Is Gene Editing Ethical?
In 2018, China arrested a scientist who claimed to have engineered genetically modified twin baby girls. 🔬👶 He reportedly said he'd prevented the babies from contracting HIV from the father — but the development is stirring a great deal of controversy.
Is Gene Editing Ethical?
Genetically modified babies have reportedly been born in China. He Jiankui, the scientist behind the experiment, made the announcement but is now under house arrest because of his actions. The world has moved on to the stage for embryo gene editing. There will be someone, somewhere, who is doing this. If it’s not him, it probably will be someone else. He claims to have modified the DNA of in vitro fertilized embryos, creating twins. This science genetic modification was reportedly performed using a revolutionary tool, CRISPR or “genetic scissors.” They can be used to replace any gene easily and at a low cost, regardless of the organism.
Gene editing may have unintended consequences, so this is uncharted water and it has to be taken seriously. The issue of gene editing is serious because it has ethical, social and safety issues in it and it cannot be just done without clear guidelines, standards that cover all the ethical, social and safety issues. However, it is a point in history, because these two babies would appear to be the first genome-edited babies as it is a momentous point in history. Defending his actions, said he wanted to protect the twin girls from contracting HIV. Their father has been diagnosed with the virus. This argument has been criticized since alternative medical methods for preventing HIV infection in children already exist. Some scientists have alluded to another reason for He Jiankui’s actions.
A recent study by Chine Nouvelle suggests that modifying this gene could also increase a baby’s cerebral capacities. If so, these babies would be the very first genetically “augmented humans.” An investigation by the Guangdong provincial government confirmed the births of the twin girls. The Chinese authorities have decided to prosecute He for conducting illegal research. As he awaits sentencing, the scientist is under house arrest.
It’s difficult to know whether genetic modification really took place but it’s now technically possible. This is why most of the scientific community is sounding an alarm. There are lots of scientists already standing up, they’re already expressing their objections to this research. That’s the good thing. And then, it is the public should be more aware and will care about research related to the health human beings.