Cute baby

El diseño de superbebés

NUEVA YORK – Ya es indudable que algún día habrá seres humanos genéticamente modificados. Una nueva herramienta llamada CRISPR ya se usa para editar los genomas de insectos y animales. CRISPR es en esencia un cortador molecular muy afilado que permite a los científicos extraer o insertar genes en forma precisa y barata. Será solo cuestión de tiempo antes de que se use para diseñar a nuestros descendientes, eliminando al hacerlo muchas enfermedades hereditarias peligrosas.

Posibilidad que es objeto de acalorados debates. Los principales argumentos contra la modificación genética de embriones humanos hablan de falta de seguridad, inequidad y de que en poco tiempo las modificaciones no se limitarán al intento de reducir la incidencia de enfermedades hereditarias. Pero no parece que estos argumentos vayan a impedir un uso amplio de la tecnología.

La seguridad es un factor importante, pero difícilmente decisivo. Las nuevas técnicas de edición de genes parecen muy precisas. Hasta ahora, las pruebas con animales y los experimentos con embriones humanos no implantables indican que la aplicación de estas técnicas entraña poco riesgo.

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