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Gene editing raises concerns about furthering divide between rich and poor

| | September 12, 2016
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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.

Scientists are pioneering the ability to tweak our DNA to wipe out disease and maybe even allow us to choose desirable traits in our unborn children, like height or intelligence. None of these technologies have moved out of the lab, but Americans are already uncomfortable with them. In a survey from Pew Research Center, almost half said they wouldn’t want to edit their baby’s genes—whether it were to combat disease or shop for traits.

They saw these options as “meddling with nature,” even though we’ve been using technology to enhance our lives for thousands of years.

[However], the more important point raised was the concern that technological enhancements could lead to greater inequality—that the rich could pay to live longer, healthier lives, and the poor couldn’t. This consideration is important because…gene editing [is] becoming a reality faster than many of us realize.

[S]cience is moving fast, so we need to vigorously debate the implications of these technologies sooner rather than later, or we’ll risk programming inequality deep into our DNA.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: We Risk Programming Inequality into Our DNA

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