Recently scientist has been making significant breakthroughs in the field ofgenetics. Scientists have been able to precisely edit the genes of human embryos.Although this accomplishment is a very impressive feat the U.S government heavilyregulates this procedure. 1 The future implications for this program are still excitingnevertheless.Multiple human embryos have had their genes edited in this new experimentalprogram.
Scientists have been using more precise tools in order to alter a specific genewithin the cell. In past scientist used off target editing approach that caused problems.Scientists were able to make significant breakthroughs through the use of CRISPRtechnology which was able to alter the gene more precisely. 1 CRISPR-cas9 technologywas found in gene editing bacteria that steal the DNA from attacking viruses in order tohave a template to kill the virus if it attacks again. DNA segments that are taken by thebacteria are called CRISPR arrays; these arrays are then employed to cut up the DNAof the invading virus. 2 Scientists have been able to mimic this precise procedure andemploy it on other organisms in order to alter their genetic makeup.Although the scientists were able to successfully alter the genome of the embryothey were only allowed to let the embryo grow for a few days because of governmentalregulations on the program.
2Many people believe gene editing on human embryos has exciting prospects inthe future. Gene editing could edit faulty mutations that cause severe diseases in thefuture child’s life. 1 For example, gene editing could fix the genetic mutation that leadsto autism bettering the child’s future life. Many other dangerous genetically linkeddiseases like cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease can be fixed even before the childis born. Opponents of this program have said that gene editing could lead to “designerbabies”.
What is meant by this term is that parents could wish to edit the genome oftheir child’s embryo in order to have certain physical characteristics. For example,parents could pay a scientist to edit the genome of their child in order for the child tohave a certain eye color or hair color. Many people believe this is morally wrong andthus oppose gene editing altogether.This exciting new procedure is clouded by government regulations and moralregulations. But I am confident that people will eventually come to accept the new foundtechnology once they realize all the medical benefits that are associated with it.
Manydifferent countries already allow more leniency with their genetic editing programs.