Should we edit the human gene?

Editing our genes offers medical benefits

It carries too many ethical & long-term risks

 Getty: Jeff J Mitchell / Staff

The first report on human gene editing has opened up incredible possibilities for humans, claims Paul Enriquez of The Hill. It will allow humans to make leaps of innovation that were previously impossible, particularly in the field of medicine. Hereditary diseases, such as certain cancers or Alzheimer's, could be eliminated entirely. Current worries about the downsides of doing this are likely to be overblown and overshadowed by the upsides. Theories that this will contribute to eugenics programs, such as creating “designer babies,” are misguided and rooted in science fiction. The medical benefits could be priceless.

Keep on reading at The Hill

As exciting as it may seem, we need to be aware of the risks that editing the human gene could pose, asserts Alessandro Potenza of The Verge. The procedure could lead to health defects or other unwanted DNA irregularities. These would be passed down to offspring and could affect the human gene pool. Any mistake could have drastic and permanent consequences further down the line. The ability to change children’s attributes and genetic diseases would be distributed unequally due to its high cost. This could result in a society where certain traits make particular people "less" than those whose genes were edited.

Keep on reading at The Verge
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