Farming Organs

One of the many examples of the fact that much of the CRISPR technology is both exhilarating yet terrifying, is the ability for doctors to grow organs in pigs to transplant into humans. Being able to use pig organs is a relatively new concept due to diseases that affected pig organs before cultivation. In the article, “How the DNA Revolution is Changing Us”, written by Michael Spector, he notes that “ a pig’s genome is riddled with viruses called PERVs (porcine endogenous retroviruses), which are similar to the virus… shown to be capable of infecting human cells” (Spector). However, with the new technologies of gene editing and manipulating we are able to get rid of the diseases to make it more applicable to use these organs. He notes that researchers “used the tool to remove all 62 occurrences of PERV genes from a pig’s kidney cell. It was the first time that so many cellular changes had been orchestrated into a genome at once” (Spector).  The coolest part is that people don’t have to play a waiting game hoping that somebody will die in order for them to live. This will be able to save even more lives. However, how would researchers decide who gets human organs and who gets the pig organs. Also, researchers need to look at the moral considerations of using these organs.

Many people think that gene editing on humans is like playing God, or messing some kind of higher power. In my opinion we should have selective abilities on manipulating the genes of humans. We should be able to get rid of the DNA sequences that are responsible for diseases such as Tay-Sachs and Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). However, with other trivial characteristics such as eye and hair color humanity should let chance happen.