Recent Developments In Gene Editing, Concerning The Modification

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Recent developments in gene editing, concerning the modification of embryonic cells and its’ usefulness since the discovery of iPS cells


This essay addresses the question “In light of the recent developments with iPS cells, is the genetic modification of human embryos justified?”. New gene editing software CRISPR has created cheaper and more accurate modification, making the editing of an embryo a possibility. There are concerns about this advancement as it is the changing of our DNA, with this having ethical consequences that some judge as unacceptable. Recent experiments have also produced alternative use of this technology, such as on iPS cells which have the same properties as embryonic …show more content…


1. Introduction

“In light of the recent developments with iPS cells, is the genetic modification of human embryos justified?”

Genetic modification of human embryos is an issue of utmost relevance as technology continually advances, with recent findings offering prospects that could only be covered in science fiction, and thus I feel a discussion is necessary to think properly about the implications of this progress. The embryo is the combination of sperm and egg cell that is the building block of us all, the genes that determine who we are. It is this original stage of human life that is important as it can now be modified due to advancements in genetic modification, offering the chance to prevent genetic diseases as the relevant sequence of DNA that would be responsible for it can be cut out and replaced. This is shown through developments in Asia, as the first use of a pioneering gene editing system CRISPR/Cas 9 to cure the genetic disease β-thalassaemia (Liang et al., 2015), which is a blood disorder that can be fatal. This indicates why embryos are a subject of experimentation, as they can potentially be engineered so that a disease is eradicated. Developments are putting molecular biology in the spotlight of the media (Knapton, 2015) and creating opportunities that are both exciting and worrying, putting the human identity into question. This is because our genes’ code for proteins that decide our

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