The Medicine Of The Future Offers Unending Possibilities
A Positive Impact Or A Negative One?
CRISPR. No, that’s not the comparative form for the adjective ‘crisp’. These five letters literally represent the key that would eventually unlock the doors to advanced genetic engineering.
Genetic engineering, as a science, is hardly new for us humans. We’ve been using our knowledge about its applications to crops and animals. We have also applied it to other productive stuff for decades. But it’s still a bit of a hit or a miss when it comes to success. We haven’t really seen breakthroughs that would allow us to introduce the likes of Steve Rogers, Superwoman or Khan Noonien Singh.
CRISPR, or CRISPR-Cas9 attempts to change all this. It stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. This is a standard cellular immune system component, now turned into a biological super tool for research. CRISPR, capable of directly altering and modifying DNA, can produce all sorts of different genetic results. Disease resistance? Got that covered. Trait development? As you wish. It could even potentially prevent the physiological effects of aging if developed further.
Is There Such A Thing As Black And White Nowadays?
The equally promising and frightening possibilities of CRISPR is not solely in our future… But it brings back the most pressing issues. Questions about advanced genetic engineering and its usage. Thankfully, we can use CRISPR itself to analyze and rationalize some of these queries, as we explain the inner workings of this revolutionary tool.
Human Genetic Engineering: Good or Bad?
Genetic engineering of humans remains a long debated issue. The controversy spans several compelling disciplines. Arguments go on both the pro and anti-sides. From CRISPR’s perspective however, the development of bio-technologies necessary for human genetic engineering may perhaps ultimately serve to benefit humans in the long run.
In the age before the CRISPR system was developed, DNA editing took a very long time to process. Methods such as transfection and modified virus injection allowed specified changes in DNA protein structure. But each modification took too much time. Predicting the final structure of the DNA is never 100% accurate. Unforeseen adverse effects could take the research back to square one.
CRISPR Saves Time
CRISPR speeds up this process by several orders of magnitude. Utilizing the precise DNA identification system of its Cas9 enzyme, instead of simply waiting for the genetic code (nucleic acids) to be assimilated in the cell’s system as with older methods, Cas9 searches and accurately cuts off or modifies targeted genetic code.
Cas9 focuses on the needed modification via RNA sequence identification. Moreover, it accomplishes its goals in a matter of weeks. Accordingly, CRISPR eliminates years of effort. This helps speed up the process of developing disease treatment for patients. In doing so, it provides those who would have otherwise not made it in time using older traditional genetic engineering methods hope. Enhancements in the world of NEWDAWN will blow your mind as one foresees one type of future…
Is Human Experimentation Ever Ethical and Moral?
Human genetic engineering has a long connected history with the concept of human experimentation. Be it from something grim, awful, extraordinarily repulsive. Unfortunately, it is also as real as Auschwitz, or as fictional as Raccoon City. The idea alone gives a negative image. In the first place, gene modification is viewed as a stigma. It is considered a tool to commit acts of barbarism against another fellow human.
In the same fashion, the context of human experimentation remains an ambiguous issue. With CRISPR, human experimentation via genetic engineering, may one day be viewed as a harmless medical test. CRISPR only requires an external sample to start its work. The DNA-modified cell is reintroduced to the body only after rigorous safety testing. In addition, researchers have also tried to blunt the Cas9 enzyme’s DNA cleaving properties. It can switch on or off certain strands of genetic code temporarily. This allows scientists to see what it would do, producing no permanent effects on the cell.
As early as the technology is, CRISPR is already adequately capable of significantly adding to our knowledge of DNA structuring and modification. It can eliminate the consequences of harming humans during the experimentation process. As a matter of fact, there is a huge personal benefit to being one of the first test subject. After all, this is a paradigm-breaking innovation in medicine.
Would a Genetically Modified Society Flourish?
Transhumanism is a movement aiming to prove that humans should ultimately go beyond its limits. This can be achieved through science and technology. As inspiring as this sounds, its biggest flaw is the “haves” and “have not” issue on enhancement.
In that light, varying degrees of social and financial standards could set apart groups of individuals. Eventually, the formation of a society where non-enhanced humans would result in an inferior minority comes to mind.
CRISPR changes our view of such genetic engineering-centric future. Not only is it precise, accurate and fast, it is also relatively cheap. It doesn’t require complex 3D protein building methods. It only needs to work on already available or pre-built RNA sequences. Accordingly, researchers can begin using it as a DNA editing tool. Similarly, it can be readily available to anyone. This eliminates the need to shell out a huge amount of money, as we usually do for more serious medical treatments. The possibility of Immortality could well be around the corner.
Soon, something more advanced like CRISPR might eventually supersede its role in biotechnology. However by that time, it is likely that huge societal changes would have already occurred. If CRISPR continues on this successful and cheap, affordable, take-it-yourself model, the average individual need not worry. The current model allows access to anyone. The advantages are simple. Similarly, the choice of protecting your future children from deficiencies introduced by natural, but undesired genetic alterations, does no longer appear to be a choice. It becomes an obligation, which if unfulfilled could be technically considered a moral sin in the future.
Change is already here.