Control, Alt(er), Delete

In the Specter article, the author talks about the exciting aspects of CRISPR technology. Using this technology, scientists can permanently alter DNA in animals, and humans. Scientists can remove parasites from disease vectors such as mosquitos, and decrease diseases like West Nile, and Zika by a large margin (Specter, 2). The article also talks about using CRISPR technology to genetically modify medicine, and crops. Specifically, using the technology to affect tomatoes so that they can last longer, or affect any blights that crops can be affected by, e.g., mildew in certain strains of wheat (Specter, 3). CRISPR technology isn’t all sunshine and roses unfortunately though, in essence, by eradicating diseases, or developing human embryos, scientists are playing God. Furthermore, we don’t really know any affects genome modification will truly have in the future on individuals, or on organisms. What if good intentions cause bacteria to develop an even stronger resistance to antibiotics or other forms of medicine (Harris, Darnovsky, 2)?

Personally, at least for now, I don’t believe gene editing should be done on humans, I understand embryos being created for IVF, but deciding traits of a child would be cruel. What if by choosing to create a “designer baby”, you ruin the spontaneity of children developing in their own right and creating a unique persona. If perhaps, CRISPR technology were researched further, then perhaps it would make sense to implement on humans, but for now it’s an enigma, we don’t know what is going to happen when we go around editing human DNA.