By Ana Laura Becker Zierhut
The researcher from Genome Valley, PhD Daiane Priscila Simão Silva, is representing Brazil in the production of a report on gene editing, which will be published next year in the Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the Royal Society in London.
Gene editing can be used in various sectors such as agribusiness and health, and allows the alteration of characteristics or properties of living organisms, to “fix”, improve or produce new bioproducts. With the researches it has also emerged the possibility to perform embryo editing in human cells, being able to alter the genome of the first cell of an embryo, changing the baby’s characteristics before its complete formation. This change brings several ethical discussions about altering specific characteristics, which may bring more inequality in the future, besides that it may alter more points than planned, bringing unknown risks.
According to the researcher, gene editing has been widely discussed and has mobilized several forums on the subject. One of them is the Royal Society forum that has been held to monitor the issue of governance and to find out what countries have done in terms of legislation, studies, monitoring, and interventions so that the process is done in the best possible way.
To build the survey of best practices and governance actions in the countries, the UN and other institutions involved searched scientists in each country who already discuss gene editing and ethical issues, and in the case of Brazil, Dr. Daiane is the representative.
“The importance of participating is to show how far Brazil has come and to realize what we can do to encourage research and the best strategies within the ethics part,” says Daiane.
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