Hmm, CRISPR

I first heard of CRISPR technology in my microbiology course of 2017. I was at first repulsed by the idea of human genome modification because it is unnatural. I thought it was inhumane to think about changing the genome of an embryo because you’d be altering the life of a child. After reading John Harris’s argument about the benefits of CRISPR technology my mindset was changed. He said “CRISPR could be used to modify disease causing genes in embryos brought to term, removing the faulty script from the genetic code of that person’s future descendants as well”. Ultimately, this would ensure a better life for those who are born with unfortunate diseases. He did mention that modifying genomes is dangerous because we do not fully know how it will affect them, but it is still something to consider. He thinks that it is safer to take the chance than rely on the effects of natural reproduction. Marcy Darnovsky argues otherwise. She thinks it is entirely more dangerous to use CRISPR technology than rely of natural reproduction. She states “making irreversible changes to every cell in the bodies of future children and all their descendants would constitute extraordinarily risky human experimentation”. That point is definitely something to consider.

 

After reading the articles I considered both sides of the argument and think it is worth the risk to experiment with CRISPR technology only because it can be used for good. I think there should be restrictions on how the technology is used only because it can create diversity as Darnovsky argues. I think the technology should only be used to lower the risks of being born with life-altering illnesses to improve the life of human being. I don’t think CRISPR technology should be used to change physical characteristics such as eye color, hair color, skin color, etc. That is an unnecessary factor to alter in life and could create a lot of problems throughout society. Despite that, I think CRISPR technology can be used for good and can improve the quality of life.   

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