claims that the technique he will use is similar to that of the Chinese Yanuki, but safer, and with a much smaller chance of unwanted side effects. A year ago, he published research results that demonstrated that his technique is able to effectively and safely neutralize two copies of the CCR5 gene, which enables approximately ninety percent of HIV infections. Other researchers are more skeptical, to say the least, and believe Sherbarikov He simply failed in his research to discover all the mutations caused during his experiments.

It can be concluded that there is a consensus in the scientific community regarding the risk embodied in genetic engineering in humans. Despite this, the World Health Organization has admitted in recent days that it is unable to stop Rabrikov or prevent him from carrying out his plans. Similarly, the president of the National Academy of Medicine of the United States also expressed his concerns about Rebrikov's plans, but specifically said that - "I don't know what we can do to stop him... Every country has its own sovereignty".

This is one of the most important sentences regarding the future of genetic engineering. As of today, each country has its own sovereignty over its territory, and the exclusive right to decide which experiments are allowed and which are prohibited within its borders. In Russia, there is indeed a law that severely limits the use of genetic engineering, but the Russian Ministry of Health fills its mouth with water and refuses to publicly forbid Rabrikov from moving forward with his plans.

In the coming months, the Russian Ministry of Health will reach a decision regarding the experiments, and this will inevitably be motivated by a more comprehensive view of the country's needs. If the Russian health minister decides - sorry, if Putin decides - that the technique for genetic engineering of babies may advance Russia in the future, then the decision will surely be positive. And if that happens, no one outside the borders of Russia will be able to prevent doctors in the country from genetically engineering human fetuses and babies.

Putin will have to make a difficult decision. On the one hand, the Orthodox Church - an institution with great power in Russia - strongly opposes genetic engineering. On the other hand, advanced genetic engineering techniques may be able to catapult the entire country forward. If Russia allows, for example, to engineer children with a higher IQ (a quite reasonable ambition, since it is now known that our genes are responsible for fifty to eighty percent of the IQ level), then in less than two decades it will be able to benefit from the products produced by the engineers of the future and the scientists of the future these.

Putin's decision will certainly be influenced by the low birth rate in Russia. Putin himself called the matter "the most acute problem of modern Russia", and for good reason: it is estimated that within thirty years, the country's population will decrease from 143 million citizens to only 111 million, As a result of the low birth rate and high death rate . Putin is looking for ways to convince the country's women to have more children. Why not offer every woman free treatment from the state, which will help to 'improve' her children? When an average woman in Russia gives birth to only one child, she will surely want to 'secure' the investment for the future.

Putin may, therefore, try to promote a long-term program to improve the population, instead of increasing the number of children who will be born to poverty and alcoholism (the low life expectancy of men in Russia, which currently stands at only 59 years, is probably a result of the alcoholism that is so widespread among men in the country) .

I believe that the decision of the Russian Ministry of Health regarding Rabrikov's experiments will be positive. If that happens, then already next year we will surely see dozens of genetically engineered babies. And if we discover that Rebrikov's technique is indeed effective and safe, then we can expect more genetically engineered babies to appear in Russia, but with other interesting properties: resistance to heart disease, for example, or cancer; Or maybe they have a higher IQ, or are more diligent - the most important qualities for success today.

Either way, Russia will decide for itself, and the rest of the world will be forced to accept its decision. And if the country does start producing healthier and smarter babies, then other countries will also be forced to start doing so, as part of the new 'arms race' of genetic engineering. And if other countries refuse it? Well, it is enough for one transgenic person to marry a citizen of a foreign country, so that their children will carry the same preferential genes that will be verified by the Russian scientists. Whether we like it or not, humanity is starting to march these days towards a future where children will be engineered and shaped - not in school or in the family's bosom, but already from the womb.

Going to be interesting in the future.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

10 תגובות

  1. I don't understand exactly why I suddenly remembered Josef Mangala...
    The Russians copied quite a few projects from the Nazis and here's another one for you.

  2. It must be assumed that the dam has been breached, and genetic engineering in the service of the vision of a "super man" will be used all over the world. It must be assumed that the most important personal and social fundamental right in the future will be recognized as a fundamental right to biotechnological "skills".
    The point is that the move does not end with the creation of a person with more and more improved features and the granting of rights for it. Genetic engineering, and at the same time technological developments in the fields of hardware and software will produce a complex creature whose humanity will be satisfied. The question "who/what is human" and questions of identity and politics of identities in this context will be at the focus of the future "humanity".

  3. These days, when we experience that many young people get cancer transmitted by genes in the family, this step is even a duty for humanity to fight cancer. Many young people, who are at risk, and also sick, are afraid to have children because of this.

  4. If anything, the Russians need to develop babies resistant to alcoholism. Russia's most serious problem is alcoholism (and I'm not underestimating the low birth rate, it's also a serious problem)

  5. Well done, I wish I could be the first man to bring a child into the world. All the best to him.

  6. Before he runs to increase the birth rate, let him genetically engineer babies who don't need food and water at all, preferably ones who don't have the tendency to rebel in the brain. After that he will try to increase the fertility.

  7. In Russia he has amazing human capital but mostly wasted so before upgrading they need to create
    the "climate" conditions in which their human capital will be able to be expressed otherwise every upgrader will move to the West, in the big picture even without connection to Russia it seems quite likely that this is the direction in which humanity will go the advantages are so attractive that they will cause the social and biological side effects on the individual to be ignored,
    A social picture of a gloomy world can be seen in the film gattaca. The transition to upgrading from those who have been upgraded versus those who are similar to us who have not been upgraded, you can see the pain and frustration of those who are left behind, even today there are people among us who are "left behind" all you need is that the biological dice of fortune will cause Go be born with an IQ that is significantly lower than average, no amount of willpower will help here, whole worlds will be blocked for you,
    This will be the case in a future world where today's average person will not be upgraded, he will be condemned to a life where most doors will be closed to him, no amount of willpower will help in a world where the average intellectual is Einstein or higher
    For today's average person, on a physiological level, it may be that in order to achieve certain abilities, the person will lose the balance that was created in him during evolution, a person with brain abilities can be created at the cost of, for example, he will not be able to be born in a natural way, only by caesarean section because the head is bigger (possibly already today Genetic changes are created in humans due to cesarean births where babies are born that would not have been born before), in addition to another example
    There is an internal balance within the human body, a kind of "compromise" between the needs of the various biological components between the needs of the brain and the rest of the body, an upgraded brain that is "hungrier" for oxygen and cooling can lead to a person whose internal balance has been violated, which is more like a mainframe that has to sit in an air-conditioned room and cannot perform activities Aerobic or being in physiological conditions in which the average person today can live.
    So he can have an IQ that is considered insane today but a person who might be frustrated trapped inside his body?

  8. It already started a long time ago... as soon as they thought about it.
    Then all that remains is to bend or change laws and conventions.

  9. Modern medicine creates widespread genetic morbidity with severe consequences for the population in the future
    In that it supports humans from a medical point of view, and allows defective genes to be spread widely
    Genes that would have been extinct without supportive medicine become the property of the entire population

    Genetic engineering is a necessary tool to curb this phenomenon

  10. Thanks to Dr.Roey Tsezana for an interesting and thought-provoking article.
    The next step will be to develop people according to your request, for example - good soldiers, excellent basketball players, and... workers with four hands, etc., etc., etc.
    Good night
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

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