Humans 2.0: Writing the future of human evolution


Can humans control the future evolution of our species? Based on current knowledge in genetics, one can infer and extrapolate what may happen in the near future. After all, if we are to predict the future, we must first understand the foundations of our present. To answer the first question, I will briefly present what we know about our genome and whether we have enough data to infer who we are (known as the genotype–phenotype correlation), then I will present new technological advances and their potential impact on our evolution.


genome sequencing; genetic editing; human genetic modification; genetic determinism; bioethics


  • Apte, R. S. (2018). Gene therapy for retinal degeneration. Cell, 173(1), 5. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.021

  • Beans, C. (2018). Science and culture: Wearable tech meets tattoo art in a bid to revolutionize both. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 115(14), 3504–3506. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1803214115

  • De Lecuona, I., Casado, M., Marfany, G., López-Baroni, M., & Escarrabill, M. (2017). Gene editing in humans: Towards a global and inclusive debate for responsible research.

  • Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 90(4), 673–681. PMID: 29259532

  • Gaskell, G., Bard, I., Allansdottir, A., Vieira da Cunha, R., Eduard, P., Hampel, J., ... Zwart, H. (2017). Public views on gene editing and its uses. Nature Biotechnology, 35, 1021–1023. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3958

  • Gerbault, P., Liebert, A., Itan, Y., Powell, P., Currat, M., Burger, J. ... Thomas, M. J. (2011). Evolution of lactase persistence: An example of human niche construction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences, 366(1566), 863–877. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0268

  • Hirsch, T., Rothoeft, T., Teig, N., Bauer, J. W., Pellegrini, G., De Rosa, L. ... De Luca, M. (2017). Regeneration of the entire human epidermis using transgenic stem cells. Nature, 551, 327–332. doi: 10.1038/nature24487

  • Kalia, S. S., Adelman, K., Bale, S. J., Chung, W. K., Eng, C., Evans, J. P. ... Miller, D. T. (2017). Recommendations for reporting of secondary findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing, 2016 update (ACMG SF v2.0): A policy statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Genetics in Medicine, 19(2), 249–255. doi: 10.1038/gim.2016.190 

  • Ku, C. S., Polychronakos, C., Tan, E. K., Naidoo, N., Pawitan, Y., Roukos, D. H. ... Cooper D. N. (2013). A new paradigm emerges from the study of de novo mutations in the context of neurodevelopmental disease. Molecular Psychiatry, 18(2), 141–153. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.58 

  • Lim, E. T., Uddin, M., De Rubeis, S., Chan, Y., Kamumbu, A. S.,  Xhang, X., ... Walsh, C. A. (2017). Rates, distribution and implications of postzygotic mosaic mutations in autism spectrum disorder. Nature Neuroscience, 20, 1217–1224. doi: 10.1038/nn.4598

  • McCullough, J. M., Heath, K. M., & Smith, A. M. (2015). Hemochromatosis: Niche construction and the genetic domino effect in the European Neoli­thic. Human Biology, 87(1), 39–58. PMID: 26416321

  • Mojica, F. J. M., & Montoliu, L. (2016). On the origin of CRISPR-Cas technology: From prokaryotes to mammals. Trends in Microbiology, 24(10), 811–820. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2016.06.005

  • Montoliu, L., Merchant, J., Hirsch, F., Abecassis, M., Jouannet, P., Baertschi, B., ... & Chneiweiss, H. (2018). ARRIGE arrives: Toward the responsible use of genome editing. The CRISPR Journal, 1(2), 128–129. doi: 10.1089/

  • Roukos, D. H. (2014). Innovation versus evidence: To trust direct-to-consumer personal genomic tests? Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 11, 1–4. doi: 10.1586/erm.10.99

  • Santander, N. G., Contreras-Duarte, S., Awad, M. F., Lizama, C., Passalacqua, I., Rigotti, A., & Busso, D. (2013). Developmental abnormalities in mouse embryos lacking the HDL receptor SR-BI. Human Molecular Genetics, 22(6), 1086–1096. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds510

  • The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium. (2015). A global reference for human genetic variation. Nature, 526, 68–74. doi: 10.1038/nature15393

  • Vernot, B., & Pääbo, S. (2018). The predecessors within... Cell, 173(1), 6–7. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.023

  • Wang, H., La Russa, M., & Li, Q. S. (2016). CRISPR/Cas9 in genome editing and beyond. Annual Reviews in Biochemistry, 85, 227–264. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-060815-014607

Creative Commons License
Texts in the journal are –unless otherwise indicated– published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License