One example of CRISPR technology that is discussed is using gene editing to attempt to eliminate diseases. The exhilarating aspects of this example is that if gene editing for serious genetic diseases is successful, it could prevent “suffering and death caused by disorders such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease” as explained in Harris’s section of the reading (Harris). The frightening aspects of this example, explained in Darnovsky’s portion of the reading, are that gene editing “would not treat any existing person’s medical diseases” (Darnovsky). Furthermore, Darnovsky goes to say that “far too much is unknown about issues including off-target mutations (unintentional edits to the genome), persistent editing effects, genetic mechanisms in embryonic and fetal development, and longer-term health and safety consequences” (Darnovsky).
I personally don’t think that gene editing should be done on humans. While it has been successful on other species, such as ridding pigs of viruses and altering genes in rice plants, I think that gene alterations of humans is risky. I also agree with Marcy Darnovsky when she says that there are “social and ethical concerns” about genetic editing when you consider which traits should be selected and deselected. Additionally, Darnovsky makes a fair point when she says that “it is true that a few couples—a very small number—would not be able to produce unaffected embryos, and so could not use PGD to prevent disease inheritance” (Darnovsky). Gene editing could be something we use in the future, but right now I don’t think that it should be done on humans because of the social, ethical, and political concerns that it raises.