Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Gene Editing Tool CRISPR-Cas9

Research has come along far in finding a cure for some diseases. According to Rachel Dicker writes in her article in US News that researchers have been isolating messenger RNA to edit the cell’s nucleus to make new proteins by using gene editing tool ‘clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats’ also known as CRISPR-Cas9. In a study, this tool was used to remove HIV from immune cells and stop the replication of HIV permanently. This gene editing tool can be used to correct defective RNA which means many diseases such as certain cancer, fragile X syndrome and autism. CRISPR-Cas9 can also be used to edit genes that can change physical features and even personality.

I like the idea of gene editing that can permanently stop a disease or the replication cycle of deadly cells, but the question would be where does gene editing lead us? Gene editing is great in the dangerous situation such as curing a disease but physical features would be taking it too far. I would also agree in certain cases, gene editing for personality might be necessary. Some disorders are personality related and if that hinders one’s life then it can be helped. Also, the ultimate question is where do we draw the line in who gets to use this technology. Gene editing can cause some serious harm if it was to be utilized by the wrong people. We must be careful of what we create because even though we create something with good intentions, a situation can turn negative in seconds. 


  1. I completely agree. Gene editing can be very helpful with many diseases but it can cause a huge ethical debate. Even with the actual diseases there will be many that disagree with fixing the affected and cause a debate on it.

  2. I wrote a post about CRISPR-Cas9 yesterday and I didn't know that it can even change physical appearance or personality. I think in general it can do great things, but I hope it isn't used to "edit" people who are perfectly healthy.