DailyDirt: Nature Vs. CRISPR
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The reality of designer babies seems to be more and more likely — especially now that gene editing tools like CRISPR are becoming more refined and widespread in labs around the world. Legitimate concerns over a modern form of eugenics are being raised, and the ethical debates are getting less theoretical as the science pushes the boundaries of what can be done. People might be able to activate or delete genes without fully understanding the results, and the advances that can eliminate genetic disorders could also eliminate certain minorities or traits that are not necessarily disabilities.
- British researchers will be performing gene-editing experiments on human embryos, but they’re not going to be making full-term babies — yet. Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is the first regulator to approve this kind of genetic tinkering (although plenty of countries don’t require permission at all), and British lawmakers have previously voted in favor of allowing babies to be made from the DNA of three parents to prevent genetic disorders. (So perhaps a modified clone of Benedict Cumberbatch will actually become Khan Noonien Singh someday.) [url]
- Genetic discrimination is going to be a thing soon. A kid was removed from school because he has genetic markers for cystic fibrosis (and not the actual condition). A lawsuit is now working its way through the system to determine if the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) or the Americans With Disabilities Act will apply to future such cases of discrimination. [url]
- Someone might have the genes for a particular trait, but it may never be expressed. Researchers have discovered a way to activate some genes that are inaccessible and non-functioning — but so far only in mice. Are you pondering what I’m pondering? [url]
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