Proper ethics must be discussed as CRISPR opens new doors

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

People have been prophesying nightmarish scenarios about genetic technologies ever since the publication of Aldous Huxley’s dystopic Brave New World. It’s now 20 years since Dolly the Sheep was cloned and 13 years since the first human genome was sequenced. The fact that none of these scenarios has yet come to pass could prompt the conclusion that they were over-hyped.

Indeed, the more we learn about the human genome, the less likely it seems that an elite race of “superhumans” will arise. We’ve learned that complex traits such as intelligence seem to arise from an elaborate interplay of nature and nurture and humanity continues to be riddled with genetic mistakes that cause disease.

But radical changes are afoot. The past five years have seen a revolution in our ability to alter our genomes and those of other organisms. Whereas early forms of genetic engineering relied on viruses to insert new genes, the development of CRISPR has made gene editing cheaper, quicker and far more accurate than before.

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Read full, original post: It’s time society discussed the ethical issues raised by the gene revolution

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