Lulu and Nana, the babies who are China’s CRISPR twins who had their gene edited by Prof He Jiankui may have their brains enhanced, improving their cognition and memory.
Back in November 2018 in a Youtube Video, Prof He Jiankui claims he has helped to make the world’s first genetically edited babies, by altering the embryos DNA.
The end result was to protect the babies from contracting HIV, by eliminating a gene called CCR5 to make the girls resistant to HIV virus.
Now, new research shows that the same alteration introduced into the girls’ DNA, the removal of the CCR5 gene, not only makes mice smarter but also improves human brain recovery after stroke, and could be linked to greater success in school.
“The answer is likely yes, it did affect their brains,” says Alcino J. Silva, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Alcino J. Silva’s lab uncovered a major new role for the CCR5 gene in memory formation and the brain’s ability to form new connections.
“The simplest interpretation is that those mutations will probably have an impact on cognitive function in the twins,” says Silva. He says the exact effect on the girls’ cognition is impossible to predict, and “that is why it should not be done.”
Soon after Prof He Jiankui’s announcement, The Chinese government has ordered a temporary halt to research activities for people involved in the editing of human genes.
Many have condemned the Pro He Jian Kui and the CRISPR experiments as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘immoral’.
Now the world is faced with a new challenge. China confirmed that Lulu and Nana are real, and they are the first humans made known to the world that their genes has been edited.
The original intentions of Prof He JianKui was good, which was to bring hope to HIV positive parents and give them a child of their own who is free of the HIV virus.
Prof He Jiankui good intentions may have accidentally resulted in the creation of the world’s first humans with possible enhanced intellect.
This event seems familiar to many as its just almost the same as the story from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a 2011 film about a biologist who created a cure for Alzheimer’s disease which also happens to increase the ape’s and human’s intelligence.
In the film, the cure for Alzheimer’s disease also happened to be the source of the simian flu virus which effective kills many humans in the second film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and makes humans mute and devolve into primates in the films third installment War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).
Should Lulu and Nana be allowed to live out a normal life? Who has the right to make this decision?
Would the world welcome or fear the the twins because they maybe the first pair of super intelligent humans?
Would people be afraid that the twins be the source of an unknown disease that would wipe out human existence like the movie series Planet of the Apes?
Whatever happens to the twins or the world community, we are sure that whoever is deciding the outcome won’t have an easy decision to make.