What if we could choose the color of eyes we would want our offspring to be born with? How tall we would want them to be? Or what if the child might be born with sickle cell anemia or Down syndrome, and we might be able to prevent that from occurring by causing a certain gene from their DNA to be changed before birth? This is called genetic modification, a direct manipulation of adding and removing genes from an organism’s DNA. It might seem like genetic engineering is relatively new technology, but it has been around since 12,000 B.C.; of course the technology to actually select one gene, and completely add or remove it from the DNA of an organism started in the 1970’s. Jaenisch Rudolf, created the first transgenic mouse, by introducing external DNA to the embryo. At the time this was a breakthrough to possibilities beyond imagination. Although it started with animals and plants, it was a matter of time before the use of human embryos for genetic modification would commence. While this technology can be the step from a disabled born baby to a healthy one, and vice versa we have to consider that genetically modifying babies may result in a reduced genetic diversity, as well as unhealthy use and should have limitations by law.
The technology to edit the DNA of human embryos was announced in April 2015, this technology is called CRISPR/Cas9. Co- invented by Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier; according to Doudna (2015), “the CRISPR technology came about through a basic research project that was aimed at discovering how bacteria fight viral infections”. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats otherwise known as CRISPR, allows the cells in a...
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...y prevent diseases, remember that oath and not cause them for the sake of glory or money. Limitations to such methods should be established by law, in which cases like deliberately having children with a disability because of the whim of their parents. Licenses and regulations on the use of gene editing should be established, such as if the preimplantation genetic diagnosis detects the embryos with the disposition to Huntington’s disease then gene editing can be used in such a case. While using gene editing because the parents would like their child to be a certain way should be refuted immediately. The U.K. Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), “formed in response to legislation to regulate assisted reproduction technologies” (Simpson & Edwards, 2003). Gene editing can be a great use for the human population in the near future, if it is used wisely.
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