Editing Our Future

CRISPR technology is the science of editing genetics and DNA code. Many organisms have already been successfully modified using this CRISPR technology including livestock, fish, plants, and fungi. This is obviously an amazing use of science and technology, but it is scary for scientists and the public alike because of the implications of “playing God”. This is a fast moving line of research, and if we aren’t careful with the ethics involved, we may go one step too far in the wrong direction. So far science is not at the point where we can readily and commercially edit human genes to whatever desirable combination we’d like. However, this is not too far fetched considering the work that has already been done.

I think there is definitely a potential (and a danger) for this to pander to a new generation of the eugenics movement. There certainly are some connections of using science as a guise to cover a potentially more social problem. This is a situation where a line must be drawn about crucial life-saving edits vs. cosmetic or purely “preferrable” genes. Curing cancer is the classic long-wondered question among the medical and scientific communities, and if this is where the answer lies, then it may be worth looking into. So yes, the potential is definitely there, but it can be avoided as long as we are careful and don’t let this technology fall into the wrong hands. 

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