By: Lilly Weirich
original article written BY:TINA HESMAN SAEY
I bet you are wondering what in the world Gene Editing is… Well, gene editing is when scientists can change a baby's features like eye and hair color. Also, they can cure the baby of cancer before it is born, or at a young age. Another use of gene editing is the ability to change whether a baby will have a mental disorder or not. An example of this is autism. This is important to mothers and fathers around the world. In my opinion, if my baby were to have a mental disorder and I was given a chance to change that, I would. I would make this decision because I have heard and seen how it is to live a life with a mental disorder. This discovery took place in Washington D.C. on December 3. Scientists in Washington D.C. said that research on human gene editing is needed and that they should be able the to continue on with their research.
Although this is a major breakthrough in science and that this discovery could heal many babies, there are also many people that believe tinkering with human cells could lead to disasters and unhealthy babies. Another problem that many people are complaining about is the fact that Moms and Dads may choose to make what people are calling “The perfect baby”. What they mean by “Perfect”, is that people may make their babies smarter or better-looking than other individuals. If I were given the chance to make my baby smarter or better-looking I would definitely never change the way he or she looked or acted. Then again, that is my opinion and many people may not have the same.
A little girl with the name Layla who had leukemia, was treated with edited immune cells. In her case, the editing “scissors” used to slice genes are known as TALENs. They are enzymes that researchers engineer to clamp on to DNA at certain sites and then they are cut. This shows that gene editing can be used in many good ways. A wonderful example of this, is a little girl's like Layla whose life was saved by gene editing. If she was not cured at a young age, she could have died later on. One recent experiment that scientists created, was beagles with extra muscle. In that case, the researchers used “scissors”, known as CRISPR/Cas9 to create certain gene edited beagles with extra muscle.
This discovery is very interesting and helpful but many people still think that their should be some changes in the gene editing process. Hope fully gene editing will be used for important medical purposes only, like freeing and healing Layla who had leukemia.