Wednesday, August 2, 2017

One step closer...

...to the first genetically modified humans. Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University were able to edit out a disease causing gene from viable human embryos.

The technique is not yet ready to try on embryos intended for implantation (the success rate was only about fifty percent, although none of the successfully edited embryos showed other changes) - but the ethical issues are already being raised. Is it okay, for example, to change somebody's genome without their consent? (I would argue that yes, if it's done to save their life or prevent them from developing an unpleasant disease. Maybe my friend with cystic fibrosis can weigh in on this).

Of course, some people think it should be made illegal because, well, it's apparently worth having dead kids to prevent designer babies. (I think you can tell where I stand).

I firmly believe that yes, we should pursue this, but with appropriate care and consideration for, above all else, the health and welfare of any children that result.