Its application is to create organs for transplantation and produce viruses and cancers resistant cells.
US – US researchers announced last week of a project to create a synthetic human genome that could revolutionize biotechnology but raises concerns about the ethical aspect of it.
The description of the project called “Human Genome Project-Write” or “HGP-write” was published in the journal Science and already sparked criticism from scientists about its ethics, because of their potential to create children without biological parents.
Some researchers also criticized the secrecy surrounding the meeting held by the initiators last month at the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard to discuss the project with a hundred scientists.
According to the 25 promoters of HGP-write, including George Church, professor of genetics at the Faculty of Medicine of Harvard and Jef Boeke, Langone Medical Center at New York University, the initiative should enable numerous scientific and medical advances, encouraging the possibility of making large batches of DNA at a very low cost.
They said that the potential applications of the results of HGP-write are primarily the ability to create human organs for transplants and produce kinds of cells resistant to all viruses and cancers.
But far from being satisfied, Drew Endy, a bioengineer at Stanford University (California) and religion teacher Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University (Illinois) estimated that the ethical implications of the project should have been studied before submitting it.
They told the New York times that before launching a project like this, with such big ethical and theological implications, it is necessary to consider fundamental questions, starting with the fact whether and under what circumstances we should actually do these technologies.