El ADN en su 60 aniversario

LONDRES – El 25 de abril de 1953, Francis Crick y James Watson publicaron un documento de una sola página (one-page paper) que muchos creyeron que iba a revolucionar la investigación biológica. Basándose en el trabajo de Rosalind Franklin y Maurice Wilkins, descubrieron la estructura de doble hélice del ADN, proporcionando el primer vistazo de la forma cómo los organismos heredan y almacenan la información biológica. Sin embargo, 60 años después, ¿realmente tuvo su descubrimiento el impacto transformador que el mundo esperaba?

Los medios de comunicación marcan el 60º aniversario de la publicación con bombos y platillos, exaltando el gran avance que “marcó el comienzo de la era de la genética”, y calificándolo como “uno de los descubrimientos científicos más importantes de todos los tiempos”. El diario británico The Guardian presentó un titular que decía “¡Feliz cumpleaños, ADN! El momento dorado que nos cambió a todos”.

Hasta cierto punto, están en lo correcto. El hallazgo constituye la base de la genética y ha abierto nuevas y prometedoras áreas de investigación, como ser la biología sintética, en la que se crean o modifican sistemas biológicos para que desempeñen funciones específicas. Del mismo modo, se facilitaron innovaciones importantes, tales como el tratamiento farmacogenético contra el cáncer, en el que los fármacos se dirigen a defectos genéticos específicos dentro de las células cancerosas.

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