CRISPR

CRISPR Scientists Call For Global Moratorium On Heritable Gene Editing

There are non-Technocrats who see that science must be used responsibly., but once Pandora’s Box has been opened, it is impossible to shut. Rogue scientists will continue to ignore the warnings. ⁃ TN Editor

Some of the biggest names in gene editing want to stop anyone from playing around with cells that pass on changes to the next generation.

After the first International Summit on Human Gene Editing in December 2015, a statement was released. The organizers were unanimous in agreeing that the creation of genetically modified children was “irresponsible” unless we knew for sure it was safe.

Well, a fat lot of good that did. As MIT Technology Review revealed in November last year, Chinese scientist He Jiankui edited embryos to create two genetically engineered babies. Other groups are now actively looking to use the technology to enhance humans.

This has prompted some of the biggest names in gene editing (some of whom signed the 2015 statement) to call for a global moratorium on all human germline editing—editing sperm or egg cells so that the changes are hereditary.

In an open letter in Nature this week, major players in CRISPR’s development, including Emmanuelle Charpentier, Eric Lander, and Feng Zhang, have been joined by colleagues from seven different countries to call for a total ban on human germline editing until an international framework has been agreed on how it should be treated. They suggest five years “might be appropriate.” The US National Institutes of Health has also backed the call.

The signatories hope a voluntary global moratorium will stop the next He Jiankui from suddenly springing another unwelcome surprise.

The group says that this moratorium period will allow time to discuss the “technical, scientific, medical, societal, ethical, and moral issues that must be considered” before the technique can be used. Countries that decide to go ahead and allow germline editing should do so only after notifying the public of the plan, engaging in international consultation “about the wisdom of doing so,” and making sure that there is a “broad societal consensus” in the country for starting on that path, they say.

“The world might conclude that the clinical use of germline editing is a line that should not be crossed for any purpose whatsoever,” the group says. “Alternatively, some societies might support genetic correction for cou­ples with no other way to have biologically related children, but draw a line at all forms of genetic enhancement. Or, societies could one day endorse limited or widespread use of enhancement.”

The letter’s signatories suggest that germline research should be allowed so long as there is no intention to implant embryos and produce children. Using CRISPR to treat diseases in non-reproductive somatic cells (where the changes would not be heritable) should also be fine so long as any adults participating have given their informed consent. Genetic enhancement should not be allowed at this time, and no clinical application carried out unless its “long-­term biologi­cal consequences are sufficiently understood—both for individuals and for the human species,” they write.

We still don’t know what the majority of our genes do, so the risks of unintended consequences or so-called off-target effects—good or bad—are huge. The loss of the CCR5 gene that He was targeting to protect children from HIV, for example, has been implicated in increased complications and death from some viral infections.

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Ocasio-Cortez

The Real Drivers Behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal

As responsible research digs into the people and organizations behind AOC and the Green New Deal, it is important to understand that there is nothing new under the sun. GND is radical and impossible, but it can be used to shred what remains of the Republic. ⁃ TN Editor

Meet Saikat Chakrabarti, the Rasputin of the 14th Congressional District and arguably the real brains behind the bright new shiny Democrat bauble of Congress now famously branded by the media as AOC, joining the exclusive club (JFK, LBJ, RFK, HRC) of politicians widely referred to by three initials.

In the space of just a few short months, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, with fewer than 16,000 votes in a primary election, went from the role of obscure bartender to perhaps the most famous and powerful freshman member of Congress ever. She instantly became a media darling who drives ratings and Internet clicks. Senior Democrats such as Sen. Ed Markey gush over her and edge in to get their picture taken with her as they appear to hang on her every word.

Ocasio-Cortez was given a plum seat on the House Financial Services Committee. Her placement on the exclusive House Banking Committee, as well as the appointments of other newbie progressives to top committees was part of a larger deal to re-secure the speakership for Nancy Pelosi ahead of the midterms. Pelosi agreed to 40 percent progressive representation on the five top House committees.

How could this have happened?  Look behind the curtain. You’ll find her mysterious chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, a well-funded radical left wing activist who, with other veterans of the 2016 Sanders campaign, including “Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur (later purged over past allegedly sexist, racist, pro-rape statements), established a web of campaign organizations and LLC’s, including Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress.  As many as 16 groups were housed in the same office space in Knoxville, TN, with no apparent legally-required “walls of separation.”

The larger plot was and remains to recruit attractive people to run for Congress. The longer-term strategy seems to be to gain control of the Democrat Party, Congress and ultimately the United States government itself. Their stated goal “was to run hundreds of Democratic candidates” who do “not take corporate money and serve the voters rather than the donors,” as well as “capture a significant amount of Congress with strong progressives” and “overpower the corporate Democrats.”

In the 2018 elections, 26 of the 79 candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats won their respective primary elections. Along with AOC, six other of these progressive minority candidates won in the general election: Raúl GrijalvaRo KhannaAyanna PressleyRashida TlaibIlhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal. The districts where they won were all solidly Democrat. This suggests why the far left wing newbies were not only given key committee assignments and but quickly found senior Democrats fawning over them. When Rep. Ilhan Omar was accused of anti-Semitic remarks, Democrats could not find the will to directly condemn her. Instead they passed a watered down meaningless resolution against hate.  Pelosi and other establishment Democrats are understandably afraid of who will be targeted by the Justice Democrats in 2020 and they don’t want to antagonize them.

In her primary, Ocasio-Cortez received 57.13% of the vote (15,897) to Joe Crowley’s 42.5% (11,761) to defeat the 10-term incumbent. Ocasio-Cortez won the general election with 78% of the vote (110,318) to Pappas’s 14% (17,762). The Democrats all got the message.

With the win, Chakrabarti became AOC’s chief of staff. He and his left-wing associates, including her communications chief Corbin Trent, co-founder of Brand New Congress, and Sanders campaign veteran Zack Exley (an open borders advocate) had scripted and produced AOC’s campaign video and organized her entire grass roots campaign effort, including fund raising and social media.  They turned her into a brand to take control of the House seat from Crowley. There is evidence that most all of Ocasio-Cortez’s communications are created by these men who appear to tell her what to say.

Watch the video below, excerpted from the longer well-reserached material by “Mr. Reagan,” as it shows Trent talking about 40% of Americans, or 160 million people making less than $20,000 a year and then five days later, obviously reading from a script, Ocasio-Cortez makes the identical claim.

With Chakrabarti as Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Ocasio-Cortez released the highly controversial far-left policy initiative known as the Green New Deal.  It is designed to totally and fundamentally make over the American economy and the American political system.  Casio-Cortez’s office, led by Chakrabarti, released an “FAQ” which it withdrew after criticism for its extremist positions, including appearing to demand the elimination of animal agriculture, replacing commercial aviation with “high-speed rail,” and providing “economic security for all who are . . . unwilling to work.” Chakrabarti was forced to admit the office’s authorship of the FAQ after Green New Deal supporters retweeted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asserted quotes from the document about “unwilling to work” were fabricated.

The Green New Deal was drafted over a single December weekend by Ocasio-Cortez’s staff and representatives of like-minded progressive groups including the Sunrise Movement, a grassroots climate organization; the Justice Democrats and a freshly organized policy shop called the New Consensus. Chakrabarti was quoted as saying, “We spent the weekend learning how to put laws together. We looked up how to write resolutions.”  It’s unclear whether AOC was even present.

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