Human Gene Editing: Good Or Bad?

Until recently, gene editing was restricted to hybrid varieties of plants that produced higher yields and was immune to diseases. With the advancement in science and technology, it has now become possible to edit human genes.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of human gene editing, which are predictable and can drastically alter the lives of people according to experts.

Pros Of Human Gene Editing

1. Fighting and Preventing Diseases

Genetic engineering can fight and cure some of the deadly and difficult to treat diseases caused by genetic mutations. For instance, immunotherapy can be developed with the aid of gene editing for treating cancer. Technology like CRISPR will assist in modifying T-cells to locate and demolish cancer cells. With this technology, scientists can also prevent the passage of hereditary diseases from parents to offspring. Furthermore, CRISPR can contribute to drug research by boosting drug research and recovery processes.

2. Extend Lifespan

Human lifespan has already gone up with advancements in medical science. More so ever, it can get much better and longer with the introduction of human genetic editing. Many illnesses and diseases to which humans become prone with old age can be eliminated with genetic engineering. It can also alter fundamental elements that cause a natural decline of the body on the cellular level and the quality of human life.

3. Food Production

Both the quality and quantity of food produced can be improved with genetic engineering. We can design crops that can survive the harsh atmosphere, pests, and famines, and are full of the right nutrients. Moreover, it can aid in addressing heavy food demand and reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture.

Cons Of Human Gene Editing

1. Ethical Dilemma

Many people believe that gene editing is interfering with nature and equates to playing god. According to them, falling ill and prematurely death is perfectly natural. Moreover, eliminating all diseases and increasing the longevity of human life means adding more humans to the already overpopulated planet.

2. Safety Concerns

The smallest changes in genetic makeup can lead to unpredictable results. Again experimenting on embryos that are still in the womb can lead to complications such as stillbirth, miscarriage, physical defects, or immature birth. Although genetic engineering can demolish existing diseases, it can also introduce new and much more harmful ones.

3. Diversity

All animals have diverse genetics, which acts as a critical factor in their evolution. Genetically modifying the human species can have an adverse effect on our genetic diversity, just like cloning. Therefore, the elimination of ethnicity and diversity in the coming years is yet another threat to gene editing.

4. Expensive

Gene therapy is very expensive, and only the rich can afford it. If tomorrow it becomes possible to eliminate defective genetic code from the embryo, will it be accessible to the poor and rich equally? Will governments take the responsibility of paying for genetic editing of the children of low-income families for prevailing justice in society?

Although human genetic engineering has its pros and cons, the implication of stringent laws and controlled usage can be a huge blessing for the future of humankind.

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