por Patricia Fonseca Fanaya
“Diabetes, sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, HIV infection, among other diseases, can be not only treated but also eliminated for future generations thanks to the recently discovered gene editing technology known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). However, one of the most serious problems faced so far by scientists concerns the effects that genetic editing through CRISPR can have in other genes. Glimpsing a promising window of opportunity in business, Microsoft has invested a lot of resources in developing the Elevation project which is based on artificial intelligence and whose goal is to minimize or even prevent CRISPR from causing undesirable incidents during the gene editing process. We are, nevertheless, witnessing a revolution in the field of biology, health, prognostic, diagnostic, and curative medicine. Not only the possibilities brought by CRISPR are countless, but its encounter with artificial intelligence can mean precision and speed to scientists and, perhaps, more access to gene editing at lower costs for us all. The process of natural selection can now be replaced by technical selection from biological engineering projects based on artificial intelligence. The biotechnological evolution will profoundly transform our way of understanding and dealing with life, and consequently, we will have to face crucial questions about what makes us human, superhuman, non- human or inhuman.“
Doenças incuráveis e de efeitos avassaladores, como diabetes, anemia falciforme, distrofia muscular, fibrose cística, infecção por HIV, entre tantas outras, poderão ser não só tratadas, mas eliminadas das futuras gerações graças à tecnologia de edição de genes recém descoberta, conhecida pela sigla CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats).
À frente dessa descoberta — que tem sido considerada uma das mais importantes da história da biologia —, e do desenvolvimento dessa nova e promissora tecnologia a qual muitos já se referem como parte da “evolução tecnológica”, estão as cientistas Jennifer Doudna e Emanuele Charpentier, cujo artigo seminal A programmable dual-RNA-guided DNA endonuclease in adaptive bacterial immunity (2012) foi o primeiro a propor que a CRISPR/ Cas9 pudesse ser usada para a edição de genes. Continuar lendo