alter Isaacson’s new book about Jennifer Doudna and her journey to gene editing and the Noble Prize. He ask many important questions about what it means now and for our future. He is able accurately highlight the value of this technology and its riveting development, while also acknowledging the scary side.
CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter CRISPR is a technology that can be used to edit genes and, as such, will likely change the world. The essence of CRISPR is simple: it’s a way of finding a specific bit of DNA inside a cell. After that, the next step in CRISPR gene editing is usually to alter that piece of DNA.https://www.newscientist.com/definition/what-is-crispr/
He describes how easy it is to end up wanting to have a child that is smart, athletic, ore even have blonde hair and blue eyes – the Nazi trap. Is that the outcome if we leave it up to the open market? People generally want what is best and if people can choose the best options, why wouldn’t they? Government regulation concerns have been written about from Orwell’s 1984 to Huxley’s Brave New World.
While these concerns are appropriate, my perspective on his little bit different. While Walter Isaccson does an incredible job describing and helping the reader understand this complex topic, I was left thinking that he had not addressed the obvious dilemma of unfulfilled potential. If we do take the path of altering our genes to get an unfair advantage, what suggest it would be used? Our world is full of smart and talented people that have not fulfilled their potential. I am sure all of us have unused potential. We could all be better at many things, this however takes deliberate work to get better. Would people put in the time and effort? If so, why do they not do that now?
In addressing the issue of what is too much for gene editing, he asks, “what’s the difference between people who hire extra tutors or provide more opportunity to help kids develop or instead pay to change one’s gene’s?” This question is hard to answer, however an even harder question is what inspire them to work harder?
From my perspective, to treat genetically inherited diseases makes sense. Gene editing then can and should be used to eliminate diseases such as Hodgkins or Sickle Cell anemia for which we have no treatment. As Isaacson asks, what is the difference between doctors to treating diseases or starting treatment before it happens? Of course, changing something before it happens means we don’t know if there were positive potential options also eliminated.
The big question, just because they have the potential, does it mean they’re going to have the associated outcome? The other question is what else are we losing? Would a nicer personality in Steve Jobs still have produced the same results?
I think they’re jumping the gun about gene editing. Does gene editing guarantee a better in life? What do you think? Can we edit genes so people are more likely to want to generate comprehensive benefits? Can we create genes that such that the default thought is to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits? Or is the practice of paneugenesis, creating all good, something that must be learned?
As I reviewed this post, I realized it was all questions. My answer: I think it the better world will need to be nurtured and natured into our existence by creating an environment that nurtures, supports, encourages, and reinforces the practice of paneugenesis, the creation of all good, or more, not less disorder is likely. What do you think? I encourage you to read the book and share your thoughts.
Please share your thoughts and questions below.