Secret Genome Creation Meeting At Harvard Raises Questions
A private meeting was organized at Harvard Medical School in Boston to have a discussion on the process to create creation a genome from the beginning in a lab. The meeting involved 150 exclusive scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs, who also discussed the possibility of the creation of a human genome. However, it is a distant possibility to develop an original human chemical blueprint since a human genome is comprised of a sequence of three billion chemical pairs, which come together to form a distinctive DNA of each person.
Still, the confidentiality of the meeting has raised concerns among those who are apprehensive over the moral principles that have been threatened due to this kind of genetic engineering. This is because at the end of the day the advancement in technology has made it economical and easier to produce a human genome. The technology has allowed the creation of a synthetic genome using cloning for human beings with no biological parents.
An essay has been penned down by Drew Endy, a bioengineering professor at Stanford University, and Laurie Zoloth, a medical ethics professor at Northwestern University, to condemn the concealment of the meeting. They wrote, “The creation of new human life is one of the last human-associated processes that has not yet been industrialised or fully commodified. It remains an act of faith, joy, and hope”. They added that this form of genome synthesis might eventually lead to a genome-engineering arms race.
Harvard biologist George Church was the co-organizer of the surreptitious meeting. Dr. Church is a famous and controversial scientist and entrepreneur, who revealed that the meeting was kept a secret because the topic of discussion at the meeting coincided with a paper that has been authored by several scientists and is still pending for publication in a major scientific journal. Post the publication of the paper, a video of the meeting will be released.
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