Jurassic Park 2.0?

Recently, scientists have found ways to slightly modify genes. This works with the help of a new technology called CRISPR. Now I am no scientist, but basically what this gene modifying means is that we could, potentially, end genetic diseases, alter ecology, transform food and ‘edit’ human DNA (National Geographic).  It is fascinating that we have the technology to do that BUT HAVE YOU EVER SEEN JURASSIC PARK?!If you’ve never seen the movie, first of all, you should. Secondly, here’s a quick summary of what happens.

  • Scientists figure out how to modify genes.
  • Scientists find incomplete dinosaur DNA
  • Scientists use their new gene technology to fill in the gaps of dinosaur gene with a descendant of dinosaurs
  • Dinosaurs come alive, all is going relatively well
  • DINOSAURS ESCAPE ENCLOSURE
  • Small children are endangered
  • DINOSAURS GET VERY WILD
  • IT IS DANGEROUS AND BAD

Here’s a video explaining how the gene-modifying works

So really, we now have the technology to make Jurassic park actually happen. But this brings up the ethical question: should we?

On the surface, it seems like a relatively easy question to answer. Yes. This technology has the power to save and better lives. CRISPR could change the way we currently see the world and its challenges. Using this technology is risky though. Not only could it negatively affect the world around us, but it also kind of makes you wonder ‘who gave us the right to do this’? Sure viruses like Zika and AIDS would be great if we could completely eliminate them, but (and I don’t mean to sound like a senior, mad about the use of cellphones here) has technology come too far? If we begin to use this technology for good who knows what bad could happen?!

Hear me out here: In Jurassic Park, it all started out good. Scientists just wanted to learn about dinosaurs. Yay knowledge! But then they got too confident with their skills and created a wild unstoppable dinosaur. Really, the same thing could happen here. We could start out by only modifying genes to save lives, but next thing you know we could be modifying them so all babies have pretty blue eyes and lungs strong enough to run six marathons.

This new technology has an abundance of important healthcare uses, but with the ethical dilemmas we have to consider, is it really worth it? Comment below your opinions! Do you think the benefits of the CRISPR technology outweighs the risks?

Sources:

National Geographic Gene Editing article: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/08/dna-crispr-gene-editing-science-ethics/

Image: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7029/6398268627_ebcf5f758d_b.jpg

 

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