The Daily Sheeple – November 14, 2017
This is the first confirmed case of the gene editing of human embryos in the US and it gets scientists one step closer to the ability to create genetically engineered humans. Researchers in Portland, Oregon have used a powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR to create genetically modified human embryos, MIT Technology Review reported in an exclusive.
CRISPR, which is often compared to the cut-and-paste function on a word processor, is a powerful and comparatively new genetic engineering technique that allows scientists to make specific, targeted changes to the DNA of a plant, animal, or human. It’s relatively cheap and easy to use and has the potential to cure a wide range of diseases, such as muscular dystrophy or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). But scientists seem to be using it to create designer humans and animals instead leading to ethics questions.
In 2015, Chinese scientists used CRISPR to make muscled beagles. But even beyond the often-stated fear that gene editing will lead to a world of designer babies and “genetic have-nots,” CRISPR is still new and may have consequences we don’t understand.