Analyzing The Genome Of Living Cells ( 1 )

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Biology, in all of its glory, is quite amazing. It has always existed and always will; it merely just waits for a human to attempt to understand it. This understanding has taken centuries, however it seems to increase with the years. A very popular topic amongst biologists today is the genome, understanding it, mapping it, comparing one organism’s to another and so on. With the understanding of this genome though, we as humans want to delve into it, tweak it, and manipulate it until it is perfection to our standards. A development has arisen that will one day provide ways to make precise, targeted changes to the genome of living cells (1). CRISPR- Cas9 is the development that many scientists believe will eventually change the face of …show more content…

This tool was first tested with bacteria and found to be successful, but at what point will it break moral and ethical standards? Scientists in Guangdong found this out after attempting to use CRISPR-Cas9 on tripronuclear zygotes. The scientists studied the past results of tests similar to this and found that the CRISPR-Cas9 was not very accurate. To attempt to prevent this from occurring once more, specific PCR primers were designed to attempt to amplify the desired region of the hemoglobin strand so that the CRISPR-Cas9 might be more accurate and yield better results. (5) This study however, did not successfully eradicate the gene causing the zygote to be tripronuclear, instead it caused off-target mutations that would result in greater harm to the zygote than the tripronuclear would in the first place (6). When these scientists attempted to publish their paper at first, they were rejected due to the outcome of their research and ethical concerns. This, afterall, was the first test of its kind performed on human embryos. It was a worry that the zygotes that they had used were viable and violated moral standards, however these worries were proven false. This worry though, is common with many, in terms of attempting to use CRISPR-Cas9 on humans. Some scientists were so worried by this test, that they called for a moratorium on this type of experiment indefinitely. Their main point was that altering the genome of one embryo does not

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