谨慎对待基因革命

<>鲁汶—我们或许没有完全认识到,但子孙后代可能把我们的时代视为真正的历史性时代。此前从未有人类能够明白细胞、组织和器官的功能、进化的精确分子机制以及人类在何时何处起源并遍及世界各地。

让我们明白细胞和亚细胞过程和机制、认识疾病的原因并开发出更具体有效的治疗方法、确定谁与我们在生物上有亲缘关系的技术是生物学、计算机科学、信息技术和材料科学知识的结合。或许你早已料到,如此知识革命必然也会造成极大的社会影响,要求我们回答在不久的过去仍被认为是纯粹科学幻想的问题。

如今,我们已能在技术上测定2.4米长的DNA序列——在我们体内的每一个细胞内都有这样一套DNA,而且只需要花费几天时间。此外,不但可靠测序的速度在持续加快,测序的价格在迅速下降,很快就会低到几百美元的水平。一旦我们获知每个DNA片段的功能,常规测序之路就能畅行无阻了。

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