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经济学人:基因编辑技术的应用、争议和未来(2)

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Nor did the procedure fulfil any unmet medical need. For the child whose genome was edited to confer resistance, the claimed benefit is protection from a virus that she may never encounter (although her father is HIV-positive, his sperm were washed to prevent infection during fertilisation) and for which there is a good, and improving, standard of care. If the reports are correct, the second child has been exposed to the potential risks of an edited genome but can still be infected by HIV.

此程序也未能满足任何未知医疗需求。对于为产生抗性而进行基因编辑的孩子来说,宣称的好处是可以预防有可能一生都遇不到的病毒(尽管他的父亲HIV检测呈阳性,但为防止受精过程的感染其精子已经过清洗),还有优质并不断提高的护理标准。如果报告正确,第二个孩子已经暴露在编辑过的基因组的潜在风险中,但仍然可能感染艾滋病毒。

Gene editing.jpg

The idea that one scientist could make the leap towards editing reproductive cells has been condemned, but it has not been ruled out. Even if Mr He turns out to be a fraud, others have the means, the motive and the opportunity to do similar work. CRISPR is not a complex technology. That leads to two responses.

一位科学家可在编辑生殖细胞方面取得很大进步的这种观点遭到谴责,但并没有被完全否定。即使贺建奎欺诈,其他人还是有方式、有动机、有机会做出类似的事情。CRISPR技术并不复杂。可有两种应对办法。
The first is practical: better oversight of places such as fertility clinics, where back-room genome-tinkerers may lurk. That applies not just in China, where Mr He has attracted vocal condemnation, but also in America, where IVF clinics could use greater regulatory scrutiny.
第一种针对实际:对生育诊所等可能潜伏着幕后基因修补者的地方加强监管。这不仅适用于贺建奎招致声讨的中国,也适用于试管婴儿诊所还需加大监管审查力度的美国。
The second is proper debate about when gene-editing is warranted. Editing the unhealthy cells of those suffering from genetic diseases such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis will alleviate their suffering. It is less clear when it is necessary to edit embryos, but Mr He’s experiment obviously fails the test. Fertility treatments already screen embryos for unwanted genes.
第二种是适当争论,主要关于基因编辑在何时恰当需要。编辑那些患有杜氏肌营养不良和囊性纤维化等遗传疾病的人的不健康细胞将减轻患者痛苦。何时需要编辑胚胎还不清楚,但贺建奎的实验显然未经测试。生育治疗已经在筛选多余的基因。
It may even be that editing will one day be used on embryos to enhance genomes (to make people cleverer, say), rather than to cure disease. But that requires regulators, policymakers, scientists and civil society to think through deep ethical questions. Work is already under way to develop principles for editing reproductive cells. Earlier this year the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, a think-tank in Britain, outlined two: that the changes brought about by gene-editing should not increase “disadvantage, discrimination or division in society” and that such changes should not harm the welfare of the future person. Such debate was always going to be needed. Now it is urgent.
甚至可能某天,编辑技术将为增强基因(比如让人变得更聪明)而用于胚胎,而非治疗疾病。但这需要监管机构、政策制定者、科学家和公民社会深入思考伦理问题。编辑生殖细胞的原则制定工作已经开始。今年早些时候,英国智库纳菲尔德生物伦理委员会概述了以下两点:基因编辑带来的改变不应增加“社会中的劣势、歧视和分裂”,而且这种改变不应损害未来人的福祉。这种争辩总是有必要的。现在已是机不容发。

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
virus ['vaiərəs]

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n. 病毒,病原体

 
complex ['kɔmpleks]

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adj. 复杂的,复合的,合成的
n. 复合体

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prevent [pri'vent]

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v. 预防,防止

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muscular ['mʌskjulə]

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adj. 肌肉的,肌肉发达的

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warranted ['wɔrəntid]

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adj. 担保的,保证的 动词warrant的过去分词和

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discrimination [di.skrimi'neiʃən]

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n. 歧视,辨别力,识别

 
solution [sə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 解答,解决办法,溶解,溶液

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resistance [ri'zistəns]

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n. 抵抗力,反抗,反抗行动;阻力,电阻;反对

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potential [pə'tenʃəl]

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adj. 可能的,潜在的
n. 潜力,潜能

 
infection [in'fekʃən]

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n. 传染,影响,传染病

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