Genetyka dwudziestego pierwszego wieku


  • Piotr Węgleński członek rzeczywisty PAN, Uniwersytet Warszawski

Słowa kluczowe:

genetic engineering, DNA sequencing, CRISPR-Cas technique, GMO, protests against GMO


In recent years, two developments revolutionized the molecular genetics. The first one is an enormously improved technique of the DNA sequencing. It is now possible to obtain in couple of hours and on the low cost, the full sequence of the human genome. The second one is the invention of the CRISPR-Cas technique, which allows the precise manipulations of genomes of living organisms. This technique was already successfully applied to “repair” human genes responsible for hereditary diseases. To some astonishment, applications of genetic engineering to humans does not bring protests of general public, while similar manipulations pf plants genomes are considered an dangerous. In Poland and in some other countries, parliaments introduced an extremely restrictive laws, which in practice makes cultivation of GM plants outside laboratories impossible. This is caused by the ignorance of the general public and by opposition of catholic church which considers genetic modifications of all organisms as contradictory with Gods will. The most common modification of plants is an introduction into their genomes of the single gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringensis, what make the plant resistant to harmful insects. According to WHO, neither the manipulation mentioned above, nor manipulations of the other kind, do not pose any danger to humans.