Wade, Nicholas. "Biologists Call for Halt to Gene Editing Technique in Humans." The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Mar. 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
Sean Curran Biology
Current Event 1 3/22/15
The article I read is how scientists are trying to stop editing of human DNA before it happens. While people have been trying to change human DNA for quite some time, it only became possible in 2012 when a new technique was invented that can, as it states in the article,”... make changes to human, sperm, eggs or embryos that will last through the life of the individual and be passed on to future generations.” This process can happen if “ Researchers simply prime the defence system with a guide sequence of their choice and it will destroy the DNA sequence in any genome presented to it.” While this process can reap many benefits, including changing the beauty and intelligence of a person’s germline and ending genetic diseases, many scientists are highly opposed to modifying DNA. One of the reasons is because the process currently used can still miscut the genome, and scientists still want make sure that mistakes don’t happen. The second reason scientists oppose to using it is because many think humans will misuse it and that we are currently not overly smart enough to use it safely. While editing genes is tightly controlled in the West, many scientists are still worried that this technique could still be used in countries that have little to no laws regarding the matter.
The topics talked about in this article greatly affect society. One reason is because if the technique becomes legalized, people will flock to use it. This is due to the fact that almost every person sees imperfections in themselves, and would most likely rush to have these imperfections changed for themselves and for their kids. It would also be used greatly because it could safely stop generic diseases, although it may be out of the price range for many people if it becomes legalized. The second effect this topic could have on society is much darker, and that is that it could end our humanity. If everyone rushes to become both beautiful and intelligent, where would our uniqueness go. Almost everyone would become the same, and the prospect of having everyone be almost exactly the same is very scary, and could possibly happen if this technique is not banned or tightly regulated.
I writing this article, the author had both strengths and weaknesses. One of the authors strengths was that he was able to simply explain a difficult topic, making it so an average person who would normally have a hard time understanding what editing DNA was could easily understand it. A second strength of this article was that maintained unbiased, not siding toward either editing or not editing DNA, which can be hard on such a big and controversial topic. One weakness that was in this article was how the author didn't really explain the process of how the DNA is exactly modified. To improve this weakness, the author could try to explain the process in simpler words, so that people can grasp the concept more easily. A second weakness I felt the author could improve upon is how he provide and quotes from people who believe that this treatment shouldn’t be banned, but instead be encouraged. To improve upon this mistake, all the author has to do is to weave in another quote or two to the article.