Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Connor Barrett
AP Bio
Current Event

Harmon, Amy. "Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel's Support." The New York Times.
The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine recently approved support for modifications to human embryos to create genetic traits that can be passed down to future generations. This area of research has previously been thought of as an ethical disaster because it opens the door for genetic variations that could increase intelligence or allow for specialization of some humans. The group said that they support alterations if it prevents serious disease and disability and if there is no other treatment options. This could allow for people to have biological children without the fear of passing on diseases such as Huntington’s, Tay-Sachs, etc. The change in opinion has come from developments in the techniques and tools scientists have in examining and decoding the human genome in the last few years. This still raises many ethical questions and many assume that if any form of genetic alteration is allowed, eventually anything will be fair game.
The information that this article explains is critical for the future of medicine and science as the public, scientists, and lawmakers will have to debate what should be done about this topic sooner than later. If genetic alterations are allowed then society may be changed dramatically because it is more than likely that alterations will be expensive. This means that alterations that give people significant genetic advantages may only be accessible to the super rich. I believe that any genetic alterations should be made illegal immediately as to prevent future ethical complications.
Amy Harmon did a very good job of explaining this topic. She used just the right amount of detail and scientific jargon so that the information could be conveyed properly and understood easily. I would have like it if she had spent more time discussing the exact technological advancements that this field has seen in the past few years.
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