CRISPR’s Brilliance and Deterrence

CRISPR technology is the editing of DNA, whether that be altering, deleting, or rearranging, to correct genetic disparities. CRISPR-Cas9 has two different elements of the process. One is the “Cas-9” section that virtually cuts the DNA, and the other is the RNA that guides the Cas-9 to cut the DNA. This technology is regarded as very precise and accurate, which makes CRISPR both exhilarating and terrifying because of the power it holds. CRISPR is a display of how much scientific understanding we currently have, which is amazing that we are able to edit DNA. However, it is also terrifying because it could lead to the destruction of ethics and values society has come to have. 

In today’s political and social climate it is very possible that CRISPR could evolve into a second coming of the eugenics movement. The genetic mutation that the technology allows for could most definitely get into the wrong hands and ultimately lead to several types of discriminatory manipulation. We have discussed the role of economic markets in science and how they profit off of scientific discoveries. With CRISPR, it could establish class differences through genetics, those who can afford genetic mutation will be visibly identifiable. As Harris and Darnovsky said in their article: “In opening the door to one kind of germline modification, we are likely opening it to all kinds. Permitting human germline gene editing for any reason would likely lead to its escape from regulatory limits, to its adoption for enhancement purposes, and to the emergence of a market-based eugenics that would exacerbate already existing discrimination, inequality, and conflict”. Genetic modification, while it is possible, is not needed in the human race. 

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