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The Economics Of Human Gene Editing. Human Gene Editing

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The Economics of Human Gene Editing Human gene editing has long been controversial topic; however, precise techniques that accomplish this feat have only recently been discovered. According to the Welcome Genome Campus in the UK, the most versatile and simplest technique, called CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to cut, alter, or add to sections of the DNA sequence of living organisms (“What Is CRISPR-Cas9?”). This astonishing technology has nearly endless applications, including the potential to eradicate genetic diseases in humans that currently have no cure. This could have vast implications for people who suffer with disease and the economy of the region in which they live, but the technology has yet to be commercialized. The…show more content…
The ease of reprogramming allows researchers to evaluate the effects of genetic alterations without using large amounts of their funding. David Warmflash, an astrobiologist and science writer, explained that instead of having to alter the design or setup, the guide RNA can easily be switched out or changed to target an alternative DNA sequence, all while using the same equipment. This saves money both in the initial editing of the sequence and in tests to evaluate the alteration’s precision since money doesn’t have to be spent on additional machines and time is saved on experimental design. This decreased cost of usage greatly influences gene therapies that could be researched and potentially offered in the future. Since it costs less to use, the amount companies would charge patients would be less. This could result in an increase of insurance companies willing to cover CRISPR therapies, increasing attainability for patients and potential profit for companies if CRISPR gene therapies are commercialized. Due to CRISPR-Cas9’s low cost, global scientific research on genetic editing has flourished. The power of CRISPR “is so easily accessible by labs — you don 't need a very expensive piece of equipment and people don 't need to get many years of training to do this” (Ledford). Because of this, CRISPR technology has spread to labs across the globe. There are two main economic
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