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Les périls des extinctions délibérées

HONOLULU – Un mouvement cynique est en cours : il entend favoriser une technologie nouvelle, puissante et préoccupante, connue sous le nom de « système d’entraînement des gènes »  (gene drive en anglais) à des fins de conservation. Ce n'est pas cette banale modification génétique quotidienne, connue sous le nom d'« OGM » : c'est au contraire une technologie radicalement nouvelle, qui crée des « réactions en chaîne mutagènes » capables de remodeler les systèmes vivants dans des proportions inimaginables.

Les systèmes d’entraînement des gènes représentent la prochaine frontière du génie génétique, de la biologie synthétique et de l'édition du génome. La technologie dépasse les règles traditionnelles de la transmission génétique, en s'assurant qu'un trait particulier, fourni par des humains dans l'ADN d'un organisme en utilisant la technologie avancée d'édition du génome, se transmette à toutes les générations suivantes, en modifiant de ce fait l'avenir d’une espèce entière.

C'est un outil biologique doté d'un pouvoir sans précédent. Cependant au lieu de prendre le temps de considérer entièrement les questions éthiques, écologiques et sociales qui s'imposent, de nombreuses personnes favorisent agressivement la technologie du système d’entraînement des gènes à des fins de conservation.

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