Gene Editing Ethics

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Recently, scientists in the UK have been given the green light to start research on editing the DNA of a human embryo. The ability to unzip defective genes and replace them with nondefective copies of genes has sparked a huge debate on the ethics of human gene editing. In this paper, I will briefly explore the procedure of gene modification using the editing tool CRISPIR/Cas 9, the exciting possibilities of successfully using this method, and debate several ethical concerns that have arisen due do this newly approved procedure. CRISPIR/Cas 9 is a two part system that actually originates from the bacteria found to cause Streptococcus pyogenes, or strep throat. CRISPIR itself is a defense mechanism found in the bacteria or rather it is one part …show more content…
Although the editing of human embryos could lead to future treatments in unborn children many argue more harm than good could result. The argument at the top of the list may be the fact that through this process, we may be changing every cell in their bodies forever. While in the long run this process will be perfected. It is far from there now and fixing one problem may create another. Although CRISPER/CAS 9 is often precise, it has been known to cut the wrong strand of DNA leading to a whole new problem. The main subject of debate is whether or not to allow germ-line gene editing. Germ line editing is altering the genome in the sperm or egg cell. This provides the ability to change the genetics that a child is born with and these change s traits that would be inherited further down the generations. In altering the inherited traits we may be causing more problems in future generations while correcting the current ones. Another often overlooked situation is the testing on animals to try and perfect the process. According to the Associated Press in Washington and international summit was held to discuss the ethics of human gene editing. In a quote from the article, "Scientists are engineering animals with human like disorders to unravel the genes that fuel them. They are developing potential treatments for muscular dystrophy, sickle cell disease and cancer/ they 're trying to grow …show more content…
I believe that the benefits of gene-editing far outweigh the risks. I do not think that we are ready for full experimentation on humans but we should move forward with caution. This study in China is just the first of many to come and I believe it shows great promise in the future of human gene editing in embryos a well as adults. Definitely those on the forefront of this discovery should develop the necessary precautions and restrictions relating to the process to prevent this from causing more harm than help but I feel it should be embraced as a way to help benefit the human

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