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Os perigos das extinções programadas

HONOLULU – Está em curso um movimento cínico de promoção de uma tecnologia nova, potente e perturbadora — conhecida como "gene drive" — destinada a ser utilizada no sector da conservação. Não se trata da vulgar modificação genética conhecida como "OGM", mas sim de uma nova tecnologia radical, que cria "reacções mutagénicas em cadeia" capazes de remodelar os sistemas vivos de formas inimagináveis.

A tecnologia “gene drive” representa a próxima fronteira da engenharia genética, da biologia sintética e da modificação genética. A tecnologia substitui as regras padrão da herança genética, garantindo a propagação de uma característica particular — introduzida pelo Homem no ADN de um organismo através de tecnologias avançadas de modificação genética — por todas as gerações posteriores alterando, deste modo, o futuro de espécies inteiras.

Trata-se de um instrumento biológico com um poder sem precedentes. No entanto, em vez de reservar o tempo necessário para considerar as questões éticas, ecológicas e sociais relevantes, muitos estão a promover agressivamente a tecnologia “gene drive” para utilização na área da conservação.

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