editing jeans

“No scientific discovery of the past century holds more promise ­­or raises more troubling ethical questions. Most provocatively, if CRISPR were used to edit a human embryo’s germ line ­­cells that contain genetic material that can be inherited by the next generation ­­either to correct a genetic flaw or to enhance a desired trait, the change would then pass to that person’s children, and their children, in perpetuity. The full implications of changes that profound are difficult, if not impossible, to foresee,” This paragraph struck me as admitting flaws in something but also a very insightful outlook. The advent of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) tech ushered in a new era for biology and humanity. We are now able to facilitate breakthrough changes in DNA to alter the future of whatever is being edited. But with that amazing sounding claim we also have to understand that it can be used in some undesirable ways. One could influence future generations of a species with the editing of a gene that is not a good one, like bad eyesight for a predator or an undesirable trait in prey. The use of CRISPR in human embryo is a huge deal for the future of humanity in my eyes. It is exciting too, you have the power to change someone’s life for the better (or worse if you mess up). Humanity now has the power to essentially “delete” bad things about ourselves. The article talks about correcting genetic flaws like muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis. That is a very exciting promise, changing DNA so the future of humanity won’t have to deal with these debilitating diseases.

I fully believe that gene editing should be done on humans. We already artificially inseminate eggs in labs to create humans, so why not edit those eggs and sperms to create better humans? Those who edit their genes later in life would do so to rid themselves of an ailment that could be hereditary or simply a disease they have that can’t be cured by any other means. One could say that editing the genes of humans is equal to playing God since we have the power to affect someone’s life. But Is it really? Or are we simply using state of the art procedures to improve life for all of us. With all good things there comes a limit of how much of it can be considered good. There could be a point where firms pop up offering to make you into a super human or make you into an ideal person for a certain amount of money. All in all editing genes is a very promising thing, it can surely make the world a better place for humans when we are not so consumed with the seemingly endless stream of new infections and subsequent vaccines that follow.

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