Scientists have revealed their plans about creating synthetic human genome in the laboratory.
The Human Genome Project ("HGP-read") was completed back in 2004. The aim then was to sequence human genome and boost the way DNA sequencing is done. Now, it has become one of the most significant projects of science.
Despite continuous advancement, the technology still has a long way to go. To better comprehend genetic origins, experts may need to study large groups of animal, plant and even human genomes, which would result in new tools to facilitate major genome editing and synthesis. This is the reason a group of scientists came up with the Human Genome Project-Write (HGP-write).
Genome synthesis is a sensible broadening of genetic engineering materials that have been safely used by the biotech sector for about 40 years. However, with the development of new technology such as CRISPR-Cas9 and whole-genome synthesis, among many others, some applications, specifically human germline editing, are faced with controversies.
The team recognizes the ethical issues surrounding synthetic human genome creation. With this, they have ensured that a portion of funds for the project would be allocated to responsible consideration of ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI).
The team will also foster advanced dialogues so that their goals and actions are conveyed openly. They will also make use of informed consent and ensure the safety of their workers above all.
The main objective of HGP-write is to decrease the expenses entailed in engineering and testing large genomes within a decade. These genomes include human cell lines and other organisms that are valuable to agriculture and public health.
"HGP-write will aim to address a number of human health challenges," the authors write.
The project also aims to address some human health disorders by working on applications for organ transplant, improved immunity, better vaccines and cancer resistance.
The project will be launched this year, with financial support from multi sectoral sources amounting to about $100 million. The overall cost of the project is hard to anticipate but the team thinks it would be less than the HGP-read cost of $3 billion.