The Perfect Human

The example that stood out to me is from the DNA-Revolution article when Specter talks about the work of George Church. Church is working on trying to make pig organs suitable for transplant in Humans (Specter, pg. 3). This work, if successful could lead to huge changes in transplant technology but could also cause serious side effects and death. In my opinion using CRISPR in Humans is a dangerous road and needs to be monitored closely. However, I do see benefits in using it in some cases such as mosquitos. If Church’s work is successful the number of lives saved for people needing transplants will be huge. This could be used worldwide to save hundreds of thousands of people. On the other hand, this could potentially cause serious problems in the future. Church removed all 62 occurrences of PERV genes at once. This raises the question is this process successful every time? In addition to the human side of consequences we have to look at the pig side as well. Will this lead to the genetic modification of pigs and raising them just for transplant organs? I think this process could benefit humans but has to many uncertainties to use currently.

I don’t think gene editing should be done on humans. The process could lead to a vast array of unforeseen problems in the future. Altering the human state may lead to more diseases that then again must be changed. By trying to create a perfect world we would have to sacrifice possibly many lives and species to keep the human race “healthy.”

2 thoughts on “The Perfect Human”

  1. While I can understand your concerns and opinions over human gene editing, I think there are plenty of safe implementations that will not lead to further issues. For example, if you save someone’s life by editing out a fatal condition, and they somehow develop an unforeseen disease or complication due to the process, they are still alive, or at least lived longer than they would have otherwise. However, I do somewhat agree with you. This technology could be either incredibly helpful or an incredible disaster, and we should be cautious about how it is implemented and when. That being said, we should not disregard it as dangerous, but instead look into how we can manage it properly and keep it safe.

  2. I was also most interested by the pig organ concept Specter wrote about. I agree with you that this seems to be a good fix to our current issues of organ diseases. It is an exciting idea to save thousands of lives with pig organs but it is frightening to think of unknown consequences by doing this, which could lead to death in patients. Like you mention though it would be nice to eradicate the world of disease carrying mosquitos. These things need to be tested more for safety. I also agree with you that gene editing needs to be avoided. If we create “perfect” humans it could lead to more health issuese as well as discrimination and other social issues we already have. This is a well written and thoughtful post! Nice job!

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