Some Crispy Thoughts

The example that stood out to me most was regarding mosquitoes in Specter’s National Geographic article. The fact that we may be able to eradicate horrific diseases like Zika astounds me, especially because it’s not even something we’re changing about ourselves. Making the carrier of the disease resistant to it is genius, and if successful, continents of people could live happier, healthier lives. The thing that Specter does mention that I find frightening is the idea of shifting DNA between species and causing an unexpected disease to transfer. The worst-case scenario here would be a disease that we have never as a species seen before, and as a result we have literally nothing to protect ourselves against it with. However, if it were up to me, this risk is worth the benefits of eradicating current diseases.

Short answer, yes. The questions that are more difficult for me to answer are WHEN gene editing should be done, and to what extent? Regarding the “when,” editing done for an adult can change their current cells to get rid of certain diseases and disorders. I am 100% in support of doing this as soon as we can make sure it’s safe. Editing an embryo however permanently changes the genetics of that human and any spawn of that human forever. I am less sold on this idea but could still perhaps be convinced with more information. As for how much we edit, I think that for now we need to stick with making sick people healthy. Gene editing in this manner could be considered highly effective surgery or treatment and only aims to bring everyone up to the level of a typical healthy human. Editing to make humans “superior” right now is something that I see as bad in every way. The imbalance in society would only widen because only the highest and most powerful class could afford to be made “better.” If it were something that could be done universally for all humans, I’m all for it. But until that point, no.

1 thought on “Some Crispy Thoughts”

  1. Great Post! It was very interesting and I agreed with a lot of your points. I also mentioned the possible eradication of many very serious diseases if we are able to use CRISPR technology to alter the makeup of mosquitoes. I would never have thought to alter a mosquito, and its crazy that that might be possible soon. I also think the results of all of these alterations we make may be catastrophic. I don’t think we know what could happen yet, and the consequences could be scary. I also agree with your opinion about if CRISPR Technology should continue. Yes, it is making a huge difference to many people, but I don’t know how we will answer many questions about CRISPR technology like what makes the technology unethical, who gets to decide what is unethical, and what are the consequences going to be? There are a lot of big questions that will need to be answered and I hope they are being considered already.

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