Gene Modification: A brave new world

One of the most interesting are of CRISPR technology is embryo modification. This is the ability to modify human embryos so that we can eliminate certain genetic diseases. There is current research being produced right now that has drawn a great deal of attention and controversy. This research holds a substantial amount of possibility for humans to eliminate from the planet certain genetic diseases that have seemed impossible to prevent. This at face value seems to be incredibly beneficial to humanity as a whole and it in fact could be very beneficial. However, there are many serious dangers that could arise from such discoveries. This could open the door to much more dangerous possibilities when it comes to editing embryos. In theory one day we could have the capacity to modify traits and abilities of newborns so that they could one day be more successful in the world. Such example would be to create people that are tall which has been linked to being more successful in life. This could soon create hierarchies where the rich can create successful babies and the poor are left to natural biology. This “raises social and ethical concerns about what kind of traits should be selected or de-selected.” (Darnovsky, pg 3)

 

I think that if we can develop the ability to properly edit genes so that certain defective genes can be removed, humanity should utilize such technology. Yes its capabilities raise some moral and ethical issues, I think regulations could prevent us from abusing the technology. This however would be rather difficult as Darnosvsky states, “How would we draw the distinction between a medical enhancement purpose for germ line modification.” (pg. 4)

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