Human genome “grammar” is extremely complex. Are we prepared for the genetics revolution we are living?
Human genome sequencing revealed the order of the 3 billion letters of the ADN (A, C, G and T), but not what they mean, much less the grammar that gives them meaning.
Human genome grammar
A study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in the edition of international science journal Nature (Read HERE – 527; 384-388,2015), shows that the “grammar” of the human genome is more complex than any languages spoken in the world. “The genome contains all the information needed to build and maintain an organism, but it also holds the details of an individual’s risk of developing common diseases”, says lead author, Arttu Jolma.
The cells have almost identical genomes but differ from each other according to the active and inactive (expressed or not expressed) genes that give them their function or not. Each gene has a regulatory region containing the instructions that control when and where the gene is expressed.
Few people understand just how complex genetics really is.
A recent article with this suggestive title We are not prepared for the genetic revolution…(read The Conversation, May 25, 2018) was published. The author said, “When humans’ genetic information (known as the genome) was mapped 15 years ago, it promised to change the world. Optimists anticipated an era in which all genetic diseases would be eradicated. Pessimists feared widespread genetic discrimination. Neither of these hopes and fears has been realised. Why? The reason for this is simple: our genome is complex. Being able to locate specific differences in the genome is only a very small part of understanding how these genetic variants actually work to produce the traits we see.”
If you add this extreme complexity to the simplicity of CRISPR technique modifications, the result is explosive. We also have to consider that “more and more products and services start to use genetic data” and biohackers continue increasing their activities (see Are biohackers out of control? Gene editing kits offered on Internet permit re-engineer DNA).
It is urgent that scientific community establishes clear scientific criteria to regulate this genetic revolution within a framework of responsibility. Past Global summits revealed divergent views on the use of human gene editing (see HERE). However, work must continue to achieve a consensus in this field.