Genetics news & views from students enrolled in BIOL 2110 at Stockton University.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Gene Editing on Human Embryos
CRISPER the new gene editing
is tweaking the genomes of human embryos to eliminate genes that cause
disease. It is also the most controversial.
A new gene editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9
has been approved to modify human embryo genes by the Human Fertilization and
Embryology Authority in the United Kingdom. This has been done earlier to
assist unfertile couples in having a chance at fertility. The embryos have been
provided by these couple achieving to carry fertile fetuses through in vitro fertilization with the exception that these embryos
will not be allowed to develop past seven days of development. The theory behind this thought is that
CRISPER in the future might be used to eliminate disease causing genes in the embryo
rather than in a developed baby by removing the error causing DNA strip from
the genetic code. The theory for CRISPER includes the decrease and or elimination
of many serious genetic diseases to reduce human suffering. The counter argument
to this new theory has opponents saying that modifying human embryos is
dangerous and unnatural, and does not take into account the consent of future
generations; That embryo modification is
unnatural, or amounts to playing God. Diseases are natural, and humans by the
millions fall ill and die prematurely—all perfectly naturally.