The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Engineering

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From Gregor Mendel’s pea experiment published in 1866 to Charles Darwin’s idea of pangenesis, we humans always had to question ourselves the deep secrets behind the mechanism of genes and DNA. Even before our technology was developed enough to visualize the DNA, many scientists considered and evaluated physiological factors what represents the dominant allele on the DNA. As we walked into the late 20th century, our technology developed to the point where we can modify and interact with the DNA in different ways. We have created a double-edged sword that can magically solve genetic diseases and destroy humanity completely. The area of genetic modification is not a new-age research. Many researchers have been developing various techniques since …show more content…

Also, it was very expensive for non-specialized laboratory to attempt. However, with the introduction of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) changed the game. CRISPR was seen and described in 1993 while Francisco Mojica was looking into an archaeal organism called Haloferax mediteranii. CRISPR allow the scientists to be able to insert genes in DNA without harming the gene itself. Building upon the original CRISPR idea, Dr. Jennifer Doudna and her Co-researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier established a new technology called CRISPR-Cas9. With this technological discovery, scientists can combat different diseases and limitation we faced as a human being. Having the ability to edit and correct genetic information manually, gives an enormous advantage to combating the …show more content…

Human modification does not have to stop from the medical changes such as disease or disability but it can even branch out to for more modifications that are not necessary, such as enhancements. As Dr. Jennifer Doudna mentioned in her Ted Talks in September 2015 in London, “we have to also consider that the CRISPR technology can be used for things like enhancement. Imagine that we could try to engineer humans that have enhanced properties, such as stronger bones…” This concept of human enhancement allows humanity advance ourselves to assist people to thrive in areas where they would have difficulties living in without any changes done. Enhancements such as lowered metabolism and achieving higher yield from the food during one’s digestion could potentially help the issue of hunger in many less economically developed areas (LEDCs) and even lowering the energy loss happening from our inefficient digestive system only being able to take in 1/10th of the possible energy. This can be considered as somewhat as an evolution for human being as we are making ourselves more suitable and prepared for the current situation of food shortage. However, some may ask if we are playing God. If we are pushing the limits of the nature. And this argument triggers the age-old question of “nurturer vs

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