For now, babies born deaf have been confirmed to have the ability to hear.
Genetics explains the process by which information in our bodies is passed down from generation to generation and in recent years it has become more fashionable than ever. We’ve all heard of Chernobyl or the strange mutations produced in genetically modified foods, but few could have predicted The most feared Asian country It wants to dominate the whole world Genetic engineering. And it has already begun.
Gene editing wants to revolutionize Asia
Li Jincheng She was recently a six-year-old girl He repeats what she says and plays with his mother. The game is a historical milestone that can be replicated in millions of homes around the world. Little Yiyi, as she is nicknamed, Deaf country Now he can hear his mother.
This family, who lives in Dongguan, China, recently participated Genetic testing They tell us Medium MIT Technology Review And it has an introduction Virus for Repairs the DNA of inner ear cells In the female, it can transmit sounds to the brain.
Some deaf children in China can hear after gene therapy https://t.co/VAc2509yJ6
— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) October 27, 2023
Shu leaf A professor at Shanghai University is doing the same Experiment Even with Five boys and girlsFour of them were able to develop their listening skills naturally.
however, Modern techniques of this kind They want the same Barrera than other procedures or drugs: there are not many patients who can benefit from them, so their development and marketing It is really expensive.
History has been made in medicine today.
Great Britain has approved the first gene-editing drug, Caskavi #CRISPRTo cure sickle cell anemia.
— Xabi Marrero (@XabiMarrero) November 16, 2023
In fact, this genetic correction is not valid for all deaf people because it only works for people who lack the otoferlin protein. And these represent only 1% to 5% of the total hearing-impaired population. However, one encountered problem They are summarized Lack of moneyChina is on top.
He Shanghai Local Government Promoted Assistance to companies Those who dedicate their activity to gene editing, worth approx 12 million euros per year. And this is just the beginning, with many more to come The country’s governments are going to follow in their footstepsTo attract companies willing to experiment with gene editing technology.
And this is another CarreraThe space race may have had its day, this one China wins. However, the bell still has a long way to go, says Antonio Regalado, editor of MIT Technology Review, in the article:
Proving that gene therapy works is not the same as developing a successful drug that helps people in the real world. For that, companies have to conduct additional studies, get approval, and finally sell the product for a profit. None of that is easy, especially for rare diseases where only a few patients can benefit from treatment.