Pesticides and food: It’s not a black and white issue

Special 6-part series starting on

FIRST ARTICLE: Has pesticide use decreased over the last 40 years?

Viewpoint: ‘Gattaca’ reminds us that gene editing has dark possibilities

[Editor’s note: Osagie Obasogie is a professor of bioethics at the University of California-Berkeley.]

Set in the not-too-distant future, the film [Gattaca] tells the story of a young man born through natural conception (and with all its mundanity) trying to make it in a world where genetically screening embryos for better bodies, sharper minds and enhanced talents has become the norm.

Revisiting Gattaca at this time is important precisely because it coincides with the emergence of new genetic technologies that are making a then-futuristic vision put forth two decades ago more a matter of science than fiction.

Technological developments like gene editing, if safe and accessible for existing patients, can make remarkable contributions to improving human health. But altering the genes of not-yet-existing people is not so much medicine as human experimentation with “better breeding.” As science moves forward in these treacherous times, we must be mindful of our ideological surroundings to ensure the most vulnerable are not targets once again.

White supremacy under the guise of public health, technological progress or human betterment is nothing new. Thus, the very fields of science and medicine that let down so many during past eugenic eras must now step up to make sure these political fantasies do not taint their endeavors once again.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Revisiting “Gattaca” in the Era of Trump

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

3 thoughts on “Viewpoint: ‘Gattaca’ reminds us that gene editing has dark possibilities”

  1. Apocalyptic & dystopic theater has been titillating the human imagination ever since Greeks and Chinese presented it. Probably thousands of years ago some ancient hominids presaged the future as they dreamed it while dancing around a campfire. Theater is just that…it’s not reality. The reality is that humans create and use technology, sometimes for the betterment and sometimes for the destruction of civilization. I prefer not to take movies such as Gattaca too seriously. They are entertainment after all.

Leave a Comment

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend