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Gene Editing Issues

Decent Essays
Gene editing is the process of modifying genes with a particular goal. One goal could be for an individual to have particular traits. Another goal could be the elimination of a debilitating or fatal disease. There is a lot of controversy surrounding gene editing today as people do not want it to be used for personal preferences. However, gene editing can be used for many positive things, such as eliminating birth defects or fighting diseases (Harmon, 2017).
There are some ethical concerns with gene editing. One concern is that it can be a slippery slope into make edits to genes for “cosmetic” reasons. This would include things like parents who want a child with a particular eye color. Another concern is that the scientific community does not have a grasp on what the long-term effects are of changing gene sequencing and that there could be adverse effects that are currently not being predicted. A third ethical concern linked with unknown adverse effects is that some gene editing techniques have been found to be unsafe because they can lead to gene mutations, which can cause defects or disabilities. Safety must be ensured prior to use of the tool (Savulescsu, Pugh, Douglas, & Gyngell, 2015).
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The general consensus is that science could get to a point where we can create humans through the gene editing process and using fertilized eggs. Overall the scientific community does not think this would be safe and there is discussion of banning gene editing all together to avoid this outcome (Stein, 2015). Because the use of human embryos is very controversial, Liang et al, (2015) actually used tripronuclear (3PN) zygotes, which are unable to fully develop normally, and are often discarded during an in-vitro fertilization process. In using this type of zygotes during the gene editing process they were able to show the applications gene editing can have within human genetics (Liang, et al.,
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