Viewpoint: We can’t afford to let ethical questions blunt the potential of CRISPR gene editing

CRISPR dna editing

With CRISPR, there is no doubt that there are multiple very concerning implications to the technology.

Should humans actually alter their genetic code to introduce preferential attributes? Should parents be allowed to dictate what their children look like? And, perhaps most pressing of all, should we be altering our own evolutionary path in this extreme way?

All of those ethical questions will have to be decided upon much further down the line and a large amount of regulation will have to make sure, if we do allow any of these things, that they can be safely controlled.

However, that potential of CRISPR aside, the immediately pressing issue is the amount of fatal and life altering conditions that CRISPR might be able to stop.

When it comes to cancers, hereditary diseases, viral infections and rare genetic diseases for instance there are many that are incurable and highly fatal. In the case of cancer alone, despite surgeries and therapies, it is very difficult to stop, aggressive and people are contracting it at increasing rates.

CRISPR could be the technology with which we can fight multiple problems and any worries about the longer term ethical questions of playing god with our DNA, should not stop research from progressing in the pursuit of solutions to deal with these fatal diseases.

Read full, original post: Through CRISPR gene editing we can (and should) change the nature of our species

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