Die Abmilderung der genetischen Revolution

LEUVEN – Vielleicht sind wir uns dessen nicht ganz bewusst, aber zukünftige Generationen werden unsere Zeit als wahrhaft historisch betrachten. Nie zuvor konnte die Menschheit die Funktionsweise von Zellen, Gewebe und Organen, die genauen molekularen Mechanismen der Evolution und den Ursprung sowie die Verbreitung unserer Art über die Welt verstehen.

Die Technologie, die es uns ermöglicht, zelluläre und subzelluläre Prozesse und Mechanismen zu enträtseln, die Ursachen von Krankheiten zu bestimmen, genauere und effektivere Behandlungsmethoden zu entwickeln und festzustellen, wer auf welche Art biologisch mit uns verwandt ist, kombiniert Wissen aus der Biologie, den Computerwissenschaften, der Informationstechnologie und den Werkstoffwissenschaften. Erwartungsgemäß hat eine solche Wissensrevolution auch einen bedeutenden Einfluss auf die Gesellschaft und erfordert Antworten auf Fragen, die wir bis vor einiger Zeit noch für reine Science Fiction gehalten hätten.

Heute ist es technisch möglich, die 2,4 Meter DNA, die im Kern jeder Zelle unseres Körpers vorhanden ist, in nur wenigen Tagen zu entschlüsseln. Und während die Geschwindigkeit der Entschlüsselung weiterhin steigt, sind ihre Kosten stark gesunken und werden bald nur noch ein paar hundert Dollar betragen. Sobald die Funktion sämtlicher DNA-Fragmente bekannt ist, wird einer routinemäßigen Entschlüsselung nichts mehr im Wege stehen.

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