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Would transhumanists use CRISPR to edit their own genome?

| | December 9, 2015
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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Geneticists developing powerful genome editing tools are worried that transhumanists will try to use them on themselves before they’re deemed safe and effective for use in humans, which could undermine the future of technologies, such as CRISPR/Cas9, that allow for specific, targeted DNA editing.

CRISPR holds promise in the potential eradication of diseases like HIV, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s, and could be used to prevent children from being born mentally impaired. The scientific community seems to generally agree that using CRISPR to potentially prevent disease is ethically OK as long as the technology overall is deemed safe for use in humans. Things get sticky, however, when you consider that gene editing could theoretically be used down the line to create designer babies, to prevent premature aging, or to stimulate muscle growth, among myriad other applications.

Transhumanists, many of whom believe science can be used to ultimately conquer death, look at CRISPR as an important part of the toolkit we can use to transcend our natural bodies. Since as early as 2004, transhumanist groups have opposed the idea of bans on human genetic editing research. Zoltan Istvan, who is running for president as a Transhumanist candidate (and who writes an occasional column for Motherboard), says CRISPR holds great promise for the human race.

Read full, original post: Geneticists Are Concerned Transhumanists Will Use CRISPR on Themselves

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