Germ-Line Engineering

Title: Engineering the Perfect Baby

Author: Antonio Regalado

Source: MIT Technology Review

Publication Date: March 5, 2015

The article I chose discusses how close we are to being able to edit genes in humans. Scientists are already using CRISPR to remove bad genes from animals and replace them with good ones. Even though the CRISPR technology is not perfect, human gene editing is not that far off. By using stem cells, they could create a new sperm and egg and edit the genes however they wanted. This method could eliminate the chances of having a hereditary disease like autism or cystic fibrosis. 

However, the reason I put germ-line engineering in the "do not want the population to know" section is because some of the possible uses of this are very unethical. There are possibilities of human enhancement. People could be stronger, faster, and smarter than ever. Also, people could change factors about their children that they did not like. However, this all has to be done in the egg cell. Therefore, the person being modified would have no consent in the situation. Also, the technology is far from perfect, and it would take multiple tries for the edited person to be the result that was wanted, but the failed tries would be people and not just cells in a petri dish. Also, this process would be very expensive and only avaible to the wealthy. Finally, there is no real medical reason for human enchancement via germ-line engineering. Scientists are able to find cures without gene editing. All in all, this new technology has real benefits, but it is a very slippery slope.