On June 10th, Nature reported that Russian scientist Dennis Ribrikov said he planned to make more genetically edited babies. He wants to carry out the genetic editing baby experiment against AIDS.
He’s research improved version
He is the second person to eat this “crab”. In November 2018, the world’s first genetically edited babies were created, which caused a strong protest from the international community. He’s research has also been confirmed by the scientific community to fail.
Ribrikov claims that his technology will bring greater benefits, less risk, be more ethical and more acceptable to the public. He told Nature that his experiment would be completed by the end of the year if it was approved before the end of the year. He still has to edit the CCR5 gene (chemokine) to reduce the risk of HIV infection in infants.
The CCR5 gene encodes a protein that allows HIV to enter the cell. Ribrikov plans to inactivate the embryonic CCR5 gene and then implant the embryo into the HIV-positive mother, which reduces the risk of HIV mothers transmitting the virus to the uterus. Unlike previous studies, he wants to implant embryos with genetically edited CCR5 genes into female AIDS patients. In contrast, previous gene editors modified the CCR5 gene in the father’s HIV-bearing embryo. Many geneticists believe that this is a useless work. His subjects, that is, pregnant women are not infected with HIV, only female husbands are AIDS patients, and the risk of fathers passing HIV to their children is very small.
According to Ribrikov, he has reached an agreement with an HIV center in the city to recruit women who are infected with HIV who want to participate in the experiment.
Who is Dunnes Ribrikov?
Russia has been a land of biotechnology development for many years, and its development in the field of biotechnology has rarely made headlines. Experts in biotechnology such as multi-gene editing have expressed little contact with Russian scholars and little is known.
Ribrkov is the head of the genome editing laboratory of the Kulakov National Obstetrics and Gynecology and Perinatal Medical Research Center, the largest fertility clinic in Russia, and the vice president of the Russian National Pirogov Medical University. He is a Ph.D. in genetics. His research interests include molecular biology and genetic engineering. He is responsible for human genome and microbiological research, including medical diagnostics, genotyping, genetic modification, DNA fingerprinting, and genome editing.
Ribrikov’s genetic editing baby idea is not passionate, and even his ideas are probably not inspired by previous operations. According to a report by the Russian Satellite News Agency on October 29, 2018, Ribrikov has created an anti-HIV gene editing embryo. They used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to modify the embryo during the fertilized egg stage, ie deleting the CCR5 gene sequence. 32 base pairs.
At that time, Ribrikov was not ready to make genetically edited babies. In an interview with the Russian Satellite News Agency, he mentioned that in 2015, Huang Jun of Sun Yat-sen University used genetic editing technology to treat thalassemia. He believes that changing the human genome at the embryo level is a new direction, and there is no proper legislative basis. There is not enough public awareness. Ribrikov also said that for genetic editing at the embryo level, there are not so many medical goals today. Only a single genetically inherited disease can be selected by in vitro fertilization of embryos by altering the genome.
Then Ribrikov looked at the anti-HIV embryo. In his interview in 2018, he believes that the CCR5 gene editing embryo research is not aimed at anti-HIV medical goals, but to develop a technology that accurately introduces human genome changes at the single-cell level, but introduces a presence that exists in nature. Genetic changes. The change he refers to is a 32 base pair deletion in the naturally occurring CCR5 gene in the human population.
The Russian satellite news agency reported that in the future, medicine can provide a technology for these AIDS female patients who want to have a baby, so that the fetus can resist HIV. However, the “future” in the above report refers to the idea that the concept has been changed after half a year, and Ribrikov is preparing to make a genetically edited baby.
Russian rules are not clear
Whether Ribrkov’s experiment can be carried out depends on whether the Russian law is permitted. According to Nature, Russian law prohibits genetic engineering in most cases, but it is unclear whether these rules will be implemented in embryonic gene editing or how they will be implemented. In 2017, an analysis of assisted reproductive regulations in several countries showed that Russian legislation on assisted reproduction did not explicitly mention genetic editing.
Ribrikov expects the Russian Ministry of Health to clarify the clinical application of embryonic gene editing within the next 9 months. He said that women infected with HIV urgently need help, even before Russia issued regulations, he wanted to conduct experiments. Go on. In order to reduce the possibility of being punished for experimentation, Ribrkov plans to first seek approval from three government agencies, including the Ministry of Health. He said that this may take a month or two. Molecular geneticist Konstantin Severinov believes that such approval may be difficult, and Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church opposes gene editing. Severinov is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Rutgers University. He is also the director of the Life Science Center at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Laboratory manager. Recently he helped the Russian government design a funding project for genetic editing research.
Human embryo development
After the previous genetic editing event, it was agreed that the current unconstrained human genetics editing is irresponsible. The WHO Expert Committee will submit a regulatory framework to establish a transparent global registration system that will include all research projects related to human genetic editing. Russia has realized the importance of genetic editing. In April this year, Russia announced a federal plan costing 111 billion rubles ($1.7 billion), hoping to develop 10 new genetically edited crops and animal breeds by 2020; another 20 by 2027. Today, Ribrkov’s research plan is the first in the development of genetic editing technology in the Russian medical field.
Many scientists do not agree with He Jiankui’s research. His research not only has no clinical value, but the method of changing embryonic genes is not a valuable clinical tool against HIV. The same is true of Brilloff’s research plan there.