Genetic Future

I am interested in the text by Harris, because gene editing on humans is ultimately the most intriguing. One of the frightening aspects of this technology is the ability to use it as a tool of war, by making a nation’s soldiers enhanced. It might seem like a long term concern but I don’t think anyone is going to shy away from this technology if it ends up being safe for the masses. There are just too many potential benefits for health. I think another concern is wealth, who is going to have access to this technology? The way it is shaping up, only people with incredible wealth will have the option of something like editing the genes of your kids, at least initially. That brings me to what is probably the most decisive, CRISP babies. This is exciting but also scary, because it is less natural than editing corn or something. These are future humans that could be severely altered. Even if it’s for the better, do we want a world with perfect people? We shouldn’t be so selective, instead we should focus on eliminating genetic disease. That is much more important than having the world’s smartest kid or one that is good at basketball.

 

I have experience with gene research, and while I’m certainly not an expert I do know that it can be a controversial subject. You don’t need to know all the specifics to see that there may be unintended consequences. Gene editing on humans should be done only where it is ethical and when there has been proper experimentation and testing. In terms of experiments and testing, this is a grey are where I suppose it should be on a volunteer basis. Genetics is an exciting field, but we should proceed with caution because of the effects it could have on generations of humans. I think Harris in his text is too defensive but makes a good point when he says “diseases are natural” etc. There are people like Bill Gates who want to get rid of all mosquitoes, but taking an organism out of a world ecosystem could be damaging. This wouldn’t be “human gene editing” but it could have a drastic effect on humans whether it be positive, negative, or both. Due my feelings on the ethical concerns of gene research, I would be interested in pursuing a career in genetics.

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