Is editing the DNA of an unborn child ethical or unethical?
DNA editing has been a hotly contested debate among scientists and the public for decades.
While this advancement in science may bring us some great advantages, many argue it is not ethical to mess around with our DNA.
Genome editing has come a long way and could do a lot to improve human health.
Using the gene-editing technique on human embryos could help babies become resistant to certain heritable diseases and disorders.
How is this done? With the technology called CRISPR-CAS9. Using this technology, a portion of DNA is clipped, and a new piece of DNA is added to the cut; the cells' repair system then uses this as a patch. Targeting a faulty gene that causes hemophilia and replacing it with a normal one is just one example of this.
As CRISPR-CAS9 is inexpensive and convenient, research on genetic structure modification has greatly accelerated, making it possible to one day be able to remove harmful mutations from the gene pool.
According to a 2019 study, the hazards connected to genetic engineering have significantly decreased, and people are beginning to demand human embryos benefit from this genetic enhancement technology.
Advocates of genome editing argue that the only way of preventing genetic disorders is to manipulate the DNA.
However, most of the scientific community still believes it is unethical, and people would abuse this technology, creating what is known as designer babies.
Genome editing could exponentially change medical treatments and the quality of people's lives — but at what cost? It also has the potential to reduce human diversity, in turn increasing social inequalities.
While genetic engineering could have many advantages, seeing what could be done with it if it landed in the wrong hands is frightening.